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Daily News Digest – May 8, 2018

Good morning! Here’s your Daily News for Tuesday, May 8.

1. School safety report released; ESSA plan approved.

Two pretty big developments for Alabama education: Gov. Ivey’s school safety report was released and the state’s ESSA implementation plan has been approved by the U.S. Dept. of Education.

School Safety

  • In the wake of the Parkland, Florida shooting, Ivey convened a council to review school safety protocols and recommend needed changes.
  • Part of this was due to the various proposals cropping up in the Legislature: everything from arming teachers to stricter gun controls.
  • Among the council’s recommendations: more money for school security personnel & equipment; better coordination between schools, law enforcement, & state agencies to identify and deal with potential threats; hiring more mental health professionals; and better emergency training for school employees.
  • The Legislature set aside $41 million for school security personnel/upgrades this past session. Read Trisha Powell Crain’s report on HERE.


  • Remember No Child Left Behind, that law most everybody hated? Congress replaced it with a new law that is a lot more popular: The Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA.
  • ESSA is a lot less draconian in its mandates on states, but it still requires states to demonstrate they are working to improve student learning and achievement.
  • Gov. Ivey announced that Alabama’s plan to do that was approved by Education Secretary Betsy Devos yesterday.
  • So, you know, that’s one less thing. Read more HERE.

2. All eyes on West Virginia, ‘Cocaine Mitch.’

  • It’s Primary Election Day in Ohio, Indiana, North Carolina and West Virginia today.
  • All eyes on on the Mountaineer State because of an interesting situation that is developing: a quirky (maybe crazy) candidate with a checkered past might win the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate and in doing so threaten Republicans’ chances of picking up a seat.
  • Wait, where have I heard that one before???
  • President Trump is straight up making the connection to Alabama and Roy Moore warning West Virginia Republicans not to nominate the nincompoop.
  • It’s what the GOP does best, though. Nominate fringe candidates who make Democrats look reasonable in right-of-center states. Senate seats in Missouri, Indiana, Nevada, Delaware, and, yes, Alabama would likely all be held by Republicans right now had they nominated a normal person.
  • Read more on the situation from AP’s Catherine Lucy HERE.
  • Better yet, read Jonathan Martin’s dispatch for the New York Times HERE.


  • This is big: The Montgomery Advertiser is offering a special discounted subscription rate for Alabama Daily News readers.
  • The Advertiser has a growing team of smart journalists who are dedicated to telling the stories that matter to the Capital City and the state.
  • Subscribe today to get unlimited access to The Advertiser on all platforms – mobile, desktop, and in print.
  • Tired of hitting the paywall? Break through with a digital subscription at just 99 cents for the first month.
  • This offer is exclusive for Alabama Daily News subscribers who currently do not have an Advertiser subscription and is only available for a limited time.
  • Click HERE to take advantage of this offer now.

3. Campaign Trail Update.

Sue Bell Cobb profiled

  • AP’s Kim Chandler caught up with former Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb on the campaign trail to talk about her run for governor.
  • Cobb has considerable name ID and possible crossover appeal to Republicans, but has lost favor with some in the Democratic establishment for her support of Jeff Sessions and other issues.
  • Read the full story HERE.

New Twinkle Ad

  • Lt. Governor candidate Twinkle Cavanaugh has a new ad airing statewide starting today. It touts her work to elect Donald Trump, Christian faith, support for gun rights and pro-life position.
  • You can see it in the updated ad rundown HERE.
  • REMINDER: If you have an ad running on TV, send it to me! This rundown is getting a ton of views and you want your ad to be among the ones seen. YouTube is easiest to embed. 

Attorney General criticisms 

  • I took it a little tough on Attorney General candidate Alice Martin yesterday pointing out some of her inconsistent statements on pursuing Bentley’s appointment and investigating him.
  • One loyal reader pointed out that there are some criticisms of the other candidates out there as well that deserve to be seen. That’s right, and I appreciate the feedback.
  •’s Kyle Whitmire really laid into former Attorney General Troy King for his role in creating the Sheriff jailhouse slush fund situation. That could be a problem for King down the road if the issue festers. Read that story HERE.
  • Kyle also took current Attorney General Steve Marshall to task for not publicly releasing a case file related to the Sheriffs food fund case. Whitmire says it should be public but the AG’s office is saying they don’t release these types of case files. Read that story HERE.

4. Birmingham’s Highlands Bar & Grill finally wins Beard Award.

  • Birmingham’s Highlands Bar & Grill has been named the nation’s top restaurant.
  • This is a real competition among amazing restaurants from New York to Los Angeles, not some people’s choice contest between Chili’s and Olive Garden.
  • The prestigious James Beard Award comes after Highlands was named a finalist NINE straight years in a row.
  • Also, Highlands’ Dolester Miles has been named the nation’s top pastry chef.
  • Quite an honor for the restaurant and a cool distinction for Birmingham. Congrats!
  • Read more in the AP dispatch from Chicago HERE and Bob Carlton’s report on HERE.

