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Daily News Digest – October 21, 2019

Presented by AlabamaWorks!

Good morning!
Here’s your Daily News for Monday, October 21.



1. For prison problems, past is prologue.

  • Severe crowding, extreme violence, insufficient mental health care and a lack of overall resources. That’s the Alabama prison system as we find it today, but also as it was in the 1970s before it was taken over by the federal government for 13 years.
  • Spanning three governors, that takeover ended in 1989. Thirty years later, state officials are grappling with the same problems while trying to avoid another federal intervention.
  • Practically all of the problems listed in federal District Judge Frank Johnson’s order in 1976 can be seen in the Department of Justice investigation report from April of this year.
  • “You could take the year 2019, and substitute it for the year 1989 and it would be the same story,” Sen. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, who is a member of the Governor’s Study Group on Criminal Justice Policy, told Alabama Daily News. He’s been a lead lawmaker on prison issues for the last several years.
  • This morning, ADN’s Caroline Beck has an in-depth report on the history of Alabama’s prison system – in particular the federal takeover of the 70s and 80s – and how it compares with the troubles the system is facing today.
  • The issues at play, the different personalities involved, things that have changed and the lessons learned – all of it plays into what will likely be the biggest issue heading into the 2020 legislative session.
  • Her full story is worth your time this morning.


2. Jessica Taylor announces run for Congress in AL-2.

  • Prattville attorney and businesswoman Jessica Taylor announced her candidacy for Congress in Alabama’s 2nd District Monday, saying she wants to form a conservative “squad” to take on liberal Democrats led by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY.
  • In a campaign video, Taylor highlighted her rural Alabama roots, business career, and family with former State Sen. Bryan Taylor. But it’s her love of playing on the high school basketball team that Taylor connects to using teamwork to support President Donald Trump.
  • “I’m sick of arrogant socialists like AOC, who’ve never even run a lemonade stand, trying to tell us how to live in Alabama and that more government is the answer,” she says in the video.
  • “I have zero interest in being a professional politician, but conservatives like us need a squad of our own — and I’ll build it.”
  • Taylor joins a Republican field that includes Dothan businessman Jeff Coleman, former Attorney General Troy King, former Enterprise State Rep. Barry Moore, and current Prattville State Rep. Will Dismukes.
  • Read more and see the video HERE.


A message from AlabamaWorks!

Alabama’s unemployment rate is at a new record low of 3.0%. This is great for our economy, but it can present problems for those who are under-skilled looking for open jobs and also dilemmas for employers seeking to fill positions.
To meet this challenge, Gov. Kay Ivey established Success Plus, a plan to add 500,000+ highly-skilled, credentialed individuals to Alabama’s workforce by 2025.
To learn more, visit





3. Record low unemployment – again.

  • Word broke too late for the email Friday, but it’s worth mentioning that Alabama’s unemployment rate is at another record low.
  • State unemployment was 3.0% for September, down a tenth of a percent from August and a full half percent lower than the national average of 3.5%.
  • Average private earnings also increased in September by nearly $12 to $862.
  • Alabama’s economy has gained 55,900 jobs since January, according to the Department of Labor.
  • The state unemployment number represents about 67,000 unemployed people compared to 2.2 million with jobs.
  • Gov. Kay Ivey celebrated the news, but also said the state would continue job recruiting and workforce development efforts.
  • Full story HERE.


