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Daily News Digest – October 16, 2018

Good morning! Here’s your Daily News for Tuesday, October 16.

1. Board shakeup, parole moratorium.

  • That early morning meeting when Gov. Kay Ivey and Attorney General Steve Marshall met with the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles wasn’t just a pro-forma check-in.
  • Minutes after the meeting, Ivey announced that she had replaced the Board’s chairman and placed a moratorium on early paroles.
  • Read more about that along with Ivey’s letter and executive order HERE.
  • The Parole Board has come under scrutiny lately for a trend of granting early parole to violent offenders. Lots of credit goes to Montgomery County District Attorney Darryl Bailey and WSFA’s Jenn Horton for exposing the problem.
  • “It’s obvious we need a new approach so we can strengthen management and operations of that agency to better protect the people and public safety,” Ivey said.
  • Ivey named Lyn Head as Board Chairman, replacing Cliff Walker. The governor does not have the authority to remove Board members, but can designate the chairman.
  • Management at the staff level seems to be at the core of the issue. Don’t forget that Executive Director Eddie Cook had been appointed to the board, but his nomination was scuttled in part by victims groups like VOCAL.
Stories to watch/read:

2. Race Profile: Senate District 32

  • One of the state’s most competitive legislative primary contests was in Senate District 32, where a crowded field of Republicans ran for the chance to replace retiring State Senator Trip Pittman.
  • Baldwin County Commissioner Chris Elliott won that heated race and now faces Democratic nominee Jason Fisher, who had the benefit of not having a primary contest.
  • District 32 contains the western portions of Baldwin County, which is one of the fastest growing areas in the state.
  • It has been a reliably Republican district, but population growth always makes for interesting electoral shifts.
  • Read the full race profile from ADN’s Will Whatley HERE. It includes more background on the district, where candidates stand on the issues, and updated fundraising information.

3. Lawmakers get a look at I-65 widening project.

  • Some Alabama lawmakers recently got a closer look at the Interstate 65 widening project south of Birmingham.
  • ADN’s Caroline Beck was along for the ride as project managers and industry advocates explained the details of the construction and materials.
  • Transportation infrastructure funding is without question one of the biggest issues facing the state right now.
  • As Caroline writes, the I-65 widening shows both the problem with current funding and the promise of having more resources.
  • It’s a giant project that is sorely needed. But, under current funding levels, the state can really only afford to do one major project like this, where as dozens are needed.
  • Read her full write-up from her ride along with lawmakers HERE.

4. What’s going on with Saudi Arabia?

  • You’ve probably heard that Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi disappeared after entering a Saudi consulate in Turkey.
  • He is likely dead and the circumstances surrounding his death carry high stakes for the United States and our diplomatic relationship with the kingdom.
  • Why? Because they are a major ally in the Middle East that would be hard to do without. And the U.S. is preparing to complete a $110 billion arms deal with them.
  • Saudi Arabia’s human rights abuses have always been a problem, and the brazen killing of a critical journalist would add to that.
  • President Trump suggested it was “rogue killers” after speaking with the king. Meanwhile the Saudi’s developing story is that Khashoggi was killed during an interrogation gone wrong by an over eager spy.
  • So they only meant to torture him, not kill him.
  • Turkish officials say Khashoggi was killed and dismembered, and a cleaning crew with mops and bleach was seen entering the consulate Monday.
  • It’s a long story, but you ought to read it all HERE.

5. News Briefs.

Byrne in Montgomery today
  • Congressman Bradley Byrne is in Montgomery today speaking to the Chamber’s “Eggs and Issues” breakfast event.
  • Most politicians who speak at that event are either statewide or local.
  • Byrne is clearly getting around the state preparing the ground for a Senate run in 2020. He’s even burying the hatchet with old rivals.
  • He was vocal on the confirmation of Justice Kavanaugh, which I’d bet will be a key issue against Sen. Doug Jones, who voted against the nomination.
  • But Byrne has to get through the primary first, and it could be a crowded one. Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh, Congressman Gary Palmer, Former Supreme Court Justice Glenn Murdock, and Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle are all said to be considering a run.
Speaking of burying the hatchet
Sessions: MS-13, drug cartels among top threats to US
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions created a new task force aimed at zeroing in on the three of the world’s most notorious drug cartels and the brutal MS-13 street gang, already considered a top priority for federal law enforcement.
  • Speaking to a group of federal prosecutors on Monday, Sessions designated five groups as top transnational organized crime threats and said the new task force will “develop a plan to take each of these groups off of our streets for good.”
  • Read more HERE.
Some attention inland


