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Daily News Digest – December 30, 2020

Presented by the

Alabama Rural Broadband Coalition


Good morning!

Here’s your Daily News for Wednesday, December 30.



1. COVID-19 update

  • Alabama ranked sixth on the list of states with the most new COVID-19 cases per capita over the past week, according to Johns Hopkins University.
  • Alabama’s latest average positivity rate — the percentage of tests coming back positive for the virus — is almost 40%, one of the highest figures in the country.
  • And the state is now seeing an average of 46 deaths per day, up from 30 on Dec. 14.
  • While ICUs nationwide were at 78% capacity during the week of Dec. 18-24, Alabama’s were 91% full, according to the U.S. Health and Human Services Department. As of last week, 15 Alabama hospitals had intensive care units that were at or above capacity, and the ICUs at six more hospitals were at least 96% full.
  • On Tuesday, 2,804 people were in Alabama hospitals with COVID-19, the highest total since the pandemic began.
  • Experts worry the strain will only increase after the holidays because of new infections linked to travel and gatherings of family and friends.
  • Read more from Jay Reeves and Kim Chandler HERE.



2. Where we stand in Congress

  • President Donald Trump’s push for bigger $2,000 COVID-19 relief checks stalled out in the Senate as Republicans blocked a swift vote proposed by Democrats and split within their own ranks over whether to boost spending or defy the White House.
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is trying to find a way out of the bind. The GOP leader filed new legislation late Tuesday linking the president’s demand for bigger checks with two other Trump priorities — repealing protections for tech companies like Facebook or Twitter that the president complained are unfair to conservatives as well the establishment of a bipartisan commission to review the 2020 presidential election he lost to President-elect Joe Biden.
  • “The Senate will begin a process,” the GOP leader said. He said little more, only that he would bring the president’s demand for the $2,000 checks and other remaining issues “into focus.”
  • The two GOP senators from Georgia, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, announced Tuesday they support Trump’s plan for bigger checks as they face Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock in runoff elections that will determine which party controls the Senate.
  • “I’m delighted to support the president,” said Perdue on Fox News. Loeffler said in an interview on Fox that she, too, backs the boosted relief checks.
  • Trump repeated his demand in a tweet ahead of Tuesday’s Senate session: ”$2000 for our great people, not $600!”
  • Read more HERE.






A message from the

Alabama Rural Broadband Coalition

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted Alabama’s digital divide and the significant need for the expansion of rural broadband all across our state.
  • High-speed broadband is a basic personal necessity in today’s society and will bring an array of benefits related to education, telemedicine, economic development and agriculture.
  • Currently, Alabama ranks 38th in the nation in terms of broadband access, but for Alabama to thrive in a 21st century economy every Alabamian should have access to a reliable internet connection.







3. Trump lashes out at GOP after override vote on defense bill

  • President Donald Trump lashed out at congressional Republicans on Tuesday after the House easily voted to override his veto of a defense policy bill.
  • A total of 109 Republicans, including Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, a member of GOP leadership, joined with Democrats on Monday to approve the override, which would be the first of Trump’s presidency. The Senate is expected to consider the measure later this week.
  • Trump slammed GOP lawmakers on Twitter, charging that “Weak and tired Republican ‘leadership’ will allow the bad Defense Bill to pass.″
  • Trump called the override vote a “disgraceful act of cowardice and total submission by weak people to Big Tech. Negotiate a better Bill, or get better leaders, NOW! Senate should not approve NDAA until fixed!!!″
  • The 322-87 vote in the House sends the override effort to the Senate, where the exact timing of a vote is uncertain.
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., wants a vote as soon as Wednesday, but Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders objected to moving ahead until McConnell allows a vote on a Trump-backed plan to increase COVID-19 relief payments to $2,000.
  • Read more HERE.



