Alabama

WATCH: You Have To See This Incredible Bryant Denny Stadium Wedding Cake

We love cakes.

We love Alabama football.

What else do you really need to know?

This cake was the wedding cake for Justin and Taylor Woljevach, both UA grads.

It was made by Peace, Love, & Cakes in Bryan, Texas.

“When the bride walked in through the reception doors, her reaction was the most exciting. She was just giggling. It was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen,” Steffany Bowling told AL.com. “She told me, ‘You made our dream come true.’ That’s why I do this.”

Pretty awesome.

Republicans Don’t Deserve To Govern Alabama Anymore

This week, Alabama saw perhaps one of the strangest political moments in decades when Gov. Robert Bentley resigned amid a sex scandal and ethics violations investigation.

Bentley, however, is not the only disgraced political leader in the state.

This is the third, I repeat, third high ranking Republican politician to be removed from office in the past year.

Within less than 365 days, Alabama’s Speaker of the House, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and now Governor have all left office under their own ethical failings.

In June, Speaker Mike Hubbard was convicted on 12 felony counts of corruption and other abuses of office.

A month later, he was sentenced to pay a $210,000 fine and spend four years in prison, and then eight years on probation.

Throughout early 2016, Chief Justice Roy Moore actively and passionate fought against the US Supreme Court’s opinion that laws preventing same-sex marriage were unconstitutional, instructing local clerks to not give marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

In late September, Roy Moore was found guilty on six counts of judicial ethical violations and was removed as Chief Justice for a second time.

Finally, over the past year, it has become clear that Governor Robert Bentley had not only had an illicit affair with one of his staffers, but that he used state funds to conduct said affair and cover it up.

A 3000-page report from the House Judiciary Committee found that Bentley created an atmosphere of intimidation to cover up his affair, going so far as to fire the state’s top cop Spencer Collier.

Photo Credit: Jim Bowen/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

With impeachment proceedings quickly approaching, Bentley took a plea deal, admitting guilt to two misdemeanors in turn for higher level felony charges being dropped.

We are now far past the point of absurdity.

Alabama Republicans have embarrassed our state and further ruined our reputation nationwide.

When our leaders act so foolishly and without regard for the law, Americans outside Alabama view our state as a backwards spectacle without regard for so many of the redeeming nuances of our state.

These Republican figures and their actions are why at least a few times a month, there will be a segment from John Oliver or Rachel Maddow or Bill Maher roasting Alabama, turning the state into a continuous punchline.

Whether Alabamians watch these shows or not, millions of Americans do, and our reputation is flushed down the toilet every time our state provides the fodder for these jokes.

Obviously, these Alabamian leaders have some ethical issues.

But aside from all of that, these leaders also failed the citizens of Alabama by simply being bad at governing.

Alabama Republicans, much like their national counterparts, have proven that no matter how much power they control, they still have no idea how to govern.

Even without the distractions at the top, the Republican controlled state government has stagnated, while other states have passed us by in nearly every conceivable metric.

Alabama now ranks in the top ten nationwide in cancer, heart disease, stroke, pneumonia, and kidney disease.

Our state has the fifth-lowest percentage of residents with high school diplomas and the sixth highest unemployment rate to boot.

Over the past year, Republicans have done little to address the shortfall of Medicaid coverage, the structural budgetary deficit, and the lack of good paying jobs.

Instead, all that Republicans have done is built more prisons, disenfranchise thousands of voters, and get caught up in scores of ethics violations.

Perhaps a quote that summarizes the situation in Alabama best comes from former state representative Arthur Payne: “There is nothing good that has come from the Republicans being in power in Alabama, and I’m a Republican.”

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RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Stuart Seeger/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

VIDEO: Alabama Students Dangerously Climb Over Train So They Can Get To Class On Time

In this shocking video, University of Alabama students are seen climbing over a parked train so that they can get to class on time.

Now the question is, what will the city of Tuscaloosa and the University of Alabama going to do about it?

To watch the full size version, click here: https://www.facebook.com/RiseAlabamaNews/videos/1091033767669443/

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That UA Election Was So Bad Even The Official SGA Twitter Knew It

The election of Jared Hunter as the third ever African-American UA SGA president was marred by the fact that he was endorsed by “The Machine”– a not so secret organization of Greek organizations that use hardline tactics to win elections.

Hunter, by all objective measures ran a terrible campaign.

He was not allowed to campaign for most of the electioneering period because of alleged violations of student election rules.

And he tried to score points by admitting that he was the candidate of “The Machine”, ignoring the organization’s racists and sexist history for the sake of his own political advancement.

But he still won by nearly 30 percentage points because of “The Machine”.

If this is the future of Alabama politics, then we are all in trouble.

And apparently the official UA SGA Twitter account agrees with that sentiment as discovered by Crimson White news editor Jordan LaPorta on Twitter:

Folks are salty in T-Town right now and who can really blame them?

