Daily News Digest – February 11, 2020

Daily News Digest – February 11, 2020

Presented by

Stop The HIT Coalition

Good morning!
Here is your Daily News for Tuesday, February 11.


1. Flooding risk continues today

  • Storms stretching across the Deep South dumped heavy rains on Alabama on Monday, causing flash floods that covered roads and forced some schools to close.
  • Dozens of roads were under water in low-lying areas across the Tennessee Valley after hours of rain, and cars crept along flooded streets in downtown Birmingham.
  • Several school systems sent students home early as forecasters warned more downpours were on the way, and some planned to open late on Tuesday.
  • More than 2 inches of rain fell during the day in spots, and the National Weather Service said another 4 inches could fall by Tuesday night. After that, potentially severe storms will move across the region, the National Weather Service said.
  • Flash flood watches and warnings stretched from eastern Texas into the western Carolinas. The Tennessee Valley Authority said some of its rivers and lakes had received as much as 400% of their normal rainfall for this time of year.
  • Parts of the region are still soggy from heavy rains last week. In north Alabama, some flooded roads were still closed from last week when the rain began Monday.
  • For the latest flood watches and warnings, watch WBRC Fox 6 HERE and WAFF Huntsville HERE.


2. Port money secured

  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has allocated $274.3 million for the Port of Mobile, the final funding piece to allow the dredging and expansion of the state’s seaport, U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby announced this week.
  • The fiscal year 2020 funding will initiate and complete construction of the deepening and widening of the channel. Construction is expected to begin around the end of the year.
  • “Today marks a historic moment and victory for Mobile and the entire state of Alabama,” Shelby said. “The completion of this transformative project is expected to stem immeasurable economic growth and will position Alabama and the Gulf Coast region for success for generations to come. I am grateful to the Army Corps of Engineers for allocating the full federal share of the project cost and to the state of Alabama for providing the required matching funds.”
  • Jimmy Lyons, port director and chief executive officer, thanked Shelby for his effort to expand the port.
  • “Sen. Richard Shelby clearly understands the economic value of seaports,” Lyons said. “His leadership in delivering an innovative and efficient program to deepen and widen Alabama’s only seaport is a game changer. We are extremely grateful for his leadership.”
  • In December, the Energy and Water Development portion of the $1.4 trillions domestic appropriations bill enacted and funded a program to allow the Alabama port expansion project to move forward. The bill contains $378 million for a Regional Dredge Demonstration Program in the central Gulf of Mexico. Though not a direct appropriation, it was a precursor to Shelby’s Monday announcement.
  • The proposed improvement project will deepen the existing Bar, Bay and River Channels to 52 feet, 50 feet and 50 feet, respectively. The project includes widening the Bay Channel by 100 feet for three nautical miles to accommodate two-way vessel traffic.
  • During the 2019 legislation session, state lawmakers approved a 10-cent-a-gallon gas tax increase expected to generate about $320 million a year. About $150 million of that new revenue was pledged to port improvements.
  • Full story HERE.






A message from

Stop The HIT Coalition

The Stop The HIT Coalition applauds Representative Terri Sewell for:
  • Working across the aisle to repeal the Health Insurance Tax
  • Supporting Alabama’s 382,500 small businesses
  • Fighting to provide cost savings to hardworking Alabamians
Repeal of the Health Insurance Tax will provide annual cost savings of approximately $500 per family to small business owners and their employees, middle-income families and seniors.
Thank Representative Terri Sewell for supporting Alabama Small Businesses and Families.






3. Trump leads Democratic contenders in Alabama poll


  • It’s Day Two of our Alabama Daily News-WBRC-WAFF survey results from Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy.
  • Today we have numbers for President Donald Trump versus the field of Democratic candidates for president.
  • Spoiler alert: Trump is winning in each hypothetical race. That’s not surprising.
  • What is interesting, though, is how his lead varies when put head-to-head against the various candidates.
  • The Democrat Trump fares best against? Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. The one he fares the worst against? Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
  • See those ballot test numbers plus the demographic breakdowns in today’s story HERE.
  • Tomorrow we’ll do the U.S. Senate race. Won’t want to miss that.
  • Meantime, there are two feature pieces on the GOP Primary that are worth a read: From David Montgomery in the Washington Post Magazine and from Jason Zengerle in the New York Times Magazine.


