Daily News Digest

Presented by the

Alabama League of Municipalities

Good morning!

Here’s your Daily News for Monday, February 7.

After weeks of the omicron variant sweeping the state, Alabama’s COVID-19 situation appears to be improving.
The latest data from the Alabama Department of Public Health and the Alabama Hospital Association showed 2,288 hospitalized with COVID, 46 of those being children. That’s down more than 680 hospitalizations from the omicron peak of 2,961 on January 25.
Alabama Public Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said the state appears to be on the downslope of its COVID-19 omicron peak and “heading the right way.”
“Our case counts have been going down the last week or 10 days, and we’re starting to see that reflected in the hospitalization numbers,” Harris said on Alabama Public Television’s Capitol Journal on Friday. “(But) we’re still way ahead of where we were even a couple of months ago.”
Read more and see Dr. Harris’ full comments HERE.

Former Congressman Tom Bevill is the subject of a new documentary from Alabama Public Television scheduled to air tonight.
Representing Alabama for 30 years in the Congress, Bevill was sometimes referred to as the state’s “third senator” for his knack for delivering federal money and projects back home. Some of his best known efforts include starting the Interstate 22 project, funding the Alabama Technology Network and the UAB Biomedical Research Building, helping make Little River Canyon a National Preserve, and deepening the Mobile harbor.
Interviews with family members and colleagues provide insight into Bevill’s service in World War II and his extraordinarily long career in service to the people of Alabama. Extensive archival film footage provides insight into Bevill’s personable nature.
The film airs tonight at 9:00 on APT.
Read more HERE.

A message from the
Alabama League of Municipalities

The League commends Governor Ivey and the Alabama Legislature for their diligence in allocating funds from the American Rescue Plan Act towards quality of life endeavors for Alabama’s citizens.

Alabama welcomes visitors at the “First White House of the Confederacy,” a historic home next to the state Capitol where Confederate President Jefferson Davis lived with his family in the early months of the Civil War.
The museum managed by the state’s Department of Finance says it hosts nearly 100,000 people a year, many of them school children on field trips.
Evelyn England, an African-American woman who worked for 12 years as a receptionist at the historic site, is retiring under less than amicable circumstances.
State records show she was suspended for three days last month for refusing to sign a performance review, and she said she filed a racial discrimination complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
After all those years working among the Davis family’s furniture and belongings, England wishes the museum would take a broader view of history. That slavery was a catalyst for the Civil War “is sort of stated around,” she said.
Explanatory displays at the museum, where the first Confederate flag still flies outside, mostly discuss the furnishings and how rooms were used, and make little to no mention of slavery, which Davis promoted as “a moral, a social and a political blessing.”
The museum’s curator, Bob Wieland, said Friday that he would ask the board to respond to questions about how the museum is run, but he doesn’t think the museum depicts an overly rosy view of Davis.
“Jefferson Davis has never been called great in the house. He was the president of the Confederate States of America. We would say no more, no less than that,” Wieland said.
Read more from Kim Chandler HERE.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Sunday that Russia could invade Ukraine “any day,” launching a conflict that would come at an “enormous human cost.”
The senior adviser to President Joe Biden offered another stark warning the day after U.S. officials confirmed that Russia has assembled at least 70% of the military firepower it likely intends to have in place by mid-month to give President Vladimir Putin the option of launching a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
“If war breaks out, it will come at an enormous human cost to Ukraine, but we believe that based on our preparations and our response, it will come at a strategic cost to Russia as well,” Sullivan said.
Among those military indicators: an exercise of Russia’s strategic nuclear forces that usually is held each fall was rescheduled for mid-February to March. That coincides with what U.S. officials see as the most likely window for invasion.
Last week, Biden administration officials said that intelligence findings showed that the Kremlin had worked up an elaborate plot to fabricate an attack by Ukrainian forces that Russia could use as a pretext to take military action against its neighbor.
Read more HERE.

Alabama Associate Justice Will Sellers has another column this week looking back at history and drawing modern parallels.
Sellers today takes on Japanese internment, the federal policy implemented by President Franklin Roosevelt that saw as many as 120,000 Japanese Americans sent to internment camps.
It’s a stark reminder of just how wrong things can go when power is abused, he writes.

“The need to systematically detain these citizens was no doubt a knee-jerk reaction to Pearl Harbor. But leadership is more than succumbing to situational whims and should be based on evidence or some proof that a threat existed. In fact, the exact opposite was true.
“Military intelligence and the FBI found no disloyalty among the Japanese Americans. They uncovered no organized network of spies or saboteurs ready to support an invasion. The only reason for the detention was a suspicion based upon fear and a complete misunderstanding of Japanese American culture.”

Read the full column HERE.

A message from

Adams and Reese, LLP

We understand today’s global economy, where a wide range of regulatory and business issues converge and where leveraging federal funding is critical to the robust, long-term economic success of our clients.
To stay out in front of these issues, subscribe to receive our new federal funding and regulatory newsletter.

