Good morning! We did it. We made it through 2018. Please be safe celebrating the new year tonight.
Here’s your Daily News for Monday, December 31.
1. Protests come to Montgomery.
- Activists protesting the Thanksgiving night shooting of E.J. Bradford in the Galleria came to Montgomery last night.
- Lead protestor Carlos Chaverst, Jr. and several others demonstrated outside the home of Attorney General Steve Marshall.
- They were yelling things like “recuse yourself” and “hands up don’t shoot,” according to AL.com Crime Reporter Carol Robinson.
- Montgomery and State Police responded to control the crowd, which eventually dispersed.
- Chaverst was arrested last week and banned from the Galleria property for a year.
- He and others had vowed to bring their demonstrations to Montgomery to protest Marshall’s decision to assume the prosecution of the Galleria shooting cases.
- Marshall did that after his office reviewed information showing a possible conflict of interest for Jefferson County District Attorney Danny Carr.
- Chaverst and other protestors campaigned for Carr’s election.
- Read more from Carol HERE and from WSFA HERE.
2. Pardons & Paroles responds.
- The Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles has sent its response to Gov. Kay Ivey and Attorney General Steve Marshall for how it is going to correct issues with early paroles and errant victim family notifications.
- Back in October, Ivey put a 75-day moratorium on early paroles, changed the Board’s leadership, and ordered a plan of corrective action.
- Ivey and Marshall were dissatisfied with the Board’s first draft, saying it had “too many unanswered questions.”
- The new, updated plan proposes revising how early parole candidates are reviewed and hiring a consultant to see what changes need to be made within the organization.
- They aren’t removing anybody from their jobs, but that’s one of the things a consultant can recommend. Kind of like the Bobs in Office Space.
- Anyway, read more from Mike Cason HERE and from WSFA HERE.
- And you can read the corrective action plan in its entirety at Alabama Daily News HERE.
3. The big fight for 2019?
- A legislative debate 25 years in the making is coming to a State House near you in 2019.
- Alabama’s struggle to properly fund infrastructure maintenance and construction has been well-known for some time.
- But solutions have been elusive – like raising the gas tax for the first time since 1992 and indexing it to correspond with growth.
- It’s a complicated issue that only gets more so when you add in the various political elements at play: a generally conservative and tax-averse legislature, lots of new lawmakers coming to Montgomery, urban-rural or city-county splits.
- AL.com’s John Sharp takes a deep dive into some those issues in his latest piece, which you should take the time to read today.
4. Matthew Stokes: Education & Population.
- There’s been a lot of news about education and population lately.
- On education, school grades being released, Montgomery forming the first charter feeder system, and advancements in career tech.
- On population, the unfortunate reality that Alabama’s stagnant growth could cost us political influence in the form of a lost congressional seat.
- ADN Columnist Matthew Stokes sees a confluence here.
- The best way to attract new businesses and people to our state is through ensuring a quality public education system, he argues.
- Just take for example what the University of Alabama did with expanding its student population and attracting enrollees from all over.
- Here’s an excerpt:
“A robust, quality public school system will do far more to attract economic – and therefore population – growth in the next few decades. Individual families may be able to navigate circumstances by finding quality private schools or opting to home school, but families and, more importantly, companies will be swayed by knowing that the school districts and feeder patterns in any given area are producing quality students across the board. Companies will know that the state is producing quality workers, and families can take comfort knowing their children and their children’s friends will be educated in systems that take great pride in quality outcomes for their students.”
- Read Matthew’s full column HERE.
5. News Briefs.
Another inmate killed
- Another inmate has been stabbed to death in an Alabama prison.
- 24-year-old Terrance Andrews was killed Saturday at St. Clair Correctional Facility in Springville.
- DOC says Andrews was found unresponsive and with multiple stab wounds after a fight inside a prison housing area.
- The prison system identified a suspect in Andrews’ death and said he will be charged with murder. That man is serving a life sentence for a 2006 murder conviction in Baldwin County.
- Andrews was serving a 25-year sentence on a 2013 first-degree robbery in Mobile County.
