I hope everyone stayed safe in the wake of Hurricane Michael. Here is the news you need to know for October 14, 2018.
1. Aftermath of Hurricane Michael tolls up
- After Hurricane Michael’s catastrophic sweep through the Florida Panhandle, one body has now been found in the Mexico Beach area.
- Mexico Beach in Florida was the area that has seen the most damage and was searched by a second crew yesterday.
- In total, 15 lives were lost across the south as a result of the hurricane.
- Governor Rick Scott said that 1,700 search and rescue personnel have checked 25,000 homes so far.
- For Alabama the Dothan and Wiregrass area was hit the hardest.
- Cotton and peanut farmers lost a lot from Michael, especially since this year was meant to be a great crop.
- But President Trump has now approved federal disaster aid relief funds to be issued for four Alabama counties: Dale, Geneva, Henry and Houston counties.
- The Alabama Department of Revenue also stated yesterday that they are offering tax relief for the victims of Hurricane Michael in the disaster areas.
- You can read more about how to file for that here.
- The Dothan Eagle is reporting this morning that around 11,000 locations in Alabama are still without power but that the power companies are working hard to restore that area.
- Environmental advocacy groups in Alabama are also now urging state and federal bureaucrats to utilize the BP oil spill settlement money to combat rising sea levels
- This could help lessen the damaging aftermath of more hurricanes that come through the region.
- National media reports have linked the storm’s fast development and severity to global climate change, the warming and rising surge of seas.
- You can read more about there efforts from al.com.
2. House Race Profile: District 94
- This Sunday’s Profile Race, I take a closer look at the race for House District 94 between incumbent Joe Faust and Democrat candidate Danielle Mashburn-Myrick.
- Faust has held this district since 2002. The last time he faced a Democrat was 2006 and h carried 77 percent of the vote.
- Mashburn-Myrick has shown an impressive ability effort in campaign fundraising this year with overall raising more than Faust.
- Baldwin County and the district went for Trump in 2016 and Roy Moore in December 2017. But Doug Jones was competitive in key precincts, particularly in Fairhope.
- Both candidates talk about how rapid growth is affecting public services, from schools to roads to health care.
- Infrastructure and water quality are two main concerns that were brought up by both candidates and they want to see more done about it.
- Should be an interesting race to watch so read the rest of my profile here.
- (also, if you have tips on interesting races, email me or Will)
3. Are you registered to vote?
- Voter registration has become a hot button topic as November 6th is getting closer and closer and more state’s registration due dates are passing.
- GOP officials around the country have been reported to be cracking down on threats like voter registration fraud and threats to voting integrity.
- Most notably, Georgia has been in the headlines recently after election officials suspended more than 50,000 applications to register to vote, most being from black voters.
- Also because the Republican candidate for Georgia, Brian Kemp, is also the state’s current Secretary of State, enforces voting laws.
- Many on the left have accused Kemp and other GOP officials across the county of purposefully suppressing votes in order to tip the election in there favor.
- Those on the right, like Kemp, are saying that the applications turned in have not passed the “exact match” test that is meant to match exact information between a photo ID and a person’s social security info.
- Voting rights activists continue to point to studies that show there is not evidence of large-scale voter fraud in the U.S. and voter registration should be made easier, not harder.
- The deadline for voters to register in Alabama is October 22.
- You can check if you’re registered here and if you’re not, here is some useful information from the Montgomery Advertiser about hot to become registered.
4. Jefferson County Police Now Wearing Body Cameras
- Sheriff’s deputies in Jefferson County will now have to wear body cameras after testing the equipment for a year.
- Supporters say the cameras reduce police violence and protects officers by providing objective video evidence.
- Skeptics argue that it creates privacy concerns for the officer and citizen.
- A federal grant from the U.S. Department of Justice will help pay for 50 percent of the costs associated with the cameras.
- Jefferson County Sheriff Mike Hale seemed excited about the cameras saying:
“I think what we’ll find and what is being seen nationwide is that the overwhelming majority of the time, these cameras show law enforcement officers are doing things right,” Hale said, “and the few times that doesn’t happen it gives us a great tool for corrective training.”
5. The Week in Good News
Here’s some happy and hopeful reads to bring in the new week:
What do you get when you combine Jurassic Park and a Football half time show….
- You get this beautiful piece of art.
- That’s right, those are members of Iowa State’s marching band dressed up as dinosaurs going all in on their theme of Jurassic Park.
- I’ve got to hand it to them. I’m very impressed with their dedication and I just think it’s hilarious as well.
- Please watch this now if you immediately want to smile.
New series for women in Indycar
- Being from Indianapolis and an avid Indy 500 watcher I was very excited to see this story in the news this week.
- A female driver has not started a Formula One race since Lella Lombardi in 1976, so a new international motorsport series is opening to hopefully change that.
- Indycar and motorsports are one of the few sports that allows men and women to compete together, but still has been heavily dominated by men.
- The new W Series will be free to enter and aims not only to promote female drivers but also to steer girls and women into engineering and science careers.
- Keep reading the NYT story here for more info.
NY Library lends business attire too
- The New York public library is starting a program that lends out business professional clothing to young people who can’t afford them but need them for interviews.
- Some of the clothes are neutral-colored handbags and briefcases, and purple, blue and striped neckties, all of which can be checked out like books for up to three weeks.
- One of the many employment barriers for young or low-income job seekers is how to show up to an interview dressed for the part.
- So this is hopefully another measure that can help get those unemployment numbers down even further.
- Read the whole story here.
Front Pages (images link to newspaper websites, which you should visit and patronize)