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Daily News Digest – August 6, 2019

Good morning!
Here’s your Daily News for Tuesday, August 6.

1. What say the candidates?

  • Republicans running to represent Alabama in the U.S. Senate said they would be hesitant to support any new legislation regulating firearms, even after President Donald Trump called for legislation providing “strong background checks” for gun users.
  • The candidates instead said that the two mass shootings over the weekend showed a crisis of morality in America and that citizens’ Second Amendment rights need to be protected.
  • While Trump offered few details on Monday morning about what kind of legislation he would like to see, he did condemn the shootings in Texas and Ohio that left at least 31 dead as crimes “against all humanity.”
  • “In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy,” Trump said, adding that he had directed the FBI to examine steps to identify and address domestic terrorism. “These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America,” he said.
  • Alabama’s Republican candidates running for Senate in 2020 said existing federal and state laws on regulating firearms need to be implemented better.
  • Read their reactions in Caroline Beck’s full story HERE.


2. Tuberville tiff.

  • Speaking of Senate candidates, two of them are sparring over the performance of the Department of Veterans Affairs under President Donald Trump.
  • During a speech to the Shoals Republican Club, Tommy Tuberville got real and criticized the president for not keeping his promise to “fix” the VA.
  • “I’m pissed off at Donald Trump that our veterans can’t get health care,” Tuberville said to the crowd. “And if I ever get to see him, I’m going to tell him that. ‘You said you was going to fix it, and it’s not fixed.'”
  • Jeff Poor was there and interviewed Tuberville to clarify the remarks after the speech. And that story prompted fellow Senate candidate State Rep. Arnold Mooney to accuse Tuberville of disloyalty to Trump.
  • “Nobody loves our veterans more or has done more for them in a short time than President Trump. Blaming President Trump for veterans’ suicides is wrong. Coach Tuberville owes our President an apology,” Mooney said in a press release and on Twitter.
  • Tuberville then walked back his remarks and said Trump had “done more for our Veterans and our military than any President we’ve ever had and he was dealt a big mess by Congress and Obama.”
  • The tiff has gotten some national attention, and it’s likely not finished yet.
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3. Guy Martin: When the Cahaba runs upstream, Part 2.

  • Guest columnist Guy Martin is back with Part 2 of his series on the history of the Cahaba River and the decisions local leaders now face about its future.
  • Instead of spending billions more on plans that might have a negligible benefit, Jefferson County should look toward more innovative solutions like removing dams and stopping water diversion, he argues.
  • Here’s an excerpt:
“During dry spells, below the old Highway 280 dam on the Cahaba, water often flows upstream–to Birmingham Water Works’ intake pumps removing 60 million gallons per day, and reducing our river to a trickle. During droughts, US Fish and Wildlife reported in 2013, ‘nearly all of the flow of the Cahaba River is removed at the Birmingham Water Works intake point.’
“Dams slow water down, which traps sediment and increases algae. There are at least four dams or fords between the Old 280 dam and Caldwell Mill Road.
“Much of the water pumped by Birmingham Water Works to the Shades Mountain Water Treatment plant is distributed over the mountain into the valley areas of cities from Birmingham to Bessemer–which drain into the Black Warrior basin and not back into the poor Cahaba.
“Bottom line: the EPA is ordering millions to be spent to decrease phosphorus in the river, amidst considerable uncertainty, when two far more obvious solutions exist: help Birmingham Water Works stop sucking the river dry, and eliminate the dams. These solutions radiate opportunities.”
  • Read Guy Martin’s full column HERE.

4. Carla Crowder: Be careful on prison plans.

  • Carla Crowder of the Appleseed Center of Law and Justice sees problems with how the state is addressing its prison crisis.
  • Building more facilities and incarcerating more non-violent criminals isn’t the answer, she argues. Rather, the state should pursue more rehabilitative options as states like Texas and North Carolina have.
  • Here’s an excerpt from her guest op-ed in Alabama Daily News today:
“All along, Alabama incarceration rates have remained the fifth-highest in the country, prison spending the lowest, yet our violent crime rates are higher than most every other southeastern state. Our tough-on-crime ideology is not making us safer. And spending too little is costing us too much: in death, in degradation, and in suffering.
“Any other public policy that produced such dismal outcomes would surely be scrapped. 
“Instead, the state is talking about doubling down. Its main plan to address this crisis involves continuing to incarcerate vast numbers of people on the cheap…
“…Alabama has not yet locked down the details of building itself out of this crisis. If we can find the political will, there is a better way. ” 
  • Read her full column HERE.

