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Daily News Digest – January 31, 2020

Presented by

the Business Council of Alabama


Good morning and Happy Friday!
Is it just me or did January last like two whole months??
Here is your Daily News for Friday, January 31.




1. With no more witnesses likely, Senate to wrap up impeachment trial

  • Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee will oppose calling more witnesses in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, all but dashing Democratic efforts to hear more testimony and boosting odds the Senate will vote to acquit without new testimony in a matter of days.
  • Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said late Thursday she would vote to allow witnesses in the impeachment trial, building momentum for the Democrats’ effort.
  • But Alexander then said in a statement there was “no need for more evidence,” giving the Trump team the likelihood of a Senate vote in its direction.
  • A vote on the witness question, expected Friday, could lead to an abrupt end of the trial with Trump’s expected acquittal.
  • It would take four GOP senators to break with the majority and join with Democrats to tip the outcome. That is unlikely.
  • Read more about the Senate decision today HERE.
  • Read the highlights of the Q&A session from Thursday HERE.



2. Prison recommendations released

  • As Alabama grapples with a prison crisis, a study commission created by Gov. Kay Ivey recommended Thursday that the state make a push to reduce recidivism, undertake sentencing reform and increase oversight and spending in the corrections system.
  • The governor’s Study Group on Criminal Justice Policy returned its recommendations ahead of the legislative session that starts next week, but their success will depend on support from the state lawmakers.
  • The state’s troubled prison system has been in the national spotlight. The governor created the group after the U.S. Department of Justice last year threatened to sue Alabama over excessive violence and other problems in its prisons.
  • Former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Champ Lyons, Jr., who chaired the group, wrote in a letter that the challenges facing the state prison system are “exceedingly complex” and “many decades in the making.”
  • Read the full story from Kim Chandler, including the letter/report itself, HERE.





A message from

the Business Council of Alabama

The first installment of the new BCA member driven webinar series  ProTip  was a huge success!
It was brought to you by Warren Averett, with guest presenters  Amy Williams  and  Paul M. Perry, CISM, CITP, CPA.
We discussed the importance of having a  defensive mentality , an  educated team , and the  necessary tools  when it comes to protecting your company against cyberattacks.
If you were unable to attend the live webinar, or would like to view it again, a recording of the event can be found on our website.





3. Sessions releases new ad

  • In the latest television ad for his campaign for U.S. Senate, former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions highlights his record of defending religious liberty and paints a stark contrast between the Obama and Trump administrations on the issue.
  • The ad features black-and-white footage of a small church, whose doors have been chain locked and windows boarded up. Sessions describes a “war on religious freedom” from the “radical secular left,” while the footage eventually changes to color and the church is reopened.
  • According to the Sessions campaign, the ad will play on broadcast and cable stations in all markets throughout the state. More detailed information on the size of the ad buy was not available Thursday.
  • Watch the full ad HERE.


4. Federal grand jury subpoenas 3M over chemical discharges

  • 3M has been subpoenaed by a federal grand jury in connection to discharges from a chemical plant in northern Alabama that may not have complied with permit requirements.
  • Michael Roman, the Minnesota-based company’s CEO, announced the subpoena during an investor conference call. The company faced lawsuits and public scrutiny last year after it was accused of releasing chemicals from its factory in Decatur into the Tennessee River without disclosing its actions.
  • Read more HERE.


5. Auburn gets new state tag

  • Good news for Auburn people: drivers now have a new design for the license plate supporting Auburn University.
  • Launched this month, the new plates for cars and motorcycles feature a white background with the traditional interlocking AU logo on the left side, and blue and orange stripes with “Auburn” in orange across the bottom. The new design is a change from the previous Auburn tags that featured a lot more color and were unpopular with some fans.
  • The outgoing tags really were unfortunate. You’d see a Georgia or Tennessee-issued Auburn tag and wonder, “how does theirs look better than ours?” Just one of those things we unfairly but unequivocally blame on Jay Jacobs.
  • Read more from ADN intern reporter Abby Driggers HERE.





A message from

Mason-Dixon Polling and Strategy

Include private questions for media, legislative advocacy, or internal use.
Cost is $750 for the first question and $500 for each additional.
Deadline is Monday, February 3 rd . We provide guidance and support.





ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Governor’s group recommends prison system policy reforms


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Sessions touts record defending religious liberty in new TV ad


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – US advises no travel to China, where virus deaths top 200


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trial highlights: Senators’ questions launch pointed debate


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump trial could end soon; Alexander says no to witnesses


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – New Auburn car tag available


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Federal grand jury subpoenas 3M over chemical discharges


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Op-ed: Ministers of justice: Prosecutors doing the right thing for the right reason


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Deteriorating power, sewer utilities lead to partial closure of state prison


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – 3 Senate Dems from red states waver on impeachment votes


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ivey breaks shoulder after being tripped by her dog


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – John Mazyk tapped to chair Business Council of Alabama


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Missing Alabama woman’s death ruled accident; suspect caught


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – January 30, 2020


AL.COM  – Bernie Sanders praised Alabama segregationist governor George Wallace in 1972 article


AL.COM  – Amtrak proposal has good ‘vibe potential’ and millennials want a yes


AL.COM  – Wuhan coronavirus no cause for concern in Alabama yet, experts say


AL.COM  – Recidivism is key issue for Alabama prisons, study group finds


AL.COM  – Conservatives meet, discuss Methodist plan for possible split


AL.COM  – At least 6 charged in Jacksonville State University rape case won’t be prosecuted


