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Muscle Shoals
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Fort Payne

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



Space Command saga continues

The location of Space Command remains in the air as the “review of the review” gets underway.  In January 2021, Redstone Arsenal was selected by the Air Force as the preferred location for Space Command’s permanent headquarters. However, despite numerous reports ranking Huntsville as the top choice, a contentious battle between the Rocket City and Colorado Springs has continued. Meanwhile, the commander of U.S. Space Command, Army General James Dickinson, is no stranger to the area, having served in two roles at Redstone. Although it appears Dickinson may not have enjoyed his time here. A person familiar with general at that time says, “He didn’t like us, and we didn’t like him”.

New law firm moving in

Looks like there will be a new law firm in town. Mississippi-based Butler and Snow, which has grown to 26 locations nationally and internationally, is rumored to be opening a Huntsville office. If the rumors are to be believed, it will open with a bang after recruiting many of the most respected attorneys away from the Huntsville office of the Birmingham firm Maynard Cooper. Those veterans will form the core of the office which you can expect will continue to poach talent from other local firms. Wheels are in motion for an office on the Courthouse Square and announcements will be coming soon.

Rocket City on par

Former sports anchor Bob Labbe broke the news that the PGA is looking at a site just north of Huntsville for a new golf course. While others in the media scoffed and local officials remained silent, informed sources say he is on to something. While a deal is far from done, high level discussions have occurred that would see a well-funded national development group build a PGA course-anchored development along the route of the soon-to-be-built Northern Bypass.

Back home for a bit

Washington will empty out for a couple of weeks while the House and Senate take their Easter Recess. Don’t expect the Alabama delegation to take much time off, though. In addition to official and media events throughout the state, Congressman Dale Strong, House Armed Services Chairman Mike Rogers and Sen. Katie Britt have all scheduled fundraising stops in the Rocket City over the next two weeks.

Checks, cuts, or…

Legislators will be taking care of the Alabama Jobs Act next week but, after that, expect the debate between rebates and tax cuts to heat up. Will legislators land on rebates or tax cuts or perhaps an ungainly brew of both? Pay attention to coming alliances or lack thereof. Will Gov. Ivey be able to muster up enough support for her proposed $400 rebate check to every taxpayer?

Sports betting punted

While it’s already been speculated lawmakers will not entertain casino gaming or lottery this session, I’m hearing sports betting is likely to be punted to next year as well. Sports betting is not currently legal in Alabama – this despite numerous past efforts to legalize.

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

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