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Here's your Daily News for Thursday, September 26.
1. The latest: Trump releases call transcript.
  • Members of Congress have a redacted, declassified version of an intelligence whistleblower complaint that is at the center of House Democrats' impeachment probe into President Donald Trump.
  • Lawmakers began reviewing a classified version of the complaint Wednesday evening ahead of testimony Thursday morning by acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire.
  • The complaint is at least in part related to a July phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which Trump possibly prodded Zelensky to investigate Democratic political rival Joe Biden. The White House released a rough transcript of that call Wednesday morning.
  • The July 25 phone call is now at the center of House Democrats' impeachment probe.
  • Trump repeatedly prodded Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the new president of the East European nation, to work with U.S. Attorney General William Barr and Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal lawyer. At one point in the conversation, Trump said, "I would like for you to do us a favor."
  • The initial response highlights the deep divide between the two parties: Democrats say the call amounted to a "shakedown" of a foreign leader, while Trump and the vast majority of Republicans are dismissing it as a "nothing call."
  • Read the full story and the full transcript for yourself HERE.
2. Drought conditions dangerous.
  • The Alabama Forestry Commission has restricted outdoor burning across the state due to drought conditions.
  • A U.S. Drought Monitor report released Thursday morning showed most of Alabama to be abnormally dry. Portions of 11 states were listed as having severe drought conditions and Shelby County has extreme drought conditions.
  • The statewide fire alert issued Wednesday means permits for outdoor burning are required. Anyone who burns a field, grassland, or woodland without a permit could be charged with a Class B misdemeanor.
  • With this extremely dry weather, conditions are such that any fire can quickly spread out of control, not only resulting in damage to forests but also threatening lives and destroying property, a Forestry press release Wednesday said.
  • In the past week, AFC firefighters responded to 182 wildfires, burning about 2,608 acres.
  • Read more from Mary Sell HERE.
A message from

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 Plu s , a plan to add 500,000+ highly-skilled, credentialed individuals to Alabama’s workforce by 2025.
To learn more, visit .
3. U.S. declares fishing disasters for Alabama, 6 other states.
  • U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has declared fishing disasters for Alabama and six other states.
  • "Fishing is the cornerstone of countless coastal economies and has been a way of life for generations of Americans," he said in a brief news release Wednesday. "This determination acknowledges the critical role fisheries play in our communities, and the risks they face from natural disasters and other causes beyond their control."
  • Ross' action makes people and businesses eligible for NOAA fisheries disaster assistance. Congress has appropriated $165 million for such help for fiscal 2019 and the Commerce Department decides allocations to eligible fisheries, the statement said.
  • The statement said a regional disaster occurred for Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama because of "extreme flooding events in the Gulf of Mexico." 
  • Gov. Kay Ivey thanked Ross for recognizing the regional fishery disaster in Alabama and across the Gulf Coast.
  • "This assistance will provide relief to our coastal communities, which rely heavily on the fishing industry," she said.
  • Read more HERE.
4. Trump pushes Attorney General Barr into political fray again .
  • In offering Ukraine's president the help of Attorney General William Barr in investigating rival Joe Biden, President Donald Trump is once again inserting the nation's top law enforcement officer in a political fray.
  • Barr has sought to distance himself from Trump's conversations with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. The Justice Department insists he was unaware the president had said he would help investigate a political rival.
  • Trump inserted Barr into the latest political firestorm, one that has led to a House impeachment inquiry, when he asked Zelenskiy to dig up dirt on Democratic presidential candidate Biden, and indicated Barr and Trump confidant Rudy Giuliani would be in touch.
  • "There's a lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great," Trump said in the July 25 conversation.
  • Read more HERE.
5. News Briefs.

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.

China buying US soybeans, pork

  • BEIJING (AP) — Chinese importers have set deals to buy American soybeans and pork, the Ministry of Commerce said Thursday, as the two governments make conciliatory gestures ahead of trade talks.
  • The announcement follows Beijing's decision to lift punitive tariffs on soybeans, China's biggest import from the United States.
  • Chinese buyers have "completed deals to buy soybeans and pork of considerable scale," said a ministry spokesman, Gao Feng. He gave no details.
  • Negotiators are due to meet next month in Washington for a 13th round of talks aimed at ending the dispute over trade and technology that threatens to tip the global economy into recession.
  • President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, agreed in June to resume stalled talks.
  • Trump agreed earlier to postpone a planned Oct. 1 tariff hike on Chinese imports to Oct. 15. That raises the possibility that the increase might be put off indefinitely if the talks make progress.

