Gov. Kay Ivey announced Thursday she will soon begin treatment for lung cancer. This morning she’s expected to undergo an outpatient procedure at UAB Hospital, and soon after she’ll begin a series of radiation treatments. Ivey seemed confident in a statement she issued that none of this will prevent her from carrying out her duties as governor. For some insight on this, we turned to Dr. Fred Dumas, a radiation oncologist and medical director of the cancer center at Brookwood Baptist Medical Center. He spoke with WBHM’s Gigi Douban about what the governor described as a “tiny isolated malignancy.”
Jefferson County Commission
Commissioner Steve Ammons could have been humming the country song ‘Dance With Who Brung You’ as he talked about Jefferson County working to hold onto businesses while striving to add new businesses to its dance card.
The subject came up after the Jefferson County Commission today approved an incentive package to keep Samuel Associated Tube Group of Birmingham from leaving the county.
Instead, the manufacturer of small diameter electric-resistance-welded and fabricated carbon steel tubing is moving just a few miles away, remaining in the Pinson area.
Mississippi-based internet service provider C Spire announced it will expand current broadband infrastructure throughout Alabama to improve access to rural areas and faster fiber optic cables. Read more.
On the third floor of the Alabama State House in Montgomery, Dothan Pastor Kenneth Glasgow read aloud the names of 21 men who have died in Alabama prisons this year. Sandy Ray then showed a photo of her son Steven Davis, who was beaten to death two months ago by correctional officers at Donaldson Correctional facility.
“My son was beat,” Ray said. “We don’t do our dogs this way. Please, please, we have to have change.”
Glasgow and Ray were among several prison reform advocates who gathered Wednesday ahead of a meeting of Gov. Kay Ivey’s study group on criminal justice policy. Read more.
Jefferson County Commission
Jefferson County Commission President Jimmie Stephens used the commission’s committee meeting today as a platform to dispel the misconception that county government is raising property taxes through reappraisals.
“There’s a misconception that the county commission is responsible for this and I want everyone to be clear that the county commission is not responsible for this,” Stephens said. “This is a state function.”
However, county employees do conduct the property appraisals, Stephens said. Property values assigned by the county’s Board of Equalization reflect property sales activity in the market, the chairwoman of the board said. Read more.
Birmingham Water Works customers will have slightly higher monthly water bills starting in January 2020. The Birmingham Water Works Board voted 5-1 Tuesday in favor of a 3.9% rate increase. Rick Jackson, spokesman for the Water Works Board, says the increase is necessary to maintain a viable water system and replace 100-year-old water mains. Read more.
Crime and Justice
Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin announced a new initiative Monday to pardon those who have been convicted of misdemeanor marijuana possession. Read more.
A Nationwide Missing Adults Alert Exists by Law. Why Wasn't It Used for Aniah Blanchard? (Montgomery Advertiser)
Bradley Byrne: Jeff Sessions Tried to Get Me to Drop Out of Senate Race (AL.com)
Walker Co. Sheriff Asked to Not Reference Prayer on Facebook Page (WBRC)
Poarch Band of Creek Indians' Gambling Proposal: Old Ideas, Newly Stated (Montgomery Advertiser)
Montgomery Bus Boycott Took Place 64 Years Ago (CBS42)
Alabama Counties Say Prison Reforms Placed Burden on Them (AL.com)
Senate Passes Bill to Save Funding for Black Colleges (Associated Press)
Advisory Panel Majority, Including JeffCo’s Masuca, Recommend That Air Pollution Standards Not Be Strengthened
A federal advisory group recently voted in a split decision against strengthening the current standard for fine particulate matter, known as PM 2.5. Corey Masuca, an environmental health scientist with the Jefferson County Department of Health and one of the six members of the panel, sided with the majority.
The 4-2 decision during a contentious meeting of the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee last month pitted Masuca and three other members against Environmental Protection Agency scientific staff and an independent panel of scientists. Read more.
Eleven federal Superfund sites in Alabama — including two near Birmingham — are at greater risk from disasters such as flooding, hurricanes and wildfires due to the possible consequences of climate change, according to a report released Monday by the U.S. Government Accounting Office.
Nationwide, at least 60 percent — 945 of 1,571 — of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Superfund locations nationwide are threatened by warmer temperatures, rising seas and more intense storms expected from the changing climate, according to the “EPA Should Take Additional Actions to Manage Risks from Climate Change” report. Read more.
It’s been one year since a Hoover police officer shot and killed a young black man in a crowded mall on Thanksgiving night. The shooting of 21-year-old Emantic “EJ” Bradford Jr. happened at the Riverchase Galleria Mall after officers wrongly thought he was the person who fired a gun in the mall. The incident led to several protests and calls for justice. Read more.
2020 U.S. Senate Race
KEY VOTES AHEAD
Both chambers in the week of Nov. 18 will take up a stopgap fiscal 2020 funding bill to keep the government in operation after temporary spending authority expires Nov. 21.
WASHINGTON — Alabama’s representatives split along party lines last week on an amendment to another bill that would have removed provisions that favor renewable-energy sales abroad over sales of fossil-fuel products.
The House on Nov. 15 defeated, on a 188-232 vote, the GOP-sponsored amendment to HR 4863, a bill to extend the U.S. Export-Import Bank for 10 years.
The bill would require sales of renewable-energy goods and services to overseas customers to receive at least 5 percent of the Export-Import Bank’s annual lending authority. In addition, energy-related transactions would have to estimate the volume of carbon dioxide emitted by projects receiving Ex-Im subsidies. In part, the amendment would block creation of a new Ex-Im unit aimed at promoting energy-efficiency and renewable-energy exports and require the bank to weigh the overseas affordability of energy products before approving transactions. Read more.
Birmingham City Council
Birmingham City Council Appoints New Design Review Committee Members After Tiff Over Vetting Candidates
The Birmingham City Council voted Tuesday to appoint three new members – Willie Oliver, Abra Barnes and Scott Burnett – to the city’s Design Review Committee, glossing over concerns that the appointees had not been properly vetted by the council’s Planning and Zoning Committee.
It was the apparent end of a weeks-long, often confusing discussion that started Oct. 22, when the council initially approved appointments to all 11 seats of the DRC. Read more.
The Jefferson County Commission announced today its annual $18 million allocation to local boards of education. These are residents’ tax dollars going back to the community to improve education. Allotments range from $298K for Fairfield schools to $6.6M for Jefferson County schools. Read more.