5. AP News Briefs.

Records: AU trustees advised Leath on communication, morale
  • Auburn University trustees advised then-President Steven Leath to focus on communication, collaboration and morale several months before his sudden departure from the university, according to university records.
  • A performance assessment obtained by The Associated Press through an open records request sheds light on trustees’ potential concerns in September 2018 after Leath had been on the job for a year. The 2018 review was positive. Trustees thanked him for his efforts to improve Auburn, and made no direct criticisms. But trustees repeatedly suggested Leath focus on communication with the board and others on campus, including listening to the “Auburn family.”
  • Leath left the university in June under a separation agreement with the university that paid him $4.5 million.
  • “As you continue to remove bureaucratic barriers, we further suggest that you approach the inevitable changes with clear communication and attention to morale. Retirements, new hires and organizational alterations are capable of causing unrest among faculty and staff,” the 2018 assessment submitted by five trustees of the board read.
  • Read the full story from Kim Chandler HERE.
1 dead after police shooting in Hanceville
  • Authorities say police in Alabama shot and killed a man who opened fire on officers at a home.
  • A statement from the Hanceville Police Department says officers were called to a residence on Sunday to check on a man whose relatives were concerned about him.
  • The statement says someone from the home opened fire, hitting a patrol car several times.
  • Police returned fire, shooting the person multiple times, killing him. Authorities haven’t released the name of the dead person or any of the officers who were involved.
  • State police are investigating.
Walker County boy seriously hurt in ATV crash with deputy’s car
  • An Alabama sheriff says a 14-year-old boy was seriously injured when the all-terrain vehicle he was riding crashed with a deputy’s car.
  • Walker County Sheriff Nick Smith posted a statement to Facebook on Sunday saying one of his deputies was involved in an accident with a teenager on a four-wheeler.
  • WBMA reports the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is investigating.
  • In his post, Smith said the boy was “clinging to life.” News outlets report he remains in critical condition.
  • Smith also called for community members not to place blame on anyone involved, or the parents of the teenager.


