Category: News

Alabama’s Martha Roby: It’s still ‘very emotional’ recalling horrific Planned Parenthood videos that sparked passionate floor speech

It's been nearly three years since Alabama Republican Congresswoman Martha Roby was the first member to give an impassioned one-minute speech on the House floor decrying Planned Parenthood after alarming undercover videos surfaced about the abortion provider's sale of fetal body parts. Roby, who will next month face former Democrat Congressman Bobby Bright in a GOP primary runoff for Alabama's 2nd congressional district, appeared on Alabama-based EWTN last week and recalled what it was like to see the Center for Medical Progress videos and speak out about them. "Even to hear [a replay of the speech] now is very emotional," Roby said, with tears coming to her eyes. "I remember I was sitting in an appropriations markup, committee mark, that morning, and was scrolling through Twitter on my phone and came across the article and just couldn't believe what I was reading, and I immediately texted the link to my staff and said, 'Is this real? Is this really happening?' So as soon as the committee mark was over, I immediately went to the floor to give that one-minute speech ... and one minute was not nearly enough. I distinctly remember there were other members waiting in line to give their one-minutes and they too were filled with emotion at hearing this for the first time." WATCH Roby's July 2015 speech: (more…)

BREAKING: Alabama AG speaks about Bridgette Marshall’s suicide

This story has been updated.  Albertville -- Slamming what he called “reckless” reporting and rumors that required his response, Attorney General Steve Marshall confirmed to reporters and community members Wednesday morning that his wife Bridgette Marshall died in Tennessee on Sunday from a self-inflicted gunshot wound and that he was on the phone with her before she committed suicide. Marshall tearfully shared the circumstances he said he believes led to Bridgette’s suicide, including opioid addiction, mental illness, chronic pain and a fear that she was a burden to others. "I got on the phone with her, and I just talked to a person that had no hope," Marshall said to those gathered at Oak Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Albertville. "She said, ‘I don’t have a purpose, and I’m tired. My body is failing me and I don’t know why. I’ve had pain for a long time and I don’t want to endure it anymore, and I’m just a burden,'" he said. "And I told her how she wasn't and how she was loved, and as a guy who, professionally, is supposed to be able to convince people with words to do something, I couldn’t reach her," he said, choking up as he added that his wife asked him on the phone if he wanted to hear her commit suicide, to which he said he responded no, and that she then hung up the phone. Marshall said he called the police and tried to call her back over and over, but…

Alabama AG Marshall on immigration controversy: ‘Misguided’ to blame Trump or Sessions

Update: Trump signed an executive order Wednesday afternoon to stop the separation of parents and children when they are detained for illegal entrance into the country. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is facing increased pressure amid public outcry to change a border practice that separates children from their parents when illegally entering the United States. However, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said Wednesday morning that leadership shouldn’t decide how to enforce immigration laws based on shifting public opinion or media coverage. (more…)

What’s justice-mercy balance? Alabama AG Marshall discusses Judith Ann Neelley, others

What's the balance between justice and mercy? Yellowhammer News last week asked Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall for his thoughts on justice and mercy in light of two current events: -- Convicted murderer Judith Ann Neelley is scheduled for a parole hearing Wednesday. Neelley has served more than 30 years of a life sentence for the violent 1982 murder of a 13-year-old Georgia girl. -- Democrat candidate for governor Sue Bell Cobb's former campaign aid Paul Littlejohn III, a convicted rapist, was recently charged with violating state sex offender laws and resigned from Cobb’s campaign. WATCH the 2-min video: (more…)

Alabama AG: Violent crime, opioid epidemic means churches must get out of ‘silos’ to help; comments on Church of Highlands controversy (Video)

Attorney General Steve Marshall concluded a four-city series of “Faith Forums” at The Rock Family Worship Center in Huntsville Tuesday, telling attendees that when it comes to violent crime, opioid addiction, and addressing security risks in schools and churches, “reactive” arrests and prosecution can’t be the only solution. “The church has the opportunity to be proactive” during the growing crisis, Marshall said, pointing to alarming statistics showing violent crime is at a 20-year high in Alabama, with numbers of sexual assaults, murders and aggravated assaults nearing totals not seen in the state since 1995. “That’s a violent crime every 21 minutes,” he said. (more…)

Birmingham pastor angry at Church of the Highlands, urges blacks to ‘leave’ white churches ‘now’ (VIDEO)

