Good morning and Happy President’s Day! Who is your favorite president in history? Favorite living president? Fiercest military commander-turned POTUS? Tell me in this fun online poll. Here is your Daily News Digest for Monday, February 19.
1. Big day in Mobile
- It’s going to be a busy day for politics and media in Mobile.
- Gov. Kay Ivey continues her campaign rollout there today with an event at the GulfQuest museum.
- U.S. Sen. Doug Jones begins his first district work week in Mobile with a visit to major ship builder Austal and Bishop State College.
- Not to be outdone, U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne will visit Xante corporation to make a “special announcement” related to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Sounds like workers are getting some Tax Cut bonuses or raises!
- Anyway, good luck to all the press secretaries fighting for coverage. Good luck as well to media folks lugging cameras around Mobile trying capture all that in the span of a few hours.
2. Winn Dixie closing?
- The Winn-Dixie in many Alabama communities could be closing soon.
- Bloomberg reports that the grocery store’s parent company Bi-Lo is preparing to file for bankruptcy soon. As many as 200 stores throughout the Southeast could be closed as part of the deal.
- We won’t really know what is happening until the company comments on Bloomberg’s scoop, and they haven’t so far.
- Look, we all know Publix came in and won us over with its delicious sub sandwiches and manners. But, I still have a place in my heart for Winn Dixie. And, in all seriousness, that grocery store is the only option in many Alabama communities.
- Let’s hope the bankruptcy deal doesn’t displace too many workers in Alabama or make it harder for families to buy affordable groceries.
3. Fundraising report: Senate Majority
- Of the 25 Republicans in the Alabama State Senate, nine are not running for reelection.
- These “open seats” create interesting opportunities for ambitious newcomers.
- Why? Well, incumbents are a lot better known. They have an entire term to raise money (granted, in Alabama, you are only allowed to raise money one year out of the primary). Plus, since incumbents usually win, many groups might be reluctant to support a challenger so as not to anger a sitting senator who affects the outcome of issues they care about.
- No incumbent = much more manageable feat, especially when it comes to fundraising.
- I did a brief rundown of the current cash on hand numbers for the nine open seat races on the Republican side. You can read that write-up here.
4. Barkley building vocational school?
- Noted Alabama native, Auburn graduate, NBA Hall of Famer and longtime real-keeper Charles Barkley is apparently involved in an initiative that could boost career and technical education in Alabama.
- During “First Take” on ESPN Friday, Barkley alluded to the initiative as part of a discussion on race, crime and economics.
- “Back in my day, David Robinson took over a whole school. I know LeBron does his. We need help from the black community. This black-on-black crime is atrocious. We’ve got too many single black families where the mom and dad is not home.
- “I’m working this new initiative in Alabama. I don’t know any black plumbers, any black electricians, any black car mechanics. I’m going back in Alabama in the summer and partner with a vocational school to get more black plumbers, electricians.”
- Jeff Poor captured the whole video which you can watch right now at YellowHammer News. Paul Gattis also has a write-up over at AL.com.
- You have our attention, Sir Charles. Not that you ever didn’t, tbh.
- Alabama has been making great strides in career and technical education. Nationally there is renewed focus on helping students understand the marketable value of trade skills as opposed to a liberal arts education.
- There’s no word on how far along Barkley is on his initiative or even who he is working with.
- Interestingly, it comes not long after the Alabama Community College System announced its partnership with Tim Cook and Apple to offer a unique coding curriculum.
- So, if next month we learn Bo Jackson is starting a charter school we will know something is up.
5. Trump has tweetastic weekend
- President Trump decided not to play golf this weekend, thinking it may appear insensitive amid the ongoing grief from the Florida school massacre.
- Good call.
- Instead, the President reportedly spent his free time getting worked up over cable news coverage and decided to tweet his displeasure.
- Not a good call.
- Connecting the FBI’s failure to flag the Florida shooter with the Russia election meddling investigation. Sounding unnecessarily defensive about all things Russia. Going after Oprah.
- Why? I don’t get it.
- As Sonny Bunch of the conservative Washington Free Beacon put it, “It’s like Trump decided that he was getting dangerously close to having a 50-percent approval rating so he decided to start rage-tweeting again.”
- Or, perhaps we should just not be paying attention.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS: Locked up: Legislation seeks changes to juvenile justice
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS: Trump fumes about Russia as nation mourns
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS: Birmingham auto insurance provider bought for $1.4 billion
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS: Firefighter Training At Auburn First in Eastern US
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS: Fundraising report: Senate Majority
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – The great divide: ‘Redlining’ kept neighborhoods separate, unequal.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Sewell supports effort to save deteriorating Selma neighborhoods.
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS: Opinion: Is it better to #DoSomething on gun control or #DoNothing to weaken our rights?
AL.COM – ‘I would take a bullet for them’: Alabama educators talk school safety in era of mass shootings.
AL.COM – Police investigating rumored threat to ‘shoot up’ Shades Valley High.
AL.COM – Alabama sheriffs pocket tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars allocated to feed inmates.
AL.COM – Data can’t prove racism cause of Alabama school system splits.
AL.COM – Columnist Dana McCain: Labels fail me: Am I still a Republican?
DOTHAN EAGLE – Houston County student facing school discipline for rifle found in vehicle.
DOTHAN EAGLE – Delinquent child support often difficult to collect.
DOTHAN EAGLE – The Dothan Eagle: Switcheroo.
CULLMAN TIMES – The Cullman Times: Breakdown leads to slaughter.
DECATUR DAILY – Bridge over Alabama 20 seen as key to development.
DECATUR DAILY – The Decatur Daily: More support needed for mental health.
JASPER MOUNTAIN EAGLE – Police presence to increase at city schools.
GADSDEN TIMES – Just a few states have gun laws targeting threatening people.
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Emergency preparedness: Local schools train for the unthinkable.
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Legislative update: Keeping up with your state legislators.
TIMES DAILY – Discussion focuses on rural retail recruiting.
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – The Tuscaloosa News: Cybercrime lab will help battle internet thieves.
GADSDEN TIMES – Investigators probe alleged threats at Hokes Bluff High.
ANNISTON STAR – Alabama, Calhoun County part of nationwide trend of more women seeking office.
ANNISTON STAR – State bill to help first-time homebuyers save for down payments.
ANNISTON STAR – The Anniston Star: A farce in the Alabama House of Representatives.
WASHINGTON POST – Trump criticizes FBI for failure to probe tip on Fla. shooter, says ‘too much time’ spent on Russia probe.
WASHINGTON POST – ‘People are angry’: Pain turns political in Parkland after school shooting.
WASHINGTON POST – Teachers say Florida suspect’s problems started in middle school, and the system tried to help him.
WASHINGTON POST – Florida students plead with Congress: It’s about the guns.
WASHINGTON POST – Trump lashes out over Russia probe in angry and error-laden tweetstorm.
NEW YORK TIMES – Spending Bill Sets Path to Fix a Looming Pension Crisis
NEW YORK TIMES – Family Who Took Florida Suspect In: ‘We Just Didn’t Know’