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Weekend Digest- August 19, 2018

Bit of a slow news week for Alabama, but people are already making their predictions for the midterm elections.  Here is the news you need to know for August 19, 2018.  

1. Forecasting the Midterm Elections

  • There are 79 days until the November 6 Midterm Elections. Various polls and predictors are forecasting the outcome, most saying that Democrats are likely to win the House Majority while Republicans maintain the Senate Majority.
  • Just a reminder: Democrats must flip 23 Republican-held seats to win the 218 seats needed to control the House.
  • There are some cool interactive election predictor tool you can check out to go deeper on this at The New York TimesCook Political Report and  FiveThirtyEight.
  • The NYT predictor says there are 64 highly competitive seats.
  • The election handicapper Cook Political Report says 153 seats are solidly Republican and 181 are solidly Democrat.
  • Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight estimates that, at the moment, Democrats have a 74.9 percent chance of winning the House majority.
  • NYT says 29 seats are toss ups, While FiveThirtyEight says only 15 are.
  • Some of the seats that are toss-ups are located in California, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas, New Jersey, New York, and Texas.

What this means for Alabama

  • No surprise here, but neither poll shows any district in Alabama being a “toss up” and show a predictive pattern when it comes to Alabama’s house seats.
  • They show all six of Alabama’s current Republican distrcts staying that way and the lone Democratic district remaining in the hands of Congresswoman Terri Sewell.
  • You can take these predictions for whatever they are worth, especially considering how wrong so many predictors were in 2016.
  • Remember how the experts said Donald Trump would never be president? Plus a lot can happen in 79 days.

2. Ocean’s Eleven in Alabama

  • Okay, it may not have been that sophisticated of an operation but a man has been charged for stealing $190,000 from the Wind Creek Casino and Hotel in Montgomery this week.
  • Timothy Dean Pettiway was arrested and charged with theft from gaming establishments on Indian lands on Tuesday, federal court records show.
  • A surveillance video from Aug. 10 shows casino employee Jory D’Michael Trayvunn Dumas left his keys on top of a kiosk machine that had been malfunctioning. Later, the video showed Pettiway kneeling in front of the kiosk and holding what appeared to be a money cassette.
  • Dumas, the employee who left the keys sitting around, was also arrested. But it looks like authorities are dismissing charges against Dumas. No word on the pronunciation of Dumas.
  • You can read the whole story from the AP here. Also read the Montgomery Advertiser.

3. Roy Moore Denied Lawsuit Transfer

  • The Alabama Supreme Court has denied former Chief Justice Roy Moore’s request to transfer his defamation lawsuit form Montgomery to Etowah County.
  • Moore said in a statement that the decision was “ridiculous.”
  • The lawsuit comes from last year’s special election over during which a woman said Moore molested her when she was 14 years old.
  • The woman, Leigh Corfman, filed a lawsuit against Moore saying he defamed her when he called her a liar over the molestation accusations.
  • Moore is attempting to move the case to Etowah because that is where they both live. It also happens to be where garnered 60% of the vote during the special election.
  • Moore is also suing Corfman, saying that her accusations were untrue and caused him to lose the special election.
  • You can read more of the specifics from the AP here.

4. The Week in Good News

It’s always good to remind ourselves that there are good people and good stories still in the world, so let’s take a look at what was positive about this past week.

1. After fire, hope and unity for BTW

  • A fire broke out early Saturday morning destroying one of the buildings on the Booker T. Washington High School campus in Montgomery.
  • BTW is Montgomery’s magnet school for the arts.
  • It is incredibly sad news for the community, and especially the students, teachers and alumni. The Montgomery Advertiser and WSFA have the harrowing images and video.
  • So why is this filed in good news? Because we can help make it so.
  • Within hours of the fire being reported, a Go Fund me was set up to raise money to help the school through. Now, the Friends of Academics and Magnets in Education (the PTA board) has set up their fundraising page.
  • Go right now and see about donating and other ways you can help the BTW school.
  • They are also looking for volunteers for clean up and other needs, which you can learn about here.
  • The fire was in the West Wing building which housed the cafeteria, counselor’s office and a photo lab. Many students artwork has now been lost in the fire.
  • There has been no news yet of how this fire started but students will be off next week and resume classes August 27 at the Hayneville Road School.

