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Daily News Digest – September 24, 2019

Presented by AlabamaWorks!


Good morning!
Here’s your Daily News for Tuesday, September 24.


1. Ivey: ‘God is good’ and ‘I feel fine’

  • In her first public appearance since announcing she has lung cancer, Gov. Kay Ivey was upbeat and said she felt fine.
  • “I’m doing fine. I feel fine. I hope I look fine. … It was caught very, very early and it’s a good prognosis, a high rate of success,” Ivey told reporters after a speech at Fort Rucker.
  • The 74-year-old Republican governor announced last week that doctors found a malignant spot in her lung and that she will receive radiation treatments.
  • “It’s isolated. We’ll zap it out with some radiation and be done with it,” Ivey said. “If the doctors and I do my best, God will do the rest.”
  • Full story HERE.



2. Ivey appoints new Parole Board chair.

  • Gov. Kay Ivey has named a prosecutor as the new chairwoman of the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles.
  • Ivey on Monday appointed Leigh Gwathney to the position. Gwathney is an assistant attorney general responsible for prosecuting violent crimes and cold cases.
  • Gwathney replaces Lyn Head, whose term is expiring. The appointment begins Oct. 16.
  • Ivey and Attorney General Steve Marshall have criticized the agency over the past year for some parole decisions. They backed legislation that gave Ivey greater control over the agency.
  • Ivey says Gwathney is a “proven prosecutor with an expertise and passion for the justice system.”
  • Marshall applauded the appointment, saying Gwathney “brings to the Board of Pardons and Paroles the perspective of a tough and experienced career prosecutor with a record of holding violent offenders accountable.”
  • Read more HERE.



A message from AlabamaWorks!

Alabama’s unemployment rate is at a record low. This is great for our economy, but it can present problems for those who are under-skilled for open jobs and also dilemmas for employers seeking to fill those positions.
To meet this challenge, Gov. Kay Ivey established Success Plus, a plan to add 500,000+ highly-skilled, credentialed individuals to Alabama’s workforce by 2025.
To learn more, visit



3. Counties release road plans.

  • Alabama counties have released their 2020 road and bridge constructions plans to be funded by the recent 6-cent increase on Alabama’s gasoline tax.
  • Each county’s governing body posted their plans on the Association of County Commissions of Alabama’s website. The plans are required by the Rebuild Alabama Act, passed during this year’s legislative session, to show how the money is being spent.
  • The detailed lists of projects are to be prioritized in the coming year based on anticipated revenue and to make the plans visible to the public.
  • “We have consistently said that it’s essential the public have immediate access to how the new revenue will be used,” said Sonny Brasfield, ACCA executive director. “County governments have worked collectively so they can be responsible and accountable with each dollar.”
  • Brasfield said the ACCA will release a statewide overview of the projects in the coming days, and when project specifications and bid announcements are available, that information will also be available on the association’s website.
  • Full story and link to the plans from Caroline Beck HERE.


4. Report: Trump froze Ukraine funds before call.

  • President Donald Trump ordered his staff to freeze nearly $400 million in aid to Ukraine a few days before a phone call in which he pressured the Eastern European nation’s leader to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter.
  • That’s according to two officials who say they are familiar with the conversations, but are speaking on a condition of anonymity.
  • At issue is a summer phone call with Ukrainian President Voldymyr Zelenskiy, in which Trump is said to have pushed for investigations into Biden. In the days before that call, Trump ordered the aid to Ukraine frozen.
  • Trump has insisted he did nothing wrong and has denied that any requests for help in procuring damaging information about Biden were tied to the aid freeze.
  • The United States began providing military aid to the government of Ukraine shortly after Russia illegally annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula in 2014. With Ukraine’s new president still grappling with separatist rebels in the east, the aid has long been viewed as a measure of Washington’s determination to push back against Russian President Vladimir Putin.
  • Trump denied telling the Ukraine president that his country would only get U.S. aid if it investigated Biden’s son. “I didn’t do it,” he said.
  • Read more HERE.


