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Daily News Digest – January 28, 2019

Good morning! It’s still January somehow.
Here’s your Daily News for Monday, January 28, 2019.

1. Snow is a-comin’.

  • It looks like we’re going to get some snow tomorrow.
  • The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for a dozen counties in North Alabama from midnight Monday to noon Tuesday.
  • Those are: Blount, Cherokee, Etowah, Fayette, Jefferson, Lamar, Marion, Pickens, St. Clair, Tuscaloosa, Walker and Winston.
  • The latest forecast predicts 2-3 inches north of Birmingham and 1-2 inches from Birmingham to Montgomery.
  • James Spann says there’s a BOOM chance of 5 inches north of I-59. That would be a significant snow event.
  • Gov. Kay Ivey is calling for everyone to stay informed and heed the latest weather warnings.
  • In other words, chill out and don’t try to drive on icy roads and we’ll all be fine.
  • A good way to stay informed is by following Spann’s Alabama Weather Blog and by following him on Twitter.


2. 19 days.

  • White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney looks a little stressed – and for good reason.
  • He and other White House officials have to figure out how to get a “win” out of Congress on border security funding in 19 days before the government runs out of money again.
  • Note: Mulvaney had some good news. Federal workers should be getting their backpay by week’s end, though nobody really knows what will happen to federal contract workers.
  • Mulvaney said Sunday that President Trump is prepared to shut the government down again and/or declare a national emergency if Congress doesn’t fund his border wall.
  • “He doesn’t want to shut the government down, let’s make that very clear. He doesn’t want to declare a national emergency,” Mulvaney said.
  • But at “the end of the day, the president’s commitment is to defend the nation and he will do it with or without Congress.”
What about Congress?
  • It’s easy to blame Congress. Many Trump loyalists who won’t deign to criticize the president are doing just that.
  • But Congress may be President Trump’s best/only bet here.
  • Remember: on Friday, we didn’t just get a CR that opened the government. We got a Conference Committee to negotiate the Homeland Security Title, where border things are funded.
  • That Conference Committee will likely generate somethingto send to the president’s desk.
  • Whether that something will be acceptable to him remains to me seen. Trump told the Wall Street Journal that he doubts any compromise will contain his requested $5.7 billion for the wall (he’s right) and that he doubts he’d sign it.
  • I doubt that he wouldn’t sign it, but you gotta do what you gotta do to have leverage.
  • (If you don’t have a WSJ subscription, you can read the basics HERE).
  • In any case, here are the House and Senate Members who will negotiate a border security deal over the next 19 days:
Senate Republicans
  • Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby, Ala.
  • Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, W.Va.
  • Sen. John Hoeven, N.D.
  • Sen. Roy Blunt, Mo.
Senate Democrats
  • Sen. Patrick Leahy, Vt.
  • Sen. Dick Durbin, Ill.
  • Sen. Jon Tester, Mont.
House Democrats
  • Appropriations Chairwoman Nita Lowey, N.Y.
  • Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, Calif.
  • Rep. David Price, N.C.
  • Rep. Barbara Lee, Calif.
  • Rep. Henry Cuellar, Texas
  • Rep. Pete Aguilar, Calif.
House Republicans
  • Rep. Kay Granger, Texas
  • Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, Tenn.
  • Rep. Tom Graves, Ga.
  • Rep. Steve Palazzo, Miss.
Read more HERE .

3. A waiting game on tariffs.

  • Should the United States go forward in imposing tariffs on foreign-made automobiles and auto parts, the price of Alabama-made vehicles is going to rise.
  • That means the companies who make them will need to adjust their production and sales strategies to remain profitable – which could impact Alabama significantly.
  • The Montgomery Advertiser’s Brad Harper has covered the auto industry for years, and his story about the waiting game auto makers are in right now is worth your time today.
  • The Trump Administration delayed a decision on auto tariffs back in November, but a final call is expected in the next few weeks.
  • Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley said he believes Commerce will go forward with the tariffs as a stick to prod the European Union to negotiate a better trade deal.
  • “I think Europe (is) very very concerned about those tariffs … It may be the instrument that gets Europe to negotiate,” Grassley said.
  • Meanwhile, Republicans in Congress are building support for a bill that would give the president more direct authority over imposing retaliatory tariffs on antagonistic countries.
  • Alabama Congressman Robert Aderholt was part of a recent White House meeting to discuss the legislation, and looked a little caught off guard when the president called him “a handsome man.”


