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Good morning! Here's your Daily News for Monday, April 1, 2019.
1. Shelby announces plans to relocate nation's capital to Huntsville.
  • U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby today announced plans to finally relocate the rest of the federal government's operations from Washington, D.C. to Huntsville, completing a decades-long goal in the making for Alabama's senior senator. 
  • For years on the Appropriations Committee, Shelby has steered billions of dollars to build up aerospace, missile defense, space, homeland security and FBI programs in Huntsville.
  • Taking the next step to relocate the rest of the government to North Alabama just felt right, Shelby said.
  • "I feel like it's time. Huntsville has a lot to offer," Shelby said.
  • "And people have been tired of the 'swamp' for a while, am I right?"
  • Sources on the Appropriations Committee told Alabama Daily News the work of relocating all government agencies to North Alabama could take years, but that Shelby had the backing of President Donald Trump.
  • "I think we'll start with the Pentagon. That's easier than it might seem," one staffer said. "The Capitol complex, though. The Library of Congress, all those books. That's going to be a bear."

*This article is a joke, obviously. Happy April Fool's Day!
2. Not so fast on standards.
  • The push to repeal the state's education standards was fast and furious in the week leading up to the Legislature's Spring Break.
  • Within three days, Senate President Pro Ten Del Marsh, R-Anniston, had introduced and passed his bill through the Senate. And it wasn't just Marsh. Many Republicans in the upper chamber were eager to vote on the bill, something to finally make much of the far-right base happy after the gas tax plan.
  • My thought was it would likely be the same way in the House, but not so fast.
  • Rep. Terri Collins, R-Decatur, is the Chairwoman of the House Education Policy Committee, the first stop for Marsh's bill. She told the Decatur Daily there's "still a lot wrong" with the bill and she plans to "slow the bill down so we can address everyone’s concerns... We have to get this right before it proceeds.”
  • That committee is not scheduled to meet this week as of now.
  • Education officials and advocates are pushing back on the idea of Common Core repeal/prohibition and could make a stand in the lower chamber. While they were successful in getting Marsh to agree to some key amendments, they aren't ceding the larger fight.
  • In a story in today's Advertiser, Brian Lyman examines the validity of the bill's premise: that standards were to blame for the decline in NAEP scores. Really good story, btw.
  • In the Anniston Star, local school leaders are wary of another change in standards and how it would affect classrooms.
  • Actually, there have been several such stories cropping up in the last week or so: Brewton Standard, Alex City Outlook, Clarke County Democrat, Trussville Tribune, Florence Times Daily, CBS42, Athens News Courier - and that was just a quick Google search this morning.
  • There's no question that being against Common Core is popular with voters.
  • There is a question to how far lawmakers will go to please them and how effective the push-back will be from the education and business community.
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3. 'Scope and range of history'
  • Unlike other states that have marked bicentennials with yearlong programs or single events, Alabama planners laid out a schedule of nearly three years' worth of events culminating with a ceremony in Montgomery on Dec. 14, which will mark the 200th anniversary of the state's admission to the United States in 1819.
  • As part of the program, more than 1,200 educators are getting new materials and supplemental training for state history lessons.
  • It's also taking a different tone than in previous state celebrations.
  • In 1961, Alabama marked the 100th anniversary of the start of the American Civil War with white women dressed in hoop skirts parading through a coliseum and a re-enactment of the inauguration of the Confederate president at the state Capitol.
  • The state's 2019 bicentennial celebration is very different, with a frank discussion of the horrors of slavery sharing space on a schedule with a Civil War re-enactment promoted by a Confederate heritage group and scores of other events, many focused on civil rights.
  • "The idea was that we want to celebrate the scope and range of Alabama history," said Ed Bridges, who directed the Alabama Department of Archives and History for more than three decades and now chairs an advisory committee overseeing the bicentennial. "The really big idea is to find ways to make Alabama better as we enter our third century."
  • Read this full story from Jay Reeves HERE.
4. Matthew Stokes: On education
  • Matthew Stokes is back this week and he's on the topic of education.
  • Specifically, Stokes is wondering whether the state's public school system is producing enough high-achieving students.
  • While no fan of the State Board of Education, he's also highly-suspect of the Legislature's meddling in school policy.
  • Here's his opening salvo:

"Sports fans throughout Alabama are familiar with Cecil Hurt, the longtime sports editor of the Tuscaloosa News. A talented reporter and a gifted wordsmith, Hurt’s analysis carries great weight among Alabama fans. In the waning days of Mike Shula’s tenure as the University of Alabama’s head football coach, Hurt posed an important question: does Alabama have the best coach it could have? Mal Moore and other university leaders answered in the negative, and the rest is history. After the last couple of weeks, I feel compelled to humbly borrow that line from Cecil Hurt and point it in another direction.

"Does Alabama have the best education system it could have?
If we’re honest with ourselves, the answer is almost certainly 'no.'"