5. News Briefs.

Alabama Democratic Party faces new election deadline
  • MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Democratic Party faces an October deadline to hold new leadership elections and update bylaws as some members push to get the state organization back into compliance with the national party.
  • The Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee on Friday approved proposed bylaws submitted by several members of the state party’s executive committee, including Democratic legislative leaders. The group made the submission on their own in an attempt to break through a stalemate that threatens Alabama Democrats’ ability to participate in next year’s DNC convention.
  • National party officials wrote in a Saturday letter that the state party’s executive committee has until Oct. 5 to approve the bylaws and until Oct. 19 to hold internal elections.
  • “It is essential that new bylaws and elections occur immediately to resolve this long ongoing problem as we head into key elections in 2020 and a time when all Democrats and all state parties need to be fully integrated and involved in what we need to do to win,” national party officials wrote.
  • Full story HERE.
Feds allege insider trading around Golden Flake, Utz merger
  • The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is accusing officials of insider trading in connection with the merger of Alabama-based Golden Flake and Pennsylvania-based Utz.
  • Utz Quality Foods bought Golden Enterprises, Golden Flake’s parent company, for $141 million in 2016.
  • The feds allege that information about the sale was improperly communicated by Golden Enterprises Director James Nall Sr. through his son, James Nall III and three other men in Marengo County.
  • Full story from William Thornton HERE.
Jacksonville president on leave for family medical issues
  • JACKSONVILLE, Ala. (AP) — The president of Alabama’s Jacksonville State University is taking a 90-day leave of absence.
  • The university said Monday that John Beehler needs time off beginning Oct. 1 “to care for several close family members suffering from serious medical issues.”
  • Trustee Chairman Randy Jones told reporters Saturday after trustees approved the leave in an emergency meeting that it was “in no way related” to allegations of six statutory rapes on or near campus this year. Two underaged girls are alleged as victims.
  • Eight men are charged with second-degree rape, while one is charged with sodomy. All are free on bail.
  • Trustees were briefed Saturday on the allegations, possible lawsuits, and an investigation into whether JSU violated federal law prohibiting discrimination against women.
  • The meeting’s notice said trustees would evaluate Beehler.
White lions join crew of animals at Alabama animal preserve
  • FORT PAYNE, Ala. (AP) — An animal preserve in northeast Alabama is now home to two white lions.
  • Tigers for Tomorrow at Untamed Mountain recently announced that Bakari and Kimani are settling in well at the facility in DeKalb County.
  • reports that Tigers for Tomorrow is home for more than 160 animals including tigers, mountain lions, African lions, bears, wolves, and black leopards.
  • The facility is open for general admission visits from Friday through Sunday and for private tours and educational events.



ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ivey: ‘God is good’ and ‘I feel fine’
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Counties release road project plans for 2020
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ivey appoints prosecutor as new Parole Board chair
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Report: Trump ordered Ukraine aid frozen
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS-  Alabama Democratic Party faces new election deadline
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – New commission to provide ‘deep dive’ into state programs’ costs, results
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump suggests he raised the Bidens with Ukraine’s president
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – The story behind Biden’s son, Ukraine and Trump’s claims
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – September 23, 2019
AL.COM  – Gov. Kay Ivey says she feels fine, expects cancer to be ‘over and done with’
AL.COM  – Gov. Kay Ivey picks veteran prosecutor to chair parole board
AL.COM  – Arizona’s “Tent City’ Sheriff Joe Arpaio to speak at Alabama GOP event
AL.COM  – Alabama counties post road construction plans for 2020
AL.COM  – Calhoun County coroner indicted on charge of using office for personal gain
AL.COM  – Bessemer Cutoff clerk’s office closing to public on Fridays for rest of 2019
AL.COM  – Mobile County School District website down after ransomware attack
AL.COM  – Columnist Kyle Whitmire: DNC shoves bitter medicine down Alabama Dems’ throat
AL.COM  – Columnist Dana McCain: Christianity and mental health.
Montgomery Advertiser – Ivey: ‘I’m doing fine’ as cancer treatments begin
Montgomery Advertiser – Sheriff: Woman shot by Elmore deputy while trying to run him over in a stolen truck
Montgomery Advertiser – Trio facing capital murder, robbery charges in 2017 Autauga case
YellowHammer News – Ivey appoints prosecutor Leigh Gwathney as chair of Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles
YellowHammer News – Alabama Democratic Party vice chair: ‘Doug Jones is a racist’
YellowHammer News – Grant money to help assist immigrant crime victims
Dothan Eagle – McCraney request investigators’ information be turned over to prosecutors
Dothan Eagle – Woman accused of using someone else’s credit card at local gas station
Dothan Eagle – Several blood pressure medications recalled by FDA for potential cancer risk
Tuscaloosa News – Fallen miners remembered at Brookwood memorial service
Tuscaloosa News – Northport keeps 2019 budget in place
Tuscaloosa News – Northport council honors slain Tuscaloosa police officer
Decatur Daily – Chamber plans ‘Cash Mob’ promotion
Decatur Daily – 4 suspects in custody after shot fired near Moulton officer
Decatur Daily – Decatur police: Man who fell from roof treated
Times Daily – Extension coordinators, farmers excited about 2019 corn crop
Times Daily – Lauderdale approves budget, revises deputy pay
Times Daily – 2,400 students to converge on NWSCC
Gadsden Times – DeKalb authorities and Dog the Bounty Hunter’s son capture fugitive in Collinsville
Gadsden Times – Volunteers needed for upcoming free medical clinic
Gadsden Times – North Gadsden child hit by vehicle
Anniston Star – JSU’s president addresses absence in email to university
Anniston Star – Anniston man charged with tackling RMC nurse
Anniston Star – Police: Man dragged after holding onto stolen truck
Andalusia Star News – Farming is more dangerous than it seems
Andalusia Star News – Red Level looking to get things going right
Andalusia Star News – Harold’s Barbershop to become Cathy’s Barbershop
Opelika-Auburn News – One injured after gun fired into Opelika vehicle
Opelika-Auburn News – Dothan’s Thomas Ponder leads Alabama golf team to 10th place finish in tourney
Opelika-Auburn News – Tallapoosa County school placed on lockdown while search warrant executed, drug charges ensue
Daily Mountain Eagle – 4 arrested, charged in variety of crimes
Daily Mountain Eagle – Public defender sees father’s decline from opioids
Daily Mountain Eagle – Many not sure of opioid treatment options
Trussville Tribune – Trussville’s Stockton Place car break-in case headed to Grand Jury, new charges added for one defendant
Trussville Tribune – Argo city council ponders new surveillance tool, amends employee health care resolution
Trussville Tribune – Man indicted in shooting death on Service Road
Athens News Courier – Elkins family continues to raise meningitis awareness
Athens News Courier – Alabama Gov. Ivey: ‘I’m doing fine’ after cancer diagnosis
Athens News Courier – Analysis: Trump’s tactics leave Dems looking for answers
Sand Mountain Reporter – Parent requests more lockers for Douglas Middle School
Sand Mountain Reporter – Crystal Corner still shining after 35 years
Sand Mountain Reporter – Albertville woman climbs 110 floors to honor 9/11
WSFA Montgomery – MPS holds public hearing to get response to possible charter school conversions
WSFA Montgomery – Scammer steals from convenience stores across Montgomery
WSFA Montgomery – More than half of Ala. school systems have opioid overdose reversal drug
Fox 6 Birmingham – Clerk’s Office in the Jefferson County Courthouse in Bessemer will be closed every Friday
Fox 6 Birmingham – Two artists send message to person who vandalized mural of former president Barack Obama
Fox 6 Birmingham – Minor High Band needs newer instruments to sound pitch perfect
WAFF Huntsville – Athens’ 2020 budget does not include more police officers, firefighters
WAFF Huntsville – Madison City Council approves rezoning for Kyser Boulevard development, gives project the green light
WAFF Huntsville – Alabama ranked among 20 lowest states for teachers
WKRG Mobile – “Is my child dying?” Local miracle baby defies odds
WKRG Mobile – Alabama GOP Senate Candidates Forum Tuesday evening in Gulf Shores
WKRG Mobile – Mobile County deputies searching for missing student
WTVY Dothan – National Peanut Festival releases schedule for 2019
WTVY Dothan – One dead after golf cart crash in Panama City Beach
WTVY Dothan – Wicksburg changes gun fundraiser after controversy
WASHINGTON POST  – Trump ordered hold on military aid days before calling Ukrainian president, officials say
WASHINGTON POST  – Contributors Gil Cisneros, Jason Crow, Chrissy Houlahan, Elaine Luria, Mikie Sherrill, Elissa Slotkin and Abigail Spanberger: These allegations are a threat to all we have sworn to protect
WASHINGTON POST  – Biden’s bungled attack on Medicare-for-all.
NEW YORK TIMES  – Instead of ‘No Collusion!’ Trump Now Seems to Be Saying, So What if I Did?
NEW YORK TIMES  – The New York Times: Mr. Trump, Blow Us Away With Your Transparency. Please.
NEW YORK TIMES  – Contributor Steven Rattner: Autoworkers Face a Tough Road Ahead
NEW YORK TIMES  – How Anti-Vaccine Sentiment Took Hold in the United States

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