Presented by AlabamaWorks!
Good morning and Happy Friday!
Here’s your Daily News for Friday, September 27.
1. Whistleblower complaint adds fuel to impeachment fire.
- The whistleblower complaint at the center of a new impeachment push from Congressional Democrats became public Thursday.
- The document, written by a former CIA and White House official, alleges a concerted effort to suppress the transcript of President Donald Trump’s summertime phone call with the president of Ukraine, and describes a shadow campaign of foreign policy efforts by Rudy Giuliani that unnerved some senior administration officials who felt he was circumventing normal channels.
- The official was not present for the phone call, but said multiple officials shared consistent details.
- “In the days following the phone call, I learned from multiple U.S. officials that senior White House officials had intervened to ‘lock down’ all the records of the phone call, especially the official word-for-word transcript of the call that was produced as is customary by the White House situation room,” the complaint says.
- Read more on that, including the whistleblower complain itself, HERE.
Why it Matters
- The now-public complaint gives Congressional Democrats a “road map” for investigating allegations that they can ultimately use to draft articles of impeachment.
- Those were the words used by Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff.
- By naming names and describing specific events, the author of the complaint has offered Judiciary Committee Democrats a witness list and line of questioning.
- Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire struggled to answer questions from Intelligence Committee members Thursday about why the complaint wasn’t forwarded to Congress, saying “I believe that everything in this matter here is totally unprecedented,” he said.
- But he also lent credence to the memo saying he believed the author acted honorably.
- Expect a bunch of interview requests and, eventually, subpoenas from Congress to every White House, State and military official even remotely connected to the Ukraine ordeal.
- Lawmakers have already expressed interest in interviewing the author of the complaint as soon as possible.
- Congress is about to take a two week recess, so expect Democrats to use that time to build the case for impeachment back home in their districts. Remember: if not handled correctly or not accepted by the American people, this impeachment push could blow up in the Democrats’ faces, working to both help reelect the president and help Republicans pick up seats in the House.
- Also expect Republicans to poke holes in the Democrats’ arguments, calling the latest inquiry just the latest in long political fishing expedition to get dirt on Trump.
- Finally, expect the White House to have a coordinated, ferocious defense of the president, much like we saw during the inflection points of the Mueller investigation. Read more on that HERE.
2. Alabama delegation reaction.
- Members of Alabama’s Congressional Delegation were predictably split on the prospect of impeachment.
- Democratic Sen. Doug Jones spoke on the Senate floor Thursday saying he wouldn’t “rush to judgment” on Trump and urging people to “get all the facts.” See that floor speech and read the full story from Kim Chandler HERE.
- Democratic Rep. Terri Sewell, who sits on the Intelligence Committee and questioned the DNI on Thursday, generally supports the impeachment inquiry process and called the whistleblower complaint “the final straw in a series of troubling and disconcerting actions by President Trump and his administration.”
- Republicans in the House Delegation remained steadfast with the president. Some, like Rep. Bradley Byrne and Rep. Mo Brooks have been aggressive on social media in attacking the motives of the impeachment push. Brooks even tweeted a picture of horse dung to show his displeasure.
- Rep. Martha Roby is the only member of the Judiciary Committee, which will ultimately handle the impeachment inquiry. She called the push a “pretend impeachment inquiry” and said she’d vote against it.
- Sen. Richard Shelby has offered no comment on the matter as he has been a little busy getting appropriations bills to the floor.
- Read more on the delegation’s reactions to impeachment from Brian Lyman HERE.
A message from AlabamaWorks!
Alabama’s unemployment rate is at a record low. This is great for our economy, but it can present problems for those who are under-skilled for open jobs and also dilemmas for employers seeking to fill those positions.
To meet this challenge, Gov. Kay Ivey established Success Plus, a plan to add 500,000+ highly-skilled, credentialed individuals to Alabama’s workforce by 2025.
To learn more, visit AlabamaWorks.com/SuccessPlus.
3. Disparities in infant mortality.
- Black infants in Alabama die at a rate nearly twice that of white babies.
