Here’s your Weekend Digest for Sunday, January 12.
1. Three in Alabama killed by southern storm
- Severe storms sweeping across the South were blamed Saturday in the deaths of at least 11 people, including two first responders, as high winds, tornadoes and unrelenting rain battered large swaths of the country.
- In Alabama, three people were confirmed killed near Carrollton in Pickens County. The Alabama Emergency Management Agency said the deaths were caused by an “embedded tornado within a long line of intense thunderstorms.”
- Gov. Kay Ivey released a statement Sunday morning giving her condolences to those families who lost loved ones.
- “My thoughts and prayers are with the victims of Saturday’s severe weather,” Ivey said. “Alabama has lost three of her citizens as a result of the serious round of storms to move through Pickens County yesterday. This morning, I have reached out to both the county leadership as well as the legislative delegation to offer my deepest condolences in this terrible loss of life.”
- Alabama Power Company reported that it had restored electricity to about 178,000 customers since the storms came through, while crews are working to restore power to about 24,000 statewide.
- Read more about the deadly storms HERE.
2. Pelosi buckles, will send impeachment articles to Senate
- Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House will take steps next week to transmit the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, ending a three-week standoff.
- The move will finally confront the Senate with only the third trial in U.S. history to remove a chief executive.
- Since the House vote on Dec. 18 to impeach the president, the showdown between Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the two power centers in Congress, has consumed Capitol Hill and scrambled the political dynamics.
- The speaker declined to send the articles to the Senate until she knew there would be a fair trial with witness testimony. She also asked McConnell for details on the trial structure she could decide who to appoint as impeachment managers. McConnell rebuffed all her demands.
- On Friday, Pelosi ended the stalemate by saying she had asked House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler to be prepared to bring to the floor next week a resolution to appoint managers and transmit the articles of impeachment to the Senate. She did not announce a date for the House vote.
- McConnell indicated Friday the trial would start soon. “We’ll get about it as soon as we can,” he said.
- In a letter to her Democratic colleagues, Pelosi said Friday she was proud of their ”courage and patriotism” and warned that senators now have a choice as they consider the charges of abuse and obstruction against the president.
- “In an impeachment trial, every Senator takes an oath to do ‘impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws,”’ Pelosi wrote. “Every Senator now faces a choice: to be loyal to the President or the Constitution.”
- Read more about it HERE.
3. 145,000 jobs added in December
- U.S. employers added 145,000 jobs in December and the unemployment rate held steady at 3.5%, signaling that the job market remains strong nationally at the start of 2020 even if hiring and wage gains have slowed somewhat more than a decade into an economic expansion.
- Friday’s snapshot from the Labor Department showed hiring slipped from robust gains of 256,000 in November, which were given a boost by the end of a strike at General Motors.
- For the year, employers added an average of roughly 175,000 jobs per month, compared with about 223,250 per month in 2018.
- Annual wage growth fell in December to 2.9%, down from an annualized average of 3.3% a year earlier, a possible sign that some slack remains in the labor market and that unemployment could fall even further from its current half-century low.
- The state of the job market has become a pivotal division between President Donald Trump and his Democratic challengers. Trump can campaign on the low unemployment rate and job growth as he seeks a second term. Democrats, seeking to oust him, will point to wages that have not taken off in a meaningful for many Americans coping with high costs for medical care and higher education.
- You can read more about the job growth HERE.
4. Birmingham jail to preserve MLK cell
- Jefferson County is preserving what’s left of the lockup where officials say Martin Luther King Jr. served his final time behind bars just months before his assassination.
- Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution Thursday to memorialize and preserve an area on the seventh floor of the county courthouse that used to be a jail. Much of the floor is now used for storage and mechanical equipment.
- Sheriff Mark Pettway said the civil rights leader was held on the floor in 1967, when he served three days for contempt after losing an appeal on his conviction for demonstrating without a permit years earlier. A timeline produced with the help of the King estate cites the stint as King’s last time in jail.
- “We believe that the public should have the right, for educational purposes, to know about King’s last movements before he was assassinated. That’s very important to us,” said commission member Lashunda Roberts-Scales. The county plans to convert the area into a tourist attraction that could open soon, she said.
- You can read more about it HERE.
5. New map shows where bucks are seeking does
- Alabama has a new map that gives hunters a better chance at bagging a buck.
- The state rut map shows when bucks are most likely to be cruising for does in different parts of the state.
- “One of the times they’re most vulnerable to making mistakes or being foolish is the rutting season,” said Chris Cook, deer program coordinator for the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries.
- The bucks have scented that one or more does are ready to mate and are covering more ground than usual to get to them. That gives hunters a better chance at finding them.
- Alabama’s map is more mixed up than those for some other Southern states — Barbour County, on the Georgia state line, has three distinct rutting dates within 20 miles of each other, Cook noted.
- Read more and see the updated maps HERE.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Three killed in Alabama by southern storm
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Jefferson County to preserve jail remnant where MLK was held
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Pelosi to send impeachment to Senate for historic trial
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Bucks seeking does: New Alabama map shows when and where
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – US employment remains strong, 145,000 jobs added in December
AL.COM – At least 3 dead in Pickens County as powerful storms hit Alabama
AL.COM – North Alabama school hit with major storm damage
AL.COM – Trump targets another environmental regulation; it could hurt Alabama, say experts.
AL.COM – Montgomery-based insurance firm expands into Tennessee
AL.COM – Columnist Amanda Walker: It is lottery season once again in Alabama
AL.COM – Columnist Frances Coleman: Being one of the royals isn’t what it used to be
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Marsh: No ethics reform in 2020; Warns GOP U.S. Senate candidates’ age threatens quest for seniority
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Sessions: ‘We can have a working Republican conservative majority in America for a decade’
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Doug Jones: ‘I’m not trying to please Chuck Schumer’
TIMES DAILY – New tobacco purchasing age doesn’t fix problem of underage users
TIMES DAILY – Alabama research leads to new treatment for painful illness
TIMES DAILY – The Times Daily: Electorate will make final choice on Amendment 1
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – LEND A HAND: Central High students unite to help homeless
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Over 19,000 without power as deadly storms move through central Alabama
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Contributor Vanzetta McPherson: No home rule, little progress.
DOTHAN EAGLE – A waste of time
WASHINGTON POST – Puerto Rico earthquake aftershocks again rattle coastline as residents deal with disaster after disaster.
WASHINGTON POST – Showdown over Trump impeachment trial underscores power of Pelosi and McConnell
NEW YORK TIMES – Seven Days in January: How Trump Pushed U.S. and Iran to the Brink of War
NEW YORK TIMES – ‘Too Much’: Dread Fills Puerto Ricans as New Earthquake Stuns Island.
NEW YORK TIMES – Trump Administration Says Obamacare Lawsuit Can Wait Until After the Election
NEW YORK TIMES – Economy in a Nutshell: Manufacturing in Recession. Services Booming