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Daily News Digest – January 29, 2020

Presented by

the Business Council of Alabama


Good morning!
Here is your Daily News for Wednesday, January 29.



1. Question time: What’s next in the impeachment trial

  • With opening arguments wrapped up in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, senators will now get a chance to ask questions. But the normally loquacious politicians will still have to keep silent, as their questions can only be submitted in writing.
  • The question-and-answer session, expected to last two days, will allow the lawyers on both sides to make their final points before the senators vote on whether to hear witnesses and, eventually, on whether to convict the president and remove him from office.
  • Read more about what’s next in the impeachment trial HERE.
  • Meanwhile, Republicans might lack the votes to block additional witnesses, including former National Security Adviser John Bolton, from testifying.
  • “I think Bolton probably has something to offer us,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska.
  • Trump disagreed in a tweet Wednesday in which he complained that Bolton, after he was fired, “goes out and IMMEDIATELY writes a nasty & untrue book. All Classified National Security.”
  • Read more about the witness testimony situation HERE.


2. Report: changes needed in workforce development pipeline

  • Alabama could have a deficit of nearly 200,000 skilled workers in six years if changes aren’t made, a report from the Business Education Alliance of Alabama (BEA) said.
  • The report signals a widening gap between Alabama’s workforce development system and future workforce needs and says more collaboration is needed between business, education and career and technical training programs to better define what skills an Alabama worker needs.
  • Last year, Gov. Kay Ivey announced a goal of adding 500,000 newly trained or certified workers to the state by 2025 in order to meet expected job demands. That would mean 60% of the state’s workers would need education beyond high school. In 2017, 43% had a degree or credential.
  • “Our report sought to discover whether the state has the right tools in place to produce an increased number of highly skilled workers, and what needs to change to ensure those workers are qualified for the jobs that will become available,” said Joe Morton, the chairman and president of BEA.
  • Read more and see the full BEA report HERE.





A message from

the Business Council of Alabama

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3. New bill would create a state database for concealed carry permits

  • A bill sponsored by Rep. Proncey Robertson, R-Mount Hope, would create a state database of concealed carry gun permits for law enforcement and would institute a lifetime carry permit.
  • Robertson said a standardized permitting process and database would create uniformity in permitting across the state and help protect police officers.
  • “In Alabama, we do not have accurate enough records for a law enforcement officer to make a determination on the street of whether a person is prohibited to carry or not,” Robertson told Alabama Daily News.
  • This new database would be run by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency and could be updated with court records when someone is convicted of a crime that prohibits them from having a concealed carry permit.
  • Robertson, a former Decatur police officer, said this will update Alabama’s antiquated permit system and help save lives.
  • Read more from ADN’s Caroline Beck HERE.



4. Scottsboro : 4 of 8 boat dock fire victims were children

  • Authorities said Tuesday that four of the eight victims killed in the Scottsboro boat dock fire were children. Jackson County Coroner John Jordan hasn’t released the identities of any of the victims but said the children were ages 7, 9, 10 and 16 years old.
  • Crews will raise each sunken craft and check inside each to determine whether additional people may have died, Fire Chief Gene Necklaus said, but officials were optimistic that the death toll would not rise.
  • Investigators hadn’t determined the cause of the blaze, which erupted early Monday, but Necklaus said they were narrowing their focus to a vessel that was docked in an area where witnesses said the flames began.
  • “It’s fair to say they are at least looking at one boat in particular, not to say that they won’t rule that out and move on to the next area,” he told a news conference.
  • Read more from Jay Reeves HERE.



5. News Briefs

Trump to sign trade deal

  • WASHINGTON (AP) —President Donald Trump is eager to show off a big policy win during his impeachment trial by signing into law a major rewrite of the rules of trade with Canada and Mexico.
  • Trump made renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement a priority during his 2016 campaign, although trade experts say the impact of the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (UMCA) will be modest. He will sign the bill Wednesday.
  • Canada and Mexico already represent the top two export markets for U.S. goods. But the pact, along with the signing of a “phase one” agreement with China, dials down trade tensions that contributed to slowing economic growth globally.
  • The leaders of the three nations signed the new pact in late 2018. Legislation implementing the USMCA received overwhelming, bipartisan support in Congress after several months of behind-the-scenes negotiations between Democratic lawmakers and the Trump administration.
  • Read more HERE.

