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Daily News Digest – March 19, 2019

Presented by

The Economic Development Association of Alabama


Good Morning!
Today is the second day of the Regular Session.
Here’s your Daily News for Tuesday, March 19, 2019



1. More than 1,000 feared dead in Mozambique.

  • It’s hard to fathom a death count of more than 1,000 from a natural disaster we are familiar with, but that’s what the African country of Mozamique is facing today after a cyclone ravaged the country over the weekend.
  • The storm struck Beira, an Indian Ocean port city of a half-million people, then moved inland to Zimbabwe and Malawi with strong winds and heavy rain. But it took days for the scope of the disaster to come into focus in Mozambique, which has a poor communication and transportation network and a corrupt and inefficient bureaucracy.
  • Speaking on state Radio Mozambique, Nyusi said that while the official death toll stood at 84, “It appears that we can register more than 1,000 deaths.”
  • More than 80 people were killed in Zimbabwe’s eastern Chimanimani region and more than 50 in Malawi, according to official figures. Hundreds more were reported injured and missing, and nearly 1,000 homes were destroyed in eastern Zimbabwe alone.
  • Doctors Without Borders said rivers have broken their banks leaving many houses fully submerged and around 11,000 households displaced in Nsanje, in southern Malawi.
  • U.N. agencies and the Red Cross helped rush emergency food and medicine by helicopter to the stricken countries.
  • Full story HERE.



2. Genealogy testing led to murder, rape arrest.

  • A prosecutor says he’ll seek the death penalty against a man charged in the slayings of two Alabama teenagers nearly 20 years ago.
  • District Attorney Kirke Adams says 45-year-old Coley McCraney can be prosecuted for capital murder in the killings of 17-year-olds Tracie Hawlett and J.B. Beasley.
  • Adams told a news conference Monday that one of the multiple capital counts against the man includes a charge that one of the victims was sexually assaulted during her slaying in 1999.
  • Authorities say they used DNA matching to confirm that evidence from the killings was tied to McCraney.
  • The suspect was found by the same genealogy database techniques used to apprehend the suspected “Golden State Killer” last year.
  • Law enforcement interest in using genetic genealogy to crack cold cases has ballooned since the high-profile arrest of the suspected California serial killer who was found by running crime scene DNA through a genealogy database.
  • Ozark Police Chief Marlos Walker, who said he always believed the case could be solved, said the Golden State killer arrest inspired them to try something similar. “Let’s try that,’ Walker recalled.
  • McCraney is a truck driver and a preacher at his own church in Ozark.
  • Read the full amazing story from Kim Chandler HERE.
  • Also read The Dothan Eagle and watch WTVY’s coverage.



A message from the

Economic Development Association of Alabama

The Alabama Jobs Enhancement Act did nothing more than continue to put Alabama in the best position to be competitive in economic development.
Economic development should not be considered lobbying. We must keep Alabama on the list for projects!
Questions? Learn more about the Economic Development Professional’s Safe Harbor Act on our website.




3. Marsh advancing wall bill.

  • A bill sponsored by Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh would allow Alabamians to donate some of their income tax return to the construction of a wall on the southern border by checking a box on their tax return documents.
  • Senate Bill 22 is expected to be in the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee today and Marsh told Alabama Daily News that he plans on doing everything he can to get the bill to the Senate floor for a vote this week.
  • Marsh said that his original reasoning for proposing the bill was because of problems he faced when trying to send money to We Build the Wall, Inc.
  • “I wanted to create an avenue that would, one, give a way for Alabamians to show support for (President Donald) Trump and for building the wall, but also to allow them to participate in that process,” Marsh said.
  • Immigrant rights groups oppose the bill and say any tax exempt donations send “clear message to immigrants that we are not welcome here.”
  • Caroline Beck has the full story with more comments from Marsh, and you can read that HERE.


4. LEAD Academy will open this year.

  • It looks like Montgomery will open a public charter school in 2019 after all.
  • After winning a Supreme Court case last week, LEAD Academy says it is scheduled to open in August.
  • School leaders said the plan is to open August 19 with 360 students in K-5.
  • “We have a lot of work to do,” said Ryan Cantrell, Vice President of the LEAD Academy board. “But we are committed to opening Montgomery’s first public charter school for kindergarten through fifth grade to students on August 19th.”
  • The Alabama Public Charter School Commission approved LEAD Academy’s application in February 2018, but the Alabama Education Association sued to challenge that decision in what many saw as a delay tactic.
  • Last week, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled in favor of the LEAD Academy, and the school subsequently executed a contract with the state’s charter commission.
  • Board Chair Charlotte Meadows confirmed the class size will be 24 students.
  • “We are the same school we set out to be a year ago with a focus on STREAMS: Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts, Math, and Social and Emotional Learning,” Meadows said.
  • “And high expectations for our faculty, our students, our parents, and of course, ourselves.”
  • Watch the full story from WSFA’s Jenn Horton HERE.
  • Read more from the Montgomery Advertiser’s Krista Johnson HERE.


5. Inside Alabama Politics.

A new edition of Inside Alabama Politics is out.
In today’s edition:
  • The Process: How the gas tax really passed;
  • The Upshot: who gets the spoils and who gets spanked?
  • What happened at SPLC?
  • Senate 2020 Update: The Full Mo;
  • Montgomery Mayor update;
Read it all HERE.
Kind of have to read between the lines, but there’s lots of intriguing stuff in there today.
Remember, IAP is a paid subscription site, and we’ll be merging more insider content between the two platforms going forward. Existing IAP subscribers will be grandfathered in, of course, and if you’d like to become a new subscriber, you can do that HERE.


