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Daily News Digest – September 2, 2019

Good morning and Happy Labor Day!
Here’s your Daily News for Monday, September 2.


1. Dorian’s path.

  • Hurricane Dorian struck the northern Bahamas as a catastrophic Category 5 storm Sunday, ripping off roofs, overturning cars and tearing down power lines as hundreds hunkered down in schools, churches and shelters.
  • The storm’s maximum sustained winds reached 185 mph, with gusts up to 220 mph. That tied it for the most powerful Atlantic hurricane ever to come ashore, equaling the Labor Day hurricane of 1935, which devastated the Florida Keys.
  • Now, as a the storm moves toward the Florida coast, just a handful of miles may spell the difference between catastrophe and reprieve.
  • The National Hurricane Center forecasts Dorian to be 40 to 50 miles off the Florida coast on Tuesday and Wednesday, with hurricane-force wind speeds extending about 35 miles to the west.
  • When they make a forecast, meteorologists have a general idea where the monstrous storm is going but they then have to choose a point on the map instead of a general place, making it seem more specific than it really is.
  • And much of the Florida coast is inside that cone.
  • Adding to that problem is Dorian’s slow, almost snail-like pace. What initially looked like a Labor Day storm for the U.S. is now approaching Tuesday and Wednesday.
  • Read more HERE.


2. Providers, cities struggle to find agreement on 5G.

  • Wireless carriers, Alabama city leaders and cable companies are still trying to find common ground on legislation to regulate 5G cellular infrastructure.
  • At a recent meeting of the joint Small Cell Wireless Technology Committee, parties accused the other of not coming to the table to negotiate possible legislation.
  • Without a compromise, 5G won’t be available in much of Alabama.
  • Wireless carriers like AT&T and Verizon are urging lawmakers to create a statewide standard for deploying small cell technology. They want protection from municipalities’ high fees and more access to city rights-of-way.
  • Municipalities say they’re afraid of a far-reaching bill that would take away their constitutional rights over their property.
  • Alabama cable companies want to make sure that the small cell technologies are treated in the same way that cable is in regards to negotiating fees and location.
  • Orr sponsored a regulation bill that ultimately failed in the 2019 regular session. He and Sen. Jabo Waggoner, R-Vestavia Hills, are both on the committee and say they want legislation all parties can agree on. Orr is worried that if a compromise is not reached soon, Alabama could be missing out on some major investments.
  • “I see this as a public good, that the public is being denied in most places in Alabama and I’d like to see some kind of an agreement reached and this enhanced cellular service be offered all across the state,” Orr said.
  • Waggoner, the powerful Rules Committee chairman, said he wants to see legislation passed in the 2020 session.
  • Full story from ADN’s Caroline Beck HERE.


3. ICYMI: Lawmakers ‘line up’ for leftover bridge funds

  • In case you were still slumbering in Saturday’s football glory and didn’t read the Weekend Digest, Mary Sell has a story about an interesting upshot of the Mobile bridge and bayway debacle.
  • Last week the $2.1 billion project was declared “dead” after a local municipal organization removed it from its transportation list and made it ineligible for federal funds.
  • This all came amid pressure on local and state politicians from anti-toll activists.
  • Now, the Alabama Department of Transportation says some state money could potentially be freed up for other projects.
  • It’s unclear exactly how much state money was going into the Bayway project, but ALDOT spokesman Tony Harris said it would have been “significant.” And when it comes to road projects that need money, most lawmakers have a list at the ready. Harris anticipates officials from all around Alabama will start lining up seeking a portion of it.
  • Some lawmakers were calling dibs even before Gov. Kay Ivey announced the project was dead.
  • Sen. Andrew Jones, R-Centre, wrote in a column in early August that if opposition to tolls for the Mobile project killed it, he’d be “first in line to ask Gov. Ivey” to commit those funds to projects in his district.
  • Not surprisingly, lawmakers from Mobile and Baldwin counties want to keep those funds in South Alabama, and they say they still want a solution for the I-10 corridor problem.
  • Mary Sell HERE.


4. Matthew Stokes: Political realities and the Mobile Bayway.

  • Columnist Matthew Stokes is penning his final column for Alabama Daily News today.
  • Matthew has accepted a resident fellowship at the Alabama Policy Institute, where I’m sure he’ll continue to opine on state and national issues. I hope we can run some of those opinions here. In any case, congrats to Matthew and best wishes. It’s fun to see ADN folks move on to bigger and better things!
  • In his column today, Matthew tackles the idea that perception is reality in politics, and connects it to the Mobile Bayway situation.
  • Justified or not, the anger fomented over the tolls created a new political reality that local officials could not ignore, he writes.
  • Here’s an excerpt:
“Voters are not wrong to fear excessive taxes and power-hungry bureaucrats, but refusing to engage in political give and take is ultimately a dead end road. Perhaps it was time for someone to tell ALDOT to pound sand, but I worry that voters’ impetuousness has created more problems than it solved. With the measure tabled, the possibility of another bridge to ease congestion across the bay has been pushed that much further into the future.
“It’s often said that the mark of an intelligent person is the ability to hold two contradictory ideas together at the same time. I would go further to say that it’s not just a matter of intelligence, but wisdom. It is the mark of the sort of wise person needed to lead in a free society.
“All the same, I can’t shake the feeling that voters are trying to have it both ways. We want quality public services, but we can’t stomach tax increases and legislators are understandably scared that spending cuts will mean the end of their time in office. I still believe that the government that governs least governs best, but it must still govern. Until voters are willing to trust their elected officials and reject local demagogues in politics and media who only tell them what they want to hear, I worry that our wonderful state will be stuck in the mud of our own making.”
  • Read the full column HERE.


