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Daily News Digest – December 10, 2021

Presented by the

University of South Alabama Health System

Good morning and Happy Friday!

Here’s your Daily News for December 10.


1. New highly detailed broadband map shows unserved areas

  • For the first time, Alabama now has a map that shows down to individual addresses where in the state there lacks proper broadband connectivity.
  • The state-of-the-art map was shown for the first time publicly at a meeting of the Alabama Digital Expansion Authority on Thursday. It’s the result of a multi-year effort to gather the most accurate information about broadband availability across the state in order to create a state-wide connectivity plan.
  • “Alabama may be at the bottom of the list for many things, but right now we are No. 1 when it comes to being able to deploy this plan,” said Sen. Clay Scofield, who chairs the authority.
  • The map will eventually be available online for anyone to view and will show various data points like connectivity speeds, what types of technology are deployed and what areas have received grants to pay for broadband infrastructure.
  • Read more from Caroline Beck HERE.



2. State BOE: Masking requirement decisions should be made at local level

  • The Alabama State Board of Education on Thursday approved a resolution supporting local school systems’ ability to make decisions related to COVID-19 protocols, including masking requirements.
  • Meanwhile, there will be at least two bills in the upcoming legislative session prohibiting mask mandates or letting parents opt out of them.
  • Approved unanimously by the state board, including board leader Gov. Kay Ivey, the resolution says the board believes local school systems are in the best position to make informed decisions on what is best for their community and that “certain matters of health and safety policy should be reserved for LEAs to determine.”
  • Rep. Chip Brown, R-Hollinger’s Island, pre-filed for the upcoming session a bill to allow parents and guardians to opt their children out of schools’ mask requirements.
  • Read more from Mary Sell HERE.





A message from the

University of South Alabama Health System

  • Here, we combine knowledge, skill and technology with a patient-centered, team-based approach to care.
  • We’re committed to providing each patient with a personalized treatment plan in a nurturing environment, conducive to healing.
  • In partnership with the USA College of Medicine, we combine the latest in cancer therapies with comprehensive support for the emotional, social and physical challenges that a cancer diagnosis can bring.





3. Academy of Honor recognizes accomplished Alabamians

  • The nation’s defense secretary and a pioneering social justice activist are among new members inducted Thursday into the Alabama Academy of Honor.
  • The Academy honors 100 living Alabamians for their accomplishments and service to the state and nation. The ceremony included honorees for 2020 because that year’s ceremony was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The 2020 honorees are: Equal Justice Initiative founder Bryan Stevenson, former U.S. Congressman Jo Bonner and retired Maj. Gen. J. Gary Cooper, a decorated Vietnam veteran and the first Black officer in the Marine Corps to lead an infantry company into combat.
  • The 2021 honorees are U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Huntsville attorney Julian Butler, retired judge John England Jr., former Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson, Grammy-award-winning recording artist Lionel Richie and UAB’s Senior Vice President of Medicine Dr. Selwyn Vickers.



4. Senate passes bill easing way for debt limit increase

  • The Senate moved ahead Thursday with legislation that would create a one-time, fast-track process for raising the debt limit, overcoming a Republican filibuster and likely averting another last-minute rush to avoid a devastating federal default.
  • The bill fits the two goals that Republican leader Mitch McConnell had set months ago for the politically difficult vote to increase the country’s borrowing authority: Democrats probably will have to pass the debt ceiling increase on their own, without GOP support, and they will have to increase it by a specific amount.
  • McConnell was able to deliver enough Republican votes to advance the bill Thursday when 14 Republicans sided with Democrats to end debate. That was the most precarious and unpredictable vote in the process. That support largely held with the vote on final passage of the measure later in the evening. The bill now goes to President Joe Biden’s desk for his signature.
  • Read. more HERE.



5. Farmers Federation updates governmental affairs leadership

  • The Alabama Farmers Federation recently announced changes to its team of governmental affairs professionals following the retirement of longtime Organization Department Director Mike Tidwell.
  • Brian Hardin, Mitt Walker and Matthew Durdin are all in new roles.
  • Read more HERE.




A message from


  • Pre-filing for the 2022 session is underway! Is your current bill tracker helping you or holding you back?
  • FastDemocracy provides the most accurate and up-to-date bill tracking software so you’re always well-informed and on top of everything happening in Montgomery.
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ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – New highly detailed broadband map shows where unserved areas


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – State BOE: Masking requirement decisions should be made at local level


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Academy of Honor recognizes accomplished Alabamians


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Senate passes bill easing way for debt limit increase


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Farmers Federation updates governmental affairs leadership


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Top state lawmakers: expect gambling legislation in regular session


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Former NFL player Glenn Foster dies after arrest in Alabama


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – ACCS board approves 2023 budget request, chancellor raise


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – CDC chief: Omicron mostly mild so far