  • Read the full column HERE.
5. Auburn makes history.
  • The confetti was still swirling around Auburn coach Bruce Pearl when he gazed over a team headed to the first Final Four in school history and declared, "This one was for Chuma!"
  • "The next two," Pearl added with a triumphant grin, "are for Auburn."
  • Drawing inspiration from injured forward Chuma Okeke, the No. 5 seed Tigers finished off a joyful romp through college basketball royalty by bringing down the winningest program of all.
  • Their 77-71 overtime win over second-seeded seed Kentucky in the finals of the Midwest Region on Sunday came after blowouts of Kansas and North Carolina that served notice: Auburn is more than a football school.
  • The hashtag "DoItForChuma" began trending less than 48 hours after Okeke hurt his knee against the Tar Heels. Meanwhile, several Tigers said they took umbrage with a crude picture that a Kentucky fan put up a banner outside his house that made light of his injury. Images of it circulated on social media.
  • The Tigers head to the Twin Cities for the Final Four, where they will face South Region champion Virginia. The Cavaliers beat Purdue in an overtime thriller on Saturday night.
  • Full story HERE.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - Bill Ties E-Verify Use to Business Licenses

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - Scientists hunt for cause of recent earthquakes in the South

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - Alabama lawmakers seek ban on almost all abortions

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - 2 death row inmates have similar requests, but different results

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - Alabama Democratic Party at odds with DNC over filling post

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - Heart of Dixie? Alabama presenting diversity in bicentennial

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - Matthew Stokes: On Education

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - Montgomery police Lt. Mackey motivates youth in community

AL.COM  - Cleanups remove almost 10,000 pounds of trash from Tennessee River
AL.COM  - Alabama explores state’s diversity for bicentennial of ‘Heart of Dixie’
AL.COM  - Contributor Dana McCain: The Mueller bandwagon
AL.COM  - Alabama’s new area code starts this month

Montgomery Advertiser - Man left with life-threatening injuries after Maxwell Blvd. shooting

Montgomery Advertiser - Police investigating fatal wreck on Taylor Road

Montgomery Advertiser - MPS plans job fair to combat teacher shortage

Montgomery Advertiser - In rural Alabama, community gardens help address obesity and poverty.

YellowHammer News - VIDEO: Trump’s ‘best week ever,’ Alabama still taxes food, Jones bucks Schumer on Green New Deal and more on Guerrilla Politics …

YellowHammer News - Mobile news anchor Mel Showers celebrates 50 years with WKRG 5

YellowHammer News - Four Alabama firms tapped for work on new Airbus A220 assembly line

Dothan Eagle - One dead in Abbeville shooting

Dothan Eagle - Probation for Wiregrass farmer in crop fraud case

Dothan Eagle - Alabama Troopers support hands-free driving bill

Tuscaloosa News - Tweaks needed for rural internet law

Tuscaloosa News - Bryce Hospital Horticulture Therapy Program hosting sale

Tuscaloosa News - Police: Ride-share mistake led to college student’s death

Tuscaloosa News - MICHELLE SINGLETARY: College admissions scandal mirrors March madness that can befall some parents

Decatur Daily - Bill ties E-Verify use to business licenses

Decatur Daily - Draft ordinance on ambulance service criticized; plan calls for slow-response fines

Decatur Daily - Second annual Historic Black Churches Tour steps back in time

Times Daily - Bill ties E-Verify to business licenses.

Times Daily - Redacted Mueller report expected to be released by mid-April

Gadsden Times - Trump’s battle with ‘Obamacare’ moves to the courts

Gadsden Times - Gadsden fire medics to train with police for active shooter response

Gadsden Times - Society promotes preserving aspects of medieval life

Anniston Star - Infant, father dead in Ohatchee murder-suicide

Anniston Star - Holdup alarm leads to check-theft suspect in Alexandria

Anniston Star - Man accused of threatening Clay County deputy

Troy Messenger - Man charged with rape

Troy Messenger - Dunbar Drive residents preparing for what’s next

Andalusia Star News - Sheriff wants to know scope of theft problem

Andalusia Star News - APD seeks help finding suspect

Opelika-Auburn News - Census Bureau recruiting census takers for 2020 data collection

Opelika-Auburn News - Where are they living now? Displaced residents hopeful to return home soon

Opelika-Auburn News - Yongsan Automotive USA to open facility in Opelika

Daily Mountain Eagle - Merrill: Early voting not needed in Alabama

Daily Mountain Eagle - County BOE works toward five-year plan

Daily Mountain Eagle - Alabama's angels care for preemies through crochet

Trussville Tribune - Cracker Barrel shooting victim dies in hospital

Trussville Tribune - Police standoff in Mountain Brook ends peacefully after 6 hours

Trussville Tribune - Center Point Fire responds to house fire in Parkway Estates

WSFA Montgomery - Calhoun Co. man dead after allegedly killing 6-month-old daughter, shooting child’s great-grandfather

WSFA Montgomery - Police respond to fatal house fire in Coffee County

Fox 6 Birmingham - “Come home, Madison”: Parents plead for daughter to come home after running away with a stranger

Fox 6 Birmingham - Family: Shooting victim outside Trussville restaurant died Saturday night

Fox 6 Birmingham - UPDATE: Standoff in Mtn. Brook ends with suspect surrender

WAFF Huntsville - Five candidates being considered for Colbert County administrator

WAFF Huntsville - Judge restores Obama-era drilling ban in Arctic

WKRG Mobile - Callaway Wildfire Burns up to 300 Acres

WKRG Mobile - Group uses vehicle to smash into Mobile pawn shop

WKRG Mobile - Woman in Mobile County recovering after being shot at Satsuma home
WASHINGTON POST  - Trump White House presses threat to close U.S.-Mexico border this week
WASHINGTON POST  – The Washington Post: Yes, there’s a problem at the border. Trump’s wall won’t fix it
WASHINGTON POST  - Forget the shouting and demonizing: College students organize civil discussions
WASHINGTON POST  - ‘A very deep kind of patriotism’: Memorial to honor Native American veterans is coming to the Mall
NEW YORK TIMES  - Senate Barrels Toward Showdown Vote on Disaster Relief
NEW YORK TIMES  – Columnist Brent Staples: How Blackface Feeds White Supremacy
NEW YORK TIMES  - ‘Breaches Everywhere’: Flooding Bursts Midwest Levees, and Tough Questions Follow
NEW YORK TIMES  - Migrants Moved Out of Holding Pen Under El Paso Bridge
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