Get the Daily News Digest in your inbox each morning. Sign Up

Daily News Digest – November 13, 2018


Good morning! Allow me a correction: yesterday’s Daily News incorrectly described the ballot-counting situation in Florida. A provisional ballot from a non-citizen was ruled ineligible, not batched in with other votes believed to be fraudulent. I corrected the error HERE and I’m sorry about phrasing that wrong.Here’s your Daily News for Tuesday, November 13.

1. The New Class.

  • Lordy, that was a terrible show. Let’s get past it.
  • Today, newly-elected Republican State Representatives will be in Montgomery for the first of their Caucus meetings.
  • The full orientation sessions won’t begin until December 11, but the House GOP has a good reason to get started early: they have 24 new members this year.
  • In total there are 39 new state lawmakers, including 35 Republicans in both chambers. That makes the incoming class uniquely influential if they want to be.
  • Democrats added some new faces as well that could bring energy to their ranks, but they also lost long-serving Members with loads of institutional knowledge like Reps. John Knight, Marcel Black, Richard Lindsey and Johnny Mack Morrow. How Minority Leaders Anthony Daniels and Billy Beasley use the legislative process to score wins and compromises will be interesting to watch.
  •’s Mike Cason has a good write up on the new look of the Legislature that is worth a read HERE.

2. Congress returns with work to do.

Congress returns to Washington today amid a new political dynamic.
It’s what’s called the “lame duck” session, meaning many of those still voting won’t hold their House or Senate office come January.
That either gives them a lot of flexibility to do what they want, or restraint to respect the will of the voters, depending on your perspective.
Issues to look out for…
Border funding
  • When lawmakers in September agreed on a landmark spending package to avert a government shutdown, they left the hard decisions on Homeland Security funding to after the midterms.
  • Now Republicans want their border wall money and Democrats are determined to fight it.
  • Read more on that HERE.
Criminal Justice reform
  • One little-known upshot of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ ouster is the renewed prospect of a prison sentencing reform package.
  • Sessions, ever the law-and-order type, has opposed Sen. Chuck Grassley’s and Trump son in law Jared Kushner’s push to do away with mandatory minimum sentences for certain drug crimes and take away the regulation that makes it a federal crime to possess a firearm while committing another crime.
  • Now, with Sessions gone, Grassley, Kushner and other sentencing reform allies believe now is their chance.
  • Don’t expect the tough-on-crime crowd to back down, though. Conservatives in the House and Senate – including those in the Alabama delegation – are readying for a legislative battle to keep certain portions of law strict.
  • Trump is expected to render his judgment within the next few weeks. Support would mean a departure from his law-and-order campaign, but it could also get him the ever-elusive big bi-partisan win.
  • Read more from Nick Fandos and Maggie Haberman in their exclusive New York Times story.

A Message from The Poarch Creek Indians

  • Being productive, staying connected and helping Alabama thrive are embodiments of the Poarch mission to create goodness out of what we have.
  • That’s the message of the Poarch Creek Indians’ new advertising campaign that continues this week.
  • Poarch’s 2018 campaign includes two much-anticipated commercials, “Land” and “Craft” — real stories about real people in the place they call home.
  • Iconic images send hopeful messages about traditions, which fuel life and help lay the groundwork for a better future.
  • Everyone that you meet on screen and in voiceover is Poarch Creek. All scenes and locations are authentic to the Tribe.
  • Click here to watch the second spot, “Craft.”

3. Roby names Mike Albares Chief of Staff.

  • U.S. Rep. Martha Roby has promoted Mike Albares to Chief of Staff following the departure of Torrie Matous.
  • Anyone who has ever visited Roby’s Capitol Hill office has probably met Mike – he’s served on her staff for seven years, most recently as Legislative Director and Deputy Chief of Staff.
  • Torrie departs after more than 18 months as chief to become External Affairs Director at the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.
  • Mike is a Dothan native and well-known to the agriculture community. He will serve as Roby’s top adviser overseeing offices in Washington, D.C., Montgomery, Dothan and Andalusia.
  • The ascent to Chief of Staff is a big deal in the career of Capitol Hill staffers, and Mike’s moment just happens to be coming on his 30th birthday.
  • Happy Birthday, Mike, and congratulations!
  • Full story HERE.

