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Daily News Digest – August 23, 2019

Good morning and Happy Friday!
Here’s your Daily News for August 23.


1. Sheriff arrested on ethics charges.


  • Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely was arrested Thursday on theft and ethics charges that include accusations of taking money from campaign and law enforcement accounts.
  • Blakely, who has been sheriff of the north Alabama county since 1983, was booked into his own jail Thursday. He was later released on $49,000 bail.
  • Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said a grand jury indicted Blakely on 13 charges. The office said the charges include taking money from campaign and law enforcement funds and using his position to get interest-free loans. He allegedly took money from a safe that was used to store the Limestone County inmates’ personal funds.
  • “Public officials are entrusted to perform their duties honestly and above reproach. When that bond of trust is broken, our society suffers undue harm,” Marshall said in a statement. My office — working with our federal and state partners — is committed to ensuring that the violators of the public trust be held accountable under the law,” Marshall said.
  • Full story HERE.


2. DNC whacks Worley.

  • The Democratic National Committee’s Credentials Committee on Thursday voted to strip Alabama Democratic Party leaders of their seats at the convention after months of the state party failing to comply with DNC directives.
  • The panel recommended revoking the credentials of Chairwoman Nancy Worley and Vice-Chair Randy Kelley. The full DNC will have to approve the recommendation on Saturday, but it typically accepts the recommendations.
  • Worley and Kelley would stay in their state roles, but won’t have a seat on the DNC.
  • National party officials in February ordered new elections after finding procedural irregularities with Worley’s and Kelley’s election last year. Party officials also ordered the state party to develop an affirmative action plan and revise bylaws to provide representation of more minorities — not just African Americans.
  • Worley said the challenge was filed by people unhappy with her election and suggested it was an effort to minimize the influence of African Americans.
  • Worley said there is a “special circle in hell that is going to be as hot as it can be” for people who try to strip black voters of their voting rights, and told members they will need water, “cause you are going to be burning in hell for taking away people’s voting rights.”
  • Read the full story from Kim Chandler HERE.
  • Also read more from Brian Lyman HERE and from Mike Cason HERE.



3. ALGOP delegate dust-up.

  • When Alabama Republicans meet Saturday for their annual summer meeting, party members will consider whether or not to change the way national convention delegates for presidential candidates are decided.
  • Currently, delegates are elected by voters during the GOP primary leading up to a presidential election. That’s why in 2016 there were eleventy names listed on the back of the primary ballot for all those presidential contenders. Winning a delegate position is fun because, if your candidate picks up enough votes, you get to go to the national convention.
  • The proposed bylaw would instead give the authority of choosing delegates to the Alabama Republican Party’s State Executive Committee.
  • It’s causing a bit of a stir within the party, and this week a flyer was anonymously circulated by mail criticizing the proposal and asking the 463 executive committee members to oppose it.
  • That led party leaders, including ALGOP Chairwoman Terry Lathan to push back in emails against the “misinformation” and clarify the proposal.
  • ADN’s Will Whatley has the flyer, the emails, and the reaction from party leaders in a new story HERE.


4. New Schools for Alabama gets $25 million to grow charters.

  • New Schools for Alabama, a non profit organization that works to grow public charter schools in the state, has been approved for $25 million in federal grant funding.
  • The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement each year awards competitive grants to state entities that seek to expand public charter schools.
  • New Schools for Alabama asked for $25 million “to kickstart and sustain the presence of high- quality charter schools throughout Alabama, specifically for our most educationally disadvantaged students,” according to its submitted application.
  • Advocates hope to increase the number of charter schools in Alabama by at least 15 over the next five years, focusing especially on disadvantaged students. The group said it also wants to make the state a nation leader in the quality of the charter authorizing process.
  • Each individual school will be eligible for $1.5 million in start-up funding.
  • Other grant winners included the New Hampshire Department of Education at $46 million and the Washington State Charter Schools Association at $19 million. New Schools for Alabama notched the highest scored on its grant application.
  • “We’re really excited about what this can do for kids,” New Schools Executive Director Tyler Barnett told Alabama Daily News.
  • “Our mission is to support the growth of excellent public charter schools in Alabama to ensure that every child has access to a quality public education. This funding will allow us to accelerate that growth and expand access to excellent public charter schools.”
  • This story will be updated as more information and reaction comes in from state leaders.


