Good Afternoon!
Here's your Daily News for Sunday, September 8.
1. Troy King running for Congress.
  • Former Attorney General Troy King is running for Congress.
  • King has filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to run in Alabama's 2nd Congressional District, where incumbent U.S. Rep. Martha Roby recently announced she won't seek reelection to a sixth term.
  • The statement of candidacy declares King's intent to run and establishes a campaign committee for him to raise money.
  • King last ran for Attorney General in 2018, losing a heated GOP runoff to Steve Marshall.
  • The news was first reported by ADN's Mary Sell, who confirmed it with King's political consultant, Chris Brown.
  • Read her full story HERE.
2. AL 44 th in Nation on Educational opportunities and Performance
  • A new report shows that Alabama ranks 44th in the nation when it comes to educational opportunities and performance. The state received an overall score of 69.9 out of 100 points, a C-minus.
  • The report offers a comprehensive review of the nation’s K-12 system based on three factors: how much states spend on schools and how fairly that money is distributed; how well the state assures chances for success over a student’s career; and outcomes such as test scores and graduation rates.
  • When it comes to the three factors the report grades the state on, Alabama is ranked 36th on school finance, 45th in the chance-for-success category and 43rd on K-12 achievement.
  • But State Superintendent Eric Mackey told ADN that he doesn’t want the state to get sidetracked with national rankings, and is dedicated to fixing the problems the state has now.
  • “We do not focus on reacting to individual rankings… rather maintaining a consistent, steadfast commitment to providing the best educational opportunities for all Alabama students," Mackey said.
  • I also spoke with House Education Policy Chair, Rep. Terri Collins on what she is looking at for future education policy legislation, as well as Gov. Ivey for her thoughts on the latest ranking.
  • You can read my full write up on the report HERE.


3. Parole hearings canceled amid 'hot mess.'
  • The Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles on Friday abruptly canceled more than 100 parole hearings scheduled for next week, citing unspecified concerns about victim notification.
  • New Pardons and Paroles Director Charlie Graddick, who took office September 1, blamed the previous parole board administration for failing to ensure compliance with a new state law, passed in May.
  • The law establishes new requirements for victim and witness notification and set other requirements and limits on parole.
  • Graddick said the agency’s legal team received requests for clarification of the rules on Thursday and that those questions leave doubts whether proper notifications have been made.
  • The move comes on the heels of Graddick placing three Pardons and Paroles administrators on leave pending investigations into job performance: his predecessor Eddie Cook; Chris Norman, former assistant executive director; and Belinda Johnson, former director of personnel.
  • Graddick called the situation at the agency a "hot mess."
  • Read the full story from Kim Chandler HERE.
4. Women seek abortions out of state.
  • Between 2012 and 2017, 276,000 American women terminated their pregnancies outside their home state, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control.
  • Many conservative-leaning states, including Alabama, have tightened abortion restrictions in recent years. Some liberal-leaning states like New York and Illinois, have loosened theirs.
  • Women in places like Alabama are now increasingly seeking abortions across state lines.
  • One such woman is Hevan Lunsford from Prattville, who, at five months pregnant learned unborn baby only had half of a heart. She decided to have an abortion rather than see the baby suffer through risky surgeries.
  • Current Alabama law bans abortions after 20 weeks, or 5 months of pregnancy. To avoid running afoul of the law, Lunsford's doctor gave her information about a clinic in Atlanta.
  • While abortions across the U.S. are down, the share of women who had abortions out of state rose slightly, by half a percentage point, and certain states had notable increases over the six-year period, according to an Associated Press analysis.
  • Georgia's share of abortions involving out-of-state women rose from 11.5% to 15% during that 2012-2017 period. Alabama's 20-week abortion restriction law was enacted in 2011.
  • During this past legislative session, Alabama enacted a near-total ban on abortions. That law doesn't go into effect until November and most expect the court to enjoin it before then pending judicial review. That pending law includes an exception that would allow for abortions in cases of "lethal fetal anomalies."
  • You can read the full report HERE.
5. Hemp Crop is Okay on legal THC levels.
  • State hemp growers have produced their first crop of the plant, and so far, inspectors say they are in line with state law.
  • Alabama Agricultural Commissioner Rick Pate said that so far, samples from 45 licensed growers have all tested below the 0.3 percent THC level, which is the level required by state law.
  • The hemp is used for CBD oil, or cannabidiol, which is used for medicinal purposes and is now widely legal.
  • The news comes as a relief for some growers, who had expressed concern that their entire hemp crop could be destroyed if some of their plants tested above the legal limit.
  • Across the state, dozens of licensed farmers this spring planted Alabama’s first legal hemp crop since 1937.
  • Now the crops will be sent to a processor to be turned into CBD oil.
  • Read the full report HERE.
The Week in Good News
First High school African American history class starts in Tuscaloosa