5. AP News Briefs.

FEMA stages in Montgomery for Dorian, Guard on standby
  • Hurricane Dorian has grown into a massive Category 5 hurricane, and it’s moving toward the east coast of Florida.
  • As the storm approaches the U.S. and continues to gain strength, preparations are underway ahead of its pending landfall.
  • WSFA-TV reports the Federal Emergency Management Agency is moving personnel and 18-wheelers loaded with supplies into position. One of the staging areas is Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery.
  • And, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey says she gave approval for the Alabama National Guard to send up to 50 support personnel to Florida, should the need arise.
2 books published to mark Alabama bicentennial
  • Two new books have been published to coincide with Alabama’s bicentennial celebration.
  • The Montgomery-based NewSouth Books has joined with Alabama Heritage magazine to produce “Alabama from Territory to Statehood.” The book covers the state’s early period, before its admission into the United States on Dec. 14, 1819.
  • Secretary of State John Merrill co-authored another book called “Alabama: The Bicentennial” that’s being sold by the Alabama Department of Archives and History. That book recognizes the contributions of more than 400 notable Alabamians.
  • The state is highlighting nearly three years’ worth of events as its marks the 200th anniversary of its admission into the United States. Hundreds of teachers have gotten new materials and training for state history lessons.
  • The bicentennial will culminate with a ceremony in Montgomery in December.
Gordon mayor arrested on harassment charge
  • The mayor of an Alabama city is out of jail following her arrest on a harassment charge.
  • WSFA-TV reports Gordon Mayor Shana Ray was jailed Aug. 21. The Houston County Sheriff’s Office says the incident may have started over a dispute about a water bill payment. The person who filed the complaint claims Ray came to their home and yelled obscenities over the bill.
  • The complaint was filed Monday and a warrant was issued for Ray’s arrest. Ray surrendered to police on Wednesday.
  • Her attorney, David Harrison, declined to give specifics about the charge but says his client is looking forward to fighting this. He says she was charged in relation to her duties as mayor and they expect to be exonerated.
Plane performs emergency landing on Alabama interstate
  • State troopers say a pilot made an emergency landing on the interstate near Jasper.
  • The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said the pilot of the single engine plane successfully performed an emergency landing Friday afternoon on Interstate 22 in Walker County.
  • The pilot made the landing after the aircraft lost power. The Law Enforcement Agency says no one was injured and no property was damaged.
  • The pilot was able to restart the aircraft and taxied under escort off the interstate to a nearby parking lot.
Publix to donate $500,000 to Alabama food banks
  • Publix Supermarkets is giving a total of $500,000 to food banks in Alabama.
  • The Florida-based grocery store chain recently announced the donations. They’re part of $5 million Publix is giving to organizations across the Southeast in September. That’s national Hunger Action Week.
  • reports that the grocery store’s charity organization is donating $150,000 each to the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama in Birmingham and Feeding the Gulf Coast in Theodore and $100,000 each to the Food Bank of North Alabama in Huntsville and the Montgomery Area Food Bank.
  • One in eight people across the country struggles with hunger, including more than 9 million in the Southeast, Publix executives said, citing federal data.
  • You can read the story from HERE.



