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Daily News Digest – April 4, 2022

Presented by the

Alabama League of Municipalities

Good morning!

In case you hadn’t heard, we are gearing up for a rare four-day week in the State House this week. Buckle up!

Here’s your Daily News for Monday, April 4.


1. ALGOP to select candidate replace the late Wheeler on ballot

  • The Alabama Republican Party will select a candidate to replace the late Rep. David Wheeler on this year’s general election ballot. According to state law, it has some time to make a decision.
  • Alabama code says that in the event of a death or resignation of a candidate, the state executive committee “may fill such a vacancy … not later than 76 days before the election.”
  • Wheeler, a first-term Republican, died March 9.
  • Candidate certification for the May 24 primary had already passed at the time of Wheeler’s death. He was the only Republican who qualified to run in House District 47 in Jefferson County.
  • Read more from Mary Sell HERE.
  • (The story also includes the updated House and Senate race charts so many have asked about.)



2. Shelby sets pace for spending earmarks

  • In his last go in the congressional appropriations process he has come to master, retiring Sen. Richard Shelby scored more federal spending on projects in his home state than any other member of Congress.
  • Among Shelby’s top earmarks were $76 million for UAB to build a new biomedical research building, $50 million for the University of Alabama to support science and engineering faculty recruitment through an endowment and $132 million for improvements to the Port of Mobile.
  • The $648 million total of earmarks doesn’t include the billions more tucked into various defense and domestic appropriations titles that will impact the state. Those include $1.3 billion for flight training at Fort Rucker, $570 million for construction on an FBI technical center at the Army’s Redstone Arsenal and other items not on the legislation’s official roster of projects.
  • “I’m very proud of them,” said Shelby, top Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee, which writes spending bills. He rebuffed complaints that it was unfair for senior lawmakers to use clout to garner federal spending.
  • “I think you earn your way,” Shelby, in Congress since 1979, said. “And that’s what people do in any legislative body. And people vote on them. That’s what it’s all about.”
  • Read more HERE.





A message from the

Alabama League of Municipalities

Municipalities are the foundation of Alabama’s economy. The Alabama League of Municipalities was formed in 1935 and currently represents more than 450 member municipalities.

Year after year, the League works to secure legislation enabling all cities and towns to perform their functions more efficiently and effectively; offers specialized training for both municipal officials and employees; and conducts continuing studies of the legislative, administrative and operational needs, problems and functions of Alabama’s municipal governments.

For more information, visit



3. Senate panel to vote on Jackson nomination to Supreme Court

  • Democrats are launching a whirlwind of votes and Senate floor action Monday with the goal of confirming Ketanji Brown Jackson as the first Black woman on the Supreme Court by the end of the week.
  • The Senate Judiciary Committee kicks off this morning with a vote on whether to move Jackson’s nomination to the Senate floor. Democrats will then wind the nomination through the 50-50 Senate, with a final vote in sight for President Joe Biden’s pick to replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer.
  • After more than 30 hours of hearings and interrogation from Republicans over her record, Jackson is on the brink of making history as the third Black justice and only the sixth woman in the court’s more than 200-year history. Democrats — and at least one Republican — cite her deep experience in her nine years on the federal bench and the chance for her to become the first former public defender on the court.
  • The committee could deadlock on Monday’s vote, 11-11, meaning Democrats will have to spend additional hours on the Senate floor to “discharge” her nomination from committee. While it won’t delay the process for long, it’s another blow for Democrats who had hoped to confirm Jackson with bipartisan support.
  • Read more HERE.


4. Federal tax probe into Biden’s son, Hunter, moves forward

  • A federal grand jury has heard testimony in recent months about Hunter Biden’s income and payments he received while serving on the board of a Ukraine energy company, according to two people familiar with the probe.
  • It remains unclear whether he might be charged. But the grand jury activity underscores that a federal tax investigation into President Joe Biden’s son that began in 2018 remains active as prosecutors continue to examine foreign payments and other aspects of his finances.
  • No matter how the investigation resolves, it has already presented a political headache for the Biden administration and could lead to an even bigger one, particularly if Republicans who have seized on the probe to attack the president retake control of the House in midterm elections later this year. Republicans would then control congressional committees and shape the focus of any investigations.
  • A White House that has sought to deflect questions about law enforcement matters to the Justice Department was asked this week whether it stood by the president’s assertion in a 2020 debate that his son had not had unethical business dealings with Ukraine or China. White House communications director Kate Bedingfield said yes.
  • Read more HERE.



