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Daily News Digest – September 12, 2019

Good morning!
Here’s your Daily News for Thursday, September 12.

1. Boeing’s proposed missile partnership would mean ‘north of 1,000 jobs’ in Huntsville.

  • After withdrawing in July from competition for a massive U.S. Department of Defense contract to supply the nation’s next generation of ground missiles, Boeing is now pitching the idea that it and competitor Northrop Grumman should be working together.
  • If Northrop Grumman or the Pentagon agree to Boeing’s idea, it would mean “north of 1,000 jobs” for the company’s Huntsville operation, Frank McCall told Alabama Daily News. McCall is Boeing’s vice president and program manager of Boeing’s Ground Based Strategic Deterrent.
  • Commonly known as GBSD, the new program will replace the decades-old Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles in the late 2020s. GBSD is an all new weapon system, including the missile, launch control facilities and communications networks.
  • “In our view, the Air Force is best served by putting both us and Northrop Grumman on that project,” he said.
  • Both Boeing and Northrop employ a significant number of workers in Alabama, but only Boeing’s Huntsville workforce would grow with the GBSD. Northrop’s work on the project is done in Utah.
  • Read the full story from ADN’s Mary Sell HERE.


2. 627 parole hearings delayed until November.

  • The Board of Pardons and Paroles likely won’t resume parole hearings until Nov. 1, the agency said Wednesday. As a result, 627 parole hearings from September and October have been postponed.
  • “I am certain within reason that we will have the system up and running on or about Nov. 1,” Director Charlie Graddick said in an emailed statement.
  • Graddick announced last week that hearings would be postponed amid claims that prior board leadership was not complying with new victim notification standards. Graddick, appointed by Gov. Kay Ivey under the new law, took over leadership of the agency Sept. 1.
  • “This uncalled-for situation is a disappointment to me and to our hardworking employees but mostly I feel sorry for the victims and other interested parties who have been forced to wait to testify before the parole board,” Graddick said. “We’ve put all resources possible toward repairing this breakdown.”
  • Janette Grantham, the executive director of Victims of Crime and Leniency, a nonprofit organization that advocates for the rights of victims of crimes, told Alabama Daily News that she hadn’t been alerted recently of any victims not being notified of hearings, but believes previous leadership was not doing due diligence to reach victims.
  • Read the full story from ADN’s Caroline Beck HERE.


3. Alabama hospitals sue opioid companies.

  • Twenty-one Alabama hospitals have filed a civil lawsuit against the manufacturers, distributors and retailers of opioid-based drugs.
  • The hospitals are alleging negligence, fraud and civil conspiracy by the defendants, which include Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson, and more than 40 other companies and individuals involved in the production and sale of opioids.
  • Alabama hospitals allege in the complaint that the opioid companies engaged in a decades-long practice of making false assurances about the addiction risks associated with opioid products and used other deceptive marketing tactics to persuade physicians and health care providers to broaden prescribing patterns.
  • The Alabama hospitals involved in the complaint include Baptist Health medical centers in Montgomery and Prattville, DCH Health Care facilities in Tuscaloosa, Northport and Fayette, three Birmingham hospitals and several rural hospitals.
  • Alabama has had the highest number of opioid prescriptions per person in the nation.
  • In 2017, the state had 836 drug-overdose deaths, 50% involved opioids, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.
  • Total drug overdose and opioid overdose rates had climbed in Alabama in recent years to averages of 17.1 and 8.6 per 100,000 people in 2017.
  • Read the full story from ADN’s Caroline Beck HERE.



4. Trump wants to ban candy e-cigs.

  • The federal government will act to ban thousands of flavors used in e-cigarettes, President Donald Trump said Wednesday, responding to a recent surge in underage vaping that has alarmed parents, politicians and health authorities nationwide.
  • The surprise White House announcement could remake the multibillion-dollar vaping industry, which has been driven by sales of flavored nicotine formulas such as “grape slushie” and “strawberry cotton candy.”
  • The Food and Drug Administration will develop guidelines to remove from the market all e-cigarette flavors except tobacco, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told reporters during an Oval Office appearance with the president, first lady Melania Trump and the acting FDA commissioner, Ned Sharpless.
  • Trump, whose son Barron is 13 years old, said vaping has become such a problem that he wants parents to be aware of what’s happening. “We can’t allow people to get sick and we can’t have our youth be so affected,” he said.
  • Melania Trump recently tweeted her concerns over the combination of children and vaping, and at the meeting, the president said, “I mean, she’s got a son — together — that is a beautiful, young man, and she feels very, very strongly about it.”
  • Reckon Barron got caught vaping in the Rose Garden?
  • Full story HERE.


5. Democratic debate tonight.

  • The Democratic Party’s strongest presidential contenders— according to polls and fundraising, at least — meet on the same debate stage for the first time Thursday night.
  • The lineup in Houston will be different but the dynamic familiar: Former Vice President Joe Biden will fight to preserve his front-runner status as a crowded stage of lower-tier candidates scrap for attention and momentum any way they can. Opportunities and risks abound for a race that is far from settled.
  • The debate will be aired on ABC beginning at 9:00 p.m. Central Time.
  • Read more about the big questions heading into the third Democratic debate HERE.


