Daily News Digest – August 13, 2019

Daily News Digest – August 13, 2019
Good morning!
Here’s your Daily News for Tuesday, August 13.

1. Heat wave takes hold.

  • The heat index was 108 degrees in Montgomery yesterday. It hit 106 in Birmingham and 109 in Tuscaloosa.
  • Today could be even worse, as meteorologists predict days of scorching, dangerous heat along a wide swath of the South and Midwest.
  • And officials are warning of heat exhaustion and stroke.
  • “You are more likely to develop a heat illness quicker in this type of weather, when it’s really humid and hot,” said Gary Chatelain, a National Weather Service meteorologist based in Shreveport, Louisiana, where a wet summer contributed to high humidity.
  • A cold front is approaching that could bring relief toward the end of the week. At least we hope.
  • Read more and get the latest from James Spann HERE.


2. Cannabis council to meet.

  • Alabama’s commission considering laws about medical marijuana is holding its first meeting.
  • The Medical Cannabis Study Commission is tasked with recommending legislation to be considered in the 2020 legislative session. The panel will hold its first meeting at the Alabama Statehouse on Tuesday morning.
  • The commission was created by lawmakers as a compromise after a bill to allow medical marijuana stalled in the Alabama Legislature.
  • Sen. Tim Melson’s original bill would have allowed patients with certain medical conditions to purchase medical marijuana with a doctor’s approval. The Alabama Senate approved the measure, but the proposal hit opposition in the House of Representatives.
  • The National Conference of State Legislatures says more than 30 states have approved some form of a medical marijuana program.
  • Read more from Brian Lyman HERE.


3. Former Rep. James Thomas shot.

  • The Selma Police Department is investigating a shooting that injured former state Rep. James Thomas.
  • “The whole case is still under investigation, but he’s back at home,” interim Police Chief Robert Green told Alabama Daily News on Monday. He said the shooting occurred Aug. 5, but police didn’t learn of it until the next day.
  • Thomas, who once represented Selma as a Democrat, was convicted in 2012 of having sexual contact with a student when Thomas was a high school principal.
  • Thomas on Monday told Alabama Daily news he was driving when someone started firing at his vehicle.
  • “I didn’t know them and they didn’t know me,” he said. “I was in Selma, I can’t tell you exactly where.”
  • Thomas was shot once in the thigh, he said.
  • “We’re trying to determine what happened,” Green said. His department learned of the shooting after the Wilcox County Sheriff’s office requested Selma police contact Thomas, who lives within the police jurisdiction.
  • Read more from ADN’s Mary Sell HERE.


4. Parolee nabbed for UA burglaries.


  • A paroled burglar is accused of breaking into the bedrooms of sleeping University of Alabama students and robbing them.
  • The Tuscaloosa News reports 35-year-old Jim McCoy was arrested Saturday and charged with burglary and criminal trespassing.
  • Tuscaloosa police Lt. Teena Richardson says the investigation into the break-ins may yield additional charges. Police say a woman told officers earlier this month that she awoke in the middle of the night to find a man standing at the foot of her bed.
  • Police Capt. Brad Mason says the man fled the screaming woman, who later noticed she had been robbed. The scene replayed itself days later at another home. Mason says there haven’t been any reports of physical contact between the burglar and victims.
  • McCoy was out on parole for a previous burglary conviction.
  • Read more from Stephanie Taylor HERE.


