Alabama trooper whose bullet sparked Selma-to-Montgomery march has died

Credit: Jim Galloway

Credit: Jim Galloway

Back in 1965, a black church deacon named Jimmie Lee Jackson, all of 26, was shot and killed in a coffee shop in Marion, Ala., by a state trooper. Jackson's death became the spark for the history-making voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery.

The latest chapter in the drama was completed only a few days ago,

He died at 81 on Sunday, a few months after President Obama led a delegation to Selma to mark the 50th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday," when peaceful demonstrators trying to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge, named for a Confederate general, were clubbed, bullwhipped and tear-gassed by state troopers and sheriff's deputies.


From Thursday's heated U.S. House debate on the Confederate battle flag, here's Rep. John Lewis' booming, off-the-cuff floor speech:

The full back story is in today's print and premium editions. A snippet:

House GOP leaders yanked a wide-ranging spending bill Thursday and called for calm, putting off a vote on placing Confederate flags at national park gravestones.

Democrats seized upon the issue and pressed further in an unsuccessful effort to boot the state flag of Mississippi — which incorporates the Rebel war emblem — from the U.S. Capitol.


We told you earlier this week that Georgia is slated to lose 4,350 troops to a draw-down by the U.S. Army. This morning, the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reports that the other shoe has yet to drop:

Those figures don't include any impact from the loss of civilians working on the installation to support its various missions and operations. The military said about 17,000 such civilian jobs will be eliminated across the Army. Gary Jones, Fort Benning's director of public affairs, said it could be sometime this fall before local civilian employee numbers are made public.


The new $5 a night hotel tax is causing widespread confusion for those living in extended-stay hotels.

The legislation was supposed to exempt long-term hotels but it did little to hash out how that should be handled, even after state tax officials issued an emergency order that sought to clarify matters.

Jim Burress of WABE (90.1FM) explains by documenting the plight of 58-year-old Marshall Rancifer, who ended up in a Budgetel Inn in January after he was forced out of his rental house. From Burris' story:

"I'm glad to have all these things," Ranficer says. "A lot of people don't have this."

But keeping the room means he'll have to fork over nearly 20 percent more this month just to cover Georgia's new $5 nightly hotel tax. That adds up to $150.

The hospitality industry already plans a full-scale barrage next year to soften the blow of the new tax. Look for the fate of extended-stay hotels to be near the top of their list.


Another push for the return of Milton County is back in the race for a north Fulton House district made vacant by the May death of state Rep. Harry Geisinger.

Betty Price, a Roswell City Council member who is the wife of U.S. Rep. Tom Price, has put a referendum for an "independent Milton County" at the center of her campaign. She's one of three candidates for the open seat. From her Facebook page:

It's time to stop the tax increases.

Our roads, our traffic congestion and our county infrastructure puts us at a disadvantage for future growth.

With a new Milton County we will have the ability to control our own tax rate. Any funds we pay will be invested back into our community instead of somewhere else.


Denis O'Hayer at WABE-FM 90.1 had a lengthy interview with U.S. Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., covering everything from Army cuts to immigration reform. On the latter topic, O'Hayer asked Perdue what he thought of Donald Trump's controversial comments calling Mexican immigrants "rapists," among other things.

Perdue denounced the comments but not the man. His reply:

"So you know what we've got to do again is not get distracted away from the real issue, and the real issue, as you said, is Washington has been dysfunctional and has not provided a bipartisan solution to the immigration issue, and that's what we've got to do."