Off The Record: The latest rumors and rumblings in North Alabama
Dubious bus stop
Concerns are being raised about the suitability of a Greyhound bus stop that has relocated to a gas station in South Huntsville. Greyhound suspended its bus service into Huntsville in 2022 before resuming at a Texaco on South Memorial Parkway in August. We hear the city isn’t a fan of the location and was left out of the decision by Greyhound, the largest provider of intercity bus transportation. The location also lacks much of a connection to other transit networks in the city. One resident tells OTR about 20 to 40 passengers will be dropped off, even at midnight, and start walking up the Parkway.
‘Bama GOP in D.C. backs McCarthy — and Trump?
All six Republican Congressmen voted “nay” in the historic referendum on former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy. While some members of the delegation are closer to McCarthy’s orbit than others, they all affirmed support for the Speaker during Rep. Matt Gaetz’s vindictive crusade to topple his razor-thin hold on power. One standout from the Alabama delegation is Rep. Barry Moore, a member of the House Freedom Caucus. It’s probable Moore will not seek reelection in 2024 after being redistricted into the First Congressional District, meaning he might have more fun in an upcoming speakership vote – saying Wednesday he’ll be voting for Donald Trump in the first round of voting. Although, the former president isn’t eligible to be Speaker because of a rule passed by the GOP Conference in November which bars those with felony indictments “for which a sentence of two or more years’ imprisonment may be imposed” from serving in a leadership role. For those keeping score at home, the former president has four indictments with numerous felony charges that carry sentences of two years or longer.
Powell is in!
After much consternation it seems Republicans do have their candidate for the District 10 special election after all. Ivey called for a special election after former State Rep. David Cole resigned for running afoul of residency requirements. Meanwhile, popular Democratic candidate, Marilyn Lands, announced her campaign weeks ago. Madison City Councilman Teddy Powell was the favorite pick for the Republican side however, his job with the federal government would prohibit such a run. It seems Powell has been called to serve by a mighty loud voice because he is running and has reportedly stepped down from his position. We hear he has an event scheduled for Tuesday to make it official.
Room for more?
Convention & Visitors Bureau chatter says the AUSA Global Force Symposium & Exposition will be back in the Rocket City for 2024. The gathering of Army and industry is one of the largest conventions hosted by Huntsville and concerns over available hotel rooms have been a sore spot with organizers. However, they have taken note of the new rooms coming or under construction and seem to be willing to work with the community as those rooms come online. The symposium drew 6,000 visitors to Huntsville this year.
If they’re built, will they come?
There’s been concern around Huntsville and Madison County about all of the apartment construction. Hundreds, if not thousands, of units are being added to the inventory with some folks wondering if they will be filled or will we have ghost apartments, much like vacant store fronts. There has been talk about possibly a moratorium on new apartment construction but we’ll have to wait and see …