Judge denies bail for man accused of killing police officer

  • HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — A judge has denied bail for a man accused of killing Huntsville police officer Billy Fred Clady III.
  • reports that the ruling came late Monday in the capital murder case against LaJeromeny Brown.
  • He will remain in the Madison County Jail, where he’s been held without bail since early December.
  • Prosecutors on Monday said they will seek the death penalty if Brown is convicted.
  • He’s accused of killing Clardy, a drug task force agent, during a drug stakeout at a home on Dec. 6.

Opelika plans a path forward for new trail system

  • Opelika is developing a new a system of pedestrian and bicycle paths.
  • The Opelika City Council recently voted to hire a Birmingham firm to develop a master plan for the path system, The Opelika-Auburn News reported.
  • The aim is to create a network of paths that get people where they want to go, City Planning Director Matt Mosley said.
  • Sain Associates will be paid $150,000 by the city, which will recoup 80 percent of that cost through a state transportation grant, the newspaper reported.
  • By using a map of the city, the firm will be able to identify potential paths, while also taking into account other infrastructure plans the city may have in mind for those areas, City Engineer Scott Parker said.
  • The project is separate from the Creekline Trails multipurpose path plan, Parker said.
  • “We have other transportation needs in different parts of the city that aren’t addressed by the Creekline Plan,” he said. “Pedestrians, and safe routes to school and other issues — that aren’t identified there— but in other parts of the city that we really need to identify.”

Lee Enterprises makes $140M deal to buy Berkshire newspapers

  • Lee Enterprises will buy Berkshire Hathaway’s BH Media Group publications and The Buffalo News for $140 million, the company said Wednesday.
  • The deal covers 30 daily newspapers in 10 states as well as 49 paid weekly publications with digital sites and 32 other print products.
  • Warren Buffett, Berkshire’s chairman and CEO, said he and his partner, Charlie Munger, have long admired Lee.
  • “We had zero interest in selling the group to anyone else for one simple reason: We believe that Lee is best positioned to manage through the industry’s challenges,” Buffett said.
  • BH Media Group owns the Dothan Eagle and Opelika-Auburn News.
  • Read more HERE.