AL.COM – Alabama near last in nation in childhood COVID vaccination rate


AL.COM – Tuberville says Republican candidates in Alabama should ‘fight it out’


AL.COM – Alabama Black Belt among world’s top sites to find ancient sea monsters


AL.COM – State sex abuse inmate dies after being found unresponsive in Bessemer prison cell: Coroner


AL.COM – Child tax credit: 91% of Alabamians used money for food, clothing, rent, utilities


AL.COM – Mobile’s Merceria Ludgood pushed to put Africatown on the map


Montgomery Advertiser – 7 face federal gambling, cruelty charges connected to alleged Chilton County cockfighting operation


Montgomery Advertiser – Student detained after a gun was found at Lee High School


Montgomery Advertiser – Three University of Alabama law school students donate kidneys


Decatur Daily – ALDOT: Infrastructure law will fund road improvements statewide, but not mega-projects


Decatur Daily – UPDATE: Decatur police charge women with shooting into occupied vehicle


Times Daily – Concrete girders set on northbound Ashe Boulevard overpass


Times Daily – Colbert commission seeking bill to regulate sex offenders


Times Daily – Colbert Commission approves ordinance banning strip clubs


Anniston Star – Veteran offenders gain second chance through treatment court


Anniston Star – Spectators enjoy Weaver parade on warm afternoon


Anniston Star – Local men’s business offers healthy bite to eat


YellowHammer News – Mike Durant: American hero, Alabama conservative


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – University Of Alabama law students donate kidneys


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – 41-year-old Bessemer man killed in shooting


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – NEW DETAILS: Missing Auburn student’s car, remains found 45 year later


Tuscaloosa News – Theatre Tuscaloosa presents door-slamming winter farce ‘Girls’ Weekend’


Tuscaloosa News – Three University of Alabama law school students donate kidneys


Tuscaloosa News – Second phase of west Tuscaloosa road improvement project set for early 2022


YellowHammer News – Merrill after Mar-a-Lago visit with Trump: Former president, Ivey have ‘outstanding relationship’ — ‘Thinks a great deal of’ Ivey


YellowHammer News – State Rep. Wes Allen moves to ban use of private funds in Alabama elections process


Gadsden Times – Etowah County, Rainbow City and Southside will seek injunction to block rendering plant


Gadsden Times – Whole Backstage presents ‘Christmas Carol’ as ‘radio play’


Gadsden Times – Three University of Alabama law school students donate kidneys


Dothan Eagle – Italy fines Amazon $1.3B, alleging harm to outside sellers


Dothan Eagle – Germany warns Russia will pay a price if it enters Ukraine


Dothan Eagle – Group: Pandemic tech tools raise risk of everyday tracking


Opelika-Auburn News – Indian farmers suspend year-long protest against new laws


Opelika-Auburn News – Italy fines Amazon $1.3B, alleging harm to outside sellers


Opelika-Auburn News – UK Prime Minister Johnson’s wife gives birth to baby girl


WSFA Montgomery – Scattered showers today, impactful day on Saturday


WSFA Montgomery – Tracking rain & storms to end the week and start the weekend


WSFA Montgomery – Legal Services Alabama assisting struggling renters, landlords


WAFF Huntsville – Team Vet, Santa and Jackson County first responders deliver Christmas toys to students at Nelson Elementary


WAFF Huntsville – Meet Limestone County Circuit Court Judge Matthew Huggins


WAFF Huntsville – Huntsville International Airport in final stages of selection process for Dream Chaser landing site


WKRG Mobile – Jurors at Potter trial see Daunte Wright shooting aftermath


WKRG Mobile – 53 die in horror crash of truck smuggling migrants in Mexico


WKRG Mobile – Vikings beat Steelers 36-28, deny last-play pass in end zone


WTVY Dothan – Business is booming for Downtown Enterprise with holiday shopping


WTVY Dothan – Dale County couple charged with multiple sex charges indicted by federal jury


WTVY Dothan – Houston County Farm Center to be sold, demolished


WASHINGTON POST – The Fed’s inflation challenge: Getting the policy and the messaging right


WASHINGTON POST – Republicans help Senate Democrats approve bipartisan deal to avert debt ceiling crisis


WASHINGTON POST – Warning of vaccine inequality, WHO again avoids endorsing boosters for general public


NEW YORK TIMES – In Texas, a Battle Over What Can Be Taught, and What Books Can Be Read


NEW YORK TIMES – Omicron Brings New Round of Foreboding for British Businesses


NEW YORK TIMES – Covid Live Updates: U.K. Braces for Omicron Wave as World Watches


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Elon Musk, Other Leaders Sell Stock at Historic Levels as Market Soars, Tax Changes Loom


WALL STREET JOURNAL – U.S. Inflation Likely Hit a 39-Year High in November


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Omicron Disrupts Government Plans to Lure Migrant Workers as Labor Shortages Bite





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