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Border wall donations bill in committee this week
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – GOP: Without new money to fund it, Medicaid expansion unlikely
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – ‘Golden State killer’ arrest led Alabama police to genealogy testing
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Court: Alabama can’t keep its lethal injection method secret
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – More than 1,000 feared dead after cyclone slams into Mozambique
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – March 18, 2019
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Matthew Stokes: Gas tax not a ‘betrayal’
Inside Alabama Politics: The Process: How the gas tax really passed; The Upshot: who gets the spoils and who gets spanked? What happened at SPLC? Senate 2020 Update: The Full Mo; Montgomery Mayor update;
AL.COM – Amazon delays opening of Bessemer fulfillment center; may not launch until 2020
AL.COM – Alabama woman suing over student debt robocalls
AL.COM – Authors beat guns into plowshares in Birmingham
AL.COM – Jones demands probe of abuse allegations at Huntsville veterans’ home
AL.COM – McCutcheon talks new session, gas tax
AL.COM – Appeals court: Alabama must release execution protocol
AL.COM – Legislator wants to make it easier to deny bond
AL.COM – Contributor Amanda Walker: Now is the time for an Alabama Lottery
AL.COM – Contributors Elise Kilgore, Nick Eardley, Cammy Mayhew, Dr. Hunter Boggs and Jackie Boggs: Alabama’s special needs children need multiple options for education
AL.COM – Contributor John Meredith: Is conservatism a strictly Republican value?
Montgomery Advertiser – Police investigating homicide after Taylor Street shooting
Montgomery Advertiser – Court: Alabama must disclose lethal injection execution protocol
Montgomery Advertiser – LEAD Academy, Montgomery’s first charter school, plans to open in August
YellowHammer News – Watch: Doug Jones refuses to answer question on Trump impeachment
YellowHammer News – Marshall focused on ensuring public safety, defending state law in first full term
YellowHammer News – Failed state House candidate wants to challenge gas tax in court
Dothan Eagle – Ozark Police Chief: ‘DNA doesn’t lie’ in arrest of Coley McCraney
Dothan Eagle – GOVERNMENT OVERSIGHT: Explaining the importance of Dothan’s city manager position
Dothan Eagle – Former Ozark chief Spivey hopes arrest provides closure for victims’ families
Tuscaloosa News – Northport City Council approves feral cat program
Decatur Daily – Hartselle office to install waiting room
Decatur Daily – Sheriff’s Office: Morgan fugitive captured by son of bounty hunter ‘Dog’ Chapman, crews
Decatur Daily – March 19 police reports
Times Daily – PARCA group to broaden definition of economic development
Times Daily – Report: Tax return season adds to telemarketing calls
Times Daily – GOP: Without new money to fund it, Medicaid expansion unlikely
Gadsden Times – Recovery continues after 2018 tornado in Etowah County
Gadsden Times – Fire at Leesburg plant quickly contained
Anniston Star – Spann to JSU audience: Weather radios crucial for storm warnings
Anniston Star – Man charged with attacking woman with box cutter
Anniston Star – Man charged with dealing meth, heroin in Oxford
Troy Messenger – ENGULFED: Brundidge apartment destroyed in blaze
Troy Messenger – Flynt: Alabama history rooted in stories, music
Troy Messenger – Pike County BOE approves summer camp locations
Andalusia Star News – CMS gives hospital 4 stars
Andalusia Star News – HGTV’s ‘Home Town’ cast to share ideas in Opp
Opelika-Auburn News – Auburn police charge Opelika man with murder
Daily Mountain Eagle – Netflix movie films scenes in Dora
Daily Mountain Eagle – Smith asks for pay raise for deputies, jailers
Daily Mountain Eagle – Burger King opens off I-22 in Jasper
Trussville Tribune – 71-year-old woman killed in north Alabama crash
Sand Mountain Reporter – Archaeologist discusses Alabama folk pottery
WSFA Montgomery – 11-year-old tornado victim visits school for the first time since hospital release
WSFA Montgomery – ALEA issues missing senior alert for Lee County man
WSFA Montgomery – Machete-wielding clerk fends off knife-wielding suspect at AL gas station
Fox 6 Birmingham – Tornado cleanup continues in Blount County
Fox 6 Birmingham – FIRST ALERT: Freezing temps likely north of I-20 Monday night
Fox 6 Birmingham – JSU president says university ‘substantially recovered’ from March 2018 tornado
WKRG Mobile – Silver alert issued for missing Lee County man
WKRG Mobile – Alabama Senator to propose lottery bill this week
WTVY Dothan – Hawlett family hopes arrest leads to answers in daughter’s murder
WTVY Dothan – DCS Board continues getting ready for restructuring in the Fall
WTVY Dothan – People in Ozark talk about an arrest in the 1999 murders
WASHINGTON POST – Beto O’Rourke’s early campaign: Upbeat sentiments absent many specifics
WASHINGTON POST – Pentagon sends Congress list of military construction projects that could be delayed to free up money for wall
NEW YORK TIMES – Columnists Gail Collins and Bret Stephens: The Kids Aren’t All Right
NEW YORK TIMES – Elizabeth Warren Calls for Ending Electoral College



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