Controversy has erupted in Birmingham because Church of the Highlands plans to move a campus into an area that has been described as "high-crime" and they are not receiving a warm welcome from a local pastor. Pastor Michael Jordan of New Era Baptist Church off Cotton Avenue SW posted this message on one side of his church sign: "Black folks need to stay out of white churches" and this on the other side: "White folks refused to be our neighbors." "White folk have proved they don't want to live next door to us, or be our neighbors, or worship with us," Jordan told Birmingham NBC affiliate WVTM. "Now they want to plant a white church in a black neighborhood under the umbrella of supposedly to fight crime. The real reason Church of the Highlands wants to put a white church in a black neighborhood is they have too many black folks at their main campus and they want them to leave and come to a church in their inner city." Church of the Highlands is a multi-site megachurch founded by Chris Hodges in the suburbs of Birmingham in 2001. It is the largest congregation in Alabama and the second largest in the United States. When asked about the church's plans to help fight crime, Jordan said he's against it because the motive is "not pure." "It's hypocritical," he said. "If you don't want to be our neighbors, if you don't want to live next door to black African-Americans, how can you…

WATCH: Alabama Republican candidates, officials rock the runway for Huntsville event

Who says Republicans can’t let loose? Alabama officials, candidates, media personalities and party people (Republican Party, that is) rocked the runway Wednesday, modeling ties by Dillard’s and outfits by local boutiques at the Republican Women of Huntsville’s “Make Fashion Great Again” event at the Huntsville Botanical Garden. WATCH the Facebook Live video ... it gets hilarious about the 12:20 minute mark when the men take the stage. (more…)

Human trafficking bill that would impose severe penalties for obstruction is step closer to becoming law

Anyone who obstructs a human trafficking investigation in Alabama could be met with the same penalties as the traffickers if the governor signs a bill that passed the House this week with near unanimous support. The bill, which already passed the Senate, increases penalties in place for those who obstruct, interfere with, prevent, or otherwise get in the way of law enforcement’s investigation into the practice that includes child sex trafficking. Under current law, such obstruction is only a Class C felony and could result in just one year in prison. The new legislation would increase the maximum offense to a Class A felony, with a minimum jail sentence of ten years. (more…)

Alabama State Senator to introduce human trafficking bill today

  Alabama State Sen. Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) is expected to introduce a bill Tuesday designed to impose heavy penalties on anyone who obstructs human trafficking investigations. “Human trafficking is a growing problem not just in Alabama, but around the country,” Ward said in an interview with Yellowhammer News. “Particularly human trafficking in young kids, which is often for the purpose of sexual abuse.” Human trafficking is defined as a form of modern day slavery “involving the exploitation of someone for the purposes of compelled labor or a commercial sex act through the use of force, fraud, or coercion,” according to Polaris, a non-profit that tracks human trafficking. The average age of victims’ entry into sex trafficking is between 11-14 years old, according to the Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force. Ward said that under current Alabama law, active engagement in human trafficking is a Class A felony, but penalties are much less strict for those who may not be directly involved in trafficking -- but who know about trafficking activity and obstruct law enforcement from investigating. In Alabama, Ward said such obstruction is currently classified as a Class C felony, which is punishable by a minimum amount of time in prison. Ward said his proposed legislation would change that and provide a stronger deterrent to anyone engaged with or associated with the crime. “Oftentimes, those who are obstructing justice in these human trafficking cases are just as guilty as those who are actually participating in it,” Ward said. “In the new law,…

Spring Hill College, University of Alabama top 2018 list of hardest schools to get into in the Yellowhammer State

[caption id="attachment_26125" align="aligncenter" width="820"] University of Alabama quad (Photo: University of Alabama)[/caption]   If your children want to go to college alongside the likes of Tua Tagovailoa or someday stroll the Avenue of Oaks to get their degree, then they better start studying. Spring Hill College in Mobile and the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa are the two most selective schools in the state, according to the 2018 Hardest Colleges to Get Into list produced by the data website Niche. Nearly 6-in-10 applicants are rejected by Spring Hill College, and more than half are told ‘no’ by the Capstone, according to the report. The rankings are based on acceptance rates and SAT/ACT test scores using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Here’s Niche’s top ten: #1: Spring Hill College -- Acceptance rate: 44% -- SAT range: 1000-1190 #2: University of Alabama -- Acceptance rate: 53% -- SAT range: 980-1230 #3: Birmingham-Southern -- Acceptance rate: 48% -- SAT range: 990-1180 #4: University of Alabama – Birmingham -- Acceptance rate: 58% -- SAT range: 970-1300 #5: Oakwood University -- Acceptance rate: 48% -- SAT range: 750-1010 #6: Tuskegee University -- Acceptance rate: 50% -- SAT range: 890-1110 #7: Faulkner University -- Acceptance rate: 45% -- SAT range: 880-1120 #8: University of North Alabama -- Acceptance rate: 56% -- SAT range: 862-1053 #9: Alabama State University -- Acceptance rate: 46% -- SAT range: 730-920 #10: Huntington College -- Acceptance rate: 57% -- SAT range: 845-1050 Auburn University was 11th on the list, with…