the Alabama Accountability Act Coalition
Good morning and Merry Christmas!
I hope you are getting to spend time today with those you love the most. From the whole team at Alabama Daily News, have a blessed holiday!
Here’s your Daily News for Wednesday, December 25.
1. Wounded officer making ‘miraculous’ recovery
- An Ozark police officer who was shot and critically wounded early this month has finally had a bullet removed from his head.
- Ozark police Officer Samuel Yoh is fully coherent, according to a police statement issued Monday. He can now fully move his body on his own, in addition to breathing without assistance for short periods and being able to hear and acknowledge the conversations of those around him, police said. He has shown signs of “miraculous” improvement, the statement says.
- About $23,000 has been crowdfunded for the 18-year department veteran and his family, which is expecting a baby in February.
- Read more HERE.
2. Economy shows resilience
- The U.S. economy is finishing the year in strong shape, thanks to consumer spending, a healthy job market and interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve.
- This is after many economists warned of signs of a worrisome slowdown, meaning the American economy is proving resilient.
- The Commerce Department recently said that the gross domestic product — the economy’s total output of goods and services — expanded at a moderate annual rate of 2.1% in the July-September quarter. A separate report showed that consumer spending grew by a solid 0.4% rate in November, the strongest gain since July, and that incomes rebounded after a weak reading in October.
- The brisk pace of spending in November is a reassuring sign that consumers, who account for about 70% of economic activity, are helping the economy offset drags ranging from trade wars to a global economic slump. Many economists are forecasting that the economy is expanding at a decent 2% annual rate in the final quarter of the year.
- Read more HERE.
A message from
the Alabama Accountability Act Coalition
This holiday season give the gift that keeps on giving the whole year.
3. Decatur schools to sue 3M
- A north Alabama school system has taken the first step to sue 3M Co. over claims that chemicals are leaking from a closed landfill that is on school system property.
- News outlets reported that Decatur’s school system has filed notice saying it plans to sue over industrial toxins leaking from the one-time landfill beneath the former Brookhaven Middle School. Chemicals are leaking into a creek, groundwater and the Tennessee River, the system contends.
- An investigation conducted by a contractor for 3M and filed with the state environmental agency showed a 40-acre site was operated as a landfill from the 1940s until 1963. Aside from the former school, a playground, sports fields and a recreational center are located there.
- The Minnesota-based company, which agreed to pay millions in a lawsuit over contamination in the Decatur area earlier this year, said materials were disposed of properly based on laws at the time the landfill operated decades ago.
- Read more HERE.
4. Roberts will tap his inner ‘umpire’ for impeachment trial
- America’s last prolonged look at Chief Justice John Roberts came 14 years ago, when he told senators during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing that judges should be like baseball umpires, impartially calling balls and strikes.
- “Nobody ever went to a ballgame to see the umpire,” Roberts said.
- His hair grayer, the 64-year-old Roberts will return to the public eye as he makes the short trip from the Supreme Court to the Senate to preside over President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial. He will be in the national spotlight, but will strive to be like that umpire — doing his best to avoid the partisan mire.
- “He’s going to look the part, he’s going to play the part and he’s the last person who wants the part,” said Carter Phillips, who has argued 88 Supreme Court cases, 43 of them in front of Roberts.
- He has a ready model he can follow: Chief Justice William Rehnquist, who never became the center of attention when he presided over President Bill Clinton’s Senate trial.
- Read the full story from Mark Sherman HERE.
5. Steve Flowers: Pete Turnham Epitomized the Greatest Generation
- Political columnist Steve Flowers is remembering former State Rep. Pete Turnham this week. Turnham, a 40-year lawmaker from Lee County, died this year just shy of his 100th birthday.
- He was a beloved Alabama statesman and epitomized those from the “Greatest Generation,” Steve writes.
- Here’s an excerpt:
“Mr. Pete represented Auburn and Lee County in the Alabama House of Representatives from 1958 to 1998. This is the longest tenure in state history. Due to his longevity and tenure in the Legislature, Mr. Pete became known as the ‘Dean of the House.’
“Like many of the greatest generation, Pete served in World War II. Pete shipped off to Europe during the war earning distinction in battle as a Bronze Star Medal and Valor award winner under the command of the famed General George Patton in the Third Army. His assignment at the end of the war was as a company commander of troops guarding the priceless art stolen and stored by the Nazis at Neuschwanstein Castle. This story was the subject of a famous movie entitled, ‘The Monuments Men.’ You might say that George Clooney played the part of Pete.
“Pete came home, raised his family and built a legacy in his beloved Auburn. Like many ambitious men of the greatest generation, Pete became successful in business. However, Mr. Pete is best known for his 40 years of service in the Alabama Legislature. Most of that time he was on the Ways and Means Committee, which appropriates the state education dollars. He made sure that Auburn University got their fair share of these dollars…”
- Read Steve Flowers’ full column HERE.
