Tod’s billionaire Chairman Della Valle On Saving Rome’s Colloseum

Diego Della Valle took a small shoe factory his grandfather started and turned it into global shoe- and purse-maker Tod’s S.p.A., sharing the multi-billion dollar fortune with his brother. Diego is the company’s chairman and public face, and is now trying to change the face of philanthropy in Italy, a nation where private giving is low compared to the U.S. His biggest project to date: saving Rome’s Colloseum.

Talladega scrap yard owner pleads guilty to violating banking law; forfeits $1.26 million

Edward M. Hindman, 61, owner of Hindman's Wrecker Service & Salvage in Talladega, entered his guilty plea to one count of structuring before U.S. District Judge L. Scott Coogler, according to a press released from U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and IRS Criminal Investigation Division Special Agent in Charge Veronica Hyman-Pillot. The hearing was held in Tuscaloosa.

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 TALLADEGA, Alabama — A Talladega scrap yard owner pleaded
guilty Monday to violating a federal banking rule on cash withdrawals and also
agreed to forfeit more than $1.2 million in civil and criminal actions brought by
federal prosecutors.

Edward M. Hindman, 61, owner of Hindman’s Wrecker Service
& Salvage in Talladega, entered his guilty plea to one count of structuring
before U.S. District Judge L. Scott Coogler, according to a press release from
U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and IRS Criminal Investigation Division Special
Agent in Charge Veronica Hyman-Pillot. The hearing was held in Tuscaloosa.

Hindman must forfeit $119,400 to the government as part of
his plea agreement, according to court documents. He is scheduled to be sentenced June 26.

Hindman also agreed to forfeit another $1,148,981 in a civil suit brought by the U.S. Attorneys Office against money seized from
Hindman’s bank account in March 2011. In a stipulation of settlement filed
today in the civil case, Hindman admitted no wrongdoing, but acknowledged that
the government had reasonable cause to seize the money in 2011 and commence the
forfeiture proceedings, according to the press release.

Hindman’s attorney, Tommy Spina, issued a statement in response early this evening.

“Mr. Hindman is a hardworking scrap dealer who worked hard
to earn the money that was forfeited to the government,” Spina wrote. “He was not and is not involved in any other
illegal activity. The offense he committed was in withdrawing his own hard
earned cash in amounts of less than 10,000 cash in a way that caused the bank
to not file a currency transaction report.”

“The law requires the bank to notify the Internal Revenue Service when
“cash” transactions are conducted in amounts that exceed 10,000. The
Government took his money almost 3 years ago and although giving up that much
of his hard earned money is difficult , he is glad to have reached a resolution  that puts him closer to the end of this
ordeal,” Spina wrote.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office brought the criminal charge
against Hindman on Thursday. Hindman acknowledges in his plea agreement that he
intentionally structured, and directed others to structure, cash withdrawals at
First National Bank Talladega in amounts less than $10,000 to avoid triggering
the bank’s requirement to file a Currency Transaction Report with the U.S.
Treasury Department on all transactions greater than $10,000.

Between Feb. 23, 2011, and March 5, 2011, Hindman wrote, or
directed others to write, 16 checks payable to “cash,” which were
cashed at the Talladega bank, according to the statement. All the checks were
just below the reporting requirement amount and totaled $119,400. The cash
withdrawals were used to fund the operation of Hindman’s salvage yard,
according to his plea.

The Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation
Division, investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Wick is
prosecuting the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Murnahan represents
the government in the civil case.

What We Learned From ‘How I Met Your Mother’

After nine years of drinks at MacLaren’s, slap bets, suiting up, high fives, duels, “The Bro Code,” Robin Sparkles, playing “Have You Met Ted?”, laser tag, magic tricks, “The Playbook,” “The Naked Man,” “eating sandwiches” and getting lawyer’d, How I Met Your Mother is coming to an end. It was a show everyone would watch, and after nine years, it taught us a lot about life, and even more about love.

More remains found behind Birmingham business

More human remains found today at the same site in Birmingham where a skull was discovered Friday.

Live updates from the District 6 Republican candidates debate

All seven Republican candidates vying to replace U.S. Rep. Spencer Bachus are gathering Monday evening for a debate at Samford University's Wright Hall.

WVTM-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Birmingham, AL

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -
All seven Republican candidates vying to replace U.S. Rep. Spencer
Bachus are gathering Monday evening for a debate at Samford University’s
Wright Hall.

