Presented by AlabamaWorks!
Here’s your Daily News for Wednesday, January 22.
1. Busy day at the State House
- The 2020 Regular Session of the Alabama Legislature might not start for another two weeks, but the State House is already abuzz with all sorts of activity.
- Most significantly, it’s time for budget hearings, the annual pre-session meetings in which lawmakers hear funding requests from various state agencies and ask questions to help them determine how to dole out money this year.
- Today is dedicated to Education Trust Fund agencies, so presenting will be Early Childhood Education Secretary Jeana Ross, State Superintendent of Education Eric Mackey, Community College System Chancellor Jimmy Baker and Commission on Higher Education Director Jim Purcell.
- There is projected to be significantly more money in the ETF this year, and today we’ll hear these system heads make their pitches for more funding and/or answer questions about how their funding has been spent.
- Tomorrow is the budget hearing for General Fund agencies, among which there is always less money but sometimes more drama.
- Also meeting today is the Joint Transportation Committee, which was reorganized under the Rebuild Alabama plan to provide oversight of infrastructure spending. Its agenda includes reviewing the ALDOT budget and long range plan, as well as a discussion of the always touchy asphalt vs. concrete subject.
- Another meeting of note: the Wine Direct Shipment Task Force. This was the panel set up to review relevant alcohol policies to see if Alabama should start allowing direct wine shipments.
- It’s like we’re in session already. See you at the State House!
2. After long night, Senate approves impeachment rules
- After a 13-hour session and some last-minute tweaks on Tuesday, the proposed rules for President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial now largely mirror the ones used for the trial of former President Bill Clinton.
- Though there are some minor differences, the basic structure of Trump’s trial will be similar to Clinton’s in 1999. The Senate will hear arguments from lawyers on both sides before debating whether to seek witness testimony and documents. Ultimately they will reach a final vote on the two charges against Trump.
- The biggest difference is how impeachment reached the Senate in the first place. In Clinton’s case, the House vote to impeach came after an exhaustive witness-deposing process from then-Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr. This time, House Committees did the witness interviewing themselves, sparring along the way with a White House claiming it was denied due process. Now, having passed impeachment articles, House managers insist more witnesses should be allowed to testify, including those related to newly-discovered evidence. Senate Republicans say the House had its chance to be thorough and deliberate.
- But as in Clinton’s trial, the rules adopted Tuesday push off that question, dictating that the Senate won’t consider whether to call new witnesses until after the House impeachment managers and the president’s lawyers make their opening arguments.
- Democrats sought 11 different amendments to the rules to allow for subpoenaing more witnesses and documents, but Republicans defeated each of them.
- Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did change his rules resolution to allow each side up to 24 hours over three days to present their opening arguments – more time than originally proposed. The change also allows the House record to be admitted as evidence.
- The arguments between House managers and Trump lawyers got so heated late Tuesday that Chief Justice John Roberts spoke up to admonish both sides.
- “I think it is appropriate at this point for me to admonish both the House managers and the president’s counsel in equal terms to remember that they are addressing the world’s greatest deliberative body,” the usually reserved Roberts said. He told them that description of the Senate stemmed from a 1905 trial when a senator objected to the word “pettifogging,” because members should “avoid speaking in a manner and using language that is not conducive to civil discourse.”
- See that interesting video and read a rundown of what happened HERE.
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Success Plus is Alabama’s program for improving the statewide level of education beyond high school.
Whether it’s a degree earned in a four-year or community college, a professional certification or a credential, this additional preparation creates improved opportunities for Alabamians to better their lives by participating in the workforce.
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3. Bill would allow certain convictions to be expunged
- A bill from Sen. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, would allow those convicted of misdemeanors or certain non-violent felonies to have them expunged from their record.
- Ward told Alabama Daily News that the main goal of the bill is to reduce prison recidivism by getting former inmates back to work more easily.
- “We’ve been saying that if you really want to reform criminal justice efforts then part of it is helping people get a job,” Ward said. “Often times a criminal record is a barrier to someone getting a job.”
- Senate Bill 14 would allow those who have been convicted of certain misdemeanor offenses and non-violent crimes who have fulfilled all of their parole requirements to have that conviction expunged from their record.
- Alabama currently allows the expungement of certain misdemeanor charges, but this would be the first time convictions could be taken off one’s record.
- Ward said that violent crimes such as rape, murder or burglary would not apply under this bill. He said it’s mostly geared towards Class A misdemeanors.
- Read more from ADN’s Caroline Beck HERE.
4. Small Business Commission meets today in Tuscaloosa
- The Alabama Small Business Commission, a group charged with recommending policy ideas and legislation that could benefit small businesses, will hold a public listening session in Tuscaloosa Wednesday.
- Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth chairs the panel and is overseeing a series of public meetings throughout the state. Previous listening sessions were held in Guntersville and Auburn, and an additional one is planned for Mobile.
- Ainsworth said in a news release that, as a small business owner himself, he has firsthand knowledge of the challenges they face.
- Read more from ADN Intern Reporter Devin Pavlou HERE.
5. News Briefs
Jalen Hurts eyes NFL with ‘boulder’, not chip on shoulder
- MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — Jalen Hurts was presented a helmet at the Senior Bowl providing a snapshot of his college career, an OU on the right side and his old Alabama No. 2 on the left.
- Now, the quarterback who led two elite programs to the College Football Playoffs is trying to prove himself again, as an NFL prospect, back in the state where he began his college career.
- Hurts, who wore an Oklahoma-only helmet in practice Tuesday, officially began his audition for NFL teams this week with practices and meetings ahead of Saturday’s Senior Bowl. His biggest selling point: “I win.”
- Hurts still conveys the same unflappable confidence as always. Determined to prove critics wrong, he’s sporting more than a chip on his shoulder. It is, he said, “a boulder.”
- “I don’t think there’s any experience that I’d go back and exchange or change,” Hurts said. “I think everything’s happened for a reason. It’s all happened how it’s supposed to. I think I’m stronger, wiser, better man, better player, leader, better everything.”
- Full story HERE.
Krystal files for bankruptcy
- BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Krystal Co., the Georgia-based restaurant chain known for tiny hamburgers and late-night service across the Southeast, has filed for bankruptcy, but said Tuesday that all of its locations would remain open.
- Krystal has about 300 restaurants in 10 states, 182 of which employ 4,890 people and are operated by the company, restructuring officer Jonathan M. Tibus said in a court filing. Another 116 are run by franchisees, he said.
- The company previously closed more than 40 restaurants, including 13 that shut down in December. Shifting consumer tastes, growing costs, tight labor markets and the growth of online food ordering all contributed to the company’s financial problems, Tibus said.
- “The actions we are taking are intended to enable Krystal to establish a stronger business for the future and to achieve a restructuring in a fast and efficient manner,” the company said in a statement Tuesday.
- Full story from Jay Reeves HERE.
Glasgow arrested again in Dothan
- DOTHAN, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama activist known for registering prisoners to vote was jailed after what police described as a struggle with an officer, and prosecutors asked a judge Tuesday to keep him there.
- Kenneth Glasgow, 54, was being held without bond at the Houston County Jail, records showed Tuesday. He was arrested Saturday on charges including drug possession, assault and evidence tampering.
- Glasgow, a pastor, scuffled with an officer who tried to arrest him, news outlets reported. A booking photograph showed Glasgow with what appeared to be a wound dressing on his head.
- At the time of his arrest, Glasgow was free on bail after being charged with capital murder in 2018 after a fatal shooting. Police said Glasgow drove a car from which another man fatally shot Breunia Jennings, 23. Glasgow said the charge was retribution for his activism.
- A grand jury has yet to decide whether to issue indictments in the shooting.
- Full story HERE.
Shuttered latex plant to reopen on Alabama-Georgia line
- EUFAULA, Ala. (AP) — A company plans to create as many as 400 jobs as it reopens a closed latex factory in southeast Alabama, the state said Tuesday.
- The Alabama Department of Commerce said in a statement that Medical Industries of the Americas intends to reopen a shuttered factory at Eufaula in coming months. The factory will produce items including latex gloves, condoms and packs to treat people with hot or cold therapy.
- The privately owned company said it has retooled a factory that used to be operated by Ameritex Corp. MI Americas said its investment could reach $50 million eventually as it adds product lines.
- The 105,000-square-foot factory, which will produce about 500,000 latex gloves daily, is located in an industrial park near the Chattahoochee River along the Georgia state line.
- Ameritex closed the factory about four years ago.
Sheriff: Mother and her 2 children found dead in home
- MUNFORD, Ala. (AP) — A mother and her two children have been found dead in a home in Alabama, according to a sheriff.
- The three people were found dead Tuesday in Munford, news outlets reported. Talladega County Sheriff Jimmy Kilgore told WBMA-TV the victims are a mother and her two kids.
- Investigators were actively looking into the deaths, according to a statement from the sheriff’s department. It says the identities of the victims and their causes of death will be released at a later time.
