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Daily News Digest – September 20, 2019

Presented by The Boeing Company



Good morning and Happy Friday!
Here’s your Daily News for September 20.



1. Ivey announces cancer diagnosis, begins treatment.

  • Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said Thursday she will begin treatment for cancer after an “isolated malignancy” was found on her lung.
  • “(Friday) morning, I will travel to UAB for an outpatient procedure, which will allow me to soon begin a series of specialized radiation treatments,” Ivey, 74, said in a written release. “None of this will prevent me from continuing to serve as your governor and doing the work you elected me to do.“
  • Ivey said that during a routine exam, her longtime physician discovered an unusual spot on her lung.
  • “Additional tests confirmed that this was, indeed, a tiny, isolated malignancy,” she said.
  • “The good news is I am one of the fortunate ones where this was discovered early, and it is very treatable.”
  • “Naturally, I welcome your prayers and your support,” Ivey said. “Just as so many others who have been affected by cancer, I am confident of God’s plan and purpose for my life and feel extremely fortunate this was caught so early.”
  • Dr. William Saliski of Montgomery Pulmonary Consultants said Ivey was referred to him and a biopsy was performed on her lung.
  • “Upon consultation with our cancer team and reviewing all options available, Gov. Ivey determined that these minimal radiation treatments are her preference,” Saliski said in a statement. “Gov. Ivey has opted for the least invasive treatment which has an excellent cure rate. I expect her to make a full recovery.”
  • Scores of state leaders and citizens alike expressed their support for Ivey upon hearing the news.
  • Governor, on behalf of the team here at ADN, our prayers and best wishes are with you for a full and speedy recovery.
  • Read more from ADN’s Mary Sell HERE.


2. Marshall speaks at law enforcement event.

  • A few months back when Attorney General Steve Marshall came on our “In the Weeds” podcast, he offered an interesting perspective on the issues facing the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles.
  • That Board’s charge under the constitution and the law, he said, is public safety, not dealing with prison overcrowding.
  • That may have gotten lost in our much longer conversation, but it stood out to me because those two issues so often get conflated.
  • On Thursday, Marshall reiterated that point when asked about the ongoing saga at Pardons and Paroles during a law enforcement summit his office hosted.
  • “Their responsibility is making public safety decisions on who should be released, and that has nothing to do with the number of beds we have available or the number of people that are in prison,” Marshall told reporters at the 20th annual Alabama Law Enforcement Summit.
  • Marshall’s comments come after the board announced last week that parole hearings would be delayed until Nov. 1, at the earliest, pausing around 627 hearings.
  • Charlie Graddick, the agency’s new director, said that the previous leadership was not complying the new victim notification standards, prompting the delays.
  • “I believe that he would not have stopped it if he hadn’t seen a violation of the law and to understand that victims’ voices and law enforcements’ voices need to be heard when parole decisions take place. That’s why I appreciate the action that’s been taken,” Marshall said.
  • Marshall was one of the main supporters of the legislation enacted earlier this year that led to Graddick being appointed by Gov. Kay Ivey.
  • ADN’s Caroline Beck was at this year’s Law Enforcement Summit and has a full report from the event HERE.




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3. Pentagon to present strike options on Iran.

  • The Pentagon will present a broad range of military options to President Donald Trump on Friday as he considers how to respond to what administration officials say was an unprecedented Iranian attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil industry.
  • In a White House meeting, the Republican president will be presented with a list of potential airstrike targets inside Iran, among other possible responses, and he will be warned that military action against the Islamic Republic could escalate into war.
  • The national security meeting will likely be the first opportunity for a decision on how the U.S. should respond to the attack on a key Middle East ally. Any decision may depend on what kind of evidence the U.S. and Saudi investigators are able to provide proving that the cruise missile and drone strike was launched by Iran, as a number of officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have asserted.
  • Iran has denied involvement and warned the U.S. that any attack will spark an “all-out war” with immediate retaliation from Tehran.
  • Full story HERE.


4. House passes stop-gap funding measure.

  • The U.S. House of Representatives passed a short-term continuing resolution Thursday to prevent a federal shutdown when the budget year ends Sept. 30.
  • The bill gives lawmakers until the Thanksgiving break to negotiate and approve $1.4 trillion for federal agencies.
  • The vote in the House was 301-123. Alabama’s delegation was split: Reps. Robert Aderholt, Martha Roby, Mike Rogers and Terri Sewell voted yes. Reps. Mo Brooks, Bradley Byrne and Gary Palmer voted no.
  • The Senate is expected to approve the stopgap bill next week.
  • The upper chamber is struggling over how to move ahead with its versions of the follow-up spending bills. There is partisan skirmishing over the boundaries of the budget agreement and Trump’s moves to pay for the U.S.-Mexico border fence without congressional approval.
  • Democrats also want to maintain some leverage over Trump by holding back the Pentagon measure he cares most in order to help force compromises on the domestic bills important to their party.
  • “We’re at a crossroads right now,” said Sen. Richard Shelby, who chairs the Appropriations Committee. “I don’t know what will happen.”
  • Full story HERE.