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – COVID hospitalizations decline as omicron peaks

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Documentary on Tom Bevill to air Monday

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Black worker at Confederate site raises race complaint

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Top Biden aide says Ukraine invasion could come ‘any day’

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Will Sellers: The Terrors of Justice

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Bills would eliminate state tax on groceries

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Justices weigh Alabama’s bid to stop redistricting order

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Auburn engineering dean Roberts named university president

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Amazon workers try new tactics to unionize in Alabama

AL.COM – Spotlight shines on Alabama Secretary of State race as views over 2020 election, and Trump, loom large

AL.COM – Trump claims prosecutors investigating him are ‘racist’

AL.COM – Fastest growing cities in Alabama; how they stack up nationally

AL.COM – National Geographic documentary on Clotilda to premiere Monday

AL.COM – Feuding over Amtrak passenger plan heats up ahead of Feb. 15 hearing

Montgomery Advertiser – Alabama Legislature will stay in GOP hands, but some shifts could take place

Montgomery Advertiser – Search for missing Tennessee man continues after he walked away from I-85 accident

Montgomery Advertiser – Early morning fire damages Days Inn, no injuries

Decatur Daily – Orr files major math education bill, includes Common Core prohibition

Decatur Daily – Wait continues on Carrie Matthews decision, appraisal of nearby land

Decatur Daily – Former Decatur doctor Michael Dick acquitted in sex abuse trial

Times Daily – Extension Service offers program for veterans

Times Daily – Lawmakers consider grocery tax elimination

Times Daily – Colbert County signs on to Greater Shoals Broadband Initiative

Anniston Star – Chinese New Year in spotlight at Berman Museum

WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Hale County getting six new community storm shelters after deadly EF-2 tornado

WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Officials say you need to prepare early for tornado season

WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Local doctors hope parents with kids 5 and under will get the COVID vaccine once approved

Tuscaloosa News – Cynthia Almond, in first term, named Tuscaloosa County legislation chair

Tuscaloosa News – Alabama Legislature will stay in GOP hands, but some shifts could take place

Tuscaloosa News – ‘It’s just rocket science’: UASPACE set to launch University of Alabama’s first satellite

YellowHammer News – Dr. Daniel Sutter: Greed and inflation

YellowHammer News – State Rep. Stringer: Business, law enforcement, education communities seek exceptions to constitutional carry proposal

Gadsden Times – Ricky Tillis: From student to employee to director at Valley Street Campus

Gadsden Times – PET OF THE WEEK: Energetic Crowley is available for adoption

Gadsden Times – Alabama Legislature will stay in GOP hands, but some shifts could take place

Dothan Eagle – Biden task force releasing report to strengthen labor unions

Dothan Eagle – Peng Shuai saga hews to familiar script in China

Dothan Eagle – Santa Ana Winds for Southern California as snow continues for the Northeast

Opelika-Auburn News – Drew Peterson asks judge to vacate murder conviction

Opelika-Auburn News – Peng Shuai saga hews to familiar script in China

Opelika-Auburn News – Biden task force releasing report to strengthen labor unions

WSFA Montgomery – Black History Month: Montgomery Interpretive Center keeps history alive for future generations

WSFA Montgomery – Missing man last seen leaving wreck in Montgomery County

WSFA Montgomery – Black worker at Confederate site raises race complaint

WAFF Huntsville – Police: Panda Express employee allegedly shoots self at work

WAFF Huntsville – Sheffield shooting sends man to the hospital

WAFF Huntsville – Ex-corrections officer gets 9 years for inmate assault

WKRG Mobile – Bubble life: China takes COVID sports routine to new extreme

WKRG Mobile – A muted Lunar New Year, inside and outside Olympic bubble

WKRG Mobile – Closed steel mill sends Olympic skiers – not smoke – skyward

WTVY Dothan – ADPH: Heart disease is state’s leading cause of death

WTVY Dothan – Enterprise councilwoman hosts first heart health walk

WTVY Dothan – Overnight fire breaks out at Montgomery hotel

WASHINGTON POST – Trump and allies try to redefine racism by casting White men as victims

WASHINGTON POST – U.S. coronavirus cases are dropping. Other countries are breaking records.

WASHINGTON POST – Frozen out of GoFundMe, Canadian protest convoy raises millions on Christian site

NEW YORK TIMES – N.J. Governor to End School Mask Mandate in Move to ‘Normalcy’

NEW YORK TIMES – Covid Live Updates: Australia to Reopen to Vaccinated Travelers This Month

NEW YORK TIMES – Is the Coronavirus in Your Backyard?

WALL STREET JOURNAL – Frontier Group, Spirit Airlines Merge in $6.6 Billion Deal

WALL STREET JOURNAL – Bond Yields Edge Down, Stock Futures Waver Ahead of Earnings

WALL STREET JOURNAL – Green Startups Stumble, Accelerating Selloff of Risky Stocks

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