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Daily News Digest – December 7, 2018

Presented by the Stop The HIT Coalition

Good morning and good Friday to you. It’s December 7, a date that still lives in infamy. I found the National Archives collection of stories and photos of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor very interesting. Also, National Geographic has an interactive map showing details of that day.
Here’s your Daily News.

1. Church abuse scandal comes to Alabama.

  • 29 priests, deacons and other men have been “credibly accused” of sexual misconduct in south Alabama dating back to 1950, the Roman Catholic Church said Thursday as it released their names.
  • Statements released along with a letter from Archbishop Thomas Rodi Jr. show that of 29 men suspected of wrongdoing, 17 are dead and 12 others are prohibited from ministry.
  • The names on the lists include those of priests, deacons and members of religious orders. Names of suspected abusers have been shared with state and local prosecutors.
  • No one credibly accused of misconduct is currently ministering in the region.
  • The Archdiocese of Mobile released the names in an effort to be transparent as the Roman Catholic church grapples with allegations of sexual abuse.
  • Read the full story with the names of those accused and the letter from Archbishop Rodi HERE.
  • Watch WKRG News 5 Mobile’s special coverage, including reaction from parents and an interview with the Archbishop HERE.

2. Red Snapper limits increased.

  • Good news for folks who like to fish for Red Snapper: the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has published a new rule increasing annual catch limits and annual catch targets for the Red Snapper fishery in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • The total catch limit for recreational Red Snapper fishing goes from 6.7 million pounds to 7.4 million pounds, a 10.45 percent increase.
  • That should mean a prosperous fishing season for Alabama anglers. It’s also a big part of the economy in Mobile and Baldwin Counties.
  • Congressman Bradley Byrne celebrated the new rule and said it shows that coastal states are doing a good job managing the growth of Red Snapper.
  • “This increase from NOAA shows exactly what those of us on the Gulf Coast have known for years: the health of the Red Snapper fishery is incredibly strong,” Byrne said.
  • Read the full story from ADN’s Caroline Beck, including the background on how Sen. Shelby wrote fishing flexibility into an appropriations bill.


A Message from the  Stop The HIT Coalition

  • The Stop The HIT Coalition thanks Senator Doug Jones for protecting Alabama small businesses, middle-class families and seniors from the 2020 Health Insurance Tax.
  • This costly, unfair and hidden tax increases the cost of health insurance in the small business market, needlessly stifles economic growth and should be repealed.
  • Senator Jones joined a bipartisan group in urging Senate leadership to prioritize urgent cost savings for hardworking Alabamians before the tax returns.
  • Thank Senator Jones for working for Alabama small businesses and families by supporting efforts to stop the 2020 Health Insurance Tax.

3. A few federal things.

Jobs report
  • U.S. employers added 155,000 jobs in November, a slowdown from recent months but enough to suggest that the economy is expanding at a solid pace despite sharp gyrations in the stock market.
  • The Labor Department says that the unemployment rate remained 3.7 percent, nearly a five-decade low, for the third straight month. Average hourly pay rose 3.1% from a year ago, matching the previous month’s figure, which was the best since 2009.
  • Read more HERE.
Trump to make appointments
  • President Donald Trump is expected to make two appointments replacing key administration officials soon.
  • First, the Washington Post reports that Trump will nominate William Barr as the next Attorney General, replacing Jeff Sessions.
  • Barr served as AG under President George H.W. Bush. He’s a well-respected lawyer, and could probably get confirmed pretty easily. That’s important, obv.
  • Second, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert is expected to be named the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, replacing Nikki Haley.
  • Nauert is a former Fox News host who became a State Department spokesman under former Secretary Rex Tillerson.
  • Nauert was later made acting undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs and was for a time the highest-ranking woman and fourth highest-ranking official in the building.
Mueller must show some cards
  • Special Counsel Robert Mueller is set to reveal more details about his Russia investigation today as he faces court deadlines in the cases of two men who worked closely with President Donald Trump.
  • The special counsel and federal prosecutors in New York will have to file separate memos in court detailing the cooperation of longtime Trump legal fixer Michael Cohen, who has admitted lying to Congress and orchestrating hush-money payments.
  • And Mueller’s team will also be disclosing what they say former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort lied about when his plea deal fell apart last month.
  • President Trump was up early tweeting his displeasure with Mueller, saying he is “best friends” with “Leakin’ Lyin’ James Comey” and how that is a conflict of interest.
  • It’s going to be a day.
  • Read more HERE.

