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Daily News Digest – December 3, 2021

Presented by the

University of South Alabama Health System

Good morning and happy Friday!

Seriously this time, the state Christmas tree lighting is tonight at 5:30 on the Capitol steps. Maybe I’ll see you there!

Here’s your Daily News for Friday, December 3.



1. Lawmakers discuss how to handle ARPA funds

  • The money is coming. But how it will be spent remains an open question.
  • Alabama leaders have a rare chance to use federal money to make significant improvements to the state’s broadband networks and other infrastructure systems, but leaders need to plan carefully for its spending in order to stay competitive with states that have the same opportunities, Alabama Finance Director Bill Poole told a panel of lawmakers Thursday.
  • “Every state in this country is going to spend an enormous amount of federal funds on broadband, on water and sewer infrastructure, on health care …” Poole said during an update on the Alabama Rescue Plan Act and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, two federal laws that will infuse billions into the state.
  • Poole and Kirk Fulford of the Legislative Services Agency outlined for lawmakers the multiple pools of federal money that can support infrastructure projects, but noted they have different rules for spending, will become available at different times and “have different strings attached,” Poole said.
  • That money includes about $580 million in ARPA funds received this year and another $1 billion expected in May or June. Allowable potential uses include infrastructure, public health, assistance for those hurt by the pandemic, bonus pay for private and public sector employees and replacing revenue the state lost because of the pandemic.
  • And the infrastructure law guarantees at least $100 million, but likely much more, in broadband assistance for the state. It also has an expected $782 million for water projects in Alabama.
  • Read more from Mary Sell HERE.


2. Government shutdown averted

  • The Senate has passed a stopgap spending bill that avoids a short-term shutdown and funds the federal government through Feb. 18 after leaders defused a partisan standoff over federal vaccine mandates. The measure now goes to President Joe Biden to be signed into law.
  • Earlier Thursday, congressional leaders announced they had finally reached an agreement to keep the government running for 11 more weeks, generally at current spending levels, while adding $7 billion to aid Afghanistan evacuees.
  • Once the House voted to approve the measure, senators soon announced an agreement that would allow them to vote on it quickly.
  • The Senate approved the measure by a vote of 69-28. Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby voted for the bill while Sen. Tommy Tuberville voted against it.
  • The Democratic-led House passed the measure by a 221-212 vote. Alabama’s delegation voted along party lines, with Democratic Rep. Terri Sewell voting in favor and Reps. Jerry Carl, Barry Moore, Mike Rogers, Robert Aderholt, Mo Brooks and Gary Palmer voting against.
  • Lawmakers bemoaned the short-term fix. That includes Rogers, who as the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee argued short-term spending deals are harming military readiness.
  • Other Republicans opposed to Biden’s vaccine rules wanted Congress to take a hard stand against the mandated shots for workers at larger businesses, even if that meant shutting down federal offices over the weekend by blocking a request that would expedite a final vote on the spending bill.
  • Read more 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. Retired Alabama deputy killed in shooting recalled fondly

  • Madison “Skip” Nicholson retired from his job as a deputy with the Wilcox County Sheriff’s Department a couple years ago, but he never really left. He was still around the office many days, partly because he was serving as a constable and serving legal documents in the rural west Alabama county.
  • Nicholson, 78, was fatally wounded and another deputy was shot in a confrontation that left a suspect dead Wednesday afternoon in tiny Yellow Bluff, a town about 90 miles southwest of Montgomery. Nicholson died in the line of duty, state police said.
  • A 40-year veteran of law enforcement, Nicholson was both well-known and popular around Wilcox County, and his death hit the community of roughly 10,000 hard.
  • “He was one of the purest, kindest, genuine people you will ever know,” area celebrity James “Big Daddy” Lawler wrote on his Facebook page, which promotes hunting, fishing and other outdoors activities in the region.
  • Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, who is from Wilcox County, issued a statement honoring Nicholson. The shooting was another reminder of the sacrifice of law enforcement officers, she said.
  • “My prayers go out to his family and colleagues,” said Ivey.
  • Read more HERE.


