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Daily News Digest – October 10, 2019

Presented by The Boeing Company.


Good morning!
There are lots of tired and happy Nats fans in DC today. There are also some tired and sad Braves fans here at home, though.
Here’s your Daily News for Thursday, October 10.



1. Turkey invades, targets Kurds.

  • Turkish ground forces seized at least one village from Kurdish fighters in northern Syria as they pressed ahead with their assault Thursday, launching airstrikes and unleashing artillery shelling on towns and villages the length of its border.
  • Turkey began its offensive in northern Syria on Wednesday with airstrikes and artillery shelling, and then ground troops began crossing the border later in the day.
  • Turkey has long threatened to attack the Kurdish fighters whom Ankara considers terrorists allied with a Kurdish insurgency in Turkey. Expectations of an invasion increased after President Donald Trump’s abrupt decision Sunday to essentially abandon the Syrian Kurdish fighters, leaving them vulnerable to a Turkish offensive.
  • The Kurds, who have been America’s only allies in Syria fighting the Islamic State group, stopped on Thursday all their operations against the IS extremists in order to focus on fighting advancing Turkish troops, Kurdish and U.S. officials said.
  • Trump’s decision to have American troops step aside in northeastern Syria was a major shift in U.S. policy and drew opposition from all sides at home. It also marked a stark change in rhetoric by Trump, who during a press conference in New York last year vowed to stand by the Kurds.
  • Read the full story, including some analysis from forces on the ground, HERE.


2. Jones in a tight spot on impeachment.

  • All this week, the Alabama Republican Party has been blistering Democratic U.S. Sen. Doug Jones trying to force him to take a position on impeachment.
  • It’s a classic maneuver intended to pit Jones against a largely pro-Trump electorate.
  • “We are all watching and will hold him accountable if he joins his party trying to upend our constitution,” Alabama Republican Party Chairwoman Terry Lathan said at a news conference.
  • With impeachment talks in the news every day, it’s also hard to ignore.
  • Jones addressed the proverbial elephant in the room this week during a town hall meeting in Cullman County.
  • Kim Chandler was there to get his thoughts, plus some analysis from various political commentators on the impact impeachment might have on Jones’ political future.
  • Read her story HERE.



A message from The Boeing Company.


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3. Perez warns Worley on bylaw vote.

  • Speaking of Jones, I’m sure he wouldn’t mind some help from the Alabama Democratic Party at moments like this. DNC Chairman Tom Perez is trying to help him out with that
  • Perez sent a letter to Alabama Democratic Party leadership saying they must abide by the recently-adopted bylaws passed by a contingent of the State Democratic Executive Committee last week. He said any alternative bylaws adopted in an upcoming meeting called by Chair Nancy Worley would not be treated as legitimate.
  • Worley said she would press forward, though, so this circus will continue at least for a while.
  • That full story from Brian Lyman HERE.


4. Public Health proposes cutting public hearings.

  • The Alabama Department of Public Health and its State Board of Health are proposing to eliminate public hearings prior to adopting rule changes.
  • The move is raising concerns about transparency and access among some advocates, but the department says the change is intended to save the state money.
  • “Ninety-seven percent of the time, no one shows up,” Brian Hale, general counsel for ADPH told Alabama Daily News.  Hale said whenever the department has a proposed rule change, a public hearing is set and a court reporter is hired to transcribe it for about $400. Hale said he or another attorney usually facilitate those hearings.
  • Jennifer Crook, a certified professional midwife who lobbied the Legislature for years to decriminalize midwifery, is worried about the proposed change. Midwives go through ADPH to get birth certificates for the babies they help deliver.
  • “For me, professionally, it is concerning that they could change a rule or create a new one that would affect our profession without us having the ability to publicly comment one way or the other,” Crook said.
  • Hale said state law requires that the public have a way to communicate to the agency. Written comments could still be submitted, he said.
  • “We’re not by any means cutting the public out, we want the public to participate,” Hale said.
  • Read the full story from ADN’s Mary Sell HERE.


5. Stacy column: Reed understands the moment, but isn’t lost in it.

  • In case you hadn’t noticed, the election of Montgomery’s first black mayor is a really big deal.
  • I wrote a column about the magnitude of the moment and how we ought not let it pass by without marking its significance.
  • But even as we stop to take in the remarkable symbolism, there is real work to be done to make changes in a city fraught with hard-to-fix problems.
  • Having talked with Mayor-elect Steven Reed, my sense is that he understands the huge significance of this moment, but also has a practical approach to using it to help him do his new job.
  • That’s a long thought that can’t be captured in an excerpt, but here’s one anyway:
“It IS a really big deal. When the votes were counted and Steven Reed emerged victorious in a landslide as Montgomery’s first ever elected African-American mayor, it was a watershed moment for this town and this state. Much of it, of course, is symbolic, but symbols mean a great deal.  As a city known both as the ‘Cradle of the Confederacy’ and the ‘Birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement,’ the duality of Montgomery’s history isn’t lost on anyone from around here. It’s also not lost on anyone, whether or not we like to talk about it, that racial tensions have festered here, more than fifty years after Dr. Martin Luther King last walked these streets. Electing a black mayor won’t by itself fix all that and it certainly doesn’t erase the past, but it is an important symbolic step into a new future.”
  • Read my full column HERE.