The NBC13 Decision 2014 Republican candidates debate will
feature candidates Scott Beason, Will Brooke, Paul DeMarco, Chad Mathis, Gary Palmer,
Robert Shattuck, and Tom Vigneulle.

We will provide live updates, and viewers and listeners can
tune in at Alabama’s
13 website and at 101 WYDE.

Avery Vise, who is running unopposed in the Democratic
primary, is not part of the event tonight.

7:01 p.m.: 

Shattuck: “This is outside my function. Don’t send me to Congress regarding foreign relations.”

DeMarco says he’s visited Italy and Mexico. Says country has lost its prestige. “We have to regain the respect of the rest of the world.”

Mathis says he’s visited Canada and Mexico. Cites places where Obama has failed us.

Vigneulle says he’s been to Mexico, Canada, Israel, Greece, Curacao. “We don’t want to be Greece,” cites debt, but he learned from Israel that there are better ways to do airport security.

Beason names a bevy of countries, including several in South and Central America. Says countries want a strong relationship with the U.S.

Gary Palmer says he’s been to “England, Mexico, and Massachusetts.” Hits Obama on foreign relations.

Brooke says he’s traveled to Scandinavia, Europe, the Middle East, Southeast Asia for business and missions. Need to be forging relationships in Asia, he says.

Barnett Wright asks about gay marriage at the federal level.

Beason says “marriage is a union between a man and a woman.” Beason said he supported Alabama ban on gay marriage.

Shattuck says issues like gay marriage are one of the tools that the political class uses to exploit the American public.

Palmer says he believes in a constitutional amendment to “protect marriage.” Says the rights of every Christian in America are under threat.

Mathis says he doesn’t believe “we need a constitutional amendment for that because marriage is a gift from god.”

Vigneulle is in favor of a constitutional amendment.

Brooke says marriage is between a man and a woman, and that’s that. But this isn’t that important of an issue in the grand scheme of things.

DeMarco says we have to support traditional marriage.

Whaley asks about limiting the executive branch.

DeMarco says we should send the right people to Congress. Courageous congresspeople (like himself, presumably) will limit the executive.

Beason says we have to take the power back from the regulatory power of the executive branch.

Palmer says Congress is complicit in extending exec. branch powers, has to stop that.

Shattuck says this is an outgrowth of a dysfunctional government.

Brooke says Congress needs to indict Lois Loerner, investigate agencies and the president for overreach. 

Mathis says Congress controls the purse strings, and can reign in executive branch (particularly the department of education) with purse strings.

Vigneulle says he’ll vote to replace Boehner. The House, where GOP is in majority, must fight back against Obama, take a stand.

6:59 p.m.: When we come back, still on the internet, there will be three more questions for the candidates from the panel.

6:50 p.m.: Closing statements from each candidates.

Brooke: We need to send a different set of leaders to Washington; not intended to have a “governing class.” Says we need independent people, not beholden special interests. He loves hunting, shooting up Obamacare in video, but “there’s serious work to do in Washington.” 

Shattuck says viewers should map out on a piece of paper where Congress has done a good job, and on the other side, list poor actions (or inaction) by Congress. He seeks to solve the dysfunctional Congress.

Palmer says this is about more than “public policy ideas,” it’s about people and families. The window for change is closing — he says he has a national network and the credibility to change things in Congress.

Chad Mathis notes that everyone is against Obamacare, but that he, as a doctor, has special experience. If elected, he’ll be part of the doctor’s caucus, and will be fast-tracked to committees that having to do with health care.

DeMarco notes his strong ties to the area (grew up here, married in the church he was baptized in), and says he’s going to take those Alabama conservative values to Washington D.C., not bring D.C. values back to Alabama. Asks for your vote “and your prayers.”

Beason says everyone watching wants a great future. They want the U.S. to do better. Beason says “we keep sending ‘good people’ to Washington,” but there’s a ‘machine somewhere in the airport that removes their spine.” Beason says he has the “best, proven record.”

Vigneulle asks why a small businessman would ever want to run, but “we have to fundamentally change what we’re doing in Washington, D.C.” He wants to return federal government back to the Constitution, and to the people. 

The televised portion of the debate is over.

6:30 p.m. Beginning now with the second round of three questions for the candidates.

Fourth question comes from Barnett Wright. He asks how you tweak or change Obamacare.

