Good Afternoon!

Today marks the 56th anniversary of the 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing.

Here's your Daily News for Sunday, September 15.
1. States Split on Opioid Settlement
  • An interesting divide has occurred between states attorneys general for how the U.S. should settle the lawsuit concerning the opioid crisis and the manufacturer and distributors of the drug.
  • The nation’s Republican state attorneys general have, for the most part, lined up in support of a tentative multibillion-dollar settlement with OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma, while their Democratic counterparts have mostly come out against it, decrying it as inadequate.
  • Exactly why this is so is unclear, and some of those involved suggested it can’t necessarily be explained by partisan politics.
  • Some of the attention has focused on the role played by former Alabama Attorney General and U.S. Sen. Luther Strange, who has been working for members of the Sackler family, which owns Purdue Pharma.
  • Purdue has been generous in recent years to RAGA, contributing more than $680,000 to its campaign operation from 2014 through 2018. The company also gave about $210,000 to the organization’s Democratic counterpart, the Democratic Attorneys General Association, over the same five-year period.
  • Read the full report from Steve Karnowski and Geoff Mulvihill HERE.
2. Huntsville Mayor Vetoes Pay Raises
  • Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle has vetoed raises for himself and members of the city council.
  • Battle said that he had a “philosophical difference” with council members on how they should be compensated, saying they should strive to be involved in their communities as citizens and not as employees of the city.
  • Battle also has previously said he is satisfied with his current salary.
  • According to the mayor’s office, Battle’s salary would have increased from $136,000 to $176,000, the council president’s salary would increase from $39,000 to $49,000 and the city council members’ salaries would rise from $33,000 to $44,000 each.
  • The raises, approved on a 4-1 vote Thursday, would have taken effect Nov. 2, 2020.
  • Read the full report HERE.


3. Lawsuit: Poor Information led to Colonial Pipeline Explosion
  • A federal lawsuit accuses a major pipeline company based in Georgia of failing to tell work crews where a major underground pipeline was located before they ruptured the line, touching off a deadly explosion in Alabama.
  • The workers were trying to make repairs after a Colonial Pipeline Co. line leaked gasoline southwest of Birmingham, Alabama, and was shut down in 2016, threatening U.S. gasoline supplies.
  • The estate of Anthony Willingham, an Alabama worker who died in the blast, filed a federal lawsuit this week against Colonial Pipeline and a partner company.
  • Willingham and others weren’t given adequate information about the depth and location of the pipeline before they dug into the ground to make repairs, according to the lawsuit.
  • The lawsuit also said Colonial’s project inspector failed to appear at the site, located in a rural area that caught fire following the explosion. Crew worked for days to extinguish the blaze.
  • Read the full report from Jeff Martin and Jay Reeves HERE.
4. Work to begin on Mobile Channel in 2020.
  • Officials say work could begin late next year to widen and deepen the channel in Mobile Bay, a move that will allow larger ships to dock at Alabama’s state seaport.
  • The State Port Authority announced recently that the Army Corps of Engineers has approved a request to deepen the existing river, bay and bar channels to a minimum depth of 50 feet at Mobile. The bay channel will also be widened by 100 feet.
  • The agency says the changes will allow the port to accommodate larger cargo ships, which often dock in Mobile.
  • A statement from Port Authority director Jimmy Lyons says the port will have almost $500 million invested in handling intermodal containers once a three-phase project is complete.
  • Read the full report HERE.
5. AP Briefs
Biden Visits 16th Street Baptist Church during Bombing Anniversary

  • Presidential candidate Joe Biden is in Alabama on Sunday to speak at the Birmingham church where an act of white supremacist terrorism marked a key turn in the civil rights movement.
  • Biden is using the 56th anniversary of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing that killed four girls to warn that racism still threatens the nation and is rising under President Donald Trump.
  • It’s a core message of Biden’s 2020 campaign.
  • Biden leads national primary polls in part on the strength of his support among older black voters like those he’ll address Sunday.
  • But some younger black leaders criticize aspects of Biden’s record on race. That scrutiny intensified after Democrats’ third presidential primary debate when the 76-year-old Biden gave a meandering answer about how to handle the legacy of slavery.
  • Read the full report HERE.


‘Chicken sludge’ on fields draws complaints of stench

  • People in rural Alabama are raising concerns about the use of “chicken sludge” as fertilizer on farm fields as the state considers new rules on how such products can be used.
  • The sludge from a poultry processing plant left an overpowering stench when it was applied to a neighbor’s farm fields, Julie Lay said. Flies also invaded her property in Marshall County, Al.com reported.
  • Lay was among several residents who spoke out recently at an Alabama Department of Environmental Management public hearing.
  • The agency is considering new rules on how biosolids can be used as a fertilizer. Biosolids is the umbrella term used to describe solid material left over from both wastewater treatment operations that deal with sewage; and chicken processing plants.
  • Alabama is the second-leading state in poultry production behind Georgia, processing 21 million chickens per week, according to the Alabama Farmers Federation.
  • Read the full report HERE.