2. Airman’s Love Letters Found

  • More than a 100 letters were found in an old antique desk three years ago that catalogue the life of an Alabama airman writing to his sweetheart.
  • The letters were addressed to a Miss Frances Cassada, a resident on Montgomery’s Morgan Avenue and depict a sweet relationship between a young airman who was travelling around to various military bases in the 1950’s.
  • Makes you wish we still wrote sweet letters to each other, doesn’t it?
  • Donna Arrowood, the woman who found the letters, took to social media to try and track down the family so she could return the letters.
  • The Facebook post went viral and it led Arrowood to a Tallahassee woman who recognized the man in the photos as her father.
  • I highly recommend reading the full story from the Montgomery Advertiser’s Melissa Brown and take a look at the adorable photos.

3. Teachers band together to help fellow teacher going through cancer treatment

  •  A Florida public school teacher, Robert Goodman, who is battling colon cancer needed 20 more sick days that he just didn’t have to finish out his chemotherapy treatment.
  • Once his fellow teachers heard about his situation, they showered him with their sick days, enough to cover a whole semester.
  • Even professors from Florida Atlantic University were reaching out to help Goodman.
  • This stunning act of kindness from strangers is just another example that we shouldn’t give up on the world and generous people can be found everywhere.
  • You should read the whole story from CNN here.


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama unemployment rate unchanged in July

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Men Arrested After Nearly $200,000 Stolen From Casino

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama Supreme Court Won’t Move Lawsuit Against Roy Moore

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Thousands Stranded as Floods Submerge Southern Indian State

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Another Trial Looms for ex-Trump Campaign Chairman Manafort 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – NOAA Fisheries approves Alabama snapper program 

DECATUR DAILY – Jobless rates lower locally in July.

DECATUR DAILY – Republican Stadthagen has no Democratic opponent in race to replace Henry.

GADSDEN TIMES – Unemployment steady in state, down locally.

ANNISTON STAR – Panel discussion brings out need for more mental health beds.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Quinton Ross points to progress since presidency ahead of inauguration.

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Residents of polluted Birmingham neighborhoods call for help.

AL.COM – Gov. Ivey moves to stop sheriffs from keeping state jail food money.

AL.COM – Some demoted Bessemer students to start high school Monday, superintendent says.

AL.COM – State Supreme Court denies Roy Moore appeal on venue change.

AL.COM – Fireball ’40 times as bright as full moon’ lights up Alabama sky.

AL.COM – Birmingham-based SummitMedia adds 19 stations in $47 million deal.

AL.COM – Hangout Fest contributes to streaming company’s revenue.

AL.COM – Columnist John Archibald:  U.S. Attorney: Convictions of powerful Alabamians sends warning.

AL.COM – Lawsuit filed concerning sunfish, Mazda Toyota plant.

AL.COM – Briggs & Stratton to add distribution center in Auburn.

NPR – Walmart And Others Offer Workers Payday Loan Alternative

WASHINGTON POST – White House drafts more clearance cancellations demanded by Trump.

WASHINGTON POST – Trump cancels military parade he longed to hold as concern over costs grow.

WASHINGTON POST – The un-celebrity president:  Jimmy Carter shuns riches, lives modestly in his Georgia hometown.

NEW YORK TIMES – Bombed by the K.K.K. A Friend of Rosa Parks. At 90, This White Pastor Is Still Fighting.

NEW YORK TIMES – Trump’s Plan for Coal Emissions: Let Coal States Regulate Them

NEW YORK TIMES – ‘Amazing Grace’: How Aretha Franklin Took Us All to Church

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