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Daily News Digest – April 27, 2022

Good morning!
Here’s your Daily News for Wednesday, April 27.

1. Alabama Medicaid enrollment increases as pandemic requirement continues

  • Alabama Medicaid enrollment has grown as the program continues to operate under a federal requirement that people can’t be unenrolled because of changes in their income or other eligibility factors.
  • In early 2020, in response to COVID-19, the federal government increased states’ Medicaid funding, but said people already enrolled or enrolled during the pandemic couldn’t be removed.
  • The requirement was renewed last week for the eighth time. It is expected to end later this year, Alabama Medicaid spokeswoman Melanie Cleveland told Alabama Daily News.
  • Once the end of the public health emergency is announced, Alabama Medicaid will begin the process of evaluating current enrollees for possible continued coverage.
  • Medicaid enrollment was 1.25 million in February, the latest month available. That’s up from 1.15 million in February 2021 and 1.05 million prior to the pandemic.
  • Read more from Mary Sell HERE.

2. Blanchard loans campaign $1.6M; Ivey, James get major contributions

  • Incumbent Gov. Kay Ivey has a comfortable lead in recent polling ahead of the May 24 primary, but her GOP challengers have continued to raise significant funds this month, including a massive loan from the primarily self-funded candidate.
  • Lindy Blanchard has loaned her campaign another $1.6 million, bringing her available funds as of late last week to just more than $3 million.
  • Blanchard, the former ambassador to Slovenia under President Donald Trump, previously loaned her campaign $5 million in December and $2.8 million in January.
  • Last year, we reported in Inside Alabama Politics that the self-funder was prepared to spend $10 million of her own money running for office, which at that time was the U.S. Senate. She’s now standing at $9.4 million with 28 days to go until the primary election.
  • While Blanchard has the most cash on hand, incumbent Ivey has taken in some significant contributions this month and has $2.7 million on hand, according to the latest information on the Alabama Secretary of State’s site.
  • State campaigns have to report separately donations over $20,000 and Ivey’s listed eight totaling just more than $1 million. The largest of those, $750,000, came from a D.C.-based organization called “Get Families Back to Work.”
  • Read more from Mary Sell HERE.

3. Arby’s worker arrested after grease thrown on customer

  • An Alabama fast-food worker who allegedly threw hot grease on a customer during a dispute over service in the drive-thru line, causing severe burns, was charged with assault, police said.
  • The 50-year-old woman was charged Monday following a confrontation that occurred Saturday afternoon at an Arby’s restaurant in suburban Birmingham, according to a statement from the Hueytown Police Department.
  • Authorities did not provide details on what prompted the dispute, but police said it did not appear the two women knew each other.
  • The victim, who suffered second-degree burns over a large part of her body and was hospitalized. Court documents show the victim filed a civil lawsuit seeking an unspecified amount of money from the worker, Arby’s and Alabama-based companies that operate the restaurant.
  • Read more HERE.

4. Jan. 6 panel wants to hear from McCarthy after new audio

  • The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol is redoubling its efforts to have GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy appear for an interview amid new revelations concerning his private conversations about the deadly riot, the chairman said Tuesday.
  • Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said the panel expects to decide this week about issuing a second request to McCarthy, who has declined to voluntarily appear before the panel.
  • The committee is racing to wrap up this phase of its work amid newly released audio recordings of McCarthy’s private remarks after the Jan. 6 attack, when supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol trying to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory.
  • In a Jan. 10, 2021, audio recording released Tuesday by The New York Times, McCarthy tells fellow Republican leaders that Trump’s far-right allies in the House are “putting people in jeopardy” with their public tweets and comments that could put other lawmakers at risk of violence.
  • McCarthy singled out several conservative representatives, among them Matt Gaetz of Florida and Mo Brooks of Alabama, as potentially endangering the security of other lawmakers and the Capitol complex. There’s discussion on the call of disciplining Brooks, who addressed the Jan. 6 rally and urged the crowd to “fight like hell” before they marched to the Capitol.
  • “He’s putting people in jeopardy,” McCarthy said, according to the new audio. “And he doesn’t need to be doing this. We saw what people would do in the Capitol, you know, and these people came prepared with rope, with everything else.”
  • Read more HERE.

5. Russia releases U.S. Marine in prisoner exchange

  • Russia and the United States have carried out a dramatic prisoner exchange, trading a Marine veteran jailed in Moscow for a convicted Russian drug trafficker serving a long prison sentence in America, both countries announced Wednesday.
  • The surprise deal involving Trevor Reed, an American jailed for nearly three years, would have been a notable diplomatic maneuver even in times of peace, but it was all the more extraordinary because it was done as Russia’s war with Ukraine has driven relations with the U.S. to their lowest point in decades.
  • President Joe Biden, who met in Washington with Reed’s parents last month, trumpeted Reed’s release and noted without elaboration that “the negotiations that allowed us to bring Trevor home required difficult decisions that I do not take lightly.” The Russian foreign ministry described the exchange as the “result of a long negotiation process.”
  • Multiple other Americans still remain jailed in Russia, including WNBA star Brittney Griner and Michigan corporate security executive Paul Whelan.
  • Read more HERE.


