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Daily News Digest – July 29, 2019

Good morning!
Here’s your Daily News for Monday, July 29.


1. Getting to 500,000.

  • Gov. Kay Ivey has set a goal of adding 500,000 credentialed workers to Alabama’s workforce by 2025.
  • That number might not sound all that ambitious, but when you take a look at the numbers, it’s a mountain of a climb from where we are now and who we have in the pipeline.
  • And it’s not an arbitrary number. That’s what state economic developers say we need to compete for industry, both those looking to locate here and those looking to expand their operations.
  • It has the state’s workforce developers searching everywhere to identify trainable workers.
  • “We’re turning over every rock and looking for anybody,” AIDT Director Ed Castile told ADN’s Mary Sell.
  • “If they have a good attitude and want to work, we’re trying to remove every roadblock to get them to work.”
  • Those in high school now, out of school youths, unemployed, veterans and returning military – all these could be areas of opportunity for recruiting workers.
  • And some are highlighting how the state’s sentencing laws keep would-be workers on the sidelines with felony convictions and suspended licenses.
  • Read Mary Sell’s deep dive into the state’s lofty workforce development goals and what is being done to meet them HERE.


2. Inside Alabama Politics.


Another edition of Inside Alabama Politics is out today. In today’s issue:
  • Inside U.S. Rep. Martha Roby’s decision to not seek another term;
  • Who is considering running to replace Roby in AL-2, and what are the factors that could shape that list?
  • The Montgomery Mayor’s race is heating up with a month to go, and new polling shows some tightening in the middle;
  • Will the ALGOP consider a rules change for how presidential delegates are decided?
  • The DNC will consider the Alabama Democratic Party’s proposed bylaws changes this week, and we have the draft version;
  • The politics of produce: Pate, Whatley events highlight summer of fun;
Read those stories and more HERE .
Reminder: Inside Alabama Politics is our sister, paid-subscription site where you’ll continue to see more exclusive stories, political rumblings, and insider talk.
Subscribing is easy HERE (and remember, nobody likes password-borrowing freeloaders!)

3. A deadly year for police.

  • Alabama is seeing an alarming rise in gun violence against law enforcement officers.
  • “Alabama has already lost three police officers to hostile fire during 2019 — the greatest amount due to gunfire in a single year in our state since 2009,” Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said.
  • Birmingham police Sgt. Wytasha Carter and Mobile police Officer Sean Tuder were shot and killed in January. Auburn police Officer William Buechner was shot and killed in May. Five others have been wounded by gunfire this year.
  • Two officers were killed in the line of duty in all of last year. One each were killed in 2017 and 2016.
  • Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith, U.S. Attorney Jay Town and other law enforcement officials are joining Marshall in speaking out about the problem of gun violence and its danger to police.
  • Read more HERE.

4. Pepper Bryars on prisons .

  • As the state looks to address its prison violence, under-staffing and overcrowding problems, construction of new facilities is likely going to be part of any set of solutions.
  • And while Gov. Kay Ivey’s proposed $900 million plan to construct three new facilities might sound like more that the state can afford, the plan is supposed to pay for itself and not require a tax increase.
  • J. Pepper Bryars and his colleagues at the Alabama Policy Institute are always looking to avoid a tax increase.
  • He’s writing about the prison situation in his latest column for Alabama Daily News. Here’s an excerpt:
“Vicious assault. Brutal rape. Cold-blooded murder. These are some of the crimes that will get you thrown into prison, but what if they’re also what could happen to you once you get there?
“Sadly, a federal investigation found this is happening in Alabama’s prison system, and part of the problem is we’ve simply run out of room…
“Alabama is a law-and-order state whose people believe in the adage that ‘if you do the crime, you do the time.’ And a recent survey  from the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama found that a slight majority of us disagree with plans to build more prisons.
“But here’s the problem: if Alabama doesn’t get its act together, then a federal court has said it may find us in violation of the Eighth Amendment and will force us to release thousands of these inmates before their sentences are complete.
“Do we really want that to happen?”
  • Click HERE to read the full column and listen to Pepper’s latest 1819 podcast with a deep-dive conversation about the crisis with the Montgomery Advertiser’s Melissa Brown, State Sen. Cam Ward, and Mike Lanier, president of the company developing plans for three new mega prisons across the state.

