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Daily News Digest – June 24, 2020

Good morning!

Here’s your Daily News for Wednesday, June 24.


1. No charges in Talladega noose incident, NASCAR says rope was a garage pull

  • Alabama has been at the center of the sports and media world this week thanks to the uproar caused by NASCAR reporting that a noose was found in the garage of black driver Bubba Wallace.
  • After investigating the incident, the FBI’s Birmingham office on Tuesday said that no hate crime was committed and NASCAR said the rope in question was a garage door pull that had been in place for several months.
  • U.S. Attorney Jay Town and FBI Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp Jr. said its investigation determined “although the noose is now known to have been in garage number 4 in 2019, nobody could have known Mr. Wallace would be assigned to garage number 4 last week.”
  • It wasn’t Wallace that reported a noose, but rather a crew member of his. NASCAR was alerted and contacted the FBI, which sent 15 agents to the track to investigate.
  • NASCAR said in a statement that “the FBI report concludes, and photographic evidence confirms, that the garage door pull rope fashioned like a noose had been positioned there since as early as last fall. This was obviously well before the 43 team’s arrival and garage assignment.”
  • The Wood Brothers Racing team said one of its employees informed the team he recalled “seeing a tied handle in the garage pull down rope from last fall,” when NASCAR raced at Talladega in October.
  • NASCAR Steve Phelps continued to call it a noose after authorities said no charges would be filed, and held firm in that NASCAR is investigating why the rope was tied that way. He was pleased it wasn’t a hate crime directed at Wallace, but insisted NASCAR would have conducted its investigation the same way even now knowing it was just a coincidence.
  • “The evidence was very clear that the noose that was in the garage was in there previously. The last race we had in October, that noose was present. The evidence we had, it was clear we needed to look into this.”
  • Read the full story HERE.


2. Alabama starts cutting unemployment for those refusing work

  • As Alabama continues to fight through the coronavirus pandemic, the state is now dealing with workers who are refusing to return to their jobs.
  • Employers have reported 3,336 people to the state for refusing to return to work since January About a third of those workers were taken off the unemployment rolls and the rest have lost benefits while they are under review, the news site said.
  • “(Bosses) have called the employee back to work and the employee has refused,” said Tara Hutchinson, spokeswoman for the Alabama Department of Labor. “So (workers) either have not come or told the employer, ‘I’m not coming back.'”
  • The volume of “refusal to work” cases being reviewed is unusually high due to the pandemic, she said.
  • Full story HERE.



3. Report details graduates’ employment, shows workforce needs

  • Five years after they graduated, 51% of Alabama public university bachelor’s degree recipients were employed in the state, according to a new report.
  • For those graduates, fields of study with the highest Alabama employment rates after five years were: education, public administration and social services, health professions, mathematics and statistics, computer and information sciences and protective services.
  • The 2020 Alabama Commission on Higher Education (ACHE) Employment Outcomes Report is the first statewide study of how Alabama graduates, from certificate holders to those with doctoral degrees, are faring in the workforce.
  • “It was developed in response to higher education wanting to know how they were responding to the needs of the state’s business and industry communities,” Jim Purcell, ACHE’s executive director, told Alabama Daily News this week.
  • The report comes as Alabama has a set goal of 500,000 newly trained or educated workers by 2025.
  • Read more from ADN’s Mary Sell HERE.


4. Marsh calls for budget hearings

  • Alabama Senate leadership has scheduled some rare summer budget hearings to examine COVID-19’s impact on state revenues and prepare for the next legislative session.
  • The hearings will begin July 9 and were requested by Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston. Lawmakers have invited several state agencies, including the Alabama Department of Corrections, Finance, Personnel and Pardons and Paroles to provide updates to the Senate General Fund Committee.
  • Various tax collections in the state have dropped since mid-March, but a clear picture of the total impact won’t be available until later this summer, officials have said. Gov. Kay Ivey has said she won’t call schedule a special session of the Legislature until 2019 income tax returns and payments are due next month.
  • Meanwhile, the state has received more than $3 billion in federal COVID-19 relief money.
  • “We want to make sure that all public money is being used wisely, now and in the future,” Marsh said in the statement. “We have many pressing issues facing the state such as a potential $2 billion-dollar prison reform proposal and a stunning lack of rural broadband investment which need to be addressed whenever the Legislature is back in session and it is our duty to make sure we are prepared and kept up to speed on these matters. Furthermore, the taxpayers deserve a clear and transparent view of how their money is being used.”
  • Full story HERE.