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – GOP senate candidates hesitant to support stronger background checks
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – State data shows more violent inmates receive parole
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Records: AU trustees advised Leath on communication, morale
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Guy Martin: When the Cahaba runs upstream, PART 1
When the Cahaba runs upstream, PART 2
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Carla Crowder: Incarcerating people as cheaply as possible created Alabama’s unconstitutional prisons. Let’s not make the same mistake again.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Matthew Stokes: GOP will miss Martha Roby and Will Hurd
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – 30 killed in 2 US shootings, and it could have been worse
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Opiods, meth, other drugs ravage Walker County
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – August 5, 2019
AL.COM  – Alabama AG says preliminary injunction likely in abortion ban proceedings
AL.COM  – ‘Big 5 plus 5’ mayors meet in Birmingham, discuss 2020 census
AL.COM  – Ivey unaware of conflicts between Toll Authority meeting and tax referendums
AL.COM  – Former state Rep. Barry Moore of Enterprise running for Congress
AL.COM  – Alabama police department under fire for Trump, mass shootings Facebook post
AL.COM  – SUV sales boost Hyundai in July
AL.COM  – Alabama A&M’s Hugine honored by black colleges, universities
AL.COM  – Airbus: Work has begun on first Alabama-built A220 jet
AL.COM  – Commerce Department names rural development director
AL.COM  – Alabama’s nutrition program for women, children, changing today
AL.COM  – Rev. William Barber on building a moral coalition in the South, comparisons to MLK
AL.COM  – Alabama voters want longer summers, survey says
AL.COM  – Contributor John Meredith: Trump makes diversifying GOP nearly impossible
Montgomery Advertiser – Prattville teen accused of shooting a man in the stomach after arguing over a beer
Montgomery Advertiser – ‘Covered in blood,’ man told police he stomped woman with his bare feet
Montgomery Advertiser – Pike Road board to hold vote to expand district access to Maxwell base children
YellowHammer News – Tuberville: ‘Trump has done more for our veterans and our military than any president’
YellowHammer News – AT&T Alabama launches #BelieveBirmingham initiative to ‘help the next generation reach their academic and life dreams’
YellowHammer News – Mo Brooks ranked number one for border security record
Dothan Eagle – Beto O’Rourke: Trump ‘is inciting racism and violence in this country’
Dothan Eagle – The lives lost in Dayton. These are their stories.
Dothan Eagle – 2 El Paso victims die at hospital today, raising death toll to 22
Tuscaloosa News – Authorities: Police kill Alabama man who fired on officers
Tuscaloosa News – Northport City Council approves 1% sales tax hike
Tuscaloosa News – Records: Auburn trustees advised Leath on communication, morale
Decatur Daily – Churches need to show love and teach value of all lives, local clergy say
Decatur Daily – 2 infants receive multiple ant bites; mom charged
Decatur Daily – Mass shootings and Ala. 67 fatalities: Finding solutions
Times Daily – Virtual inservice was a timesaver for Lauderdale school system
Times Daily – Motorcycle ride is local woman’s way to help the homeless
Times Daily – Annual National Night Out event is today
Gadsden Times – Gadsden area holds prayer vigil in wake of Dayton and El Paso shootings
Gadsden Times – RBC police: Man shot stepson during domestic dispute
Gadsden Times – Local church sets prayer hour today in wake of violence
Anniston Star – Attorneys: Contaminants in public housing could lead to lawsuits
Anniston Star – Calhoun County students return to school
Anniston Star – Anniston police: Man choked girlfriend
Andalusia Star News – Sound of Tradition to pay homage to county veterans in halftime show
Andalusia Star News – APD searching for suspect involved in shooting
Andalusia Star News – Supers said, “First day was a success”
Opelika-Auburn News – Opelika embraces long-term ADA plan
Opelika-Auburn News – EAMC celebrates life of nurse with flag-raising ceremony
Opelika-Auburn News – Students celebrate summer graduation
Daily Mountain Eagle – Davis is running for ACCA position
Daily Mountain Eagle – Vigil held for youth struck on ATV
Daily Mountain Eagle – Yellowhammer holding coal panel event in Jasper
Trussville Tribune – Car crashes on Old Springville Road in front of Cosby Lake
Trussville Tribune – Victims of Texas, Ohio shootings included parents, students
Trussville Tribune – Families concerned after car break-ins in east Jefferson County
Athens News Courier – Cross-country cyclist takes mission against gun violence
Athens News Courier – Alabama daycares get licensed under new state requirement
Athens News Courier – UPDATE: Officials ID victim in Limestone wreck
Sand Mountain Reporter – NACC competes in SkillsUSA National Championships
Sand Mountain Reporter – Drum Creek Bridge on Alabama Highway 205 reopens
Sand Mountain Reporter – Shades of Pemberley, Jules J. Berta Vineyards named Albertville Chamber’s Businesses of Month
WSFA Montgomery – ’Armed and Dangerous’ capital murder suspect sought
WSFA Montgomery – Opp using $7 million loan to make repairs
WSFA Montgomery – EAMC nurse honored for gift of organ donation
Fox 6 Birmingham – Officer shot in leg while responding to domestic call; 2 detained
Fox 6 Birmingham – New law in Hoover will change how restaurants serve alcohol
Fox 6 Birmingham – BJCC responds to concerns about parking near new stadium downtown
WAFF Huntsville – Melt restaurant co-founder tried to bribe her way out of DUI arrest, police say
WAFF Huntsville – Scottsboro school superintendent pushing for more SROs on campuses
WAFF Huntsville – Christian leaders across the spectrum to hold panel on white nationalism
WKRG Mobile – ECSO searches for suspect(s) who shot and killed a man and his son
WKRG Mobile – UPDATE: I-10 re-opens following multi-vehicle accident
WKRG Mobile – Overlay district on main street in Fairhope discussed
WTVY Dothan – Dothan Area Botanical Gardens Hosting Scarecrow Workshop
WTVY Dothan – Coffee County businessman announces his campaign for congress
WTVY Dothan – Marianna man in custody after authorities find his wife stabbed to death
WASHINGTON POST  – Rise of far-right violence leads some to call for realignment of post-9/11 national security priorities
WASHINGTON POST  – Teleprompter Trump meets Twitter Trump as the president responds to mass slayings
WASHINGTON POST  – Columnist George Will: Trump doesn’t just pollute the social environment with hate. He is the environment.
WASHINGTON POST  – Treasury Dept. designates China a ‘currency manipulator,’ a major escalation of the trade war.
NEW YORK TIMES  – Trump Condemns White Supremacy but Stops Short of Major Gun Controls
NEW YORK TIMES  – States Clash With Cities Over Potential Opioids Settlement Payouts

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