4. Ainsworth names Judy Miller Chief of Staff.

  • Lt. Governor-elect Will Ainsworth has named longtime Marshall County delegation adviser Judy Miller his Chief of Staff.
  • Ainsworth said Miller has more than 30 years of experience “working with legislators from both parties, drafting bills and resolutions, and handling constituent services,” for the entire Marshall County delegation.
  • “During my service as a state representative in Marshall County, Judy’s professional and political talents were obvious, and I am proud to have her lead my staff and help enact my agenda,” he said.
  • Miller said Ainsworth wants to make his Lt. Governor’s office “the most active and responsive in Alabama history.”
  • Congratulations!
  • Read more HERE.

5. News Briefs.

California burns
  • The death toll from the California wildfires has risen to at least 42. To put that in perspective, the toll from Hurricane Michael was 45.
  • The dead are being found in burned-out cars, in the smoldering ruins of their homes, or next to their vehicles, apparently overcome by smoke and flames before they could escape. In some cases, there were only charred fragments of bone, so small that coroner’s investigators used a wire basket to sift and sort them.
  • “This is an unprecedented event,” Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea told an evening news conference. “If you’ve been up there, you also know the magnitude of the scene we’re dealing with. I want to recover as many remains as we possibly can, as soon as we can. Because I know the toll it takes on loved ones.”
  • Read the latest HERE.
Rockets & response in Gaza
  • A fresh wave of fighting erupted between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, leaving an Israeli soldier and seven Palestinians dead.
  • This just as Israel and Hamas rulers had appeared to be making progress toward ratcheting down months of border violence.
  • In a statement early Monday, the Israeli military said an officer was killed and another one was moderately injured during “an operational activity” in southeast Gaza Strip in which an exchange of gunfire was evolved.
  • Read more HERE.
Auburn’s Leath to present State of the University Address
  • Auburn University President Steven Leath will discuss the future of Auburn during his address to the University Senate later today.
  • Leath is expected to discuss enhancing the student experience, progress toward growing research and scholarship, becoming a partnership university, and advancing the university’s land-grant mission.
  • To that last point, Leath and Auburn are forming a special partership with fellow land-grant universities to find ways to help improve access to college and close achievement gaps. That’s welcome news in Alabama.
  • Follow along on Twitter.
Tariff Talk
  • If you’re in Mobile today, the Chamber of Commerce is hosting a special discussion of how tariffs might affect Alabama industries at the Battle House Hotel at Noon.
  • Panelists include Secretary of Commerice Greg Canfield, Port Authority Director Jimmy Lyons, and Brian Riley, Directo of the National Taxpayer’s Union’s Free Trade Initiative.
  • The panel is to moderated by Michael Berson, an Associate with Adams & Reese.
  • See below.


