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Daily News Digest – December 2, 2019

Presented by

The Boeing Company


Good morning!
Yes, I did survive the Iron Bowl , but just barely. Here’s to our collective return to sanity.
And here’s your Daily News for Monday, December 2.



1. Merrill exits Senate race

  • Secretary of State John Merrill announced Sunday night that he is no longer a candidate for U.S. Senate.
  • In a statement posted on his Facebook page, Merrill cited the entrance of former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions into the race and said the “dynamics of this race have changed dramatically.”
  • “With Senator Sessions’ late entry into this race, we have come to realize that a crowded Republican primary only benefits Doug Jones and the out of touch liberal Democrats,” Merrill said in the statement.
  • Merrill’s entrance into the race came with an impressive social media campaign, but he was never quite able to reach the top tier in fundraising and polling. That was especially true when Sessions announced and redefined that tier.
  • Some of the remaining candidates issued statements congratulating Merrill on a well-fought campaign.
  • The latest publicly-available polling showed Merrill in fifth place behind Sessions, former Auburn Coach Tommy Tuberville, Congressman Bradley Byrne, and former Chief Justice Roy Moore.
  • It will be interesting to see what the numbers look like with a reshuffled deck.
  • Read more HERE.


2. Effort to end ‘cash’ opioid treatment clinics draws concerns

  • In the last legislative session, lawmakers passed a bill from State Sen. Larry Stutts, R-Tuscumbia, seeking to regulate opioid treatment clinics.
  • The goal, as ADN wrote at the time, was to crack down on so-called “cash clinics,” and the legislation created a commission to write new guidelines for the industry.
  • But the person who drafted the bill and now leads the commission is in the industry himself: Dr. Brent Boyett, the founder of Pathway Healthcare.
  • That, plus the new draft regulations, have some clinic operators who accept cash for payment crying foul. They say many of those seeking treatment for opioid addiction don’t have insurance and that the state shouldn’t be telling any private business how it gets paid.
  • “If I don’t want to take insurance, that’s my business,” said Dr. Gregory Funk, who operates the Freedom Center clinics in Mobile and Montgomery. His son, Lincoln Funk, was more blunt.
  • “I think they just want to take more business from us and put us out of business,” he said.
  • The rules working group drafting these regulations is scheduled to meet Tuesday in Montgomery.
  • Full story from ADN’s Mary Sell HERE.




A message from

The Boeing Company

NASA photo

A Boeing-led team has completed installation of four Rocketdyne engines on the first Space Launch System, a major milestone for NASA’s Artemis I mission that will take humankind back to the Moon and, eventually, Mars.
Boeing is the primary contractor for designing, developing and producing the SLS, as well as development of the flight avionics suite, which is managed out of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
The core stage (pictured above) is the largest rocket stage ever built for NASA and it’s manufactured in the same factory where the Apollo-era Saturn V rocket stages were built.
Read more and see more photos  HERE.

3. Rosa Parks statue unveiled

  • A new statue of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks was dedicated in Alabama’s Capital City on Sunday, the 64th anniversary of her historic refusal to give up her seat on a public bus to a white man.
  • Gov. Kay Ivey and Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed pulled back a cloth to unveil the statue before a crowd of about 400 spectators.
  • Also attending were members of Parks’ family and Fred Gray, the attorney who represented Parks in the Browder v. Gayle case that ended bus segregation in Montgomery and helped spark the broader Civil Rights movement.
  • Read more HERE.
  • See more photos from the incomparable Mickey Welsh HERE.


