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Weekend Digest- March 3, 2019

Today is the 54th anniversary celebration of the Bridge Crossing Jubilee in Selma. A lot of big political figures will be there to give speeches and you can watch the events live HERE.  Here is your Daily News for March 3, 2019.

1. Congress members take civil rights pilgrimage

  • Today activists, lawmakers and big name democrats are in Selma to celebrate the 54th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery Bloody Sunday March.
  • Among the presenters at today’s celebrations are Hillary Clinton, Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders, Jesse Jackson and John Lewis.
  • Some of Alabama’s own delegation also came to the events like Sen. Doug Jones, Rep. Terri Sewell, Rep. Martha Roby, and Rep. Bradley Byrne.
  • The weekend-long Faith-in-Politics pilgrimage began on Fridayat Birmingham’s 16th Street Baptist Church, where four black girls died in a Ku Klux Klan bombing in 1963.
  • Also on Friday they toured the National Memorial for Peace and Justice where the members observed the names of victims killed by racial lynching from across the United States.
  • Today hundreds will gather on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma to mark “Bloody Sunday,” when state police violently beat back marchers demonstrating Jim Crow-era voter suppression in Dallas County. Lewis, the Troy native who led the original march, remarked on what it means for the ongoing pursuit of justice.
  • “To tell the story of our struggle and our history, and it’s informing people that despite of all of the progress that we’ve made that we still have so far to go,” Lewis said.
  • The Democratic Presidential candidates like Sanders, Booker and possiblySen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, are there to highlight how civil rights have shaped their narratives and will no doubt be a pillar of their presidential platforms.
  • Regardless of who is there, today marks a celebration of those who fought bravely for civil rights and to remember their sacrifices in the fight for equal representation.
  • You can read more about the events HERE and the delegation’s visit HERE.

2. Shelby sets service record.

  • U.S. Senator Richard Shelby is now the longest-serving senator from the state of Alabama in history.
  • Today (Sunday), Shelby has now served 11,748 days in the U.S. Senate, surpassing former Senator John Sparkman’s record of 11,747 days.
  • That’s 32 years and 59 days in the Senate.
  • While setting the length of service record is certainly an accomplishment unto itself, it’s the substance of those 32 years that has defined Shelby’s legacy as a prolific appropriator of funds back to his home state.
  • And just time for time for the occasion, Todd has a new “In the Weeds” podcast featuring his interview with Shelby.
  • Shelby talks about joining the Appropriations Committee in the first place back in the 1980s, how he went about his mission to fix the federal spending process, his vast network of former staffers (some of whom have come back to his office), and lots more in the 20-min talk.
  • The interview was in February, so it’s a bit dated, but that’s part of what makes it fascinating. Todd talks to Sen. Shelby when he was in the midst of negotiating a budget deal that would keep the federal government open and find a balance on the question of border wall funding.
  • Go “In the Weeds” with Senator Shelby HERE and wherever else you listen to podcasts.

3. Gas Tax Supporters Optimistic.

  • As folks are gearing up for this week’s start of the legislative session, supporters of the governor’s infrastructure plan are optimistic.
  • As was announced earlier this week, Gov. Kay Ivey is proposing a gradual 10-cent raise over three years to help fix Alabama’s infrastructure problems.
  • Rep. Bill Poole, the sponsor of the gas tax legislation, said he is “optimistic we will be able to secure the support that will be necessary to pass it.”
  • Some lawmakers anticipate that Ivey will call a special session to focus attention on the bill and bypass a tough procedural hurdle that requires a three-fifths vote to bring bills up for debate before state budgets in a regular session.
  • Ivey did not confirm that but said “all options are on the table.”
  • Read more from Kim Chandler HERE.

4. It’s Mardi Gras in the Port City.

  • You know what else starts on Tuesday?….That’s right, Mardi Gras.
  • Two military ships are docked in Mobile for Mardi Gras as the Carnival season reaches its climax on the Gulf Coast.
  • The Port of Mobile says the naval destroyer USS James E. Williams will be tied up at the state dock in downtown Mobile for the final days of the pre-Lenten celebration.
  • The Coast Guard cutter Manowar will be docked near the GulfQuest science museum.
  • Crew members get to attend Mardi Gras events like parades, but they also visit schools and participate in community projects.
  • Nine parades are scheduled in Mobile and Baldwin counties on Saturday, followed by Joe Cain Day in Mobile on Sunday. That’s the annual celebration honoring the man credited with kicking off Mardi Gras in Mobile.
  • You can read more about it HERE.