News Briefs.


Supreme Court denies review of six Alabama death row cases
  • The U.S. Supreme Court this week declined to review six Alabama death penalty cases, including two for the murders of police officers and the state’s first prosecution for the death of an unborn child.
  • In a press release, Attorney General Steve Marshall said he was happy with the court’s decisions.
  • “In each of these cases, a life or lives were tragically and viciously taken and a just sentence of death for the killer was handed down,” Marshall said. “Police officers were carrying out their duties to protect citizens, as they do every day, and they paid the ultimate price. A mother and her unborn child, and three more women, were brutally killed. The U.S. Supreme Court this week acted in its role as a last resort of justice, rightfully letting stand the convictions and sentences for these vile crimes.”
  • The state’s first prosecution for the murder of an unborn baby happened in 2012 with the trial of Jessie Phillips.
  • Phillips held his pregnant wife, Erica Phillips, in a headlock with a gun pointed to her head in 2009. She broke away but Phillip shot her in the head, killing her.
  • Marshall prosecuted this case when he was district attorney of Marshall County and Phillips was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death in 2012.
  • Full story from ADN’s Caroline Beck HERE.
Nurse charged with murder in husband’s poisoning
  • HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama county grand jury has indicted a former nurse accused of fatally poisoning her husband with supplies stolen from the hospital where she worked.
  • News outlets reported on Wednesday that Marjorie Nicole Cappello was formally charged with murder in the 2018 death of her husband, James Cappello. Madison County Assistant District Attorney Tim Douthit says authorities believe Nicole Cappello gave her husband a fatal dose of insulin. Jim Cappello was reported missing before being found dead in the garage of the couple’s Huntsville home.
  • WAFF reports Huntsville police Investigator Michael DeNoon previously testified that Jim Cappello had become suspicious his wife was abusing drugs and was preparing to divorce her.
  • Nicole Cappello’s attorney says he hasn’t received evidence from prosecutors yet.
  • If convicted, she could face life in prison.
Coroner: Alabama man crashes, dies trying to elude deputy
  • PHENIX CITY, Ala. (AP) — Authorities say a man died after he refused to pull over for an Alabama county sheriff’s deputy and crashed into a utility pole.
  • The Lee County Coroner’s Office says 42-year-old Heath Stafford refused to stop early Wednesday morning and tried to elude the deputy when he lost control of his pickup truck in Phenix City.
  • Stafford had to be extricated from the vehicle. The coroner’s office says he was taken to a hospital, where he died from multiple blunt force injuries. The crash is under investigation.
Prison officer arrested on drug charges
  • SPRINGVILLE, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama prison officer has resigned following his arrest on charges of having illegal drugs at the St. Clair prison in Springville.
  • The Department of Corrections says 26-year-old Ivan Caldwell of Birmingham was arrested Monday on charges of trafficking drugs, promoting prison contraband and violating a pistol license.
  • The agency says Caldwell quit following his arrest.
  • Court records aren’t available to show whether Caldwell has a lawyer to speak on his behalf.
  • Caldwell had worked for the prison system since 2017. The department says a vehicle search showed he had packages of methamphetamine and heroin.
  • He was booked into the St. Clair County Jail.



ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Stacy Column: Steven Reed understands the moment, but isn’t lost in it
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama Democratic Sen. Jones in a bind on impeachment
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Supreme Court denies review of 6 Alabama death row cases
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Public Health proposes cutting public hearings prior to policy changes
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Turkey makes small advances in 2nd day of Syria invasion
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama congressional delegation reacts to Trump’s Syria withdraw
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest– October 9, 2019
AL.COM  – U.S. Supreme Court will not review 6 Alabama death penalty cases
AL.COM  – DNC chair says Alabama party’s meeting was official; Worley disagree
AL.COM  – 1st black mayor marks new chapter in Montgomery history shaped by race
AL.COM  – Aerojet Rocketdyne teams with NASA in Alabama on new 3D printed rocket engine
AL.COM  – Alabama biology teacher Raisa Eady wins $25,000, ‘Oscar of education’
AL.COM  – Alabama will soon learn the economic benefits of its airports
AL.COM  – Columnist John Archibald: This doctor learned hate but taught love
Montgomery Advertiser – Don’t underestimate what new Montgomery mayor Steven Reed’s historic victory means
Montgomery Advertiser – Montgomery man gets 20 years for killing ALDOT worker while high on aerosol propellant, THC
Montgomery Advertiser – Montgomery City Council runoffs: 2 of 3 races prove tight
YellowHammer News – High heat, minimal moisture hurt yields, bottom line
YellowHammer News – Rogers: ‘Trump is absolutely right to not participate in Nancy Pelosi’s sham impeachment inquiry’
YellowHammer News – 2019 POWER & INFLUENCE: Who’s next?
Dothan Eagle – Alabama Department of Corrections investigates death of Dothan inmate
Dothan Eagle – Newton woman sentenced to eight years in prison for elderly abuse
Dothan Eagle – Three charged in September burglary at Outpost Guns & Ammo
Tuscaloosa News – Tuscaloosa ‘career criminal’ convicted of federal charge in shooting
Tuscaloosa News – Governor presents Carnegie Hero medal to Andre Harris
Tuscaloosa News – Tuscaloosa native John Holaday killed by stray bullet
Decatur Daily – Dynetics complex allows design, construction, testing of large structures in one location
Decatur Daily – Lawrence town hall meeting Oct. 21
Decatur Daily – Decatur Fire & Rescue to recognize promotions and retirements
Times Daily – Allen Thornton teacher’s late wife honored by students
Times Daily – Sheffield City Council approves senior center roof repairs
Times Daily – TVA seeking input on draft environmental assessment for renewable energy
Gadsden Times – Alleged butt-dial bandit wanted in Rainbow City
Gadsden Times – U.S. Sen. Doug Jones leads forum on Goodyear’s future
Gadsden Times – Southside police officer honored by Kiwanis Club
Anniston Star – Woman sues JSU over alleged 2017 rape, says officials shielded basketball player from prosecution
Anniston Star – Coroner: Ohatchee man dead after police chase
Anniston Star – Coosa Valley Youth Services director Rollins to retire after 40 years
Troy Messenger – Moonshine bust a rare occurrence in Pike County
Troy Messenger – One year later: Wallace reflects on impact fo Hurricane Michael
Troy Messenger – CHHS male mentoring program makes an impact
Andalusia Star News – Forever Wild board meets in Gulf Shores on November 7
Andalusia Star News – Man pleads guilty to receiving stolen property, sentenced to 11 years in prison
Andalusia Star News – roy University library one of 50 chosen to host ‘Americans and the Holocaust’ exhibit
Opelika-Auburn News – Phenix City man fatally crashes following police pursuit
Opelika-Auburn News – Lanett man faces attempted murder charges after Tuesday night shooting
Opelika-Auburn News – Armed robbery reported at Waffle House in Valley
Daily Mountain Eagle – 18th Annual Pets on Parade this Saturday
Daily Mountain Eagle – Bicentennial exhibit opens at Bankhead House
Daily Mountain Eagle – Third annual Days Gap Fest kicks off Friday
Trussville Tribune – Alabama Democratic Sen. Jones in a bind on impeachment
Trussville Tribune – Birmingham Police ask for help in identifying robbery suspects
Trussville Tribune – Your Community Minute: Try something new
Athens News Courier – Historical program covers life of Chippendale
Athens News Courier – COUNTY COMMISSION: Farmer announces plans to run
Athens News Courier – Fed’s odd dilemma: Low unemployment but pressure to do more
Sand Mountain Reporter – Former Volunteer Fire Chief arrested | Guntersville fireman suspected of embezzling department funds
Sand Mountain Reporter – 2-year-old wandering in road, father arrested | Collinsville man charged with child neglect, drug possession
WSFA Montgomery – Rep. Terri Sewell talks hot topics at town hall
WSFA Montgomery – ‘This is not the first time:’ Ala. resident hopes new law cuts down on litter
WSFA Montgomery – Montgomery Mayor-elect Steven Reed begins transition to city hall
Fox 6 Birmingham – MUST WATCH: Hit and Run chase in Hoover caught on camera
Fox 6 Birmingham – Waterline testing could disrupt service in Midfield
Fox 6 Birmingham – ‘This is not the first time:’ Ala. resident hopes new law cuts down on litter
WAFF Huntsville – Man allegedly broke into car, stole credit cards outside Huntsville Kroger
WAFF Huntsville – Man in critical condition after falling on cruise ship
WAFF Huntsville – Murder trial set for Huntsville woman accused of poisoning husband
WKRG Mobile – Florida men accused of pouring beer into alligator’s mouth
WKRG Mobile – Congressman Bradley Byrne issues statement on impeachment inquiry
WKRG Mobile – Downtown Airport says Airbus will be out of temporary terminal by end of 2019
WTVY Dothan – Farmers still recovering from Hurricane Michael
WTVY Dothan – Woman on way to altar finds out she’s still married
WASHINGTON POST  – Trump’s Syria decision tests the bounds of Republican support as he demands solidarity on impeachment
WASHINGTON POST  – Trump downplays U.S. alliance with Syrian Kurds, saying ‘they didn’t help us in the Second World War’
WASHINGTON POST  – Trump’s broad claims of executive immunity lead to criticism he is acting above the law
NEW YORK TIMES  – Contributor Linda Greenhouse: A Supreme Court Abortion Case That Tests the Court Itself
NEW YORK TIMES  – ‘Flash Drought’ Brings Dust and Dread to Southern Farmers

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