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama Medicaid enrollment increases as pandemic requirement continues
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Blanchard loans campaign $1.6M; Ivey, James get major contributions
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Arby’s worker arrested after grease thrown on customer
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – House 1/6 panel wants to hear from McCarthy after new audio
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Russia releases US Marine vet as part of prisoner exchange
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Distribution of judges a lingering legislative issue
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Requirement, dashboard increasing student aid applications
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Hearing set in effort to block Alabama transgender law
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Elon Musk to buy Twitter for $44B and take it private
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Supreme Court tackles case about praying football coach
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Report: More than 50% of Alabama teachers leave first classrooms within 3 years
AL.COM – Inside the remarkable rise and fall of Alabama’s most predatory police force
AL.COM – ‘We can’t put up with this type of s—,’ McCarthy says of Mo Brooks’ Jan. 6 rhetoric in taped call with GOP leaders
AL.COM – Could Mobile soon be Alabama’s second largest city? Annexation talks heat up
AL.COM – Marjorie Taylor Greene to Mark Meadows: ‘Marshall law’ Trump’s ‘only way to save our Republic’
AL.COM – Report: Alabama child well-being ranks 47th in U.S, what can be done
AL.COM – Who will replace Mo Brooks in Congress? Here are U.S. House District 5 candidates
AL.COM – Parents scramble after Alabama daycare cuts hours ‘to give our teams a chance to breathe’
Montgomery Advertiser – A look at the people, places and events that make up the Black Belt
Montgomery Advertiser – Teen charged with attempted murder in stabbing of a student at Lee High in Montgomery
Montgomery Advertiser – Autaugaville man facing attempted murder charge in Friday night shooting following argument
Decatur Daily – Decatur Utilities considers entering broadband business
Decatur Daily – GEORGE MILLS, 1921-2022: Veteran of World War II was ‘committed to his country’
Decatur Daily – Judge rules Lawrence school board can close R.A. Hubbard
Times Daily – Water system upgrades needed for western Colbert development
Times Daily – Authority, landfill operator head to mediation today
Times Daily – Leighton teen drowns in Shelby County
Anniston Star – Vehicle accident in Anniston leaves one dead
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Attorney: Arby’s customer claims she was burned after drive-thru intercom didn’t work
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Homewood PD investigating several catalytic converter thefts
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Etowah County 2nd annual DARE camp
Tuscaloosa News – Raw chicken parts spilled on downtown Tuscaloosa bridge; drivers urged to be cautious
Tuscaloosa News – What to know before Miranda Lambert, Avett Brothers shows at Tuscaloosa Amphitheater
Tuscaloosa News – Time for spring cleaning: Tuscaloosa County cleanup set for Saturday
YellowHammer News – Gary Palmer visits border — ‘You need to understand the human tragedy that’s taking place because we have left our borders open’
YellowHammer News – Dueling Mike Durant Second Amendment TV spots drop in U.S. Senate race
YellowHammer News – Alabama First Class Pre-K program expands access to 27K children with addition of 96 classrooms
Gadsden Times – One dead in Alabama Highway 79 crash near Guntersville
Gadsden Times – Fire destroys century-old house on South Fourth Street, cause not yet determined
Gadsden Times – VIDEO: Fire destroys century-old house on South Fourth Street
Dothan Eagle – ‘Remain in Mexico’ goes to Supreme Court; Biden issues 1st pardons; Depp finishes 4 days on stand
Dothan Eagle – Beshear cites ‘drafting errors’ in vetoing scholarship bill
Dothan Eagle – Group reports record tally of antisemitic incidents in 2021
Opelika-Auburn News – Russia cuts off Poland, Bulgaria from its gas; new McCarthy tapes; America’s spring wildfires
Opelika-Auburn News – Russia releases US Marine vet as part of prisoner exchange
Opelika-Auburn News – Justices to hear Oklahoma appeal in tribal jurisdiction case
WSFA Montgomery – Valiant Cross Academy holds fundraiser to continue its mission with young men
WSFA Montgomery – Opelika police searching for missing 50-year-old woman
WSFA Montgomery – Attorney: Arby’s customer claims she was burned after drive-thru intercom didn’t work
WAFF Huntsville – AG Steve Marshall, local Sheffield officials honored Sgt. Nick Risner on Tuesday
WAFF Huntsville – Federal judge rules school board can shut down R.A. Hubbard High School
WAFF Huntsville – Drivers license offices reopen with new updates to potentially cut down wait time
WKRG Mobile – Musk’s Twitter ambitions to collide with Europe’s tech rules
WKRG Mobile – Reelection bolsters France’s Macron as powerful player in EU
WKRG Mobile – Lebanon vote holds little hope for change despite disasters
WTVY Dothan – Here is why Chairman Culver believes suspending gas tax is bad idea
WTVY Dothan – Arrest in stabbing at Montgomery high school
WTVY Dothan – City of Ashford’s family park in beginning stages
WASHINGTON POST – Russia cuts off gas to Poland, Bulgaria, stoking tensions with E.U. over Ukraine
WASHINGTON POST – E.U. accuses Russia of ‘blackmail’ after gas cut to Poland, Bulgaria
WASHINGTON POST – Rand Paul says U.S. backing Ukraine in NATO played role in Russia’s invasion
NEW YORK TIMES – Ukraine Live Updates: Russia Suspends Gas Supply to Poland and Bulgaria
NEW YORK TIMES – China’s Covid Lockdown Outrage Tests Limits of Triumphant Propaganda
NEW YORK TIMES – Before Washington’s ‘Nerd Prom,’ Lots of Risk-Benefit Calculation
WALL STREET JOURNAL – Medical Program Offering Student-Debt Relief Takes Hard Line in Covid-19 Pandemic
WALL STREET JOURNAL – Elon Musk Bets Twitter Users Will Like a More Freewheeling Platform
WALL STREET JOURNAL – U.S. Stock Futures Edge Up After Tech-Led Selloff

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