5. AP News Briefs.

3 killed at California festival shooting, including 6-year-old
  • A gunman cut through a fence to avoid security and opened fire at Northern California’s popular Gilroy Garlic Festival, killing three and wounding at least 15 before police fatally shot him as terrified people and performers ran for cover. One witness said he heard the shooter say he was “really angry.”
  • Gilroy Police Chief Scot Smithee said the gunman was armed with a rifle and snuck in through a fence that borders a parking lot next to a creek. He appeared to randomly target people when he opened fire just after 5:30 p.m. Sunday, the conclusion of the three-day festival that attracts more than 100,000 people to the city known as the “Garlic Capital of the World.”
  • Police responded within a minute, engaged the suspect and killed him, Smithee said.
  • A 6-year-old boy was one among those killed, his father said.
  • The wounded were taken to multiple hospitals, and their conditions ranged from fair to critical, with some in surgery Sunday night. At least five were treated and released.
  • The Gilroy Garlic Festival is a decades-old staple in the agricultural city of 50,000 about 80 miles southeast of San Francisco. Security is tight — festival-goers pass through metal detectors and their bags are searched.
  • Video posted to social media showed people running in terror as shots rang out.
4-year-old girl shot inside Alabama home by outside shootout
  • A 4-year-old girl was shot in the head when gunfire outside entered her family’s apartment in Alabama.
  • News outlets report the little girl was taken to Children’s of Alabama Sunday night, her condition unclear.
  • Birmingham police spokesman Sgt. Johnny Williams says two people outside the girl’s apartment got into an altercation. One fired a weapon and a round went into the building, striking the little girl.
  • Williams says no suspects are in custody. Officers were canvassing the area seeking witnesses.
  •’s Carol Robinson reports this shooting closes out a violent weekend in Birmingham. Three people were shot outside a night club early Sunday morning and two others were shot in the afternoon. Williams said none of these victims had life-threatening injuries.
Memorial service to be held for Alabama prison search dog
  • A memorial service will be held for an Alabama prison search dog that died after helping authorities discover synthetic marijuana.
  • The Alabama Department of Corrections says “Jake” will be honored on Tuesday.
  • The dog became ill during a contraband search at Staton Correctional Facility in Elmore. Jake alerted authorities to a substance that turned out to be synthetic marijuana. He died two days later after developing a secondary infection.
  • The memorial service will held at the Staton Complex.
Owner of trucker school accused of bribing proctors
  • An Alabama truck driving school owner has been charged with bribing a license examiner to show favoritism toward his students.
  • News outlets report 72-year-old James Welburn was indicted and arrested Thursday. He’s charged with conspiracy, bribery and wire fraud offenses. Welburn owns American Truck Driving Academy in Lee County.
  • U.S. Attorney Louis V. Franklin Sr. says Welburn paid an examiner to show preferential treatment toward his students. The bribed examiner allegedly tested students who hadn’t possessed their learner’s permit for at least 14 days, tested more than five students a day and refrained from testing students on certain trucking maneuvers the students couldn’t perform. Franklin says Welburn paid the examiner $25 per student.
  • If convicted, Welburn faces prison time, monetary penalties and restitution.
  • It’s unclear if Welburn has an attorney.
690-mile annual yard sale to span from Alabama to Michigan
  • A nearly 700-mile yard sale is about to span several states from Alabama to Michigan for its 32nd straight year.
  • The Gadsden Times reports the 4-day event known as 127 Yard Sale returns Thursday. It runs from Noccalula Falls Park in Gadsden, Alabama, through Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio before winding down in Addison, Michigan.
  • The event’s website says the yard sale was founded in 1987 by a man who wanted travelers to bypass interstate highways in favor of scenic routes that took them through rural communities.
  • Most of the event follows Highway 127 and dozens of vendors will set up shop in certain spots, such as Noccalula Falls Park. Sales will be set up all along the route. The event recommends attendees bring cash, sunscreen and rain gear.


