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Daily News Digest- July 1, 2019

1. Community College get $12 million grant

Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta meets BMW apprentice at technical apprentice training workshop
  • The Alabama Community College System received a $12 million apprenticeship grant last week to aid in manufacturing training.
  • The announcement cane during a visit by U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta to several north Alabama colleges including the Decatur campus of Calhoun Community College and to Huntsville companies Adtran and Dynetics.
  • The aim of the grant is to increase job-ready employees in the state and help provide an education in real-world experiences so workers can get jobs in needed areas such as manufacturing.
  • As part of the grant, the community college system will partner with the Manufacturing Institute of the National Association of Manufacturers who will provide partially matching funds to develop advanced manufacturing apprenticeships.
  • “The earning while learning model has worked well in many American industries. By partnering with private entities, academic institutions and consortia will create pathways for American workers to learn in-demand job skills to fill millions of family-sustaining jobs,” Acosta said during his visit.
  • You can read more about the grant from’s Paul Gattis HERE.

2. New Org helps grow charter schools

  • A new education organization in Alabama is taking the lead in growing the public charter school market in the state.
  • New Schools for Alabama is a nonprofit organization that works with whoever wants to start either a new public charter school or a conversion charter school.
  • New Schools was formed out of what use to be the Alabama Coalition for Public Charter Schools, but after the law passed in 2015 legalizing charter schools in the state
  • Now that charter schools are allowed in Alabama, no organization exists in the state whose primary focus is to help those who want to start a charter school with the application and getting the school up and running.
  • I spoke with the founding Executive Director, Tyler Barnett, who explained how they plan on expanding the charter school market in Alabama.
  • You can read more about New Schools from me HERE.

3. Dem field beginning to narrow

  • The largest presidential field in modern Democratic politics could quickly shrink as more than half of the contenders are in real danger of failing to meet tougher requirements to participate in the fall round of debates.
  • Some of those in jeopardy dropping out if they don’t raise enough money are Julian Castro, Kristen Gillibrand and Cory Booker.
  • As the race intensifies candidates will be forced to burn through a lot of cash to stay competitive.
  • Of the 20 candidates who qualified for the first round of debates in June and July, just six currently meet the thresholds for the September-October round, when the Democratic National Committee requires participants to hit 2% in multiple polls and 130,000 individual donors.
  • It looks like all 20 candidates will still be able to participate in the late July debates, but failing to qualify for the September-October debates could be lethal for any campaign.
  • Read more about the race HERE.

4. Matthew Stokes: The tragedy of the Marshae Jones situation 

  • This week, Mathew Stokes is taking a look at the recent case of Marshae Jones, the 27- year old who was arrested last week for the death of her unborn child, which death occurred when she was shot by another woman during a fight in December.
  • A lot of passionate arguments have come out in recent days about how Alabama’s laws are applied to women when it comes to their reproductive rights and that both sides of the argument, anti-abortion and pro-choice, have been putting their hats in the ring on Jones’ case.
  • Stokes recognizes the tragedy that can be felt on both sides of the argument for this case, and takes a closer look at what Alabama law has said and how it should be cleared up, especially for tough situations like Jones’ case.
  • Here is a snippet:
“But I do share the concern that without clear and specific language in our laws and statutes, an overzealous prosecutor could determine that a true accident – a car wreck, for instance, as one media colleague put it – that results in a miscarriage could lead to prosecution. Anti-abortion advocates should take pause and consider that prosecutors work with very specific, clear language that is not open to multiple interpretations.”

5. AP News Briefs.

2-Year old found dead in a car near family home
  • A southeast Alabama 2-year-old has been found dead in a car parked at his family’s home.
  • Dothan Police Capt. Will Benny says a preliminary investigation suggests the child entered the car on his own sometime on Friday.
  • Houston County Coroner Robert Byrd identifies the child as Castiel King. Byrd says King was declared dead at a hospital on Friday night.
  • Benny says further investigation will pinpoint when the child got into the car. Police are conducting searches and seeking video from nearby homes.
  • The cause of death will be determined after an autopsy, scheduled early Monday, is performed.
Encompass Health to pay $48 million in settlement
  • The Department of Justice says Encompass Health, one of the nation’s largest providers of inpatient rehabilitation services, has agreed to pay $48 million to resolve allegations of fraudulent Medicare billing.
  • The Justice Department announced the settlement Friday. The department said the allegations included that inaccurate information was provided to Medicare on some patient diagnoses and that some admissions were not medically necessary.
  • The allegations were raised in three whistleblower lawsuits about the Birmingham-based company previously known as HealthSouth.
  • Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt said the settlement demonstrates a commitment to making sure providers follow the rules.
  • Read more about it HERE.
Ford dealer ends July 4th gun-Bible deal over fatal shooting
  • A Ford dealership in Alabama has ended a Fourth of July promotion that gifted a Bible, American flag and gift certificate for a 12-gauge shotgun to anyone who bought a new or used vehicle.
  • News outlets report Ford Motor Co. told Ford Chatom that the promotion was inappropriate after a worker fired from a California dealership killed two employees Tuesday before killing himself.
  • Dealership general manager Colin Ward says he’s disappointed the automaker requested they end the promotion. He says the dealership is fulfilling any commitments it already made.
  • Ward says customers could have received a Torah or Quran instead of a Bible if they wanted during the “God, guns and freedom” promotion.
  • Ford Motor Co. spokesman T.R. Reid says the company wasn’t involved in developing the local promotion.
UnitedHealthcare may cut ties with some Alabama hospitals
  • UnitedHealthcare and the University of Alabama Birmingham Health System haven’t reached an agreement to renew its hospital contracts leaving about 25,000 members wondering about their coverage.
  • News outlets reports UnitedHealthcare will cut ties with UAB if an agreement can’t be met by July 31, making their facilities out-of-network for members.
  • UnitedHealthcare sent a letter to members saying UAB is seeking substantial rate increases. UAB is also demanding that local businesses be restricted from designing healthcare plans that incentivize employees to choose lower-cost providers.
  • UAB Health System CEO Will Ferniany says UAB is more expensive than other hospitals because of the severity and clinical complexity of its patients. Ferniany says United is designating UAB as a lower, tier 2 provider which means higher payments for patients and lower cost for United.


