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Daily News Digest – August 2, 2021

Good morning!

Here’s your Daily News for Monday, August 2.

1. New law eases restrictions on local food makers


  • Melissa Humble and her husband moved back to Alabama in March 2020, just before much of the state shut down.
  • Looking for a way to earn income and stay home to protect her immunocompromised spouse from COVID-19, Humble began baking and selling French macarons and other treats.
  • HumbleBee Bakes is now a regular at farmers markets around Headland in Henry County, and Humble locally sources the fruit, jellies and eggs that go into her products.
  • But the state’s laws regulating the cottage food industry were limiting. It capped gross sales at $20,000 a year and didn’t allow for Internet sales.
  • That online restriction especially hurt Humble around the holidays.
  • “I have had so many people ask about purchasing online and shipping, and that just wasn’t an option,” Humble said. She estimates she lost about $400 in sales in December from people who contacted her wanting to order her macarons.
  • Starting this month, those restrictions will be eased under Senate Bill 160, approved in the spring. Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, sponsored the law change.
  • “It takes the ridiculous shackles off of people who want to start home businesses,” Orr said. “This could be the first step, the incubation of new small businesses in the home.”
  • Read more from Mary Sell HERE.



2. Infrastructure bill drops

  • After much delay, senators unveiled a nearly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package, wrapping up days of painstaking work on the inches-thick bill and launching what is certain to be a lengthy debate over President Joe Biden’s big priority.
  • The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act clocked in at some 2,700 pages, and senators could begin amending it soon. Despite the hurry-up-and-wait during a rare weekend session, emotions bubbled over once the bill was produced Sunday night. The final product was not intended to stray from the broad outline senators had negotiated for weeks with the White House.
  • Among the major new investments, the bipartisan package is expected to provide $110 billion for roads and bridges, $39 billion for public transit and $66 billion for rail. There’s also set to be $55 billion for water and wastewater infrastructure as well as billions for airports, ports, broadband internet and electric vehicle charging stations.
  • Paying for the package has been a challenge after senators rejected ideas to raise revenue from a new gas tax or other streams. Instead, it is being financed from funding sources that might not pass muster with deficit hawks, including repurposing some $205 billion in untapped COVID-19 relief aid, as well as unemployment assistance that was turned back by some states and relying on projected future economic growth.
  • “I’ve got real concerns with this bill,” said Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah.
  • Read more HERE.



3. Economics: Inflation is up and so are wages

  • American consumers increased their spending by 1% in June — a dose of energy for an economy that is quickly rebounding from the pandemic recession but is facing new risks led by the delta variant of the coronavirus.
  • At the same time, a key inflation barometer that is closely followed by the Federal Reserve surged 3.5% last month from a year earlier. That was the fastest such 12-month surge since 1991.
  • That inflation index excludes volatile food and energy prices. A separate price index that includes all such items rose by an even larger 4% over the past 12 months. That was the largest such increase since 2008.
  • Read more about inflation HERE.
  • Meanwhile, wages and salaries rose at a healthy pace in the three months that ended in June as employers competed to find enough workers to fill millions of available jobs.
  • Pay increased 1% in the second quarter for workers in the private sector, the Labor Department said Friday. That’s down slightly from 1.1% in the first three months of the year but still the second-highest reading in more than a decade.
  • In the year ending in June, wages and salaries jumped 3.5% for workers in the private sector, the largest increase in more than 14 years. That increase was driven by sharp rise in pay for restaurant and hotel workers of more than 6%.
  • Total compensation for all employees rose at a slower pace, increasing just 0.7% in the second quarter and 2.9% in the past year. That figure was held back by weaker wage growth in state and local governments, and an unexpected slowing in the growth of benefits, such as health care. Benefits provided by companies rose just 0.3% in the second quarter, down from 0.6% in the first.
  • Read more HERE.



