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Daily News Digest – December 12, 2019

Presented by

the Alabama Bicentennial Commission



Good morning!
Here’s your Daily News for Thursday, December 12.



1. Judiciary takes 1st steps toward impeachment vote

  • The House Judiciary Committee has taken the first steps toward voting on articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, beginning a marathon two-day session to consider the historic charges with a lively prime-time hearing at the Capitol.
  • Democrats and Republicans used the otherwise procedural meeting Wednesday evening to deliver sharp, poignant and, at times, personal arguments for and against impeachment. Both sides appealed to Americans’ sense of history — Democrats describing a strong sense of duty to stop what one called the president’s “constitutional crime spree” and Republicans decrying the “hot garbage’’ impeachment and what it means for the future of the country.
  • The committee is considering two articles of impeachment introduced by Democrats. They charge Trump with abuse of power for asking Ukraine to investigate the Bidens while withholding aid as leverage and with obstruction of Congress for stonewalling the House’s investigation.
  • On Thursday, the committee will likely vote to send the articles to the full House, which is expected to vote next week. That could come after hours of debate over Republican amendments, though the articles aren’t likely to be changed. Democrats are unlikely to accept any amendments proposed by Republicans unified against Trump’s impeachment.
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that he would be “totally surprised” if there were the necessary 67 votes in the chamber to convict Trump, and signaled options for a swift trial. He said no decision had been made about whether to call witnesses.
  • Read more and watch the House Judiciary proceedings live for yourself HERE.



2. Alabama infant mortality rate hits record low

  • Alabama’s infant mortality rate has reached a record low, but racial disparities have persisted, state health officials announced Wednesday.
  • The Alabama Department of Public Health announced the 2018 infant mortality rate was the lowest in Alabama history with 7.0 deaths per 1,000 live births. It is an improvement over the 2017 rate of 7.4 and the 2016 rate of 9.1.
  • “I am committed to improving the health of mothers and babies, and I am glad to see the infant mortality rates in 2017 and 2018 have improved from the rates earlier in this decade,” Gov. Kay Ivey said in a statement.
  • However, Alabama’s mortality rate remains higher than the provisional U.S. rate of 5.7.
  • “The continuing decline in Alabama’s infant mortality is a start to closing the historically large gap between the state and national rates,” Alabama Center for Health Statistics Director Nicole Rushing said.
  • A total of 405 infants born in 2018 in Alabama died before reaching their first birthday.
  • There also remains a racial disparity in infant mortality rates.
  • The infant mortality rate for black infants in Alabama was 11.0 in 2018, more than twice the infant mortality rate for white infants at 5.1.
  • Full story HERE.






A message from

the Alabama Bicentennial Commission

Come celebrate Alabama’s Bicentennial on Saturday, December 14 th  in Downtown Montgomery!
The day will include family activities with exhibitors from all around the state participating in the Bicentennial parade, park dedication and festival, all showcasing Alabama’s communities and honoring her people.
  • 10 a.m. Alabama Bicentennial Parade – Dexter Ave;
  • Noon: Alabama Bicentennial Park Dedication – State Capitol Steps;
  • 1 p.m. Alabama Bicentennial Festival – Capitol Complex & Downtown Montgomery;
  • 4 p.m.Alabama Bicentennial Concert and Finale Presentation – State Capitol Steps.
For more information, visit .

3. Taylor gathers ‘squad’ for Fox & Friends appearance

  • Jessica Taylor, the Prattville businesswoman running for Congress in Alabama’s 2nd District, gathered members of her new “conservative squad” for an appearance on the “Fox & Friends” morning show on Fox News Channel Thursday morning.
  • Upon launching her campaign in October, Taylor said she wanted to build a coalition of young conservatives to take on Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, who has famously touted her “squad” of liberal Democrats to push for progressive and socialist policies.
  • Taylor appeared in studio with fellow female Republican candidates recruited to be a part of her “squad,” including Michelle Fishbach of Minnesota, Nancy Mace of South Carolina and Beth Van Duyne of Texas. The candidates all told their individual stories and tried to dispel the notion that Democrats had a lock on the women’s vote.
  • After playing the previous interview when Taylor promises to form a “conservative squad” and introducing the new candidates, host Ainsley Earhardt congratulated Taylor on keeping her word.
  • “Congratulations, you actually did this,” Earhardt says.
  • “I’m just honored that they want to join in this fight – and that’s exactly what it is. We are losing the younger generation in this country, and I’m so grateful that they are willing to join up and help with this cause.”
  • Read more and watch the full segment HERE.