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – New Education Org wants to help create new Charter Schools for Alabama

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS– Matthew Stokes: The tragedy of the Marshae Jones situation
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – On edge: 2020 Dems face prospect of being cut from debates
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Encompass Health to pay $48 million in DOJ settlement
AL.COM – DA Washington on Marshae Jones case: ‘I have the discretion and power to do as I please’.
AL.COM – Motion to dismiss Marshae Jones charge to be filed Monday, attorney says.
AL.COM – Judge rules former sheriff can’t pocket jail food money.
AL.COM – Alabama county seeks funds to help residents build storm shelters.
AL.COM – Columnist Roy Johnson: Marshea Jones should not be prosecuted; she should be helped.
AL.COM – Alabama’s Yellowhammer Fund faces growing pains amid flood of donations.
AL.COM – Alabama and its rocket put Apollo 11, first man on the moon.
AL.COM – Columnist Dana McCain: Mercy and justice at the border.
Montgomery Advertiser – Missing Montgomery boy dies in ‘accidental drowning,’ police say
YellowHammer News – VIDEO: Tommy Tuberville discusses U.S. Senate campaign, poll shows Moore falling, border crisis escalates and more on Guerrilla Politics …
YellowHammer News – Automatic Seafood & Oysters is fresh, vibrant addition to Birmingham’s dining scene
YellowHammer News – Tinted visor from UAB changes way vision-challenged athletes see the game
Dothan Eagle – When he picks up a hammer, the shaking stops. N.C. man with Parkinson’s builds mini homes.
Dothan Eagle – Houston County Sheriff’s Office makes large requests for 2020 budget
Dothan Eagle – 150 million hot dogs? Here are 10 notable numbers about the Fourth of July
Tuscaloosa News – Tuscaloosa resident photographed key moments in World War II
Tuscaloosa News – Alabama 2-year-old found dead in car parked at family home
Decatur Daily – Athens leaders dealing with continuing growth
Decatur Daily – Alabama drops to 44th for kids’ well-being, despite improvements
Decatur Daily – Area farmers join other hemp growers in state’s pilot program
Times Daily – CAPNA early childhood and pre-k classrooms relocating
Times Daily – Prison system hopes to break ground on new prisons in 2020
Times Daily – Alabama drops to 44th for kids’ well-being, despite improvements
Gadsden Times – Gadsden, nation deal with police shortage
Gadsden Times – At DMZ, step into history for Trump and Kim
Gadsden Times – Escaped Etowah County inmate recaptured
Anniston Star – As county struggles with overcrowding, some see city help as an option
Anniston Star – Woman goes ‘natural’ route in her new business
Anniston Star – Old McClellan fire station presents problems for restoration and reuse
Troy Messenger – Brundidge celebrates Independence Day
Troy Messenger – STEADY FLOW: U.S. Highway 231 traffic stays mostly consistent over last decade
Troy Messenger – Davis reflects on birth of son at Edge Memorial Hospital
Andalusia Star News – Snodgrass announces bid for commission
Andalusia Star News – As we age ‘old’ seems young to us
Opelika-Auburn News – Auburn, Opelika to hold Independence Day celebrations
Opelika-Auburn News – FEMA offers storm shelter grant opportunity for Lee County residents
Opelika-Auburn News – Opelika man dies after car strikes tree
Daily Mountain Eagle – Dr. Alan Wilson studying the cause of algal blooms
Daily Mountain Eagle – Area counties are ‘at-risk’ economically
Daily Mountain Eagle – Classes will help suddenly singles to navigate life
Trussville Tribune – Trussville Masonic Lodge installs new officers
Trussville Tribune – Trussville PD cruiser crashes after chase with stolen vehicle
Trussville Tribune – Alabama 2-year-old found dead in car parked at family home
Athens News Courier – UPDATE: Ardmore man identified as victim of fatal motorcycle wreck
Athens News Courier – Officials: Florida man robs Wendy’s after grilling burger
Athens News Courier – Pen pals meet again, 52 years after 1st letter
WSFA Montgomery – UAB Health System responds to possibility of UnitedHealthcare cutting ties
WSFA Montgomery – Construction worker falls to death from Dadeville water tower
WSFA Montgomery – Encompass Health to pay $48 million in DOJ settlement
Fox 6 Birmingham – Carjacking results in police chase and an officer hospitalized
Fox 6 Birmingham – Etowah Co. Sheriff searching for escaped inmate
Fox 6 Birmingham – UAB Health System responds to possibility of UnitedHealthcare cutting ties
WAFF Huntsville – Authorities identify the victim of the fatal wreck on I-59

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