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Daily News Digest – October 3, 2018

Good morning! It’s October 3rd . Here’s your Daily News.

1. Race Profile: House District 3.

  • When it comes to open House seats this year, there are few bigger races than House District 3 in Northwest Alabama.
  • Longtime Rep. Marcel Black is retiring and two political newcomers are vying for the seat: Republican Andrew Sorrell and Democrat Chad Young.
  • The District has been solidly democratic in state elections, but much of it supported President Trump in 2018.
  • Young isn’t just any Democrat, though. He has the support of both labor unions and many business groups as well, including the Business Council of Alabama and the Alabama Realtors.
  • Caroline Beck takes an in-depth look at the race today as part of ADN’s legislative coverage. Read her full story HERE.

2. AG, EJI argue before SCOTUS.

  • An Alabama death row case has the potential to set important national precedent.
  • Yesterday, the Alabama Attorney General’s office and the Equal Justice Initiative appeared before the U.S. Supreme Court to argue the execution case of Vernon Madison.
  • Madison was sentenced to death for murdering Mobile police officer Julius Schulte.
  • At issue is whether the state can execute an inmate who shows signs of mental decline or dementia. Madison has had strokes that his lawyers say prevent him from understanding his crime or punishment.
  • Deputy Attorney General Thomas Govan argued that state courts have ruled that Madison does actually understand why he is being executed.
  • After the hearing, Attorney General Steve Marshall told reporters that the state was able to get a key concession from the other side: that a lack of memory alone can’t be used as a basis for cancelling an execution. That way every death row inmate would claim they didn’t remember their crime.
  • Some observed that the justices seemed inclined to side with Madison. But with only eight justices on the Court, a tie is possible.
  • Either way the Court rules, it will likely set an important precedent for the whole country.
  • Read more from those who were inside the room: Mark Sherman for the Associated PressDebbie Berry for The Montgomery AdvertiserRobert Barnes for The Washington Post, and Chris Geidner for Buzzfeed.
  • Here is a photo of Attorney General Steve Marshall speaking to reporters outside the Supreme Court alongside William Johnson, executive director of the National Association of Police Organizations, and Hannah Martinez, granddaughter of the slain Mobile policeman Julius Schulte (and NPR’s Nina Totenberg getting that good, closeup audio).

3. Amazon breaks ground.

  • Construction has officially begun on Amazon’s $325 million “fulfillment center” in Jefferson County.
  • Gov. Kay Ivey, Congressman Gary Palmer, Bessemer Mayor Kenneth Gulley, and dozens of local officials and economic developers broke ground on the project yesterday.
  • The center will employ 1,500 workers at full capacity. Minimum wage will be $15 an hour, which is now an Amazon-wide policy.
  • Gov. Kay Ivey said she was particularly pleased that the state was getting more jobs in a “high tech environment.”
  • Read more from’s Howard Koplowitz HERE and watch more from WBRC’s Alan Collins HERE.

4. Skip Tucker: Spooky Shenanigans.

  • On Wednesdays we wear pink and read Skip Tucker.
  • Our friend, Skip is back in the Old Pisgah “bone orchard” this week for another tale of “D.T.’s” tape deck trickery and how it eventually caught up with him.
  • Here’s an excerpt:
  • “It was a perfect Halloween pallid moon under a scudding cloud cover, the gusty wind carrying the first edge of winter. All were in high spirits when D.T. stepped into the tombstones, pressed the play button and rejoined the party. When the tape noise started the wind blew the sound around until even he couldn’t tell from whence it came.
  • “A reveler, amidst raucous laughter, stopped to say, “Hey, did ya’ll hear that?” D.T. declared he heard nothing.  A few moments later, horrendous sounds split the night.”
  • Read Skip’s latest HERE.

5. News Briefs.

Suspicious letters sent to Pentagon, White House
  • Authorities are investigating two envelopes suspected of containing a poison that were addressed to top military chiefs and a third with unknown contents sent to President Donald Trump.
  • None of the envelopes actually made it into the buildings, thanks to screening protocols.
  • The suspected poison is Ricin.
  • Read more HERE.
Wanna go fast
  • NASCAR will have two restrictor plate-free races next year: one in Talladega and one in Daytona.
  • Restricter plates have been in place since 1987.
  • Don’t get too excited, though. It looks like there will be an alternative device used to slow air flow and reduce horsepower to allow more passing.
  • Read more HERE.
Trump speaks
  • After weeks of being pretty reserved on the Kavanaugh nomination, President Trump spoke his mind yesterday.
  • Talking with reporters on the South Lawn, Trump said the #MeToo movement presented “a scary time” for men.
  • “It’s a very scary time for young men in America when you can be guilty of something that you may not be guilty of. You can be somebody that was perfect your entire life and somebody could accuse you of something … and you’re automatically guilty.”
  • Later at a campaign rally in Mississippi, Trump seemed to mock Christine Blasey Ford’s incomplete memory in testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
  • Me talking here: Comments like these might feel good to get off his chest, but they make it more likely that confirmation swing votes like Sens. Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and Jeff Flake oppose Kavanaugh in the end.
  • Read more HERE.


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Race Profile: Young and Sorrell Vie for House District 3 Seat.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Supreme Court could limit execution of people with dementia.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Skip Tucker: Pisgah Graveyard Strikes Back at our Hero.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – NASCAR to remove restrictor plates at Daytona and Talladega.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – ‘A scary time’: Trump taps fears of #MeToo run amok.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Suspicious envelopes sent to Trump, military officials.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – In Colorado’s suburbs, GOP’s midterm challenge is clear.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Equal Justice Initiative looks at possible expansion downtown.
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Kavanaugh hearings bring many frustrations…and lessons to learn.
DOTHAN EAGLE – Some traditions should be retired.
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – 2018 POWER & INFLUENCE 50: Alabama’s most powerful & influential government officials.
DECATUR DAILY – Recovery process continues 6 months after wind damage.
DECATUR DAILY – Warrior Woman: Morgan County woman battling breast cancer treasures blessings.
DECATUR DAILY – It’s time to think pink.
GADSDEN TIMES – Governor plans ‘meet and greet’ strategy.
ANNISTON STAR – Despite jobs boom, no decline on Alabama Medicaid rolls.
ANNISTON STAR – Smoking’s example for America.
AL.COM – Education secretary Betsy DeVos brings “Rethink School” tour to Huntsville on Wednesday.
AL.COM – Gov. Kay Ivey calls for plan to enhance STEM education.
AL.COM – Jacksonville Strong’: Alabama, Jason Isbell raise $1.2 million to repair JSU tornado damage.
AL.COM – Alabama inmate who died from meningitis given ‘insufficient medical care,’ family says.
AL.COM – US Supreme Court hears case of Alabama Death Row inmate Vernon Madison.
AL.COM – Ivey outraises Maddox in September, goes over $6 million total.
AL.COM – Most Alabama high school seniors qualify for Pell Grants; apply beginning Monday.
AL.COM – Presidential alert message coming Wednesday to your cell phone.
AL.COM – Census 2020 taking applications: How much you can earn working for the U.S. Census Bureau.
WASHINGTON POST – Trump mocks Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford.
WASHINGTON POST – Downward mobility: Where middle-class kids are worse off than their parents.
NEW YORK TIMES – Supreme Court Could Limit Execution of People With Dementia
NEW YORK TIMES – Trump Engaged in Suspect Tax Schemes as He Reaped Riches From His Father
NEW YORK TIMES – The New York Times: Donald Trump and the Self-Made Sham.


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