- Ending that disparity was the first topic of discussion Thursday at the two-day Infant Mortality Reduction Summit.
- “The goal is to lay the foundation so we’ll know where we need to go and how we need to look at things differently as we move forward,” said Janice Smiley, director of the Perinatal Health Division of the Alabama Department of Public Health.
- In 2017, the black infant mortality rate was 11.3 deaths per 1,000 live births, compared to 5.6 for white infants.
- Organizers from the North Carolina-based Racial Equity Institute shared a detailed presentation with Alabama nurses, social workers and health professionals about why such a large gap can be seen between white and black infants.
- The ADPH says factors in Alabama that contribute to infant mortality include low birthweight, preterm births before 37 weeks gestation and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
- “These statistics can’t lie, so now it’s about what we do with it,” Smiley said.
- Read more from Caroline Beck HERE.
4. Drought deepens.
- Weeks of dry, hot weather have plunged the Deep South further into a drought that’s affecting more than 11 million people and threatening crops across the region, a new assessment showed Thursday.
- Conditions are particularly bad in Alabama and Georgia, where nearly the entire state is too dry. Areas around the suburbs of Birmingham and Atlanta are particularly hard hit. The National Weather Service on Thursday reported record temperatures for several Alabama cities: Montgomery at 100º; Troy at 98º, Tuscaloosa at 97º and Birmingham and Anniston each at 96º.
- Some areas have gone weeks without substantial rain. Farmers say the dry weather is hurting their crops, and Alabama has declared a statewide fire alert because of extremely dry weather.
- The dry, hot weather is particularly difficult for cattle ranchers as it impacts their hay stocks and pastures.
- Full story from Jay Reeves HERE.
5. Hollis arrested in Florida on battery charge.
- An Alabama legislator has been arrested on a domestic battery charge in Florida.
- Jail records show that Rep. Rolanda Hollis of Pinson was arrested Sunday on a misdemeanor domestic battery charge in Destin, Florida. The 52-year-old Democratic legislator was released on bond.
- An arrest report from the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office says a witness saw Hollis push her husband. The arrest report indicated that Hollis denied any involvement in the physical altercation.
- The incident occurred at about 11 p.m. at the Inn on Destin Harbor.
- A telephone message left at Hollis’ office was not immediately returned.
- Story link.
5. News Briefs.
Parole hearings to resume on Nov. 5
- MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Parole hearings will resume in November after being halted for two months.
- Charlie Graddick, director of the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles, announced Thursday that the hearings will resume Nov. 5.
- More than 600 hearings had been postponed when Graddick cancelled hearings that were scheduled for September and October. Graddick said the delay was required because the agency had not brought notification policies into compliance with a new state law.
- Graddick said 627 hearings were delayed.
- The agency said 117 hearings have so far been set for November.
US economy grew at modest 2% rate in second quarter
- WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy grew at a modest 2% annual rate in the second quarter, a pace sharply lower than the 3%-plus growth rates seen over the past year. Many analysts believe growth will slow further in coming quarters as global weakness and rising trade tensions exert a toll.
- The April-June increase in the gross domestic product, the economy’s total output of goods and services, slipped from a brisk 3.1% gain in the first quarter, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.
- The government’s third and final look at second-quarter GDP growth was the same as the previous estimate, although the components were slightly altered. Consumer spending and business investment rose at slower rates than previously estimated, but this was offset by slightly stronger gains in government spending and exports.
- In the current quarter, analysts believe GDP is likely growing at the same modest 2% rate, and they are forecasting a similar outcome in the final quarter.
- For the year, GDP is expected to rise around 2.2%, down from the strong 2.9% gain seen last year, which had been the best performance since 2015.
- President Donald Trump, who is counting on a strong economy to boost his re-election bid, has called the economy’s performance the best ever.
Naked man discovered on airport tarmac, says he was robbed
- BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Police in Alabama have taken a naked man discovered on an airport tarmac into custody.
- Photos and videos shared with news outlets show the unclothed man sitting on the ground Thursday morning at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport.