4. Mulvaney might want to stop talking.

  • White House Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney had quite a week.
  • First, Mulvaney stirred up a tempest from the White House briefing room podium on Thursday by acknowledging that the administration had held up aid to Ukraine in part to prod that country to investigate Democrats and the 2016 elections. After meeting with White House lawyers and communications staff, Mulvaney issued a statement walking back his remarks.
  • Next, Mulvaney aggressively defended President Donald Trump’s decision to hold the G7 international summit at his Miami resort. But after Trump heard some pushback from GOP lawmakers weary of defending unforced errors, Trump reversed his decision, leaving his top aide in the lurch again.
  • For Mulvaney, the Thursday press conference was an opportunity to prove himself as an effective defender of the president during a crucial time as Democrats try to ramp up their impeachment inquiry.
  • Instead, he offered fresh fodder to Trump critics and unnecessarily stirred up the Ukraine controversy with glib commentary.
  • The news conference on Thursday left aides in the West Wing dumbfounded at the former South Carolina congressman’s performance and some quarters of Trump’s orbit — the Justice Department and Trump’s personal attorney, among them — dissociating themselves from his account.
  • The president himself, already angry that Republicans were not defending him on Syria and Doral, was also displeased that Mulvaney only made the headlines worse.
  • Read that full story HERE.
  • Meanwhile, on the political front, Trump and the Republican National Committee have raised more than $300 million this year for the reelection effort, which amounts to more than any other sitting president in history at this point in the campaign.
  • Democrats are growing increasingly alarmed by the spending gap between the two side and the implications for the general election.
  • Read that full story from Politico HERE.


5. AP Top 25.

  • Ohio State edged past Clemson to No. 3 in The Associated Press college football poll and Wisconsin dropped to 13th after being upset ahead of its showdown with the Buckeyes.
  • Alabama remained No. 1 on Sunday in the AP Top 25 presented by Regions Bank, receiving 24 first-place votes. No. 2 LSU held its place and received 16 first-place votes.
  • A total of five SEC teams are now ranked in the top ten, including Florida at No. 7, Auburn at No. 9 and Georgia at No. 10. Interestingly, no other SEC teams are even in the Top 25.
  • See the full AP Top 25 including the storylines HERE.
  • Meanwhile, Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has had a procedure for a high ankle sprain and will miss Saturday’s game against Arkansas.
  • Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban says Tagovailoa had what’s known as a “tightrope” procedure on his right ankle Sunday.
  • Saban predicted “a full and speedy recovery” for Tagovailoa.




ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – For prison problems, past is prologue
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Jessica Taylor announces run for Congress in AL-2
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – AP Top 25: Ohio State jumps Clemson; 5 SEC teams in Top 10
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Saban: Alabama QB Tagovailoa has procedure for ankle injury
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Martha Roby: An Update on Progress for Afghan Women
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama jobless rate dips to record 3%
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Mulvaney getting second-guessed on his defense of Trump
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS  – Alabama releases school report cards
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS  – Prayer vigil held as search for missing girl continues
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS  – Trump scraps plan to host G-7 at his Doral golf resort
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Weekend Digest – October 20, 2019
AL.COM  – Doug Jones talks impeachment, gun control and Joe Biden
AL.COM  – Watch: How Nancy Worley and Joe Reed control the Alabama Democratic Party
AL.COM  – Contributor Rachel Bryars: Alabama Democratic Party leadership suffers from common psychological problem
AL.COM  – Annexit: How one Alabama city could split in half along racial lines
AL.COM  – Columnist John Archibald: Sheriff’s slap on the wrist is a slap in the face
Montgomery Advertiser – Hard Rock Hotel: Demolition blasts one crane near French Quarter, other dangles
Montgomery Advertiser – Montgomery makes more strides against breast cancer
Montgomery Advertiser – Montgomery fire mourns death of retired Chief Robert Grier
YellowHammer News – Widening Alabama Hwy 167 offers Gov. Ivey opportunity to connect rural Geneva County to Interstate Highway System says State Senator Chesteen
YellowHammer News – UAH’s Lance Fulks playing a key management role in Mazda-Toyota plant
YellowHammer News – Tua Tagovailoa suffered high-ankle sprain, already underwent ‘successful tight-rope procedure’
Dothan Eagle – Answer Man: What does a person with an internal or external medical device do about security check at the Houston County administration building?
Dothan Eagle – Domestic Violence vigil set for Oct. 22
Dothan Eagle – The Latest: Nestor brings rain, tornado warnings to Georgia
Tuscaloosa News – School: Immigration authorities tried to get student records
Tuscaloosa News – Georgia to execute man convicted of killing store clerk
Tuscaloosa News – Dragon Con co-founder fights charge based on artist’s photo
Decatur Daily – New policy places limit on size of funeral processions
Decatur Daily – Friction erupts over Decatur’s latest effort to dismiss Voketz suit
Decatur Daily – Athens State, Calhoun awarded grants to help students complete their degrees
Times Daily – COLISEUM: Upgrades ongoing at 3,000-capacity facility
Times Daily – Shoals woman aims to raise awareness for suicide prevention at upcoming walk
Times Daily – Chef Guy brings on the chili, brie and a salute to veterans
Gadsden Times – Contest at Striplin Elementary turns pumpkins into book characters
Gadsden Times – Altar for relic to be dedicated Tuesday at St. James
Gadsden Times – DAVID MURDOCK COLUMN: On Harold Bloom and speed reading
Anniston Star – One killed in Sunday night plane crash
Anniston Star – Unique but traditional: Church’s Lobsterfest raises money for Habitat
Anniston Star – A no-homework policy pays off at Fruithurst Elementary
Troy Messenger – GALLERY: Goshen hosts homecoming parade
Troy Messenger – Troy Homecoming Appreciation Parade moved back to downtown
Troy Messenger – Premier hosts clay shoot, band party to benefit Pike Medical Foundation
Andalusia Star News – Bush: Experience unique, memorable
Andalusia Star News – Foundation sends two to Cambridge
Andalusia Star News – Experiences brought period of endless exploration, self-discovery
Opelika-Auburn News – New pop-up at Auburn mall for holiday season
Opelika-Auburn News – Inside West Virginia’s opioid battle, where thousands of children are now in foster care
Opelika-Auburn News – Anders, Pearl join with community to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s
Daily Mountain Eagle – WCCT aviation program continues growth
Daily Mountain Eagle – Jasper Fire Department visits Memorial Park School
Daily Mountain Eagle – Lighthouse Team learns to pay it forward
Trussville Tribune – Springville man one of two people killed in separate St. Clair County traffic incidents
Trussville Tribune – BREAKING: 1 dead after shooting at Kroger in Madison, suspect still at large
Trussville Tribune – Jefferson County woman wanted on domestic violence charge
Athens News Courier – LCSO LAWSUIT: More time sought for discovery
Athens News Courier – Rare southern bird on verge of making a comeback
Athens News Courier – After delay, New Orleans to demolish cranes at hotel site
Sand Mountain Reporter – School News: Teacher Feature: Heather Powell
Sand Mountain Reporter – Geraldine addresses police shortage | Council votes to begin application process to bring in more officers
Sand Mountain Reporter – You’re in the Picture – Faye Smith named Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association’s Northern Star Award for Tourism
WSFA Montgomery – Officials conclude grid search of Huffman area, finding no evidence of Kamille Mckinney
WSFA Montgomery – Brother and sister found dead in Macon County, Ala., being investigated as homicide
WSFA Montgomery – Mother remembers son she lost to suicide 2 years ago
Fox 6 Birmingham – Search Continues Sunday for Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney
Fox 6 Birmingham – FIRST ALERT Weather: A risk for strong to severe storms on Monday, mainly for areas west of I-65
Fox 6 Birmingham – Officials conclude grid search of Huffman area, finding no evidence of Kamille Mckinney
WAFF Huntsville – One person dead in shooting in Madison; police seek person of interest
WAFF Huntsville – Strong storms possible on Monday afternoon & evening
WAFF Huntsville – Huntsville to host Rocket City Collegiate Hockey showcase; six teams to compete
WKRG Mobile – ‘A special place’: Hundreds of people crowd local hospital for NICU Reunion
WKRG Mobile – Hundreds attend suicide prevention walk in Daphne
WKRG Mobile – Motorcyclist injured in Baldwin Beach Express wreck
WTVY Dothan – Suspect arrested in officer-involved shooting
WTVY Dothan – Minimal impacts from Tropical Storm Nestor felt as Gulf Power restored power overnight
WTVY Dothan – Charges: Firefighter sexually assaulted woman in wheelchair several times
WASHINGTON POST  – Add risk of government shutdown to impeachment and other legislative logjams
WASHINGTON POST  – Trump reversed course on hosting G-7 at his club after learning that impeachment-weary Republicans were tired of defending him
WASHINGTON POST  – After weeks of criticism, Warren says she will release a plan to pay for Medicare-for-all
NEW YORK TIMES  – ‘There Is No Hope’: Crisis Pushes Haiti to Brink of Collapse

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