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Daily News Digest – November 25, 2019

Presented by

Alabama’s Trucking Industry

Good morning!
Here’s your Daily News for Monday, November 25.

1. Suspect in custody for killing of Sheriff “Big John” Williams

  • Condolences poured in Sunday after the fatal shooting of Lowndes County Sheriff John Williams, known locally as “Big John.”
  • Law enforcement agencies in Alabama and beyond posted tributes on social media offering prayers and support.
  • “We in Alabama’s law enforcement community mourn the loss of a dedicated brother,” Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Secretary Hal Taylor said in a statement. “Not only was Lowndes County Sheriff ‘Big John’ Williams a committed man of the law, but he was kind and loved by many.”
  • Residents of Hayneville gathered for a vigil and prayer service near the gas station where Williams was shot.
  • The Montgomery Advertiser reports that witnesses saw a driver shoot Williams at a gas pump after the sheriff approached a truck to ask about loud music.
  • The suspect was identified as 18-year-old William Chase Johnson, who is being held in an Elmore County jail. CNN reports that Johnson is the son of a deputy from a neighboring county’s sheriff’s department.
  • Read all that and more HERE.



2. Spending agreement reached

  • Negotiations on a package of spending bills to fund the federal government have produced a key breakthrough, though considerably more work is needed to wrap up the long-delayed measures.
  • Top lawmakers of the House and Senate Appropriations committees on Saturday confirmed agreement on allocations for each of the 12 spending bills, a step that allows negotiations on the $1.4 trillion budget bundle to begin in earnest to try to pass the measures by a Dec. 20 deadline.
  • Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., and House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., announced the agreement on Saturday through aides.
  • Lawmakers passed a stopgap measure last week to fund the government through Dec. 20. This pact opens the door to a final agreement by that date, though the spending bundling is likely to spill over into next year.
  • Full story HERE.








A message from

Alabama’s Trucking Industry

  • Trucks move Alabama’s economy, and a career in trucking can open many doors for working Alabamians of all ages, genders and races.
  • Did you know that Alabama trucking businesses provide 107,160 jobs – 1 out of 15 in the state?
  • From professional truck drivers, diesel technicians, logistics professionals, fleet managers, safety/HR professionals and sales directors, the jobs our industry offers are diverse and plentiful.
  • And we’re talking about good-paying, highly technical jobs… and they are available right now!









3. Second arrest in Aniah Blanchard case


  • Auburn police have arrested a second man in the disappearance of college student Aniah Haley Blanchard.
  • Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes said that 35-year-old Antwain Shamar Fisher of Montgomery has been charged with first-degree kidnapping in the 19-year-old’s disappearance last month.
  • Blanchard was last seen on October 23 at a convenience store in Auburn. She is a student at Southern Union Community College in nearby Opelika.
  • Authorities already have another suspect in custody – 29-year-old Ibraheem Yazeed, who witnesses saw force Blanchard into her car and drive away.
  • Read more HERE.



4. AP Top 25 for Rivalry Week

  • The top 5 remained unchanged in this week’s AP Top 25 Presented by Regions Bank.
  • That’s not good news for Alabama, who remains at No. 5, but the Crimson Tide could control their own destiny to the College Football Playoff now that Pac 12 favorite Oregon suffered its second loss of the season.
  • But to have a chance, Alabama will have to go through No. 16 Auburn at Jordan Hare Stadium in the Iron Bowl.
  • This year’s grudge match is the first time since 2011 that neither team will be playing for a berth in the SEC Championship Game. No. 1 LSU and No. 5 Georgia already have those spots locked up.
  • The Iron Bowl will match ranked teams for the third time in the last four years and fifth time in the last seven.
  • Interestingly, Auburn leads the series 13-9 when both teams are ranked, including 3-2 since Nick Saban has been at Alabama.
  • See the full Top 25 and read more about Rivalry Week HERE.


5. News Briefs

Study to look for signs of hookworm in Alabama’s Black Belt

  • BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Researchers are once again trying to determine whether Alabama’s Black Belt region has a problem with intestinal parasites called hookworm.
  • A study led by University of Alabama at Birmingham is recruiting participants for a program that will screen hundreds of children in Wilcox and Perry counties for signs of hookworm.
  • State health officials took issue with a previous study involving Baylor University that found evidence of hookworm. The parasite was once widespread in the United States and is now a problem mainly in underdeveloped counties.
  • Health officials say poor waste disposal systems and environmental conditions in rural west Alabama put the area at risk for the problem.
  • UAB announced the new program in a statement this week. The work is being funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Story link.

