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Daily News Digest – September 14, 2018


Good morning and Happy Friday! Let’s get after it today, fam, and finish the week strong. Here’s your Daily News for September 14.

1. NASA names Singer Director at Marshall SFC.

  • NASA has named Jody Singer Director of the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville.
  • She becomes the first woman to run Marshall, one of NASA’s largest field installations.
  • Singer has been serving as the acting director since Todd May stepped down in July, but now has the top job officially.
  • Singer manages as many as 6,000 civil service and contractor employees and oversees an annual budget of approximately $2.8 billion. That’s more than the Alabama state General Fund.
  • Caroline Beck has more about Singer’s remarkable journey, as well as the reactions from Alabama’s Congressional Delegation. Read her story HERE.

2. Race profile: House District 89.

  • With 55 days to go until the 2018 election, campaign season is fully underway.
  • Over the next several weeks, Alabama Daily News will endeavor to cover many of the competitive races for the Alabama Legislature.
  • We start with House District 89 covering Pike County and parts of Dale, where Republican Wes Allen faces Democrat Joel Lee Williams.
  • Allen won a competitive primary by an impressive margin, and Williams narrowly lost to retiring Rep. Alan Boothe back in 2014.
  • Several factors make this race interesting, and ADN’s Caroline Beck covers them all in her feature story profiling this contest.

A message from The Business Council of Alabama

  • The featured speaker for this year’s BCA Chairman’s Dinner needs no introduction. Ben Stein is the most famous economics teacher in America. His role in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” has been ranked among the 50 most famous scenes in movie history.
  • He won seven Emmys co-hosting “Win Ben Stein’s Money” and now is a regular commentator on Fox News, CBS Sunday Morning, and CNN.
  • On October 30, investors in the “Carrying the Flag for Business” campaign can hear him say “Bueller” in person… along with some interesting insights about the state of the economy and the Trump presidency.
  • Visit BCA online to learn how you or your organization can be a part of this year’s event.


3. Florence finds land.

  • Good news: Hurricane Florence has significantly weakened in terms of wind speed and will make landfall as a Category 1 instead of a 4.
  • Bad news: it’s still a nasty storm that’s going to cause a lot of flooding, and some people are taking the downgrade as an excuse not to evacuate troublesome areas.
  • Officials in New Bern, North Carolina report that crews have already had to rescue as many as 200 people from flooded areas and that 150 more are awaiting rescue at the moment.
  • The latest on the hurricane and relief/rescue efforts HERE.
  • It’s frustrating to read about “hurricane holdouts,” who refuse to leave the path of the storm. But, I gotta say 84-year-old Skippy Winner has earned the right to ride out this or any storm.
  • “I’m gonna be fine, so let ‘er blow” Winner told the New York Times.

4. More Appropriatin’

  • A joint House-Senate Conference Committee has reported out another “mini-bus” appropriations bill – a very big one.
  • Titles for Defense and Labor, Health & Human Services and Education are part of this spending package. Together those areas encompass well over half the government’s total discretionary spending.
  • One cool thing: All THREE Alabama appropriators were on the conference committee that hammers out the details of the bill: Sen. Richard Shelby, Rep. Robert Aderholt and Rep. Martha Roby. That has to be some kind of first.
  • This second “minibus” bill could get final passage and get sent to the president before the end of the fiscal year. I know I’ve said it a lot, but this just hasn’t happened in a long time.
  • That still leaves a lot of the government to be funded, though. Like Homeland Security (read: border wall).
  • But don’t worry! Top leaders have come to an agreement on a plan to avoid a government shutdown and continue the progress on appropriations after the midterm elections.
  • Read more in depth on all this from The Wall Street JournalThe Washington PostFederal News Radio, and the Associated Press.

