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Daily News Digest – August 1, 2019

Good morning!
Here’s your Daily News for Thursday, August 1.



1. Jeff Coleman on AL-2 bid: ‘I’m all in’


  • The race to replace U.S. Representative Martha Roby in has its first confirmed candidate.
  • Dothan businessman Jeff Coleman told Alabama Daily News that he plans to run for the Republican nomination for Congress in Alabama’s 2nd District.
  • “I’m all in,” Coleman said Wednesday when contacted by ADN. “And I’m all in to win.”
  • Roby announced last week that she will not be seeking reelection to a sixth term in Congress in 2020. Her surprise announcement has led several potential candidates to consider a bid to succeed the Montgomery Republican, but Coleman is the first to confirm his candidacy.
  • “Our family has prayed a lot about it over the last week, and when you try to live a God-led life, you can’t ignore this call to serve,” Coleman said.
  • He talked more about his decision to run and the campaign team he’s building.
  • Read all that in the full story HERE.



2. DNC rejects AlaDems’ plan.

  • National party officials have rejected the Alabama Democratic Party’s proposed bylaws after expressing concern that the state group isn’t doing enough to get more non-black minorities involved.
  • In February, the Democratic National Committee ordered the Alabama party to hold new elections for party leaders and to revise bylaws to provide representation of more minorities— not just African Americans— in the party. The DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee rejected those reworked bylaws Tuesday.
  • Alabama Democratic Party Chairwoman Nancy Worley said Wednesday that the state party will discuss its options with an attorney and continue to work with the DNC.
  • The decision comes after a nearly yearlong dispute over the governance of the state party. The DNC ordered changes after challenges were filed when Worley was reelected as party chairwoman last August.
  • Committee member Harold Ickes said the party’s internal elections last year made the “Keystone Cops look organized.”
  • Full story HERE.


3. UAB, United Healthcare reach deal.

  • The University of Alabama at Birmingham Health System has reached a deal with UnitedHealthCare to continue accepting the company’s medical insurance.
  • The agreement means almost 25,000 policyholders can continue getting care at one of Alabama’s leading hospitals.
  • UAB was going to quit accepting the company’s insurance after Wednesday without a new contract.
  • The new deal will cover two years, and a statement from UnitedHealthCare says its customers won’t see any interruption in benefits.
  • An impasse emerged after months of talks and disagreements over the cost of care at UAB. The insurer said the hospital system was too expensive, and the hospital said the company was ignoring costs associated with treating the state’s sickest patients.
  • The new agreement will be finished over the next two weeks.
  • Story link.


4. Skip Tucker: A bad day to be a bad person.


  • Skip Tucker is back this week and he’s writing about, Charlie Graddick, whom he worked for on campaigns years ago.
  • Graddick will soon be taking over as Executive Director of the Board of Pardons and Paroles, having been appointed by Gov. Kay Ivey.
  • That has a lot of people talking, but especially Skip, who says Graddick’s “law and order” mentality will serve the state well.
  • Here’s an excerpt:
“Graddick’s back. Those two words are fraught with meaning for those who run badly afoul of the law, especially on a routine basis. For the habitually violent criminal, the words are heavy with nothing but trouble. He wrote Alabama’s Habitual Offender Act.
“I know these things because I’ve worked two campaigns with Charlie Graddick. While I’ve worked many great campaigns with many great people. Graddick stands among the greatest.
Now a youthful 74, Graddick has waged war on criminals for more years than Manson’s been in prison, first as a district attorney in Mobile then as Alabama Attorney General. Recently he retired from years as presiding judge over Mobile’s 13th Judicial Circuit.
“Now Gov. Kay Ivey has put him in charge of the troubled State Board of Pardons and Paroles. Don’t expect those to be handed out like candy for a while.”
  • Read the full column HERE.


