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Daily News Digest – August 5, 2019

Good morning!
Here’s your Daily News for Monday, August 5.


1. Trump: gun measures likely.

  • In the wake of two mass shootings that claimed 29 lives in Texas and Ohio, President Donald Trump is signaling that he may pursue legislation requiring stricter background checks to purchase firearms. Trump will address the nation later today.
  • After other mass shootings Trump has called for strengthening the federal background check system, and in 2018 signed legislation to increase federal agency data-sharing into the system.
  • Also, the Justice Department moved to prohibit the sale of “bump stocks” after a 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas. But he and other Republicans have mostly resisted Democratic calls to toughen other gun control laws.
Heroic police
Closer to home


2. State data shows more violent offenders receive parole.

  • In recent years, more violent offenders than non-violent offenders were paroled from state prisons by the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles.
  • State data shows that 1,635 and 1,891 violent offenders were released in 2017 and 2018, respectively.
  • As the state grapples with dangerous and crowded prisons, leaders are trying to find a balance between increasing parole numbers and ensuring public safety.
  • Part of the reason why is that more of the state’s inmate population is considered “violent offenders,” so it stands to reason a higher percentage would be up for parole.
  • This new data, obtained by an open records request by Alabama Daily News, comes amid changes in both the law and leadership governing the Board of Pardons and Paroles.
  • It also has advocacy groups questioning the state’s sentencing statutes and practices.
  • ADN’s Caroline Beck worked through the data and spoke with many of those involved in the reform efforts for her feature story, which is worth your time this morning.


A message from The Boeing Company.


  • The Space & Missile Defense Symposium in Huntsville brings together experts from government, industry and academia to share ideas and solutions for today’s toughest challenges in national defense and in space.
  • This year’s symposium will offer discussions on defense capabilities across multiple domains, including land, sea and air, with an emphasis on space and cyber.
  • Nearly 200 exhibitors — from large defense and aerospace companies to small and innovative start-up businesses — will showcase their latest technologies and products, setting the perfect environment for networking and learning. Titanium sponsor Boeing will feature models of legacy Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missiles, a Ground-based Midcourse Defense interceptor and the Compact Laser Weapon System.
  • The Space & Missile Defense Symposium starts Tuesday, Aug. 6, at 9 a.m., and ends at noon Thursday, Aug. 8. For more information, visit



3. Guy Martin: When the Cahaba runs upstream…


  • You may remember Guy Martin’s contributed columns about things overlooked and misunderstood (to borrow a phrase) about Jefferson County’s environmental cases.
  • He’s back this week with the first of a two-part piece on the historic efforts to protect the Cahaba River, the costs and benefits associated with them, and how all that impacts the local response to the Environmental Protection Agency in the coming months.
  • Martin gets “in the weeds” on a lot of the data and measurements, but that’s probably important on a topic like this.
  • Here’s an excerpt:
“During the 1970s, Jefferson County spent $300 million upgrading its sewage treatment plants, based on established science that the SSOs (sewage overflowing or bypassing the treatment plants during heavy rains) are so diluted by swollen rivers, they impact the river far less than overland runoff into the river, from hog parlors, highways, parking lots, and lawns, including pathogens and their nutrients such as phosphorus (the middle 13 in 13-13-13
“The County earned national awards for its efforts –until 1992. With a new president and EPA director came a new rule: systems must treat all sewage, even during heavy rains. The EPA was deaf to the common sense of prevailing science and cost-benefit analysis, threatening millions in fines if the County even litigated. Four billion dollars and a bankrupt county later, the only “Inconvenient Truth” from the episode is that the County’s scientists were right: many say the river is only about 1% cleaner after the four billion dollars, and the EPA has admitted that SSO’s are less harmful to rivers than overland runoff.”
  • Read Guy Martin’s full column HERE.