4. Jobs report: Sluggish hiring in November

  • America’s employers slowed the pace of hiring in November, adding 210,000 jobs, the fewest in nearly a year.
  • That’s less than half of what was expected. Economists had forecast that between 535,000 and 580,000 jobs would have been added.
  • The report from the Labor Department also showed that the unemployment rate fell sharply to 4.2% from 4.6%. That is a historically low level though still above the pre-pandemic jobless rate of 3.5%.
  • Beneath the headline figures on hiring and unemployment, though, lurks a potentially even more consequential question: Are more people who lost jobs to the pandemic recession finally coming off the sidelines to look for work again? Many more job-seekers are needed to help companies fill their open jobs and sustain the economy’s growth.
  • It’s also a critical question for the Federal Reserve. If the proportion of people who either have a job or are looking for one doesn’t rise much, it would suggest that the Fed is nearing its goal of maximum employment.
  • With inflation at a three-decade high and far above the Fed’s 2% annual target, reaching its employment mandate would heighten pressure on Chair Jerome Powell to raise interest rates sooner rather than later. Doing so would make loans more expensive for many individuals and businesses.
  • Read more HERE.


5. Playoff spot on the line as Alabama faces Georgia in Atlanta

  • Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide have faced sporadic challengers during their long reign over the Southeastern Conference.
  • Auburn will pop up every few years to take on college football’s greatest dynasty. Joe Burrow led LSU to a national title at Alabama’s expense. Florida showed flashes of sticking it to the Tide.
  • None of them had any staying power.
  • Georgia could be different.
  • Kirby Smart and the top-ranked Bulldogs look like a program built for the long haul, capable of going toe-to-toe with Alabama on an annual basis.
  • In a season of turmoil, Georgia (12-0, 8-0 SEC, No. 1 in CFP) has stood above everyone and appears to be a shoe-in for a spot in the College Football Playoff no matter what happens Saturday in the league championship game against the Crimson Tide.
  • “Georgia has been the No. 1 team in the country for good reason,” Saban said. “They’re probably the most consistent, most dominant team week in and week out.”
  • No. 4 Alabama (11-1, 7-1, No. 3 CFP) needs an upset of Georgia to avoid missing out on the four-team playoff for only the second time in its eight-year existence, though there are certainly scenarios where the Tide could become the first team to get in with two losses.
  • Read more HERE.



ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – State leaders: Focused plan needed for ARPA money allocations


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Congress passes stopgap funding bill, avoiding shutdown


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Retired Alabama deputy killed in shooting recalled fondly


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – US employers added a sluggish 210,000 jobs in November


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – No. 1 Georgia looks to become top dog over Alabama in SEC


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Justices signal they’ll OK new abortion limits, may toss Roe


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – What they said: remarks by 9 justices indicate how they lean on abortion


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – McCarty not running for reelection to state school board


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ivey honors state’s first Black poet laureate


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – APT Capitol Journal host Don Daily to retire; ADN’s Todd Stacy to take over as host in January


AL.COM – Shelby on stopgap funding bill: ‘We have finally reached an agreement’


AL.COM – Ethics trial wraps up for judge who ruled against Alabama’s death penalty law


AL.COM – Jo Bonner introduced as USA President, asks critics to ‘meet me halfway’


AL.COM – Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill meets with Trump, announcement coming in January


AL.COM – Judge denies Alabama missile contractors COVID vaccine mandate exemption


Montgomery Advertiser – It’s over: New era dawns on MPS as state board of education intervention ends


Montgomery Advertiser – 1 and 100: Monte Maddox, funeral home operational manager


Montgomery Advertiser – Birmingham’s 31-year-old Ashley M. Jones commissioned as Alabama’s first Black poet laureate