4. Cavanaugh: Crack down on telemarketing calls.

  • Public Service Commission President Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh has had about enough of telemarketing calls.
  • It does seem like there has been a real uptick lately, right?
  • Technology has come a long way since 2003 when the Do Not Call list was established, and Cavanaugh argues our laws and policies must be updated to account for that.
  • Here’s an excerpt from her Op-Ed this morning:
“Call blocking appears to be the path the FCC and state attorneys general are pursuing for limiting telemarketing calls. In November 2017, the FCC released an order authorizing telecommunication carriers to adopt advanced call blocking technology for combating unwanted telemarketing calls. The FCC order makes adoption of advanced call blocking technology voluntary for telecommunications providers.
“Hopefully, Congress and the Alabama Legislature will consider legislation that ensures all telephone carriers adopt advanced call blocking technology for their customers. Federal and or state legislation should also include a component to educate consumers on the call blocking technology available from their telecommunications provider.”
  • Read her full piece HERE.


5. Matthew Stokes: Angela Davis’ lack of judgment can’t be ignored.

  • In case you missed it over the weekend, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute reversed course yet again and decided to go forward with naming Angela Davis as a recipient of the Fred L. Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award.
  • The BRCI had previously named Davis for the award, then rescinded it when local Jewish groups protested Davis’ history of anti-Israeli work and rhetoric.
  • Then, after protests and write-ups from influential political leaders, the BRCI apologized for rescinding it and named Davis again.
  • Kind of a circus.
  • ADN’s Matthew Stokes has a different take than those who criticized the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute’s rescinding of the award. He says that was the right thing to do, and that the whole episode is an unnecessary blight on Birmingham.
  • Here’s an excerpt:
“It was the concern of Jewish group in Birmingham that caused the award to be rescinded, and I would argue for good reason. Davis is not simply critical of American policy in Israel. There are good faith arguments to be made there. No, Davis’ support for BDS strikes at the heart of Israel’s very existence in that it calls for efforts to delegitimize the Jewish nation…
“It is worth noting that support for the BDS movement has been a lightning rod for controversy, costing the Women’s March support from several corporations as well as the Democratic National Committee. Even Rep. Rashida Tlaib, the newly elected Democratic Congresswoman and budding star, had to keep her support for BDS under wraps until after election.”
  • Read Matthew’s full column HERE.





ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump: “less than 50-50” Congress reaches acceptable budget deal
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Matthew Stokes: We can’t ignore Angela Davis’ lack of judgment
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Twinkle Cavanaugh: Let’s stop Unwanted Telemarketing Calls
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Another shutdown? White House says Trump is prepared if Congress won’t budge on wall money
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Jay Reeves: End of shutdown still leaves contract workers hanging
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Conservatives say Trump caved, but confident he’ll get wall
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama contractor pays $82K in back wages to 17 employees
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Civil rights museum reoffers honor to Angela Davis
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama appeals Confederate monument ruling
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Big Dig: Superspeedway tunnel draws closer to checkered flag
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Inmate who escaped Alabama prison is captured in Kentucky
AL.COM – Alabama state auditor goes after attire of female Senator, attacks Doug Jones for standing by her
AL.COM – Civil Rights Institute CEO Andrea Taylor talks ‘lessons learned’ from Angela Davis turmoil, meeting with protesters
AL.COM  – Funeral for Sean Tuder, slain Mobile police officer, draws thousands
AL.COM – Columnist Dana McCain:  The pro-life movement is changing
AL.COM  – Guntersville schools joins Boaz, Albertville and Marshall County in closing because of flu
AL.COM  – Are Alabama’s latest high school graduation rates real?
AL.COM  – Mobile man arrested for making terrorist threats
AL.COM  – Columnist John Archibald: New bills take aim at welfare and cell phones
AL.COM  – After 2 shot outside Mobile high school, board member calls for metal detectors
Montgomery Advertiser – Convicted Alabama sex trafficker caught in Kentucky
Montgomery Advertiser – Turckheim: sing-alongs, storks and sauerkraut
Montgomery Advertiser – Montgomery Women’s March
YellowHammer News – Lori Perkins: From Disney to deputy director of the Birmingham Zoo
YellowHammer News – APSO’s sensory room at Jones Elementary is a hit with kids, teachers
YellowHammer News – Southern Research moving ‘green chemistry’ team to new Birmingham lab
LAGNIAPPE – Columnist Rob Holbert:  Inspectile dysfunction.
LAGNIAPPE – Columnist Jeff Poor:  Is bipartisanship dead?
BIRMINGHAM WATCH – Alabama Lawmakers’ Pay up 4% in 2019
BIRMINGHAM WATCH – One-Third of Alabama’s Failing Schools Are in the Birmingham Metro Area
BIRMINGHAM WATCH – Mea Culpa: BCRI Apologizes, Offers Davis Award as New Group Moves Forward With Alternate Plans
Dothan Eagle – Judge: Local seizure of credit cards, skimming devices unlawful
Dothan Eagle – Insuring against risk for more than 90 years: ‘That’s what we’re here for’
Dothan Eagle – Bank fraud, ID theft gets man four years in prison
Tuscaloosa News – Carla Hall, former co-host of ‘The Chew,’ to speak at Tuscaloosa women’s summit
Decatur Daily – Demolition continues at Pilgrim’s Pride site; landscape plans to be presented Monday
Decatur Daily – Microplastics in river raise health, environmental concerns
Decatur Daily – Progress made, but much still undone as One Decatur plan reaches 1-year mark
Times Daily – Trio charged in Tuscumbia armed robbery
Times Daily – REACT group focused on lowering re-hospitalization rates
Gadsden Times – Schools closing because of flu
Gadsden Times – Alabama braces for winter weather
Anniston Star – Calhoun County EMA prepares for 2019 through relationships, resources
Anniston Star – Oh, snow: Arctic front may bring snow, ice Tuesday; no school delays or closures yet
Anniston Star – Putman defense attorney, investigator denied access to crime scene
Troy Messenger – Firefighters respond to Shellhorn structure fire
Andalusia Star News – Possible snow, hard freeze in forecast for this Tuesday
Andalusia Star News – Many lessons learned in bunker on 9-11
Andalusia Star News – Annual Cancer Freeze on tap next Saturday
Selma Times-Journal – Charter school one step closer to setting up shop in Selma
Opelika-Auburn News – GUEST COLUMN: Big Ronnie took the fight head-on
Opelika-Auburn News – Opelika, Auburn bring attention to human trafficking
Opelika-Auburn News – Auburn City Council continues talks on student housing developments
Daily Mountain Eagle – Officials concerned about teen use of e-cigarettes
Daily Mountain Eagle – EASI now part of Northwest Alabama Mental Health Center
Daily Mountain Eagle – Over 500 students participate in Job Shadow Day
Trussville Tribune – Monday Update: Winter storm warning issued, projection of snow amounts increase
Trussville Tribune – Pinson man arrested for allegedly shooting hunting dogs in Chambers County
Trussville Tribune – 79-year-old man killed in Etowah County crash
Athens News Courier – Limestone placed under a winter storm watch
Athens News Courier – POLICE SHOOTINGS: Officers reflect on recent tragedies
Athens News Courier – Inmate escaped prison by hiding in furniture trailer
Sand Mountain Reporter – Teamwork leads to success
Sand Mountain Reporter – NACC conducts seminar on ‘Social Graces’ for area K-12 Schools
WSFA Montgomery – Man killed in Coosada shooting
WSFA Montgomery – 2 men save neighbor from burning house in Eclectic
WSFA Montgomery – Man shot, killed in Tuskegee after argument
Fox 6 Birmingham – Pedestrian struck, killed after accident on U.S. Hwy 280
Fox 6 Birmingham – Suspect at-large after shooting in Ensley send 5 to hospital
Fox 6 Birmingham – FIRST ALERT Weather Day: Winter Storm Watch for Monday night into Tuesday morning
WAFF Huntsville – Several TN Valley schools closed Monday and Tuesday due to the flu
WAFF Huntsville – Man saves life with CPR he learned from ‘The Office’
WAFF Huntsville – Boy with autism intentionally locked out of school by principal, mother says
WKRG Mobile – Safety on agenda of Mobile County Public School System School Board meeting
WKRG Mobile – Buffalo Wild Wings will give away free wings if Super Bowl goes into overtime
WKRG Mobile – 2 officers wounded in Denver shooting; suspect in custody
WTVY Dothan – Space heater malfunction causes fire in Dothan home
WTVY Dothan – Officers search in rural Dale County for man they suspect of car theft
WTVY Dothan – Dothan police respond to Club Escape shooting
WASHINGTON POST – Trump will secure border ‘with or without Congress,’ Mulvaney says.
WASHINGTON POST – Violence Against Women Act extended in bill that reopened government.
NEW YORK TIMES – All Red or All Blue, State Legislatures Run to Partisan Sides
NEW YORK TIMES – Your 2019 Tax Refund Might Be Higher, Lower or Later Than Usual
NEW YORK TIMES – Columnist David Leonhardt:  The Fleecing of Millennials
NEW YORK TIMES – How the Shutdown Reordered American Life

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