Good morning! Here’s your Daily News for Tuesday, July 24, 2018.
1. Getting provisional.
- Today, probate judges from throughout Alabama will be officially counting their county’s votes – including provisional votes – for the July 17 runoff.
- For two Alabama legislative races – House District 38 in Chambers & Lee Counties, and House District 102 in Mobile County – the counting of provisional ballots could determine the winner in some very close races.
- So, how does that happen?
- ADN’s Caroline Beck dug into how provisional ballots are handled and counted, and how they might impact the outcome in these races.
- Read her story HERE.
2. Resetting the VA (again)
- The U.S. Senate confirmed Robert Wilkie as Secretary of Veterans Affairs yesterday in a 86-9 vote.
- The VA’s top job has been in limbo ever since an ethics scandal took down former VA secretary Dr. David Shulkin in May.
- Here’s the thing: at an agency like the VA, it’s not good when nobody is in charge.
- National Public Radio recently revealed how whistleblowers within the VA are still silenced and retaliated against – and the problem is especially acute in our own backyard.
- Four years ago, members of our Congressional delegation and the media teamed up to expose abuses within the VA to make sure people didn’t get away with mistreating veterans.
- It’s always healthy for both to keep a careful eye on an agency like the VA. And, hey, I happen to own a media company now!
A message from Troy University
- Each week TROY students meet in the kitchen to do their part to eliminate hunger in Pike County.
- Learn more about their amazing work and how it helps make the TROY family so special HERE.
3. Looking at the real labor numbers.
- Alabama has been experiencing record unemployment of late.
- But, have you ever wondered how that unemployment number is reached and what it really means?
- ADN’s Will Whatley has some experience crunching labor numbers, and he put that to work breaking down Alabama’s latest unemployment rate and how it compares to the highs of the Great Recession.
- It turns out there are some other numbers we should be paying attention to that are just as important in terms of indicators for whether or not the economy is growing.
- Read Will’s full piece HERE.
4. School Daze
- Did you know some Alabama students are returning to school A WEEK FROM TOMORROW?
- I mean, I know it’s for all the right reasons, but school seems to start earlier and earlier each year.
- Muscle Shoals and Madison: August 1. Houston and Geneva Counties: August 3. Shelby County: August 6.
- At least the lucky ducks in Baldwin County get to enjoy their summer all the way until August 15.
- Want to know when your kids or grandkids report for school? Here’s the list of every school district’s back-to-school dates listed in alphabetical order.
5. News Briefs.
- Honda is investing $54.8 million into an expansion of its Talladega County plant, adding more than 50,000-square-feet to the facility.
- That’s on top of an $85 million, 425,000 square-foot expansion already in the works.
- Honda employs 4,500 at its Lincoln facility where they make the Honda Odyssey minivans and Pilot SUVs, plus engines.
- Read William Thornton’s story on AL.com.
Armand Dekyser nominated
- Congrats to Mobile native Armand Dekeyser for being nominated by President Trump to the National Council on the Humanities.
- Armand currently serves as the Executive Director of the Alabama Humanities Foundation, but he has a background in politics.
- He was chief of staff to Sen. Jeff Sessions in the 2000s and later to Sen. Bob Corker, with some governmental affairs work in between.
- His nomination goes to the Senate. Tip of the hat to Bob Grip.
- We’re just now seeing the real impact of the tax cuts that were enacted late last year.
- According to new analysis from the Heritage Foundation, that impact for families is simple: savings in their pockets.
- Paul Bedard writes about the Heritage report analyzing each congressional district.
- Congressional Republicans need to tout these numbers over the next three months, because the midterm elections are starting to look iffy for them again.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Counting the votes: provisional ballots could decide two House races.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – By the numbers: Alabama’s workforce thriving.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Stacy Column: The Runoffs: what happened and what’s next.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump steps up pressure, but Iran says it’s ‘unimpressed.’
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Back to school: when Alabama districts are set to begin.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Senate Democrats ask for documents before Kavanaugh meetings.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump considers yanking security clearances of his critics.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Colleges ask for a share of future salary in lieu of loans.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Senate confirms Robert Wilkie as Veterans Affairs secretary.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump says drug maker Pfizer ‘rolling back price hikes’
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – PAC power: did MGM NXT impact school board elections.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – 42nd Air Base Wing has a new commander.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – With Trump’s endorsement in hand, Roby emphasizes rural campaign before runoff.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER: House District 88 race pits newcomer against political vet.
DOTHAN EAGLE – Troy’s Brown knows questions will be answered on the practice field.
DECATUR DAILY – Decatur providing computers for 6,000 students.
FLORENCE TIMES DAILY – Shoals unemployment rises, but so does labor force.
FLORENCE TIMES DAILY – State is No. 3 in speed-related deaths.
ANNISTON STAR – State, party officials scratching heads over bogus Democratic nominee for House.
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – What is the cost of OPS ONE? A closer look at Opelika’s digital service.
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Hot-car child deaths are tragedies we all share a role in preventing.
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Democrats want to go after ICE while Mexican drug cartels are running wild in Alabama.
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Walt Maddox announces ethics plan amid what he calls the state’s ‘most corrupt period in history’.
AL.COM – Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel leaving deadly mark on Alabama.
AL.COM – Rise, fall of early Birmingham civil rights group chronicled in booklet.
AL.COM – Trump flexing endorsement muscles after Roy Moore fiasco.
AL.COM – 10 independents, 2 Libertarians on Alabama ballot in November.
AL.COM – Honda announces $54.8 million expansion in Lincoln.
AL.COM – Columnist Roy Johnson: For north Birmingham and Alabama’s poor, justice still not served.
AL.COM – The salary you need to afford rent in Alabama.
AL.COM – Contributor Stephen Sandford: 73,000 Alabamians have seen the future. You can, too.
AL.COM – Contributor John Meredith: Who loves Trump most shouldn’t be state election issue.
WASHINGTON POST – White House says Trump wants to revoke security clearances for former officials critical of him over Russia.
WASHINGTON POST – IRS outsources debt collection to private firms, and the poor feel the sting, watchdog charges.
NEW YORK TIMES – Tariffs Trim a Factory’s Profit, but Loyalty to Trump Endures
NEW YORK TIMES – Chemicals in Food May Harm Children, Pediatricians’ Group Says