4. RIP Pat Sullivan

  • Pat Sullivan, the 1971 Heisman Trophy winner at Auburn, who went on to coach at UAB, TCU and Samford, has died. He was 69.
  • Sullivan’s family released a statement saying he “died peacefully at home” Sunday morning, surrounded by relatives. The former quarterback was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2003 and the statement said he “fought a long and difficult battle as a result of his treatments.”
  • Sullivan was a College Football Hall of Famer who played four seasons with the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, wrapping up his playing career in 1976 with the Washington Redskins and San Francisco 49ers.
  • He was TCU’s head coach from 1992-97 and then worked as UAB’s offensive coordinator before taking over at Samford. Sullivan was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a player in 1991.
  • Auburn head football coach Gus Malzahn said, “We are deeply saddened by the passing of Pat Sullivan, one of Auburn’s all-time greats on and off the field.”
  • Read more HERE.



5. AP Top 25

  • The Alabama Crimson Tide has ended a remarkable streak of 68-straight weeks in the AP Top 5, dating back to November 2015.
  • This week Bama is ranked No. 9, which puts them in position to compete with No. 7 Florida for a Sugar Bowl berth.
  • For Auburn, which climbed back to No. 11 this week, the Iron Bowl win was the “perfect salve” for a frustrating season, as John Zenor writes. Now, the Tigers are poised for a possible Top 1o finish and 10-win season with perhaps the toughest schedule in college football.
  • See the full AP Top 25 along with Ralph Russo’s “reality check” HERE.
  • Read more about the Iron Bowl upshot HERE.