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Tuscaloosa Music Profile: Elaphunk

Reporter Taylor Neuman talked to Tuscaloosa DJ Elaphunk about his start in the business and where he wants to go:

This 7 Second Video Perfectly Explains Alabama Weather

People from outside of the Yellowhammer State may not know that our weather is crazy as can be.

So for those who don’t yet know, just show them this Tweet and it should clear up nice and quick like:

 

Yep. This is life here. Looks sort of a Lord Of The Rings scene. What’s your point?

In Historic Move, U Of Alabama Elections Board Acknowledges Existence Of Secret Society

In a historic announcement, the University of Alabama SGA elections board acknowledged for the first time, the existence of a secret society that has for decades dominated campus politics.

The action came in the form of a post on the SGA website asking for students to “provide information regarding the existence of Theta Nu Epsilon a.k.a ‘The Machine.'”

Here’s the full announcement from the elections board:

 

“The Elections Board is extending an open invitation from anyone wanting to provide information regarding the existence of Theta Nu Epsilon a.k.a “The Machine.” This could include but is not limited to those that are members or officially tied to “The Machine” in any way.

To clarify, we would like to offer the opportunity to all individual(s) that are involved to speak before the board, as is one’s rights to due process. We do this to ensure all parties are given the opportunity to speak on the matter at hand.

Persons willing may send tangible evidence and information or submit a request to speak with the board in person, can correspond to kknox-hall@sa.ua.edu. We request this be done ASAP and at least by Monday, March 6 at noon.

This information is requested in response to multiple violation reports regarding endorsements and any information provided will be included on record for this case.”

This is a breaking story. We will update this story as more information becomes available. 

For more background on “The Machine”:

Read- Here’s Why The Current State Of Student Government Elections Are Killing American Democracy

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: University of Alabama/ Facebook

Admitting Your Machine Backing Isn’t Courageous

By Mike Smith

Alabama SGA Presidential candidate Jared Hunter dropped a bomb on campus politics after he wrote a piece in The Crimson White acknowledging his Machine backing.

It was a bold, surprising act rarely seen among Machine supported candidates.

The response on social media so far has been a mixture of appreciation and support.

I am here to say that this should stop.

Don’t get my wrong, publicly announcing your Machine backing takes a lot of guts and the honesty Jared displayed should be admired.

But that doesn’t make his actions right.

No matter what is written in a Crimson White column, the fact still stands that The Machine acts as a vehicle for certain Greek students to pad their resume and has systematically oppressed women and minorities for a century.

I will remind you that The Machine has burned crosses on campus lawns, painted swastikas on university sidewalks, and literally physically assaulted an independent presidential candidate.

Jared Hunter is the Machine backed candidate in the SGA election. Photo Credit: Facebook

Within the past decade alone, The Machine has systematically suppressed numerous rape allegations among their members, tossed out FYC applications for black students after labeling them with the N-word, and delayed the racial integration of sororities until 2013.

Being associated with this organization is not something that can be written off in one column.

Read More: Here’s Why The Current State Of Student Government Elections Are Killing American Democracy

Having its support is not a cute, little trivia fact.

Being backed by The Machine is something to be ashamed of.

Lillian Roth getting sworn in as SGA President in 2016. Photo Credit: Lillian Roth/ Facebook

SGA candidate Gene Fulmer. (r). Photo Credit: Trinidad Miller/ Facebook

Over social media, I have heard plenty of people say that admitting to be a Machine candidate takes some real courage.

I vehemently disagree.

It takes real courage for my friends who stay in their Machine sororities even though they have verbally abused, socially ostracized, and personally threatened.

It takes real courage for Lillian Roth (the incumbent and prior Machine backed candidate) to run for re-election even after some of her best friends started working against her.

It takes real courage for Gene Fulmer to run a huge grassroots campaign in the face of two giant competitors.

It doesn’t take real courage to admit something everyone already knew.

Read More: This “Funny Map” Of Tuscaloosa According To An Alabama Student Is Hilarious And Sort Of Spot On

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Cover Photo: The University of Alabama/ Facebook

We Really Need To Talk About Jalen Hurts’ Mustache

There is something that is incredibly important that the entire sports media has failed to report on.

They should all be ashamed of themselves frankly for how derelict in duty they have been on this front.

You should cut the cord, end subscriptions, and stop clicking on their stories because of this oversight.

Jalen Hurts, the freshman quarterback of the University of Alabama has a French police inspector mustache.

There.

We’ve said it.

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Literally pick any French police inspector from a film- recent or otherwise. They will have similar facial hair to Jalen Hurts.

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It hasn’t always been so French for Jalen.

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24/7 Sports

In fact there was a time when the mustache didn’t exist at all. Those were smoother days indeed.

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Sure. We can sort of understand why no one in the sports media landscape has taken on this very important topic.

And we guess that Hurts’ dominant performance on the field- which he’s doing as an 18 year old is pretty cool in its own right.

But his mustache deserves more attention.

I mean come on!

His facial hair is such a throwback that we bet his grandparents can’t even relate to it.

Oh wait.

img_1638 img_1639

Nevermind.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

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