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ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Scottsboro: 4 of 8 boat dock fire victims were children
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – New bill would create a state database for conceal carry permits
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Report: changes needed in workforce development pipeline
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Question time: What’s next in Trump’s impeachment trial
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – GOP lacks votes to block Bolton, other impeachment witnesses
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump to sign trade deal
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Poll shows Sessions leading, but Byrne gaining in Senate race
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Lottery bill would fund pre-K, college scholarships
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – King features mom in first AL-2 TV spot
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Coleman’s new AL-2 spot features wife
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – January 28, 2020
AL.COM  – Bradley Byrne says he’ll be in Senate runoff with Jeff Sessions
AL.COM  – Birmingham board denies state’s first LGBTQ charter school application
AL.COM  – Amtrak decision rolls up to a tight deadline in Mobile
AL.COM  – Lamar County closing all schools due to flu outbreak
AL.COM  – Amazon spotlights award-winning Alabama business
AL.COM  – Alabama facing shortage of skilled labor, report finds
AL.COM  – New Alabama lottery bill would send proceeds to education
Montgomery Advertiser – Alabama headed for jobs crisis as skills disappear, study says
Montgomery Advertiser – Faulkner announces former Congressman Trey Gowdy as speaker for annual benefit dinner
Montgomery Advertiser – Montgomery teen charged with capital murder in slaying of 17-year-old Courtney Jones
YellowHammer News – Alabama softball preseason No. 1 in USA Softball Top 25, ranked No. 2 on NFCA and Softball America lists; Auburn rated No. 23 by NFCA, Softball America
YellowHammer News – ‘Scary’: Jeff Sessions fears Trump in danger of physical harm from Deep State
YellowHammer News – Poll: Doug Jones reelection chances take hit if he votes to remove Trump
Dothan Eagle – UPDATE: Enterprise PD looking for 2 persons of interest in All-In fraud case
Dothan Eagle – Principal leaves role as central office director takes helm at Dothan Prep
Dothan Eagle – 2 Dothan teens face attempted murder charge after vehicle shot during Elba chase
Tuscaloosa News – Tuscaloosa City Council action from January 28, 2020
Tuscaloosa News – Defendant to serve 15 years for violent convenience store robberies
Tuscaloosa News – Tuscaloosa leaders clear way for QuikTrip to begin construction
Decatur Daily – Owners: Major fire unlikely at area marinas
Decatur Daily – Athens council approves $600K for Jimmy Gill Park
Decatur Daily – Sheriff: Morgan shootings investigated as possible murder-suicide
Times Daily – Colbert County resident arrested on animal cruelty charges
Times Daily – Muscle Shoals Councilman Neal Willis loses bout with cancer
Times Daily  – Greenberg preliminary hearing reset for April
Gadsden Times – Gadsden passes ‘no tethering’ ordinance for animals
Gadsden Times – Debris recovery, investigation is focus now after dock fire
Gadsden Times – More layoffs on the way at Goodyear
Anniston Star – At first deannexation hearing, Anniston residents mostly united against split
Anniston Star – Oxford council approves $175k loan for EMS
Anniston Star – Heflin council drops speed limit on Davidson Road
Troy Messenger – Council approves new funding for industrial access road
Troy Messenger – Auto shop burglary suspect arrested
Troy Messenger – Missing Pike County girl found safe
Andalusia Star News – Cancer Freeze recipient encourages women to listen to their bodies
Andalusia Star News – VOTING COUNTDOWN: What you need to know
Andalusia Star News – Andalusia native releases debut novel
Opelika-Auburn News – Tallapoosa drug task force makes two arrests
Opelika-Auburn News – US budget deficit to eclipse $1 trillion as fiscal imbalance continues to widen
Opelika-Auburn News – Penn takes case to Opelika school board
Daily Mountain Eagle – CH Women’s Club takes over Blue Gym for now
Daily Mountain Eagle – Emergency plan enhanced at Carbon Hill schools
Daily Mountain Eagle – Local artists celebrated at exhibit opening
Trussville Tribune – Indiana fugitive at center of search in Pinson captured in Fultondale
Trussville Tribune – Clay Council updates salary ordinance for 2020 election; drive-thru Little Caesars coming to Clay
Trussville Tribune – Trussville City Council votes to widen part of Hwy 11 and moves forward on Loop Road to ease traffic
Athens News Courier – Parole board to review case of Limestone prisoner charged with theft
Athens News Courier – EPA REPORTS: LCWSA approves engineering contract
Athens News Courier – Council votes to fund Jimmy Gill Park relocation
Sand Mountain Reporter – Back to bond market | Boaz seeks $8.5 million to fund outlet property renovations, remaining recreation center cost
Sand Mountain Reporter – Vehicle hits Mt. Hebron-Douglas Road bridge | Officials close bridge for investigation, repair
Sand Mountain Reporter – Merrill says census participation is vital
WSFA Montgomery – Leaders hope to fix massive sinkhole in Selma park soon
WSFA Montgomery – State leaders plan to address education, broadband, and prisons
WSFA Montgomery – Bond denied for man charged with murdering Huntsville police officer
Fox 6 Birmingham – Citizens air their feelings on proposed de-annexation from Anniston
Fox 6 Birmingham – Lessons learned from the Snowmaggedon
Fox 6 Birmingham – A Snowpocalypse surprise: A baby, a dispatcher, and a beautiful friendship
WAFF Huntsville – ‘There was nothing they could do’: Neighbor vows to help after witnessing deadly marina fire
WAFF Huntsville – Bond denied for man charged with murdering Huntsville police officer
WAFF Huntsville – Madison County doctor takes the stand in pill mill trial
WKRG Mobile – Jet lands in US with Americans from China outbreak zone
WKRG Mobile – FHP investigates fatal crash in Niceville
WKRG Mobile – The Clydesdales to appear in Biloxi Wednesday
WTVY Dothan – Dothan men charged with attempted murder in Elba
WTVY Dothan – Wiregrass Public Safety Center open and first of it’s kind
WTVY Dothan – Two wanted in connection to All In ATM skimmers
WASHINGTON POST  – McConnell tells senators he doesn’t yet have votes to block witnesses in Trump impeachment trial
WASHINGTON POST  – Trump announces long-awaited Israeli-Palestinian peace package amid doubts it will lead to progress
WASHINGTON POST  – Trump administration to offer states Medicaid block grant option
WASHINGTON POST  – Robocall crackdown: Justice Dept. accuses several U.S. companies of being complicit in foreign scams
WASHINGTON POST  – U.S. deficit to eclipse $1 trillion in 2020, CBO says, as fiscal imbalance continues to widen
NEW YORK TIMES  – How Impeachment Puts Doug Jones in a No-Win Situation in Alabama
NEW YORK TIMES  – Republicans Scramble to Corral Votes to Block Witnesses
NEW YORK TIMES  – Coronavirus Live Updates: U.S. Evacuates Citizens, and Deaths Mount

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