ALABAMA DAILY NEWS  – Effort to end cash prescriptions of opioid treatment drug concerns some providers
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS  –  John Merrill exits Senate race citing Sessions
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS   –  Statue of Civil Rights icon Rosa Parks unveiled in Capital City
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS   – Heisman winner, former coach Pat Sullivan dies at 69
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – AP Top 25 Reality Check: Examining Bama’s drop from Top 5
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Iron Bowl win a perfect salve for Auburn team, fans
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS  – Weekend Digest – December 1, 2019
AL.COM  – John Merrill drops out of U.S. senate race
AL.COM  – Montgomery unveils Rosa Parks statue
AL.COM  – Contributor Rachel Blackmon Bryars: No costumes? Principal was correct to stand firm against Native American mother’s complaint
AL.COM  – Alabama farmer looks to cash in on carbon storage
AL.COM  – Alabama’s slowing population growth relies on international migration
AL.COM  – Columnist John Hammontree: Alabama’s story is America’s story
AL.COM  – Columnist Kyle Whitmire: Time will tell: Gov. Kay Ivey’s calendars reveal less about her work, more about her administration
Montgomery Advertiser – Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill ends U.S. Senate campaign
Montgomery Advertiser – Rosa Parks statue unveiling packs Court Square in downtown Montgomery
Montgomery Advertiser – Motorcycle crash in Montgomery Sunday afternoon kills Prattville man
YellowHammer News – Merrill ends run for U.S. Senate — Says not to expect any endorsement in primary
YellowHammer News – Tide kicker apologizes for missing tying field goal in Iron Bowl — ‘A kick I should make in my sleep’
YellowHammer News – VIDEO: Democrats ready to send Trump’s impeachment to the Senate, ALFA/Mo Brooks, Birmingham loses confederate monuments case and more on Guerrilla Politics
Dothan Eagle – Suspect arrested in fatal shooting in Ashford
Dothan Eagle – Dothan’s Alexis Smith, a Harvard graduate, to encourage high schoolers at Hawk-Houston event
Dothan Eagle – Ham’s best friend: The beagle brigade is the last line of defense against African swine fever in U.S.
Tuscaloosa News – John Merrill ends U.S. Senate campaign
Tuscaloosa News – Decatur teammates helped player after father’s death
Tuscaloosa News – Alabama unveils statue of civil rights icon Rosa Parks
Decatur Daily – Alabama unveils statue of civil rights icon Rosa Parks
Decatur Daily – Bibbee proposal would feature shared positions with DU, chamber
Decatur Daily – More ‘forever chemicals’ found in Morgan landfills
Times Daily – Holly jolly rides offered on the Christmas trolley
Times Daily – North Alabama faces formidable challenges in job market
Times Daily – Alabama bicentennial celebration heads to finale
Gadsden Times – Florida woman remains missing from Glencoe 9 months later
Gadsden Times – Local woman recognized during Alpha-1 Awareness Month
Gadsden Times – GSCC honors Chancellor’s Award winners
Anniston Star – Fire damages abandoned trailer on Bynum-Leatherwood Road
Anniston Star – Iron Bowl watchers enjoy back and forth battle for bragging rights
Anniston Star – Family mourns death of infant; baby’s mother charged with capital murder
Troy Messenger – Christmas parades, Sounds of the Season events celebrate holiday this week
Troy Messenger – Adoptions encouraged in Pike County
Troy Messenger – ‘Kettle Pay’ to allow digital donation to Salvation Army
Andalusia Star News – Appellant court upholds local convictions
Andalusia Star News – County ranked 6th in state for savings
Opelika-Auburn News – Legend lost: Auburn’s first Heisman Trophy winner Pat Sullivan dies
Opelika-Auburn News – Ham’s best friend: The beagle brigade is the last line of defense against African swine fever in U.S.
Opelika-Auburn News – Faculty to weigh in on Gogue’s possible return
Daily Mountain Eagle – Huddle House to open next year in Jasper
Daily Mountain Eagle – Sumiton Christian students shop for Salvation Army Angel Tree
Daily Mountain Eagle – Former Jasper fire chief Marion Cooner dies at 88
Trussville Tribune – VIDEO: The most wonderful time for a Christmas tree lighting in Clay
Trussville Tribune – Moody Police hosting active shooter training and certification
Trussville Tribune – 5th grader wins Magnolia Elementary Spelling Bee
Athens News Courier – Alabama unveils statue of civil rights icon Rosa Parks
Athens News Courier – House panel to vote on Ukraine report as Trump mulls defense
Athens News Courier – KALB and Athens State University form Earth Day partnership
Sand Mountain Reporter – The US 431 Issue | Part 1: Tempering heat of nation’s most dangerous highway
Sand Mountain Reporter – The US 431 Issue | Part 2: History of US Highway 431 traces back to 1950s
Sand Mountain Reporter – The US 431 Issue | Part 3: How are US Highway 431’s problems being fixed?
WSFA Montgomery – Prattville man killed in motorcycle crash
WSFA Montgomery – Statue honors Rosa Parks, Civil Rights foot soldiers in downtown Montgomery
WSFA Montgomery – Community members say their goodbyes to Sheriff ‘Big John’ Williams
Fox 6 Birmingham – FIRST ALERT: You’ll need to bundle up tomorrow and turn the heat back on!
Fox 6 Birmingham – Alabama Rep. John Merrill suspending his campaign for US Senate
Fox 6 Birmingham – Statue honors Rosa Parks, Civil Rights foot soldiers in downtown Montgomery
WAFF Huntsville – Huntsville Police investigate possible shooting
WAFF Huntsville – John Merrill ends bid for U.S. Senate; says dynamics of election have changed
WAFF Huntsville – One person dead following an accident involving a pedestrian
WKRG Mobile – Mobile couple adopts baby just in time the for the holidays
WKRG Mobile – Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill suspends U.S. Senate campaign
WKRG Mobile – Funeral arrangements announced for fallen Sheriff ‘Big John’ Williams
WTVY Dothan – Lowndes County Sheriff “Big John” Williams to be laid to rest today
WTVY Dothan – Women went on shopping spree using credit card stolen from 75-year-old, police say
WTVY Dothan – Man faces murder charges for Ashford Homicide
WASHINGTON POST  – Trump’s counsel says president won’t participate in House Judiciary’s first impeachment panel, calling it unfair
WASHINGTON POST  – Affordable treatment for mental illness and substance abuse gets harder to find.
NEW YORK TIMES  – Trump’s Other Personal Lawyer: Close to the Right, but Far From Giuliani
NEW YORK TIMES  – Trump’s Trade Deal Steals a Page From Democrats’ Playbook

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