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Daily News Digest – October 15, 2019

Presented by The Prosper Group.

Good morning!
Here’s your Daily News for Tuesday, October 15.


1. Amber Alert Update: Search expands for kidnapped toddler.


  • Authorities say they’ve expanded the search for a missing 3-year-old girl to include surrounding states.
  • Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin and police Chief Patrick Smith spoke to reporters at a Monday news conference about Kamille McKinney, who authorities say was kidnapped from a birthday party on Saturday by a stranger in a blue SUV.
  • Smith says there was a multi-hour delay before an Amber Alert was issued in the kidnapping of the girl nicknamed “Cupcake.” He says the belated alert was due to a delay in when the kidnapping was reported to law enforcement.
  • Smith says the FBI is assisting and two people of interest are undergoing questioning. Both were taken into custody Sunday after authorities found a vehicle recorded by a surveillance camera.
  • Meanwhile, Gov. Kay Ivey announced Monday that her office was preparing to offer a $5,000 reward for information leading to the location of Kamille McKinney and the arrest of her kidnappers. A reward for information can be a useful tactic for unsolved crimes, especially high profile ones.
  • Anyone with information should call the FBI’s tipline at 1-800-225-5324, or the Birmingham Police Department tipline at 205-297-8413, or Crime Stoppers at 205-254-7777.



2. Congress returns.

  • The ongoing impeachment inquiry has dominated the headlines out of Washington lately. Even as Congress has been on recess over the last two weeks, relevant House committees have remained at work interviewing witnesses and plotting out a course.
  • Today, the rest of the body returns, with members having spent two weeks hearing from constituents at town hall meetings and Rotary Club lunches.
  • It turns out there’s a lot more on Congress’ plate than the shiny object of impeachment.
  • There’s a trade deal that still requires approval. The United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement would replace the decades-old NAFTA, but concerns from labor unions and reticence from Democrats to give President Trump a “win” have delayed its passage in the House.
  • Legislation to reduce costs on prescription drugs – something Democrats ran on to win the majority in 2018 – still hasn’t received a vote in either body, though the Senate version is through committee.
  • And then there’s funding the government, Congress’ fundamental responsibility under Article 1. Sen. Richard Shelby, who chairs the Appropriations Committee, has been laboring to line up spending packages for votes in the Senate, but disagreements from the Democratic House await.
  • Read more about Congress’ to-do list outside impeachment from Andrew Taylor HERE.
  • Or, read more about the latest on impeachment HERE.






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3. Trump orders sanctions on Turkey.

  • Targeting Turkey’s economy, President Donald Trump announced sanctions Monday aimed at restraining the Turks’ assault against Kurdish fighters and civilians in Syria.
  • The United States also called on Turkey to stop the invasion and declare a ceasefire, and Trump is sending Vice President Mike Pence and national security adviser Robert O’Brien to Ankara as soon as possible in an attempt to begin negotiations. Pence said Trump spoke directly to Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who promised not attack the border town of Kobani, which in 2015 witnessed the Islamic State group’s first defeat in a battle by U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters.
  • “President Trump communicated to him very clearly that the United States of American wants Turkey to stop the invasion, implement an immediate ceasefire and to begin to negotiate with Kurdish forces in Syria to bring an end to the violence,” Pence said.
  • Of course, the assault from Turkey only began after Trump announced he was moving U.S. troops out of the way.
  • Trump said the approximately 1,000 U.S. troops who had been partnering with local Kurdish fighters to battle IS in northern Syria are leaving the country. They will remain in the Middle East, he said, to “monitor the situation” and to prevent a revival of IS — a goal that even Trump’s allies say has become much harder as a result of the U.S. pullout.
  • Full story HERE.



4. Medicaid work requirements could be struck down.

  • A federal appeals court had sharp questions for work requirements for Medicaid recipients, casting doubt on a key part of a government-wide effort to place conditions on low-income people seeking taxpayer-financed assistance.
  • All three judges on a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit lobbed hard questions at a Justice Department lawyer defending the policy at a hearing. The Trump administration is appealing after losing the first round before a lower court.
  • At issue is whether a program created by Congress to provide medical care to the poor can also encourage low-income people to try to move up in society and make that a condition for them to keep getting help.
  • “You are looking to objectives that are not in (the Medicaid) statute, and you are failing to address the critical statutory objective, which is coverage,” Judge Harry T. Edwards told Justice Department lawyer Alisa Klein, representing the administration.
  • “Those are all laudable goals,” said Judge David B. Sentelle, referring to the administration’s stated intent of promoting self-sufficiency. “But the question we have here is whether (work requirements) further the objectives of the statute.”
  • The Trump Administration has allowed states to require able-bodied adults drawing Medicaid benefits to work, volunteer or study. Nearly 20 states are in various stages of trying to implement work requirements.
  • Alabama’s Medicaid agency is currently seeking federal approval for its plan to require able-bodied recipients to become gainfully employed or participate in employment-related activities, such as job training, education, or volunteering. The Alabama work requirement plan is not technically part of the court case, but will likely be affected by the outcome.
  • Read more about the court case HERE.


