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Cullman
Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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    Op-Ed: Alabama should proceed with caution on ‘school choice’

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    With another legislative session in Alabama right around the corner, along with a presidential election, “school choice” is quickly becoming a hot topic across the state. The phrase could mean anything from voucher systems to statewide open enrollment, depending on who is defining it.As...

    Op-Ed: Alabama’s Turnaround Schools Initiative will give some of our most struggling public school students a chance to achieve their dreams

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    As 2023 comes to a close, it naturally offers an opportunity to look back at all we have done over the last year. In Alabama, I believe we have, once again, made progress. When I was sworn in for my second term as governor...

    Op-Ed: Fear of the known

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    Work. It's something most of us have to do at least five days each week. However, for some the work week turns into a work month, which morphs into working nearly every day.  I'm not complaining as the profession that chose me suits all aspects...

    Op-Ed: A parent’s practical guide to the pumpkin patch

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    Picture it: a verdant green field, speckled with hay, dotted with pumpkins of every shade. The air has a certain crispness to it. Faint music in the distance, interluded by the laughter of children as they ooh and ahh over which pumpkin to take...

    Op-Ed: Active participation over passive complaints

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    In an era where social media platforms amplify voices, it is imperative to exercise discernment between constructive dialog and counterproductive complaining. As evidenced by the recently concluded Oktoberfest in Cullman, which witnessed unprecedented attendance, the potent synergy of organizations such as Cullman Parks, Recreation...

    Op-Ed: Alabama’s historic grocery tax cut goes into effect, but more work remains to finish the job

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    Alabamians are feeling a bit of relief at the grocery store checkout lines as a result of the tax cut on food that a coalition of conservative lawmakers and I pushed through the Legislature during the 2023 regular session.  Beginning on Sept. 1, the state’s...

    Op-Ed: The quiet legacy of a quilter

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    As a sewist and quilter with over 15 years of experience, I have been called several times to adopt another quilter's "stash". A stash in the quilter community is a collection of material, trims, patterns, findings, even equipment and furniture, collected over a sewing...

    Op-Ed: To eliminate ‘help wanted’ signs, we must shift our focus to labor force participation. The Ivey Administration is doing that

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    To gather the fullest employment picture in Alabama – and across the nation for that matter – we must shift our focus to labor force participation.   Alabama’s current unemployment rate is at an impressive and historic low of 2.2%. In fact, almost all of the...

    Op-Ed: Rock the South through the eyes of a first-timer

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    As a Cullman local who lived in the county and worked at a local watering hole, Rock the South had always been synonymous for me with heavy traffic, rowdy bar guests and a vibrato of whatever headliner they snagged pounding through your temples as...

    Op-Ed: Alabama’s historic grocery tax cut shows we must always attempt to accomplish what others say can’t be done

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    Alabamians may have felt their wallets bulge a bit last month when the Legislature approved our bill that slices the sales tax on groceries in half and implements the single largest tax cut in state history. Alabama was one of only three states that taxed...

    Op-Ed: Father’s Day

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    Father's Day is the day that we come together to honor and appreciate the extraordinary fathers in our lives. From the moment we take our first breath, fathers assume a pivotal role in shaping our lives. They become our protectors, mentors and providers. Whether...

    Op-Ed: It’s time to teach our students that the difference between happiness and regret is the ability to manage money

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    Despite rising salaries, a robust economy and a highly competitive job market that is forcing some employers to entice new workers with signing bonuses, many Alabamians continue to struggle financially and find themselves living from paycheck to paycheck.  A national study conducted just last month...

    Op-Ed: The perfect opportunity to repeal the grocery tax is before us, but we must take action now

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    For all of my adult life, politicians in Montgomery have talked about the need to remove the state sales tax from groceries, but they always find excuse after excuse that prevents them from actually doing it. The potential loss of budget revenue, the false claims...

    Op-Ed: It’s time to put fentanyl dealers behind bars

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    I’m certain that many of you have heard about the drug fentanyl in the news these last few years, the powerful opioid similar to morphine or oxycodone but 100 times more powerful than both of those drugs and much more addictive and deadly. Fentanyl’s original...

    Op-Ed: Remembering 3:16

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    Do you remember where you were, and what you were doing three years ago, on March 16, 2020? I do. I remember that day clearly. That was the day we received word that everything was shutting down for two weeks in hopes of slowing the...

    Op-Ed: Top 10 romantic movies to watch on Valentine’s Day

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    Love is in the air, and what better way to celebrate than with a romantic movie? From heartwarming love stories to steamy romances, here are the top 10 Valentine's Day movies that are sure to set the mood for a romantic night in.  “The Notebook”...

    Op-Ed: Alabama’s community colleges are aligned with the needs of business and industry to better serve our students and our state

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    In the five years since I became Chancellor of the Alabama Community College System, nothing has been a higher priority than making sure we provide world-class, affordable education and training so our students have the skills to succeed in a constantly evolving economy. During...