- Birmingham police Sgt. Johnny Williams says the man told authorities he’d been robbed in the area. He then walked onto airport property.
- Passenger Stephen Reeves told AL.com a worker at the airport got a blanket to cover the man.
- Police didn’t release the man’s name but say he had an outstanding felony probation violation warrant in Shelby County. It’s unclear whether he was arrested or charged.
Police: Alabama woman, son charged in killing over lost dog
- SELMA, Ala. (AP) — Authorities say an Alabama woman and her son are charged with murder in a killing that a witness said occurred over a lost dog.
- News outlets report a judge in Selma set bond at $1 million each Thursday for 56-year-old Shana Yvette Muldrow and 24-year-old Shakeem Mufasa Butler.
- The two were arrested Wednesday in what court documents describe as the fatal beating of 58-year-old Joseph Minniefield on Sept. 20.
- Court documents indicate a witness saw Butler repeatedly hit Minniefield in the face. The person told police a dispute occurred because Minniefield had lost Muldrow’s dog.
- A police statement says the woman took Minniefield to a hospital but told officers she didn’t know who he was.
- An attorney for Muldrow and Minniefield didn’t immediately return an email seeking comment.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Whistleblower accuses White House of Ukraine call cover-uP
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Jones says he won’t rush to judgment on Trump
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Summit looks at disparities in black, white infant deaths
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Hollis arrested in Florida on domestic battery charge
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS- Southern drought deepens; 11 million affected
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Drought conditions prompt fire alert, impact some cattle farmers
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – September 26, 2019
INSIDE ALABAMA POLITICS – September 25, 2019
AL.COM – Senator Doug Jones: ‘Smoking gun’ unlikely in impeachment inquiry
AL.COM – Fishing disaster declared in Alabama, 6 other states
AL.COM – Auburn University honors 125 years of women on campus with bronze statue
AL.COM – Regions exec among 25 most powerful women in banking
AL.COM – Judicial Inquiry Commission says Walker County judge violated ethics rules
AL.COM – Six Alabama schools get National Blue Ribbon honors
AL.COM – Drought conditions continue to expand across Alabama with little rain in sight
AL.COM – Board says parole hearings will resume Nov. 5, more than 100 scheduled
AL.COM – Rep. Mo Brooks on Whistleblower: What a pile of …
Montgomery Advertiser – Worley set Alabama Democratic Party meeting week after DNC deadline.
Montgomery Advertiser – Montgomery man convicted in 2014 convenience store homicide gets 99 years in prison
Montgomery Advertiser – Prattville council passes budget, nixes tax increase
Montgomery Advertiser – This no-frills supermarket supplies the bulk of Montgomery’s international food
YellowHammer News – Huntsville native confirmed as new U.S. Joint Chiefs vice chair
YellowHammer News – Jones on Trump impeachment effort: ‘The transcript is very troubling’; ‘Not about an election’
YellowHammer News – Palmer on Trump impeachment inquiry: ‘I will vote no, consistent with the Constitution’
Dothan Eagle – Kinsey man accused of stealing, selling brass from employer
Dothan Eagle – A pregnant woman tested positive for amphetamines. Turns out her home was a former meth lab.
