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Daily News Digest – January 21, 2020

Presented by AlabamaWorks!

Good morning! Hope you bundled up because it’s cold out there today!
Here’s your Daily News for Tuesday, January 21.



1. Impeachment trial begins with rules fight

  • The U.S. Senate reconvenes today to begin the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.
  • But the first order of business is agreeing to the rules of the trial that will dictate how the whole thing proceeds.
  • Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is proposing a three-step process of (1) Opening statements, (2) Senator Q&A, (3) Decide next steps, similar to how to the Clinton impeachment was handled, but with some important differences.
  • That means the Senate could be in for some very long days of opening statements and questioning. After the four days of opening arguments, senators will be allowed up to 16 hours for questions to the prosecution and defense, followed by four hours of debate. Only then will there be votes on whether or not to call other witnesses. At the end of deliberations, the Senate would then vote on each impeachment article.
  • Also, the rules allow president’s team to make motions to dismiss, though it is unclear whether the GOP would have the votes needed to dismiss, especially early in the process.
  • While Senate Democrats are likely to fight the proposed rules, any delay of the process could hurt the chamber’s four senators running for president by keeping them in Washington with the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries in full swing.
  • McConnell is expected to offer his resolution at Noon Central Time.
  • Read more about the state of play and a copy of McConnell’s resolution itself HERE.


2. Column: Going Negative

  • There are six weeks until Alabama’s primary elections on March 3rd. If that sounds like a long time, think about it this way: that’s only one month and eleven days away.
  • In the life cycle of a campaign, this is about the time when the last in-depth internal polling numbers have come in showing where the candidates stand in the horse race and indicating what next steps need to be taken.
  • Most times that means testing messages, whether a positive narrative for your candidate or a negative attack on a rival. Of course, nobody likes “going negative,” so in the political business these are generally referred to as “drawing contrast.”
  • With the proverbial homestretch on the horizon, we are starting to see plenty of “contrast” being drawn. Two recent examples offer a little insight into the art and science of political campaigns.
  • Read more in my latest column HERE.





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3. Two bills seek to expand early voting

  • Two pre-filed bills sponsored by Rep. Thomas Jackson, D-Thomasville, would allow early voting up to 14 days before an election and would abolish the need to apply for absentee voting.
  • Jackson told Alabama Daily News that he hopes these bills will make voting easier for Alabamians.
  • House Bill 28 would allow voters to vote absentee without having to supply an excuse and House Bill 30 would require each county to provide at least one voting center to be open for in-person voting for 14 days preceding an Election Day.
  • Jackson sponsored both bills last year but both failed to get out of committee.
  • Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill says that expanding early voting is unnecessary given the state’s healthy voter participation rate and would add burdensome costs at the state and local level.
  • Read more from ADN’s Caroline Beck HERE.


4. Allen drafting bill to tighten penalties on stolen guns

  • In the wake of the unfortunate trend of gun violence, including against police officers, some state lawmakers have talked about tackling the issue on two fronts: improving mental health infrastructure and cracking down on gun trafficking.
  • State Sen. Gerald Allen, R-Tuscaloosa, now says he’s drafting a bill that would tighten penalties for stolen guns and take a local Tuscaloosa gun policy statewide.
  • “I think it is time for us to take another look at the current state code and see what we can do to add more strength, add some teeth to make it a harsher policy,” Allen told WBRC’s Kelvin Reynolds.
  • Read and watch the full story via Fox 6 HERE.


5. Another hard freeze expected

  • Remember when it was 70 degrees like a week ago? Now, Alabama is hitting perhaps the lowest temperatures of the winter season, with wind chills in the teens.
  • We’re expected to get another hard freeze tonight, so take all the precautions necessary and check on your neighbors, etc.
  • We should also be mindful of the state’s homeless population, which is more likely to be unprepared for extremely cold weather. Mercy House is one organization trying to help people through the cold snap in Montgomery, and there are other such groups throughout the state.
  • Read more and see the weather maps from James Spann HERE.