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Dead in cars and homes: California fire death toll rises
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Roby names Mike Albares Chief of Staff
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ainsworth names Judy Miller Chief of Staff
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Israeli soldier, 7 Palestinians killed in new Gaza fighting
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Drenching rain, severe weather possible on Gulf Coast
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – ‘Public hanging’ remark puts spotlight on Miss. Senate race
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Congress returns to new dynamic, GOP shutdown threat
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Bell creates tension with racial comment at School Board
AL.COM – California wildfires: At least 42 dead in most lethal single blaze in state history
AL.COM – Amazon HQ2 split between northern Virginia and New York
AL.COM – Math changes equal more opportunities for Alabama students.
AL.COM – 3 of the hundreds of stolen artifacts from Moundville recovered.
AL.COM – Blue Cross Blue Shield warns of robocall scam.
AL.COM – Columnist Kyle Whitmire: Internet swamp gas is killing us.
AL.COM – Man shot at Church’s Chicken in southwest Montgomery
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Montgomery ranks among worst places for singles
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – E. Paul Jones kept positive outlook: Former district attorney, lawyer and author died Sunday at 74
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Court dismisses charges of racial discrimination at Pike Road apartment complex
DOTHAN EAGLE – Flooding could be an issue for low lying roads, county roads following Monday’s heavy rainfall
DOTHAN EAGLE – Trial set for Dothan man facing multiple sex charges
DOTHAN EAGLE – Trial rescheduled for former DYS worker facing sexual misconduct charges
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – David Pearson, NASCAR’s Silver Fox, dies at 83
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Man hospitalized after walking naked on U.S. Highway 11
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Stolen Moundville artifacts recovered after 40 years
DECATUR DAILY – New Calhoun training program offers education, experience
DECATUR DAILY – Supreme Court clears way for development of former Sweetwater site
DECATUR DAILY – 100 years after World War I’s end, unified service recognizes Morgan soldiers
DECATUR DAILY – Veterans Day Program honoring WWI soldiers
DECATUR DAILY – Chamber to hold local policy agenda session Wednesday
TIMES DAILY – Bicentennial event focuses on faith, Thanksgiving
TIMES DAILY – UNA Diversity director gets leadership award
TIMES DAILY – VFW Auxiliary 8640 holds annual ceremony
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Merrill on embattled FL elections supervisor originally from Alabama: ‘It’s an embarrassment,’ ‘We would not stand for this in our state’
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Chief Justice-elect Tom Parker on Roy Moore ties: I’ve been accused of being an ‘activist’ because I want Constitution restored
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Supreme Court justice christens Navy ship in Mobile
ANDALUSIA STAR NEWS – Veterans Day speaker: Military teaches many lessons
ANDALUSIA STAR NEWS – Country Living ranks Andalusia, Candyland among top 30 places for Christmas in the nation
ANDALUSIA STAR NEWS – Auditions tonight for spring performance
TROY MESSENGER – Bulldogs prevail: Poor weather doesn’t slow down Bulldogs in 21-8 win over Oakman
THE ANNISTON STAR – Bingo amendment may be obstacle for Anniston Elks
THE ANNISTON STAR – Far-flung family: At Heflin Veterans Day event, cousins recall service on different sides of the globe
THE ANNISTON STAR – Soggy streak: Wet weather to continue through Wednesday
GADSDEN TIMES – US analysts locate secret North Korean missile sites
GADSDEN TIMES – Northern California fire toll at 42
GADSDEN TIMES – Community Feud set for Thursday night
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – New memorial, portrait unveiled in honor of Auburn University’s fallen in Vietnam
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Auburn University to consider new College of Education building; Birmingham building
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Our View: Another accident, another death; when will we see safer options?
CULLMAN TIMES – Trump is preparing to remove Kirstjen Nielsen as Homeland Security secretary, aides say
CULLMAN TIMES – Tribute to country music greats Atkins, Cramer Tuesday
CULLMAN TIMES – Comic book genius Stan Lee, Spider-Man creator, dies at 95
SHELBY COUNTY REPORTER – Saluting service: Pelham students honor area veterans
SHELBY COUNTY REPORTER – ‘Willing to heed the call’: Veterans recognized at annual Harpersville Day
SHELBY COUNTY REPORTER – Pelham council approves $64M budget
THE MADISON RECORD – Madison Community Band gives music for Christmas gift
THE MADISON RECORD – As Team Chief, Rogers led global telecommunications work
THE MADISON RECORD – Alabama women seek to redefine ‘redneck’ at pilot screening of ‘Redneck Housewives of Alabama’
DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – Operation Christmas Child collects boxes this week
DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – Drug class helping inmates inside county jail
DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – Planning starts on Dora Veterans Memorial
NEW YORK TIMES – California Fire Death Toll Now at 44 With Discovery of 13 More Bodies
NEW YORK TIMES – There’s a fear for the missing: “I don’t know if I’ll ever see her again.”
NEW YORK TIMES – Burned-Out Cars, Smoke in the Air, Aerial Assaults, All in California
WASHINGTON POST – Trump is preparing to remove Kirstjen Nielsen as Homeland Security secretary, aides say
WASHINGTON POST – California wildfire turns retirees’ haven into a living hell
WASHINGTON POST – Amazon picks Northern Va., NYC for its additional headquarters
USA TODAY – California wildfires, Michelle Obama, ‘El Chapo’ trial: 5 things you need to know Tuesday
USA TODAY – Congress returns to new dynamic, GOP shutdown threat
USA TODAY – Ryanair plane impounded, 149 passengers kicked off due to unpaid bill
POLITICO – How Democrats Won Over Older Voters—And Flipped the House
POLITICO – Former L.A. Mayor Villaraigosa joins Washington lobbying firm
POLITICO – Roger Stone ally expecting Mueller indictment

Front Pages (images link to newspaper websites, which you should visit and patronize)

Get the Daily News Digest in your inbox each morning.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Web Development By Infomedia