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Britt for VP; Daniels has decided; and more in this week’s OTR

Off The Record: The latest rumors and rumblings in North Alabama


Senator, author … and VP?

Currently on a book tour, Sen. Katie Britt has been mentioned as a possible vice president pick on the Republican side. While Britt maintains she is focused on the job she has now, one astute observer wryly noted, “Everyone knows writing a book is precursor to running for national office.” Britt is a rising star in the Republican party and many agree would be an ideal pick. Her book, “God Calls Us to Do Hard Things,” is now on sale and Alabama’s junior senator will be at Huntsville’s Books-A-Million today signing copies from 5-7 p.m.  

Yellling ‘fire!’ on a crowded test range 

When troops yell “Fire!” at Redstone Arsenal, it’s usually a command to fire a cannon. Well, Wednesday afternoon, the command carried a different meaning as a fire broke out on one of the post’s test ranges. Redstone officials did not cite the cause but the range is the site of explosions (“the sound of freedom”) and rocket engine tests. With the unusually dry conditions affecting the area, it created a dangerous situation. The smoke could be seen for miles but fortunately the blaze was contained with no threat to life or facilities. As a reminder, the state is under a No Burn Order.

Daniels has decided

Today is the final day for qualifying in the newly formed Second Congressional District.  As OTR told you weeks ago, State Rep. Anthony Daniels was reportedly considering a run for Congress. We can now tell you he is expected to have filed by today’s 5 p.m. deadline to make it official. Daniels grew up in Bullock County, which now sits in the redrawn Second District. The popular politician has gained supporters from both parties and is the favorite to become Alabama’s next congressman. 

Mike making moves?

Former Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely was spotted this week shopping for groceries at a FoodLand in Muscle Shoals. If he has his way, you may soon see him at a grocery store in Limestone County. Blakely is serving a three-year sentence at the Franklin County Jail and, according to the sheriff there, he is on unsupervised work release during the day which explains his FoodLand appearance. Blakely’s attorneys filed a motion with the court this week asking that he serve the remainder of his time under the supervision of the Limestone County Community Corrections. His request, citing health issues, was supported in the filing by several Limestone County community leaders such as State Sen. Tom Butler and Republican Party Chairman John Wahl.

‘Dumber than kayaking down Ruby Falls’

Folks are scratching their heads over a decision to move Jackson County in Northeast Alabama to the Chattanooga DMA (Designated Market Area). Nielsen, better known for determining ratings than moving unwilling viewers to another state, is apparently to blame. One Scottsboro resident tells OTR, “It’s dumber than kayaking down Ruby Falls.”  The move has caused such an uproar that Congress is now involved. U.S. Rep. Dale Strong, a first responder, has sent a letter to the FCC citing public safety concerns, “An overwhelming majority of my Jackson County constituents rely upon Huntsville TV stations for severe weather coverage.”

I’ll take a CBR with an order of Stuffed Pups (IYKYK)

Ro’s Grille in Athens is set to have a ribbon-cutting for its location just off the square on North Jefferson Street. Best described as an “elevated version of traditional grill food,” Ro’s has become famous for menu items like Tipsy Fries and the crowd-pleasing JackJack.  Meanwhile, we hear the city council is expected to approve the business’s application for alcohol sales Monday.

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