4. News Briefs

3 bodies found in burned vehicle in Chilton County

  • CLANTON, Ala. (AP) — The remains of three people were found inside a burned-out vehicle that was discovered on a remote logging road in central Alabama, the Chilton County Sheriff’s Office said.
  • Authorities were working to identify the skeletal remains, and there was no immediate indication of the cause of death.
  • The car was found Thursday following a call from someone who spotted it, and Sheriff John Shearon said it did not appear the bodies had been there long.
  • “Somebody knows these people are missing,” Shearon said. “We need somebody to notify us if they know anything at all.”
  • The vehicle was found near Montevallo about 35 miles south of Birmingham.

Teen charged in officer’s slaying makes court appearance

  • SELMA, Ala. (AP) — A teenager accused of using a rifle to kill a police officer who was taking a lunch break at home made his initial court appearance Friday wearing a bulletproof vest.
  • Javonte Stubbs, 18, was under heavy police guard during a hearing in Dallas County, where a judge scheduled a preliminary hearing for Sept. 17. Asked by a reporter whether he killed Selma Police Officer Marquis Moorer, Stubbs responded by shaking his head “no,” WSFA-TV reported.
  • Stubbs, who was a star football player at Selma High School, was charged with capital murder in the killing of Moorer, 25, and attempted murder in the wounding of Shakiaria Barley, a woman described by police as being in a relationship with Moorer.
  • Full story HERE.

Alabama State, Drake State receive NASA minority grants

  • MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Two Alabama colleges are among six nationally that have been awarded grants by NASA to expand minority engineering programs and research.
  • Alabama State University in Montgomery and J.F. Drake State Technical College in Huntsville are part of a program totaling $7 million under NASA’s Minority University Research and Education Project.
  • Historically Black Alabama State said it would receive $1.2 million over three years. The money will allow the school to provide additional research opportunities for students in collaboration with other institutions.
  • Michelle Foster, chair of Alabama State’s math and computer science department, said it was important to increase diversity in high tech fields.
  • “For minority students, the numbers speak for themselves. Data tells us that only two percent nationwide of minority students have degrees in or are employed in engineering and physics,” she said in a statement.
  • Others schools receiving grants include the University of Massachusetts, Florida A&M University, Navajo Technical College in New Mexico and Texas A&M University.

Bar known to two generations of Alabama students closing

  • TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — A dive bar known to two generations of University of Alabama students, football fans and music lovers has closed.
  • Egan’s Bar shutt down this weekend after 42 years in Tuscaloosa on a stretch of nightspots and restaurants called “The Strip.” A “Last Call at Egan’s” took place Satruday.
  • Mike McWhirter, who took over the popular bar in 2018, said he made the hard decision to sell Egan’s within the last month due to a job opportunity he had in Texas with his son.
  • McWhirter, who was a regular at Egan’s for years before operating it, said the decision to close was tough.
  • “To see that era end is a little difficult and I’ve had my reservations, but being with my family is incredibly important to me,” McWhirter said.
  • Bands including the Grammy-winning Alabama Shakes have played at Egan’s. It’s unclear what will become of a well-known sign that hangs over the door that reads: “Thick Smoke. Dim Lights. Loud Music. Welcome to Egan’s.”




5. Sports Briefs

Simone Biles to compete on balance beam at Tokyo Olympics

  • Simone Biles is back.
  • The 2016 Olympic gymnastics champion will return to competition in the balance beam final on Tuesday, a little over a week after stepping away from the meet to focus on her mental health.
  • “We are so excited to confirm that you will see two U.S. athletes in the balance beam final tomorrow — Suni Lee AND Simone Biles!! Can’t wait to watch you both!” USA Gymnastics said in a statement.
  • The 24-year-old Biles won bronze on beam in Rio de Janeiro five years ago and qualified for the eight-woman final at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre on the first weekend of the Games.
  • She removed herself from the team final on July 27 after a shaky performance on vault during the first rotation. She watched from the sidelines as her three American teammates completed the meet without her; the U.S. took silver behind the team known as the Russian Olympic Committee.
  • The six-time Olympic medalist later said she was dealing with issues surrounding air awareness, referred to as “the twisties” in her sport.

