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Daily News Digest – August 7, 2019




Good morning! It’s the first day of school in many parts, so best wishes if that applies to you or your family!
Here’s your Daily News for Wednesday, August 7.



1. Trump to visit El Paso & Dayton.

  • President Donald Trump is bringing a message aimed at national unity and healing to the sites of the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton.
  • White House officials said Trump’s visits Wednesday to Texas and Ohio, where 31 people were killed and dozens were wounded, would be similar to those he’s paid to grieving communities including Parkland, Florida, and Las Vegas, with the Republican president and the first lady saluting first responders and spending time with mourning families and survivors.
  • It is also a highly unusual predicament for an American president to at once try to console a community and a nation at the same time he is being criticized as contributing to a combustible climate that can spawn violence.
  • “What he wants to do is go to these communities and grieve with them, pray with them, offer condolences,” White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said Tuesday. He said Trump also wants “to have a conversation” about ways to head off future deadly episodes.
  • Meanwhile, support appears to be building in Congress for a “red flag” measure that would incentivize states to enact their own laws allowing police to take away guns from those believed to be a danger to themselves or others.
  • Sen. Lindsay Graham, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, said red flag laws will “provide the tools for law enforcement to do something about many of these situations before it’s too late.”
  • Many mass shootings “involved individuals who showed signs of violent behavior that are either ignored or not followed up on,” Graham said.
  • Read more about that proposal and how red flag laws work HERE.


2. Motion to quash.

  • Former state Rep. Ed Henry’s attorney won’t get to question the state’s former top prosecutor this week about what happened in a Lee County grand jury room in 2014.
  • The Alabama Attorney General’s office filed a motion to quash the deposition of Matt Hart, which Henry’s lawyer had requested for Friday.
  • U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen Doyle said the plaintiff has until Aug. 16 to show cause why the motion should not be granted.
  • The filings are the latest move in the September 2017 lawsuit Henry filed against Attorney General Steve Marshall alleging that the state’s grand jury secrecy laws are used to intimidate grand jury witnesses and violate the First Amendment.
  • Henry was a lawmaker in 2017 when he filed the lawsuit. Henry alleges that the state is preventing him from talking about not only what happened when he testified in 2014 before the grand jury investigating then-Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard, but what he knew prior to his testimony.
  • Read more from ADN’s Mary Sell HERE.





A message from
The Boeing Company


On Wednesday, Aug. 7, the Space & Missile Defense Symposium in Huntsville will present Warriors to the Workforce for veterans, military spouses and transitioning service members who want to work for or meet with veteran-friendly companies.
The symposium’s titanium sponsor Boeing employs 20,000 veterans who represent nearly 15% of the company’s global workforce. More than 30 companies are expected to participate in Warriors to the Workforce, which is open 9 a.m. ‒ 2 p.m. during the symposium.
Attendance is free for veterans, military service members and military spouses.
For more information, visit




3. Fun with real audio, Part 1.

  • Former Auburn University coach and current U.S. Senate Candidate Tommy Tuberville made waves this week for his comments criticizing President Donald Trump’s handling of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • As first reported by YellowHammer’s Jeff Poor, who was at the Shoals Republican Club meeting where it happened, Tuberville said he was “pissed off” at Trump because some veterans have trouble accessing health care. The story caused a back-and-forth between Tuberville and fellow Senate hopeful State Rep. Arnold Mooney, who said Tuberville was “dead wrong”and called on him to apologize to Trump. Tuberville responded by calling Mooney a “Never Trumper” and generally walking back his comments to say he believes the president “has done more for our veterans and military than any other president.”
  • It’s the kind of “who can out-Trump whom” spat that has come to define modern Republican primaries.
  • But what all did Tuberville really say? And how did he say it? Context can matter with things like this.
  • We’ve obtained audio of Tuberville’s full speech to the Shoals Republican Club and posted the full clip over at Inside Alabama Politics so you can listen for yourself.
  • Reminder: Inside Alabama Politics is our sister site where paid subscribers have access to the latest scoops and scuttlebutt.



