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It’s debatable: Tuscaloosa or Huntsville? Plus gator grievances and more

Off The Record: Latest rumors and rumblings in North Alabama


T-town or Rocket City? 

Reports of a Republican presidential primary debate in Alabama are correct but the exact location is still being decided. On a campaign stop in New Hampshire, Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley said the third presidential debate would be taking place in Alabama. The debate will reportedly be in either Huntsville or Tuscaloosa in October. All respect to the best college town in Alabama, but my money is on Huntsville.  

Gator grievances growing 

Dozens of residents packed the Huntsville City Council meeting Thursday night to address what they say is a dangerous and ongoing alligator problem in South Huntsville and surrounding areas. Residents tell OTR they won’t even go in their backyards anymore because of the threat of one particularly aggressive gator. This is in addition to the recent fatal attack on a family’s golden retriever by another local gator. However, local officials seem to have their hands tied – the Alabama Fish and Wildlife Department controls efforts to relocate alligators. And, according to numerous residents, the most the department has been willing to do so far is to hand out pamphlets.  

McMunn making moves 

Rumors have been going around in Limestone County that Lacy Beth McMunn would be seeking elected office. Well, the paperwork has been filed and the popular Athens native has made it official: McMunn will be running for the office of Limestone County Circuit Court clerk. No word yet if the current officeholder, Brad Curnutt, will be seeking reelection. 

Botched Bama baseball betting 

It wasn’t the smartest career move that fired Alabama baseball coach Brad Bohannon made in April. The comedy of errors was on display from the outset, according to Sports Illustrated, when Bert Eugene Neff Jr. wanted to (Strike 1) bet more than $100,000 on the Alabama-LSU baseball game at the BetMGM Sportsbook at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati. But the amount (Strike 2) exceeded the house limit on college baseball and raised red flags. After questioning by the sportsbook folks, Neff apparently said at the betting window, he had inside information on the game. To top it off, SI reported Neff, while at the window, was (Strike 3) texting with [Bohannon] and the book’s surveillance cameras could read the details of the text conversation. According to a source familiar with the incident: “It couldn’t have been any more reckless.” You’re out!  

An appetite for Athens 

Athens is set to host its inaugural restaurant week. The official announcement should be coming soon. We hear there will be an abundance of delectable dishes offered by a dozen or so restaurants during the seven-day event. The concept of restaurant week began in New York City in 1992 and Huntsville has had an annual culinary celebration since 2012. 

Have a rumor or rumbling to share? Email [email protected].

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