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Daily News Digest – June 11, 2019

Good morning!
Here’s your Daily News for Tuesday, June 11

1. Chemical castration for child molesters.

  • Gov. Kay Ivey has signed House Bill 379, the chemical castration bill sponsored by Rep. Steve Hurst, R-Munford.
  • That means court-ordered chemical castration of child molesters as a condition of their parole will be required when the law goes into effect in September.
  • However, exactly how the treatments will be administered is still being determined.
  • The law requires the Alabama Department of Public Health to administer the injections.
  • “We’re still reviewing (the law) to understand exactly how our role will work,” Public Health Officer Scott Harris told Alabama Daily News Monday. “We’ve done some work looking at other states, trying to get an idea of how it works.”
  • The new law requires that anyone who committed a sex offense against a child under 13 receive prior to parole medication, “including, but not limited to, medroxyprogesterone acetate treatment or its chemical equivalent, that, among other things, reduces, inhibits, or blocks the production of testosterone, hormones, or other chemicals in a person’s body.”
  • Hurst has carried sex offender castration legislation for several years and said it’s been a priority for him since entering the Legislature. His original legislation involved surgical castration.
  • “I don’t tease and I don’t joke about this; these kids need some help out there,” Hurst said. “If someone is going to mark these kids for life, they need to be marked for life. That’s why I looked at surgical castration, and my own opinion is that if they decide to do that to a small child they deserve to die.”
  • ADN’s Caroline Beck and Mary Sell have the full story on this, including the legislative background, reaction from lawmakers, and potential upshot.
  • Read their story HERE.


2. Ballot initiative begins.

  • Gov. Kay Ivey, Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh and other state leaders began their push to convince voters to scrap the state’s elected school board and move to an appointed commission to preside over education policy.
  • Marsh’s proposed constitutional amendment passed unanimously in the Senate and overwhelmingly in the House, signaling both legislative support for change and bi-partisan frustration with how the state school board has operated for the last several years.
  • The proposed new nine-member Alabama Commission on Elementary and Secondary Education would consist of members — including one from each congressional district— appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate. The commission would appoint a state education secretary who would replace the state superintendent. That position would also have to be confirmed by the Senate.
  • The legislation says the governor “shall ensure” that the commission membership reflects the geographical, gender, and racial diversity of the public school enrollment. That means there would be at least one more African American member of the commission, perhaps two more.
  • Members would serve six-year staggered terms.
  • Ivey and a coalition of lawmakers are urging Alabamians to support the constitutional amendment, which will go before voters next March. Dubbing it the “Take the Lead, Alabama” initiative, Ivey said the plan “will shake up how we do things in our state to improve educational outcomes for students in every region.”
  • “As a former teacher, I recognize that strong leadership and a strong plan are necessary components to improving our education system,” Ivey said.
  • Read more HERE.


3. Auburn heads to Omaha.

  • The Auburn University baseball team is heading to the College World Series for the first time in more than 20 years.
  • The Tigers defeated the University of North Carolina Monday in thrilling fashion, scoring 13 runs before the Tar Heels even got up to bat in the first inning.
  • The win comes amid an emotional few weeks for the Tigers and Coach Butch Thompson, notably with the death of longtime Auburn broadcaster Rod Bramblett and his wife, Paula, in a car accident on May 25. Bramblett was best known for his football and basketball calls, but he had done play-by-play for Auburn baseball since 1993.
  • “If you’ve ever coached and you’re in the moments and a game’s about to end, it’s amazing what runs through your mind,” Thompson said.
  • “I was talking to Rod and Paula Bramblett, who we’ve lost recently. I’m just, ‘Rod, can you help me with that last out?'”
  • Read more HERE.


4. Matthew Stokes: Let Jefferson Davis go.

  • Matthew Stokes is a little worried about the social studies education that young people are receiving today, both in and out of school.
  • What was once common knowledge years ago isn’t necessarily today, particularly when it comes to history.
  • He’s also concerned the state is sending the wrong historical message by continuing to honor the birthday of Confederate President Jefferson Davis as a holiday.
  • Here’s an excerpt:
“Last Monday, June 3, was the birthday of Confederate Jefferson Davis, and state government observed the day as a holiday. This has to end.
“I am generally opposed to tearing down statues or monuments; the better solution is to build newer, perhaps better monuments alongside the old ones. I worry that the tear-it-down crowd, no matter how well-intended, has no limiting principle, which is why we occasionally hear calls for renaming buildings and institutions and tearing down statues built to honor Founding Fathers such as Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. History is intensely complex, and we do ourselves no favors by physically erasing the elements that make us uncomfortable.
“…What we can do is work to improve Alabama right now, and at a bare minimum we should agree that the state of Alabama should no longer honor the Confederate president with a state holiday.”
  • Read the full column HERE.