4. Before I forget again…

  • In my haste getting the news out the door yesterday, I forgot to mention one interesting thing about former Attorney General Jeff Sessions…
  • He’s scheduled to speak at the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Meeting on Tuesday.
  • A few years ago, Sessions speaking to the Montgomery Chamber was a normal occurrence. They generally host each senator once a year.
  • But this is not a few years ago. This is 2018, a month to the day that Sessions stepped down as attorney general “per request” of President Trump.
  • Unless I’m mistaken, it will be his first speaking engagement since then.
  • Of course, most will be listening for any hints toward his 2020 plans.
  • But, it could also serve as a “welcome home” of sorts for an Alabama statesman who has been through a lot.
  • Sure hope it’s open to the press… ????

5. Firm reboots, adds Philip Bryan.

  • ADN reported back in September that Sen. Del Marsh’s longtime Chief of Staff Philip Bryan was leaving the Senate for the private sector.
  • Specifically, he was set to join Dax Swatek’s lobbying firm, a big get for Dax and partner Sommer Vaughn.
  • Now the firm is rebooting with its new partner, a new name on the door, and a fancy new website.
  • Dax, Philip and Sommer sat down with me to talk about their firm’s reboot as “SV&B” earlier this week.
  • Leaving a career of government service for the private sector might seem like an easy call, but it really isn’t.
  • Congrats to all.

News Briefs.

  • Attorneys for inmates are asking a federal judge to find the Alabama prison system in contempt of a court order to boost prison mental health staffing.
  • Lawyers wrote in a Thursday motion that the Department of Corrections is “woefully short” of required staffing levels.
  • Attorneys for inmates wrote that a court order requires 263 full time equivalent mental-health positions.
  • The state last month informed the court that it could not comply with the order. The state asked the judge to revamp the order to reflect its contract with a care provider and take into account things like service provided with overtime hours and not just “positions filled.”
  • U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson last year ruled that psychiatric care was so “horrendously inadequate” that it created unconstitutional conditions in state prisons.
  • Honda began production of its Passport line at the Lincoln, Alabama assembly plant.
  • The move to producing SUVs raises the Talladega County facility’s profile within the company.
  • They already make the Ridgeline, Pilot and Odyssey vehicles.
  • More than 1,500 employees turned out for a celebration, as Bill Thornton reports.
Interstate shut down
  • Bummer: Interstate 20/59 through downtown Birmingham will shut down for a little over a year beginning in January.
  • Of course, this is due to construction work that will greatly improve famed “malfunction junction.”
  • Still, it’s a headache.
  • Dennis Pillion has more about the project and detour plans HERE.