5. House and Senate tout different policing bills

  • As congressional lawmakers work toward one of the most ambitious policing overhauls in decades, there is increasing division between Republicans and Democrats about how to accomplish a common goal.
  • Top Democratic leaders in the Senate said Tuesday that a Republican policing proposal is “not salvageable” and demanded new negotiations on a bipartisan legislative package after protests over racial inequality and the death of George Floyd and others at the hands of police.
  • They want something similar to a far-reaching proposal from House Democrats – the Justice in Policing Act – that would create a national database of excessive-force encounters, limit legal protections for police and ban police chokeholds. The bill is expected to pass the House later this week.
  • The Republican proposal in the Senate calls for an enhanced use-of-force database, restrictions on chokeholds and new commissions to study law enforcement and race. Senate Republicans say it would limit the federal government’s role while still making significant changes in policing.
  • It remains to be seen whether the parties can bridge their differences.
  • Read more, including a side-by-side look at the Republican and Democrat bills HERE.
  • Also read Lisa Mascaro and Hilary Powell’s story on Sen. Tim Scott, the black Republican once reluctant to lead on race now stepping out for the GOP HERE.
  • And in case you missed it from yesterday, read about a new poll showing broad support nationally for policing reforms HERE.


News Briefs


Killingsworth named president at Jacksonville State

  • JACKSONVILLE, Ala. (AP) — The interim president will take over the job permanently at Jacksonville State University following a decision by trustees.
  • Board members selected Don C. Killingsworth, Jr. as president of the college northeast of Birmingham on Tuesday, removing the interim status from his job title. An announcement by the school said the change would take effect immediately.
  • Killingsworth had held the job on an interim basis since October following the departure of former president John M. Beehler.
  • Killingsworth has two degrees from Jacksonville State, and he earned a doctorate in higher education from the University of Alabama in 2016. Board members said Killingsworth’s work over the last seven months showed he was more than capable of leading the campus of more than 9,000 students.

$7,500 reward up for locating Alabama woman

  • BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — An 81-year-old Alabama woman has been missing for more than a week and her family and friends are desperate to find her.
  • “It’s tearing me up,” said Shirrell Moore, daughter of Irene Campbell. “That’s my mother.”
  • Family and friends have searched each day in the Woodlawn and Kingston communities of Birmingham, as well as surrounding areas, looking for Campbell, reported. A group of volunteers on Sunday went into the neighborhoods distributing fliers but rain stopped their efforts.
  • A reward of $7,500 is now being offered for Campbell’s safe return. Campbell’s family and Moore’s church put up the money for the reward.
  • “Everybody loves my mother,” Moore said. “She’s good at feeding people. Anything she could do to help someone, she would do.”
  • Campbell was last seen Monday, June 15, asleep in her bed. Her family said she suffers from dementia.
  • Moore stays with her mother during the day and Moore’s brother stays with her at night. When Moore returned to the house after work, the door was wide open, and the mattress was half off the bed. One of Campbell’s shoes was by the sofa; the other was on the front porch.
  • Campbell was nowhere around.
  • Birmingham police and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency issued alerts in Campbell’s disappearance. Moore said there have been several reported sightings, but they turned out not to be her.
  • Campbell was last known to be wearing denim capri pants and a black shirt with a multi-color design. Anyone with information is asked to call Birmingham police at 205-297-8434 or 911.

Police: 8-year-old shot, wounded at apartment complex

  • TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — A child was shot and wounded Monday night during a shootout in Alabama, authorities said.
  • The 8-year-old was hospitalized and was last reported to be in stable condition, said Capt. Jack Kennedy of the Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit.
  • Tuscaloosa police were called to Crescent East Apartments around 9:20 p.m. Monday night, news outlets reported.
  • Witnesses told police multiple people were shooting across a span of several blocks.
  • The investigation is ongoing.




ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – No charges in Talladega noose incident, NASCAR says rope was a garage pull


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Rope found hanging in Wallace’s garage was coincidence


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama starts cutting unemployment for those refusing work


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama report details graduates’ employment, shows workforce needs


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama Senate schedules July budget hearings


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – A side-by-side look at police reform bills in Congress


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Once reluctant, GOP’s only Black senator now leads on race


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Poll: Majority backs criminal justice reform


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Officials express concern: Alabama virus cases top 30,000


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Early Trump supporter Barry Moore didn’t vote in 2016 primary; says he should have voted absentee


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Surveys for Senate seat show mixed results


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – June 22, 2020


AL.COM  – Noose found in Bubba Wallace’s garage was door pull, had been there since 2019, officials say


AL.COM  – Archives Department acknowledges role in distorting Alabama’s racial history


AL.COM  – Mobile rebuffs Confederate heirs; opts to place monument in history museum


AL.COM  – Jacksonville State University names new president


AL.COM  – Alabama Confederate flag store draws national attention, sales


AL.COM  – ‘We cannot let this moment pass’: Doug Jones invokes push for racial justice in first 2020 campaign ad


AL.COM  – Austal USA gets $50 million to steel itself for the future


AL.COM  – How Muscle Shoals music Meccas are surviving and reopening


Montgomery Advertiser – Controversial municipal court Judge Les Hayes retiring July 2


Montgomery Advertiser – Exhibit featuring works of Masud Olufani to open Thursday at Rosa Parks Museum


Montgomery Advertiser – FBI announces noose found in Bubba Wallace’s garage had been there since 2019; no federal crime committed