Newton, Jones embracing budding friendship and competition

  • FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Mac Jones is amazed at how Cam Newton can bring instant levity to the meeting room. Though he’s sure he could never pull off the veteran’s often unique clothing choices.
  • Newton is equally taken aback by how much “swag” his clean-cut 22-year-old rookie teammate has displayed and his surprising knowledge of hip-hop music.
  • “Cool as the other side of the pillow,” Newton said with a smile Friday.
  • “I’d say the same about Cam,” a chuckling Jones said later.
  • It’s all part of a budding friendship between the two and rare detente between alums of the bitter Auburn and Alabama college football rivalry: Newton led Auburn to a national title in 2010 and Jones did it with the Crimson Tide a decade later.
  • It has also ratcheted up expectations as they build their bond now as teammates and compete to be the Patriots’ Week One starter this season.
  • Read more HERE.

With college sports in flux, NCAA set to overhaul itself

  • The NCAA Board of Governors on Friday called for a constitutional convention in November, the first step toward launching dramatic reform in how the sprawling, multibillion-dollar enterprise of college sports is governed for years to come.
  • In the wake of a stinging loss in the Supreme Court and radical changes to the way athletes can be compensated —- and with College Football Playoff expansion and major conference realignment already in motion — the NCAA said it wants to “reimagine” how it manages the needs of its more than 450,000 athletes.
  • “The goal is to make sure that we can align authority and responsibilities, get that right between campuses and the conferences and the national level,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a brief teleconference with reporters.
  • Read more HERE.

Cubs, Nationals will always have 2016 and 2019

  • There was something particularly poignant about the fact that the Washington Nationals hosted the Chicago Cubs this past weekend.
  • By the time their three-game series began Friday night, each team had pulled the plug on an era that produced some great memories for its fans. Washington traded Max Scherzer, Trea Turner and Daniel Hudson, three players who made key contributions when the Nationals won the World Series two years ago. The Cubs executed a similar teardown, parting with Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Javier Báez, who etched their names into Chicago lore when they helped the team end its 108-year title drought in 2016.
  • Read more HERE.



ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – New law eases restrictions on local food makers


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – It’s in and it’s big: Senate unveils $1T infrastructure bill


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Worker pay rises strongly as businesses fight to fill jobs


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – US consumers boost spending 1% as inflation remains high


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Teen charged in officer’s slaying makes court appearance


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – With college sports in flux, NCAA set to overhaul itself


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Newton, Jones embracing budding friendship and competition


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Cubs, Nationals will always have 2016 and 2019


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Virus hospitalizations jump from 204 to over 1,300 in July


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Jurors begin weighing fate of longtime Alabama sheriff


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Perfectly Impossible: Gymnasts wrestle with the imperfect


AL.COM – Is the delta variant affecting children? UAB, Children’s of Alabama pediatrician explains


AL.COM – Walmart requiring workers to mask up in stores in high-risk counties


AL.COM – ‘Just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me,’ Trump urged Justice official


AL.COM – Delta variant of COVID as contagious as chickenpox, CDC report shows


AL.COM – Contributor Sen. Tommy Tuberville: National defense bill includes big wins for Alabama


AL.COM – Contributor Lee Styslinger III: The benefits for Alabamians are clear; infrastructure investment can’t wait any longer


Montgomery Advertiser – Bonnie Sullivan new principal at Pike Road Intermediate School


Montgomery Advertiser – Sunday morning shooting leaves 22-year-old Montgomery man dead


Montgomery Advertiser – Beard approved: Airman overcomes barriers to expressing faith on his face


