Off The Record: The latest rumors and rumblings in North Alabama
A ‘strong’ count
When the House Republican Conference meets behind closed doors to select a Speaker, Rep. Dale Strong is one of the first to know the results. The members vote by secret ballot and Strong (R-Monrovia) was selected by his colleagues as one of three that open and count the votes. So far, neither House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) or Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) have managed to garner the 218 votes needed to secure the speakership after the ousting of Kevin McCarthy more than two weeks ago.
We’re hearing rumblings that former State Rep. Proncey Robertson is thinking about running again for District 7. Robertson was elected to the seat in 2018 before being defeated in the Republican primary in 2022. District 7, which is centered around Moulton in Lawrence County, is represented by Ernie Yarbrough.
Marshall isn’t backing down
Local leaders and child advocates alike have been watching the growing feud between Lee Marshall’s Kids to Love and the State of Alabama DHR. It seems some personalities at the top of DHR leadership have grown a bit jealous of Kids to Love’s success and have stopped placing additional children with the program. That’s an action that hasn’t set well with local DHRs that work with Marshall’s program every day and see it as the best option for many kids. Local leaders don’t understand why the state DHR would pick a fight with the popular and media savvy Marshall and have called on the governor to intervene.
Decatur Mayor Tab Bowling got a close-up of protesters who shut down the Steamboat Bill Hudson Memorial Bridge briefly Thursday after they took their rally to his home Wednesday night over the police-shooting death of Stephen Perkins. Bowling, who announced he won’t seek another term as mayor, acknowledged the protesters’ rights and handled the demonstration with total dignity.
HyVee, the Iowa-based grocery chain, is reportedly back in the market kicking tires on possible locations. Alabama expansion plans were announced some time ago but things have been moving slowly. Now that their Spring Hill, Tenn., location is nearing completion it seems the Huntsville/Madison market may be next on the list.
New MidCity restaurant
Development and consulting firm RCP Companies has targeted restaurants and concepts unique to not only the city and North Alabama but also the state in its relationship with MidCity, and next week an announcement is expected on yet another addition to the District’s ever-expanding roster. The latest newcomer to MidCity, currently not close to halfway developed, is a secret for now but we know this – it’ll be chef-driven and first-of-its kind to local patrons. The new tenant will set up across from Salt Factory Pub on MidCity Drive and next door to Blue Oak Bar BBQ, which is under construction. The new restaurant, like Blue Oak (New Orleans) and Salt Factory (Atlanta), will be its first Alabama location.
Britt’s Middle East mission
U.S. Sen Katie Britt is reportedly the only freshman member of an 8-member delegation arriving in Israel today to visit with strategic allies and partners in the region as the conflict in Gaza threatens to intensify. According to the Washington press corps and sources close, Britt will be in Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt alongside Sens. Lindsey Graham, Cory Booker, Jack Reed, John Thune, Richard Blumenthal, Chris Coons, and Susan Collins.