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ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – After tweaks, Trump trial format will be similar to Clinton
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Bill would allow convictions to be expunged from criminal records
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Small Business Commission meets today in Tuscaloosa
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Jalen Hurts eyes NFL with ‘boulder’, not chip on shoulder
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Activist Kenneth Glasgow jailed on drug charges
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Southern burger chain Krystal files for bankruptcy
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Stacy Column: Going negative
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Two bills seek to expand early voting in Alabama
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – January 21, 2020
AL.COM – Alabama woman says she killed her rapist in self-defense. She could spend life in prison
AL.COM – Shipt partnering with Office Depot on delivery
AL.COM – Amtrak faces wobbly future in Mobile.
AL.COM – Indicted judge should resign and get off payroll, Alabama lawmaker says
AL.COM – 8 Alabama sheriffs endorse Sessions in Senate race; 5 endorse Byrne
Montgomery Advertiser – Montgomery County Bar Association gets new president
Montgomery Advertiser – Liquor license near Cloverdale delayed after neighborhood opposition
Montgomery Advertiser – Sky Bar and After 5 are shut down after crime accusations at the nightclubs
YellowHammer News – Watch: Jessica Taylor touts ‘humble roots’, takes aim at ‘The Squad’ in first TV ad
YellowHammer News – Bama’s Jared Mayden glad to be reunited with ‘natural leader’ Jalen Hurts for Senior Bowl
YellowHammer News – Jones votes with Schumer, Democrats every time to begin Trump impeachment trial
Dothan Eagle – Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce endorses Coleman to fill Roby’s seat
Dothan Eagle – Legendary Wiregrass player, college coach Reynolds passes away
Tuscaloosa News – Council delays Pate land vote for review
Tuscaloosa News – Tuscaloosa City Council action from January 21, 2020
Tuscaloosa News – Georgia school official quits amid inquiry, program may end
Decatur Daily – Ard: Cut pay of council members who miss too many meetings
Decatur Daily – Decatur-area schools activate flu prevention plans
Decatur Daily – Morgan sheriff wants $10 fee added to license tags to pay for additional SROs
Times Daily – Subfreezing high will yield to warmer readings
Times Daily – Authorities continue search for inmate
Times Daily – Sheffield council debating cost of project administrator
Gadsden Times – No charges expected in Monday night shooting
Gadsden Times – $2.7 million improvement project announced for mega-site
Gadsden Times – Commissioners discuss upcoming legislative session, jail air conditioning renovation
Anniston Star – Piedmont High principal named tops in Alabama in surprise ceremony
Anniston Star – Oxford appoints new EMS board members after four resignations
Anniston Star – Council members disagree on affordable housing project, city hire
Opelika-Auburn News – Fuller announces new tech park for Opelika
Opelika-Auburn News – Opelika taps Jones to replace Shuman
Opelika-Auburn News – Deadly Chinese virus reaches US: Things you should know about potential global health threat
Sand Mountain Reporter – Albertville man pleads guilty to sodomy, sex abuse of children | Receives 70-year sentence
Sand Mountain Reporter – Crossville highlights human trafficking | City Council makes January awareness month
Sand Mountain Reporter – Plan of action | Boaz agrees to contract with Retail Strategies
WHNT Huntsville – Republican Senate candidates drum up voter support at forum in Huntsville
WSFA Montgomery – Jeff Coleman claims rivals are raising fraud issues out of desperation
WSFA Montgomery – 2 Montgomery bars have business licenses revoked
WSFA Montgomery – Troopers school teen drivers following recent fatal crashes
Fox 6 Birmingham – 3 people found dead inside Munford home
Fox 6 Birmingham – No charges will be filed as authorities investigate overnight shooting in Etowah Co.
Fox 6 Birmingham – Suspect charged in three Tuscaloosa restaurant burglaries
WAFF Huntsville – Teen recovering after stranger’s 911 call about submerged car led to his rescue
WAFF Huntsville – Attorneys give opening statements in opioid case involving Toney doctor
WAFF Huntsville – Man critically injured in shooting at Huntsville condo complex
WKRG Mobile – Teen’s push for safety prompts ALDOT to look at Bay Minette intersection
WKRG Mobile – Volunteer to plant azaleas in Tillman’s Corner Saturday
WKRG Mobile – Cyntoia Brown-Long tells her story in new book
WTVY Dothan – Shuttered latex plant to reopen
WTVY Dothan – Jeff Coleman claims rivals are raising fraud issues out of desperation
WTVY Dothan – Dothan Police say K9 finds 13 pounds of marijuana
WASHINGTON POST – Trump threatens Europe with fresh tariffs in Davos, deepening a rift with longtime U.S. allies
WASHINGTON POST – Most Americans want abortion to remain legal, but back some state restrictions
NEW YORK TIMES – U.S. Drinking Water Widely Contaminated With ‘Forever Chemicals’: Report
NEW YORK TIMES – More Slayings at Parchman as Mississippi Confronts Prison Crisis
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