5. AP News Briefs.


Andy Burcham named Auburn play-by-play announcer
  • Auburn University has named longtime broadcaster Andy Burcham to take over as the athletic department’s main play-by-play announcer.
  • An announcement from the school says Burcham will become the lead announcer for football, men’s basketball and baseball.
  • Burcham will replace Rod Bramblett, who died along with his wife in a wreck in May.
  • Burcham has been involved with Auburn radio broadcasts for the last 31 years.
  • Burcham worked with Bramblett for the last 25 years broadcasting Auburn baseball. He also worked as the play-by-play announcer for women’s basketball.
Mobile man gets life in girlfriend’s slaying
  • An Alabama man has been sentenced to life without parole in the killing of his girlfriend.
  • News outlets report that a judge in Mobile imposed the sentence on 34-year-old Steven Mason during a hearing Monday.
  • Mason was convicted of capital murder and could have gotten the death penalty for the slaying of Ke’Lei Morris.
  • Morris was found dead of a gunshot wound to the head at her home in Mobile in 2015. Mason denied killing her, but he was charged with murder two years later.
  • Mason was convicted in June. During sentencing he said he was sorry Morris is dead, but he didn’t accept responsibility for what happened.
  • Another man, Adam Miller, also is charged in the killing. He is due in court later this week.
Man in school traffic shooting case to get mental treatment
  • A Montgomery man accused of shooting at another parent during morning drop-off at an elementary school will receive mental health treatment.
  • A judge on Monday ordered Isaiah Johnson to receive inpatient mental health treatment at the Veteran’s Health Care System. Prosecutors and defense lawyers agreed to the move.
  • After treatment, Johnson will be returned to the Montgomery County jail as the criminal case against him continues.
  • Johnson is charged with discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle. Police say Johnson fired a gun multiple times in the car line at an elementary school following a traffic dispute last week. No one was injured.
  • Johnson’s wife died recently, and prosecutors wrote in a court filing that a friend had expressed concern for Johnson’s mental stability after her death.
AG agrees to release money seized from sheriff’s brother
  • Alabama’s attorney general has agreed to release more than $200,000 seized from the brother of Jefferson County’s sheriff after a federal judge criticized the state’s “misleading” attempt to link it to an illegal gambling operation.
  • Attorney General Steve Marshall’s office in July sought to seize a bank account it said was connected to a gambling operation in Bessemer called Brighton Ventures. The bank account was frozen as a result of the civil asset forfeiture petition filed in state court.
  • Bruce Pettway filed a federal lawsuit seeking to unfreeze the money, saying the state’s action was both unlawful and politically motivated.
  • His brother, Jefferson County Sheriff Mark Pettway, and Marshall have feuded over gambling enforcement in the county.
  • Full story HERE.



ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Former lawmaker, convicted principal shot
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Parts of South and Midwest grapple with dangerous heat wave
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Struggling Alabama hospitals to benefit from reimbursement change
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – AG agrees to release money seized from sheriff’s brother
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama getting $6.3 million to fight opioids
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Matthew Stokes: What’s behind the shootings?
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – August 12, 2019
AL.COM  – Byrne calls for I-10 project ‘pause’ until ‘people can be heard’
AL.COM  – More than 30 clergy declare houses of worship ‘sanctuary’ for immigrants
AL.COM  – Alabama truck drivers enlisted in battle against human trafficking
AL.COM  – Alabama attorney general agrees to return more than $200,000 to sheriff’s brother after bingo probe
AL.COM  – Columnist Roy Johnson: What is justice when young lives are lost?
AL.COM  – Providers want to find and stamp out HIV in rural Alabama
AL.COM  – Blue Origin protests plan to pick 2 defense launch providers
Montgomery Advertiser – Alabama medical marijuana commission to hold first meeting
Montgomery Advertiser – Ivey awards almost $309K to group that helps crime victims
Montgomery Advertiser – Father charged in shooting outside school to undergo treatment at VA clinic
YellowHammer News  – State Rep. Steve Hurst wants to do something about your summer vacation — he just doesn’t know what
YellowHammer News – Financial fraud targeting college students: How to stop the scam
YellowHammer News – Alabama’s ULA submits proposal for Air Force launch competition; Vulcan Centaur rocket on schedule for 2021 first flight
Dothan Eagle – Houston County applies almost $1 million in federal funds stemming from Hurricane Michael to road projects, overtime
Dothan Eagle – Dothan police officers aid federal task forces in battle against crime
Dothan Eagle – Defense attorney for Dothan Planning Commission member believes his client did not sign receipts
Tuscaloosa News – Alabama man accused of faking death pleads guilty to fraud
Tuscaloosa News – Police: Security guard shoots gunwoman outside Selma club
Tuscaloosa News – Tuscaloosa doctor admits unprofessional conduct
Decatur Daily – Group wants Morgan to end Bible class negotiations
Decatur Daily – Proposed branding rejected, city to try again
Decatur Daily – Athens authorizes effort to expose brick on Market Street
Times Daily – New technology improves surgery for Keller breast cancer patients
Times Daily – Spurgeon gets 25 years after victims speak
Times Daily – Search resumes today at Wilson Lake
Gadsden Times – 67-year-old woman slings repo man from Mustang’s hood to make escape
Gadsden Times – Dangerous heat grips wide stretch of the South and Midwest
Gadsden Times – Suspect kicks in door, forces man to leave North Gadsden residence
Anniston Star – Jacksonville approves liquor licenses for several businesses
Anniston Star – Overdose deaths drop in Calhoun County
Anniston Star – Jacksonville approves liquor licenses for several businesses
Andalusia Star News – County Super: Preparing the kids is always a constant
Andalusia Star News – Florala murder trial set for this month
Andalusia Star News – LAAC awards scholarship to EHS grad
Opelika-Auburn News – TURNER: Must we have guns in our churches?
Opelika-Auburn News – One injured, one in custody after weekend Phenix City shooting
Opelika-Auburn News – Phenix City school bus crash leaves one in ICU, no student injuries reported
Daily Mountain Eagle – Aaron laid to rest
Daily Mountain Eagle – Bevill State holds Professional Development Day
Daily Mountain Eagle – First Christian Church votes to become ‘open and affirming’
Trussville Tribune – Argo City Council considers competing for state grant money to improve infrastructure
Trussville Tribune – Parts of South and Midwest grapple with dangerous heat wave
Trussville Tribune – Medical marijuana commission to hold first meeting
Athens News Courier – APD chief offers school traffic tips
Athens News Courier – Fight over phone ends in injury, arrest in Athens
Athens News Courier – AP: States brace for long-term flood fight as damages mount
Sand Mountain Reporter – Pasquale’s saucy change of scenery | Restaurant gets new look with help from local artist
Sand Mountain Reporter – Rachel’s Recipes: Terrific toffee crunch bars
Sand Mountain Reporter – HEAT ADVISORY: Excessive Heat Warning issued across north Alabama
WSFA Montgomery – Police: McDonald’s employee used customer’s credit card to order pizza
WSFA Montgomery – Huntsville man embarking on countrywide lawn-mowing tour for law enforcement
WSFA Montgomery – Former state representative injured in shooting
Fox 6 Birmingham – 911 Centers to get upgrade thanks to federal money
Fox 6 Birmingham – Alabama AG returns money to Bruce Pettway
Fox 6 Birmingham – Pet owners warned to be careful when playing in bodies of water with pets
WAFF Huntsville – Massage parlor chain argues to reopen doors during human trafficking investigation
WAFF Huntsville – Madison City Council gives road project bids the green light
WAFF Huntsville – WATCH: Lawrence County deputy gets down for ‘Git Up Challenge’
WKRG Mobile – Florida man gets life sentence for killing parents and brother over webcam model
WKRG Mobile – Former gang member starts after school program in Pensacola
WKRG Mobile – Louisiana Governor Edwards talks Superdome renovation, new Saints lease
WTVY Dothan – Police arrest man charged in son’s hot car death for public intoxication
WTVY Dothan – Houston County High School visitor collapses; board talks about A.E.D. placement
WTVY Dothan – Dothan leaders looking for new ideas to help homeless
WASHINGTON POST  – ‘Everything that we hold dear’: From race to plastic straws, Trump dials up culture wars in divisive play for 2020 votes
WASHINGTON POST  – A glimpse inside the Central Processing Center, at the heart of the border crisis
NEW YORK TIMES  – U.S. Significantly Weakens Endangered Species Act


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