4. Lawmakers will debate school calendar again

  • Anyone who has been around the State House a while can tell you that the school calendar – when the school year starts and stops in Alabama – has been hotly debated for many years.
  • Lawmakers have sought to go back to the traditional Labor Day to Memorial Day system for various reasons, including tourism for Alabama beaches and the operation of summer camps.
  • This year the issue is coming back up, but for a different reason: workforce development.
  • Rep. Steve Hurst, will soon introduce legislation requiring that school summer breaks run at least from Memorial Day to Labor Day. He said the current summer breaks don’t give older students enough time to get summer jobs and work experience.
  • “What we need is for these kids to have an opportunity to get a job, make a little money for them and momma and daddy, and learn a work ethic and discipline,” Hurst told Alabama Daily News.
  • Hurst points to reports that the state is facing a skilled worker shortage and Gov. Kay Ivey’s goal of adding 500,000 newly certified or degreed workers.
  • Current law gives systems some flexibility in their days, requiring 180 full instructional days at six hours of instruction per day or 1,080 instructional hours over the course of the year.
  • Some school systems have said Hurst’s proposal would greatly extend their school day or drop some mid-year days off, but Hurst said they could get it done without significantly lengthening their days.
  • Read more from ADN’s Mary Sell HERE.


5. New Hampshire votes today

  • Democrats are hoping that voters in New Hampshire will reset the party’s presidential nomination fight on Tuesday and bring clarity to a young primary season that has been marred by deep dysfunction and doubt.
  • Since the chaotic Iowa caucuses failed to perform their traditional function of winnowing the race, it now falls to New Hampshire to begin culling the Democratic field, which still features almost a dozen candidates.
  • For Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, the vote is an opportunity to lock in dominance of the party’s left flank. A repeat of his strong showing in Iowa could severely damage progressive rival Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who faces the prospect of an embarrassing defeat on her near-home turf.
  • While Sanders marches forward, moderates are struggling to unite behind a candidate. After essentially tying with Sanders for first place in Iowa, Pete Buttigieg, the 38-year-old former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, begins his day as the centrist front-runner. But at least two other White House hopefuls — former Vice President Joe Biden and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar — are competing for the same voters, a dynamic that could delay the nomination contest if it continues.
  • Read more on what to look for as New Hampshire votes HERE.




ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Port of Mobile expansion gets $274.3M federal funding


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump leads Democratic contenders in Alabama poll


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Lawmaker: Longer summer breaks would help workforce


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – New Hampshire hopes to clarify unsettled Democratic contest


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ivey, Trump have high approval in new Alabama poll


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – New SPLC report claims voter suppression ‘alive and well’ in Alabama


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Pringle in new ad: ‘I know how to build walls’


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Byrne ad shows Trump White House shout out


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Tuberville in new ad: ‘God sent us Donald Trump’


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Healthy US job market: How big a political edge for Trump?


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – February 10, 2020


AL.COM – Alabama NAACP, others oppose Trump nominee to federal appeals court


AL.COM – Trump budget gives NASA in Alabama $3 billion for space missions


AL.COM – SPLC says Alabama makes voting too hard; Merrill denounces report


AL.COM – Fate of Amtrak’s return to Mobile falls to county commission


AL.COM – Alabama prisons too dangerous for former cop convicted of murder, lawyers argue


AL.COM – Flooding in Alabama: Photos, videos show flooding; Watches, warnings in place


AL.COM – ‘His legacy will not be forgotten’: Fallen Kimberly police officer Nick O’Rear laid to rest


AL.COM – Husband of state Rep. Terri Collins dead at age 63


AL.COM – $78.5 million UAB basic sciences complex approved


AL.COM – Columnist Kyle Whitmire: Alabama’s public health emergency is … porn? Let’s watch … errr … see


AL.COM – This Alabama hospital sued more than 1,000 patients last year. Some owed just $150


AL.COM – Mobile County students on board for Austal training


Montgomery Advertiser – Maxwell Pharmacy implements new system to better serve patients, Airmen


Montgomery Advertiser – Lawyer: Alabama prisons’ ‘unconstitutional conditions’ too dangerous for convicted ex-cop A.C. Smith


Montgomery Advertiser – Downpours cause flooding across Alabama


YellowHammer News – Jermaine ‘Funnymaine’ Johnson, Wind Creek Hospitality announce partnership to benefit at-risk youth in Alabama


YellowHammer News – Army Corps of Engineers allocates final slice of funding for historic Port of Mobile dredging