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS– To get 500,000 newly-credentialed workers, state looks to undereducated, underemployed
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS– Pepper Bryars: Alabama must build more prisons, but taxpayers don’t have to foot the bill
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS– 2019 is turning into a deadly year for Alabama officers
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS– Roby won’t seek 6th term
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS– Martha Roby: Thank you for the opportunity to serve
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS– UAB set to no longer accept UnitedHealthcare policyholders
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS– Economist: New Trump farm aid may be distributed more fairly
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS– Alabama seeks to preserve ‘last slave ship’ wreckage
AL.COM– Columnist Kyle Whitmire: When they tell you to leave, you’re winning.
AL.COM– Clock now ticking for one of Huntsville’s oldest public housing projects.
AL.COM – Contributor David Sher: Birmingham’s coming apocalypse.
AL.COM – Alabama among nation’s best for business climate.
Montgomery Advertiser– As state’s Hispanic population increases, schools scramble to educate English Learners
Montgomery Advertiser– Top intelligence official Dan Coats is leaving after tenure marked by clashes with Donald Trump
Montgomery Advertiser– Attorney held in contempt of court for filming man’s mouth being taped shut
YellowHammer News– UAH professor part of San Antonio Zoo’s successful effort to breed enigmatic salamander
YellowHammer News– University of South Alabama awarded $3.8 million for ionic liquid research
YellowHammer News– Rep. Aderholt: ‘The Democrat Party has been imploding really before our eyes over the last couple of months’
Dothan Eagle– Agreement will keep McCraney hearings open to press, public
Dothan Eagle– Dr. Johnny Fain reflects on time at First Baptist Church in Dothan as he preaches last sermon there
Dothan Eagle– Ken Rogers column: Troy, Appalachian State share similarities, including high expectations
Tuscaloosa News– Memorial service planned for prison search dog
Tuscaloosa News– Several killed, injured in shooting at California festival, official says
Tuscaloosa News– Meet Janet May, Alabama’s 93-year-old B&B hostess
Decatur Daily– Officials, visitors happy with Cook Museum
Decatur Daily– Morgan failed to run required background checks for pistol permits
Decatur Daily– Grant Street Church of Christ congregation says goodbye today
Times Daily– Florence Tourism board to meet this week
Times Daily– August brings leadership transitions at UNA
 Times Daily – To get newly credentialed workers, state looks to undereducated, underemployed.
Times Daily– Chemical castration law’s impact could be minimal.
Gadsden Times– Diplomats recommit to saving Iran deal, oppose US sanctions
Gadsden Times– 2019 is turning into a deadly year for Alabama officers
Gadsden Times– Data: Millions of painkillers shipped to Etowah County
Anniston Star– Volunteers donate backpacks, school supplies at Norwood Day
Anniston Star– East Alabama families searching for missing loved ones decades later
Troy Messenger– Roby won’t seek reelection to Congress
Andalusia Star News– Vanhook sentenced to 15 years
Andalusia Star News– Adopt-A-Grade has raised more than $20,000 for teachers
Andalusia Star News– Former Florala Fire Chief graduates police academy
Opelika-Auburn News– Opelika man killed in I-85 accident near Auburn
Opelika-Auburn News– Feds arrest local truck-driving school owner accused of bribing license examiners
Opelika-Auburn News– AR Workshop studio offers a different do-it-yourself experience; Auburn grand opening planned
Daily Mountain Eagle– Williams: Board votes to end work release
Daily Mountain Eagle– Walker College Foundation announces scholarship recipients
Daily Mountain Eagle– Bob Hester recalls his 102 years
Trussville Tribune– Recent Federal Campaign Commission reports yield interesting results in Alabama Republican Senate primary
Trussville Tribune– Local girl inspires after double-lung transplant, family facing obstacle
Trussville Tribune– Preservationists in Alabama trying to save Jazz Age home
Athens News Courier– Trump says director of national intelligence is resigning
Athens News Courier– Meet Janet May, Alabama’s 93-year-old B&B hostess
Athens News Courier– 2019 is turning into a deadly year for Alabama officers
Sand Mountain Reporter– Boaz picks Forsyth as construction manager for recreation project
Sand Mountain Reporter– Democratic Club to discuss women’s rights at Aug. 6 meeting
Sand Mountain Reporter– Commission fails to agree on tag fee | Baker motions for $10 tag fee, withdraws motion after confusion
WSFA Montgomery– Opelika man killed in motorcycle crash on I85
WSFA Montgomery– Residents moving back to Beauregard nearly 5 months after tornadoes
WSFA Montgomery– 3 dead in shooting at California garlic festival; suspect killed by police
Fox 6 Birmingham– 1 person injured in early-morning apartment fire in East Lake
Fox 6 Birmingham– Stray bullet hits child in Gate City apartment, injuries life threatening
Fox 6 Birmingham– Child injured after cliff fall at Smith Lake
WAFF Huntsville– Records: Pot, baggies, scale found during July arrest of Point Mallard shooting suspect
WAFF Huntsville– Wheeler event to feature car show, children’s activities
WAFF Huntsville– YMCA renovations moving along; expected to be complete this fall
WKRG Mobile– Tracking the Tropics: Hurricane Center watching a disturbance in the Caribbean
WKRG Mobile– BREAKING: Two killed in overnight crash; County Road 95A reopens
WKRG Mobile– Mobile County Commission considers County Administrator candidates
WTVY Dothan– Child dead after falling from Panama City Beach condo
WTVY Dothan– Marianna man dies in Jackson County traffic crash
WTVY Dothan– Federal government greases the wheels for local transportation projects
 WASHINGTON POST– Trump campaign sees political advantage in a divisive appeal to working-class white voters.
 WASHINGTON POST – Intelligence Director Coats to resign next month, Trump says
WASHINGTON POST – ‘Louder and more hateful’: Big-city leaders say Trump’s attacks on Baltimore are escalation of his strategy to denigrate diverse, liberal areas
WASHINGTON POST – She went undercover to expose an insane asylum’s horrors. Now Nellie Bly is getting her due
NEW YORK MAGAZINE – Tommy Tuberville: Roy Moore Without the Sex Scandals
NEW YORK TIMES – Contributor Kevin Kruse: The Real Problem With Trump’s Rallies: There are a lot of similarities between the president and George Wallace of Alabama. But there’s also one big difference
NEW YORK TIMES – Trump Accuses Black Congressman and Allies of Being Racist, Deepening Feud
NEW YORK TIMES – A Recession Is Coming (Eventually). Here’s Where You’ll See It First

Front Pages (images link to newspaper websites, which you should visit and patronize)


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