    Op-Ed ‘President Biden should make up his mind’

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       Last week, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed into law S.B. 202, a piece of reform legislation that will enhance the security and integrity of elections in our neighbor state. While the bill makes numerous changes to the voting process in Georgia, the bill requires proof...

    ADMH calls for entries for 2021 Capitol Showcase

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    Alabama Department of Mental Health   MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Since 2005, the Alabama Department of Mental Health (ADMH) has hosted the Capitol Showcase, a consumer art show. Individuals with mental illnesses, developmental disabilities, substance use disorders or co-occurring disorders graciously offer their works of art to...

    Cullman Farm-City promotes National Agriculture Day

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      CULLMAN, Ala. - National Agriculture Day, commonly referred to as National “Ag” Day, is coming up on March 24, and Cullman County’s Farm-City folks are gearing up for a series of events around the day and through the season to celebrate farmers and agriculture...

    Cullman Regional receives emergency CON approval for expansion project

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    CULLMAN, Ala. - The Health Care Authority of Cullman County/ Cullman Regional Board of Directors this week announced that they have received Emergency Alabama Certificate of Need (CON) approval to add an additional 30 beds to the hospital, including 13 additional critical care beds.   During...

    Op-Ed: Despite criticisms, Alabama’s environment is best it’s been since standards were first measured

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    As the director of the state agency charged with safeguarding Alabama’s environment, I have great respect for and deep appreciation of our state’s wonderful natural resources and rich biodiversity of species and habitats, including many that are unique to Alabama. Protecting human health and...

    Op-Ed: Slowing coronavirus spread is key in 2021

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    As the new year begins and we reflect on 2020, we are faced with the sad reality that almost 4,800 Alabamians have died from COVID-19, the highly contagious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Last spring when we learned about...

    Op-Ed: 400 years later, the Pilgrim story is more relevant than ever

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    This Thanksgiving will be different from any other we have had in our lifetimes.  This past year has been a struggle, as every single one of us has had their normal lives disrupted.  Many of us have also lost friends and family as the...

    Op-Ed: An inspirational pick

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    A century ago, the Suffragettes finally succeeded in winning the right to vote for women. They would be thrilled to see the nomination of a woman so uniquely qualified to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court as Judge Amy Coney Barrett, were they alive...

    On this Independence Day, recalling the Founders’ views of a free press

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    America’s Founders regarded a free press as so vital to the new nation that they took care to include that right in the First Amendment to the Constitution. Founders spoke glowingly about the press as a pillar of democracy and guarantor of liberty. Thomas Jefferson,...

    Op-Ed: This is our time, Alabama

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    My fellow Alabamians: In a few days, America will celebrate her 244th birthday. Traditionally, many towns and cities around the country light up the night with fireworks and music festivals. In 1776, John Adams predicted that Independence Day would be “celebrated by succeeding generations” with “pomp...

    Ivey: Census participation is not simply about you

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    Census 2020 kicked off in March, shortly before the word “coronavirus” entered our everyday vocabulary and upended life as we then knew it. And while the Census is not presently on the forefront of the vast majority’s minds, it is enormously important to Alabama’s...

    Op-Ed:  Let’s build America’s health care equipment in Alabama 

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    This is a difficult day for all of us. New unemployment numbers released this morning, some of the worst in our nation’s history, paint a grim picture of the economic devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Millions of Americans, and many of our fellow...

    Op-Ed: Community colleges:  Essential to post-pandemic economic recovery in Alabama and nationwide

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    Community colleges in Alabama and across the nation have responded quickly to the COVID-19 pandemic, making contributions to enhance capabilities of emergency responders and health care professionals.  Two-year public colleges have the unique capability to re-skill the workforce as the state and the nation...

    Op-Ed: Remembering my father and the Greatest Generation

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    It has been 75 years since the end of World War II. Today, May 8, we celebrate V.E. or Victory in Europe Day, the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany. Later this summer, we will also celebrate the 75th anniversary of V.J. or Victory in...

    Op-Ed: ‘I’m proud to be a part of the Tyson Blountsville Team’

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    While we are all experiencing a NEW way of life during this pandemic, I have experienced and seen a lot of good during this time. The good of everyone working together and doing their part to keep themselves and families safe. The good of...

    Op-Ed: Remember Vietnam veterans this Memorial Day

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    As we honor our war dead this Memorial Day, please remember the extraordinary price Vietnam veterans have paid. If you have never visited the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C., I urge you to do so. Being a Vietnam veteran, I knew from its construction...

    Op-Ed: Medicaid expansion would fix the hole in the roof of Alabama’s health care system

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    It may not have sounded like it on the surface, but Gov. Kay Ivey recently made one of her most encouraging comments yet about Medicaid expansion. “It would be irresponsible,” Ivey told reporters Tuesday, “to think about expanding Medicaid just for the sake of...