- Nine inmates have been fatally stabbed in state prisons since January.
- Federal officials are putting a fish whose habitat is threatened by development in southern states on the endangered species list.
- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is adding the Trispot Darter fish to the list.
- The Trispot Darter can be found in the Coosa River watershed in northern Alabama, northern Georgia and southeastern Tennessee. It also survives in the Conasauga River watershed, above the confluence with the Coosawattee River in Georgia and Tennessee, according to the Arizona-based Center for Biological Diversity.
- Being placed on the endangered species list makes it illegal for the freshwater fish to be caught or sold.
- It can also complicate commercial development in areas near known habitats.
- Read more HERE.
Obamacare legal fights
- A federal judge in Texas who recently declared the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional has stayed his ruling to allow for appeals.
- That means “Obamacare” remains in effect while litigation continues.
- It also clears the way for appeals that could eventually give the Supreme Court another shot at deciding the law’s constitutionality.
- In any case, nobody is going to lose coverage while the legal fight continues.
Trump to slow Syria pullout?
- After meeting with President Trump, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham said the president has ordered a slowdown to the withdrawal of U.S. forces in Syria.
- “I think we’re in a pause situation,” Graham said outside the White House.
- Trump announced earlier this month that he was ordering the withdrawal of all the roughly 2,000 troops from war-torn Syria, with aides expecting it to take place swiftly. The president had declared victory over the Islamic State group in Syria, though pockets of fighting remain.
- Graham had been an outspoken critic of Trump’s decision, which had drawn bipartisan criticism and led to the resignation of Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis.
- The announcement also had shocked American allies, including Kurds who have fought alongside the U.S. against the Islamic State group and face an expected assault by Turkey.
- “I think we’re slowing things down in a smart way,” Graham said, adding that Trump was very aware of the plight of the Kurds.
- Read more HERE.
Today marks the 365th day of Alabama Daily News. It has been a fun and interesting journey to say the least, and I want to thank you for allowing us into your inbox each morning.
I especially want to thank the companies and organizations who have supported ADN through sponsorships and promotions:
- The Alabama Bankers Association
- Troy University
- The Business Council of Alabama
- The Alabama Farmers Federation
- The Alliance for Alabama’s Infrastructure
- The Boeing Company
- The Poarch Creek Indians
- Leverage Public Strategies
- The Prosper Group
- Virtus Solutions
- The Alabama Wholesale Beer Association
- The Alabama Petroleum Council
- The Alabama Coal Association
- Stop the HIT Coalition
It takes vision and maybe a little faith to see the value in a first year start up. On behalf of Caroline, Will, Skip, Matthew and the entire ADN team, thank you for your support .
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Judge clears the way for appeal of ruling against health law
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Senator: Trump slowing down troop pullout from Syria
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Fish found in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee called endangered
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Inmate stabbed to death inside Alabama prison
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Matthew Stokes: Population and Education
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Pardons and Paroles Board issues response
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Shelby: shutdown could “last a long, long time” if sides don’t negotiate
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama releases letter grades for schools
AL.COM – Birmingham protesters demonstrate outside Montgomery home of Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall
AL.COM – Inmate stabbed to death during weekend fight in Alabama prison
AL.COM – The “big fight” in Alabama in 2019: Road dollars and who gets them
AL.COM – Children of the World Choir visits Alabama
AL.COM – Here’s how federal inmates made an Alabama sheriff $1.5 million
AL.COM – Columnist Dana McCain: Dothan’s Jewish experiment
AL.COM – What’s ahead in Alabama politics for 2019?