5. Russia faces growing outrage amid new evidence of atrocities

  • Russia faced a fresh wave of condemnation on Monday after evidence emerged of what appeared to be deliberate killings of civilians in Ukraine. Some Western leaders called for further sanctions in response, even as Moscow continued to press its offensive in the country’s east.
  • Ukrainian officials said the bodies of 410 civilians were found in towns around the capital, Kyiv, that were recaptured from Russian forces in recent days. In Bucha, northwest of the capital, Associated Press journalists saw 21 bodies. One group of nine, all in civilian clothes, were scattered around a site that residents said Russian troops used as a base. They appeared to have been shot at close range. At least two had their hands tied behind their backs.
  • The images of battered corpses lying in the streets or hastily dug graves unleashed a wave of outrage that could signal a turning point in the nearly 6-week-old war. But sanctions have thus far failed to halt the offensive, and rising energy prices along with tight controls on the Russian currency market have blunted their impact, with the ruble rebounding strongly after initially crashing.
  • Western and Ukrainian leaders have accused Russia of war crimes before, and the International Criminal Court’s prosecutor has opened a probe to investigate the conflict. But the latest reports ratcheted up the condemnation even further, with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and some Western leaders going so far as to accuse Russia of genocide.
  • In a video shown during the Grammy Awards in Las Vegas for musicians and other artists, Zelenskyy implored them to support his nation and “fill the silence with your music.”
  • Read more and see the images HERE.





ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Lawmakers plan rare four-day week to end the session


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – ALGOP to select candidate to replace late Wheeler


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Shelby sets pace for spending earmarks


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Senate panel to vote on Jackson nomination to Supreme Court


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Federal tax probe into Biden’s son, Hunter, moves forward


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Russia faces growing outrage amid new evidence of atrocities


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama COVID-19 hospitalizations at low for pandemic


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Limestone warden placed on leave


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama State president named to White House advisory board


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Man who parked weapons near Capitol on 1/6 gets prison


AL.COM – Russia-Ukraine war, sanctions create uncertainty for Port of Mobile


AL.COM – Across US, faith groups, churches mobilize to aid Ukrainian refugees


AL.COM – Ukraine documents alleged atrocities by retreating Russians


AL.COM – Columnist Dana Hall McCain: Durant’s stolen election flip-flop


AL.COM – Contributor J. W. Carpenter: Battling a disturbing Birmingham ranking


AL.COM – $2.7 million UAB program seeks to build a healthier Alabama


MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Alabama farmers, foresters launch yearlong effort to showcase conservation practices


MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Transgender health care and more: Top issues at play as Legislature enters final week of session


MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – ‘Barbershop massacre’: Prattville’s deadliest crime wraps with guilty plea


MONTGOMERY INDEPENDENT – Three in Five Alabamians Support a Repeal of the Grocery Tax


MONTGOMERY INDEPENDENT – Publisher Jeff Martin: “Let’s Go Brandon?” We can be better


Decatur Daily – Bill to limit cities’ collection of traffic ticket fines advances


Decatur Daily  – Political officials expecting crossover voting May 24


Decatur Daily – Bill to limit cities’ collection of traffic ticket fines advances


Decatur Daily  – The Decatur Daily: Speech should never be met with violence


Times Daily – 6 school districts received $35M in ARP ESSER funds


Times Daily – Bill calls for pregnancy test prior to medical marijuana usage


Anniston Star – Senate committee approves ‘Healing History Act,’ retiree tax cut


Anniston Star – Legislature sends Numeracy Act to governor


YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Alabama lineworker training programs graduate spring classes


YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Ed Farm ‘Spaces’ initiative launches first Innovation Library at Alabama school


YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – ‘Ladies of the Jury’ tells the story of significant event in Alabama history


Gadsden Times – Immigrant advocacy groups celebrate decision to end ICE detention at Etowah County jail


Gadsden Times – PET OF THE WEEK: Cheerio loves to play, but is also a cuddly lap dog


Gadsden Times – Rainbow City Goodwill offering coupons for National Cleaning Week


Dothan Eagle – Renaming Fort Rucker: Son sees father’s name as good option for Wiregrass base.


Dothan Eagle – An unforgettable, pugnacious night at the Oscars; Zelenskyy’s latest plea; gas prices drop, slowly


Dothan Eagle – Canada Indigenous tell pope of abuses at residential schools


Opelika-Auburn News – Auburn alumnus Ed Packard has made election administration his life’s work, and now he’s running for Ala. Secretary of State


Opelika-Auburn News – She started baking as a little girl, and even after becoming an ER nurse she couldn’t stop


Opelika-Auburn News – Arab, US top diplomats in Israel as Mideast dynamic shifts


WASHINGTON POST – U.S. weighs tougher Russia sanctions after evidence of Bucha killings.


WASHINGTON POST – The Washington Post: Republican excuses for rejecting Ketanji Brown Jackson are absurd.


WASHINGTON POST – What the student loan payment pause has meant to Black women.


WASHINGTON POST – As inflation spreads, rising prices fuel charges of corporate greed: Liberals allege companies are taking advantage of the moment, but companies say much more complicated economic forces are at work.


NEW YORK TIMES – Flurry of New Laws Move Blue and Red States Further Apart


NEW YORK TIMES – In the Ocean, It’s Snowing Microplastics: Tiny bits of plastic have infiltrated the deep sea’s main food source and could alter the ocean’s role in one of Earth’s ancient cooling processes, scientists say.


NEW YORK TIMES – Surrounded by War, Compassion Endures: Small moments of humanity still sing out in Ukraine. Times journalists shared the moments of courage and kindness they’ve witnessed while covering the conflict.


Front Pages (images link to newspaper websites, which you should visit and patronize)


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