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ivey issues moratorium on early paroles.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Race Profile: Elliott, Fisher face off in Senate District 32.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Lawmakers tour I-65 widening project, hear needs for infrastructure funding
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Far from coast, rural counties also recovering from Michael
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Sessions: MS-13, drug cartels among ‘greatest threats’ to U.S.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump suggests ‘rogue’ killers’ murdered Saudi journalist.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – October 15, 2018.
AL.COM – Alabama warns investors about marijuana scams.
AL.COM – Ivey, Maddox at odds on Alabama anti-abortion amendment.
AL.COM  – 1 year after #metoo, founder says movement, born in Selma, isn’t about punishing ‘powerful men’.
AL.COM – Trump thinking of ‘GREAT Alabama farmers’ after Hurricane Michael destroys $101M in cotton.
AL.COM – Alabama nuclear plant getting $475 million in upgrades.
AL.COM – North Alabama task force targets ‘the most violent criminals and repeat offenders’.
AL.COM – Derrick Dearman joins 179 inmates on Alabama’s Death Row.
AL.COM – Struggling Sumter schools face more questions as charter opens.
AL.COM – Memories linger as one Alabama Sears store closes.
AL.COM – Hyundai’s Santa Fe proving popular by production numbers.
AL.COM – Woman struck by car while crossing road in Montgomery
AL.COM – Virginia woman killed in Cullman County crash
AL.COM – Paul Allen, Microsoft co-founder and owner of Trail Blazers, Seahawks, dies at 65
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Martial-ing his efforts: Troy Trojans know LB Martial will be inspired vs. hometown team
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Woman fired after blocking black man from his apartment building in video
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Sears files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, to close 142 more stores
DOTHAN EAGLE – Monday Hurricane Michael Notebook: Power near full restoration in Dothan
DOTHAN EAGLE – Dothan commission could approve $1.5 million loan for Howell School project Tuesday
DOTHAN EAGLE – Many county roads cleared, but caution urged
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – VIDEO: Hear “Dixieland Delight” make its return for Alabama’s homecoming
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Judge tosses Stormy Daniels’ defamation suit against Trump
DECATUR DAILY – Jackson renews opposition to chamber allocation
DECATUR DAILY – Alabama football: Mack Wilson becoming the man for defense
DECATUR DAILY – Death sentence vacated for Alabama man who threw children off bridge
TIMES DAILY – The Latest: UN urges lifting of diplomatic immunity in probe
TIMES DAILY – In Florida, determining hurricane death toll proves elusive
TIMES DAILY – Police call for witnesses to help in Cologne hostage probe
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Trump ‘thinking about our GREAT Alabama farmers,’ praises ‘terrific’ Kay Ivey after Hurricane Michael
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Shelter dogs fly from Alabama to New Jersey after Hurricane Michael leaves pets stranded
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Jones accuses ALGOP of putting ‘party over’ state, country on Kavanaugh; ALGOP responds: ‘A grave error as it highlights his arrogance’
ANDALUSIA STAR NEWS – CBA chainsaw team responds
ANDALUSIA STAR NEWS – 2018 Kiwanis Covington County Fair opens
ANDALUSIA STAR NEWS – Hometown calling: Atkinson organizes volunteers to help Bainbridge
TROY MESSENGER – LOCAL LEGEND: Famous Brundidge dog honored for bicentennial
TROY MESSENGER – Man charged with drug trafficking after fleeing police
TROY MESSENGER – Today is last day to answer survey on Troy City Schools
THE ANNISTON STAR – Local residents, including sheriff, see devastation in Florida
THE ANNISTON STAR – Cleburne hospital board agrees to withhold allocation to mental health care provider
THE ANNISTON STAR – No incumbents show up for Alexandria political forum
GADSDEN TIMES – Trump marvels at hurricane damage, hears stories of struggle
GADSDEN TIMES – Sears store at Gadsden Mall to close
GADSDEN TIMES – 4 days after storm, large swath of Panhandle suffering
OANOW – ‘Whatever it takes’: Malzahn, Tigers re-evaluating ‘everything’ after Tennessee loss
OANOW – Gunshot victim leads to Opelika police investigation
OANOW – LaFayette, Opelika are on the come up in the O-A News Prep Power Poll
CULLMAN TIMES – Elks send supplies for storm victims; United Way taking donations
CULLMAN TIMES – 2 charged with animal cruelty
CULLMAN TIMES – Virginia woman dies in Cullman County wreck
SHELBY COUNTY REPORTER – Church rises again, holds first service in new home
SHELBY COUNTY REPORTER – Mt Laurel Elem. welcomes back Deputy Buford
SHELBY COUNTY REPORTER – Alabama Power growing local crops with LED lighting
THE MADISON RECORD – Registration Open For 2018 Rocket City Marathon
THE MADISON RECORD – Calling All Divas: Diva Night
THE MADISON RECORD – Shoppers will revel at Taste of the Holidays Market
DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – Tree planted in memory of Curry Elementary student
DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – FCA looks for community leadership
DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – Pink Bar Crawl, Go Pink for Jasper day planned for this week
WASHINGTON POST – Deficit balloons to $779 billion in Trump’s second year.
NEW YORK TIMES – Democrats Surge Ahead of Republicans in Fund-Raising for Key Races


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