5. News Briefs.


Carnival Cruise Lines inks 3-year agreement in Mobile
  • MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — Carnival Cruise Line and Alabama city officials have ceremonially signed an agreement to base a Carnival ship there for three more years.
  • News outlets report that Carnival official Terry Thornton called the agreement historic for the Miami-based cruise line. He says Carnival doesn’t usually make such long agreements with cities the size of Mobile.
  • The City Council is expected to officially approve the agreement on Tuesday.
  • Mayor Sandy Stimson says Carnival brings lots of business, and he hopes the market will grow enough for Carnival to replace the Carnival Fantasy with a bigger ship.
  • Thornton noted that after about 10 years in Charleston, South Carolina, a 2,000-passenger ship like the Fantasy was replaced this year with the 3,000-passenger Carnival Sunshine.
  • Charleston’s population is about 148,000, Mobile’s nearly 190,000.
German plastics company to build Auburn facility employing 50
  • AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — A German plastic manufacturing company will open its first facility in the United States in Alabama.
  • Gov. Kay Ivey confirmed in a statement Monday that ID Plastics LP has announced plans to build a nearly $10 million dollar plant in Auburn. reports the German manufacturer said it thinks its operation will employ about 50 people over the next three years. Auburn Mayor Ron Anders said in a statement that the city will be ID Plastic LP’s U.S. headquarters.
  • The company produces foldable, returnable transport containers among other products.
  • Alabama Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield said the firm joins about 80 other German companies with operations in the state.
2 high school students drowned in Tombigbee River
  • DEMOPOLIS, Ala. (AP) — Authorities in Alabama say two victims who drowned in the Tombigbee River have been identified as high school students.
  • News outlets report Demopolis High School students Rayshawn Benison and Natasia Daniels died Friday after they fell into the water and drowned. They were 15 years old.
  • Demopolis Police Chief Rex Flowers says a third classmate also fell into the water but was pulled to shore safely with no serious injuries.
  • Flowers says the three students went to the landing after an early dismissal from school.
  • Marengo County Sheriff Richard Bates says Benison and Daniels were both in the high school band.
  • Principal Kyle Kallhoff says additional counselors will be available for students on Tuesday when they return to school.
Police to charge mother in deaths of sons, 3 and 9
  • CULLMAN, Ala. (AP) — Police say they will charge an Alabama woman in the deaths of her 3- and 9-year-old sons.
  • Cullman County Sheriff Matt Gentry says deputies responded to a home Saturday afternoon and found the unresponsive children. Gentry says deputies used tracking dogs to locate the siblings’ mother, who was suffering from critical injuries, several hundred yards away. She was airlifted to a hospital, but detectives declined to specify the nature of her injuries. She hasn’t been publicly identified.
  • The sheriff says investigators, working with the District Attorney’s Office, will charge the woman. reports those warrants haven’t been issued yet.
  • Coroner Jeremy Kilpatrick says the boys’ bodies have been sent for autopsies. Their causes of death haven’t been released.





ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Hunter Biden stepping down from Chinese board
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Work awaits as Congress returns
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Appeals court skeptical of Trump’s Medicaid work rules
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump orders Turkey sanctions; US scrambles for Syria exit
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – What’s next in the impeachment inquiry as Congress returns
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS -Ronan Farrow details lack of enthusiasm at NBC for Weinstein story
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
AL.COM  – Scottsboro Boys to get museum in Decatur
AL.COM  – Birmingham weighs colossal no-smoking zone
AL.COM  – Five-time Space Camp graduate to make historic space walk
AL.COM  – National Parks name superintendent of Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument
AL.COM  – ID Plastics to open Auburn facility, to employ 50
AL.COM  – New Dynetics test center lifts North Alabama rocket game
AL.COM  – Columnist Kyle Whitmire: Alabama Democrat chairwoman waves a middle finger at the DNC
AL.COM  – Byrne introducing resolution calling for investigation of Hunter Biden’s business dealings
Montgomery Advertiser – Focus on razor-thin Council District 3 race to sharpen Tuesday as provisional ballots are counted
Montgomery Advertiser – Engineer weighs in on Hard Rock Hotel collapse: ‘Logically it doesn’t make sense’
Montgomery Advertiser – Bright idea: Montgomery Public School Board considers converting all lights to LEDs in cost-cutting move
YellowHammer News – Ryan Blaney wins Talladega Superspeedway’s 1000Bulbs(dot)com 500 in photo finish
YellowHammer News – Mo Brooks: Trump is trying to put an end to endless war
YellowHammer News – Jones, Byrne spar over investigating the Bidens
Dothan Eagle – Trial scheduled for Houston County man facing a sex crime charge involving physically impaired victim
Dothan Eagle – Police question man in 3-year-old girl’s kidnapping
Dothan Eagle – Trial continued for one of two suspects arrested in Pettus Street murder
Tuscaloosa News – Police investigating shooting on the Strip
Tuscaloosa News – Alabama student accused of making threat against LSU’s Tiger Stadium
Tuscaloosa News – FBI photographer from Alabama found dead in N Carolina creek
Decatur Daily – Teacher Shortage Task Force recommends 23 recruitment tactics
Decatur Daily – Gossom to speak at gala to celebrate beginning of Scottsboro Boys museum project
Decatur Daily – Ordinance would ban dog chaining in Decatur
Times Daily – Program designed to ‘launch’ students into workforce
Times Daily – $672K grant to support STEM education in schools
Times Daily  – 20 years after Alabama said ‘no’ to lottery, debate continues.
Times Daily – Drugged Driving: State looks for more information, prosecution.
Gadsden Times – Do California power shutoffs work? Hard to know, experts say
Gadsden Times – Annual giveaway and silent auction for St. James Catholic School is Thursday
Gadsden Times – Applications being taken for Veterans Parade
Anniston Star – Jacksonville hires new IT manager, city clerk
Anniston Star – Man behind I-20 Confederate flags says he’ll run for Senate
Anniston Star – Spooky double header with Bigfoot Bio Bash and Chill-o-Ween Saturday
Troy Messenger – Minor to serve as interim CEO at Troy Regional Medical Center
Troy Messenger – Troy University Appreciation Homecoming Parade moved to campus
Troy Messenger – Trojans host Jaguars in ‘Battle for the Belt’ game
Opelika-Auburn News – German-based company to locate in Auburn, create 50 jobs
Opelika-Auburn News – UPDATED: Valley police arrest, charge suspect in Valley area Waffle House armed robbery
Opelika-Auburn News – Opelika police investigating Friday night robbery
Daily Mountain Eagle – County BOE receives grant for AEDs
Daily Mountain Eagle – Fall Fest will be held in Jasper Oct. 27
Daily Mountain Eagle – Text-to-911 now offered in Walker County
Trussville Tribune – Argo City Council discusses hiring of police officers, city wifi and ATRIP grant
Trussville Tribune – 2 high school students drown in Tombigbee River
Trussville Tribune – Marathon store clerk hit by car driven by customer in Jefferson County
Athens News Courier – Status hearing set in 3-year-old LCWSA lawsuit
Athens News Courier – Community invited to ‘Pink Out’ on Saturday
Athens News Courier – PROBATION REVOKED: Man ordered to complete sentence in prison
Sand Mountain Reporter – Business After Hours, Ribbon Cutting
Sand Mountain Reporter – Million Dollar Band to Perform in 2020 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
Sand Mountain Reporter – Commission updated on Marshall County Jail renovations
WSFA Montgomery – BankOn River Region Ala. to host financial workshop
WSFA Montgomery – AMBER Alert remains active as search for 3-year-old girl kidnapped in Birmingham, Ala. continues
WSFA Montgomery – Calif. man drives to police station with body, admits to 4 murders
Fox 6 Birmingham – B’ham police investigating homicide near Rickwood Field
Fox 6 Birmingham – Deadline approaching to dispute property tax increase in Jefferson Co.
Fox 6 Birmingham – Customer accused of hitting gas station clerk with car after dispute
WAFF Huntsville – Homeowners worried speeders may cause another fatal crash on Hobbs Island Road
WAFF Huntsville – License revoked for Nosey the elephant’s former owner
WAFF Huntsville – Calif. man drives to police station with body, admits to 4 murders
WKRG Mobile – Amber Alert expanded for abducted Alabama 3-year-old; 2 in custody
WKRG Mobile – Firefighters calm frightened girl after crash by letting her paint their nails
WKRG Mobile – Amber Alert expanded for abducted Alabama 3-year-old; 2 in custody
WTVY Dothan – Road work begins on Omussee Road Tuesday
WTVY Dothan – Houston County School Board looks at subscription H-VAC service
WTVY Dothan – Alabama police question man in 3-year-old girl’s kidnapping
WASHINGTON POST  – Trump’s ex-Russia adviser told impeachment investigators of Giuliani’s efforts in Ukraine
WASHINGTON POST  – House Democrats unveil higher education plan to lower college costs
NEW YORK TIMES  – High Court to Consider State Role in Prosecuting Immigrants
NEW YORK TIMES  – E-Cigarettes Went Unchecked in 10 Years of Federal Inaction

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