1. Lawmakers want electronic monitoring of inmates off ADOC property
- Alabama lawmakers are working on legislation to require some state inmates who work outside of Alabama Department of Corrections facilities to wear electronic monitoring devices.
- Some legislators are asking questions about which inmates are allowed to work off ADOC grounds.
- Under state law, the Alabama Department of Corrections can adopt rules for allowing inmates to leave prisons for work purposes. Senate Bill 120 by Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, and House Bill 151 by Rep. Matt Simpson, R-Daphne, change existing law to say that inmates convicted of violent offenses will be subject to electronic monitoring.
- Both bills have been approved in committees, but changes are expected when they get to the Senate and House floors. The House version could get a vote Tuesday.
- “We’re trying to work on some fiscal notes tied to that, the cost that it may be to the Department of Corrections,” Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon, R-Monrovia, said Thursday. “And we’re trying to pull together some data and information dealing with some of our work release facilities, what is the standard by which these individuals in the system go into work release, how many violent criminals would be in that system.”
- Read more from ADN’s Mary Sell HERE.
2. State may relocate 231 stretch
- State transportation officials are considering whether to relocate a damaged highway that’s been closed since last month in north Alabama.
- Crews shut down a section of U.S. 231 a few miles south of Huntsville about three weeks ago after cracks developed following heavy rains. Workers have tried to fix the road, but repairs are proving difficult.
- News outlets reported that the Alabama Department of Transportation is now considering shifting the four-lane road slightly eastward rather than repairing the old highway, which is often busy with rush-hour commuters.
- It’s unclear how long the project will take, but detours are adding travel time for commuters coming and going from Huntsville.
- Somerville resident Megan Lane drives one of the detour routes daily for work and to drop her children off at elementary school. She now regularly leaves at least 20 minutes early in the morning and stays late at work to avoid the heaviest traffic.
- State officials haven’t said how much the work might cost.
- Story link.
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3. Bill would lift yoga ban
- Alabama lawmakers might lift a decades-old ban on yoga in public schools, but the bill would keep the greeting “namaste” on the forbidden list.
- The bill by Rep. Jeremy Gray, a Democratic legislator from Opelika, is on the proposed debate agenda Tuesday in the Alabama House of Representatives.
- The bill says that local school systems can decide if they want to teach yoga, poses and stretches. However, the moves and exercises taught to students must have exclusively English names, according to the legislation. It would also prohibit the use of chanting, mantras and teaching the greeting “namaste.”
- The Alabama Board of Education in 1993 voted to prohibit yoga, hypnosis and meditation in public school classrooms. The ban was pushed by conservative groups.
- The yoga ban got new attention in 2018 when an old document circulated listing yoga — along with games like tag — among inappropriate activities in gym class.
- Story link.
4. Virus closes sites around the world; stocks, oil prices sink
- Anxiety over the new coronavirus epidemic sent global stock markets and oil prices plunging Monday and caused a cascading shutdown of sites and events ranging from the Sistine Chapel to Saudi schools to a Holocaust remembrance march.
- While many of Beijing’s white collar workers returned to work as new cases of infection subsided in China, some 16 million people under a widespread lockdown in northern Italy struggled to figure out the new rules of their daily existence.
- Global oil prices suffered their worst losses since the start of the 1991 Gulf War. In Saudi Arabia, shares of state oil giant Saudi Aramco dropped 10%, forcing a halt to trading of the company on Riyadh’s stock exchange.
- Read more HERE.
5. News Briefs
- BEAUREGARD, Ala. (AP) — The grandparents of the youngest victim of a deadly tornado in Alabama traveled to Tennessee to help those affected by severe storms that hit exactly one year after their family tragedy.
- Armando “AJ” Hernandez Jr., 6, was torn from his father’s arms and found dead after a tornado ripped through the Beauregard, Alabama, community March 3, 2019. He was among 23 people killed in the severe weather.
- On March 3, 2020, at least 24 people died in a tornado outbreak that ripped through middle Tennessee, including parts of Nashville. The storms injured dozens and left a trail of destruction.
- When Bobby and Leanne Kidd saw the news, they understood what those families were going through.
- “For the people in Beauregard and us, it was already a hard day,” Bobby Kidd told WTVM-TV ahead of a trip he and his wife took Friday to storm-ravaged Tennessee. “It affected us and hit us hard because we knew what they were going through.”
- So, the couple decided to pack up a trailer full of supplies and head north.
- “I don’t think there’s any other way we could honor our grandson’s name. A.J. would have wanted us to do this,” Leanne Kidd said.
- The couple planned to give items they said storm victims would most need, based on their own experience. Toiletries, gift cards, money and food were at the top of the list for those who lost everything.
- “So the best thing we can do is to give these people basic necessities,” Leanne Kidd said.
- The couple was expected to lend a hand for two days, and said they also plan to return to Tennessee next month to offer more help.
- MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A woman was found dead inside an Alabama home where an armed man was fatally shot by police after firing near officers who showed up at his house.
- Montgomery police responded to the home Sunday and found a man outside shooting a gun, news outlets reported.
- Officers told the man, who wasn’t immediately identified, to drop his weapon, but he refused to comply, said Montgomery police Sgt. David Hicks. Police shot the man and he was taken to a hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
- Authorities searched the home and found a woman dead inside, according to news outlets. Her identity hasn’t been released.
- TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Police in Alabama said one person was killed in a shooting at a college campus.
- The shooting happened overnight at Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, news outlets reported Monday.
- A person of interest was located, Tuscaloosa Capt. Jack Kennedy said.
- There was no danger to students or the surrounding community, police told news outlets.
- MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Authorities in Alabama have charged a 21-year-old man with snatching a 1-year-old boy from the front steps of an apartment building Thursday morning.
- Montgomery police booked Demarcus Leonard Snead into jail on a second-degree kidnapping charge, the department said in a statement.
- A 34-year-old woman reported that she was walking down the steps from her apartment after 9 a.m. with two young children when Snead approached them, according to charging documents. Snead is accused of then grabbing the woman’s 1-year-old nephew, putting him into a car and driving away with the child, police said in the statement.
- The woman told officers she followed Snead but stopped and called for help after she observed him driving dangerously, according to the police report. The woman told investigators she didn’t know Snead, and the man apparently didn’t have any relationship to the 1-year-old either, news outlets reported.
- Smith released the boy unharmed and police arrested him a short time later, the agency’s statement said.
- Authorities didn’t say why they think Snead took the child.
- One of the world’s most popular fishing tournaments is expected to bring in millions of tourism dollars to Alabama.
- The 50th Bassmaster Classic was underway on Lake Guntersville this weekend, WHNT-TV reported.
- The three-day tournament is bringing in more than $30 million to Alabama, Guntersville Mayor Leigh Dollar said. Most, if not all, of the hotels in town are booked up, she said.
- The event, known as the Super Bowl of bass fishing, draws tourists from around the globe. Hundreds of them braved the cold weather to watch 53 anglers take off from Civitan Park in Guntersville.
- “We came down to see the three Canadians,” said Canadian Dave Flindall. “This is the first time three Canadians have been in the Bassmaster, so the sport is really growing in Canada, professional bass fishing, so it’s pretty amazing to come down and see all this.”
- Indiana resident Fred Claar said he was impressed by Lake Guntersville and the friendliness of Alabamians.
- “It seems like it’s just an awesome fishery,” Claar said. “Everybody down here has been nice. And it’s not crowded like you’d think it would be, and it’s just a good time down here.”
- More than $1 million in prize money is being awarded at the tournament, including $300,000 for first place, according to the event’s website.
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Alabama State Port Authority
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