Trump calls troops, attends service for Christmas
- PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — President Donald Trump called members of all five branches of the military stationed across the world to share greetings ahead of the Christmas holiday.
- Speaking Tuesday by video conference from his private club in Florida, Trump said, “I want to wish you an amazing Christmas.” The group included Marines in Afghanistan, an Army unit in Kuwait, a Navy ship in the Gulf of Aden, an Air Force base in Missouri and a Coast Guard station in Alaska.
- Trump praised the armed forces for their efforts this year to eliminate the last of the Islamic State’s territorial caliphate and for killing IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. He also touted economic successes at home and a pay raise for troops kicking in in the new year.
- “You make it possible for us to do what we have to do,” Trump said, thanking them for their service.
- Trump briefly fielded questions from troops, including an invitation to attend the homecoming of the USS Forrest Sherman when the destroyer returns to its home port of Norfolk, Virginia, next year.
- Trump was asked what he’d bought his wife, first lady Melania Trump, for Christmas. He said he’d bought her a “beautiful card,” but was “still working on a Christmas present.”
- “You made me think. I’m going to have to start working on that real fast,” he said.
- The president and first lady attended a music-filled Christmas Eve service at Family Church in West Palm Beach, Florida.
- Read more HERE.
Tornado survivor gets new home
- OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama woman who survived a deadly tornado that blew down most of her home is getting a new place to live thanks to an aid group.
- North Carolina-based Samaritan’s Purse handed Earnestine Reese keys to a rebuilt three-bedroom, two-bath home on Friday.
- The tornado that swept through Lee County in March and killed 23 people took down every wall of Reese’s brick home except a small section near a closet where she had prayed for decades, AL.com reported.
- Reese and three family members took shelter in a bathroom and survived, though Reese, who is over 70, suffered a broken hip.
- A video of Reese afterward thanking God spread online as did the story that her prayer area had survived.
- “When Ms. Reese lost everything, she thanked God,” Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse, said in a statement. “As soon as I heard her story, I knew we had to help. Samaritan’s Purse is excited to welcome Ms. Reese home just in time for Christmas.”
- The group has replaced more than a dozen other homes in the area and installed eleven storm shelters.
- Reese’s new home has a safe room with concrete, steel-reinforced walls, according to Samaritan’s Purse. It also has a place for Reese to pray.
‘County’ misspelled on 10,000 trash bins in Prichard
- PRICHARD, Ala. (AP) — Some spelling mistakes are tough to see, but that doesn’t include the one that was made on 10,000 trash bins in an Alabama city.
- The city of Prichard’s new residential garbage cans say the town is located in “Mobile Country,” but they were supposed to say it’s located in “Mobile County” without the extra “r.” The mistake isn’t just in fine print: It’s printed in large letters on two sides of the big, gray cans.
- Prichard Mayor Jimmie Gardner told WPMI-TV the city’s public works department had the duty of making sure the writing on the cans was spelled correctly.
- “Things like that do happen in the proofing,” he said.
- The city doesn’t plan to replace the bins, and that’s fine with some people.
- “It doesn’t really matter as long as they pick it up,” said longtime resident Murlean Henderson.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Wounded officer making ‘miraculous’ recovery
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – American economic growth and consumer spending show resilience
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Roberts will tap his inner umpire in impeachment trial
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Decatur school system prepares to sue over 3M contamination
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump calls troops, attends service on Christmas Eve
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Martha Roby: Sharing the Joy of Christmas
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Steve Flowers: Pete Turnham Epitomized the Greatest Generation
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Lawmakers seek to deny bail to those accused of violent offenses
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – McConnell not ruling out witnesses in impeachment trial
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Former Alabama Power CEO Elmer Harris dies at 80
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Will Whatley: On gifts and giving this Christmas
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – ‘Just Mercy’ aims for justice on death row, and in Hollywood
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS– Daily News Digest – December 24, 2019
AL.COM – Mayor: Town Creek sirens didn’t sound before killer tornado struck.
AL.COM – Federal judge orders Gardendale to pay $850K legal bill for black students in school district case.
AL.COM – Endangered whooping cranes are back at Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge.
AL.COM – Mobile Fire-Rescue department celebrates bicentennial of city’s first fire company.