Decatur Daily – New law eases restrictions on cottage food makers


Decatur Daily – Jury begins deliberations in Blakely trial after lawyers argue about intent and greed


Decatur Daily – ‘Lost revenue’ could be used in prison fix


Times Daily – Sixth Street, Counts Drive projects on Muscle Shoals council agenda


Times Daily – Downtown paving impacting traffic signals


Times Daily – Extension agents: Armyworms infestation worst in decades


Anniston Star – Bridal show helping turn deferred dreams into renewed reality


Anniston Star – New law eases restrictions on cottage food makers


Anniston Star – Economic Development Academy designed to improve municipal economies, opens applications


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Health officials worry people will resist wearing masks again


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Birmingham City Schools leaders disappointed with vaccination survey results


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Madison County inmate back in custody after premature release


Tuscaloosa News – BETTY SLOWE’S BLOG: Aug. 2, 2021: Creed Gilmer played for the Tide


Tuscaloosa News – PHOTOS: University of Alabama 2021 Summer Commencement


Tuscaloosa News – PHOTOS: Hot Hundred Century Ride


YellowHammer News – ADPH’s Harris: No mandate but masking regardless of vaccination recommended in K-12 schools


YellowHammer News – UAH’s Baudry Lab part of efforts to target COVID with drug therapies


YellowHammer News – USA College of Nursing receives $1.9 million grant to boost nursing diversity


Gadsden Times – WHEN HARRY MET: Cheryl Sington, who danced in ‘Thriller’


Gadsden Times – Donor provides, Scouts assemble dog beds for Humane Society Pet Rescue & Adoption Center


Gadsden Times – PET OF THE WEEK: Longtime shelter resident Koda seeks ‘furever’ home


Dothan Eagle – Liz Weston: 4 cash-raising pitfalls (and better options)


Dothan Eagle – Olympics Latest: Cuba’s Orta Sanchez wins 60kg Greco-Roman


Dothan Eagle – Global Payments: Q2 Earnings Snapshot


Opelika-Auburn News – Pashinyan officially appointed Armenia’s prime minister


WSFA Montgomery – Crews work massive fire in Burnsville near Selma


WSFA Montgomery – Montgomery educators, residents protest violent crime at capital


WSFA Montgomery – Man killed in overnight Montgomery shooting


WAFF Huntsville – Back-to-School: Start dates for North Alabama school districts


WAFF Huntsville – Thunderstorms expected overnight into Sunday afternoon


WAFF Huntsville – ADPH: Rabid raccoon attacked person on walking trail in Cullman


WKRG Mobile – Democrats and Republicans confident in Senate to pass bipartisan infrastructure bill


WKRG Mobile – Ascension Sacred Heart offering COVID-19 testing in northwest Florida


WKRG Mobile – Alabama state archives announces new exhibit on women’s suffrage


WTVY Dothan – Ozark Leisure Services holds family-fun health day Saturday afternoon


WTVY Dothan – Poplar Head Farmers Market winds down summer season


WTVY Dothan – Three arrested in Geneva County on sex, drug crimes


WASHINGTON POST – Senate finishing crafting $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure proposal, setting delicate debate in motion


WASHINGTON POST – The quiet Biden-GOP talks behind the infrastructure deal


WASHINGTON POST – With new vaccine and mask requirements, businesses scramble to respond to delta variant and shifting health guidance


NEW YORK TIMES – Where a Vast Global Vaccination Program Went Wrong


NEW YORK TIMES – Olympics Live Updates: Jade Carey Wins Floor Exercise, Simone Biles to Compete on Beam


NEW YORK TIMES – Olympic Women’s Soccer Updates: Canada Beats U.S. in Semifinal


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Futures Signal Stock Indexes to Rise Toward All-Time Highs


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Square Agrees to Acquire Afterpay for $29 Billion in All-Stock Deal


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Fed Chairman Powell’s Approach to Regulation Has Drawn Criticism From Some Democrats




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