Daily News Digest – November 16, 2018

Daily News Digest – November 16, 2018

PRESENTED BY the Stop The HIT Coalition

Good morning and Happy Friday! Here’s your Daily News for November 16.

1. Attempted assassination in Demopolis.

  • 17th Circuit District Attorney Greg Griggers survived an apparent assassination attempt in downtown Demopolis Thursday.
  • Griggers was shot in the face by Steve Smith, an ex-State Trooper who Griggers’ office had questioned about a shooting at the home of a judge more than 20 years ago.
  • Smith, the assailant, was shot and killed on the spot by an investigator from Griggers’ office.
  • It appears Griggers was ambushed while returning from lunch with members of his staff.
  • Michael Jackson, the District Attorney from the neighboring 4th Circuit said Griggers was taken to the hospital and is expected to recover.
  • Read more from AP & staff reports HERE.
  • Read more from the Demopolis Times HERE
  • Read more from the Tuscaloosa News HERE.
  • Watch the story on WBRC Fox 6 HERE.

2. Perdue headed to Wiregrass as Roby, Shelby press Feds for help.

  • Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Alabama Agriculture Commissioner John McMillan today will join U.S. Rep. Martha Roby to tour farm damage from Hurricane Michael in Alabama’s Wiregrass.
  • They’ll visit the McAllister farm in Gordon, Alabama, a town that was took particularly strong winds.
  • Cotton, timber, livestock and produce in Southeast Alabama were all impacted by the storm with direct losses estimated at more than $204 million.
  • Sen. Richard Shelby spoke to President Donald Trump about the plight of farmers in the Wiregrass during a meeting about Senate priorities in the lame duck session. The president agreed to help, Shelby said.
  • In a speech from the House floor, Roby said the government needs to get this recovery right.
  • “I want the people I represent to know that my offices stand ready to help during this challenging time… We must get this right, and we must ensure Alabama’s farmers are included in all recovery efforts.”
  • Alabama Daily News’ Will Whatley has the full story HERE.

 

A Message from the Stop The HIT Coalition

  • What is responsible for shredding billions of dollars more than Banksy?
  • That’s right, the 2020 Health Insurance Tax (HIT).
  • It will add more than $16 billion to the cost of insurance for middle-class families in 2020.
  • Absent immediate Senate action, the 2020 HIT will begin driving up the cost of care for hardworking Alabamians in 2020.
  • Senator Doug Jones can help address skyrocketing healthcare costs by co-sponsoring bipartisan legislation (S. 3063) to suspend the Health Insurance Tax in 2020.
  • Ask Senator Jones to stop the HIT on Alabama small businesses and hardworking families.

 

3. Progress: infant death rate at all time low.

  • Alabama’s infant death rate has fallen to an all-time low just a year after it was among the worst in the nation.
  • The Alabama Department of Public Health says new figures show the state’s infant mortality rate declined to 7.4 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2017.
  • That means 435 infants died before reaching their first birthday compared with 537 infant deaths in 2016. The death rate that year was 9.1 deaths per 1,000 births.
  • Officials say the improvement could be linked to fewer teen pregnancies and fewer women smoking while they are pregnant.
  • Full story including the APDH report itself HERE.

4. Phillips & Glenn arrested, but still no indictment from JeffCo.

  • Trey Glenn, the EPA’s Southeast Administrator was arrested Thursday. So was Scott Phillips, the former Alabama Environmental Management Commissioner.
  • You remember that the two were indicted on Tuesday by a Jefferson County grand jury. Phillips is accused of violating the state’s ethics laws, specifically provisions barring public officials from accepting gifts. Glenn is accused of knowing about or helping Phillips violate the law.
  • Glenn and Phillips previously had a firm together and were contracted by Balch/Drummond to test soil on the EPA’s original 35th Avenue Superfund site.
  • So, we have announced criminal charges, arrests and even mugshots. Yet, there have been no indictments released.
  • The Jefferson County Circuit Clerk’s office won’t release them. They’ve referred questions to the Alabama Ethics Commission, which was involved in the investigation.
  • This morning, Ethics Commission Executive Director Tom Albrittion told me he there’s no reason why Jefferson County shouldn’t be releasing the indictments by now. He said the indictments apparently haven’t yet been processed and put online by the Jefferson County Circuit Clerk’s Office.
  • Until the indictments are made public, we don’t know exactly what Glenn and Phillips are accused of beyond what the press releases say.
  • And, given Glenn’s position in the Trump Administration, the story is starting to get national attention. Just saying JeffCo might want to get on the ball.
  • Glenn released a statement denying any wrongdoing:
  • “The charges against me are totally unfounded, and will be vigorously defended,” he said. “I am innocent and expect to be fully vindicated.”
  • Full story HERE.