5. News Briefs

  • New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has resigned after four women accused him of assault. It’s the latest #MeToo story from Ronan Farrow, the same writer who exposed Harvey Weinstein writing for The New Yorker. The story behind the accusations is pretty crazy and worth a read (for adults) when you have some time. Find it HERE.
  • President Trump is poised to withdraw the United States from the Iranian nuclear accord today. The announcement is scheduled for 2:00 Eastern. The New York Times’ David Sanger is probably the best-sourced reporter on this subject. He points out that the two people advocating for staying in and revising the Iran deal (Rex Tillerson & H.R. McMaster) have been replaced by fervent opponents of the deal (Mike Pompeo & John Bolton). Read the full story HERE.
  • Oliver North has been named president of the National Rifle Association. That story HERE.
  • All six Etowah County judges have recused themselves from presiding over Roy Moore’s lawsuit against is accusers. That means an out of town judge will likely be appointed. Remember the whole point fo Moore filing in Etowah County was to get the matter back before a hometown crowd. Read Paul Gattis’ story HERE.
  • By day, Austin Perine is a mild-mannered 4-year-old from Birmingham, AL. But once a week, he turns into a superhero set on feeding as many homeless people as possible. This story is from CBS News is worth your time.

Bonus: Two photos

Sen. Richard Shelby turned 84 yesterday. His office celebrated in style with balloons and what looks like a coconut cake. Happy belated birthday, Mr. Chairman.

Yesterday marked the 50th anniversary of Gov. Lurleen Wallace’s death. Gov. Kay Ivey instagrammed an interesting photo of her standing with Gov. Wallace during a visit to Auburn University.


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Updated: On the Air: Rundown of Candidates TV ads.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Stacy Column: Poll shows open races one month out of GOP primary.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Steve Flowers: Low voter turnout expected for primary.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Cobb stresses decades on bench in run for governor.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Analysis: Alice Martin’s Bentley problem gets stickier.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Birmingham’s Highlands Bar and Grill, pastry chef Dolester Miles win Beard Awards.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS: Trump signals cooperative approach with Mueller is fading.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – In West Virginia, Blankenship defiant as Trump tweets against him.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Oliver North named president of NRA.  

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – New York Attorney General resigns amid abuse allegations.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS -Trump proposes billions in spending cuts to Congress.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – More than 350 guns stolen from Montgomery vehicles since 2017.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – With 4 schools closing, MPS rezoning meetings scheduled this month

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Suspicious fire destroys warehouse in downtown Prattville.

DOTHAN EAGLE: Apparent love triangle at Thunder Beach led to death of three people.

DOTHAN EAGLE: Construction for third Chick-fil-a underway.

ABC 33/40 – Alabama grandparent visitation case ends at U.S. Supreme Court.

AL.COM – Doug Jones to return $2,700 in excess campaign contributions to Rosie O’Donnell.

AL.COM – Former AG Troy King raises $480K in April for return to office bid.

AL.COM – Alabama federal education plan wins approval.

AL.COM – Walmart changes opioid prescription policies.

AL.COM – A world without internet? It exists in Alabama for some but change is coming.

AL.COM – Etowah County judges recuse themselves from Roy Moore lawsuit.

AL.COM – A world without internet? It exists in Alabama for some but change is coming.

AL.COM – Hurricane season 2018: Hurricane hunters of all sorts coming to Montgomery this week.

AL.COM – Gov. Ivey’s school safety council report: many needs, no funding.

ALABAMA POLITICAL REPORTER – Columnist Josh Moon:  The plot to kick a GOP school board candidate off the ballot.

DECATUR DAILY – New claims filed against Morgan sheriff, employees.

TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Immigration policy may split up families crossing border illegally.

ANNISTON STAR – FEMA recommends Jacksonville tornado victims initially denied aid to appeal.

OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Macon County schools to remain closed until threat situation is resolved, sheriff says.

OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Dropping enrollment, funding cuts could close Alabama school.

WASHINGTON POST – Columnist Michael Gerson:  Evangelicals are having their own #MeToo moment.

WASHINGTON POST – Trump calls on Congress to pull back $15 billion in spending, including on Children’s Health Insurance Program.

WASHINGTON POST – Thousands of Southern Baptist women denounce Paige Patterson’s ‘objectifying’ comments, advice to abused women.

NEW YORK TIMES – States Turn to an Unproven Method of Execution: Nitrogen Gas

NEW YORK TIMES – ‘Like a Mosquito in a Nudist Colony.’ How Mick Mulvaney Found Plenty to Target at Consumer Bureau.

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