  • A group of Tuscaloosa high schoolers now will have the chance to take a history class that highlights the city’s black history, making it the first African American history class of its kind in Alabama.
  • Central High Schoolers will get to examine history from when African slaves were brought to America through the administration of Barack Obama.
  • The course was inspired by the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery and the work they’ve done in researching the nation’s history with racial inequality and racial violence.  
  • "We are trusting them and challenging them to be historians on their own and then take that knowledge and turn it outside by giving it a public-facing dimension so that it is not just 18 students and two instructors," John Giggie, a University of AlabamaA professor who is one of the instructors for the course said.
  • "It's a much larger experiment on how we can teach about history in a way that is fuller, rounder, richer and truer."
  • You can read more about the class from Jonece Starr Dunigan at AL.com.

Headlines.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS- Alabama parole hearings canceled over notification lapse

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - Former AG Troy King files to run for Congress

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - Women facing restrictions seek abortions out of state

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - So far, so good for state hemp crop as THC tests pass muster

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - Report: Alabama 44th in nation for educational opportunities and performance

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - NOAA assailed for defending Trump’s Hurricane Dorian claim

AL.COM - Jefferson County schools seek ‘effective measures’ for security after shooting near game.
 
AL.COM - ‘Moral cowardice?’ Critics blast NOAA after defense of Trump’s Hurricane Dorian claim about Alabama.
 
AL.COM - Why Mobile didn’t vote against I-10 toll plan? Not enough votes, councilman says.
 
AL.COM - Students, alumni share stories of sexual assault at Oakwood University; school responds.
 
AL.COM - I promise that people are still reading and talking; they’re just doing it in different ways.
 
AL.COM - Columnist Roy Johnson: A charged police officer, a change of venue to ... Simi Valley, AL?
 
AL.COM - Columnist John Archibald: He fought Alabama’s cancer. And his own.
 
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS - Alabama Epstein? It happens here all the time.
 
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS - Mo Brooks: Resolution to expel Ilhan Omar ‘a good symbolic gesture’ by ALGOP — ‘Required legal grounds’ still lacking.
 
TIMES DAILY - Study says teacher salaries closely linked to ACT results.
 
TIMES DAILY - Medicaid moves to privatized managed care of recipients.
 
TIMES DAILY - Natchez marker recalls Trail of Tears.
 
TIMES DAILY - The Times Daily : Tragedies rarely have easy solutions.
 
GADSDEN TIMES - Columnist Matthew T. Mangino: White supremacists pose significant threat to America.
 
DOTHAN EAGLE - Without state funding, Chattahoochee Park will be closed for good.
 
DOTHAN EAGLE - The Dothan Eagle : Kudos to officials who diffused potential threat.
 
WASHINGTON POST - NOAA staff warned in Sept. 1 directive against contradicting Trump.
 
WASHINGTON POST - House panel is probing U.S. military use of Trump-owned property in Scotland.
 
WASHINGTON POST - What we know about the mysterious vaping-linked illnesses and deaths.
 
NEW YORK TIMES - Trump Says He’s Called Off Negotiations With Taliban After Afghanistan Bombing
 
NEW YORK TIMES - Here’s an Early Glimpse of the Economic Backdrop for the 2020 Election
Front Pages (images link to newspaper websites, which you should visit and patronize)