AL.COM – President Trump to slow down troop pullout from Syria, Sen. Lindsey Graham says
AL.COM – NASA has a New Year’s date with a distant space rock – here’s how to watch
AL.COM – In N.C., a lion escapes locked area and kills worker; wildlife center puzzled how it happened
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – With stagnant growth, Alabama faces potential loss of congressional seat
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Take stock of what it means to be a dad in 2019
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – How Alabama’s Tagovailoa showed he was the best QB on the field Saturday
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Auburn defense that dominated Purdue could lose half its starters, but has talent to reload
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – The off-the-field fight that defined the last time Alabama and Oklahoma squared off
LAGNIAPPE – School report cards show improvement for MCPSS
LAGNIAPPE – Archeologists help with Interstate 10 bridge preparations
LAGNIAPPE – Columnist Jeff Poor: Trump’s best bet: scorched earth
DOTHAN EAGLE – Government Oversight: Recapping the top Wiregrass government stories in 2018
DOTHAN EAGLE – Top 10 of 2018: Hurricane Michael tears apart Panhandle, parts of Wiregrass
DOTHAN EAGLE – Answer Man: Health scores based on inspections, with points deducted for violations
BIRMINGHAM WATCH – The Best of BirminghamWatch in 2018
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Tuscaloosa city, county schools get mixed report card from state
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Threat of rain leads to cancellation of Tuscaloosa fireworks display
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Lopsided games, schedule drag down CFP television ratings
DECATUR DAILY – Inmate stabbed to death inside Alabama prison
DECATUR DAILY – Tide faithful celebrate title game berth, end of losing streak to Sooners
DECATUR DAILY – Couple’s new fitness center to focus on families
TIMES DAILY – Texas man indicted for rape in Colbert County
TIMES DAILY – Crockett Park hosting New Year’s Day hike
TIMES DAILY – Sign announcing Inspiration Landing erected on West 20th Avenue
ANDALUSIA STAR NEWS – Local schools earn B’s
ANDALUSIA STAR NEWS – GREENS IN SHORT SUPPLY
ANDALUSIA STAR NEWS – Last weekend for Candyland
ANDALUSIA STAR NEWS – Armory getting $2.9M upgrade
TROY MESSENGER – CELEBRATED: Everage retires from Pike-Bullock FSA
TROY MESSENGER – Year in Review: Patriots’ state championship highlights Oxford family knows value of organ transplant from both sidesexciting 2018 baseball season
THE ANNISTON STAR – Oxford family knows value of organ transplant from both sides
THE ANNISTON STAR – New Year’s holds its own for generating fireworks sales, says retailer
THE ANNISTON STAR – Local home sales rising, but experts don’t fear a bubble
GADSDEN TIMES – Trump’s promise of a wall may not be fulfilled as advertised
GADSDEN TIMES – Graham says Trump slowing down planned withdrawal from Syria
GADSDEN TIMES – Love drives meal sponsored by Love’s Taxi
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Carrying momentum: Auburn looks to use bowl win to springboard into offseason
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Year in Review: A look at how local crime shaped 2018
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Year in Review: Championships, extensions and more for AU sports in 2018
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Chambers County Schools superintendent uses insight from previous merger proposal
CULLMAN TIMES – Cullman Caring for Kids experiencing flooding problems
CULLMAN TIMES – Top Alabama news stories of 2018
SHELBY COUNTY REPORTER – Tagovailoa, Hand, Evans named finalists for state’s top honor
THE MADISON RECORD – City of Madison holds public meeting to discuss two road improvement projects
THE MADISON RECORD – Oliver transitions to instruction specialist for MCS
THE MADISON RECORD – “Madison Fivesome” Represent Madison For Alabama In National Championship Game
ATHENS NEWS COURIER – STORY OF THE YEAR: Mazda Toyota project received most coverage in 2018
ATHENS NEWS COURIER – Local districts earn low ‘B’s” on state report card
DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – Year in Review 2018
DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – Here’s tips to keep New Year’s resolution
DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – Top Alabama news stories of 2018
NEW YORK TIMES – Trump Mollifies Lindsey Graham on Troop Withdrawal From Syria
NEW YORK TIMES – Trump Digs In, Darkening Hopes for a Deal to End the Shutdown
NEW YORK TIMES – In Orange County, a Republican Fortress Turns Democratic
WASHINGTON POST – From sex selection to surrogates, American IVF clinics provide services outlawed elsewhere
WASHINGTON POST – Fake-porn videos are being weaponized to harass and humiliate women: ‘Everybody is a potential target’
WASHINGTON POST – Russia arrests American citizen on suspicion of spying