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Daily News Digest – August 29, 2019

Good morning!
Here’s your Daily News for Thursday, August 29.


1. Mobile Bridge & Bayway ‘dead’

  • Gov. Kay Ivey has declared the Mobile Bridge and Bayway project “dead” after a critical vote by a local governance group.
  • The Eastern Shore Metropolitan Planing Organization (MPO) on Wednesday voted to remove the Mobile Bridge and Bayway proposal from its Transportation Improvement Plan, a move that Ivey warned would derail the project some 20 years in the making.
  • “With the action taken today, there is no pathway forward, and this project is dead,” Ivey said Wednesday evening.
  • Members of the MPO, which includes local mayors and county commissioners, voiced opposition to the Alabama Department of Transportation’s plan to use tolls to finance the $2.1 billion construction. A proposal released earlier this year estimated one-way tolls ranging from $3 to $6, with discounts for local commuters. The span over the Mobile River shipping channel and reconstructed bridge along Mobile Bay are meant to ease frequent traffic congestion along Interstate 10 as it passes through the Wallace Tunnel.
  • Earlier in the day, Gov. Kay Ivey urged Daphne Mayor Dane Haygood, who chairs the Eastern Shore MPO, and Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson, who chairs the Mobile MPO, to keep the project on their Transportation Improvement Plan lists, warning that removing it would threaten the ability to get federal dollars for the bridge and other projects.
  • Full story HERE.


2. Screwy election night.

  • Montgomery had a big election Tuesday night, and if you were paying attention, it really took a while for the numbers to roll in.
  • Now we know why.
  • Memory cards with with precinct vote totals were “corrupted” when poll workers removed them improperly from voting machines, according to Montgomery County Election Center Director Darryl Parker.
  • Then, a printer went down causing the election center to delay posting the results.
  • It was a “calamity of errors,” Parker said, and it came at the worst possible time.
  • Parker and Montgomery City Clerk Brenda Blalock insist there was nothing nefarious going on, just mistakes from tired poll workers.
  • And it helps that the elections for Mayor and State House really weren’t close. Probate Judge Steven Reed and businessman David Woods will face each other in a runoff in October.
  • Woods didn’t hesitate from connecting the election failures to his opponent, whose office supervises the election center. “If Steven Reed can’t run an election… how can he be trusted to run the city?” Woods said in a Facebook post.
  • Reed said he would take a “wait and see” approach to determine what the investigation uncovered.
  • Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill says his office received several complaints and that they are looking into them.
  • Read more from the Advertiser’s Sara MacNeil HERE and watch coverage from WSFA’s Lydia Nusbaum HERE.


3. Chamber points to Alabama job growth.

  • As the country gets ready for its annual Labor Day celebration of the workforce, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is acknowledging Alabama’s record job and wage growth.
  • According to the Chamber, Alabama has added 40,000 jobs since July 2018. The state ranks 10th in the nation for job growth and 18th in the nation for wage growth.
  • The average weekly earnings for Alabamians in June 2019 were $861.80, which is $45.83 more than what people saw the previous year.
  • Alabama’s unemployment rate is at 3.3%, the lowest ever recorded in state history. That’s good enough for 16th lowest in the nation.
  • Read more, including reaction from Gov. Kay Ivey and Business Council of Alabama CEO Katie Britt, in Caroline Beck’s full story HERE.


4. More details on shock slayings.

  • More information is coming in about the killing of the wife, child and mother-in-law of Montgomery Biscuits baseball player Blake Bivens.
  • Matthew Thomas Bernard, 18, was arrested and charged with killing his mother, 62-year-old Joan Bernard; his sister, 25-year-old Emily Bivens; and his toddler nephew, 14-month-old Cullen Bivens.
  • The Biscuits cancelled their doubleheader game in the wake of the killings. Tampa Bay Rays Manager Kevin Cash said “All we can do is kind of put our arms around (Bivens) as an organization, him and his family, and do the best we can.”
  • The Biscuits are a Rays Double A team.
  • Read and watch more HERE.


5. Mattis: Bitter politics threaten US.

  • Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is warning that bitter political divisions threaten American society, saying he views “tribalism” as a greater risk to the nation’s future than foreign adversaries.
  • The retired Marine general, who resigned in December 2018 in a policy dispute with President Donald Trump, said he worries about the state of American politics and the administration’s treatment of allies.
  • “We all know that we’re better than our current politics,” Mattis wrote in an essay adapted from his new book and published Wednesday by The Wall Street Journal. “Unlike in the past, where we were unified and drew in allies, currently our own commons seems to be breaking apart.”
  • Mattis said the problem is made worse by this administration’s disregard for the enduring value of allies, which he alluded to in the resignation letter he gave Trump on Dec. 20.
  • “Nations with allies thrive,” he wrote in the Journal essay, “and those without them wither. Alone, America cannot protect our people and our economy. At this time, we can see storm clouds gathering.”
  • Read more and link to the op-ed itself HERE.



ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ivey: Mobile Bridge and Bayway project ‘dead’ after Eastern Shore vote
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama job growth continues as Labor Day approaches
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Omar claps back at Alabama GOP resolution against her
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Mattis says bitter politics threaten US
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Family of Montgomery Biscuits pitcher slain in Virginia
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – August 28, 2019
AL.COM  – Gov. Kay Ivey declares I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway project ‘dead’
AL.COM  – Alabama superintendents warned cyberattacks on the rise
AL.COM  – Historic school to convert into $13 million assisted living facility
AL.COM  – Hundreds claim they are sick, dying after cleaning coal ash
AL.COM  – Huntsville, Gadsden attracting migrant families, survey shows
AL.COM  – Ivey to coastal leaders: ALDOT will work with efforts to ‘streamline’ I-10 toll project
AL.COM  – Roy Moore: Omar should go back ‘from whence she came’
AL.COM  – Columnist Kyle Whitmire: Move over Beach House Sheriff. Meet Sheriff Scratch-off
AL.COM  – Union announces AT&T strike is over
AL.COM  – Columnist Bill Sisson: Bill strengthening Alabama by fostering wireless technology deployment
Montgomery Advertiser – Memory card mystery: Did human error or faulty devices cause Montgomery election results delay?
Montgomery Advertiser – Montgomery Biscuits pitcher’s wife, child, mother-in-law killed in Virginia triple homicide: reports
Montgomery Advertiser – Alabama couple sentenced in child exploitation case
YellowHammer News – Ainsworth praises death of ‘ill-conceived and fatally-flawed toll bridge project’
YellowHammer News – Ivey: I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway project is ‘dead’
YellowHammer News – Report: University of Mobile has some of nation’s best dorms, one of top campuses
Dothan Eagle – Mother accused of leaving infant son in freezer gets 99 years
Dothan Eagle – Update: Dorian hits US Virgin Islands as Category 1 hurricane. See its projected path.
Dothan Eagle – Houston County arrests 8-27-2019
Tuscaloosa News – Police: Alabama teen charged in shooting; wounded 2 people
Tuscaloosa News – Reed, Woods head to runoff in Montgomery mayoral race
Tuscaloosa News – Muscle Shoals songwriter, artist Donnie Fritts dies at 76
Decatur Daily – Man with numerous convictions jailed by city for 4th time this year; bail $50,000
Decatur Daily – Morgan sheriff asks for pay hikes, 5 more vehicles
Decatur Daily – Limestone jury: Woman guilty of reckless manslaughter in crash that killed son
Times Daily – Shoals Woman of the Year: Ginger Willingham prefers her place behind the scenes
Times Daily – Sam Newton known as friend to first responders
Times Daily – Still no clear resolution after ‘no confidence’ vote at NWSCC
Gadsden Times – Data pinpoints asylum seekers’ destinations
Gadsden Times – CWA members end strike against AT&T
Gadsden Times – Etowah man on trial after 2016 shootout
Anniston Star – Police chase from Etowah County ends in Anniston with suspect in custody, no injuries
Anniston Star – Heflin council hears reason for higher dispatch fees
Anniston Star – JSU art show bridges university, community
Troy Messenger – Troy Lions Club celebrates charter night
Troy Messenger – Dean leaves TRMC
Troy Messenger – Paramore shares updates on Troy’s growth
Andalusia Star News – OPD receives $1,000 donation
Andalusia Star News – CCEDC President: Covington County is more reasonable when it comes to affordable housing
Andalusia Star News – EMA assistant director urges residents to prepare for possible storms
Opelika-Auburn News – Lanett woman pleads guilty to federal tax charges
Opelika-Auburn News – Two arrested in Tallapoosa County on drug-trafficking charges
Opelika-Auburn News – Golden eagle ‘Aurea’ ready to soar above Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium this season
Daily Mountain Eagle – Bound for Wall Street, Aaron finds a home on Main Street
Daily Mountain Eagle –
Daily Mountain Eagle – Chambers: Contractor interested in light project
Daily Mountain Eagle – Five graduate from HVAC Boot Camp
Trussville Tribune – Dorian aims for US, causes limited damage in Caribbean
Trussville Tribune – Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand ends presidential bid
Trussville Tribune – Pell City man wanted on assault charges in Irondale
Athens News Courier – 2 arrested in Limestone Co. drug bust
Athens News Courier – Kittens injured by chemicals recovering
Sand Mountain Reporter – Marshall County BOE introduces The Parent Project
Sand Mountain Reporter – Etowah duo faces drug charges
Sand Mountain Reporter – Arab’s SugarFest set for Saturday
WSFA Montgomery – Jury returns guilty verdicts in deadly speed racing trial
WSFA Montgomery – HPD: 300-pound robbery suspect targeted elderly because ‘they don’t fight back’
WSFA Montgomery – Man injured in vehicle versus train crash
Fox 6 Birmingham – Businesses eyeing Birmingham apprenticeship program
Fox 6 Birmingham – UAB fan voices concerns over new stadium seating
Fox 6 Birmingham – Shades Valley High student arrested after BB gun found on campus
WAFF Huntsville – Huntsville store sells vape to teen; Madison school system kicking off initiative to curb usage
WAFF Huntsville – 2 accused of burning vehicles while stealing gas at DeKalb County tire store
WAFF Huntsville – Judge gets update on Huntsville City Schools desegregation case
WKRG Mobile – Gov. Ivey – Bridge and Bayway Project is “dead”
WKRG Mobile – People react to Eastern Shore MPO decision
WKRG Mobile – Pensacola Humane Society holds event to let pet owners remember, mourn lost pets
WTVY Dothan – Local photographer features children with Down syndrome
WTVY Dothan – Slocomb Fire and Rescue helps community with wheelchair van
WTVY Dothan – Wicksburg community sees five dogs have seizures in a week
WASHINGTON POST  – Democrats alarmed by Trump’s promise of pardons to build border wall
WASHINGTON POST  – Columnist George Will: The electoral college is here to stay
WASHINGTON POST  – Alabama mayor promises free college to high school graduates.
NEW YORK TIMES  – E.P.A. to Roll Back Regulations on Methane, a Potent Greenhouse Gas
NEW YORK TIMES  – Why Aren’t More Women Working? They’re Caring for Parents

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