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Daily News Digest- July 3, 2019

1. Video shows detention center conditions

  • Rep. Joaquin Castro from Texas recently released a video and photos of migrants who are being held at a border facility under “awful” and unsanitary conditions.
  • This is a rare glimpse into these border facilities since journalists or lawmakers are rarely allowed to tour the facility and were asked to leave their cellphones behind.
  • Castro said because lawmakers have oversight authority, they should not be denied access or the ability to share their findings.
  • Women held at the facility were “crammed into a prison-like cell with one toilet, but no running water to drink from or wash their hands,” Castro tweeted. Some had been separated from their children and held for more than 50 days, he said.
  • Trump signed an emergency $4.6 billion border funding package into law this week after lawmakers split over putting restrictions on how the money can be spent.
  • You can read more about the situation at the border HERE.

2. Citizenship question not on 2020 census

  • Days after the U.S. Supreme Court halted the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, the U.S. Census Bureau on Tuesday started the process of printing the questionnaire without the controversial query.
  • Trump administration attorneys notified parties in lawsuits challenging the question that the printing of the hundreds of millions of documents for the 2020 counts would be starting.
  • Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said that while he respected the Supreme Court’s decision, he strongly disagreed with it.
  • President Donald Trump had said after the high court’s decision last week that he would ask his attorneys about possibly delaying next spring’s decennial census until the Supreme Court could revisit the matter, raising questions about whether printing of the census materials would start as planned this month.
  • Opponents of the citizenship question said the question would discourage participation by immigrants and residents who are in the country illegally, resulting in inaccurate figures for a count that determines the distribution of some $675 billion in federal spending and how many congressional districts each state gets.
  • The Trump administration had said the question was being added to aid in enforcement of the Voting Rights Act, which protects minority voters’ access to the ballot box. But in the Supreme Court’s decision, Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s four more liberal members in saying the administration’s current justification for the question “seems to have been contrived.”
  • Read more about the census question HERE.

3. Chuck Person was broke in NCAA scandal

  • Lawyers for former Auburn University assistant basketball coach Chuck Person said Tuesday the 13-year NBA veteran was broke and financially desperate when he joined a bribery conspiracy that cheated young athletes by steering them toward bribe-paying advisers and managers.
  • They asked a judge in papers filed in Manhattan federal court to spare him from prison in the scandal that touched some of the biggest schools in college basketball.
  • His lawyers say that since Person grew up poor and then suddenly came into millions of dollars without a clue how to manage it, it caused him to make bad decisions when his financial circumstances deteriorated.
  • Prosecutors say Person, scheduled to be sentenced next Tuesday, accepted $91,500 in bribes to steer top players to a government cooperator posing as a financial adviser. Sentencing guidelines call for two years in prison though three other coaches who pleaded guilty to the same charge have received leniency.
  • Person’s March guilty plea to a bribery conspiracy charge came nearly two decades after he was a regular presence on NBA courts, known as “The Rifleman” for lighting up scoreboards with his long-range shooting skills.
  • You can read more about the case HERE.

4. Culverhouse back in the news

  • Hugh Culverhouse, Jr. is back in the news, quite literally with a full page ad in the Wall Street Journal calling for people to sing “God Bless America,” not whistle “Dixie,” as an attack on Alabama’s recent abortion ban.
  • “In enacting this law, Alabama is treating women as possessions rather than equal citizens with the inalienable right to control their bodies,” he wrote.
  • In the letter, Culverhouse calls for, “Americans to fight back and join me in opposing this unconstitutional and immoral law by all means possible.”
  • He then suggests that “residents and others doing business in Alabama” should consider moving their business out of Alabama and that parents should not send their children to any university or college in the state until the law is overturned.
  • Last month, the University of Alabama’s board of trustees voted to return Culverhouse’s $21.5 million donation to the university and remove his name from the law school.
  • Culverhouse said that it was because of his opposition to the passage of the abortion law, but the University released emails detailing how the board was planning on taking action against Culverhouse before he made his statement on abortion because of his ongoing attempt to interfere with the operations of the law school.
  • You can read more about the ad from’s Hailey Auglair HERE.

5. AP News Briefs

Sheriff: Inmates were fermenting vegetables to make alcohol
  • An Alabama sheriff says jail inmates were caught making some truly “disgusting” alcohol out of fermenting vegetables.
  • News outlets report it turned up when dozens of officers conducted a shakedown for contraband Monday at the Autauga Metro Jail.
  • Autauga County Sheriff Joe Sedinger says it was the first time he’d seen vegetables being used to make alcohol. He says the jail stopped serving inmates fruit years ago because they made wine with it.
  • Sedinger says searchers also found an electronic cigarette altered to be used as a tattoo gun, as well as dice fashioned from the plastic ball that’s in bottles of roll on deodorant.
  • The sheriff says inmates won’t be punished for the contraband. He just wants to remind them that he’s watching the jail closely.
Teen charged with manslaughter in Brambletts’ death
  • The 16-year-old involved in the wreck that killed Auburn radio announcer Rod Bramblett and his wife has been arrested and charged with manslaughter.
  • A toxicology report indicated that Johnston Edward Taylor’s blood THC, which is the primary psychoactive component of marijuana and that he was driving 91 mph in a 55-mph zone.
  • Taylor told authorities he fell asleep at the wheel and did not remember what happened.
  • Taylor was charged as an adult and arrested at his Auburn home with a $50,000 bond. An official with the Lee County Jail said Monday evening he had been released. A court date for Taylor has not yet been set.
Underage roofer falls to death in Alabama
  • An underage construction worker is dead after he fell while repairing the roof of an Alabama business.
  • reports it happened about 11 a.m. Monday at Cullman Casting Corp., an iron factory in Cullman.
  • The 15-year-old roofer, whose name was not released, was described by police as a Guatemalan national living in Alabama.
  • Police Lt. Todd Chiaranda says the teenager stepped into one of the unsupported sections of the roof and fell about 35 to 40 feet.
  • Chiaranda said there was safety equipment at the job site “but it was not used.” He says the boy was hired by W and W Restoration, which was subcontracted by Apex Roofing.
  • An investigation is ongoing but Chiaranda says there’s nothing to lead investigators to believe it was anything other than an accident.