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Jobs report: 155K jobs, jobless rate stayed 3.7%
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Church names 29 men accused of misconduct in south Alabama
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Lawyers: Prison system in contempt of staffing order
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Court deadlines set stage for more Russia probe details
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – State spokeswoman Trump’s expected choice for UN ambassador
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Red Snapper Fishing Capacities Increased for the Gulf of Mexico
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Report: Alabama’s prisons are nation’s ‘deadliest’
AL.COM – Hoover mall shooting: Protests continue to Ross Bridge, Hoover YMCA
AL.COM – CNN evacuates New York offices because of bomb threat
AL.COM – 1 killed in Bessemer shooting
AL.COM – Passport, SUV market ups profile of Honda’s Alabama plant
AL.COM – Supreme Court unlikely to overturn ‘double jeopardy’ rule in Alabama gun case
AL.COM – Alabama prisons in contempt of staffing order, lawyers argue
AL.COM – What’s next for Virginia College students?
AL.COM – I-59/20 in downtown Birmingham will close for 14 months starting in January: Here are the detours
AL.COM – Kay Ivey inauguration theme announced; how to apply to be in inaugural parade
AL.COM – Alabama’s $600,000 Confederate park carries controversial cost and message.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Five Catholic clergymen associated with Montgomery accused of sexual misconduct
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Millbrook man sentenced to 50 years on child porn charges in viral video case
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Deshaun Davis: Auburn’s hands are ‘extremely full’ trying to defend Alabama
DOTHAN EAGLE – Editorial: A bittersweet windfall
DOTHAN EAGLE – Fire in Cottonwood High science building, cleanup under way
DOTHAN EAGLE – Lodging tax collections increase 25 percent, sales taxes up 15 percent following Hurricane Michael
DOTHAN EAGLE – City of Dothan allocating more money into projects that eliminate ‘red water’ from utility system
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Father of E.J. Bradford: Police officer who killed my son is a ‘coward’
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Hoover mayor: We weren’t caught off guard by protesters blocking I-459
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Hoover protest leader calls ‘black folk’ who do not agree with him ‘house negros’
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa ‘on schedule’ after surgery
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy wins Biletnikoff Award
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Alabama’s Quinnen Williams brings home Outland Trophy award
DECATUR DAILY – Christmas magic: Surprise $5,000 gift came from ‘angels,’ crime victim says
DECATUR DAILY – Athens veterans museum raising money for education center, renovation
DECATUR DAILY – Code’s secrets: Cedar Ridge students learn computing basics
TIMES DAILY – ‘Scrooge in Rouge,’ a musical comedy
TIMES DAILY – Melton intends to take early retirement package
TIMES DAILY – 2 arrested for operating illegal day care
ANDALUSIA STAR NEWS – Architect: Plan can change
ANDALUSIA STAR NEWS – Restaurant moves around corner
ANDALUSIA STAR NEWS – Signs of progress
TROY MESSENGER – Back on track: Trojans snap two-game losing streak with dominating win over Dothan
TROY MESSENGER – Charles Henderson remains undefeated after knocking off Dothan
TROY MESSENGER – Former representative Alan Boothe enjoying retirement
ANNISTON STAR – Report: Some of Army’s bomb stockpile may need ‘indefinite’ storage
THE ANNISTON STAR – Oxford woman shot to death in Saks on Thursday
THE ANNISTON STAR – Calhoun commissioner asks New Orleans for Confederate statue
THE ANNISTON STAR – Christmas decorations vandalized Tuesday in Jacksonville
ANNISTON STAR – Editorial: Gov. Ivey and Alabama’s prosperity
GADSDEN TIMES – Remembering the ‘date which will live in infamy
GADSDEN TIMES – Rock & Roll Christmas returns for 12th season
GADSDEN TIMES – EXTENSION CORNER: Tips on nurturing house plants during cold weather
GADSDEN TIMES – GLENDA BYARS: Knowing the meaning of Christmas
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Driver killed Thursday morning in two-vehicle crash south of LaFayette
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Opelika police searching for suspect in hospital purse theft
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Central-Phenix City slams Thompson, takes home Class 7A state championship
CULLMAN TIMES – Turn restrictions in place near schools
CULLMAN TIMES – Lawyers: Alabama prison system in contempt of staffing order
CULLMAN TIMES – Stocks plunge again as Huawei arrest renews China tensions
SHELBY COUNTY REPORTER – South Shelby Chamber presents Diamond Awards
SHELBY COUNTY REPORTER – Carly’s Clubhouse donates $10k to Pelham for inclusive playground
SHELBY COUNTY REPORTER – Nominations being taken for best decorated Christmas home in Helena
THE MADISON RECORD – Church’s 14th annual Christmas festival slated for Dec. 8-9
THE MADISON RECORD – Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle talks city growth, development at packed State of the City address
THE MADISON RECORD – James Clemens’ Zhange places first nationally in math
DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – Bevill State, Mercedes announce partnership
DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – Pineywoods couple copes after fire destroys home
DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – Sumiton explores potential industrial park
NEW YORK TIMES – Arrest of Huawei Executive Intensifies Trade War Fears
NEW YORK TIMES – U.S.-China Friction Threatens to Undercut the Fight Against Climate Change
NEW YORK TIMES – Trump Plans Major Rollback of Sage Grouse Protections to Spur Oil Exploration
WASHINGTON POST – Trump to nominate State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert as the next U.N. ambassador
WASHINGTON POST – In ancient Yemeni city, violence turns inward
WASHINGTON POST – Republican officials had early warnings of voting irregularities in North Carolina
USA TODAY – Robert Mueller: Here’s what to expect in Friday’s court filings on Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen
USA TODAY – Donald Trump to name Heather Nauert as next UN ambassador
USA TODAY – ‘Unbelievably awesome!’: How did Alaska repair earthquake-damaged roads in just days?
POLITICO – State GOP chairman warns California is ‘canary in the coal mine’ for national party
POLITICO – NYPD issues all clear after bomb threat interrupts CNN live programming, forcing evacuation
POLITICO – Judge orders more fact-finding in Clinton email case

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