Daily News Digest – September 3, 2019

Daily News Digest – September 3, 2019
Good morning!
Here’s your Daily News for Tuesday, September 3.

1. Shock slayings in Limestone County.

  • A Limestone county 14-year-old has confessed to killing five of his family members in a shocking scene Monday night.
  • According to the Limestone County Sheriff’s office, the boy called 911 saying he heard gunshots in the house.
  • Later, the boy confessed to shooting his father, step mother and siblings.
  • Three of the victims were found dead at the scene and the two others succumbed to their injuries later at the hospital.
  • There aren’t a whole lot of details available yet, but read more and link to the live WAFF coverage HERE.

 

2. EPA looking at water concerns in Fruithurst.

  • For three years now, residents of the tiny Cleburne County town of Fruithurst, Alabama, have been raising concerns about possible contamination of local well water and its impact on the number of cancer diagnoses.
  • Now, the Environmental Protection Agency will take soil samples to see whether local fears about contaminated drinking are founded.
  • Fruithurst Elementary principal Christy Hiett says there have been 12 cases of leukemia and lymphoma in recent years, and two deaths in the last six months.
  • An Auburn University community survey 38 cases of lymphoma and leukemia since 1987 in Fruithurst and Muscadine. Well water was the common denominator in all the cases, Hiett said.
  • A possible source for the contaminated well water is a rubber manufacturing plant that closed in 2015.
  • Trace amounts of metals were found in the water and soil, along with one semi-volatile organic compound in the soil, bis(2-ethylhexylphthlate), but none “exceeded established parameters” according to an initial investigation by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management. ADEM has no authority over private well water, but the EPA does.
  • Locals have recently found powerful advocates in U.S. Congressman Mike Rogers and U.S. Senator Richard Shelby, who have pushed the EPA to take action.
  • “It is welcomed news the EPA plans to test water samples in Fruithurst,” Rogers told ADN. “The situation facing Fruithurst citizens’ access to clean water must be an utmost priority for both federal and state officials. It cannot be ignored or dismissed.”
  • Read the full story from ADN’s Mary Sell HERE.

 

3. Dorian weakens, spins in place.

  • Dorian has weakened to a Category 3 hurricane but continues to batter the Bahamas as it remains almost at a standstill.
  • The National Hurricane center said Dorian is expected to move “dangerously close” to the Florida east coast late Tuesday through Wednesday evening and then move north to coastal Georgia and South Carolina on Wednesday night and Thursday.
  • Weaker is better for potential wind damage, but the storm could become a huge flooding risk for Florida’s east coast.
  • More than 1,300 flights have been cancelled because of the storm and Walt Disney World is closed.
  • None of Dorian’s tropical bands are expected to drop rain on Alabama. That’s according to James Spann, who says our state should have a bone dry couple of weeks ahead.
  • His forecast and the latest on Dorian HERE.

 

4. Catching up.

If you checked out over the Labor Day weekend and didn’t bother to read much news, well, first of all, congratulations. I’d like to know your secret.
But you probably need to catch up on all that happened, and we have just the ticket…
  • In yesterday’s Daily News, there were stories about the hurricane, wireless companies and Alabama cities arguing over 5G “small cell” fees, and Matthew Stokes’ final column for ADN. Read that HERE.
  • In Caroline Beck’s Weekend Digest, there was an interesting story about lawmakers in other parts of the state lining up for possible funds leftover from the “dead” Mobile Bayway project, plus shootings in Mobile and Texas, and her weekly “good news” segment. Read that HERE.
  • And if you REALLY checked out early this holiday weekend and weren’t around for Friday, you may have missed the latest edition of Inside Alabama Politics. (Actually, even if you were reading, I screwed up the link that day, so my bad.) There is analysis of the Montgomery mayor’s race, the Mobile Bayway situation, an AL-2 candidate update, a scoop about an Alabama Tax Tribunal throwing out a $75 million assessment on Greentrack, and more. Read the latest IAP HERE (paid subscription).