Decatur Daily – New law to infuse billions for Alabama infrastructure


Decatur Daily – Town Creek man charged with theft from former employer


Decatur Daily – McCarty not running for reelection to state school board


Times Daily – Former Colbert administrative assistant reassigned to secretary’s position


Times Daily – Legislature will dole out more relief money in 2022


Times Daily – State leaders: Focused plan needed for ARPA money allocations


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Alabama hospitals seeing increase in trauma patients amid nationwide blood shortage


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Interest in supply chain jobs growing locally


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Former JCCEO employees say they aren’t getting paid


Tuscaloosa News – Needy families invited to Christ Episcopal Church’s 10th annual toy sale


Tuscaloosa News – United Daughters of the Confederacy fights removal of controversial monument in Tuskegee


Tuscaloosa News – Birmingham’s 31-year-old Ashley M. Jones commissioned as Alabama’s first Black poet laureate


YellowHammer News – Report: Tommy Tuberville, Lindsey Graham highlight Katie Britt D.C. fundraiser


YellowHammer News – University of Alabama student Jakob Williamson launches bid for Alabama House of Representatives District 40


YellowHammer News – AG Marshall on fallen retired Wilcox County deputy: ‘We must not react to this tragedy with indifference’


Gadsden Times – EXTENSION CORNER: Consider natural options for outdoor Christmas decorations


Gadsden Times – United Daughters of the Confederacy fights removal of controversial monument in Tuskegee


Gadsden Times – Birmingham’s 31-year-old Ashley M. Jones commissioned as Alabama’s first Black poet laureate


Dothan Eagle – France signs weapons mega-deal with UAE as Macron tours Gulf


Dothan Eagle – Austria: Party backs interior chief Nehammer for chancellor


Dothan Eagle – European body to begin disciplinary process against Turkey


Opelika-Auburn News – Study: New German govt’s plans fall short of climate goal


Opelika-Auburn News – Ukraine says Russia amassed over 94,000 troops at border


WSFA Montgomery – Caring for Citizens of Alabama benefits from Montgomery Area Food Bank


WSFA Montgomery – Lowndes County sheriff reacts to shooting of Wilcox County deputies


WSFA Montgomery – Tallassee mayor sues city, council over firing as utility superintendent


WAFF Huntsville – Decatur pharmacy owner works to stay on top of supply chain impacts


WAFF Huntsville – Point Mallard hoping to raise ticket prices


WAFF Huntsville – Angel Tree donors needed for children in need


WKRG Mobile – Latte lover on your list? Check out these top coffee gift sets


WKRG Mobile – Early morning crash kills at least one person in Pensacola


WKRG Mobile – Supreme Court abortion hearing raises questions for senators


WTVY Dothan – Saving lives one flight at a time, and this holiday season they plan to save Christmas for one family


WTVY Dothan – Operation Toy Soldier now taking registrations


WTVY Dothan – Former bookkeeper convicted, sentenced for stealing from Troy City Schools


WASHINGTON POST – Congress passes stopgap spending bill, averting shutdown despite GOP revolt on vaccine requirements


WASHINGTON POST – GOP tactics herald a grim new era of governing for Biden and Democrats


WASHINGTON POST – More Democratic senators are willing to weigh changes to Supreme Court


NEW YORK TIMES – Covid Live Updates: Omicron Variant Found in Several U.S. States


NEW YORK TIMES – A Slow-Motion Climate Disaster: The Spread of Barren Land


NEW YORK TIMES – Thefts, Always an Issue for Retailers, Become More Brazen


WALL STREET JOURNAL – November Likely Saw Strong Job Gains, but Omicron Threat Looms


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Oil Rises, Stock Futures Fall as Markets Cap Volatile Week


WALL STREET JOURNAL – AmEx Global Business Travel Nears $5.3 Billion Merger With Apollo SPAC



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