Tuscaloosa News – Council eyes expanded fees for new developments


Tuscaloosa News – Tuscaloosa County Graduations Postponed


Tuscaloosa News – Tuscaloosa man faces animal cruelty charge


Decatur Daily – Decatur, Priceville restaurants close after employee tests positive


Decatur Daily – 2 suspects in Morgan County slaying of 7 caught in Oregon


Decatur Daily – Elkmont man aided deputy because ‘it’s what you’re supposed to do’


Times Daily – Junior League recruitment event is Thursday


Times Daily – Removing Bibb Graves’ name from building is 3-step process


Times Daily – David Moore to seek Place 5 council seat in Muscle Shoals


Anniston Star – Oxford council votes to expand pension benefits for city employees


Anniston Star – Heflin City Council raises police pay


Anniston Star – ADECA: Alabama still behind on census participation


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Early Trump supporter Barry Moore didn’t vote in 2016 primary; says he should have voted absentee


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Surveys for Senate seat show mixed results


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Alabama second in nation in rising COVID-19 cases


Gadsden Times – Don Killingsworth named president of Jacksonville State


Gadsden Times – City budgets proposed spending of $1.67 million from CARES Act


Gadsden Times – Love vs. hate: Artist’s mural a reminder of choice


YellowHammer News – No hate crime: FBI investigation finds alleged ‘noose’ at Talladega Superspeedway has been in garage since at least October


YellowHammer News – COVID-19 vaccine studies give us hope, but a vaccine may not happen this year


YellowHammer News – Mike Rogers congratulates Trump on building 200th mile of border wall — ‘Huge milestone’


Dothan Eagle – Drive-through COVID testing available in Hartford on Thursday


Dothan Eagle – Update: Moore and Coleman’s campaign manager to speak to GOP women Thursday


Dothan Eagle – August trial set for homeless man charged with Dothan murder


Troy Messenger – Animal shelter patrons ‘on the run’


Troy Messenger – Lady Trojans celebrate state championship


Troy Messenger – Pike County records fourth death


Andalusia Star News – Benefit organized for local boy with brain tumor


Andalusia Star News – Gov. declares annual Amateur Radio Week this week


Andalusia Star News – Local teacher: ‘Reading can help improve overall ACT scores’


Opelika-Auburn News – EAMC reports more COVID-19 infections, but serious cases steady


Opelika-Auburn News – Pastor reacts to One Auburn plan


Opelika-Auburn News – Police reports from June 23


Daily Mountain Eagle – Chamber urges masks, social distancing


Daily Mountain Eagle – Four arrested in Father’s Day burglary


Daily Mountain Eagle – Documentary on Jasper Mall to be released Tuesday


Trussville Tribune – 4th of July: Trussville’s Freedom Celebration


Trussville Tribune – Clay Council awards bid for dredging Cosby Lake


Trussville Tribune – Trussville City Council approves cameras for new plaza and approves work on I-59


Athens News Courier – $7,500 reward up for locating Alabama woman


Athens News Courier – Volunteers remove half-ton of litter from Swan Creek


Athens News Courier – ‘Glad to help’: Citizen commended for assisting deputy


Sand Mountain Reporter – Taylor Beck named publisher of The Covington News


WSFA Montgomery – Over 3,000 Alabamians denied unemployment benefits since January


WSFA Montgomery – Crowds mourn Rayshard Brooks at storied Atlanta church


WSFA Montgomery – County commissioner under fire for alleged racist remarks on social media


WAFF Huntsville – Man killed, 2 children hurt in Owens Cross Roads wreck


WAFF Huntsville – COVID-19 in Alabama: State sees 639 new cases in 24 hours


WAFF Huntsville – Madison County Commission candidate demands Confederate monument’s removal


WKRG Mobile – Mobile Fire-Rescue: 2 people shot at Azalea Pointe Apartments


WKRG Mobile – Louisville detective fired after shooting death of Breonna Taylor


WKRG Mobile – Florida officer who shoved protester referred to prosecutors


WTVY Dothan – Ozark Schools offering Camp Invention Connect for students


WTVY Dothan – Local travel agent discusses cruise delays due to COVID-19


WTVY Dothan – Murder suspect found dead in Dothan


WASHINGTON POST  – Senate Democrats call GOP policing bill ‘not salvageable,’ signal they will block measure


WASHINGTON POST  – Prosecutor to tell Congress of pressure from ‘highest levels’ of Justice Dept. to cut Roger Stone ‘a break’


WASHINGTON POST  – Fauci, top health officials warn of covid-19 surge, contradict Trump on testing


WASHINGTON POST  – Trump tells aides he supports second round of stimulus checks, but White House divisions remain


NEW YORK TIMES  – What Is Owed: Without Economic Justice, There Can Be No True Equality


NEW YORK TIMES  – Icons of 1960s Civil Rights Movement Voice Cautious Optimism


NEW YORK TIMES  – Biden Takes Dominant Lead as Voters Reject Trump on Virus and Race


NEW YORK TIMES  – Hospitals Sued to Keep Prices Secret. They Lost.


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