News Briefs.

Alabama prison contraband search finds more than 600 weapons
  • ATMORE, Ala. (AP) — A search of Fountain Correctional Facility in Alabama’s Escambia County has found more than 600 makeshift weapons, 51 cellphones, synthetic drugs and multiple gallons of an alcoholic drink that prisoners call julep or pruno.
  • The Alabama Department of Corrections says more than 300 law enforcement officers took part in the 10-hour operation Monday at Fountain, which houses about 1,230 inmates.
  • The department says the search was the sixth time the corrections department had joined with local, county and state law enforcement to crack down on contraband at a state prison. Officials, in a statement Tuesday, said the department carried out the first major joint contraband operation at the St. Clair Correctional Facility in Springville in February.
Teacher suspended after video shows student shotgunning a beer
  • TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — A University of Alabama teacher is off the job after video surfaced of a student drinking a beer in class.
  • School spokesman Chris Bryant said Wednesday marketing instructor Joel Strayer has been placed on administrative leave while “several concerns” are investigated.
  • A video posted to a social media site a week ago shows a young man punching a hole in the side of a beer can and drinking it while others in the classroom watch and clap. Someone is heard saying: “I am impressed.”
  • The student newspaper at Alabama, The Crimson White, reports the incident occurred in Strayer’s classroom earlier this month, and that the person shown in the video wasn’t a student at Alabama.
  • Strayer didn’t reply Wednesday to an email seeking comment, and Bryant declined further comment.
  • Watch the video HERE.
Publix only wants cops to carry guns in its supermarkets
  • LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) — If you’re carrying a gun, Florida’s largest supermarket chain doesn’t want to see it.
  • Publix Supermarkets is joining a growing number of retailers in asking customers not to openly carry firearms in its stores.
  • Publix said in a statement Wednesday that it requests that only law enforcement officers openly carry firearms in its supermarkets.
  • The Lakeland, Florida-based chain has 1,226 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.
  • In the months after the 2018 massacre at a high school in Parkland, Florida, Publix came under fire from survivors of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School for donating to the campaign of a Florida gubernatorial candidate aligned with the National Rifle Association.
  • The students held “die-ins” at two stores in South Florida.
Supreme Court allows broad enforcement of Trump asylum rule
  • The Supreme Court is allowing nationwide enforcement of a new Trump administration rule that prevents most Central American migrants from seeking asylum in the United States.
  • The justices’ order late Wednesday temporarily undoes a lower court ruling that had blocked the new asylum policy in some states along the southern border. The policy is meant to deny asylum to anyone who passes through another country on the way to the U.S. without seeking protection there.
  • Most people crossing the southern border are Central Americans fleeing violence and poverty. They are largely ineligible under the new rule, as are asylum seekers from Africa, Asia and South America who arrive regularly at the southern border.
  • The shift reverses decades of U.S. policy. The administration has said that it wants to close the gap between an initial asylum screening that most people pass and a final decision on asylum that most people do not win.
  • “BIG United States Supreme Court WIN for the Border on Asylum!” President Donald Trump tweeted.
  • Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented from the high-court’s order.
  • Full story HERE.