5. Week In Good News

50th Anniversary for Famous Alabama Recording Studio
  • The small northern Alabama music studio where The Rolling Stones, Cher, and other stars recorded their hit songs is turning 50 this year.
  • Muscle Shoals Sound Studios will host an April 27 celebration of the milestone in Sheffield, Alabama.
  • David Hood will perform as part of a Muscle Shoals All-Stars revue, fronted by singer Carla Russell, reported.
  • Hood is one of the studio’s co-founders and the bassist for prolific session musicians Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, also known as The Swampers.
  • You can read more about the celebration HERE.
First female chief ranger for Smoky Mountain National Park is an Auburn Grad.
  • Lisa Hendy graduated from Auburn University in 1994 with a degree in Park and Recreational Managment.
  • It’s a degree that isn’t even offered at the university anymore and is increasingly rare for most colleges.
  • But Hendy was able to use her passion for law enforcment and the outdoors to work at some of the country’s most popular national parks.
  • Now she is taking the reins at the most visited national park in the country.
  • You can read more about Hendy HERE.


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – In the Weeds: Sen. Richard Shelby sets a service record and talks appropriations.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS– Members of Congress make civil rights pilgrimage in Alabama
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS– Democratic presidential candidates marking Selma anniversary
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS– Gas tax supporters optimistic as bill goes to divided House
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Navy, Coast Guard ships in Mobile for Mardi Gras
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – 50 years after it opened, Alabama music studio plans a party
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ compromise offered to small theaters
AL.COM – Columnist Kyle Whitmire: Watkins abused trust of his friends, prosecutors say.
AL.COM – Bishop urges Methodists to stay after vote to keep ban on gay marriage, clergy.
AL.COM – Why Booker is spending Sunday in Alabama.
AL.COM – Kamikaze boat, rarest WWII killing machine, in Alabama.
AL.COM – Members of Congress make civil rights pilgrimage through Alabama.
AL.COM – Contributor Frances Coleman: I’m not running, but if I were, here’s where I would start.
ABC NEWS – Trump mimics Southern accent at CPAC to ridicule his former AG; also mocks Dems and Green New Deal.
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Aderholt: ‘Not really looking at’ Senate race, ‘would not be shocked’ if Sessions ran.
FLORENCE TIMES DAILY – 4 pre-filed bills come from local legislators.
FLORENCE TIMES DAILY – The Times Daily: A first step toward civil asset forfeiture reform.
FLORENCE TIMES DAILY – Gas tax, lottery, teacher pay raises are issues to watch in 2019 legislative session.
GADSDEN TIMES – The Gadsden Times: Gas tax could face difficult road in Legislature.
ANNISTON STAR – Cyber school at JSU seen as filling ‘critical need’.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Claira’s story: A ‘broken, normal’ woman preyed upon by ‘Life’.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Do traffickers kidnap their victims? The myths and realities of human trafficking.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – ‘A frustrated rebel’: On this day in 1955, 15-year-old Claudette Colvin arrested on Montgomery bus.
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Bills to watch in the Alabama Senate during the 2019 legislative session.
DOTHAN EAGLE – Wiregrass legislators discuss prisons, roads as new legislative session begins Tuesday.
DOTHAN EAGLE – The Dothan Eagle: Landfill blues.
WASHINGTON POST – ‘We’re not going to turn on our own’: Republicans rally around Trump as threats mount.
WASHINGTON POST – Trump promises executive order that could strip colleges of funding if they don’t ‘support free speech’.
WASHINGTON POST – The Washington Post: Even senators who back the wall should reject Trump’s emergency — for the good of the country.
WASHINGTON POST – Candidates press to connect with black voters.
WASHINGTON POST – Trump can give anyone he wants a security clearance — but Congress can ask why.
NEW YORK TIMES – 50 Years After It Opened, Alabama Music Studio Plans a Party
NEW YORK TIMES – White House Ambitions Cloud Democratic Hopes to Win the Senate
NEW YORK TIMES – Trump’s Black Supporters: Inside a Small and Divided World
NEW YORK TIMES – The New York Times: An Inmate Doesn’t Understand Why He Is to Be Executed. Should He Be Spared?

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