4 hurt, 1 dead in drive-by shooting after bar fight

  • BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Police say a group of patrons that were kicked out of a bar returned in a car and shot five people standing outside, killing one.
  • Birmingham police Sgt. Johnny Williams said officers responded to a west Birmingham sports bar early Sunday morning where they found four people wounded, including one man in critical condition. The seriously injured victim, 25-year-old Fredrick Asher, died at a hospital. reports a fifth victim also later arrived at a hospital for treatment of wounds that weren’t life-threatening.
  • Williams said the suspects were asked to leave the club after a fight, then returned in a dark vehicle and shot from it. He says those suspects haven’t been identified.

Alabama communities receive nearly $19M in federal grants

  • MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Almost $19 million in federal money is going to dozens of communities around Alabama to help with everything from sewers to removing old buildings.
  • The grants announced this week by the governor’s office are from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which provides block grants to help cities and counties.
  • A statement says $18.7 million is going to 58 communities in amounts ranging from about $120,000 to $450,000.
  • Cullman and Brewton are among the cities getting the maximum amount. Both towns plan work including sewer improvements.
  • Tallassee and Scottsboro are getting more than $200,000 each to demolish dilapidated structures.
  • Local communities apply for the grants, which the state administers for the federal agency.

2 inmates found dead in Alabama prisons

  • MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Prison officials say they are investigating the deaths of two Alabama inmates.
  • The Department of Corrections says 65-year-old Earl Hogan passed out Nov. 20 while working in the garage at Staton Correctional Facility.
  • The agency says officers and medical staff performed CPR, but Hogan could not be revived. The cause of death is pending autopsy results.
  • Hogan was serving a life sentence out of Elmore County for a murder conviction.
  • Sixty-three-year-old Charles Brookshire was found unresponsive on Nov. 20 in the hospital ward of Limestone Correction Facility. Brookshire was admitted to the hospital ward last month because of a cancer diagnosis.
  • Brookshire was serving a five-year sentence out of Dekalb County for an obstruction of justice conviction. The final cause of death is pending autopsy results.

Burnett named president of the University of Mobile

  • MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — The interim president of the University of Mobile is taking over the position on a permanent basis.
  • The school issued a statement Friday saying Lonnie A. Burnett has been named to the position after serving six months in the job on an interim basis.
  • Burnett is a 1979 graduate of the school who previously served as executive dean for arts and sciences. He’s also served in other positions including president of the Faculty Council.
  • The small liberal arts college is affiliated with the Alabama Baptist State Convention.




ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Condolences pour in after shooting death of Alabama sheriff
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Top lawmakers reach agreement on spending as deadline nears
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Second arrest in Aniah Blanchard case
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Study to look for signs of hookworm in Alabama’s Black Belt
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS  – AP Top 25: Rivalry week with ranked matchups
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Graddick: Clarifying the roles at Pardons and Paroles
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS  – Alabama jury convicts officer of manslaughter in shooting
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS  – Weekend Digest- November 24, 2019
AL.COM  – Grieving Lowndes County prays over loss of Sheriff ‘Big John’ Williams
AL.COM  – Columnist Roy Johnson: Woodfin may tout first-half gains, yet still chasing promises
AL.COM  – Sheriff John Williams is 5th Alabama law enforcement officer slain in 2019
AL.COM  – Nancy Worley says she was half-joking about using gun at party headquarter
AL.COM  – Now 4 years old, Alabama genomic medicine clinic is changing lives
AL.COM  – Free at last: Geneva Cooley eyes her first Thanksgiving free in 17 years
AL.COM  – Zeigler writes a book recapping I-10 toll battle; recalls his ‘Mayberry’
AL.COM  – Losing our religion? Faith is part of identity in the South, but it’s changing
AL.COM  – Columnist Kyle Whitmire: Too illegit to quit: What if they won’t go away?
AL.COM  – Contributor Rachel Bryars: Don’t assume all Southern black women are anti-Trump
Montgomery Advertiser – Hayneville holds a prayer vigil in honor of Sheriff John Williams
Montgomery Advertiser – Lowndes County mourns ‘senseless’ shooting of beloved Sheriff ‘Big John’ Williams
Montgomery Advertiser – Lowndes County Sheriff John Williams shot, killed. Suspect caught, charged with murder
YellowHammer News – Sessions: ‘Confident’ I can be most effective advocate for Trump — ‘Others are talking today how strong they were, but maybe not when it counted’
YellowHammer News – UAB forensics team DarkTower leaves criminals with nowhere to hide
YellowHammer News – Worley says racism of ‘North Alabama white contingency’ behind party split; Admits telling volunteer she would go get her gun at party HQ
Dothan Eagle – One dies in Slocomb house fire Sunday morning
Dothan Eagle – Trooper presence to increase during Thanksgiving holiday
Dothan Eagle – Local retailers optimistic about holiday shopping season despite its brevity
Tuscaloosa News – ’60 Days In’ films at Etowah County Detention Center
Tuscaloosa News – Police investigating shooting off Skyland Boulevard
Tuscaloosa News – Driver in fatal crash begins 3-year prison sentence
Decatur Daily – Preliminary analysis: Toxins at Brookhaven property
Decatur Daily – Payback for good deeds: Campaign raises vehicle money for selfless volunteer
Decatur Daily – Council discusses organizational chart, but lawsuit looms over talks
Times Daily – Work at UNA planetarium should be completed first of year
Times Daily – 2 UNA alumni to receive honorary degrees
Times Daily – Roy Moore to attend Shoals Republican Club breakfast
Gadsden Times – Condolences pour in after shooting death of Lowndes County sheriff
Gadsden Times – Second man arrested in disappearance of UFC fighter’s stepdaughter
Gadsden Times – Sheriff John Williams is 5th Alabama law enforcement officer slain in 2019
Anniston Star – Phillip Tutor: The hungry students at Calhoun County’s schools
Anniston Star – Weaver to receive grant to demolish vacant homes
Anniston Star – Anniston Regional Airport receives $4 million for maintenance
Troy Messenger – Near-record travel expected for Thanksgiving holiday
Troy Messenger – Police identify murder suspect
Troy Messenger – House catches fire on Trojan Way
Opelika-Auburn News – Ristretto Lounge celebrates coffee, community
Opelika-Auburn News – Condolences pour in after shooting death of Alabama sheriff
Opelika-Auburn News – Second suspect arrested in Blanchard case
Daily Mountain Eagle – WCCT collecting toy cars for Christmas parade
Daily Mountain Eagle – Chance inducted into Steinway Teacher Hall of Fame
Daily Mountain Eagle – Thanksgiving celebration at Parrish Elementary
Trussville Tribune – CENTER POINT: Man hurt during robbery involving BB gun
Trussville Tribune – 5 shot, 1 killed in drive-by shooting in Birmingham
Trussville Tribune – Multiple vehicle crash backs up traffic on Chalkville Mountain Road
Athens News Courier – LCSO searching for armed robbery suspect
Athens News Courier – ‘Frozen 2’ heats up box office with $127M opening weekend
Athens News Courier – MSNHA accepting proposals for $60,000 in federal grant funds
Sand Mountain Reporter – Guntersville Ladies Civitans to host 6th annual Holiday Tour of Homes
Sand Mountain Reporter – Super Citizens celebrated in Boaz | City schools’ students recognize local heroes
Sand Mountain Reporter – Farm City Week banquet celebration | Farmer, consumer relationship commemorated
WSFA Montgomery – Suspect in sheriff’s death is son of Montgomery County deputy
WSFA Montgomery – Man and woman shot early Sunday morning in Montgomery
WSFA Montgomery – ‘A very loved sheriff’: Lowndes County, law enforcement mourn ‘Big John’ Williams
Fox 6 Birmingham – ‘A very loved sheriff’: Lowndes County, law enforcement mourn ‘Big John’ Williams
Fox 6 Birmingham – Lowndes County Sheriff ‘Big John’ Williams shot and killed, suspect in custody
Fox 6 Birmingham – Woman shot at Pizza Hut on Skyland Blvd
WAFF Huntsville – Blue alert issued for suspect; Lowndes County Sheriff killed in gas station shooting
WAFF Huntsville – Huntsville Police investigating shooting on Williamsburg Drive
WAFF Huntsville – Public input wanted on naming new Madison City Schools
WKRG Mobile – Mississippi Lottery sales start Monday morning
WKRG Mobile – Drive-by shooting outside Birmingham night club injures 4, kills 1
WKRG Mobile – Suspect in custody in shooting death of Alabama sheriff
WTVY Dothan – Teen charged with murdering south Alabama sheriff
WTVY Dothan – Governor: Alabama sheriff shot, killed in line of duty
WTVY Dothan – One dead in early morning fire in Slocomb
WASHINGTON POST  – White House review turns up emails showing extensive effort to justify Trump’s decision to block Ukraine military aid
WASHINGTON POST  – Mike Bloomberg enters Democratic campaign for president
NEW YORK TIMES  – 2020 Democrats Unapologetically Support Abortion Rights, Times Survey Shows
NEW YORK TIMES  – Esper Demands Resignation of Navy Secretary Over SEAL Case
NEW YORK TIMES  – Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Discharged From Hospital

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