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Daily News Digest – October 14, 2019

Presented by The Prosper Group.


Good morning! Hope you had a good weekend. I sure did .
Here’s your Daily News for Monday, October 14.


*Amber Alert Update*

  • An Amber Alert is still active this morning after 3-year-old Kamille McKinney was kidnapped from a birthday party in Birmingham Saturday.
  • Police issued an Amber Alert after someone in a blue Toyota Sequoia grabbed the child and drove away while she was outside with friends about 8:30 p.m.
  • The alert says Kamille, whose family calls her “Cupcake,” is 3-feet tall and weighs 60 pounds. She was wearing a pink Minnie Mouse T-shirt and had yellow, white and blue bows in her hair.
  • A person of interest has been taken in for questioning.
  • Law enforcement said they would have an update later this morning. For now watch the latest from WBRC HERE and read more of the background story from Carol Robinson HERE.



1. Drugged driving: State looks to boost enforcement, prosecution.


  • Throughout Alabama, hundreds of impaired drivers have taken prescription and illegal drugs, often with alcohol, according to information compiled by the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences.
  • Now, the state is looking to improve its enforcement mechanisms and increase prosecutions for drugged driving.
  • In fiscal year 2018, the five most detected substances were: alcohol, marijuana, amphetamine, alprazolam and meth. All were at levels that would impair drivers, and regularly in combination, according to ADFS.
  • But blood draws are often collected hours after a suspect is pulled over or in a traffic wreck. After law enforcement has to locate a judge to sign a warrant for the draw and take the suspect to a hospital or a jail that has a phlebotomist. In that time, fast-metabolizing drugs like marijuana and cocaine can dissipate.
  • Alabama will soon be the first state to collect saliva from DUI suspects for confirmatory forensic laboratory testing. And some want to make blood drawing from impaired driving suspects quicker.
  • ADN’s Mary Sell has the full story, including the interesting statistics on which substances are most common for impaired driving. Read that HERE.


2. Trade wins.

  • The Trump administration and China declared a temporary truce Friday in their 15-month trade war.
  • The administration agreed to suspend a tariff hike on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports that was set to take effect Tuesday. And China agreed to buy up to $50 billion in U.S. farm products.
  • The two countries are leaving the thornier issues — including U.S. allegations that China forces foreign countries to hand over trade secrets in return for access to the Chinese market — until later negotiations.
  • The tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese imports was set to rise Tuesday from 25% to 30%.
  • The de-escalation in tension between the world’s two largest economies was welcomed by financial markets. The U.S.-China hostilities have alarmed investors and escalated costs and uncertainties for many businesses. Yet the grievances that led them to impose tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of each other’s goods remain largely unresolved.
  • President Donald Trump announced the cease-fire in a White House meeting with the top Chinese negotiator, Vice Premier Liu He. The news followed two days of talks in Washington, the 13th round of negotiations between the two countries’ delegations.
  • “It took us a long time to get here, but it’s something that’s going to be great for China and great for the USA,” Trump said.
  • Read the full story HERE.


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3. Byrne on Fox & Friends: investigate Biden.

  • Congressman Bradley Byrne this morning used an appearance on “Fox & Friends” to call for the investigation of Hunter Biden, son of former Vice President Joe Biden, and his business dealings during his father’s time in office.
  • Byrne is introducing a resolution calling for the House Committees on Foreign Affairs, Oversight and Government Reform, and Financial Services to begin investigations of business dealings of Hunter Biden during the time his father was vice president. Byrne says he wants Congress to investigate whether those business dealings resulted in improper conflicts of interests, and whether Hunter Biden’s work affected United States foreign policy or a foreign government or foreign entity’s response.
  • The resolution will not see the light of day in a Democrat-led House of Representatives, but it’s a messaging move for Byrne, who is running for U.S. Senate, and possibly for House Republicans, who need some counter measures for the ongoing impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.
  • Fox News hits are a big deal for Republican politicians and pretty hard to come by. For one, a lot of GOP primary voters watch Fox News all day long. But, probably most importantly, Trump himself is known to watch a lot of Fox News – in particular Fox & Friends – so if Byrne can get some kind of Twitter shout out here it would be big for him. No tweets as of this writing.
  • See Byrne’s full, in-studio interview HERE.


4. US pulling out of northern Syria; full withdrawal possible.

  • The United States appears to be heading toward a full military withdrawal from Syria amid growing chaos, cries of betrayal and signs that Turkey’s invasion could fuel a broader war.
  • Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Sunday that President Donald Trump had directed U.S. troops in northern Syria to begin pulling out “as safely and quickly as possible.” He did not say Trump ordered troops to leave Syria, but that seemed like the next step in a combat zone growing more unstable by the hour.
  • Esper, interviewed on two TV news shows, said the administration was considering its options.
  • “We have American forces likely caught between two opposing advancing armies and it’s a very untenable situation,” Esper said.
  • The U.S. has had about 1,000 troops in northeastern Syria allied with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces to combat ISIS. The Pentagon previously had pulled about 30 of these troops from the Turkish attack zone along the border. With an escalation of violence, a widening of the Turkish incursion and the prospect of a deepening conflict, all U.S. forces along the border will now follow that move. It was unclear where they would go.
  • Full story HERE.