5. News Briefs.

Three hurt when train hits vehicle
  • Three people, including a child, were injured when their vehicle collided with a passenger train in southwest Birmingham.
  • The collision happened just before 4 p.m. Thursday at a railroad crossing. Fire officials said the injured were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
  • Read more HERE.
New President at Birmingham Southern
  • A trustee who teaches finance at Birmingham-Southern College has been named president of the small, liberal arts school.
  • Officials announced Thursday that Daniel Coleman will take over as president at the Methodist-affiliated school.
  • Coleman replaces Linda Flaherty-Goldsmith, who cited health reasons in stepping down from the post in October.
  • Coleman serves on the school’s board of trustees and teaches finance classes as an adjunct professor. A statement from the school says he was chief executive of the global financial service firm KCG Holdings until its sale last year.
  • The 54-year-old Coleman takes over as president on Dec. 3. The Birmingham native has degrees from schools including Yale University and the University of Chicago.
  • That’s it. That’s the story, but if you want a link, it’s HERE.
Florida recount won’t end
  • Florida’s acrimonious U.S. Senate contest is headed to a legally-required hand recount after an initial review by ballot-counting machines showed Republican Gov. Rick Scott and Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson separated by fewer than 13,000 votes.
  • The race for governor between Republican Ron DeSantis and Democrat Andrew Gillum appears to be over, with DeSantis with a large enough advantage over Gillum to avoid a hand recount in that race.
  • The recount has been a mess. One large Democratic stronghold in South Florida was unable to finish its machine recount by the Thursday deadline due to machines breaking down. Meanwhile, election officials in the Tampa Bay area decided against turning in the results of their machine recount, which came up with 846 fewer votes than originally counted. And Broward County finished its machine recount but missed the deadline by a few minutes.
  • Scott is calling on Nelson to end the recount battle, saying it’s time “to respect the will of the voters and graciously bring this process to an end rather than proceed with yet another count of the votes — which will yield the same result and bring more embarrassment to the state that we both love and have served.”
  • Six election-related lawsuits are pending in federal court.
  • The situation drew the ire of U.S. District Judge Mark Walker.
  • “We have been the laughingstock of the world, election after election, and we chose not to fix this,” Walker said at a hearing Thursday.
  • Read more HERE.

Bonus: Rick Dearborn takes role at Heritage.

New this morning from Politico Playbook: Rick Dearborn will be a distinguished fellow at the Heritage Foundation.
Rick was Jeff Sessions’ Chief of Staff and was Deputy White House Chief of Staff for the first 18 months of the Trump Administration.
Congrats, Rick, that’s pretty cool.
— FROM GABBY ORR:  “Former White House deputy chief of staff  Rick Dearborn  is joining the Heritage Foundation as a distinguished visiting fellow focused on federalism and the 10th Amendment. He will also advise Heritage on matters related to the Trump administration, serving as a liaison of sorts between the Executive Branch and the conservative think tank. Rick was instrumental in ensuring personnel recommendations were received by the appropriate teams during the presidential transition and filling dozens of vacancies with Heritage employees.”

