News AAND Notes: For Real? Edition


If you don’t have a Wikipedia page, it’s not clear if you really exist. (Breaking: Folio Weekly is staffed by mirages!) But what is to be done if the crowd-sourced online encyclopedia entry about you includes some facts that you’d rather keep under wraps? Take a cue from former Arkansas state Senator Jon Woods! Arkansas Times reports that someone … actually, several someones, according to the edit history, took the liberty of ensuring that Woods’ Wikipedia page includes oodles of information—about his history as an Eagle Scout, producer of The Plaid Jackets’ first record, legislative achievements (some of them), even that he worked as a lifeguard—but NOT the fact that he is a felon convicted of taking kickbacks in the Ecclesia College scandal.

In fairness, the page does note (as of this writing) that he was charged in the case … it also “[details] all the indignities he suffered at the hands of the judiciary and the FBI,” AT’s Max Brantley writes. You can’t change the past, but you can edit it on Wikipedia.


Lest you think we be glib, the financial news and opinion site 24/7 Wall Street has ranked Daytona Beach 25th out of the 50 worst cities to live in, reports Orlando Weekly (whose staff we imagine got quite a few chortles out of this news—but for the record: Northeast Florida > Central Florida). OW says that 24/7 collected info from 600 cities on stuff like income, environment, crime and education to determine that the coastal city to our south is one of the nation’s leaders in suckage.

Guess who else from Florida made the list? Gainesville (48th), Miami (43rd), Tallahassee (39th), Miami Beach (24th) AND Homestead (14th). Guess who didn’t? WE didn’t! How ya like them apples, neighbors?! We still love ya, though—even if you are officially the worst.


Durham, North Carolina’s Indy Week reports that some folks in the state legislature are trying to make it more difficult for aggrieved parties to sue agricultural operations under nuisance laws. Apparently, the legislation that recently cleared committee is seen by many as a reaction to a multimillion-dollar federal verdict against Smithfield, a multibillion-dollar Chinese conglomerate, for its use of open cesspools in hog waste disposal.

Even more disgusting is the way the legislation was handled by the state Senate Agriculture Committee. “The vote was cast in a crowded room from which reporters and observers were turned away, and an audio stream for those unable to attend was not provided,” IW’s Cole Villena reports. What it boils down to is that the legislation would prohibit people from suing successfully if other companies in the region do things the same way. “In other words, if most hog farmers are spraying liquefied hog feces onto their neighbors’ properties, then those neighbors can’t legally complain about it even if it infringes on their health and quality of life,” Villena writes. Eeeww.


Educators across the Yellowhammer state were surprised on May 30 when Gov. Kay Ivey launched a program to arm some school administrators, reports Mobile’s Lagniappe. The Alabama Sentry Program would permit trained school admins on campuses without a school resource officer to keep a gun on grounds in case of an active shooter situation. Lagniappe adds that, billing it as a stopgap measure, Ivey signed the initiative that would require armed admins to don “distinctively marked bullet-proof vests” before engaging their weapons, which must be kept in a safe accessible only through fingerprint identification.

Curiously, when Ivey announced the plan alongside the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency secretary and the newly hired State Superintendent of Education Eric Mackey at a televised news conference, it was news to “most superintendents, administrators and teachers.” The next day, Mackey addressed the elephant with the gun in an email that Lagniappe obtained. “I regret that most, if not all, of you found out about this program via media outlets, but the memorandum’s release was strictly embargoed,” Mackey reportedly wrote. “The training will be developed by ALEA and will be available by the end of summer. It will probably be a two-day course.” If the thought of the school secretary packing heat after a two-day course gives you pause, fear not! “[T]he Alabama Department of Mental Health would evaluate their ‘mental fitness’ on an annual basis…,” Lagniappe reports.