5. News Briefs.

Staffing up
  • Gov. Kay Ivey has been without a leader in her communications shop ever since former Press Secretary Daniel Sparkman resigned to run for the House in April.
  • Thankfully for Ivey, there is plenty of talent within the press office to get the job done, but their duties were increasingly spread thin toward the end of the legislative session.
  • Any comms shop needs a leader, and it looks like Ivey has found one.
  • Read the updated Inside Alabama Politics to find out more.
ICYMI: The education budget
  • Amid all the Culverhouse controversy yesterday, it was easy to miss Mary Sell’s deep dive into the education budget’s impact on Pre-K-12 schools.
  • The education budget chairs, Sen. Arthur Orr and Rep. Bill Poole, walked through many of the details, including how different pots of money will be spent.
  • Also, the Legislature decided to use the General Fund, not the Education Trust Fund, to pay for the Children’s Health Insurance Program. However, a last-minute agreement to transfer the $31 million insurance premium tax from the ETF into the General Fund will help pay for it.
  • Read all that HERE.
A swing and a miss on impeachment
  • From The Washington Post: “Pro-impeachment Democrats are struggling to make their case for ousting President Trump to a wary public, with the Justice Department suddenly signaling a willingness to cooperate with Congress and the House’s first hearing on Robert S. Mueller III’s report veering into more of a historical lesson on Watergate.”
  • The Judiciary Committee held a hearing with Watergate figure John Dean attempting to draw parallels between President Tump and former President Richard Nixon, but it mostly fell flat and Republicans mocked the efforts as a charade.
  • The Post continues: Privately, several Democrats said they agreed with the GOP’s harsh assessment, wondering why Dean was called in the first place. The lawmakers and aides spoke on the condition of anonymity to freely discuss private conversations.
  • Full story HERE.
Investigate the Investigators
  • The Justice Department on Monday provided Congress more details of its review of the intelligence gathering of the Trump campaign during the 2016 campaign.
  • Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd wrote in a letter to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees that the review would be “broad in scope and multifaceted” and “intended to illuminate open questions regarding the activities of U.S. and foreign intelligence services as well as non-governmental organizations and individuals.”
  • “As the Attorney General has stated publicly at congressional hearings and elsewhere, there remain open questions relating to the origins of this counter-intelligence investigation and the U.S. and foreign intelligence activities that took place prior to and during that investigation,” Boyd wrote.
  • “The purpose of the Review is to more fully understand the efficacy and propriety of those steps and to answer, to the satisfaction of the Attorney General, those open questions. Among other things, the Review will seek to determine whether the investigation complied with applicable policies and laws.”
  • Read more from The Hill HERE.



ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ivey signs chemical castration law, process details still pending
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Governor, state leaders begin push to abolish elected school board
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Matthew Stokes: Let Jefferson Davis go
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Auburn beats UNC 14-7 to make emotional return to College World Series
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Culverhouse emails tell a different story on University of Alabama feud
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – From buses to libraries, 2020 education has more for K-12 schools
INSIDE ALABAMA POLITICS – Staffing up in the Governor’s Office; A new name for Senate 2020; Winners and Losers from the Legislative Session; Ainsworth makes a mark; Jimmy Martin hard to replace; Lawmakers push back on California boycott calls; Inside the Supreme Court’s Hubbard appeal.
AL.COM  – Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signs ‘chemical castration’ bill into law
AL.COM  – ‘Absolute game changer’ business incubator opens at UAH
AL.COM  – Cadence Bank announces $2.5 billion program for underserved
AL.COM  – Mom wants answers from school after bullied gay son’s suicide
AL.COM  – Life expectancy for Alabamians low, but there’s some good news
AL.COM  – Judge denies Roy Moore request to reconsider ruling
AL.COM  – Remote tech worker? You could make $10K relocating to the Shoals
AL.COM  – New day for BBVA: Bank’s global brand strategy launches
AL.COM  – Contributor Brad Presnall: Opposition research is more than ‘digging dirt’– consultant pulls back curtain
Montgomery Advertiser – Montgomery man pleads guilty to manslaughter hours before murder trial
Montgomery Advertiser – 3 arrested for contraband at 2 Alabama prisons
Montgomery Advertiser – David Sadler plans run for mayor, puts focus on west, north Montgomery
YellowHammer News – Special election primary Tuesday for Montgomery’s HD 74 seat
YellowHammer News – Byrne: On abortion, we cannot remain silent
YellowHammer News – Ivey, legislative leaders start bipartisan push for state school board referendum — ‘It’s time to take the lead, Alabama’
Dothan Eagle – Dale County grand jury indicts Coley McCraney on five capital murder counts
Dothan Eagle – 1981 Dothan murder case believed cracked by DNA evidence could go to trial this week
Dothan Eagle – Photos: Pilot dead after helicopter crashes into NYC skyscraper
Tuscaloosa News – Alabama governor pushes to abolish elected school board
Tuscaloosa News – Two teens charged in death of 18-year-old woman found dead in SUV
Tuscaloosa News – AP: 3 million US students don’t have home internet
Decatur Daily – From buses to libraries, 2020 education budget has more for K-12 schools
Decatur Daily – Ambulance acrimony: First Response battles city over draft ordinance
Decatur Daily – Lawrence man facing drug charges
Times Daily – Police continue searching for shooting suspect
Times Daily – Woman, child identified as boating fatalities
Times Daily – Sex abuse crisis tops agenda as Southern Baptists convene
Gadsden Times – Ivey pushes to abolish elected state school board
Gadsden Times – Emergency I-59 bridge repair underway in DeKalb
Gadsden Times – Train cars overturn in Hastings Park area
Anniston Star – Alabama Power’s Jacksonville, Heflin offices among 40 being closed
Anniston Star – Mistrial declared in wrongful death suit
Anniston Star – Judge to K9 outfit at McClellan: Stay
Troy Messenger – Troy man charged with attempted murder
Troy Messenger – Brundidge previews bicentennial exhibit
Troy Messenger – Commission hires Reeves as EMA director
Andalusia Star News – 37 years, 13 million bills processed and Joyce Lambert retires from SEAGD
Andalusia Star News – OCAP to take applications for cooling assistance
Andalusia Star News – Greenwald earns recognition
Opelika-Auburn News – Two killed, including teen passenger, in motorcycle-car collision on US 280 near Kellyton
Opelika-Auburn News – Our View: The American flag deserves to fly proudly as a solo act
Opelika-Auburn News – Alcohol sales on hold at Auburn University
Daily Mountain Eagle – Hate crime victim calls for mayor to step down
Daily Mountain Eagle – Foundation’s story intertwined with county’s story
Daily Mountain Eagle – WACF awards $803K to nonprofits
Trussville Tribune – Manhunt for man who shot at Birmingham police officer underway in Clay
Trussville Tribune – Clay woman holds book drive for A Soldier’s Child Foundation
Trussville Tribune – Local travel agent ‘overloaded’ after Dominican Republic deaths
Sand Mountain Reporter – Shepherd’s Cove Nifty Thrifty Night Out slated for June 20
Sand Mountain Reporter – BSLK’s pre-K facility taking shape
Sand Mountain Reporter – Grave of US Deputy Marshal marked after 98 years
WSFA Montgomery – Monroe County deputy dies in on-duty crash
WSFA Montgomery – Pike Road Fire Department looks to create community connection, recruit
WSFA Montgomery – Boy, 10, held at gunpoint by Utah police officer; mother believes incident racially motivated
Fox 6 Birmingham – Overnight manhunt in Clay continues for suspect who fired shots at officer
Fox 6 Birmingham – Lipscomb police chief warns about railroad crossings without warning signals
Fox 6 Birmingham – Boy, 10, held at gunpoint by Utah police officer; mother believes incident racially motivated
WAFF Huntsville – Officials warn of alligator sightings near Point Mallard walking trail
WAFF Huntsville – Naked man accused of trying to ‘sling urine’ on Florida officers
WAFF Huntsville – Mom says she was kicked out of Texas water park for breastfeeding infant son
WKRG Mobile – MPD investigates late night shooting on Baltimore Street
WKRG Mobile – Mobile Police investigate death of 2-year-old girl
WKRG Mobile – BREAKING: Mobile police chase suspects into Mississippi, now searching on foot
WTVY Dothan – McCraney’s attorney not suprised by indictments but predicts different outcome at trial
WTVY Dothan – UPDATE: Elderly Cottonwood woman found
WTVY Dothan – Daleville Selects New Superintendent
WASHINGTON POST  – How Mexico talked Trump out of tariff threat with immigration crackdown pact
WASHINGTON POST  – ‘Tariffs are the answer’: Trump appears emboldened after economic brinkmanship with Mexico
WASHINGTON POST  – Columnist Michael Gerson: Abortion supporters have made Trump’s reelection more likely
WASHINGTON POST  – Supreme Court makes more headway on its next term than on the major decisions that remain in this one
WASHINGTON POST  – Trump levels new tariff threat against China, defends Mexico showdown
WASHINGTON POST  – Supreme Court sides with Alabama company in patent dispute
NEW YORK TIMES  – With Most States Under One Party’s Control, America Grows More Divided
NEW YORK TIMES  – Paralysis on America’s Rivers: There’s Too Much Water
NEW YORK TIMES  – How Dengue, a Deadly Mosquito-Borne Disease, Could Spread in a Warming World

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