5. AP News Briefs.


Man charged in father’s slaying
  • A central Alabama man is charged with murder in the shooting death of his father.
  • Montgomery County sheriff’s authorities tell news outlets that 35-year-old Keith Scarborough is being held in the slaying of 72-year-old Jerry Scarborough.
  • Officers called to a rural home found the older man dead of a gunshot wound early Wednesday.
  • Sheriff’s Capt. George Beaudry says it’s not unclear what prompted the gunfire.
  • Court records aren’t available to show whether Scarborough has an attorney to speak on his behalf.
Wetumpka kids taken to hospital for overheating
  • Seven Alabama middle school students were hospitalized for heat distress symptoms after participating in an outdoor gym class.
  • News outlets report about 30 students at Wetumpka Middle School complained of being overheated Thursday afternoon while they were walking and running on the track.
  • Superintendent Richard Dennis says the seven sick students were all sixth graders and they received treatment for dehydration.
  • One of the hospitalized students told WSFA-TV that the gym was being used for picture day, so the physical education classes were held outside.
  • The outlet’s weather team says the temperature around the time the students became ill was in the low- to mid-90s with a heat index near 100 degrees.
  • Dennis says the school is investigating.
Man gets 10 years to trying to entice child
  • An Alabama man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for attempted coercion and enticement of a minor.
  • U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town says U.S. District Judge Abdul K. Kallon sentenced 49-year-old Jerry Wayne Hamilton Jr., of Sylacauga, on Wednesday.
  • In a news release Thursday, Town says court documents show Hamilton spoke with who he believed to be a 15-year-old girl on several dating and chat apps between Oct. 13, 2018 and Oct. 21, 2018. In fact, Town says, Hamilton was communicating with an undercover detective.
  • On Oct. 21, Hamilton arrived at a book store to meet the “teenager” but instead was met and arrested by the Mountain Brook Police Department.
  • Town says Hamilton deserves every day of his 120-month sentence “because of his reprehensible acts.”
U.S. confirms Israeli attack on Iranian weapons facility
  • Israel was responsible for the bombing of an Iranian weapons depot in Iraq lost month, U.S. officials have confirmed, an attack that would mark a significant escalation in Israel’s years-long campaign against Iranian military entrenchment across the region.
  • The confirmation comes as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is strongly hinting that his country is behind recent airstrikes that have hit bases and munitions depot belonging to Iran-backed paramilitary forces operating in Iraq.
  • The mystery attacks have not been claimed by any side and have left Iraqi officials scrambling for a response, amid strong speculation that Israel may have been behind them. Earlier this week, the deputy head of the Iraqi Shiite militias, known collectively as the Popular Mobilization Forces, openly accused Israeli drones of carrying out the attacks, but ultimately blamed Washington and threatened strong retaliation for any future attack.
  • There have been weeks of speculation in Israel that the army is attacking targets in Iraq.
  • In an interview with a Russian-language TV station on Thursday, Netanyahu indicated the speculation is true.
  • “I don’t give Iran immunity anywhere,” he said, accusing the Iranians of trying to establish bases “against us everywhere,” including Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Iraq.
  • Asked whether that means Israel is operating in Iraq, Netanyahu said: “We act in many arenas against a country that desires to annihilate us. Of course I gave the security forces a free hand and the instruction to do what is needed to thwart these plans of Iran.”
  • Full story HERE.
Investors hope Fed Chair Powell’s speech offers clarity
  • Against the backdrop of a vulnerable economy, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell takes center stage Friday with the financial world seeking clarity on whether last month’s first Fed rate cut in a decade likely marked the start of a period of easier credit.
  • The confusion has only heightened in the days leading to the annual gathering of global central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, at which Powell will give the keynote address.
  • Investors are looking for a clearer signal from Powell that he and other members of the Fed’s interest rate committee support further rate cuts to counter a slowing global economy and calm turbulent markets. Yet they might not get it.
  • The CME Group, which tracks investor bets on central bank policy, is projecting the likelihood that the Fed will cut rates at least twice more before year’s end.
  • Adding to the pressures on the Fed, Trump has kept up his attacks on the central bank and on Powell personally, arguing that Fed officials have kept rates too high and should be cutting them aggressively.
  • Full story HERE.



ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – In the Weeds w/ Rep. Martha Roby
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Limestone County sheriff arrested on theft, ethics charges
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Worley could lose DNC credential after missed deadlines
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – ALGOP to consider delegate selection change
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama charter school group wins $25 million federal grant
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Investors hope Powell’s speech offers clarity. But will it?
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Auburn deploys new digital X-Ray system to improve manufactured parts
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Probate judges seek clarification on new marriage law
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – U.S. confirms Israeli attack in Iraq
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – August 22, 2019
AL.COM  – DNC committee votes to invalidate Nancy Worley’s credentials.
AL.COM  – Alabama spending $800,000 to grow charter schools.
AL.COM  – Limestone County’s 10-term sheriff arrested on ethics, theft charges.
AL.COM  – Boeing says loss of missile defense contract won’t affect Alabama workers.
AL.COM  – Alabama lynching memorial wins tourism’s Attraction of the Year award.
AL.COM  – Probation and Parole Board making changes after complaints on Shelby County move.
AL.COM  – State recommends yanking Montgomery assisted living facility’s license after resident’s death.
AL.COM  – Board member of Alabama immigrant rights group detained by ICE.
AL.COM  – Columnist Roy Johnson: We, and our stressed out children, need yoga.
Montgomery Advertiser – 7 Wetumpka Middle School students hospitalized, treated for heat distress
Montgomery Advertiser – Millbrook man struck on I-85 in July dies from injuries
Montgomery Advertiser – DNC committee recommends revocation of Alabama Democratic Party chair, vice-chair’s credentials
YellowHammer News – Doug Jones: Recommendation to strip Alabama Democratic Party chair, vice-chair of credentials ‘a step in the right direction’
YellowHammer News – CEO of Alabama’s Drummond Company to retire
YellowHammer News – Alabama Dem. chair doubles down on racism charges against DNC, Jones — Will ‘be burning in hell for taking away people’s voting rights’
Dothan Eagle – Dothan Utilities purchases drone in effort to reduce power outages
Dothan Eagle – Police arrest Dothan nonprofit executive director
Dothan Eagle – Father charged in son’s death to use insanity defense
Tuscaloosa News – Pickens chief deputy accused of stealing meth
Tuscaloosa News – Mess for success during Messy Game Night
Tuscaloosa News – Sen. Jones in Tuscaloosa Friday to talk road construction
Decatur Daily – Limestone sheriff indicted on theft, ethics charges
Decatur Daily – Penny tax expected to generate $11 million for Decatur schools
Decatur Daily – Attorney: Decatur couple denies charges in boating accident
Times Daily – Grandmother survives falling limb, saves 3 children
Times Daily – Video prompts police internal investigation
Times Daily – Colbert Revenue Commissioner to host annual Hot Dog Day
Gadsden Times – Etowah County child dies in accident
Gadsden Times – Aderholt discusses economy, gun violence, local issues during Gadsden visit
Gadsden Times – ECSO investigator makes traffic stop, finds alleged thief
Anniston Star – Satcher hopes entity bearing his name gets people moving
Anniston Star – Feds, too, give Cleburne’s nursing home high marks
Anniston Star – Jacksonville residents don’t let rain dampen their Spirit on Mountain Street
Troy Messenger – Winland retires from TRMC
Troy Messenger – Child Advocacy Center receives state grant
Troy Messenger – Cattleman’s Rodeo Friday tonight
Andalusia Star News – Local leaders partner with World Vision international to bring school supplies to
Andalusia Star News – Sweet T’s Cajun House to open in Covington County
Andalusia Star News – New marriage laws go into effect next week
Opelika-Auburn News – Montgomery man in custody, another at large after armed robbery of Phenix City business
Opelika-Auburn News – Phenix City bank robbery under investigation
Opelika-Auburn News – Police reports from Aug. 22
Daily Mountain Eagle – Foothills-focused Tasting of the Arts planned
Daily Mountain Eagle – Two arrested for selling meth
Daily Mountain Eagle – Jasper Jr. High fostering next generation of engineers
Trussville Tribune – Trussville PD arrest man on multiple child porn charges
Trussville Tribune – Tarrant Police say they are investigating after an inmate was “unaccounted for”
Trussville Tribune – Woman killed in crash involving tractor-trailer on I-22
Athens News Courier – Alabama postpones 50th anniversary tour over singer’s health
Athens News Courier – No injuries in apartment fire
Athens News Courier – SHERIFF INDICTED: Blakely won’t resign, attorney says
Sand Mountain Reporter – Marshall County Sheriff’s Office arrests three for manufacturing marijuana | Deputies say first case of this type in Marshall County history
Sand Mountain Reporter – Long named 2019 Ms. Senior Marshall County | Grant native places second runner up in Ms. Senior Alabama
Sand Mountain Reporter – 4-H Foundation awards $35,000 in scholarships
WSFA Montgomery – All lanes of I-65 from Greenville to Georgiana closed after crash
WSFA Montgomery – Child struck by vehicle while riding bike in Montgomery
WSFA Montgomery – Limestone County sheriff indicted on theft, ethics charges
Fox 6 Birmingham – Should there be more oversight of sheriffs in Alabama?
Fox 6 Birmingham – Group hopes to make voting easier for high school students
Fox 6 Birmingham – More concerns over Birmingham probation office relocation to Shelby County
WAFF Huntsville – Huntsville police asking for help to solve 9-year-old cold case
WAFF Huntsville – New dog park popular for pets and their owners in Decatur
WAFF Huntsville – Huntsville City Council fails to override mayor’s veto on pay raise, but issue will return
WKRG Mobile – Man who claims serial killings to plead guilty in 2 deaths
WKRG Mobile – Citizens fire academy enrollment is now open
WKRG Mobile – Baldwin Co. Supt. has message after 4 threats made in 3 days
WTVY Dothan – Dothan library closes after fire
WTVY Dothan – Susbtance Abuse Partnership director charged with stealing thousands
WTVY Dothan – Enterprise community shows spirit at downtown pep rally
WASHINGTON POST  – Retailers struggled during boom times. What happens if there’s a recession?
WASHINGTON POST  – France tries to orchestrate a no-drama G-7 summit, but Trump is the X factor.
WASHINGTON POST  – Phone companies, state attorneys general announce broad campaign to fight robocalls
WASHINGTON POST  – Cancer patients can now apply to have their student loan payments postponed
NEW YORK TIMES  – Contributor Bryan Stevenson: Why American Prisons Owe Their Cruelty to Slavery



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