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ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump impeachment trial to begin with rules fight, long days
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Stacy Column: Going negative
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – James Spann: Another hard freeze for Alabama tonight
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Two bills seek to expand early voting in Alabama
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – ‘How Long? Not Long’ – Martin Luther King in Montgomery, Alabama, 1965
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Church of the Highlands buys property for college campus
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump thanks farmers for backing him through China trade war
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – As arguments near, Trump lawyers call impeachment case flimsy
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Weekend Digest – January 20, 2020
AL.COM  – What we saw at the annual Martin Luther King Jr. March in Birmingham
AL.COM  – A message of love and peace as Martin Luther King Jr. remembered in Mobile
AL.COM  – In Alabama, Martin Luther King Day also honors Confederate General Robert E. Lee
AL.COM  – Columnist Roy Johnson: Leave Edmund Pettus Bridge named as it is
AL.COM  – Birmingham company spotlights work in gene editing field
AL.COM  – Contributor Terri Sewell: Joe Biden is the best candidate to carry on Dr. King’s legacy
Montgomery Advertiser – Man hospitalized in fourth weekend shooting in Montgomery
Montgomery Advertiser – Inspiring by giving back: Former Chisholm student returns to help beautify elementary
Montgomery Advertiser – Beloved former Alabama QB Jalen Hurts to wear customized helmet during Senior Bowl week
YellowHammer News – Tommy Tuberville goes on offense — ‘Paul Ryan and Jeff Sessions turned on our president’
YellowHammer News – White House highlights Ivey, Marsh support of ‘phase one’ trade agreement with China
YellowHammer News – AL-1 congressional candidates voice concerns over refugee resettlement costs, burdens on health care and school systems
Dothan Eagle – Woman killed, Dothan woman injured in two-vehicle crash
Dothan Eagle – Climb raising funds for helicopter restoration project
Dothan Eagle – Answer Man: What lumber company used to operate next to the railroad tracks on Fortner Street?
Tuscaloosa News – New Gov. Tate Reeves pledges to work ‘for all Mississippi’
Tuscaloosa News – McConnell proposes swift impeachment trial with long days
Tuscaloosa News – Public forum to feature state legislators
Decatur Daily – Homeowners, TVA struggling with aquatic plant life in river
Decatur Daily – Decatur-area students receive scholarships at MLK event
Decatur Daily – Census Bureau assisting with job applicants in Lawrence
Times Daily – Row crop, livestock outlook for 2020 coming Jan. 30
Times Daily – Rogersville’s 101 Pizzeria named among best in state
Times Daily – 9 businesses opened in Florence last month
Gadsden Times – ECSO responds to Coates Bend shooting
Gadsden Times – ‘Love your enemies,’ is central message of MLK Jr. Prayer Breakfast
Gadsden Times – Chamber, SBDC to host free panel on starting a new business
Anniston Star – Three killed in fiery wreck in Randolph County
Anniston Star – Anniston honors MLK at 18th annual celebration
Anniston Star – Chamber breakfast Friday to focus on census
Troy Messenger – 2020 Census could impact development, representation
Troy Messenger – Lepp’s ‘lies’ to entertain at Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival
Troy Messenger – GIVING BACK: Mu Alpha seeks to serve on MLK Day
Andalusia Star News – Locals open nutrition business in Andalusia
Andalusia Star News – Dozier woman killed in 2-vehicle crash
Opelika-Auburn News – MLK celebrations run throughout the week
Opelika-Auburn News – Shop floor has changed, and help is wanted
Opelika-Auburn News – Dream Day MLK Observance set for downtown Opelika
Daily Mountain Eagle – WCF planning alumni and friends trip to Alaska
Daily Mountain Eagle – Sheriff’s department reports active year in Sipsey
Daily Mountain Eagle – Scale Back Alabama begins this week
Trussville Tribune – US VP Pence honors Martin Luther King Jr. at church service
Trussville Tribune – TCS Superintendent says plan for ‘education corridor’ could bring more opportunities to students and community
Trussville Tribune – Trussville City Council passes resolution declaring home a ‘public nuisance’
Sand Mountain Reporter – Clay Irrigation wins Guntersville Small Business of the Year
Sand Mountain Reporter – Crossville declares School Choice Week
Sand Mountain Reporter – Boaz donates $9,000 to Second Chance | Proceeds from Skinny Turkey Run more than doubled
WSFA Montgomery – Alabama State Senator wants tougher penalties in stolen gun cases
WSFA Montgomery – Man injured in west Montgomery shooting Sunday
WSFA Montgomery – Activist, Rev. Kenneth Glasgow arrested on assault, drug charges
Fox 6 Birmingham – Alabama State Senator wants tougher penalties in stolen gun cases
Fox 6 Birmingham – Bridge now open, how could your commute change
Fox 6 Birmingham – Doctors say we could see another peak in the flu
WAFF Huntsville – International nonprofit based in Huntsville honors MLK with service
WAFF Huntsville – Authorities searching for inmate who fled work release in Tuscumbia
WAFF Huntsville – Huntsville police officer requests pretrial hearing delay in murder case
WKRG Mobile – UPDATE: Two pets rescued in 2-alarm fire in Mobile, no injuries reported
WKRG Mobile – Child and animal abuse case prompts ‘She Stands; We Stand’ stickers
WKRG Mobile – New Fort Walton Beach arcade RadBar offers games, beers
WTVY Dothan – Ozark celebrates MLK Day with parade and speech from former Birmingham mayor
WTVY Dothan – Two active homicide investigations open in Bay County
WTVY Dothan – Cold weather on the way; warming stations open their doors
WASHINGTON POST  – Weapons, flags, no violence: Massive pro-gun rally in Virginia capital
WASHINGTON POST  – Power Up: Republicans rally behind Trump as Senate impeachment trial begins today
WASHINGTON POST  – The Big Number: U.S. birthrate drops to all-time low of 1.73
NEW YORK TIMES  – Conservative States Seek Billions to Brace for Disaster. (Just Don’t Call It Climate Change.)
NEW YORK TIMES  – Video Reveals Unused Earthquake Aid in Puerto Rico: ‘We Are Outraged’
NEW YORK TIMES  – Women’s Gains in the Work Force Conceal a Problem

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