4. Matthew Stokes: GOP will miss Roby and Hurd.


  • Matthew Stokes saw some bright spots for Alabama in last month’s Meuller hearings in Congress.
  • By his observation, Alabama’s two Congresswomen – Martha Roby and Terri Sewell – stood out as fair and serious as opposed to some of their conspiracy-prone colleagues on both sides.
  • But it was Roby’s announcement, not two days later, that she’s not running for reelection which makes her performance stand out in hindsight.
  • Congress and the GOP are losing a statesman in Roby, and she’s not the only one, Stokes writes.
  • Here’s an excerpt:
“On a day when plenty of Americans had good reason to be ashamed of their representatives, Alabamians could be proud of both Roby and Sewell.
“Perhaps Roby’s performance stands out in hindsight because it could be one of her last big moments on the national stage. Two days after the hearing, she announced that she would not seek reelection, choosing to step aside after five terms of service on behalf of the state’s second district.
“Elected during a populist Republican wave in 2010, Roby has served as a temperate, level-headed voice. Though a conservative in her ideology, she has been moderate in her tone. Given the upheaval of the last decade, that alone is commendable. Her virtues have extended beyond mere tone; her work on behalf of the veterans of our state and nation has been critical. She is well-liked and well-respected by colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and her presence will be missed…
“…If bright lights like Roby and Hurd find that serving as a member of the House is a fruitless endeavor, other young leaders are likely to arrive at the same conclusion.” 
  • Read Matthew Stokes’ full column HERE.


5. AP News Briefs.

Alabama daycares get licensed under new state requirement
  • More than 150 previously unlicensed daycares in Alabama have gotten licensed by the state in order to continue receiving childcare subsidies.
  • A 2018 state law required centers to get licensed by Aug. 1 to continue receiving the payments that help low and moderate-income families pay for childcare.
  • Alabama’s Department of Human Resources said there had been 206 unlicensed daycare centers receiving the state subsidies. Of the 206 centers, 170 obtained a state license as required by the new law.
  • Alabama exempts faith-based daycares from the requirement to get a state license. The facilities are not necessarily affiliated with a standing church, but can get the exemption by claiming a religious affiliation.
  • The number of exempt daycares once hovered at about 1,000 but has dropped to 587.
Opiods, meth, other drugs ravage northern Alabama County
  • Opiods, meth and other drugs are ravaging Walker County in northern Alabama, authorities say.
  • At least 254 people died from drug overdoses in Walker County between 2008 and 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • This equates to about 38 deaths per 100,000 residents each year — the highest rate of any Alabama county, for which CDC data is publicly available, reported.
  • For years, drugs have plagued the county, where the economy was hard-hit when coal-mining jobs disappeared.
  • In the small Walker County town of Sumiton, “I don’t know that you can find a family that’s not affected,” Sumiton Mayor Petey Ellis said.
  • “If it’s not your son or daughter, it’s your nephew or niece or your grandchild,” he said.
  • Read more HERE.




ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – State data shows more violent inmates receive parole
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – 29 killed in 2 US shootings, and it could have been worse
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Opiods, meth, other drugs ravage Walker County
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump claims he wants stronger gun measures, doesn’t say how
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Matthew Stokes: GOP will miss Martha Roby and Will Hurd
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Guy Martin: When the Cahaba runs upstream…
AL.COM  – Here’s how much each Alabama school spent on students
AL.COM  – Trump, Ivey order flags at half staff after mass shootings
AL.COM  – Back-to-school worship at Fyffe High School still on, despite ‘Freedom From Religion’ complaint
AL.COM  – Alabama forges on in Census battle after Trump retreats on citizenship question
AL.COM  – Business group paying for national teacher certifications
AL.COM  – Columnist Dana McCain: Sweeping my own porch
Montgomery Advertiser – 22-year-old man charged after fatal shooting on Rosa L. Parks Avenue
Montgomery Advertiser – At least 20 dead, 26 wounded, lone suspect in custody after rampage at El Paso Walmart
Montgomery Advertiser – Man arrested in Autauga County’s first homicide of 2019
YellowHammer News – Doug Jones blasts ‘the tone that has been set in this country’ after El Paso, Dayton shootings
YellowHammer News – Ivey orders flags lowered after El Paso, Dayton shootings — ‘Alabama stands with our friends in Texas and Ohio’
YellowHammer News – Camp Aliceville housed thousands of German POWs in Alabama during WWII
Dothan Eagle – Photos: Gunman carrying body armor, extra ammo kills nine, wounds dozens in Ohio shooting
Dothan Eagle – Photos: The scene from Dayton, Ohio, after gunman kills 9
Dothan Eagle – At least nine killed, 27 injured in Ohio in second US mass shooting within 24 hours
Tuscaloosa News – Daycares get licensed under new state requirement
Tuscaloosa News – Ivey calls meeting on Mobile area toll bridge
Tuscaloosa News – Mississippi getting multistate lottery games in 2020
Decatur Daily – Ordinance would allow Sunday morning alcohol sales
Decatur Daily – Limestone lawsuit: Juul caused teen’s nicotine addiction
Decatur Daily – Some changes in store for Limestone, Athens schools
Times Daily – Walk to End Alzheimer’s is Sept. 15 at McFarland Park
Times Daily – Tuberville: Teachers must strive to motivate students
Times Daily – Wildlife festival set for Friday, Saturday
Gadsden Times – One dead, one in custody after Rainbow City incident
Gadsden Times – Police: Ohio gunman who killed 9 was stopped in 30 seconds
Gadsden Times – 2 mass shootings in less than 24 hours shock US
Troy Messenger – IN MEMORY: Balloon release honors crash victims
Andalusia Star News – APD searching for suspect involved in shooting
Opelika-Auburn News – Photos: The scene from Dayton, Ohio, after gunman kills 9
Opelika-Auburn News – Photos: The scene from El Paso after gunman kills 20
Opelika-Auburn News – Auburn High teen killed after truck leaves road, strikes tree
Daily Mountain Eagle – Enduring vision for Walker County Schools
Daily Mountain Eagle – Cleanup day at Parrish Elementary School
Daily Mountain Eagle – Troopers investigating after WCSO vehicle hits 4-wheeler
Trussville Tribune – Alabama day cares get licensed under new state requirement
Trussville Tribune – Walker County deputy involved in crash with ATV driven by 14-year-old
Trussville Tribune – TRUSSVILLE POLICE: Would-be thieves tried to steal ATM from Shell on South Chalkville Road
Athens News Courier – Alabama implements new vaping regulations
Athens News Courier – Alabama daycares get licensed under new state requirement
Athens News Courier – Ivey calls September meeting on Mobile area toll bridge
Sand Mountain Reporter – NACC student named SkillsUSA national officer
Sand Mountain Reporter – Boaz now taking Harvest Festival vendor applications
Sand Mountain Reporter – Drum Creek Bridge to open next week | Motorists should expect potential delays, lane closures
WSFA Montgomery – Woman charged with leaving dog in hot car outside Huntsville restaurant
WSFA Montgomery – Witnesses describe Cloverdale shooting, MPD releases information
WSFA Montgomery – Woman dead, man charged after Autauga County domestic incident
Fox 6 Birmingham – Worker charged in fatal shooting at Tuscaloosa Co. automotive plant
Fox 6 Birmingham – Shooting victims include a mom who died protecting her baby
Fox 6 Birmingham – Suspect dead after officer-involved shooting in Cullman Co.
WAFF Huntsville – Blood donations needed to help our neighbors in Texas and Ohio
WAFF Huntsville – Inmate escapes custody in Jackson County
WAFF Huntsville – Huntsville Utilities warns of ‘alarming’ cash-only scam
WKRG Mobile – Police: Suspect, 9 others dead, 27 injured in Oregon District mass shooting
WKRG Mobile – Alabama Governor speaks in Baldwin County for first time since toll proposal
WKRG Mobile – Suspect in jail, two hurt in early morning shooting
WTVY Dothan – Officials say a man is facing charges after stabbing his wife to death
WTVY Dothan – Man faces attempted murder charges in Geneva County
WTVY Dothan – Dothan High holds yard sale for old Northview gear
WASHINGTON POST  – El Paso shooting suspect could face federal hate crime charges: 2 cities, 13 hours, 29 dead
WASHINGTON POST  – ‘How do you stop these people?’: Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric looms over El Paso massacre
NEW YORK TIMES  – Back-to-Back Outbreaks of Gun Violence in El Paso and Dayton Stun Country
NEW YORK TIMES  – El Paso Shooting Suspect’s Manifesto Echoes Trump’s Language


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