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Daily News Digest – December 19, 2022

Good morning!
Here’s your Daily News for Monday, December 19.

1. New member profile: Jerry Starnes

  • For the latest in our series profiling new members of the Alabama Legislature, Mary Sell takes on State Rep. Jerry Starnes, R-Prattville.
  • As Mary writes, Starnes considered running for the Alabama House in 2018 when the District 88 seat was open. But when another Republican, Will Dismukes, announced his candidacy, Starnes said he stepped aside and continued serving on the Prattville City Council. This year, Starnes challenged embattled incumbent Dismukes for the seat, beating him in the May primary.
  • “This year was just the right opportunity to run,” Starnes told Alabama Daily News. “We needed representation for that seat.”
  • Starnes received nearly 62% of the vote in May and then easily beat a Libertarian candidate in November.
  • Now, Starnes, who was raised in Prattville, will take to the State House his experience on the city council, as a lieutenant colonel in the Alabama Army National Guard and from a career with the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles.
  • Read the full story HERE.


2. Stephen Boyd: The Monday Brief

  • With Congress racing to the year-end finish line this week on a number of fronts, Stephen Boyd brings us up to speed with his Monday Brief from Washington.
  • The big deadline item is the omnibus government funding bill, which could contain several items of particular interest to Alabama.
  • Also of note is the still-pending decision on SPACECOM, or the U.S. Space Command’s future headquarters, which many are hoping will come to Huntsville. This has been a thorny issue, and I’m now smarter on it having read Stephen’s explanation.
  • Read the Monday Brief in full HERE.



3. Alabama closes some oystering areas, sparking complaints

  • Alabama officials have closed some oystering grounds in Mobile Bay, prompting complaints from harvesters.
  • The move by the Alabama Marine Resource Division is part of a continuing effort to keep wild oyster reefs in the Gulf of Mexico from being killed by overharvesting.
  • Meeting with oyster harvesters on Dauphin Island, AMRD director Scott Bannon said the closure was part of an effort to rebuild the state’s population of the bivalve.
  • “Unfortunately, there’s just not enough oyster harvest available to do a longer season and to maintain that,” Bannon said. “We would love to do that. We’d love to keep Alabama product in the market longer; we would love for them to be working longer and making good money.”
  • Some harvesters say the state is cutting off their main source of income during the peak winter season for Gulf oysters.
  • Read more HERE.


4. McCarthy’s race for speaker risks upending House on Day One

  • In his quest to rise to House speaker, Kevin McCarthy is charging straight into history — potentially becoming the first nominee in 100 years unable to win the job on a first-round floor vote.
  • The increasingly real prospect of a messy fight over the speaker’s gavel on Day One of the new Congress on Jan. 3 is worrying House Republicans, who are bracing for the spectacle. They have been meeting endlessly in private at the Capitol trying to resolve the standoff.
  • Taking hold of a perilously slim 222-seat Republican majority in the 435-member House and facing a handful of defectors, McCarthy is working furiously to reach the 218-vote threshold typically needed to become speaker.
  • “The fear is, that if we stumble out of the gate,” said Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., a McCarthy ally, then the voters who sent the Republicans to Washington “will revolt over that and they will feel let down.”
  • Not since the disputed election of 1923 has a candidate for House speaker faced the public scrutiny of convening a new session of Congress only to have it descend into political chaos, with one vote after another, until a new speaker is chosen. At that time, it eventually took a grueling nine ballots to secure the gavel.
  • Read more HERE.


5. Final Jan. 6 panel meeting today: what to watch

  • The House committee investigating the Capitol riot will make its final public presentation today about the unprecedented effort by Donald Trump to overturn the results of the presidential election he lost in 2020. The committee has called it an “attempted coup” that warrants criminal prosecution from the Justice Department.
  • That is expected to be the committee’s closing argument as it wraps up a year-and-a-half-long inquiry and prepares to release a final report detailing its findings about the insurrection in the nation’s capital on Jan. 6, 2021, as Congress was certifying Joe Biden’s presidential victory. The committee of seven Democrats and two Republicans is set to dissolve at the end of the year.
  • Today’s meeting will be the committee’s 11th public session since forming in July 2021. One of the first hearings, on June 9, was viewed by more than 20 million people.
  • Read more about what to watch for when the meeting begins at 1 p.m. HERE.



ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Starnes brings law enforcement, city council perspectives to HD88
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama closes some oystering areas, sparking complaints
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – McCarthy’s race for speaker risks upending House on Day One
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Final Jan. 6 panel meeting: What to watch
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Capitol Journal – December 16, 2022
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama Supreme Court denies new trial for death row inmate
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Birmingham Southern seeks bailout, warning it may close
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Court rejects maintaining COVID-19 asylum restrictions
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – No. 23 Troy rallies past No. 22 UTSA 18-12 in Cure Bowl
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Brown’s 2 TDs lead UAB past Miami (OH) 24-20 in Bahamas Bowl
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama unemployment holds at 2.7% in November
AL.COM – Alabama charter school enrollment soars as more schools open
AL.COM – Some Alabama schools automatically enroll students in military JROTC
AL.COM – Birmingham-Southern College’s future at stake as lawmakers discuss $37.5 million bailout
Montgomery Advertiser – ‘Newspapers are not dead’ : Podcast highlights rural Alabamians fighting for their community news
Montgomery Advertiser – Community Hero: Nicholas Townsend innovates how Alabama educates its children
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Mother still searching for answers four years after son’s 2018 murder
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Harbin Pharmacy making amoxicillin compound during nationwide shortage
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Videos posted to social media show street racers blocking parts of I-10, doing fiery stunts overnight in Baton Rouge
Tuscaloosa News – ‘Newspapers are not dead’ : Podcast highlights rural Alabamians fighting for their community news
Tuscaloosa News – Ice-skating rink up and gliding; week leading up to Christmas may be chilly
Decatur Daily – Decatur police: Robbery left 1 thief, 1 victim dead; other thief charged with capital murder
Decatur Daily – Pre-K garden teaches importance of growing own food
Decatur Daily – Ordinance would allow medical pot to be grown, dispensed in Priceville
Times Daily – Father pleads in death of 3-year-old
Anniston Star – Christmas parade turns bucolic Rock Run into a festive corner of Cherokee County
Anniston Star – Kiwanians distribute bikes to children
YellowHammer News – USA researchers to study vaccine hesitancy, social media link
Gadsden Times – ‘Newspapers are not dead’ : Podcast highlights rural Alabamians fighting for their community news
Dothan Eagle – Nighttime drone attack hits Kyiv as Putin heads to Belarus
Dothan Eagle – Twitter users vote in favor of Musk’s exit as CEO in poll created by Musk
Dothan Eagle – At Hanukkah reception, Biden to condemn rising antisemitism
Opelika-Auburn News – At Hanukkah reception, Biden to condemn rising antisemitism
Opelika-Auburn News – 11 people seriously injured amid turbulence on Hawaii flight
Opelika-Auburn News – Mark Hamill talks fundraising for Ukraine, love of politics
WSFA Montgomery – Pet owners urged to prep for freezing temperatures
WSFA Montgomery – Expert warns against children wearing a puffy coats while in car seat
WSFA Montgomery – Sorority chapter in Selma gives the gift of reading
WAFF Huntsville – One person shot at New Market gas station
WAFF Huntsville – Rental assistance program coming to Huntsville, applications open December 19
WAFF Huntsville – Man shot, killed by Opelika police after ‘knife’ incident
WKRG Mobile – Disastrous last play sums up day of mistakes by Patriots
WKRG Mobile – Head of Nobel Prize-winning UN World Food Program to quit
WKRG Mobile – Jesuits ask victims to come forward in artist abuse case
WTVY Dothan – Veterans buried at Alabama National Cemetery honored with holiday wreaths
WTVY Dothan – Crenshaw County man accused of sexually abusing 3 minors
WTVY Dothan – Murder victim had been given probation only hours before he died
WASHINGTON POST – How Trump jettisoned restraints at Mar-a-Lago and prompted legal peril
WASHINGTON POST – Musk’s Twitter poll says he should step down from social network’s helm
WASHINGTON POST – An immortal World Cup final rewards Argentina’s Lionel Messi at last
NEW YORK TIMES – From Zero Covid to No Plan: Behind China’s Pandemic U-Turn
NEW YORK TIMES – Proud Boys Trial Is Set to Open, Focusing on Role in Jan. 6 Violence
NEW YORK TIMES – How Naming the James Webb Telescope Turned Into a Fight Over Homophobia
WALL STREET JOURNAL – Elon Musk’s Twitter Poll Shows Users Want Him to Step Down
WALL STREET JOURNAL – EU Charges Meta With Antitrust Violations Linked to Marketplace
WALL STREET JOURNAL – U.S. Scores $4 Billion Windfall on Oil-Reserve Sales

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


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