DeMarco: “A market-based approach.” Says it’s an important part of the economy to be able to choose the doctor you want.

Beason says “we’re not going to be able to roll back Obamacare until we get a new president,” but says he hopes to scrape back funding for the program.

Palmer wants to provide a national safety net for individuals who cannot afford healthcare, for a fraction of the cost of Obamacare.

Mathis, a doctor, says he has a 12-point plan. Wants to expand HSAs, open up other state insurance exchanges.

Vigneulle says he’s “lived” Obamacare.

Shattuck says Obamacare came from a grossly dysfunctional congress.

Brooke: Obamacare is a train wreck. We need to get rid of it and replace it a free-market solution. 

Whaley asks is anyone would vote for an unbalanced budget.

Brooke agreed that the deficit was a huge problem. “The problem is that if we slam the brakes on, it’ll be like hitting a wall going a hundred miles an hour,” Brooke said, arguing that Congress must set goals for itself “not far into the future” to reduce the deficit. 

Beason says conservatives have to learn incrementalism, but you can “elect people to Congress who will actually move the ball down the field.” Says change has to come slowly, but surely.

DeMarco pointed to the balanced budget passed in the 1990s, and he, like Beason, was supportive of a balanced budget, but said the deficit can’t be addressed overnight. 

Mathis calls debt the greatest threat to national security. “I would support a balanced budget amendment because I think that’s the only way to get Washington to listen.”

Palmer says to consider a BBA, and then closely audit different sections of government to look for waste.

Vigneulle says he would vote for an unbalanced budget if there was a BBA out in the future.

Shattuck said addressing the deeply dysfunctional Congress was the first step in dealing with staggering debt.

Linda White asks about medical marijuana at the federal level.

Shattuck: “I don’t consider my views on this matter important for consideration by voters.”

Palmer explains that the medical marijuana bill in Alabama is very limited, is derived from a derivative. He would support that kind of bill at the federal level.

Brooke points out the same thing. “As long as they’re used safely,” he’s okay with what Palmer was.

Beason says he’s not for recreational use of marijuana, of course, but the Alabama Senate supported Carly’s Law.

Vigneulle calls Carly’s Law a “great, great thing.” Would not support recreational marijuana.

Mathis also praises the law, and says we need to continue to look for greater use of medicines that affect UAB.

DeMarco says he does not support medical marijuana, generally, but would support Carly’s Law on a federal level.

Barnett Wright asks about the government’s foreign surveillance program, and balancing constitutional rights.

Mathis points to the divide between foreign persons and U.S. persons. Congress has to protect its citizens.

Vigneulle: “We’ve got to be constitutional in what we do.” NSA is doing a good job overseas, but we have to have to good oversight. 

Brooke quotes Jefferson, takes a strong stance on the privacy of his information, and of that of citizens. Fine to spy out of the country.

Shattuck: “This is to be decided by” people who have “more knowledge and expertise than I have.” 

Beason says he’s fine with spying on foreign countries. “We ought to try our best not to get caught, but we ought to keep that up.”

Palmer says the intelligence agencies have the capabilities that they need, but don’t need to be spying on the American public.

DeMarco says we must protect privacy rights, “but let’s not forget about 9/11.” 

Whaley asks about amnesty, praises Sessions for killing amnesty. 

DeMarco says “I am not for amnesty. This is a nation of laws.” He appreciates Sessions’ stand.

Palmer says we first have to secure our borders, and uphold the rule of law (no amnesty). 

Mathis says he is against “any form of amnesty.” Urges border security before talking about “what to do with the illegal aliens.” Does not trust Obama to deal with immigrants.

Vigneulle says we have to enforce the law, but we have to “have a solution” for the 15 million undocumented immigrants in Alabama.

Beason comes out strong, citing his passing of HB56. “We cannot cave in,” he says.

Brooke says he’ll line up with Sessions, urges border security.

Shattuck says the reason an immigration law hasn’t been passed is due to a dysfunctional Congress. Nothing will happen if that’s not addressed.

6:15 p.m.: Beginning now with the first questions for the candidates. 

Barnett Wright asks the seven candidates why they are the best man for the job.

Beason points to his experience in the state legislature, his bravery and willingness to “take the bull by the horns” and fight the fight.

Shattuck says we have a dysfunctional Congress, and says he’s the only person raising that issue, which is why he’s the best candidate.