5. AP Top 25.

  • LSU moved up to No. 2 in The Associated Press college football poll, giving the Southeastern Conference the top two teams in the country for the 29th time and putting the Tigers behind No. 1 Alabama less than a month before the rivals meet in Tuscaloosa.
  • The Tigers jumped from No. 5, past No. 3 Clemson and No. 4 Ohio State, after beating Florida in a matchup of unbeaten teams Saturday night. LSU received 12 first-place votes Sunday in the AP Top 25 presented by Regions Bank while Alabama received 30 first-place votes and is No. 1 for the third consecutive week. The Crimson Tide host the Tigers on Nov. 9.
  • Florida is 9th, Georgia is 10th, and Auburn is 11th in the poll.
  • See the full AP Top 25, including the various stats and storylines HERE.


News Briefs.


Wildfires still a threat despite rain in Alabama
  • MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Scattered rain across Alabama hasn’t been enough to ease the wildfire threat.
  • The Alabama Forestry Commission says all 67 counties remain under a fire alert that was first issued last month.
  • The agency’s website says four active wildfires involving 50 acres were burning Friday, and 16 more fires were contained or controlled.
  • State fire crews have responded to more than 173 wildfires that burned more than 1,800 acres of land this month. That includes a 365-acre fire in Sumter County and a 122-acre fire in Shelby County.
  • Dry conditions spread rapidly across the state last month because of a lack of rainfall and record high temperatures. The state says it recorded 472 blazes that burned more than 6,000 acres in September.
  • Additional rain is forecast in coming days.
Federal grant to help develop workers in west Alabama
  • LIVINGSTON, Ala. (AP) — A $2.5 million federal grant will help develop new workers with a goal of expanding economic development in rural west Alabama.
  • The money is going to the University of West Alabama for work in a 10-county region.
  • The area includes some of the state’s poorest counties, and officials sometimes cite the lack of qualified workers as part of the problem.
  • The grant will fund programs to develop new workers, recruit them into industry and get them working. It will also establish and expand rural apprenticeship initiatives.
  • The grant was awarded by the Labor Department in partnership with the Delta Regional Authority and the Appalachian Regional Commission.
  • The University of West Alabama is one of eight organizations in five states to receive the money.
FBI photographer from Alabama found dead in North Carolina creek
  • NANTAHALA, N.C. (AP) — Authorities have identified the body of a woman found dead in a North Carolina creek as that of a forensic FBI photographer from Alabama.
  • Citing a Graham County sheriff’s statement, news outlets report authorities have identified Kathleen Polce Miller, of Huntsville, as the woman found dead in the Nantahala National Forest on Oct. 7.
  • Emergency call records obtained by The Ashville Citizen-Times say a man reported a woman falling into water and not being able to get out on Oct. 6. Chief Deputy Chuck Stewart tells WAFF-TV that the call was placed by Miller’s husband.
  • Stewart says the two had stopped while on their way to a campsite. He says Miller likely drowned, though her official cause of death is pending. The FBI says Miller wasn’t on duty.
Superintendent named for sites in Birmingham, Anniston
  • BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — The National Park Service has named a superintendent to oversee new civil rights historical sites in Birmingham and Anniston.
  • The federal agency says Kris Butcher will take over at the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument and the Freedom Riders National Monument starting Oct. 27.
  • Both sites were created during the final days of the Obama administration, and both are undergoing work to get them ready for the public.
  • The Birmingham site encompasses parts of the city’s historic downtown black business district including the hotel where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. stayed during demonstrations in 1963.
  • The Anniston site marks the bus station where interracial Freedom Riders were attacked in 1961. Their bus was attacked again and burned a few miles away.
  • Butcher worked at a park site in Maryland.




ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Byrne on Fox and Friends: Investigate Hunter Biden
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Drugged Driving: State looks for more information, prosecution
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – US-China issues of dispute remain vast despite trade truce
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – US pulling out of northern Syria; full withdrawal possible
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – AP Top 25: LSU jumps to No. 2; Upset drops Georgia to No. 10
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – ‘Flash drought’ brings dust and dread to Southern farmers
AL.COM  – Deep in Trump country, Alabamians remain defiant in support of president
AL.COM  – Columnist Roy Johnson: On impeachment, Alabama GOP chair’s 5th and 6th graders may be smarter than she thinks
AL.COM  – Columnist Kyle Whitmire: On impeachment, Doug Jones reserves judgment — as he’s supposed to
AL.COM  – Not getting what you expect from FAFSA? Here are your next steps to funding college
AL.COM  – Is there a future for shopping malls?
AL.COM  – Columnist John Archibald: A year without a mother
Montgomery Advertiser – Police officer kills woman inside her Texas home after welfare call
Montgomery Advertiser – Pennsylvania middle school teacher placed on leave after racist rant in school parking lot
Montgomery Advertiser – Montgomery couple faces arson charges in September fire on Gardenia Court in Prattville
YellowHammer News – Breakthrough research led by Auburn University professor fuels new product that forecasts long-term drought
YellowHammer News – Southern Research to develop smart robots for next-gen nuclear reactors under DOE grant
YellowHammer News – ULA’s Alabama-based RocketShip makes first delivery with new name
Dothan Eagle – Dothan man dies in two-vehicle accident
Dothan Eagle – Gallery: Dothan’s displaced are living in tent cities suffering from addiction, mental and physical disabilities
Dothan Eagle – Homeless In Dothan – Life’s obstacles force many to the streets, tent cities
Tuscaloosa News – New leads sought in 22-year-old unsolved homicide
Tuscaloosa News – Police: Girl, 3, kidnapped from Alabama birthday party
Tuscaloosa News – University of Alabama will pay $346,200 to former dean of students
Decatur Daily – Increased river vegetation pleases anglers, frustrates boaters
Decatur Daily – Q&A: Morgan sheriff struggles with inmate health costs
Decatur Daily – Residential development continues to build in Limestone
Times Daily – Local chickens inspire financial support for Safeplace
Times Daily – Belle Mont Quilt Show spotlights personal collections
Times Daily – Cherokee’s new K-9 hits the streets in November
Gadsden Times – Alabama man’s grieving heart healed by helping homeless
Gadsden Times – Voters weary of more investigations as impeachment ramps up
Gadsden Times – Gaston Elementary initiates Student-Led Conferences
Anniston Star – Hundreds of ghouls and ghosts visit Anniston Museums for Fall Fest
Anniston Star – Escaping domestic violence more than choosing to leave
Anniston Star – Investigators looking into Facebook threat against Anniston councilman
Troy Messenger – Republican Women send postcards of support to President Trump
Andalusia Star News – Ballet to offer Mommy, Me creative movement class
Opelika-Auburn News – Lee County welcomes new assistant district attorney
Opelika-Auburn News – Opelika Utilities begins posting road closure updates to Twitter
Opelika-Auburn News – New independent bookstore coming to Auburn
Daily Mountain Eagle – Grinston to be at Jasper Veterans Day Parade
Daily Mountain Eagle – Safety concerns a priority in BOE capital plan
Daily Mountain Eagle – 2019 homecoming court for Oakman High
Trussville Tribune – Center Point shooting on Sunday night leaves 1 man dead
Trussville Tribune – VIDEO: Person of interest detained in Center Point after kidnapping of 3-year-old from Birmingham
Trussville Tribune – Prostitution stings in Shelby County nets 11 arrests, including 8 from Jefferson County
Athens News Courier – VIDEO: Person of interest detained in Center Point after kidnapping of 3-year-old from Birmingham
Athens News Courier – Family seeks answers after police kill Texas woman at home
Athens News Courier – BREAKING: Photos of kidnapping suspect released, 3-year-old girl believed to be in extreme danger
Sand Mountain Reporter – Attalla warehouse fire finally doused
Sand Mountain Reporter – Sand Mountain Park taking shape | Albertville leaders pleased with latest progress
Sand Mountain Reporter – Pledge to promote farmers | Pate says ‘Sweet Grown Alabama’ to begin soon
WSFA Montgomery – Amber Alert issued for 3-year-old girl kidnapped from Birmingham, AL
WSFA Montgomery – South Ala. man dies in crash
WSFA Montgomery – Heavy traffic delays on I-85 NB near Tuskegee
Fox 6 Birmingham – Dega fans love the Black 3 car return to the superspeedway
Fox 6 Birmingham – ALEA searching for missing Lawrence County senior
Fox 6 Birmingham – Childersburg PD searching for missing man
WAFF Huntsville – Beloved community volunteer passes away; remembered for work with abused children
WAFF Huntsville – Man accused of committing multiple robberies set to face felony charges
WAFF Huntsville – Huntsville Animal Services offering free adoptions during construction
WKRG Mobile – BREAKING: Overnight fire in Mobile
WKRG Mobile – ECSO searching for missing 13-year-old boy
WKRG Mobile – Friend of West Mobile murder victim wants justice
WTVY Dothan – North Alabama man chosen to decorate the White House
WTVY Dothan – All remaining performances of ‘Wicked’ canceled due to building collapse
WTVY Dothan – Two small children found dead at a home in Cullman Co., mother arrested
WASHINGTON POST  – Unswayed by top advisers, Trump doubles down on decision to withdraw troops
WASHINGTON POST  – Gordon Sondland is about to blow a hole in Trump’s Ukraine defense
NEW YORK TIMES  – Pullback Leaves Green Berets Feeling ‘Ashamed,’ and Kurdish Allies Describing ‘Betrayal’
NEW YORK TIMES  – The Should-Be Solution to the Student-Debt Problem

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