AL.COM  – Bradley Byrne responds: The fight for religious freedom for all


AL.COM  – Alabama prison crowding worsens 10 months after DOJ allegations


Montgomery Advertiser – Courtroom chaos: Tensions boil over during sentencing of man convicted in killing, child rape


Montgomery Advertiser – New shopping center planned for Pike Road will feature Publix


Montgomery Advertiser – Alabama prison crisis: Governor’s group recommends anti-recidivism effort


YellowHammer News – Tuberville says Sessions, Bolton ‘two peas in a pod’; Sessions stresses he didn’t write a book


YellowHammer News – Techstars Alabama EnergyTech announces Nate Schmidt as managing director


YellowHammer News – Rogers: Dems ‘more concerned with scoring political points against President Trump than protecting American lives’


Tuscaloosa News – Federal grand jury subpoenas 3M over chemical discharges


Tuscaloosa News – Marshals arrest most-wanted fugitive who faked death; dinghy was found in Orange Beach


Tuscaloosa News – Governor’s group recommends prison system policy reforms


Decatur Daily – New bill would create a state database for concealed carry permits


Decatur Daily – Decatur center combining early learning programs under one roof


Decatur Daily – Attorney General argues against secrecy in Limestone Sheriff Blakely’s prosecution


Times Daily – 3M reveals grand jury subpoena, 1,500 layoffs


Times Daily – Birmingham firm selected for RR overpass study


Times Daily – Sheffield High touted in state report on workforce development


Times Daily – SRO released after leaving weapon unattended


Anniston Star  – Business leaders should watch prison crisis, BCA leader says


Anniston Star – Nathan Hill, 2020 Citizen of the Year, on the front lines for Anniston-area defense work


Anniston Star – City leaders optimistic at Ward 3 meeting


Anniston Star – Ward 4 residents talk with Marsh about deannexation


Dothan Eagle – Houston County voters could face decision to add $5 to vehicle registration renewals


Dothan Eagle – Murder trial set to begin next week for Dale County man


Dothan Eagle – Slocomb police issue BOLO for missing person


Gadsden Times – Investigation, cleanup continue after fatal Scottsboro dock fire


Gadsden Times – Sheriff unveils new jail annex, provides details on new rehabilitation program


Gadsden Times – Some local schools see increase in flu absences


Troy Messenger – 19th Annual Leadership Conference opens tonight at Troy


Troy Messenger – Steer, heifer and goat show begins Saturday at Cattleman Park


Troy Messenger – TPD officer honored at Crimestoppers annual luncheon


Andalusia Star News – Cancer Freeze recipient: ‘God still has many laborers in the fields’


Andalusia Star News – Carver Community Center to host annual Black History Gala


Andalusia Star News – TAX SEASON HAS BEGUN


Opelika-Auburn News – COLLEGE GAMEDAY: What you need to know before ESPN’s GameDay arrives


Opelika-Auburn News – New look AU plates now on sale


Opelika-Auburn News – Lee Enterprises to buy BH Media newspapers, including Opelika-Auburn News


Daily Mountain Eagle – STEM momentum continues at Jasper Jr. High


Sand Mountain Reporter – Officials give update on Scottsboro dock fire


WSFA Montgomery – Man dies after shooting on Hilldale Drive in Montgomery


WSFA Montgomery – New program helps MPS students stay on track to graduation


WSFA Montgomery – Flu remains widespread across Alabama


Fox 6 Birmingham – New Birmingham fire chief, deputy & assistants to be sworn in


Fox 6 Birmingham – Suspect arrested after 23-year-old shot and killed in Birmingham


Fox 6 Birmingham – State trooper lucky to be alive in Opelika; ALEA reminds drives to move over


WAFF Huntsville – Doctor: New mom fails drug test after eating poppy seed bread


WAFF Huntsville – Bobo Volunteer Fire Department lacks funding for planned fire station


WAFF Huntsville – EXCLUSIVE: Off-duty 911 dispatcher saves Hartselle woman’s life


WKRG Mobile – Mississippi starts selling Powerball and Mega Millions tickets


WKRG Mobile – U.S. Marshal, sheriff describe capture of man who faked suicide to avoid child rape charges


WKRG Mobile – 2 controversial comedians performing in Mobile spark reaction from News 5 viewers


WTVY Dothan – GTECH gives students a head start on their future


WTVY Dothan – Appointed or elected state school board officials: you decide


WTVY Dothan – Gov. Ivey awards grant to help retain jobs in Eufaula


WASHINGTON POST  – Senate appears ready to reject witnesses in Trump impeachment trial, acquittal vote possible Friday


WASHINGTON POST  – Trump’s border wall, vulnerable to flash floods, needs large storm gates left open for months


WASHINGTON POST  – Trump administration’s Medicaid block-grants option touches off ideological fight


NEW YORK TIMES  – Trump Lawyer’s Impeachment Argument Stokes Fears of Unfettered Power


NEW YORK TIMES  – Helicopter in Kobe Bryant Crash Wasn’t Legal to Fly in Poor Visibility


NEW YORK TIMES  – Coronavirus Live Updates: U.S. Issues ‘Red Alert’ After Infections Skyrocket



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