Man hurt in courthouse shooting still hospitalized

  • SCOTTSBORO, Ala. (AP) — A 72-year-old Alabama man shot by law enforcement in a courthouse last week is still hospitalized.
  • Jackson County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Rocky Harnen tells The Chattanooga Times Free Press that Fred Swearengin had to undergo a second surgery on his hand.
  • Swearengin is accused of entering the Scottsboro courthouse on Sept. 18 with a loaded handgun with a round in the chamber and four loaded magazines.
  • Authorities have said Swearengin refused to surrender his weapon when confronted by deputies at the metal detector near the building's entrance and instead drew the gun, prompting a deputy to fire. Swearengin was shot multiple times.
  • The involved deputies have since returned to their posts. Swearengin's motive remains unclear. The state Law Enforcement Agency is investigating and reviewing surveillance video.

10th man arrested in Jacksonville State University rape case

  • JACKSONVILLE, Ala. (AP) — A 10th man has been arrested and accused of raping two underage teens at Jacksonville State University in Alabama.
  • News outlets report the man was arrested Wednesday and charged with second-degree rape or statutory rape.
  • Seventh Judicial Circuit Major Crimes Unit Investigator Jay Harrington says an investigation led to 12 warrants being issued for statutory rape and second-degree sodomy. Two of the men haven't been arrested yet.
  • Harrington says the victims are two girls younger than 16 and older than 12 years old. He says the sexual incidents happened between January and September, both off and on campus, including residence halls and a parking lot.
  • Cmdr. Allen George says the men range from 18 to 22 years old and are from Alabama.
  • The victims' and suspects' names weren't immediately released.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - Drought conditions prompt fire alert, impact some cattle farmers

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - US declares fishing disaster in Alabama, 6 other states 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - The Latest: White House defends Trump as complaint released

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - Trump pushes Attorney General Barr into political fray again

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS-  US official expects ‘hundreds more’ cases of vaping illness

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - New project highlights civil rights sites in Alabama

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - Farmers Federation endorses Tuberville

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - Zeb Little pleads guilty to theft

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS-  US official expects ‘hundreds more’ cases of vaping illness

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - Emmett Till cousin on inquiry: ‘What is the holdup?’

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - New project highlights civil rights sites in Alabama

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - Daily News Digest - September 25, 2019

INSIDE ALABAMA POLITICS - September 25, 2019
AL.COM  - Shelby: Trump impeachment proceedings could shut down government
AL.COM  - Baldwin officials put final ‘nail in the coffin’ on I-10 toll project
AL.COM  - Indicted sheriff fires investigator who alleged sexual assault
AL.COM  - Alabama AG Marshall joins other states in defending scholarships to religious schools
AL.COM  - Nancy Worley calls meeting of Alabama Democratic Party
AL.COM  - Birmingham receives grant for talk-based early childhood learning program
AL.COM  - Columnist Mike Oliver: Who is mentally ill, Mr. Knowles?
AL.COM  - Tuberville secures farmers backing for Senate; some opponents question ‘celebrity’ influence
AL.COM  - Parched pastures affecting Alabama cattle farmers
AL.COM  - Lockheed Martin plans $19 million expansion in Huntsville
AL.COM  - Gov. Kay Ivey says cancer is ‘too little to be a mass or a tumor’
AL.COM  - Goodyear offering voluntary buyouts to Gadsden plant employees
Montgomery Advertiser - One woman’s determination leads to cold case unit

Montgomery Advertiser - Montgomery man sentenced to 139 years for killing mother of two while street racing

Montgomery Advertiser - Bathroom fire at Carver High prompts investigation

YellowHammer News - Elizabeth Smart to keynote Birmingham nonprofit fundraiser on Thursday

YellowHammer News - Brooks: I knew the Democrats’ impeachment push was coming months ago

YellowHammer News - New project highlights civil rights sites in Alabama

Dothan Eagle - Trial set for Geneva County dad facing attempted murder charges 

Dothan Eagle - Jury convicts Taylor man on 92 counts of possession of child porn

Dothan Eagle - Woman arrested on fraud charges

Tuscaloosa News - Man suffers brain injuries after attack at Lakeview Country Club

