A visit from Washington

Published 2:26 am Monday, June 4, 2007

By By Adrienne McKenzie
United States Sen. Jeff Sessions took time out of his busy schedule Wednesday to visit Atmore for the day to discuss several different issues regarding the state of Alabama and especially south Alabama.
The purpose of Sessions' visit was to check in with city officials to see how Atmore's government is running. He even made a guest appearance on Atmore's local radio station featuring Lou Vickery, WNSI FM 105.9.
"I like to check in with the mayor and see how the town is doing," Sessions said at City Hall. "I'm going to do an interview on the radio this afternoon."
The main topic of conversation Sessions discussed was the new $3.7 billion steel mill, ThyssenKrupp, which will be constructed in Mobile County. He talked about what the plant will bring to the table for Atmore citizens.
"That's a fabulous announcement," Sessions said. "When those facilities go up, the ripple effect will go many miles above the plant. This has the potential to allow hundreds of people in Atmore to have jobs for $50,000 to $60,000 a year. And, it has health care and retirement. The governor predicts it will also have spin-off companies."
The company will also allow the southern part of Alabama to better compete in the automobile industry, Sessions believes.
"The plant will be selling their product all over the United States," he said. "It could help the automobile industry be more competitive with the large source of steel. It will make our industry more healthy."
Sessions discussed what Atmore has done to stay a successful community and what the city should continue doing to remain a success.
"History will record that getting interstate property in the city was a very positive event," Sessions said. "I predicted that we would see more businesses wanting to do their business in smaller towns. The economy continues to boom and those businesses want to expand. When they go to a town like Atmore and meet the mayor, people like that. We've been very successful in convincing people that the work ethic and cost of living will help them be successful in their small companies."
Before coming into town, Sessions made a stop in Daphne for a meeting with law enforcement officials. He said the meeting was entertaining, but also informative.
"We had a good law enforcement breakfast in Daphne this morning," he said. "The sheriff, Grover Smith, was there. It was really fun to be there to participate in it. We heard concerns about prescription drug abuse. We need to end this loophole where even teenagers can order prescription drugs off the Internet without a doctor's prescription. I was also concerned to hear that there has been an increase in child pornography and sexual molestation cases. They have about three cases a month now in the federal court."
Sessions and Atmore mayor Howard Shell had lunch together at Buster's Restaurant before the senator departed.

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