4. Fun with real audio, Part 2.

  • Last week, a Democratic National Committee panel rejected the Alabama Democratic Party’s proposed bylaws changes.
  • It was the latest development in a year-long feud over state party leadership stemming from complaints over how last August’s party elections happened.
  • On Friday, Chairwoman Nancy Worley held a conference call to inform local party leaders about the decision and answer questions about its impact.
  • It was meant for just county chairs and vice chairs – no really, if you aren’t a chair or vice chair, hang up the phone – and Worley specifically did not want the media listening. But at least some members of the Alabama Democratic Party thought it was worth sharing, and so we got the tape.
  • The recording reveals two things: (1) the continued disfunction of the Alabama Democratic Party leadership, and (2) the fact that the Worley regime is not going quietly into the night in their fight with the DNC.
  • While Worley tried to keep the rhetoric on the rails, party leaders Randy Kelly and Joe Reed directly blamed Sen. Doug Jones for the party’s misfortunes and accused he and his supporters of “trying to diminish black representation.”
  • If you have a free hour and a half today, you can listen to the whole call. Or you can just skip to the good parts.
  • The full audio and selected quotes are available at Inside Alabama Politics HERE.


5. AP News Briefs.


State ‘regrettably’ expects injunction on its abortion ban
  • Alabama said in a court filing Monday that U.S. Supreme Court precedent “regrettably requires” a federal judge to block the state’s near-total ban on abortions from taking effect while a legal challenge plays out.
  • Attorney General Steve Marshall’s office gave that response after abortion clinics asked a judge for a preliminary injunction against the law, which would make performing an abortion a felony in almost all cases. One of the most stringent abortion laws in the nation, the ban is set to take effect in November unless blocked by the courts.
  • U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson had asked the state to respond to the abortion providers’ request for a preliminary injunction. An earlier court filing also indicated that the state and plaintiffs might agree to an order to keep the law on hold until May 24, 2020 — a year from when the lawsuit was filed — to allow time to resolve the lawsuit.
  • Full story from Kim Chandler HERE.
Police: Decatur woman fought off burglar with hot grease
  • Police say an Alabama woman used a pot of hot grease to fight off an armed burglar.
  • Decatur police told reporters on Tuesday that officers responding to the scene last week found Larondrick Macklin suffering burns to his face. Authorities determined Macklin had entered the woman’s house with a gun and the woman defended herself.
  • Macklin was taken to a hospital for treatment and arrested the next day on charges of first-degree domestic violence and burglary.
  • The cause of the domestic violence charge is unclear, as is the connection, if any, between Macklin and the woman.
  • Full story HERE.
Elected judge lawsuit arguments today
  • A federal judge will hear arguments Wednesday in a voting rights lawsuit challenging Alabama’s system of statewide elections for appellate courts, a practice that has resulted in all-white judges.
  • The 2016 lawsuit contends the method dilutes the voting power of African Americans and results in all-white appellate courts in a state where one in four people is black.
  • The lawsuit was filed by the Alabama State Conference of the NAACP and four black voters.
  • Alabama is asking a judge to uphold the statewide elections. State lawyers said if black candidates have been unsuccessful in recent years, it’s because they are running as Democrats in a red state.
  • Alabama’s appellate courts are currently all-white and all-Republican. There have been three African American judges on the state Supreme Court.



ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Bipartisan ‘red flag’ gun laws plan has support in Congress
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – AG files motion to stop Hart deposition
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama ‘regrettably’ expects injunction on its abortion ban
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Police: Decatur woman fought off burglar with hot grease
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Guy Martin: When the Cahaba runs upstream, PART 2
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama GOP senate candidates hesitant to support stronger background checks
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Records: AU trustees advised Leath on communication, morale
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – August 6, 2019
INSIDE ALABAMA POLITICS – Full Audio: Tuberville on Trump and veterans
INSIDE ALABAMA POLITICS – On conference call, Alabama Democrats face leadership fallout
AL.COM  – Alabama first-graders head toward new reading hurdle
AL.COM  – Happy Hemp Day? First legal cannabis crop growing well, farmers report
AL.COM  – TVA ups nuclear output, cuts carbon
AL.COM  – Mobile, Baldwin cities and counties vote on toll resolutions
AL.COM  – Columnist John Hammontree: A deadly history of racism and the role we all play
AL.COM  – New Alabama law requires photo ID with absentee ballot application
AL.COM  – Richard Shelby hasn’t raised any campaign money, says ‘we’ll see’ about 2022
AL.COM  – Columnist Kyle Whitmire: Seeking refuge from ‘the Alien’ invasion
Montgomery Advertiser – Victim’s priors and cop’s ‘bad acts’ not admissible in court, judge rules
Montgomery Advertiser – Woman charged with impersonating a peace officer after flashing Montgomery police badge
Montgomery Advertiser – Pike Road boards votes unanimously to allow Maxwell students to enter district
YellowHammer News – Huntsville-Madison County Airport Authority joins quest for clarification of state ethics law
YellowHammer News – Ivey reschedules Toll Road, Bridge and Tunnel Authority public meeting to October
YellowHammer News – Report: Elizabeth Warren fundraising for Doug Jones off of El Paso, Dayton shootings
Dothan Eagle – Police accuse Florida man of raping victim in Dothan motel room
Dothan Eagle – Enterprise restaurant robbed by gunpoint, police search for suspect
Dothan Eagle – Omussee Wastewater Treatment Plant refurbishment, a $39 million project, complete
Tuscaloosa News – Tuscaloosa approves five-story downtown project
Tuscaloosa News – Tuscaloosa civil rights leader Odessa Warrick dies at 93
Tuscaloosa News – Recaptured Alabama inmate found with loaded gun
Decatur Daily – Alabama senator predicts no new gun laws
Decatur Daily – Attorney General moves to block Hart deposition in Ed Henry lawsuit
Decatur Daily – Moulton council wants details on jail fee increase date
Times Daily – Virtual inservice was a timesaver for Lauderdale school system
Times Daily – Annual National Night Out event is today
Times Daily – Motorcycle ride is local woman’s way to help the homeless
Gadsden Times – Superintendents discuss changes to city, county schools
Gadsden Times – Council to consider expanding downtown entertainment district
Gadsden Times – Rainbow City woman charged with chemical endangerment
Anniston Star – Police: Man threatened to ‘shoot up’ Walmart in Oxford
Anniston Star – Dog attack turns council’s attention to animal control
Anniston Star – Attorneys: Contaminants in public housing could lead to lawsuits
Troy Messenger – Fayson named interim CHHS principal
Troy Messenger – Tupper celebrates bicentennial with August events
Troy Messenger – Pike Animal Shelter to host adoption event at PetSense
Andalusia Star News – Wismer joins APD
Andalusia Star News – Supers said, “First day was a success”
Andalusia Star News – Sound of Tradition to pay homage to county veterans in halftime show
Opelika-Auburn News – Parking deck, alcohol licenses top Auburn council’s meeting agenda
Opelika-Auburn News – Grandmom: ‘I have to… take action’; Toomer’s Corner site of Moms Demand Action event advocating gun safety
Opelika-Auburn News – Local officials, volunteers invite community to annual Night Out
Daily Mountain Eagle – Students prepare for school this week
Daily Mountain Eagle – Council recognizes JPD officer for outstanding actions
Daily Mountain Eagle – Commission looks at hiring officers to oversee litter crews
Trussville Tribune – Springville Council approves renovations to VFW post
Trussville Tribune – Sears at Riverchase Galleria closing this fall
Trussville Tribune – Birmingham man charged with kidnapping, attempted murder, after standoff
Athens News Courier – BREAKING: Capital murder suspect in custody in Limestone County Jail
Athens News Courier – Putting together the puzzle: School teams assess threats
Athens News Courier – Death penalty questionable as a deterrent to mass killing
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 – Student, school safety top priorities for Ala. state schools
WSFA Montgomery – Masked suspect robs Enterprise restaurant at gunpoint
WSFA Montgomery – Nurse charged with scamming Holocaust survivor out of life savings
Fox 6 Birmingham – Birmingham City Schools urging parents to register students before the first day of class
Fox 6 Birmingham – Parents speak out about safety at Riverchase Galleria
Fox 6 Birmingham – Birmingham police investigating woman’s death, meth lab found in home
WAFF Huntsville – Huntsville City Schools eliminating valedictorian, salutatorian honors
WAFF Huntsville – Ardmore capital murder suspect transferred to Limestone County
WAFF Huntsville – Student, school safety top priorities for Ala. state schools
WKRG Mobile – New tech programs highlight new Saraland school year
WKRG Mobile – Authorities investigate homicide in Prichard
WKRG Mobile – Mobile Police release first half of 2019 crime statistics
WTVY Dothan – City of Dothan generates $10 million surplus in retail sales tax revenue
WTVY Dothan – Neglected yards raise safety and health concerns in Dothan
WTVY Dothan – Daleville’s National Night Out against crime
WASHINGTON POST  – ‘We don’t want him here’: Trump to face protests and skepticism as he visits El Paso and Dayton after mass shootings
WASHINGTON POST  – GOP Rep. Michael R. Turner of Dayton backs assault-weapon ban, magazine limits
WASHINGTON POST  – Trump, RNC file legal challenges to Calif. law seeking release of the president’s tax returns
NEW YORK TIMES  – Contributor Tracy Smith: Toni Morrison’s Song of America
NEW YORK TIMES  – A Quarter of Humanity Faces Looming Water Crises
NEW YORK TIMES  – ‘Red Flag’ Gun Control Bills Pick Up Momentum With G.O.P. in Congress



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