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Daily News Digest – August 9, 2018

Good morning! Here’s your Daily News for Thursday, August 9, 2018.

1. Brookwood on the brink.

What Happened

  • Brookwood Baptist Hospital is in crisis mode due to a potential lack of reimbursement funding from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS).
  • Because of lingering problems with patient care and neglect, CMS had given Brookwood until today (August 9) to demonstrate improved services before federal payments got shut down.
  • The hospital says they are continuing to see patients, but there’s no word from CMS on whether the government has agreed to continue reimbursements.

Why it Matters

  • Real talk: No hospital of this kind can survive without Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement dollars from the government.
  • Brookwood is a major medical center with 600 plus beds right on the edge of Homewood and Vestavia.
  • For Brookwood to lose its CMS status would be a huge blow economically for the area, and everyone working there. That’s to say nothing of the individuals who are in the hospital right now.

What’s Next

  • CMS has until today to determine whether it will “extend the immediate jeopardy and survey process” according to their statement to
  • If for some reason CMS determines that Brookwood has not made enough progress after patient neglect issues, they could stop reimbursements, triggering a big problem in Birmingham.
  • Other area hospitals would likely need to take in some of Brookwood’s current patients.
  • Stay tuned.

2. Let’s talk about Bentley. 

  • See what you did, Sean?
  • The Alabama political world is talking about Robert Bentley again, which is I think exactly what the former governor wants.
  • We are all pretty much on the same page as far as how weird that is.
  • The question is, why?
  • In the original Sean Ross YellowHammer piece we shared yesterday, Bentley speculated about returning to political life and perhaps running for the Senate in 2020. I’ll give you a minute to clean coffee off your keyboard.
  • Leada Gore pointed out that Bentley’s plea agreement stipulates that he “not seek or serve in any public office.” Sorry to disappoint you.
  • Jeff Poor compares Bentley’s rise to that of Donald Trump. It’s a nice piece, but I’d argue the role of AEA is a bit understated. Without AEA’s involvement in 2010, there simply never would have been a Gov. Bentley.
  • John Archibald writes about how the whole Bentley social media rehabilitation effort is sad and awkward, which of course it is.
  • But again, why? What’s the point?
  • I’ll posit this: Bentley, et al, is in the middle of the Spencer Collier civil court caseMaybe this image rehabilitation effort is aimed at restoring his good name amongst the jury pool?
  • Those who would know, please tell me if I’m off here.

3. Et tu, Omarosa?

  • Omarosa Manigault – the Trump loyalist who has been around since the first season of The Apprentice – is apparently loyal no more.
  • She reportedly recorded conversations with President Trump and is leveraging the recordings to sell a tell-all book.
  • A few months back, The New York Times reported that someone on staff had been secretly recording West Wing conversations with the president.
  • Now we know who that was, assuming it was just one person.
  • And, of course, President Trump’s personal attorney Michale Cohen also secretly recorded him.
  • The Daily Beast has the story.

4. Matthew Stokes: Back to school.  

  • Matthew Stokes is back this week with a column focused on education reform.
  • When’s the last time anyone talked about education reform??
  • Teacher tenure, charter schools, opportunity scholarships are some of the issue he gets into.
  • Here’s an excerpt:

On a fundamental level, I believe that schools should serve students and parents first. While we want to encourage and support a competent, professional class of educators, our policies should bring them along in the process of serving students.

Too often our rhetoric is focused on teachers – who deserve our support, make no mistake – when instead we should be asking “what is best for students?”  These two areas typically overlap, but when they don’t, our leaders need to have the courage to support the children in need.

  • Read Matthew’s full column HERE.

5. Tuskegee monument stands out. 

  • It has been one year since the uproar, violence, and political fallout from the race riot in Charlottesville, Virginia.
  • Remember that the whole thing started because locals wanted to remove/relocate a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
  • Lots of cities and states – including Alabama – have laws on the books preventing the removal of such historical monuments.
  • It’s also a crime to deface them, but that hasn’t stopped people in Tuskegee from repeatedly vandalizing a confederate monument there.
  • That’s right: there’s a confederate monument on the square in downtown Tuskegee.
  • Jay Reeves went to Macon County and took a look at the history surrounding the monument and the awkwardness it leads to today.
  • His story really is worth your time this morning.


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Matthew Stokes: Back to School.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama’s lagging infrastructure could hurt economic development efforts.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – History shared but unreconciled in Tuskegee’s Confederate statue.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Emergency declared ahead of Charlottesville anniversary.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Corruption case: Alabama lawmaker, 2 others plead not guilty.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama Grocers award $57,500 in scholarships for students.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Gates, star witness against Manafort, concludes testimony.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Judge who overturned other Obama program hears DACA case.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – New York congressman charged with insider trading.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – State Supreme Court stays officer’s murder trial.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Deatsville woman sentenced on child rape, drug charges.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – $250 million budget proposal includes gas tax hike, cut in trash pick up. 

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – MPS employee files grievance, claiming race discrimination and unfair pay.

OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – UPDATED WITH DETAILS: Authorities arrest suspect in 12-year-old cold case involving suspected murder of Auburn woman.

DOTHAN EAGLE – New start, new choices for students as classes begin in Dothan. 

YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Yellowhammer exclusive: Bentley gives scoop on social media activity, leaves door open for 2020 US Senate run.

DECATUR DAILY – Votes are not an entitlement; they must be earned.

TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Don’t stifle free speech to block 3D-gun plans.

WHNT – Alabama lawmaker to reprise bill that would push school start dates back.

LAGNIAPPE – Columnist Ken Robinson:  Increasing Alabama’s high-school-to-college pipeline.

WSFA – Survey: 25 percent of AL schools have no security personnel.

AL.COM – Doug Jones: ‘I’m working on the Brett Kavanaugh thing’.

AL.COM – Alabama Supreme Court puts hold on Montgomery police officer’s murder case.

AL.COM – Alabama has no plans, no funding for new interstate, transportation department says.

AL.COM – Brookwood will continue to provide Medicare/Medicaid services pending survey outcome.

AL.COM – 40 acres and a feud: an Alabama family’s 15-year fight over a sharecropper ancestor’s land.

AL.COM – Ex-gov Robert Bentley hints at possible political run.

AL.COM – Alabama needs help in special education, federal officials say.

AL.COM – Cahaba Beach Road project could impact Birmingham’s drinking water, critics say.

AL.COM – Columnist John Archibald:  Bentley ‘rehabilitation’ is helluva reminder.

AL.COM – 25 best private schools in Alabama and how much it costs to attend them.

AL.COM – Alabama lawmaker, lobbyist plead not guilty in alleged bribery case.

WASHINGTON POST – China retaliates with tariffs on $16 billion worth of U.S. imports after Trump’s latest trade hit.

NEW YORK TIMES – U.S. to Issue New Sanctions on Russia Over Skripals’ Poisoning.

NEW YORK TIMES – Republicans Gird for House Battle as Ohio and Kansas Races Remain Close.

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