4. ACCS approves leader for Lurleen B. Wallace

  • Chris Cox was appointed as the interim president of Lurleen B. Wallace Community College during the Alabama Community College System’s board meeting on Wednesday.
  • Chancellor Jimmy H. Baker said that he believes Cox will be a great benefit to the college.
  • “Dr. Cox’s wealth of experience and innovative ideas have been an asset to the Alabama Community College System and will be of great value to Lurleen B. Wallace Community College,” Baker said.
  • Cox currently serves as the Executive Director of Workforce Solutions and Innovations for the ACCS and has more than 24 years of higher education administration experience.
  • Baker also said during Wednesday’s meeting that finding the next president for Lurleen B. Wallace College has been an ongoing process.
  • “We thought we had a solution but it ended up that we couldn’t agree on some contracts,” Baker said.
  • Inside Alabama Politics reported weeks ago that State Rep. Mike Jones, R-Andalusia, was a likely candidate for the job. However, IAP later reported that talks broke down over “multiple issues.”
  • Read more from ADN’s Caroline Beck HERE.



5. Nearly $226M to restore open Gulf after 2010 BP oil spill

  • Federal agencies have approved nearly $226 million for 18 projects to restore open ocean and marine habitats that were decimated in the Gulf of Mexico by the 2010 BP oil spill.
  • The projects range from $52.6 million to study deep-sea habitats to $290,000 to find ways to keep sea turtles from swallowing or getting snagged on hooks or tangled in lines set out for miles along reefs.
  • The open ocean recovery plan was drawn up by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) with help from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
  • The money is from BP’s $8.8 billion settlement for natural resources damage, said NOAA Deepwater Horizon program manager Rachel Sweeney.
  • The projects, expected to run two to 15 years, were chosen from about 1,600 submitted by the public, non-governmental organizations, as well as local, state and federal agencies.
  • Full story HERE.



News Briefs

Troy mother sues officers accused of severely beating son

  • TROY, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama woman who accused police officers of severely beating her disabled son then withholding video of the alleged attack is suing five officers for unlawful arrest and excessive use of force.
  • Angela Williams announced her federal lawsuit with attorney Julian McPhillips on Monday, news outlets reported. She says her son, Ulysses Wilkerson, was 17 at the time he had one hand cuffed as Troy officers kicked him in the face. Wilkerson was walking behind businesses in December 2017 when he saw law enforcement and ran, family members have said. Officers caught up to him and beat him, Williams alleges.
  • Wilkerson reached toward his waistband for what officers feared was a weapon, Pike County District Attorney Tom Anderson argued.
  • Wilkerson’s face was bruised and bloodied, with severe swelling to his eye socket and jaw, photos taken shortly after the attack show. He was charged with misdemeanor resisting arrest and obstruction.
  • Read more HERE.

Man killed after exchanging gunfire with Alabama deputies

  • MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama man was shot to death after exchanging gunfire with sheriff’s deputies near Mobile, authorities said.
  • Capt. Paul Burch, a spokesman for the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office, said someone called police Tuesday night because a neighbor was outside with a gun acting erratically after an argument.
  • Officers arrived and began talking to the man, who started shooting, Burch said. Deputies then opened fire, killing the man.
  • “There were at least two to three deputies who fired rounds,” Burch told news outlets on the scene.
  • Authorities said Terrance Edward White, 66, died in the exchange, but no police were hurt.
  • Relatives told investigators White was having “mental problems” recently, Burch said.

3 firefighters injured battling house fire in Birmingham

  • BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Three firefighters were injured in the partial collapse of a building that was on fire in Birmingham.
  • Crews were battling a house fire on Tuesday night when part of the roof gave way, sending pieces of the structure down upon firefighters who were outside the structure.
  • At least one firefighter was able to walk away from the rubble, news outlets reported, and all three were taken to UAB Hospital for treatment of what a fire official described as minor injuries.
  • The house that caught fire was being renovated and no one was inside at the time. The cause of the blaze wasn’t immediately known.

