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Weekend Digest- December 9, 2018

Happy Sunday everyone. Only 16 days till Christmas, but who’s counting. Here is the news for December 9, 2018.

1. Katie Britt, New BCA President

  • The Business Council of Alabama announced their new president on Friday and the first woman to lead the group, Katie Boyd Britt.
  • Britt is currently serving as Sen. Richard Shelby’s chief of staff and has previously working in government and corporate relations for the Butler Snow law firm in Montgomery and was a BCA board member.
  • Britt said that her focus when she assumes her position will be to develop a long-term strategic plan, building bridges with other organizations that share BCA’s priorities, bringing a “fresh approach” to working with local, state and federal officials to advance the BCA’s pro-growth agenda.
  • While Shelby said he is sad to see his chief of staff go, he knows that the BCA has found a great new president.
  • “She has been invaluable as my chief of staff over the last several years,” Shelby said. “I know that my loss is BCA’s gain.
  • Read more about Britt, including comments from BCA leadership, Shelby and others in Todd Stacy’s story HERE.

2. John Kelly departs the White House

  • President Trump’s Chief of Staff, John Kelly, will leave the White House before the end of the year.
  • It is speculated that VP Mike Pence’s chief of staff, Nick Ayers, is the top choice for Kelly’s replacement and the two have been discussing for months about the position.
  • Ayers is from Georgia and got his start working for former Georgia Gov. and current Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue. Several Alabama politico’s have strong relationships with Ayers stemming from those days.
  • Trump said an announcement would be coming in a few days about Kelly’s replacement.
  • Kelly has been credited to bringing order to the West Wing after his arrival in June 2017 from his post as homeland security secretary and ending an “open-door” Oval office policy that prevented staffers from going directly to Trump.
  • But Kelly’s strict rules in the West Wing have caused tension with longtime Trump allies and Kelly hasn’t exactly been quiet about how difficult his job has been since becoming chief of staff.
  • Trump said that he wants his next chief of staff to hold the position through the 2020 election.
  • You can read more about situation HERE.

3. Murray beats Tagovailoa for Heisman Award

  • Oklahoma’s Kyler Murraybeat Alabama’s Tua Tagovaila for the most prestigious individual award in college football, the Heisman Trophy.
  • Murray has been waiting three years for the award and this season, Murray stepped into the starting job at Oklahoma held by last year’s Heisman winner and first overall NFL draft pick, Baker Mayfield.
  • Tagovailoa was the Heisman front-runner for most of the season, but Murray surged late as the Sooners turned to him and the rest of their offense to bail out a leaky defense down the stretch.
  • Tua and Bama will get to have their say in a few weeks in the Orange Bowl semifinal game, when the two teams will play for a spot in the national championship.
  • You can read more about the quarterbacks HERE.

4. Macron plans to address protests

  • France has seen some violent and turbulent scenes of protest the last three weeks, but French President Emmanuel Macron has broken his silence over Twitter but also plans to address the nation on Monday.
  • A French government official said on Sunday that the goal, “is to mobilize into action the panoply of officials representing political, economic and social forces of France in a bid to unwind a spiral of protests.”
  • Even though Macron made the decision last week to abandon the fuel tax rise, which is what ignited the protests in the first place, the protestors are still not satisfied.
  • Many of Paris’ main monuments and tourists attractions have been shut down because of the protests but are now beginning to reopen and a clean up process has begun.
  • France’s Interior Ministry says 1.220 people have been arrested around France, and 71 have been injured during the protests, as well as around 89,000 French police have been deployed to control the protests.
  • These scenes of violence have been a large disturbance for the economy of France since the action is taking place right around Christmas shopping time and around major shopping areas in Paris.
  • Read more about the protests and Macron’s next moves HERE.

5. The Week in Good News

Here are some happy and hopeful reads to brighten up this cold and wet weekend.

9-year old Makes Snowball Fights Legal Again
  • There was a nearly century-old ordinance against snowball throwing in Severance, Colo.
  • Dane Best, who heard about the ban on a school trip to the Town Hall, gave a five-minute presentation to trustees that said the law was outdated.
  • “Today, kids need reasons to play outside,” he said. “The children of Severance want the opportunity to have a snowball fight like the rest of the world.”
  • The Town Board voted unanimously to lift whatever ban there might have been on snowballs.
  • Dane triumphantly threw the first “legal” snowball this week.
  • Read the rest of the story HERE.
NY Sidewalk Grate Couple Find Engagement Ring
  • A video of a couple loosing their engagement ring down a NY sidewalk grate went viral last week after the NYPD found surveillance footage of the couple, as well as the ring.
  • The couple was actually from Britain and has now been reunited with their ring!
  • It was a crazy chance of luck that they were able to get the ring back, but the NYPD pulled through for them.
  • Read the rest of the story HERE.


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Katie Britt named to lead Business Council of Alabama
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS– Oklahoma’s Murray beats Alabama’s Tagovailoa for Heisman
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS– White House chief of staff John Kelly to leave at year’s end
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Questions remain about details of Alabama mall shooting
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Swatek, Vaughn and Bryan launch firm together
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Paris cleans up after latest riot; pressure builds on Macron
AL.COM – Hoover mall shooting: Many questions still unanswered 2 weeks later.
AL.COM – Columnist John Archibald: Dismiss protest at your peril, Hoover.
AL.COM – Manatee found dead in Mobile River probably killed by boat, autopsy finds.
AL.COM – Mobile city just sued itself.
AL.COM – Columnist Dana McCain: Give me men who cry.
AL.COM – Contributor Frances Coleman: And now, let’s refuse to bury Bush’s attributes with him.
AL.COM – Columnist Kyle Whitmire: You want to prosecute public corruption? Are you crazy?
AL.COM – Columnist John Archibald: Giles Perkins has died; and Giles Perkins lives.
WRBL – Alabama Legislative orientation held next week.
FACING SOUTH – Secret industry money helped utility interests win Georgia runoff.
DAILY YONDER – Local Banks Should Invest in Broadband Expansion Plans in Rural Areas, Report Says
DAILY YONDER – Incarceration Rates Vary Widely Based on Where Young Men Grew Up
DECATUR DAILY – Puerto Rican influence: White, Batista using life-experience to engage middle school students.
DECATUR DAILY – Firm that makes jail industry products has plans for last Delphi building on market.
DECATUR DAILY – The Decatur Daily: Fighting climate change proving costly.
FLORENCE TIMES DAILY – Study to address internet access, needs.
ANNISTON STAR – Liquid assets: After spending $5.2 million on study, state has water data, but no water plan.
ANNISTON STAR – The Anniston Star: Veterans Build gives veterans new homes.
ANNISTON STAR – The Anniston Star: Giving Sessions time to clear his brain.
WASHINGTON POST – ‘Siege warfare’: Republican anxiety spikes as Trump faces growing legal and political perils.
WASHINGTON POST – Chief of Staff John Kelly to leave White House by end of month, Trump says.
WASHINGTON POST – Comey defends FBI and himself in interview with House panels.
WASHINGTON POST – Tuskegee Airman Charles McGee celebrates his 99th birthday in the co-pilot’s seat.
NEW YORK TIMES – The Wooing of Jared Kushner: How the Saudis Got a Friend in the White House
NEW YORK TIMES – The New York Times: The High Cost of Shattering Democratic Norms

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