YellowHammer News – Heavy rains continue; Alabama Power lake levels rising


Tuscaloosa News – Official: 1 person shot and killed by officers in Alabama


Tuscaloosa News – Trial begins for woman accused in death of tow truck driver


Tuscaloosa News – Man shot by police in suburban Birmingham identified


Decatur Daily – Lawsuit seeks to block construction of Alabama 20 overpass


Decatur Daily – Judge Patterson’s lawyer denies client wrote incriminating letter


Decatur Daily – Man taken into custody on warrants after another tried to block police


Times Daily – Tuscumbia woman identified in death case


Times Daily – Parole hearings in 4 local cases this week


Times Daily – First in ‘Voting Rights’ series is Thursday


Anniston Star – Schools announce delays as rain pounds Northeast Alabama


Anniston Star – Sessions tells Saks Republicans he’d push Trump agenda as senator


Anniston Star – Cleburne commission hears pitch to have Clay County firefighters respond to calls at Cheaha


Dothan Eagle – Man faces domestic violence charge after allegedly shooting girlfriend in the face


Dothan Eagle – UPDATE (with photos): Ariton standoff ends, suspect in custody


Dothan Eagle – Houston County approves $6 million bond issue for paving program


Gadsden Times – School systems delay Tuesday classes because of weather


Gadsden Times – EMA: Prepare for possible flooding now


Gadsden Times – Sessions visits Gadsden ahead of Senate primary election


Troy Messenger – Police respond to armed robbery at Krystal


Opelika-Auburn News – Photos from the 2020 Westminster Dog Show so far


Opelika-Auburn News – A teen in Texas stopped a bullying incident. Days later, the bully killed him, police say.


Opelika-Auburn News – Trump’s $4.8 trillion budget proposal revisits rejected cuts


Daily Mountain Eagle – Cordova field house demolished


Daily Mountain Eagle – Southern lifestyle leading to heart disease


Daily Mountain Eagle – Aderholt announces 4th Congressional Art Competition


Trussville Tribune – NWS: Flood reports in Jefferson County Tuesday


Trussville Tribune – Rep. Danny Garrett defends designation of pornography as health crisis


Trussville Tribune – Trussville City Schools announce 2- hour delay


Athens News Courier – Limestone County Schools delayed 2 hours Tuesday


Athens News Courier – Official: 1 person shot and killed by officers in Alabama


Athens News Courier – Bill would fine people for smoking in cars carrying children


Sand Mountain Reporter – Evans Elementary hosts Amazing Shake competition


Sand Mountain Reporter – Rachel’s Recipes: Healthy kale salad to keep doctor away


Sand Mountain Reporter – Fitzgerald Washington: Alabama’s economic conditions couldn’t be much better


WSFA Montgomery – Man arrested after allegedly shooting girlfriend in the eye


WSFA Montgomery – Suspect in Montgomery standoff Saturday night identified


WSFA Montgomery – Hundreds attend Kimberly Police Officer’s funeral


Fox 6 Birmingham – Jefferson County EMA continues to monitor flooding


Fox 6 Birmingham – Jefferson Co. Sheriff’s Dept. investigating after body found


Fox 6 Birmingham – Turn around, don’t drown: Flooding dangers and driving


WAFF Huntsville – Madison declares March 30 ‘Women Owned Business Day’


WAFF Huntsville – What’s changed 10 years after deadly UAH shootings?


WAFF Huntsville – Athens City Council approves tax incentive for new Publix


WKRG Mobile – Citronelle Police release 2019 crime numbers


WKRG Mobile – Caught on camera: car stolen from family’s front yard and used in police chase


WKRG Mobile – “We started running,” Child relives moments when man allegedly shot his gun over noise of children playing at Daphne apartment complex


WTVY Dothan – Man arrested after allegedly shooting girlfriend in the eye on Dothan’s Greentree Avenue


WTVY Dothan – CDL clearinghouse makes screening process, drug testing more strict for truck/bus drivers


WTVY Dothan – Traffic accident claims life of Enterprise woman


WASHINGTON POST – Democratic candidates aim at a visiting Trump as they make last-day appeals to New Hampshire voters


WASHINGTON POST – Trump offers $4.8 trillion budget plan that seeks big cuts to domestic programs


WASHINGTON POST – Americans say they feel like this is the best economy since the late 1990s.


NEW YORK TIMES – What’s at Stake in the New Hampshire Primary


NEW YORK TIMES – Young Men Embrace Gender Equality, but They Still Don’t Vacuum


NEW YORK TIMES – Pick Me, Mr. President!: For Republican candidates in Alabama’s Senate race, winning the primary means doing whatever it takes to score one very important endorsement.


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