ALABAMA DAILY NEWS- Cutting it close: Florida’s fate may be a matter of miles
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS– Wireless providers, cities still struggle to find 5G agreement
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS– After Mobile bridge stalls, lawmakers could ‘line up’ for funds
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS– Matthew Stokes: Political Realities and the Mobile Bayway
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS– Bo knows: Nix rallies No. 16 Auburn 27-21 over No. 11 Ducks
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS-Tagovailoa leads No. 2 Alabama to 42-3 rout of Duke
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – 6 teens shot at end of high school football game in Alabama
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS– Column: A stark reminder of what’s really important in life
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS– Dorian closes in on Bahamas as dangerous Category 5 storm
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS– Pitcher: Life ‘destroyed’ by slayings of wife, son, in-law
AL.COM – Hurricane Dorian 2019: Alabama won’t be ‘hit harder’ by hurricane despite Trump tweet
AL.COM – Columnist Dana McCain: Dems determined to lose in 2020
AL.COM – How the I-10 project was killed
AL.COM – More than 100 people per week moving into Huntsville and Baldwin County metros
AL.COM – Columnist Roy Johnson: The resurrection of BCRI A.D. (After Davis) begins
AL.COM – Columnist John Archibald: Free tuition and a chicken in every pot
AL.COM – Alabama is poised to lose 1 congressional seat. Could it lose 2?
Montgomery Advertiser– Alabama doctors asked to report lung illnesses as vaping-related cases rise nationwide
Montgomery Advertiser– ‘We just had to calm down’: Auburn defense shows what it’s capable of, shuts down Oregon after slow start
Montgomery Advertiser– 9 counts of attempted murder for student who allegedly opened fire in football stadium
YellowHammer News– Montgomery plans for the future at Smart Cities Readiness Workshop
YellowHammer News– ALFA’s Walker on tariffs: Alabama farmers accepting ‘short-term pain for long-term gain’ — ‘We’re farmers, but first and foremost we’re Americans’
Dothan Eagle– Government Oversight: City of Dothan launching redesigned website Tuesday
Dothan Eagle– UPDATE: Geneva girl dead from gunshot wound identified
Dothan Eagle– Father accused of putting dead infant in freezer found dead in jail
Tuscaloosa News– Tuscaloosa gets offers from developers for Rice Mine, McFarland sites
Tuscaloosa News– Sunday alcohol sales starting earlier, running later for Tuscaloosa bars, restaurants
Decatur Daily– Lawrence man dies in shooting near Town Creek
Decatur Daily– Bowling optimistic about city’s financial outlook
Decatur Daily– New traffic laws on left lane driving and rear seat belts take effect today
Times Daily– 79th Fighter Bomber Squadron reunion group coming to the Shoals
Times Daily– Colbert County employees recognized for completing education programs
Times Daily– Sheffield teacher lodges complaint, claims discrimination
Gadsden Times– Local Masons honor VA office personnel with dinner
Gadsden Times– New printmaking exhibit to open at GMA
Gadsden Times– DAVID MURDOCK COLUMN: On happiness
Anniston Star– Gas tax may yield but little for small towns
Anniston Star– Next year’s Oxford elections tied to economic progress, quality of life
Anniston Star– Phillip Tutor: What happened to ‘One City One Vision’?
Andalusia Star News– Headstart students learn about bus safety
Opelika-Auburn News– Storm becomes a ‘historic monster;’ will Category 5 hurricane affect Alabama?
Opelika-Auburn News– Obituaries published Sep. 1, 2019
Opelika-Auburn News– Storm’s path, impact on Alabama still uncertain
Daily Mountain Eagle– Law enforcement watching waterways over holiday
Daily Mountain Eagle– WCF announces new, returning scholars
Daily Mountain Eagle– Plane lands on Interstate 22
Trussville Tribune– Alabama residents make it clear they want alternatives to tolls for funding bridge and road projects
Trussville Tribune– VIDEO: Dorian strikes Bahamas with record fury as Category 5 storm
Trussville Tribune– POLICE: 2 from Pinson are busted in Trussville with drugs, stolen tag
Athens News Courier– Dorian strikes Bahamas with record fury as Category 5 storm
Athens News Courier– 2 books published to mark Alabama bicentennial
Athens News Courier– Protect or develop? Amazon fires signal growing pressure
Sand Mountain Reporter– Raising red flags | Local legislator talks potential of red flag gun law
Sand Mountain Reporter– RSVP needs instructors, class ideas
Sand Mountain Reporter– Alabama Anti-Road Rage Act, seat belt law changes take effect Sunday
WSFA Montgomery– Funeral set for well-known former coach killed after train collision
WSFA Montgomery– New litter law now in effect in Alabama
WSFA Montgomery– 6-year-old Geneva girl dead from gunshot wound identified
Fox 6 Birmingham– Gas tax increase begins Labor Day weekend
Fox 6 Birmingham– Police investigating pedestrian struck & killed near B’ham gas station
Fox 6 Birmingham– Be prepared with your workweek forecast
WAFF Huntsville– Hurricane Dorain remains Category 5 with 185+ mph winds
WAFF Huntsville– Lauderdale County Sheriff wants higher deputy pay
WAFF Huntsville– Police investigating shooting at West Lake Apartments on Sparkman Drive
WKRG Mobile– BREAKING: First reported death from Hurricane Dorian as young boy drowns
WKRG Mobile– Georgia Gov. orders mandatory evacuations to begin midday Monday
WKRG Mobile– Possible plane crash in Foley
WTVY Dothan– Driver dies days after collision with train in Coosada
WTVY Dothan– 6-year old Geneva girl dead from gunshot wound identified
WTVY Dothan– Auburn University Safety app offers virtual buddy system
WASHINGTON POST – Trump’s lost summer: Aides claim victory, but others see incompetence and intolerance
WASHINGTON POST – Democrats press Trump, GOP to tighten gun controls after Odessa mass shooting
NEW YORK TIMES – Along Hurricane Dorian’s Tortured Path, Millions Are United in Fear


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