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – 2020 Census to be printed without citizenship question

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Lawyers: Ex-NBA star Chuck Person was broke in NCAA scandal
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Congressman shares video of migrants held at border facility
Montgomery Advertiser – AFROTC summer Field Training underway at Air University
Montgomery Advertiser – Prattville approves rezoning for controversial apartment plans
Montgomery Advertiser – ‘They think they’re going to die’: How to keep dogs safe and calm during Fourth of July celebrations
YellowHammer News – Alabama Farmers Federation names Auburn graduate to lead poultry, pork, dairy divisions
YellowHammer News – Hooper: Alabama ‘at the top of the list’ for National Republican Senatorial Committee
YellowHammer News – California tech company relocating to Alabama despite Culverhouse’s boycott demands
Dothan Eagle – Police: Parents of 2-year-old found dead in car were under influence of intoxicants
Dothan Eagle – Suspects in the Florida Avenue murder face additional murder charges following death of infant
Dothan Eagle – UPDATED: Data indicates teen driver hit Brambletts 89-91 mph in Auburn crash
Tuscaloosa News – Tuscaloosa movie theater to show ‘Jaws’ Wednesday
Tuscaloosa News – Teen driving 90 mph in crash that killed Auburn announcer
Tuscaloosa News – Tuscaloosa officials ask families to help curb gun violence
Decatur Daily – Alleged cat killer released from custody
Decatur Daily – Morgan 911 board approves 9.3% increase in call fee
Decatur Daily – Athens man charged with possession — of a squirrel
Times Daily – Garbage collections, closings announced for holiday
Times Daily – Solution to Airbnb issue not likely during holiday reprieve
Times Daily – ‘Spirit of Freedom’ returns to park Thursday
Gadsden Times – Former Southside man, 82, charged with sex offenses
Gadsden Times – Where to see fireworks this Fourth of July
Gadsden Times – Council OKs $1.3M street paving bid
Anniston Star – Police say homicide numbers could indicate an overall decrease in crime
Anniston Star – Bible bill: New state law allows Bible education in classrooms, but secular groups foresee problems
Anniston Star – Rogers proposal would allow SNAP recipients to buy vitamins
Troy Messenger – Family, police seek answers to Faulkner’s disappearance 3 years later
Troy Messenger – County awarded $1M for resurfacing
Troy Messenger – Officials urge fireworks safety
Andalusia Star News – Alabama ranked as third highest among states to see fastest increase of diabetes
Andalusia Star News – Andalusia Public Library to incorporate Teen Game Day this month
Andalusia Star News – River Falls looking for new council member for District 1
Opelika-Auburn News – Auburn City Council approves networking equipment purchase for public safety building
Opelika-Auburn News – Auburn man arrested, facing multiple drug charges
Opelika-Auburn News – Opelika City Council approves game day services plan
Daily Mountain Eagle – Fireworks highlight holiday events
Daily Mountain Eagle – Sumiton to take off two days; garbage runs today
Daily Mountain Eagle – City council holds brief meeting ahead of Fourth of July holiday
Trussville Tribune – ALDOT: Drive safe this Fourth of July holiday
Trussville Tribune – Car fire expert called in to investigate cause of Trussville Police SUV fire
Trussville Tribune – JEFFERSON COUNTY: Plastic bag with unknown substance found in stomach of inmate who died in custody
Athens News Courier – Gasoline prices up slightly as Fourth approaches
Athens News Courier – Alabama woman charged with murder in fiery death of stepson
Athens News Courier – Teen driver charged in deaths of Auburn broadcaster, wife
WSFA Montgomery – 4 hospitalized after police chase ends in Geneva County with crash
WSFA Montgomery – Prattville city council approves Old Farm Lane rezoning
WSFA Montgomery – MPS moving forward with central office building consolidation plan
Fox 6 Birmingham – State releases videos to try to put an end to inappropriate teacher/student relationships
Fox 6 Birmingham – B’ham City Council imposes temporary moratorium on new self-storage facilities
Fox 6 Birmingham – 2 homes destroyed in Titusville fire
WAFF Huntsville – Huntsville pool vandalized with homophobic slurs
WAFF Huntsville – Court records reveal new info, confessions from former Florence pastor charged with child sex abuse
WAFF Huntsville – Ardmore man shoots himself while pursuing snake, deputies say
WKRG Mobile – Harmful algae forces additional beach closures in Mississippi
WKRG Mobile – Police presence in Maysville community
WKRG Mobile – Family of 7-year-old murder victim shares grief
WTVY Dothan – Four hospitalized after police chase ends in Geneva County with crash
WTVY Dothan – Police: Dothan man who stabbed woman 28 times captured
WTVY Dothan – Three Samson Police officers hospitalized after chasing a stolen car
WASHINGTON POST – Iranian president warns Tehran will take ‘next step’ and increase uranium enrichment on Sunday.

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