    Letter to the Editor: Caregiving in the era of COVID-19

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    Even in ordinary times, the more than 760,000 unpaid family caregivers in Alabama face a daunting set of daily tasks. Oftentimes with little or no training, they may be responsible for wound care, tube feedings, dressing, managing the finances and medical bills of their loved...

    Op-ed: A war with an invisible enemy

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    The coronavirus pandemic has been called a war with an invisible enemy. The Greatest Generation taught us to win a war; we have to be “all in” and we can win this one that way, too! Legislators begin each week with a conference call with Governor...

    Op-Ed: Another rural hospital is closing- What will it take for Alabama to finally expand Medicaid?

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    Today (Friday, March 6, 2020), when the Pickens County Medical Center closes its doors, it will become yet another sad statistic among the now 14 hospitals in Alabama that have shuttered their doors since 2011. Eight of those have been in rural communities. There are...

    AL Labor Sec. Fitzgerald Washington: 2019 economic wrap-up

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    With the closing of the past decade, and at the beginning of a new one, economic conditions in Alabama couldn’t be much better.  We at the Alabama Department of Labor have been busy wrapping up statistics and facts for 2019, and we’re happy to...

    Op-Ed: The most important agency in our state!

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    First, notice my topic is not the most important state agency. My topic is the most important agency in the state. What agency is the most important in the state? Which agency can impact reduction in crime the most, reduce and eliminate racism, friction among our...

    Op-Ed: Continue to improve rural Alabama

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    My legislative district is rural, therefore my voice in the Legislature is for rural issues. We’ve had significant success for “rural Alabama” in the Legislature in recent years, primarily because of a focus lead by the Rural Caucus in the Alabama House of Representatives One member...

    Op-Ed: What new overtime rules mean to Alabama businesses

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    Federal overtime rules which took effect Jan. 1 are having a big impact on Alabama’s small businesses. The change means more management-level employees are eligible for overtime. According to the Labor Department, the new rule affects an estimated 1.2 million workers nationwide. Previously, employees classified as...

    Op-Ed: Continue broadband expansion

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    Can you imagine being without “city water” or electricity? Without either of those utilities readily available, life would be difficult, and our local economy would be almost nonexistent. Certainly, the poultry industry wouldn’t be what it is in our area today. We can’t imagine being without electricity...

    Op-ed: Better paying jobs & continued economic growth

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    Every working-age, able-bodied person needs a good paying job. Not too many years ago, the dominant manufacturing industry in Alabama was the textile industry. Just as Ross Perot predicted in presidential debates, the textile industry moved to other countries when Congress approved NAFTA (North American...

    Op-ed: Mental health and substance abuse

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    Holidays are exciting times for many but tough for some. For some, holidays are tough because of the loss of loved ones. Those of us who experience this sadness have to enjoy our good memories and focus on our loved ones still with us. Then, there...

    Op-Ed: Education- how do we get to number 1?

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    This question has numerous answers, but I would like to hear your answer or answers. I firmly believe education is important to our future. The very first economic development project during my time as mayor of my hometown was to recruit a high-quality preschool, Early...

    Op-Ed: Local Legislation

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    Local legislation is often required to authorize a local entity to do something specific that otherwise is not authorized by law or the state constitution. Local legislation can usually be passed if all the local legislators, House and Senate agree or at least do not...

    Op-Ed: Making Alabama safer for children and families

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    It’s been a little over a month since we learned about the death of Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney in Birmingham. That kind of violence against a beautiful child of God is just beyond comprehension. And in the weeks since, we’ve seen the tragic murders of...

    Op-Ed: Road and bridge projects

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    It’s important for everyone to understand the process for road and bridge projects. First of all, please understand that legislators do not vote to do specific projects. We compete with every other legislator in the state for the same state funding for projects in our...

    Op-Ed: Senior citizens, thank you!

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    I am thankful for faith, family and freedom! And, I am thankful for senior citizens; they’ve truly blessed my life! I’ve just always been able to connect with seniors. I guess it goes back to the wonderful grandparents I had. One of my proudest accomplishments in...

    Op-Ed: Support LOCAL shops and restaurants on Small Business Saturday

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    Governor Ivey has proclaimed Nov. 30, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, as Small Business Saturday in Alabama. Small business really is the bedrock of Alabama’s economy. It accounts for 99.4 percent of all businesses in the state and employs about 47 percent of the workforce, according...

    Op-Ed: Better customer service by state agencies

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    This is a theme I’ve been promoting since I arrived in Montgomery. I firmly believe in the Christian principle, “We are to serve, not be served” and that should be the goal of elected officials and those working in public service. Just like all businesses, restaurants,...

    Op-Ed: Alabama prisons and criminal justice system

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    With any issue, finding the right balance is the key to success. The prison/criminal justice system issue is no different. The purpose of prisons, in my view, is to keep the public safe! And, provide the opportunity for inmate rehabilitation when possible. We have to...