5. News Briefs.

School Board
  • The State School Board met yesterday and heard State Superintendent Eric Mackey’s budget request.
  • The budget represents the Department of Education’s priorities going into 2019 and what Mackey will ask Alabama lawmakers for when they convene in February.
  • He’s seeking increases for First Class Pre-K, reading and math programs, and funding to help implement recommendations from Gov. Kay Ivey’s task force on school safety.
  • Bryan Lyman was at the Board meeting and wrote about all the details. So was and so did Trisha Powell Crain. Both stories worth your time.
U.S. offering to help Mexico deport?
  • The Mexican government says it “continues evaluating” a U.S. offer to pay for returning foreign migrants in Mexico to their home countries.
  • Mexico’s Interior Department says no agreement has been reached on the offer, which apparently would help take mainly Central American migrants back to their homes. Many use Mexico as a base to attempt crossing the U.S. border.
  • In the first seven months of 2018, Mexico deported more than 57,000 Central Americans, mainly by bus.
  • Read more HERE.
Barrow’s take
  • With the New Hampshire and New York elections finally finished, the 2018 primary season is now officially over nationwide.
  • AP National Politics Reporter Bill Barrow evaluates how the primaries played out in his latest piece.
  • He talks about Republican and Democrat hits and misses, and what they might mean for the general election.
  • Getting a brief mention is Rep. Martha Roby and how her primary victory differed from others across the country.
  • Alabama folks will remember Bill from his time at the Press-Register. Read his full piece HERE.
  • It’s a big football weekend, and the SEC is home to some of the most competitive games in the country.
  • Topping the list is Auburn-LSU, which is always a scrappy affair. But Ole Miss-Alabama can always get interesting as well.
  • Read about the football storylines and see Hugh Gamble’s famous (and printable!) TV schedule rundown HERE.


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Allen, Williams vie for State House in District 89.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Jody Singer appointed first female director of Marshall Space Flight Center.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Congress passes spending deal, averts government shutdown.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – The Latest: Disastrous floods will be story of Florence.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Mexico ‘evaluating’ US offer to pay for deporting migrants.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Takeaways from the 2018 primary season.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Senator gives federal investigators information on Kavanaugh.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Judge says Cullman bail system unconstitutional.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Week 3 preview: College football games to watch.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – September 13, 2018.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – MPS approves budget, calls for more local support.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Education department to seek $20 million for school security, increases for other programs.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – How environmental justice is shaping a new civil rights movement in the South.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – For many in Montgomery’s growing Korean community, Alabama’s capital a comfortable place to live.
DOTHAN EAGLE – Businesses can play major role in workforce development, state education official says.
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Dale Jackson: Medicaid expansion, ‘Medicare-for-all’ — Is there a terrible idea that Democrats won’t endorse?
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Kay Ivey woos Choctaw County voters with pro-rural Alabama message
DECATUR DAILY – Election security means cybersecurity.
ANNISTON STAR – Average results again about Alabama education.
ANNISTON STAR – Editor Phillip Tutor: Ivey to Alabama: Quit asking.
AL.COM – Alabama education chief wants $158 million more for security, nurses, other programs.
AL.COM – Alabama resources on way to North Carolina for Hurricane Florence.
AL.COM – Proposed Early Intervention changes could leave children behind, advocates say.
AL.COM – Alabama colleges doing well preparing teachers, report shows.
AL.COM – Alabama to hold 2nd annual job fair for people with disabilities.
AL.COM – Jody Singer becomes first woman to lead NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.
AL.COM – Hezekiah Jackson responds to NAACP suspension: ‘I expect to be fully exonerated’.
AL.COM – Columnist Dana Hall McCain: The bed Jeff Sessions made.
AL.COM – Contributors Edward R. Hamberger and Kurt J. Nagle: A trade war hurts Alabama’s economy and workers.
NPR – The Changing Economics Of Giving Birth In Alabama
TIME – ‘I Work 3 Jobs And Donate Blood Plasma to Pay the Bills.’ This Is What It’s Like to Be a Teacher in America
WASHINGTON POST – Trump creates political storm with false claim on Puerto Rico hurricane death toll.
WASHINGTON POST – As Florence arrives, FEMA and its administrator face mounting scrutiny.
WASHINGTON POST – Bitter Senate fight to confirm Kavanaugh plunges deeper into chaos over letter.
WASHINGTON POST – The Washington Post: The economy is doing well. Who deserves the credit?
NEW YORK TIMES – Manafort is said to be reaching plea deal with prosecutors.

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