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The Speaker in the Rocket City; Notes from the Gump; A lauded lineup and more in this week’s OTR

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


Speaker in the Rocket City

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson visited the Rocket City this week and by all reports it was a great success. He was in town for a Roundtable and Breakfast for contributors at Toyota Field put together by Linda Maynor, who is always connected to these high-profile events. He was joined by the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Mike Rogers and Congressman Dale Strong – who presented the Speaker with his own personalized Trash Pandas jersey. This is the Speaker’s first visit to North Alabama as Speaker and his second to Alabama.

Gambling legislation still on the table

In an opening of the floodgates between the Alabama House and Senate, both chambers took up legislation from the corresponding body Thursday after an extended period of gridlock. In a potentially related sign, progress is being privately signaled over the gaming/gambling conference committee from negotiations between the two chambers amid a period of quiet delay. With four days of the legislative session remaining, state lawmakers have two weeks tops to sort through their differences.

Line-up lauded

Local leaders are more than pleased with the public feedback after the star-studded lineup for the South Star music festival was released this week. Blink-182, Gwen Stefani, Shinedown, Beck, Ludacris, TLC, Jane’s Addiction, Sublime Goo Goo Dolls and more will be featured at the two-day event, set for Sept. 28-29 in John Hunt Park. Local music lovers were also happy to see North Alabama favorites Billy Allen + Pollies made the bill (see our article on “The best singer you have never heard“). The line-up is nearly enough for people to forget how much they disliked the name South Star when it was announced. 

Rock the Vote coming

Rock the Vote is set for May 5 in Huntsville. The free event will take place on the northside of the downtown square from 2 to 4 p.m. Organizers say the event is a great opportunity to meet local elected officials and candidates for upcoming local elections one-on-one, register to vote and learn more about the district in which they live. The Committee of 100 YP, a local organization of civically engaged young professionals, hosts the event each year. Previous years have seen more than 500 attendees turnout to meet with candidates and have some good ole of political-themed fun.

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