Montgomery Advertiser – Montgomery teen arrested in February homicide
Montgomery Advertiser – Last-minute holiday shopping? Here’s when Best Buy, Walmart, Costco are open Christmas Eve
Montgomery Advertiser – Montgomery man dies after two-car collision
YellowHammer News – University graduates urged to follow ‘North Star’
YellowHammer News – Merrill after Israel trip: ‘I have identified new ways in which we can strengthen our state’s security’
YellowHammer News – Birmingham’s Zyp bike-share program paves the way for new “micromobility” options coming in 2020
Dothan Eagle – Local shoppers rush to complete Christmas gifts
Dothan Eagle – Oxford coach, students named as defendants in federal bullying lawsuit
Dothan Eagle – Jacksonville residents speak for and against revoking bar’s business license
Tuscaloosa News – Plant to expand capacity and reduce emissions at Alabama location
Tuscaloosa News – Charges announced against 2 ex-officials in Alabama town
Tuscaloosa News – Judge recommends Georgia prevail in water war with Florida
Decatur Daily – Christmas Day Service: Decatur family’s holiday tradition includes feeding the homeless
Decatur Daily – Depositions delayed in online sales tax lawsuit
Decatur Daily – Hartselle board agrees to renew Jones’ contract
Times Daily – TVA reevaluating Wilson Dam improvement project
Times Daily – Colbert County juvenile probation moving to new location
Times Daily – Waste authority seeking ideas to reduce recycling costs
Gadsden Times – Theatre of Gadsden to hold auditions for Evita
Gadsden Times – Thousands mark Christmas in West Bank town of Bethlehem
Gadsden Times – Checking out cemetery ‘grave shelters’
Anniston Star – Local shoppers rush to complete Christmas gifts
Anniston Star – Oxford coach, students named as defendants in federal bullying lawsuit
Anniston Star – Jacksonville residents speak for and against revoking bar’s business license
Troy Messenger – Council awards bid for new access road to industrial park
Troy Messenger – Three charged with meth trafficking after Sunday traffic stop
Troy Messenger – Motown music review coming to Enterprise
Opelika-Auburn News – Santa meets children before Christmas
Opelika-Auburn News – Photos: Stunning Christmas light displays across the US, around the world
Opelika-Auburn News – Samaritan, OPD spread holiday cheer
Daily Mountain Eagle – Children have breakfast with Santa
Daily Mountain Eagle – Harris thankful after health scare
Daily Mountain Eagle – WACF awards $3 million in grants in 2019
Trussville Tribune – We’ll be tracking Santa, but there’s also a hotline you can call
Trussville Tribune – Individuals and businesses recognized at Leeds Area Chamber of Commerce Luncheon
Trussville Tribune – Trussville Police Department arrests 6 people charged with shoplifting
Athens News Courier – LCWSA: Board hires firm for water line relocation
Athens News Courier – UPDATED: Council overrides veto to OK raises
Athens News Courier – Thousands mark Christmas in West Bank town of Bethlehem
Sand Mountain Reporter – Boaz council approves insurance agreement for firefighters
Sand Mountain Reporter – Douglas mayor reflects on 2019, looks ahead to 2020
Sand Mountain Reporter – Dangers found with fentanyl, vaping
WSFA Montgomery – Bryant Bank spreads goodwill through holiday campaign
WSFA Montgomery – BPD: Real-time crime center could be up and running by summer 2020
WSFA Montgomery – Christmas marks five months since deadly house fire
Fox 6 Birmingham – Community reacts to Legion Field hosting 2021 World Games opening and closing ceremonies
Fox 6 Birmingham – BPD: Real-time crime center could be up and running by summer 2020
Fox 6 Birmingham – Christmas marks five months since deadly house fire
WAFF Huntsville – Residents escape Christmas Eve apartment fire in Huntsville
WAFF Huntsville – University of Alabama traffic study notes difference in Christmas and Thanksgiving crashes
WAFF Huntsville – Huntsville arcade to start semi-pro esports team
WKRG Mobile – Gulf Shores firefighter cooks up holiday spirit
WKRG Mobile – Hangout Music Festival sells out of tickets in less than 1 month
WKRG Mobile – UPDATE: Troopers identify man killed in accident near Bay Minette
WTVY Dothan – Trump calls troops ahead of Christmas
WTVY Dothan – Critical injury during car crash on Denton Road
WTVY Dothan – The Ordinary People Society holds 19th annual angel tree give-away
WASHINGTON POST – 1 in every 4 circuit court judges is now a Trump appointee
WASHINGTON POST – Colleges are turning students’ phones into surveillance machines, tracking the locations of hundreds of thousands
WASHINGTON POST – Warren embraced the high-dollar fundraiser circuit for years — until just before her presidential campaign
WASHINGTON POST – North Korea never halted efforts to build powerful new weapons, experts say
WASHINGTON POST – Impasse over Senate impeachment trial likely to last weeks as both sides dig in
NEW YORK TIMES – Pentagon Eyes Africa Drawdown as First Step in Global Troop Shift
NEW YORK TIMES – Crisis Looms in Antibiotics as Drug Makers Go Bankrupt
NEW YORK TIMES – Bloomberg Drops Vendor Connected to Prison Labor
NEW YORK TIMES – Christian Post Editor Resigns Over Editorial Defending Trump
WALL STREET JOURNAL – Alabama Pensions’ Troubled Bet: Lobster Rolls and Star Wars