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Daily News Digest – March 12, 2018

Good morning! I hope you are fully sprung forward. It’s March 12 and this is your Daily News . 

1. Teen charged in Huffman High shooting

  • Michael Jerome Barber, a 17-year-old junior, has been charged with manslaughter and possession of an illegal firearmafter the classroom shooting that killed his Huffman High School classmate, Courtlin Arrington last week.
  • Authorities have been calling the shooting accidental since almost immediately after it occurred. Prosecutors aren’t releasing the details of the incident, but they are arguing that Barber is responsible for Arrington’s death because he recklessly and illegally brought a loaded firearm to school.
  • Multiple reports have questioned whether the school’s metal detectors were operational or effective that day. Also, the school is said to have more than 40 entry points, most of which do not include metal detectors.
  • Meanwhile, threats of violence in school are becoming more and more common.

2. Trump backs off age restrictions; DOJ moves to ban bump stocks

  • After President Trump said he “would work on getting the age restrictions up to 21 instead of 18 ” for certain high-powered rifle sales, the White House is backing away from that proposal for now.
  • Instead, new age restrictions will be one of many topics studied by a school safety commission chaired by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
  • Florida recently enacted that very age restriction, and the state is now being sued by the National Rifle Association for violation of its members’ constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
  • Meanwhile, the Department of Justice is moving forward with a plan to ban so-called bump stocks. These are the mechanisms that can be retrofitted to a semi-automatic rifle to make its rate of fire closer to that of an automatic machine gun. The Las Vegas shooter used weapons modified with bump stocks to spray bullets onto a crowd of concertgoers.
  • Closer to home, this week will be decisive to gun and school safety legislation in the Alabama Legislature. More on that tomorrow.

3. Byrne coming in hot

  • Sure, we might be just now getting into the heat of the 2018 elections, but it’s never too early to talk about the 2020 primary, right?
  • Congressman Bradley Byrne is not being shy about his active consideration for a U.S. Senate run in 2020. That’s when newly-elected Senator Doug Jones will be up.
  • Byrne laid out his interest in the Senate during an interview with Gulf Coast Newspapers’ Cliff McCollum.
  • Lots of Republicans are eyeing a bid – many of whom might have run for the open seat originally had national groups not boxed them out thinking it would help Luther Strange.
  • Byrne showing interest early is a signal to party loyalists and donors that he’s in the game. And taking a shot at Jones over his vote against the 20-week abortion ban is his way of saying he’ll run hard and not pull punches.
  • It’s a bold move, and my guess is you’ll start seeing others interested in the job start floating their trial balloons as well.

4. President for life?


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Teen charged with manslaughter in school shooting

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Maxwell honors Medal of Honor winner

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – $315 million to fund projects in Mobile, Baldwin Counties 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ethics Commission director says bill weakens ethics law

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama Department of Education to make top personnel cuts

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – ‘Fake News’ smear takes hold among politicians at all levels

THE MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Shelby in line to take over Appropriations chair

AL.COM – Scott Dawson wins gubernatorial straw poll at GOP club in Madison.

AL.COM – Car lease tax for BJCC stadium not yet a done deal.

AL.COM – Columnist Dana Hall McCain:  Liberals and science: Pick a lane.

AL.COM – Contributor Tony Petelos: ‘I was at death’s door’.

AL.COM – Truck & Wheel opens plant in Vance, to employ 74.

AL.COM – Contributor Frances Coleman:  Let’s go with Florida: all daylight saving, all the time.

DECATUR DAILY – Gun control continues to bring mix of opinions.

TIMES-DAILY – Gun bills pile up in House.

TIMES-DAILY – Reporter Mary Sell’s Capital Notebook:  Bill toughens penalties for indecent exposure.

TIMES-DAILY – State’s physicians contribute billions to economy.

GADSDEN TIMES – Alabama Power to close ash facilities.

GADSDEN TIMES – Sessions: Small-time pot growers can take a breather.

DOTHAN EAGLE – Ozark man who threatened president unable to stand trial.

DOTHAN EAGLE – After 100 years, Wiregrass identity remains tied to the peanut.

DOTHAN EAGLE – An ironic death.

JASPER MOUNTAIN EAGLE – Scammers targeting Alabama Power customers.

SELMA TIMES JOURNAL – Coleman announces campaign for state representative.

SELMA TIMES JOURNAL – EPA closes Uniontown investigations.

ANDALUSIA STAR NEWS – Program raises awareness of payday loan issues, proposed new regulations.

LAGNIAPPE – $315 million worth of projects greenlighted by RESTORE Act Council.

GULF COAST NEWS – Congressman Byrne considering 2020 U.S. Senate run

WASHINGTON POST – White House vows to help arm teachers and backs off raising age for buying guns.

WASHINGTON POST – After once predicting quick end to Mueller probe, White House now looking to expand legal team.

WASHINGTON POST – Elizabeth Warren keeps up criticism of fellow Democrats supporting bank deregulation.

WASHINGTON POST – Contributor Matt O’Brien:  The recovery isn’t slowing down. The Fed should let it keep going.

NEW YORK TIMES – White Evangelical Women, Core Supporters of Trump, Begin Tiptoeing Away

NEW YORK TIMES – The Mideast Peace Plan Is Nearly Finished. Is It Dead on Arrival?

NEW YORK TIMES – G.O.P. Rushed to Pass Tax Overhaul. Now It May Need to Be Altered.

NEW YORK TIMES – Contributor Neil Irwin:  The Economy Is Looking Awfully Strong

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