 

5. AP News Briefs

New tariffs mean prices will rise for U.S. consumers
  • The United States and China on Sunday put in place their latest tariff increases on each other’s goods, potentially raising prices Americans pay for some clothes, shoes, sporting goods and other consumer items before the holiday shopping season.
  • President Donald Trump said U.S.-China trade talks were still on for September. “We’ll see what happens,” he told reporters as he returned to the White House from the Camp David presidential retreat. “But we can’t allow China to rip us off anymore as a country.”
  • But with prices of many retail goods now likely to rise, the Trump administration’s move threatens the U.S. economy’s main driver: consumer spending. As businesses pull back on investment spending and exports slow in the face of weak global growth, American shoppers have been a key bright spot for the economy.
  • After Sunday’s move, 87% of textiles and clothing the United States buys from China and 52% of shoes will be subject to import taxes.
  • On Dec. 15, the Trump administration is scheduled to impose a second round of 15% tariffs — this time on roughly $160 billion of imports. If those duties take effect, virtually all goods imported from China will be covered.
  • Washington and Beijing are locked in a war over U.S. complaints that China steals U.S. trade secrets and unfairly subsidizes its own companies in its drive to develop global competitors in such high-tech industries as artificial intelligence and electric cars.
  • Read more HERE.
Dad dies before trial on death of baby found in freezer
  • Authorities in Alabama say a man awaiting trial for the death of his 6-month-old son has been found dead in his jail cell.
  • Houston County Sheriff Donald Valenza tells reporters that Carlton James Mathis was found dead Friday. He says the state law enforcement agency is investigating.
  • Authorities say Curtis James Oakes died in Mathis’ care last summer and was found days later stuffed into a Dothan motel room freezer. Court testimony showed he died after ingesting methamphetamine.
  • Mathis’ death comes days after the baby’s mother, 36-year-old Amanda Gail Oakes, pleaded guilty to charges including manslaughter and corpse abuse. Her plea was part of a deal in which she agreed to testify against Mathis at his November trial on similar charges. She was sentenced to 99 years in prison.
Alabama players enjoyed watching Jalen Hurts’ Oklahoma debut
  • Some Alabama players kept an eye on former teammate Jalen Hurts’ debut as Oklahoma’s quarterback.
  • They came away pleased, but not really surprised.
  • Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban, meanwhile, said he didn’t get to watch the fourth-ranked Sooners’ 49-31 romp over Houston Sunday night.
  • “I didn’t see the game last night. We work on Sunday nights,” Saban said Monday. “But I hear he played extremely well and did an outstanding job, and that doesn’t surprise me in the least bit. And we’re really happy for him, not only in the way he handled himself throughout this entire process, but now that he’s having success as well.”
  • Hurts was a two-year starter for the Tide, who lost his job to 2018 Heisman Trophy runner-up Tua Tagovailoa.
  • Full story HERE.

 