5. AP News Briefs.

Police: Man left child in locked car while shoplifting
  • Police say they’ve arrested a man who allegedly left his 1-year-old son in a locked car while he was shoplifting from a Walmart store.
  • Authorities in Huntsville, Alabama, say 27-year-old Travis Gill Sasser was arrested Tuesday. He’s charged with theft and domestic violence.
  • News outlets report the man is accused of leaving his son inside a locked car outside a Walmart for about an hour while he went inside to steal a $259 blender on Monday.
  • Police say the man dropped his keys while running out and realized he couldn’t get into the vehicle. Police say he then called 911 and was arrested.
  • Police say the child was taken to a hospital and released after an evaluation.
Fed cuts key rate for first time in more than a decade
  • The Federal Reserve cut its key interest rate Wednesday for the first time in a decade.
  • It left open the possibility of future rate cuts, but perhaps not as many as Wall Street had been hoping for. During a news conference, Chairman Jerome Powell struggled to find just the right words to articulate the Fed’s strategy and what might prompt future rate cuts at a time when the risk of a recession in the United States seems relatively low.
  •  The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled to finish down 333 points, or 1.2%. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.01% from 2.06% late Tuesday, a sharp drop.
  • The central bank reduced its benchmark rate — which affects many loans for households and businesses — by a quarter-point to a range of 2% to 2.25%. It’s the first rate cut since December 2008 during the depths of the Great Recession, when the Fed slashed its rate to a record low near zero and kept it there until 2015. The economy is far healthier now despite risks to what’s become the longest expansion on record.
  • But Powell stressed that the Fed is worried about the consequences of Trump’s trade war and sluggish economies overseas.
  • “Weak global growth and trade tensions are having an effect on the U.S. economy,” he said.
  • Full Story HERE.
Trump to set up plan allowing prescription meds from Canada
  • The Trump administration said Wednesday it will create a way for Americans to legally and safely import lower-cost prescription drugs from Canada for the first time, reversing years of refusals by health authorities amid a public outcry over high prices for life-sustaining medications.
  • The move is a step toward fulfilling a 2016 campaign promise by President Donald Trump. It weakens an import ban that has stood as a symbol of the political clout of the pharmaceutical industry.
  • But it’s unclear how soon consumers will see benefits, as the plan has to go through time-consuming regulatory approval and later could face court challenges from drugmakers. And there’s no telling how Canada will react to becoming the drugstore for its much bigger neighbor, with potential consequences for policymakers and consumers there.
  • The U.S. drug industry is facing a crescendo of consumer complaints over prices, as well as legislation from both parties in Congress to rein in costs, not to mention proposals from the Democratic presidential contenders. Ahead of the 2020 election, Trump is feeling pressure to deliver on years of harsh rhetoric about pharmaceutical industry prices.
  • Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the panel that oversees Medicare, is a longtime supporter. He and Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota have a bill to facilitate importation. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., who chairs the health committee, welcomed the plan but said the key is whether importation can be done safely.
  • Full story HERE.



ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Jeff Coleman on Congress bid: ‘I’m all in’
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – UAB, UnitedHealthCare reach deal to continue service
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump to set up plan allowing prescription meds from Canada
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Fed cuts key rate for first time in more than a decade
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – 11 brothers from Alabama, 158 years of US military service
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – To get 500,000 newly-credentialed workers, state looks to undereducated, underemployed
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama sued in transgender driver’s license case
AL.COM  – Birmingham mayor among Kamala Harris’ guests at tonight’s Democratic debate
AL.COM  – Rep. Mo Brooks blasts CNN’s ‘fake news’ on North Alabama vs. Maryland
AL.COM  – Alabama’s vaping laws changing Aug. 1
AL.COM  – Columnist John Archibald: George Wallace’s daughter: ‘I’ve never seen anything like it’
AL.COM  – ABC Board to conduct limited release sweepstakes
AL.COM  – Freedom From Religion group complains about back-to-school worship service
AL.COM  – Food stamp changes could cut off benefits for some Alabamians
AL.COM  – BBA says Birmingham has recovered jobs lost in recession
AL.COM  – It will soon be easier to start Sunday alcohol sales in Alabama
Montgomery Advertiser – Transgender person fights Alabama to change sex on drivers license
Montgomery Advertiser – Autauga woman faces child pornography charges
Montgomery Advertiser – Court rules against cop-killing militant formerly known as H. Rap Brown
YellowHammer News – Merrill rebuts SPLC claim that voter fraud is ‘non-existent’ — Cites six recent Alabama convictions
YellowHammer News – Hightower endorsed by Club for Growth in AL-01 GOP primary
YellowHammer News – UAB, UnitedHealthCare reach deal to continue service
Dothan Eagle – State Line Road reopens after Hurricane Michael damage is repaired
Dothan Eagle – Fed cuts key interest rate for 1st time since Great Recession in attempt to stave off economic risks
Dothan Eagle – Vaping laws in Alabama change on Aug. 1
Tuscaloosa News – Tuscaloosa to accept school supplies as payment for parking tickets
Tuscaloosa News – Longtime Tuscaloosa mayor Al DuPont dead at 94
Tuscaloosa News – Tuscaloosa business owner announces bid for District 4 seat
Decatur Daily – Barron selected as Decatur High assistant principal
Decatur Daily – Teen charged in Decatur robbery
Decatur Daily – Limestone Sheriff’s Office says teen killed in ATV accident
Times Daily – Tuscumbia making headway with FEMA damage claims
Times Daily – Expo was one-stop readiness for back to school
Times Daily – Former kindergarten assistant to serve 7 years
Gadsden Times – Man charged with animal cruelty in Southside
Gadsden Times – GSCC student wins gold at National SkillsUSA
Gadsden Times – Piedmont woman, Theatre of Gadsden performer, killed in crash
Anniston Star – Weaver man charged with assault
Anniston Star – Woman killed in crash north of Piedmont
Anniston Star – Lincoln man charged with rape
Andalusia Star News – RLHS new band director excited for marching season
Andalusia Star News – ACS school officials inspired about school safety after speech
Andalusia Star News – Former Newtown Superintendent shares experiences of Sandy Hook shooting
Opelika-Auburn News – Auburn officials pleased last week’s election supports plans
Opelika-Auburn News – Beulah hires Adam Johnson as athletic director, assistant principal
Opelika-Auburn News – Opelika psychiatrist indicted on federal drug charges
Daily Mountain Eagle – Meeting held to organize Census count in Walker
Daily Mountain Eagle – The upside down limit
Daily Mountain Eagle – Byrne supports Trump in Senate run
Trussville Tribune – UAB, UnitedHealthCare reach deal to continue service
Trussville Tribune – AP FACT CHECK: Democratic debate rhetoric under scrutiny
Trussville Tribune – Police: Man left child in locked car while shoplifting
Athens News Courier – ARDMORE MURDER: Bond raised to $1M for accused
Athens News Courier – U.S. records nearly 20 mass killings for the year so far
Athens News Courier – Arrest Reports for 7/31/19
Sand Mountain Reporter – ALDOT eyes Drum Creek Bridge opening mid-August
Sand Mountain Reporter – Farmers Market moves locations, recycling center closed for MSMF
Sand Mountain Reporter – Scottsboro man selling Bear Bryant’s last vehicle
WSFA Montgomery – Suspect sought in armed robbery of Montgomery gas station
WSFA Montgomery – HPD: Man left son in hot car for an hour while he stole from store
WSFA Montgomery – Gangs, drones pushing lucrative contraband market in Ala. prisons
Fox 6 Birmingham – Community pays tribute to 4-year-old killed by stray bullet
Fox 6 Birmingham – New vape laws go into effect August 1
Fox 6 Birmingham – Federal Reserve cuts rates; What does that mean for you?
WAFF Huntsville – Woman, 27, killed in Decatur wreck
WAFF Huntsville – ’We are going to be homeless’: Concerns raised over Huntsville apartment complex conviction notices
WAFF Huntsville – Class in a laptop: Madison County school district expands virtual academy
WKRG Mobile – Suspect arrested for Rickarby Street Shooting
WKRG Mobile – Mobile River Bridge and Bayway: Fairhope’s Mayor explains the toll’s impact
WKRG Mobile – Body found in Foley
WTVY Dothan – Special education teachers get ready for school in wake of malware attack
WTVY Dothan – 16th annual Wiregrass Job Fair helps both job seekers and employers
WTVY Dothan – Judge expands restrictions on Kountry Kennel owner
WASHINGTON POST  – Democrats pull no punches on second night of primary debate.
WASHINGTON POST  – Fed cuts interest rates for first time since 2008 but sends confusing signals about what’s next.
NEW YORK TIMES  – Fed Cuts Interest Rates for First Time Since 2008 Crisis
NEW YORK TIMES  – Lower Rates Already Hit Housing. They’re Not Helping Much

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