Brooke says he’s not tainted by politics, and he wants to make a difference, and serve you.

Mathis: He wants to stop Obamacare, protect business.

Vigneulle says that as a small business owner, he knows how to live within his means.

DeMarco says he’s taken on the problems in Jefferson County and the Water Works Board, and he’ll have that courage in Washington.

Gary Palmer says we’re not going to change the country from the top down, but from the bottom up. He’s built a grassroots network before.

Whaley asks if anyone will impose term limits on themselves.

Palmer says he’ll limit himself to 5 terms, 10 years, and that he will commute.

Vigneulle says he will support a Bradley Byrne bill that would limit Reps. to 6 terms. He would sign that first.

DeMarco says he has supported similar legislation on term limits, but wants to make sure the laws apply to the whole nation.

Shattuck says term limits may be a component of the broken Congress he hopes to fix.

Brooke says he wants to stop members of Congress from going back to lobby Congress afterwards, and also some limits.

Beason: I’ve co-sponsored such legislation in Alabama. Has term limited himself to 8 years in the Alabama House and 8 in the Senate.

Mathis says he’s a doctor and hopes to be a doctor when he’s done. Will limit himself to five terms.

Linda White asks about global warming. Is it real?

Shattuck: “I don’t know the answer to these questions.” End of answer.

DeMarco: The EPA is using regulations on climate change to hurt the country. “We have to put an end to what the EPA is using that for.”

Palmer gets specific with Linda’s study, and says climate change data is “manipulated” data, and is not man-made. 

Beason: “I don’t believe in global warming. If there is global warming, man didn’t cause it.” 

Brooke: “Global warming has been with us since the beginning of time,” Brooke says. Congress needs to fight back against regulations on global warming, concerned with loss of jobs.

Vigneulle blames global warming on alarmist action from the “progressive left.” 

“I do not believe in climate change or global warming,” Vigneulle says.

Mathis calls global warming a “tool” used by the administration to execute its policy. Says the U.S. needs to exploit its natural resources, including shale.

6:05 p.m.: Getting started with opening statements. Chad Mathis, selected randomly, is going first. Thanks his family, and says the American Dream is “under attack by Obamacare.” Hopes to “cure what ails Washington.”

Brooke says he grew up in Birmingham, and not a politician. He says that things are not right in America. He keeps a Constitution in his pocket. Says he will use that as his guide in Washington.

Scott Beason points to his record as a Senator in the state legislature as to what he’ll do in Washington, including fighting abortion and expanding gun rights.

So far, all candidates have pointed out their families when they’re here.

Gary Palmer emphasizes replacing Obamacare, providing a safety net, and doing it cheaper than Obamacare. He also hopes to exploit the nation’s natural resources.

Rob Shattuck says his campaign is about a political class doing “a big time number on the American people,” a “dire threat to the country’s well-being.” He says he hopes the debate highlights the direness of the situation and what can be done. 

Vigneulle introduces himself as a small-business owner and he and his family know what hard work is about. Vigneulle wants to fight for small businesses, and says he understands the pressure small businesses are put under.

Rep. DeMarco starts out strong on getting the nation’s “fiscal house in order.” Says his family is expecting a child soon, and he is worried about the child’s share of the national debt. DeMarco says he’s taken on members of his own party when they’re wrong in Montgomery, and he’ll do that in Washington (and Obama and Pelosi, of course).

Make-a-Wish connects ill teen with Bama quarterback A.J. McCarron

The Make a Wish Foundation made an Alabama child's dream come true.

Atlanta still No. 1 in list of ‘world’s busiest airport’

Atlanta's airport is still the busiest passenger airport in the world, according to a new report.

Manufacturing may show warmer economy

Traders are looking for manufacturing data and March car sales to show some snap back from February's chilled results.

The $170,000 Weather Watch

A standout recently at Geneva’s prestigious SIHH watch show and the BaselWorld fair, the Breva Génie 01 is the world’s first mechanical weather station worn on your wrist, using tiny aneroid capsules made of a patented nonmagnetic memory metal, for both a barometer and an altimeter.

The $170,000 Weather Watch

A standout recently at Geneva’s prestigious SIHH watch show and the BaselWorld fair, the Breva Génie 01 is the world’s first mechanical weather station worn on your wrist, using tiny aneroid capsules made of a patented nonmagnetic memory metal, for both a barometer and an altimeter.