Headlines.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS- After cancer, water concerns, EPA to sample in Cleburne County
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Sheriff: 14-year-old killed his family, later confesses
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – The Latest: Dorian weakens to Category 3 hurricane
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama players enjoyed watching Jalen Hurts’ Oklahoma debut
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – In escalating trade war, US consumers may see higher prices
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Wireless providers, cities still struggle to find 5G agreement
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – After Mobile bridge stalls, lawmakers could ‘line up’ for funds
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Matthew Stokes: Political Realities and the Mobile Bayway
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – September 2, 2019
Inisde Alabama Politics – AUGUST 30, 2019
AL.COM  – Alabama researcher: Don’t name mass shooters
AL.COM  – Trump: ‘Bad people’ distorted Alabama Hurricane Dorian comments
AL.COM  – Alabama-born ‘Pluto killer’ back in battle over planet’s ‘demotion’
AL.COM  – Columnist Dana McCain: Dems determined to lose in 2020
AL.COM  – How the I-10 project was killed
AL.COM  – More than 100 people per week moving into Huntsville and Baldwin County metros
Montgomery Advertiser – Old Crow Medicine Show ready to let loose Thursday in Montgomery
Montgomery Advertiser – Bozz Scaggs comes ‘Out of the Blues,’ and into the Montgomery Performing Arts Centre
Montgomery Advertiser – Carrie Preston feeling the ‘BUZZ’ of directing world premiere play at Alabama Shakespeare Festival
YellowHammer News – Shelby County officials applaud funding, plan to finally widen critical Hoover-Pelham-Helena corridor Alabama Highway 261
YellowHammer News – State Sen. Albritton on ALDOT’s proposed Mobile Bay Bridge $2.1 billion price tag: ‘We can do better than this, I believe’
YellowHammer News – Montgomery plans for the future at Smart Cities Readiness Workshop
Dothan Eagle – Update: Missing Dothan man has been located, officials say
Dothan Eagle – Government Oversight: City of Dothan launching redesigned website Tuesday
Dothan Eagle – UPDATE: Geneva girl dead from gunshot wound identified
Tuscaloosa News – Tuscaloosa-area churches host series of community programs
Tuscaloosa News – Cutting it close: Florida’s fate may be a matter of miles
Tuscaloosa News – Truck plunges off bridge, landing on busy Georgia freeway
Decatur Daily – Wireless providers, cities still struggle to find 5G agreement
Decatur Daily – Lawrence man dies in shooting near Town Creek
Decatur Daily – Alabama’s equal pay law goes into effect today
Times Daily – 79th Fighter Bomber Squadron reunion group coming to the Shoals
Times Daily – Colbert County employees recognized for completing education programs
Times Daily – Sheriff wants changes in deputy, jailer pay grades
Gadsden Times – Hurricane Dorian pummels the Bahamas
Gadsden Times – New Mercedes facilities taking shape in Bibb County
Gadsden Times – More than 100 people per week moving into Huntsville and Baldwin County metros
Anniston Star – Sunday alcohol sales start today in Oxford
Anniston Star – Gas tax may yield but little for small towns
Anniston Star – Next year’s Oxford elections tied to economic progress, quality of life
Troy Messenger – Doug Jones to host town hall today at Troy University
Troy Messenger – Dorian expected to turn north, bring no impact to Alabama
Troy Messenger – Riverkeeper: E. Coli found in rivers ‘not a cause for concern’
Opelika-Auburn News – Fatal crash near Lake Martin kills 1, injures 3
Opelika-Auburn News – Storm becomes a ‘historic monster;’ will Category 5 hurricane affect Alabama?
Opelika-Auburn News – 7 shot in Valley after argument over high school football game; ages range from 15-24
Daily Mountain Eagle – WCF announces new, returning scholars
Daily Mountain Eagle – School spirit across county
Trussville Tribune – 1 person with minor injuries after fire in Grayson Valley
Trussville Tribune – Bond reduced for woman facing drug charges
Trussville Tribune – Hurricane Dorian triggers massive flooding across Bahamas
Athens News Courier – LCBOE personnel actions for August, Part 1
Athens News Courier – Officials: Some dead, others missing in California boat fire
Athens News Courier – Saudi-led airstrikes on Yemen rebel-run prison kill over 100
WSFA Montgomery – Report: Pilot killed in crop duster crash was Lawrence County airport director
WSFA Montgomery – WSFA 12 News meteorologist’s family in Montgomery after mandatory evacuation
WSFA Montgomery – Woman dead after crash near Tallassee
Fox 6 Birmingham – FIRST ALERT: Dorian weakens slightly with little movement
Fox 6 Birmingham – Dorian evacuees could make their way to the Birmingham area
Fox 6 Birmingham – There are exceptions to Alabama’s new “left lane driving law”
WAFF Huntsville – 5 people shot, 3 killed in Limestone County
WAFF Huntsville – Huntsville housing increasingly a seller’s market
WAFF Huntsville – EXCLUSIVE: Decatur girl with rare disease says moving to Alabama saved her life
WKRG Mobile – Dorian still stationary over the northern Bahamas as a major hurricane; High heat and dry skies at home
WKRG Mobile – Ladd mass shooting suspect bond set at $60K for each 9 attempted murder charges
WKRG Mobile – Missing Florida teen with mental health issues
WTVY Dothan – New law cracks down on littering
WTVY Dothan – LifeSouth Needs Your Help
WTVY Dothan – Dothan hotels less booked than expected ahead of Hurricane Dorian
WASHINGTON POST  – The Washington Post: We’re finally getting some accountability for the opioid crisis — long after victims are dead
WASHINGTON POST  – Pence critical of Russia — days after Trump advocates inclusion at next G-7 summit
NEW YORK TIMES  – Hurricane Dorian Batters Bahamas, Killing at Least 5: ‘a Historic Tragedy’
NEW YORK TIMES  – North Korea Missile Tests, ‘Very Standard’ to Trump, Show Signs of Advancing Arsenal
NEW YORK TIMES  – 2020 Democrats Demand Gun Control, but Differ on Tactics