Icy roads cause wrecks, school delays in north Alabama

  • HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — Icy roads caused both wrecks and school delays in north Alabama before temperatures rose above freezing.
  • News outlets reported multiple crashes on elevated roads and overpasses near Huntsville, including Interstates 565 and 65. No serious injuries were reported, but traffic was slow in areas.
  • Meanwhile, at least two dozen school systems opened two hours late as a precaution to give time for icy patches to thaw. A few government offices and businesses also delayed opening.
  • Temperatures fell into the 20s overnight after a thin layer of snow covered parts of the Tennessee Valley on Tuesday. Daytime highs in the upper 40s should melt any remaining ice, forecasters said.

Kim Kardashian West sues Alabama doctor over ‘Vampire Facial’

  • BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Reality TV star and businesswoman Kim Kardashian West is suing an Alabama doctor over claims he wrongly used her image to promote a medical procedure called a “Vampire Facial.”
  • West filed suit Tuesday in Los Angeles against Dr. Charles Runels of coastal Fairhope, Alabama. The suit claims Runels misused West’s image in promotional materials after she posted a photo of herself on social media showing the results of a “Vampire Facial.”
  • West, a reality TV star and successful businesswoman who has a number of beauty and lifestyle enterprises and millions of followers on social media, asked a federal judge to bar Runels from using her name or photo and to make him and any other doctors who benefited pay her profits.
  • Read more from Jay Reeves HERE.




ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Judiciary panel takes its 1st steps toward impeachment vote
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama infant mortality rate hits record low
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Taylor gathers ‘conservative squad’ on Fox & Friends
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – ‘You get what you pay for’ Federal judge concerned about ADOC staffing numbers, lesser paid, trained positions
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Chris Cox appointed interim president of Lurleen B. Wallace Community College
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Troy mom sues officers accused of severely beating son
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Kim Kardashian West sues doctor over ‘Vampire Facial’
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Nearly $226M to restore open Gulf after 2010 BP oil spill
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Democrats, White House forge new North American trade deal
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Kamille McKinney had been given meth, sedative
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Prosecutors: Man threatened Trump, Putin, vowed to kill kids
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Barr: FBI’s Russia investigation based on ‘bogus narrative’
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – December 11, 2019
AL.COM  – University of Phoenix to cancel $141 million in student debt; settlement over deceptive ads
AL.COM  – ‘I want it to stop’: Mom of slain Birmingham teen mourns lives cut short
AL.COM  – Alabama hero of Pensacola shooting honored in Rhode Island
AL.COM  – Birmingham region saw $492 million in capital investment in 2019
AL.COM  – Number of gun dealers in Alabama continues to rise
AL.COM  – Slavery hard to teach in ‘Cotton State’ of Alabama, elementary educators say
AL.COM  – ‘We know the risk’: South Alabama bikers, cyclists fight for safety on roadways
Montgomery Advertiser – Autauga teens accused of shooting BB pistols at people, vehicles face felony charges
Montgomery Advertiser – Amendment requires toxic vapor barriers beneath all future downtown construction
Montgomery Advertiser – Ivey noncommittal on refugee resettlement
YellowHammer News – Mayor Randall Woodfin throws down the gauntlet at Birmingham Business Alliance meeting
YellowHammer News – Enterprise celebrates 100th anniversary of Boll Weevil Monument
YellowHammer News – State Sen. Elliott vows another attempt at bill labeling offenses involving those attempting harm on law enforcement as a ‘hate crime’
Dothan Eagle – 3 Ashford teachers suspended 10 days without pay in group message controversy
Dothan Eagle – Boll Weevil monument centennial celebration, rededication ceremony Wednesday
Dothan Eagle – Single-vehicle accident claims the life of a Slocomb man
Tuscaloosa News – Alabama woman charged in death of boy, 5, shot in crossfire
Tuscaloosa News – Woman hospitalized after police search near Riverwalk
Tuscaloosa News – 3 firefighters injured battling house fire in Birmingham
Decatur Daily – Court filing: Murder defendant threatened to kill victim’s family, self
Decatur Daily – First Response meets required response times in city, falls short in PJ
Decatur Daily – Emergency services agencies in Morgan receive $165K in grants
Times Daily – MPO sending proposals for railroad overpass feasibility study
Times Daily – School bus is part of hospital drill today
Times Daily – 52 Christmas for Kids children seek sponsors
Gadsden Times – Sardis bridge closed after inspection ruled it unsafe
Gadsden Times – New allegations in Boaz child porn case
Gadsden Times – Railway changes schedule for work in Attalla
Anniston Star – Snowman construction contest being held in Heflin
Anniston Star – Interim Heflin city clerk Kim Stone named permanent
Anniston Star – Oxford sells land near proposed entertainment complex for $250,000
Troy Messenger – Shelia Jackson holiday concert is Friday
Troy Messenger – Female Factor puts on ‘Christmas fashion show’
Troy Messenger – Woman arrested after Xanax pills found in food for inmate
Andalusia Star News – Dozier bank robbed
Andalusia Star News – Cox named interim president at LBWCC today
Andalusia Star News – City takes ownership of old Sitel building in Sanford
Opelika-Auburn News – Hudsons share holiday cheer with families in need
Opelika-Auburn News – Holiday Events: A guide to all that is happening throughout the area
Opelika-Auburn News – Holiday Victorian Front Porch Tours to begin Dec. 11
Trussville Tribune – From jet-setting to jail-sitting: A Trussville native’s travel nightmare
Trussville Tribune – Kim Kardashian West sues Alabama doctor over ‘Vampire Facial’
Trussville Tribune – Birmingham Police seek information in shooting death of 16-year-old
Athens News Courier – Athens City Council OKs raise for council, mayor
Athens News Courier – Sippin Cider returns to The Square Saturday
Athens News Courier – Tourism group seeks community suggestions
Sand Mountain Reporter – Search for missing Boaz child, father ends in Collinsville
Sand Mountain Reporter – Allen named publisher of The Covington News
Sand Mountain Reporter – EMA: Second severe weather season is here
WSFA Montgomery – Manhunt continues for second ‘armed, dangerous’ bank robbery suspect
WSFA Montgomery – Hepatitis A virus outbreak continues in Alabama
WSFA Montgomery – Meeting to talk Montgomery’s future to be held Thursday
Fox 6 Birmingham – Despite recent violence, Birmingham Police Chief says violent crime rate is dropping
Fox 6 Birmingham – Birmingham Police launching new app
Fox 6 Birmingham – The Kirklin Clinic of UAB collecting donated shoes for the Salvation Army
WAFF Huntsville – Boaz police searching for individuals responsible for graffiti vandalism
WAFF Huntsville – How violence against police officers can make recruiting difficult
WAFF Huntsville – Liz Hurley Ribbon Run raises a record $417K for breast cancer equipment
WKRG Mobile – Alabama mom sues officers accused of severely beating son
WKRG Mobile – Suspect in shootout with Escambia County, FL deputies charged with attempted murder
WKRG Mobile – Three Mobile County deputies on paid leave as sheriff’s office investigates officer-involved shooting
WTVY Dothan – Rededicating the boll weevil monument 100 years later
WTVY Dothan – HCBOE suspends teachers involved in Ashford text scandal
WTVY Dothan – Boll Weevil stamp attracts big crowd
WASHINGTON POST  – Senate Republicans look to hold short impeachment trial despite Trump’s desire for an aggressive defense
WASHINGTON POST  – Trump health promises thwarted by feuding aides, shifting orders
WASHINGTON POST  – After bipartisan pushback, Trump ditches effort to kill major federal agency
NEW YORK TIMES  – Withering Criticism of F.B.I. as Watchdog Presents Russia Inquiry Findings
NEW YORK TIMES  – More Americans Are Dying at Home Than in Hospitals
NEW YORK TIMES  – Bipartisan Bill Targets Online Spread of Child Sex Abuse Material
NEW YORK TIMES  – Natural Gas Boom Fizzles as a U.S. Glut Sinks Profits

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