Headlines.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Roby, Shelby press Feds for Alabama farmers
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama infant death rate hits all-time low
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – New president named at Birmingham-Southern College
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Florida: bitter US Senate race headed to a hand recount
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Child, 2 adults hurt when train collides with car in Alabama
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Official: Alabama prosecutor wounded, ex-trooper was suspect
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – EPA official arrested on felony ethics charges in Alabama
AL.COM – Doug Jones urges president to scrap process tied to auto tariff threat.
AL.COM – Lily Tomlin urges Birmingham Race Course not to send greyhounds to blood banks.
AL.COM – Airbus selects manager for new Mobile assembly line.
AL.COM – New Honda Passport to be built in Alabama.
AL.COM – EPA administrator, former environmental commissioner booked into jail.
AL.COM – California wildfires: Death toll hits 63; sheriff says 631 still missing
AL.COM – Man shot, killed by police in Lowndes County
AL.COM – Parkside Jr. High to appear on the Today Show Friday
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Trauma surgeon program pioneer John Mark Vermillion brings calm to chaos
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Ex-Alabama trooper killed after shooting prosecutor in the face
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Pardons and Paroles submits corrective plan
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Munici-pals: National mayors group hopes to combat bigotry with compassion
DOTHAN EAGLE – Two Houston County murder convictions upheld on appeal
DOTHAN EAGLE – Farm-City job swap sends Dothan Mayor Mark Saliba to the farm
DOTHAN EAGLE – New food delivery service Waitr will bring orders from participating restaurants to your door
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Alabama women’s basketball wins in overtime
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Stresscrete in Northport rejects union
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Stresscrete in Northport rejects union
DECATUR DAILY – A new Rebel home: West Morgan gets access to new $6.8 million gym
DECATUR DAILY – 45 years after founding jewelry store, Jimmy D. Smith plans to officially retire
DECATUR DAILY – Waddle gets 40-year sentence in 2015 fatal stabbing
TIMES DAILY – Saturday morning crash victim dies
TIMES DAILY – Bailey sworn in as Colbert County commissioner
TIMES DAILY – Caring Place reopens after 3 years
TIMES DAILY – Hundreds enjoy food, fellowship at 1 Table.
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Ambush in Demopolis: Alabama DA shot in the face by former state trooper
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Alabama infant death rate hits all-time low
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Community delivers ‘Christmas miracle’ for Alabama woman
ANDALUSIA STAR NEWS – ‘Once a Bobcat, always a Bobcat’
ANDALUSIA STAR NEWS – Dayspring opens local hospice office
ANDALUSIA STAR NEWS – Bulldog proud [Pep rally gallery]
TROY MESSENGER – Troy returns home to celebrate senior day
TROY MESSENGER – Back at it: Bulldogs take on Thomasville
TROY MESSENGER – Poor shooting leads to Troy’s third straight loss
THE ANNISTON STAR – Dozens in Calhoun County get criminal records cleared using 2014 Alabama law
THE ANNISTON STAR – Cleburne County Hospital Board checks out new ambulance
THE ANNISTON STAR – School board holds off on contract renewal with youth services agency
ANNISTON STAR – Dozens in Calhoun County get criminal records cleared using 2014 Alabama law
GADSDEN TIMES – Volunteers, donations needed for CommUnity Thanksgiving
GADSDEN TIMES – Gadsden man seriously injured in crash
GADSDEN TIMES – Rainbow City police arrest Gadsden man with stolen SUV
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Auburn High School students building a tiny house
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Chambers Academy’s record-setting defense key in return to title game
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – County Commission questions placing polling location on AU campus
CULLMAN TIMES – Jay and Melissa Betts named 2019 City Family
CULLMAN TIMES – Affordability, Accessibility top wish list for local housing
CULLMAN TIMES – Cullman Haunted History Ghost Tour set for Saturday
SHELBY COUNTY REPORTER – County to offer software company up to $150k in incentives
SHELBY COUNTY REPORTER – Chelsea Community Center converting to membership format
SHELBY COUNTY REPORTER – Contractor cited for deadly roadside explosion
THE MADISON RECORD – Courtney Farrar serving in Air Force
THE MADISON RECORD – Madison Blaze 03G soccer team scores big at championship in Foley
THE MADISON RECORD – Madison Academy’s Rachel Baker Signs Scholarship At Madison Hospital
DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – T.R. Simmons celebrates Thanksgiving
DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – Mission of Hope Thanksgiving distribution held
DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – Oakman band celebrates successful season
NEW YORK TIMES – Maine’s Bruce Poliquin, Lone Republican in House From New England, Loses Re-election
NEW YORK TIMES – As Pelosi Pushes to Become Speaker, Gender Debate Becomes Charged
NEW YORK TIMES – President Trump’s wild Daily Caller interview
WASHINGTON POST – WikiLeaks founder hit with U.S. charges, court filing inadvertently reveals
WASHINGTON POST – Fla. GOP’s DeSantis nears gubernatorial win as Senate race goes to manual count
WASHINGTON POST – Calif. rescue teams scour for remains with more than 600 missing in fire
USA TODAY – US court filing hints at charges for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange
USA TODAY – California fire crews notch progress as weather cools and calms; Camp Fire death toll up to 63
USA TODAY – Violence breaks out as first wave of migrant caravan arrives in Tijuana, Mexico
POLITICO – Porter ousts Walters in southern California as Dems flip another seat
POLITICO – Dems net 36th House pickup in Maine amid GOP court challenge
POLITICO – Sen. Paul says he spoke to Trump about securing asylum for Pakistani Christian woman

Front Pages (images link to newspaper websites, which you should visit and patronize).