ALABAMA DAILY NEWS– For Pentagon mega contract, Boeing proposes partnership with Northrup Grumman, jobs in Huntsville
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Government plans to ban flavors used in e-cigarettes
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS– 21 Alabama hospitals file lawsuit against opioid manufactures, distributors
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS– Parole Hearings won’t start until Nov. 1, delaying 627 hearings
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Teacher suspended after video shows student shotgunning beer
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS– Supreme Court allows broad enforcement of Trump asylum rule
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS– 18 years later, America vows to ‘never forget’ 9/11
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS-Alabama Arise: More Alabamians lack health insurance
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS-Worley: DNC chair trying to ‘beat Alabama into submission’
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS-Daily News Digest – September 11, 2019
AL.COM – Jefferson County superintendent Pouncey leaving to lead Alabama community college
AL.COM – Reports: Troy University fraternity suspended amid hazing investigation
AL.COM – Trump denies report White House was involved in NOAA’s Dorian Alabama statement
AL.COM – Family has ‘nothing but love’ for Alabama teen accused of killing 5, grandmother says
AL.COM – Parole hearings to resume in November, officials say
AL.COM – USA student charged with making terrorist threat
AL.COM – Life in a time of Fake Weather
AL.COM – Could Alabama stop the next poop train?
AL.COM – Columnist John Archibald: The Alabama Democratic Party is like a wolf; or Jim Harbaugh
AL.COM – Former Gov. Robert Bentley, Rebekah Caldwell Mason visit Mo Brooks in Washington, D.C.
AL.COM – Alabama ranks fourth in ‘Top States for Business’ survey
Montgomery Advertiser– Man convicted of beating, kicking, shooting victim to serve 6 years in federal prison
Montgomery Advertiser– While Montgomery Public Schools’ proposed budget meets state-mandated reserve, CSFO issues warning
Montgomery Advertiser– Man on bond in murder case apprehended in connection to McDonald’s homicide case
YellowHammer News– Birmingham Airport Authority appeals ethics commission opinion it says affects ‘thousands of Alabama citizens’
YellowHammer News– NASA, Boeing in final assembly phase for Alabama-managed Space Launch System
YellowHammer News– Nancy Worley: DNC trying to ‘beat Alabama into submission’
Dothan Eagle– Local men charged with murder indicted on a lesser charge of manslaughter
Dothan Eagle– Jury trial continued for Dothan man charged in 2017 Johnson Homes murder
Dothan Eagle– Trial scheduled for lab owner accused of falsifying drug screen test results
Tuscaloosa News– Defendant pleads guilty in Antonio Burl murder case
Tuscaloosa News– Victim in Tuscaloosa bar fight reportedly dies
Tuscaloosa News– Body discovered on University of Alabama campus
Decatur Daily– Ivanka Trump: Country needs more of FAME workforce development program
Decatur Daily– No Morgan County Fair this year, operator says
Decatur Daily– Aikerson reassigned; agrees to leave DCS on Feb. 15
Times Daily– UNA ROTC invites community to join them in remembering 9/11 victims
Times Daily– Wilson principal: stall doors back up; vaping ‘will be addressed continually’
Times Daily– New assistant Colbert County engineer has ties to Shoals
Gadsden Times– Philip Lutzenkirchen’s father visits Westbrook, GCHS to speak on distracted driving
Gadsden Times– Gadsden woman facing multiple drug charges
Gadsden Times– Board: System will adjust, budget cut won’t harm students
Anniston Star– Tax revenues fall in Heflin
Anniston Star– Cleburne commission says rough road won’t be improved until spring
Anniston Star– Preliminary discussions of Oxford arena, convention center begun
Troy Messenger– County’s $36.7 million budget includes jail, gas tax revenue
Troy Messenger– Conecuh Ridge land up for rezoning
Troy Messenger– Mike Howard reception Friday at IAC
Andalusia Star News– More than 450 cases and six deaths associated with e-cigarette
Andalusia Star News– Lieutenant gives tips for hunting season
Andalusia Star News– Group of citizens organize petition to keep Soggy Bottom closed
Opelika-Auburn News– Airport director updates commissioners on projects
Opelika-Auburn News– Opelika man faces charges in connection to Valley shooting with 7 injured
Opelika-Auburn News– Trump fires national security adviser John Bolton, citing strong disagreements
Daily Mountain Eagle– Murder suspects plead guilty
Daily Mountain Eagle– City of Lights to host Freedom Forward Gala Saturday night
Daily Mountain Eagle– County BOE purchases 13 new school buses
Trussville Tribune– Oktoberfest planned for Oct. 19 at Holy Infant of Prague Catholic Church
Trussville Tribune– Jeffco Schools Superintendent Dr. Craig Pouncey moving on
Trussville Tribune– Hoover man wanted on felony shooting complaint charge in Jefferson County
Athens News Courier– Feds announce emergency road funds for Limestone, other Alabama counties
Athens News Courier– GREASE FESTIVAL: Council OKs alcohol sales
Athens News Courier– Feds announce emergency road funds for Limestone, other Alabama counties
Sand Mountain Reporter– DeKalb deputies seize 24 pounds of meth
Sand Mountain Reporter– Boaz breaks ground on $12.75 million recreation center
WSFA Montgomery– Man robs Montgomery Subway at gunpoint
WSFA Montgomery– Parole hearings to resume in November following victim notification oversight
WSFA Montgomery– Man sentenced on federal indictment in 2017 attempted murder
Fox 6 Birmingham– Potential Sickle Cell breakthrough
Fox 6 Birmingham– Multiple missing persons reported in Birmingham and Bessemer
Fox 6 Birmingham– FIRST ALERT: Growing threat for tropical system to move into Gulf
WAFF Huntsville– Hartselle Kroger robbery suspect in custody
WAFF Huntsville– Retired first responder describes his role in aftermath of 9/11 attacks
WAFF Huntsville– Huntsville group, SPEAK, works to start conversations about suicide
WKRG Mobile– Baldwin Co. vape shop owner reacts to Trump flavor ban announcement
WKRG Mobile– Okaloosa County deputy recalls 9/11 as an NYPD officer
WKRG Mobile– Gulf Coast Ruck Club honors 9/11 victims with 5k
WTVY Dothan– Kiwanis Club gets lesson in funding local classrooms
WTVY Dothan– Bama RV receives award for outstanding community service
WTVY Dothan– Troy fraternity suspended for alleged hazing
WASHINGTON POST – Supreme Court says Trump administration can begin denying asylum to migrants while legal fight continues
WASHINGTON POST – Administration finalizes repeal of 2015 water rule Trump called ‘destructive and horrible’
WASHINGTON POST – Trump moves to ban flavored e-cigarettes
WASHINGTON POST – Trump says ‘Boneheads’ at Fed should cut interest rates to zero — or even set negative rates
NEW YORK TIMES – Trump Delays Planned Tariff Increase in ‘Gesture of Good Will’ to China

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