4. Nashville bomber’s girlfriend warned he was building bombs

  • More than a year before Anthony Warner detonated a bomb in downtown Nashville on Christmas, officers visited his home after his girlfriend told police that he was building bombs in an RV trailer at his residence. But they were unable to make contact with him, or see inside his RV.
  • Officers were called to Pamela Perry’s home in Nashville on Aug. 21, 2019, after getting a report from her attorney that she was making suicidal threats while sitting on her front porch with firearms, the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department said Tuesday in an emailed statement. A police report said Raymond Throckmorton, the attorney, told officers that day that he also represented Warner.
  • When officers arrived at Perry’s home, police said she had two unloaded pistols sitting next to her on the porch. She told them those guns belonged to “Tony Warner,” police said, and she did not want them in the house any longer. Perry, then 62, was then transported for a psychological evaluation after speaking to mental health professionals on the phone.
  • Throckmorton told The Tennessean that Perry had fears about her safety, and thought Warner may harm her. The attorney was also at the scene that day, and told officers Warner “frequently talks about the military and bomb making,” the police report said. Warner “knows what he is doing and is capable of making a bomb,” Throckmorton said to responding officers.
  • Police then went to Warner’s home, located about 1.5 miles from Perry’s home, but he didn’t answer the door when they knocked several times. They saw the RV in the backyard, the report said, but the yard was fenced off and officers couldn’t see inside the vehicle.
  • Read more HERE.


5. Inside Alabama Politics


A new edition of Inside Alabama Politics is out today!
In today’s edition:
  • 2022 Politics: Federal and State;
  • What to expect from the session;
  • To vax or not to vax;
  • Bill would ‘modify’ teachers’ retirement benefits;
  • Wine, beer home-delivery bills coming;
  • Melson bringing back medical marijuana bill;
  • Potpourri;
Read these stories and more HERE.
Not an ADN Insider? It’s our premium subscription service that offers exclusive scoops and the latest rumors and rumblings from the world of Alabama Politics. And did I mention that new members get a complimentary mug?
Subscribe today HERE.

A message from

Alabama Daily News

  • Don’t get left out!
  • The legislative session is only 34 days away and, while we don’t yet know what exactly the schedule will look like, it’s a good bet that access to the State House will be limited due to the ongoing pandemic.
  • Not to worry. You can still reach lawmakers by advertising with Alabama Daily News! In fact, there is no better way to put your company or organization’s message directly in front of the Legislature, constitutional officers, congressional delegation and associated staff than through a promotion in the Daily News Digest.
  • Reserve your space today!







ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – ‘Like a bathtub filling up’: Alabama is slammed by the virus
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump’s $2,000 checks stall in Senate as GOP blocks vote
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump lashes out at GOP after override vote on defense bill
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Nashville man’s girlfriend warned he was building bombs
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – In the Weeds: Exit interview with Bradley Byrne
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Fate of Trump’s $2,000 checks now rests with GOP-led Senate
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – House votes to override Trump’s veto of defense bill
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Nashville bomber left hints of trouble, but motive elusive
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – More COVID-19 vaccines in the pipeline as US effort ramps up
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – VA home residents to receive COVID-19 vaccinations
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – December 28, 2020
AL.COM – Alabama adds 3,907 COVID-19 cases; hospitalizations above 2,800
AL.COM – Alabama ranks top 10 in COVID per capita, hospitalizations: ‘not a good place,’ UAB doctor says
AL.COM – 20,000 of Alabama’s 128,175 COVID vaccines have been administered; ADPH launches new tracker
AL.COM – More people are moving to Alabama than moving away
AL.COM – Jasper Lumber announces $45 million expansion, to create 60 jobs
AL.COM – Amazon workers at Alabama warehouse one step closer to union vote
AL.COM – Alex Leatherwood, Najee Harris lead Alabama football call for racial justice
Montgomery Advertiser – As Mitch McConnell blocks stimulus check Senate vote, Americans use memes to ask for $2,000
Montgomery Advertiser – Air Force Junior ROTC flies, fights and wins vs COVID-19
Montgomery Advertiser – Man, 65, dies after Dec. 19 shooting in Montgomery
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Endangered person alert for missing teen canceled, teen has been located
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Local urgent care facility outlines vaccine distribution process
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – ‘You can’t escape the danger’: Brother and pregnant sister shot and killed in Mississippi triple homicide
Tuscaloosa News – Severe weather possible New Year’s Eve in Tuscaloosa area
Tuscaloosa News – Red Bowl Asian Bistro opens in former site of Ruby Tuesday
Tuscaloosa News – Send your hopes for a better 2021 to The Tuscaloosa News
Decatur Daily – Limestone property tax deadline extended to Jan. 8; Morgan, Lawrence deadline is Thursday
Decatur Daily – ‘Like a bathtub filling up’: Alabama is slammed by the virus
Decatur Daily – ALDOT: Expect delays on I-565 eastbound on Wednesday
Times Daily – Counties continuing purge of voter rolls
Times Daily – Some garbage collection routes to run a day late
Times Daily – Bill aims to reduce crowding in county jails
Anniston Star – Local leaders pass away in 2020
Anniston Star – With hospitals at capacity, health officials expect double surge of COVID cases after holidays
Anniston Star – Georgia man gets dozens of burglary, criminal mischief charges
YellowHammer News – Coronavirus hospitalizations in Alabama hit new record as UAB expert warns of ‘crisis mode’ if numbers keep spiking
YellowHammer News – Jasper Lumber Company expanding, adding 60 jobs after forming new corporate partnership
YellowHammer News – Alabama’s DeVonta Smith becomes first ever WR named AP Player of the Year
Gadsden Times – GAD-FirstResponderVaccine-12-29
Gadsden Times – COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to rise, set records
Gadsden Times – First responders get first shot at COVID-19 vaccine
Dothan Eagle – Gov. Ivey awards House of Ruth $90K grant to assist victims
Dothan Eagle – Dothan man arrested for assaulting ex with handgun
Dothan Eagle – UPDATE: Record high COVID-19 hospitalizations forces SE Health to implement immediate operational changes
Opelika-Auburn News – CNN correspondent: Here’s why the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is exciting
Opelika-Auburn News – Nashville man’s girlfriend warned he was building bombs
Opelika-Auburn News – Two injured in early morning shooting at Lee County bar; sheriff’s office to implement “enforcement actions”
WSFA Montgomery – Montgomery firefighters begin receiving COVID-19 vaccine
WSFA Montgomery – Alabama’s Broadband Connectivity for Students program extended into spring
WSFA Montgomery – Louisiana Congressman-elect Luke Letlow dies after being hospitalized with coronavirus
WAFF Huntsville – 2 more Louisville police officers involved in Breonna Taylor investigation will be fired
WAFF Huntsville – Madison city leaders working to help rescue dogs and cats
WAFF Huntsville – Can-a-thon 2020: 47,000 meals donated to Food Bank of North Alabama
WKRG Mobile – Crews fight early morning fire at Mobile business
WKRG Mobile – Crews battle fire at vacant motel in Mobile
WKRG Mobile – Nashville police records reveal previous complaint of Anthony Warner making bombs in RV
WTVY Dothan – ADPH launches COVID-19 vaccine dashboard
WTVY Dothan – Local dietitian shares guidance on healthy eating into the new year
WTVY Dothan – Dothan Utilities collecting live Christmas trees for recycling
WASHINGTON POST – First case of highly infectious coronavirus variant detected in Colorado
WASHINGTON POST – ‘Eye of the storm’: As U.K. coronavirus cases hit record high, health-care workers are overwhelmed
WASHINGTON POST – ‘Eye of the storm’: As U.K. coronavirus cases hit record high, health-care workers are overwhelmed
NEW YORK TIMES – Britain Authorizes Covid-19 Vaccine From Oxford and AstraZeneca
NEW YORK TIMES – First U.S. Case of Highly Contagious Coronavirus Variant Is Found in Colorado
NEW YORK TIMES – A Chinese Covid-19 Vaccine Has Proved Effective, Its Maker Says
WALL STREET JOURNAL – U.S. Reports First Case of New Covid-19 Variant
WALL STREET JOURNAL – Covid-19 Vaccine Made by AstraZeneca, Oxford Is Authorized by U.K.
WALL STREET JOURNAL – McConnell Blocks Vote on Bigger Stimulus Checks



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