Dothan Eagle – Jury convicts Taylor man on 92 counts of possession of child porn
Tuscaloosa News – Alabama man, 11-year-old charged in Tennessee school threat
Tuscaloosa News – Lurleen Wallace intersections opening Friday, next month
Tuscaloosa News – Alabama legislator arrested on domestic battery charge
Decatur Daily – Before operations idled, EPA report said 3M discharging high levels of pollutants
Decatur Daily – Officials: Sidewalks wouldn’t have prevented Monday accident
Decatur Daily – Limestone investigator fired 8 months after filing lawsuit
Times Daily – Littleville mayor happy with lower sewer project bid
Times Daily – ‘Pack a Purse’ evolves into ‘Prepare a Bag’
Times Daily – Road, bridge over Wilson Dam closing Oct. 8
Gadsden Times – Two Etowah County students named Merit Scholar semifinalists
Gadsden Times – Choate appointed as chairman of Etowah County Board of Registrars
Gadsden Times – Gadsden school system receives $500,000 in grant money
Anniston Star – Anniston High lead finding worries school board members
Anniston Star – Minister appeals guilty verdict in daughter’s abduction
Anniston Star – Judge reduces bond of man charged with girlfriend’s death
Troy Messenger – Council passes record budget
Troy Messenger – Changes made to absentee voting for general election
Troy Messenger – Pike County Fair opens Oct. 1
Andalusia Star News – Thigpen is proud to be apart of largest ethnic minority in the United States
Andalusia Star News – Fate of Soggy Bottom is still undetermined
Andalusia Star News – AFC upgrades fire danger advisory to fire alert
Opelika-Auburn News – Dothan couple accused of using stun gun on child, leaving him in hot car
Opelika-Auburn News – Todd Shackett reflects on first year as Southern Union President
Opelika-Auburn News – Police reports from Sept. 26
Daily Mountain Eagle – Incomplete Carbon Hill audits may go back to ’13
Daily Mountain Eagle – Commission OK’s improving budget
Daily Mountain Eagle – Marshall tours Mulberry Fork spill area
Trussville Tribune – Legislator arrested on domestic battery charge
Trussville Tribune – Sen. Doug Jones says he won’t rush to judgment on Trump
Trussville Tribune – Trussville PD partners with Academy Sports + Outdoors for shopping spree for 19 kids
Athens News Courier – Whistleblower gives Democrats a ‘roadmap’ for Trump probe
Athens News Courier – Athens One Stop Shop hosts business ownership seminar
Athens News Courier – Abbas slams US for ‘depriving peace process of credibility’
Sand Mountain Reporter – Susan Linn Wine Tasting Benefit set for Friday
Sand Mountain Reporter – Geraldine woman to host lemonade stand for epilepsy awareness
Sand Mountain Reporter – Albertville Career Center hosts countywide job fair | Local chambers of commerce collaborated to organize event
WSFA Montgomery – Montgomery mayoral candidates David Woods, Steven Reed debate
WSFA Montgomery – VIDEOS: What Reed, Woods said in Montgomery Mayoral Debate
WSFA Montgomery – Police respond to naked man discovered under jet at Birmingham airport
Fox 6 Birmingham – Mayor Frank Brocato and Hoover City Council approve city budget
Fox 6 Birmingham – Elizabeth Smart speaks about self-worth at On River Time benefit
Fox 6 Birmingham – Irondale Police Department mourns loss of officer
WAFF Huntsville – Huntsville City Council kills pay raise measure, passes budget
WAFF Huntsville – Dozens pack the steps of Huntsville City Hall for climate change rally
WAFF Huntsville – Girl Scout creates trading cards for Madison police officers
WKRG Mobile – Karen expected to weaken while Lorenzo remains a major hurricane
WKRG Mobile – Mobile Police respond to early morning shooting at a gas station
WKRG Mobile – Man injured in Escambia County shooting
WTVY Dothan – Houston County Schools tables vote on cyber security program
WTVY Dothan – Players forced from Dothan ball field after shots fired toward them
WTVY Dothan – Ashford clinic modular pieces delivered
WASHINGTON POST – Whistleblower painstakingly gathered material and almost single-handedly set impeachment in motion
WASHINGTON POST – The process of impeachment is now inevitable
WASHINGTON POST – Biden advisers weigh new Wall Street tax as Warren, Sanders pitch aggressive levies on wealthy
WASHINGTON POST – Trump administration slashes refugee limit for the third consecutive year to a historic low of 18,000
NEW YORK TIMES – ‘Show Us You Are Not Racist’: Students Demand Answers After University of Alabama Dean’s Resignation
NEW YORK TIMES – Trump Attacks Whistle-Blower’s Sources and Alludes to Punishment for Spies
NEW YORK TIMES – Immigrant Population Growth in the U.S. Slows to a Trickle
NEW YORK TIMES – Employer Health Insurance Is Increasingly Unaffordable, Study Finds
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