Tuscaloosa News - Suspect in Dornell Cousette killing accused in two robberies

Tuscaloosa News - Alabama woman accused of trying to run over deputy ID’d, charged

Decatur Daily - Before operations idled, EPA report said 3M discharging high levels of pollutants

Decatur Daily - Morgan EDA reaches milestone, looks to recruit Mazda Toyota suppliers

Decatur Daily - Officials: Sidewalks wouldn't have prevented Monday accident

Times Daily - Shoals may see historic September 90-degree streak

Times Daily - See You at the Pole Sees Increased Numbers this Year

Times Daily - 'Fishing for Kids' needs volunteers, boats

Gadsden Times - Gadsden woman charged with trafficking meth

Gadsden Times - Suzy Sunshine receives grant for preschool play dates at Imagination Place

Gadsden Times - Boaz police care for missing Georgia Alzheimer’s patient found in city

Anniston Star - Tornado-damaged Jacksonville church begins rebuild

Anniston Star - Sex abuse defendant charged with additional sex crimes

Anniston Star - Cheaha humane society has new van, site for new home

Troy Messenger - Council passes record budget

Troy Messenger - Changes made to absentee voting for general election

Troy Messenger - Sigma Chi members caught hazing removed from frat

Andalusia Star News - AFC upgrades fire danger advisory to fire alert

Andalusia Star News - Rep. Mike Jones holds town hall meeting in Libertyville

Andalusia Star News - Opp man arrested for second degree rape

Opelika-Auburn News - A March 2020 vote will decide the state board of education

Opelika-Auburn News - Opelika native begins legal mediation career -- at age 19

Opelika-Auburn News - Forestry Commission issues statewide Fire Alert

Daily Mountain Eagle - Judge Allred suspended, pending hearing

Daily Mountain Eagle - Arrest made in theft of school's ATV

Daily Mountain Eagle - Students pray in Walker County

Trussville Tribune - Trussville Public Library recognized as one of Birmingham’s Best

Trussville Tribune - Clay City Council honors Clay-Chalkville student, sets date for Fall Festival

Trussville Tribune - DROUGHT MONITOR: Alabama Forestry Commission issues First Alert Fire Danger

Athens News Courier - Man arrested in Athens, Limestone armed robberies

Athens News Courier - Limestone sheriff fires veteran investigator who filed lawsuit against him

Athens News Courier - Washington plunges into Trump impeachment investigation

Sand Mountain Reporter - Albertville Career Center hosts countywide job fair | Local chambers of commerce collaborated to organize event

Sand Mountain Reporter - Susan Linn Wine Tasting Benefit set for Friday

Sand Mountain Reporter - Kelley seeks reelection as District 3 commissioner

WSFA Montgomery - Montgomery mayoral debate live on WSFA 12 News Thursday

WSFA Montgomery - Over 100 grave sites in abandoned Shorter cemetery

WSFA Montgomery - Caretaker accused of stealing from Prattville couple arrested

Fox 6 Birmingham - Manhunt underway after Huntsville police, suspects exchange gunfire

Fox 6 Birmingham - Council approves $100,000 anti-violence campaign in Tuscaloosa

Fox 6 Birmingham - Attorney calls alleged 15-year-old rape victim in Jacksonville case a ‘predator’

WAFF Huntsville - Manhunt underway after Huntsville police, suspects exchange gunfire

WAFF Huntsville - Soybean farmers battle Alabama drought conditions ahead of harvest

WAFF Huntsville - Toffee entered in national dog photo contest

WKRG Mobile - Mobile doctor says HPV becoming more aggressive

WKRG Mobile - Mitchell Cancer Institute making research breakthroughs

WKRG Mobile - Savannah baby born with unique birth date, time and length

WTVY Dothan - As drought worsens, new burn restrictions now in place

WTVY Dothan - Dale County Commission helping to make job market competitive

WTVY Dothan - Alabama Mentor talks in Dothan about foster care

WASHINGTON POST  - Trump deflects and defies as Democrats speed up impeachment strategy
WASHINGTON POST  - U.S. announces asylum deal with Honduras, could send migrants to one of world’s most violent nations
NEW YORK TIMES  - Elated, Furious, Wary: Impeachment Divides Voters, Like Everything Trump
NEW YORK TIMES  – Columnist Bret Stephens: Pelosi’s Bad Impeachment Call
NEW YORK TIMES  - After Attacks in U.S., Extremist Symbols Draw Scrutiny

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