  • It has been a busy news week.
  • In case you missed it, I wanted to re-publish our feature story on rural economic development.
  • There are unique challenges facing rural communities when it comes to recruiting and retaining jobs, and the state has some new and ambitious strategies for helping meet them.
  • The closing of the old West Point Pepperell mill in Abbeville and the town’s ten-year effort to repurpose the building is a good example of those challenges, and perhaps a model for success.
  • The story has sparked some interesting conversations about what all the state could be doing to grow the workforce, and I appreciate all the feedback.
  • If you haven’t yet, read in full HERE.


News Briefs.

Heavy rains prompt rescues in Mobile
  • MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — Mobile firefighters staged more than 60 water rescues after heavy rains prompted flooding across the city.
  • Storms that dumped more than 7 inches of rain across Mobile in a few hours left streets and parking lots covered with water Thursday afternoon because drainage systems couldn’t keep up.
  • Cars and trucks wound up submerged and some buildings were surrounded by flash flooding, prompting multiple rescues by Mobile Fire and Rescue.
  • Tow trucks were out all night removing stranded vehicles, and the influx of water caused some sanitary sewers to overflow.
  • To the west, remnants of Tropical Storm Imelda have left much worst flooding in Texas.
Authorities identify man hurt in courthouse shooting
  • SCOTTSBORO, Ala. (AP) — Authorities have identified a man who was shot inside an Alabama courthouse as being a 72-year-old resident with multiple ammunition containers.
  • News outlets reported Thursday that Jackson County sheriff’s officials say Fred Swearengin had a handgun and four magazines containing bullets when he was shot Wednesday.
  • Chief Deputy Rocky Harnen says Swearengin refused to surrender his weapon. He says the man drew his gun and was shot by a deputy who was working at a security checkpoint.
  • Harnen says it’s unclear what if anything Swearengin planned to do. Records don’t show any current cases involving him in state court.
  • The man was taken to a hospital in Huntsville for treatment, but authorities haven’t released his condition.
3M halting some work at Decatur for environmental reasons
  • DECATUR, Ala. (AP) — A company that’s facing lawsuits and public scrutiny over pollution from a north Alabama plant says it’s suspending some manufacturing work because of environmental reasons.
  • A statement issued by 3M Co. says it is temporarily halting some operations at its factory in Decatur, but no layoffs are expected.
  • The company says it is stopping work related to fluoropolymer manufacturing as it works with environmental regulators on compliance issues.
  • The Decatur Daily reports 3M has struggled with pollution issues related to substances known as PFAS. PFAS are used to make fluoropolymer coatings and products that resist heat, oil, stains, grease and water.
  • 3M settled a claim over PFAS contamination earlier this year for $35 million. 3M is a defendant in dozens of other lawsuits alleging environmental and health problems.
Wildfire burns about 500 acres in parched Alabama
  • MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A wildfire has burned about 500 acres of land in rural eastern Alabama, and there’s a statewide threat of additional blazes.
  • The Alabama Forestry Commission has spent two days fighting a large wildfire around Alpine in Talladega County.
  • The fire has already consumed about 500 acres, but the agency says no people or homes are in immediate danger.
  • About 120 fires have burned more than 1,000 acres of land in the state in the last week. The state has issued a fire danger advisory for all 67 counties because of dry weather conditions.
  • Nearly half the state is currently abnormally dry, with severe droughts in Shelby County near Birmingham and Dale and Henry counties in southeastern Alabama.




ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ivey to begin cancer treatment after spot found on lung
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS  – AG Marshall says Parole Board has ‘no responsibility’ to fix crowded prisons
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS  – House OKs measure to prevent possible end-of-month shutdown
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Democrats block military, domestic funding package amid border wall battle
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS  – US military to present Trump with several options on Iran
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump calls new border wall a ‘world-class security system’
AL.COM  – Gov. Kay Ivey announces she has lung cancer.
AL.COM  – Muslim men claim racial profiling after flight canceled at Birmingham airport.
AL.COM  – Alabama women are on the road to Washington prison protest
AL.COM  – Birmingham residents released from ICE custody on bond.
AL.COM  – Alabama’s Artificial Intelligence Commission getting started.
AL.COM  – Drought conditions growing in Alabama.
AL.COM  – 3M idles some chemical production after drinking water concerns.
AL.COM  – Hugh Culverhouse Jr. donates $250,000 to Planned Parenthood Southeast.
AL.COM  – Demand for steel driving big year for state docks.
Montgomery Advertiser – Gov. Kay Ivey to receive treatment for lung cancer
Montgomery Advertiser – Montgomery police launch homicide investigation after victim in August assault dies
Montgomery Advertiser – Montgomery man convicted in 2016 shooting death of innocent bystander
YellowHammer News – Ride to honor fallen Tuscaloosa PD’s Dornell Cousette scheduled for Sunday
YellowHammer News – Support pours in after Ivey announces cancer diagnosis — ‘No step too high for a high-stepper’
YellowHammer News – Wildfire burns about 500 acres in parched Alabama
Dothan Eagle – Grand jury indicts mother on a lesser charge of manslaughter
Dothan Eagle – Man arrested for the second time within a week for cashing counterfeit checks
Dothan Eagle – Alabama: Artificial Intelligence Commission getting underway
Tuscaloosa News – UA students march to express concerns with leadership
Tuscaloosa News – Vigil remembers sacrifice made by fallen police officer
Tuscaloosa News – Community mourns Tuscaloosa Police officer killed in line of duty
Decatur Daily – Flint Creek trail close to being part of Alabama Scenic River Trail
Decatur Daily – Environmental issues lead 3M to idle some Decatur operations
Decatur Daily – Athens police, fire chiefs ask for more personnel during budget hearings
Times Daily – In teacher shortage, Alabama looks to South Korea
Times Daily – Fire advisory continues as dry, windy day expected
Times Daily – Annual ‘Shoals Idea Audition’ to support business ideas from local entrepreneurs
Gadsden Times – Sand Mountain Corn Maze celebrates Alabama’s 200th anniversary
Gadsden Times – Banks named Hardin Center executive director
Gadsden Times – Ivey says she has lung cancer, will begin treatments
Anniston Star – Anniston animals are 43 percent of county pound’s population, could cause fees to rise
Anniston Star – Second defendant pleads guilty in fatal 2016 shooting
Anniston Star – Council talks about schools’ allocation in final 2020 budget workshop
Troy Messenger – O’Neal leaves lasting impact in Troy
Troy Messenger – Murder suspect found not guilty
Troy Messenger – Troy man charged with violating sex offender registry
Andalusia Star News – Iron Work’s Old School Men’s Meeting celebrates five years
Andalusia Star News – APDH investigates 15 cases of lung disease linked to vaping
Andalusia Star News – Gov. Kay Ivey announces she has lung cancer
Opelika-Auburn News – ‘Seinfeld’ for $500 million? ‘The Big Bang Theory’ for $1 billion? The streaming arms race has a big problem.
Opelika-Auburn News – Tuscaloosa tragedy hits home
Opelika-Auburn News – Valley man facing child sexual abuse charges
Daily Mountain Eagle – BSCC to provide manufactured home installation training
Daily Mountain Eagle – Commission sees more revenue, problems for budget
Daily Mountain Eagle – Sipsey man arrested for burglarizing fire station
Trussville Tribune – TRUSSVILLE POLICE: Man stole $1,000 worth of tools
Trussville Tribune – Pinson Council approves funds for assorted Christmas decorations
Trussville Tribune – Criminal Appeals upholds murder conviction in Limestone County
Athens News Courier – Motorcyclists to ride Saturday for Trail of Tears
Athens News Courier – Alabama could start 4 freshmen on defense vs Southern Miss
Athens News Courier – Wildfire burns about 500 acres in parched Alabama
Sand Mountain Reporter – AHS Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame inductees announced | Make reservations to attend now
Sand Mountain Reporter – Boaz FFA builds seating for Corley Elementary’s outdoor classroom
Sand Mountain Reporter – HydroFest returns in 2020 | Lake Guntersville to host Race for Southern Cup for third straight year
WSFA Montgomery – ADPH looks at possible cuts to county health departments, health officer says
WSFA Montgomery – Man convicted in 2016 Montgomery murder
WSFA Montgomery – NAMIWalks 5K happening Saturday to raise mental health awareness
Fox 6 Birmingham – Ivey’s announcement brings awareness to new treatment options
Fox 6 Birmingham – SC State on lockdown hours after early-morning shooting on campus injures at least 1 student
Fox 6 Birmingham – Homewood Pharmacy burglary suspects caught on camera
WAFF Huntsville – STEM grant opportunities now open for K-12 Tennessee Valley educators
WAFF Huntsville – Low score on the A&M Campus: Your September 20th, 2019 Kitchen Cops Report
WAFF Huntsville – Limestone County planning household hazardous waste collection day
WKRG Mobile – One hurricane and a few disturbances in the Atlantic
WKRG Mobile – Water rescue at house on Pinehill Drive in Midtown
WKRG Mobile – Alabama men involved in plane crash in Florida
WTVY Dothan – Dothan Police searching for missing 65-year-old man
WTVY Dothan – Houston County deputy injured in crash
WTVY Dothan – Disaster exercise helps train emergency agencies.
WASHINGTON POST  – Pelosi rolls out long-awaited bill to lower prescription drug costs.
NEW YORK TIMES  – After Resisting, McConnell and Senate G.O.P. Back Election Security Funding
NEW YORK TIMES  – House Approves Short-Term Spending Bill That Would Stave Off Shutdown
NEW YORK TIMES  – Attack on Saudi Oil Facilities Tests U.S. Guarantee to Defend Gulf

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