State: Proposed deal with company would reduce air pollution

  • State and federal authorities say an Alabama chemical plant has been emitting sulfur dioxide and sulfuric acid mist into the atmosphere.
  • A complaint filed in federal court accuses Nouryon Functional Chemicals of polluting the air from its sulfuric acid plant in the Axis community, north of Mobile.
  • The EPA said in a statement that the company did a major modification of its sulfuric acid unit without obtaining the proper permits or installing required technology, among other things.
  • The EPA and the state are proposing a settlement with the company. The EPA says the proposed consent decree would substantially reduce chemical emissions and improve the air quality in communities near the plant.
  • The company did not immediately respond to calls and emails requesting comment.
  • Read the full report HERE.


Woman pleads guilty in Alabama to financing terror

  • A woman accused of trying to help al-Qaeda has pleaded guilty in Alabama to a charge of concealing terrorism financing.
  • Federal prosecutors say Alaa Mohd Abusaad entered the plea Friday during a hearing in federal court in Tuscaloosa.
  • Authorities arrested the one-time University of Alabama student last year. Court documents show Abusaad communicated over messaging programs with a person she didn’t know was an undercover FBI employee.
  • A statement from prosecutors shows she gave instructions on how to send money to the mujahedeen and included the comment: “You can’t have war without weapons.” Authorities say she also put the FBI in touch with someone who could get money to al-Qaeda.
  • A criminal information against the woman was filed Wednesday, the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.
  • Read the full report HERE.
The Week in Good News
‘Four Little Girls’ Production Brought to Washington

  • A play about the 1963 Birmingham church bombing that killed four girls was performed in Washington D.C. by Montgomery public school students over the weekend.
  • Rep. Terri Sewell hosted the performance of “Four Little Girls: Birmingham 1963” on Friday.
  • The play was originally produce by the Alabama Shakespeare Festival here in Montgomery and features a cast of public school students.
  • The performance was held in conjunction with the 2019 Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference.
  • The production centers on the lives of bombing victims, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, Cynthia D. Morris Wesley, and Addie Mae Collins. Today marks the 56th anniversary of their deaths to white supremacists.
  • Sewell says the play encourages the audience to grapple with America's painful past and consider what the lives of the girls might have been like if not cut short by those filled with hate and terror.
  • Read the full report HERE.

Headlines.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS- States split by party on accepting Purdue Pharma settlement

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - Woman pleads guilty in Alabama to financing terror

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - Alabama mayor vetoes pay raises for himself, City Council

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - Lawsuit: Poor information about pipeline led to fatal blast

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - K-12’s 2021 budget request increases classroom, literacy spending

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - Work to begin in 2020 on Mobile channel project

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - ‘Chicken sludge’ on fields draws complaints of stench, flies

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - In Alabama, Biden heads to key civil rights movement site

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - State: Proposed deal with company would reduce air pollution
 
AL.COM - Man Trump called ‘my African American’ says GOP’s ‘only concern is for whites’.
 
AL.COM - Will Fairhope, Spanish Fort voters support property tax hikes for schools?
 
AL.COM - Columnist Frances Coleman: ’Never forget’? If only we really meant it.
 
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS - House Speaker McCutcheon touts Bradley Byrne’s ‘institutional knowledge’ while discussing 2020 Senate race.
 
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS - Zeigler: ‘Maybe’ we should elect our transportation commission like Mississippi.
 
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS - State Sen. Livingston ‘very optimistic’ on Bellefonte Nuclear’s future — ‘Can be as big as’ Mazda Toyota.
 
  FLORENCE TIMES DAILY - Growing prevalence of vaping among students amps up school vigilance.
 
FLORENCE TIMES DAILY - K-12’s 2021 budget request increases classroom, literacy spending.
 
FLORENCE TIMES DAILY - The Times Daily : Vaping: What we don’t know can hurt us.
 
TUSCALOOSA NEWS - Parents can access new features on state education website.
 
TUSCALOOSA NEWS - Republican Bradley Byrne says he represents state’s values.
 
ANNISTON STAR - Columnist Phillip Tutor: The promise of public education in Alabama.
 
ANNISTON STAR - Wednesday rape report at JSU latest of several since January.
 
DOTHAN EAGLE - Wiregrass Angel House: ‘The victims should never be forgotten’.
 
DOTHAN EAGLE - The Dothan Eagle : NIMBY
 
WASHINGTON POST - ‘More united’ vs. ‘A house divided’: GOP goes all in on Trump while Democrats clash over ideology and tactics.
 
WASHINGTON POST – Contributor Matthew Dallek: In the weeds: Trump is the most aggressive micromanager in the history of the Oval Office.
 
WASHINGTON POST - How the nation’s growing racial diversity is changing our schools.
 
NEW YORK TIMES – Reporter Jim Dwyer: Trust Our Weather Forecasters, Not Trump
 
NEW YORK TIMES - ‘People Actively Hate Us’: Inside the Border Patrol’s Morale Crisis
 
NEW YORK TIMES – Columnist Nicholas Kristof: Thousands More Jeffrey Epsteins Are Still Out There
 
NEW YORK TIMES - Homeless Residents Got One-Way Tickets Out of Town. Many Returned to the Streets.
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