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Daily News Digest – December 7, 2021

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Good morning!

Today marks the 80th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. It’s important to make sure younger generations know about that infamous day that claimed more than 2,400 American lives and vaulted the United States into World War II.

Here’s your Daily News for Tuesday, December 7.


1. Legislation would address school food supply chain shortages

  • The food supply chain issues that have been complicating Alabama’s school lunch programs this fall are likely to continue throughout the rest of the school year, according to State Superintendent Eric Mackey.
  • Mackey told Alabama Daily News that no school has shut down because it has run out of food, but school menus are being adjusted.
  • “The situation changes on a weekly basis but no one is running out of food,” Mackey said. “We don’t think it’s going to get any worse or any better for the rest of the year, though.”
  • Schools in Alabama have been reporting issues about obtaining enough of certain food products since September. It is a trend seen across the nation as shortages in the workforce and supply chain problems across all sectors of the economy are hindering school nutrition programs.
  • One Alabama lawmaker however, plans to introduce a bill during the 2022 regular legislative session to hopefully help with the supply chain food problems.
  • Sen. Jack Williams, R-Wilmer, told ADN he will file again a bill that he introduced during the most recent special session for redistricting that would allow schools to bypass the regular bidding process for purchasing food from typical food vendors.
  • Read more from Caroline Beck HERE.
  • (Reminder: we are trying a new FastDemocracy feature with legislative coverage that allows you to view the bill right in the story without clicking over to ALISON. Appreciate any feedback.)



2. ADN Insiders: Dunn to step down

  • Big news: ADN has learned that Alabama Department of Corrections Commissioner Jeff Dunn will resign his post.
  • Sources with knowledge of Dunn’s plans tell ADN the commissioner has been wanting to step down by the end of the year and could make that official as soon as today.
  • ADN Insiders can read more HERE.
  • Not an ADN Insider? It pays to subscribe! See rates and plans HERE.




A message from


  • The 2022 Governor’s Survey of Employer Competencies is live!
  • As Alabama moves forward with designing an education and workforce training system aligned to the demands of business and industry, obtaining a clear picture of the skills and credentials required by Alabama companies is essential.
  • The survey will identify the competencies and credentials required for occupations that are critical to growth and a competitive landscape.
  • It asks employers to provide information about high-demand occupations and occupations that are the most difficult to find qualified workers to fill. In addition, the survey seeks employers’ comments on education, licenses, credentials and competencies required.
  • Take the survey HERE.



3. SPLC puts $100 million toward voter turnout efforts

  • The Southern Poverty Law Center on Monday announced it is putting $100 million toward an effort to increase voter participation in the Deep South over the next decade.
  • The liberal organization’s Vote Your Voice program supports organizations working in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi.
  • Margaret Huang, president and chief executive of the SPLC, said Voice Your Vote began as an effort to increase voter registration and turnout, “particularly in communities of color who would most benefit from a true inclusive democracy in the South.”
  • Secretary of State John Merrill told WSFA that he’s concerned the money won’t be spent ensuring all voters vote, but rather only those with liberal political views are turned out.
  • Read more HERE.



4. US plans diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

  • The U.S. will stage a diplomatic boycott of the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing t o protest Chinese human rights abuses, the White House confirmed Monday, a move that China has vowed to greet with “firm countermeasures.”
  • White House press secretary Jen Psaki said U.S. athletes will continue to compete and will “have our full support,” but added “we will not be contributing to the fanfare of the games.”
  • “U.S. diplomatic or official representation would treat these games as business as usual in the face of the PRC’s egregious human rights abuses and atrocities in Xinjiang, and we simply can’t do that,” Psaki told reporters during Monday’s briefing.
  • Sen. Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican said the diplomatic boycott amounted to a “half measure.” American officials, including Biden, have criticized Beijing for human rights abuses against Uyghurs in northwest Xinjiang province, suppression of democratic protests in Hong Kong, military aggression against the self-ruled island of Taiwan and more.
  • President Donald Trump’s administration in its final days declared the abuses in northwest China “genocide.”
  • Read more HERE.


5. Heisman finalists announced, Young is the favorite

  • Alabama quarterback Bryce Young, Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson, Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett and Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud were announced Monday as finalists for the Heisman Trophy.
  • The Heisman will be presented Saturday in New York, returning to its usual routine and date — second Saturday in December — after it was forced to delay and go virtual last year due to the pandemic.
  • There are some changes this year. The site of the presentation is moving from a theater in Midtown Manhattan, near Times Square, to a smaller venue on the West Side near Lincoln Center.
  • The process by which Heisman finalists are determined has also been modified. The Heisman Trust announced that starting with this season, there will be four finalists — no more, no fewer — invited to the award presentation ceremony.
  • In the past the Heisman has invited at least three and as many as six players to the presentation. The number was determined by distribution of vote, with the cut-off decided by the gap between vote-getters.
  • 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.
  • Email [email protected] to get a demo and don’t forget to use the promo code ALDAILYNEWS.





ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Legislation would address school food supply chain shortages


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Sources: Alabama prison commissioner Jeff Dunn stepping down (ADN Insiders only)


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – SPLC puts $100 million toward voter work in South


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – US plans diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Heisman finalists: Young, Hutchinson, Pickett, Stroud


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Supply-chain, weather issues mean late harvests for Alabama farmers


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Blanchard to formally announce candidacy for governor Tuesday


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Early reports on omicron variant encouraging


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Tim James running for governor


AL.COM – Alabama school board association cuts ties with national group over terrorism letter, ‘dysfunction’


AL.COM – Does every teacher need a coach? These high flying Alabama schools test help for teachers


AL.COM – Yes, there are high-poverty public schools that operate at a high level in Alabama. Here’s how high flyers succeed.


AL.COM – Treasury Department may soon oversee more all-cash real estate transactions


AL.COM – ‘It’s the right thing to do’: Charles Barkley works to improve AL vaccination rates


AL.COM – Trump SPAC under scrutiny: Digital World Acquisition says $1 billion lined up to rival Twitter, Netflix


AL.COM – Columnist Cameron Smith: Supreme Court’s abortion decision is no more political than Roe v. Wade


Montgomery Advertiser – Tim James to seek Republican nomination for Alabama governor


Montgomery Advertiser – BP oil spill fund: $103M to projects in 3 Gulf states


Decatur Daily – Decatur man pleads guilty to murder of 16-year-old Austin student


Decatur Daily – Gordon Drive-Sixth Avenue access blocked Tuesday


Times Daily – Bill would end good-time credit for plea bargains


Times Daily – TEC completes plans for internet access in Red Rock


Times Daily – 2 more enter field for governor’s race


Anniston Star – Supply-chain, weather issues mean late harvests for Alabama farmers


Anniston Star – Tim James running for Alabama governor



WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – JEFFCO District Attorney cautions parents to secure weapons


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Jefferson County Manger gives update on Patton Chapel Road project


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – New street lights on Tuscaloosa Avenue in Gadsden


Tuscaloosa News – Black Belt communities to receive updated infrastructure plans for decades-old sidewalks


Tuscaloosa News – Tuscaloosa’s first-ever Unity Fest will feature free food, children’s games and music


Tuscaloosa News – Tim James to seek Republican nomination for Alabama governor


YellowHammer News – A look at statewide candidates’ November fundraising numbers


YellowHammer News – Blanchard to make gubernatorial announcement on Tuesday in Wetumpka


Gadsden Times – City of Southside shoots for expanded Christmas events — including first Christmas parade


Gadsden Times – Jury deliberations will continue Tuesday in Hale murder case


Gadsden Times – Tim James to seek Republican nomination for Alabama governor


Dothan Eagle – Hong Kong loses shine amid tough coronavirus restrictions


Dothan Eagle – Hungarian deputy minister suspected of accepting bribes


Dothan Eagle – Biden to warn Putin of economic pain if he invades Ukraine


Opelika-Auburn News – Top pics from the weekend: Kennedy Center Honors and more


Opelika-Auburn News – Pope says he removed Paris archbishop because of gossip


Opelika-Auburn News – Funeral planned for former Florida congresswoman Carrie Meek


WSFA Montgomery – ‘Alarming’: Official responds to guns found at Dallas County school


WSFA Montgomery – Man dies following weekend Montgomery wreck


WSFA Montgomery – Alabama’s chief elections official reacts to SPLC’s $100M voter education pledge


WAFF Huntsville – Beloved Huntsville doctor dies of Parkinson’s disease


WAFF Huntsville – Lawrence County School Board votes to close R.A. Hubbard High School; federal court must approve


WAFF Huntsville – Morgan County Investigator counts blessings one year post-intestinal transplant


WKRG Mobile – Smollett back on stand after calling hoax claim ‘100% false’


WKRG Mobile – Biden to warn Putin of economic pain if he invades Ukraine


WKRG Mobile – Patriots out-run Bills in 14-10 win in blustery conditions


WTVY Dothan – Tips sought in November Troy shooting that killed 1, injured 5


WTVY Dothan – Walton County firefighters save Freeport family’s home


WTVY Dothan – Poleo Arms partners with Hannah’s Gifts for Hope to help childhood cancer victims and their families


WASHINGTON POST – Biden’s ‘Summit for Democracy’ includes countries that hardly seem to qualify


WASHINGTON POST – Justice Dept. sues Texas over redistricting, citing discrimination against Latinos


WASHINGTON POST – Rep. Devin Nunes to leave Congress to become Trump media company CEO


NEW YORK TIMES – Biden Expected to Offer Warnings and Alternatives in Call With Putin


NEW YORK TIMES – Americans’ Pandemic-Era ‘Excess Savings’ Are Dwindling for Many


NEW YORK TIMES – Omicron Is Fast Moving, but Perhaps Less Severe, Early Reports Suggest


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Samsung Replaces CEOs, Merges Mobile and Consumer Electronics Businesses


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Stock Futures, Oil, Bond Yields Gain on Omicron Optimism


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Glaxo Says Its Covid-19 Antibody Drug Works Against Omicron



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