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Daily News Digest – February 1, 2022

Presented by the

University of South Alabama Health System

Good morning!

Here’s your Daily News for Tuesday, February 1.


1. School choice bill in Senate this week, tougher path in House

  • The school choice bill that will allow state funding to follow students to private schools or homeschool settings is expected to move quickly in the Alabama Senate.
  • The lift in the House could be heavier.
  • “I do think this will be a little more difficult in the House, but this issue has polled incredibly high Republicans and Democrats,” bill sponsor Rep. Charlotte Meadows, R-Montgomery, said Monday
  • “… This being an election year, I’m hopeful that parents will get to their state representatives and say, ‘You know what, it’s time.’”
  • Meadows and Sen. Del Marsh, R-Anniston, this week are filing companion bills that would allow state funding, about $6,500 per student, as early as next year to follow some away from public schools. By 2024-2025, the program would be open to any student, including those already in private schools. Marsh last week told Alabama Daily News the bill could pull about $420 million per year from the state’s Education Trust Fund.
  • He said he expects a favorable vote in Senate Education Policy on Wednesday.
  • The 105-member House has been less hospitable to school choice bills of late.
  • Read more from Mary Sell HERE.


2. Finance reports reveal state of money race

  • Year-end campaign finance reports for federal candidates are in and they reveal the state of the fundraising fight for Alabama’s highly competitive U.S. Senate race.
  • Katie Britt continues to be the most prolific fundraiser, hauling $1.2 million, spending $480K and ending Q4 with more than $4 million cash on hand. Britt ended the year raising more than $5 million with no debts or loans.
  • Mo Brooks raised $385,735 and spent $260,599 in Q4, ending the year with $1.9 million cash on hand. He also has no debts or loans.
  • Mike Durant raised $164,928 and spent $1.79 million in Q4. His campaign ended the year with $2.5 million cash on hand thanks to a $4.1 million personal loan from the candidate.
  • The Durant campaign last month claimed it had raised $4.3 million in Q4, but wouldn’t say how much came in the form of loans versus contributions. The money all spends the same but personal loans aren’t exactly fundraising.
  • 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. Airbus, Lockheed partner for tanker bid

  • Lockheed Martin Corp. said Monday it would seek to build new aerial refueling tankers for the U.S. Air Force, using Airbus jets assembled in Alabama and converting them for military use in Georgia.
  • The deal could create 1,000 new jobs in Georgia and 300 in Alabama, Lockheed Martin spokesperson Stephanie Stinn said.
  • If there’s a tinge in your occipital lobe, you are not alone. This is the second run at building tankers for the U.S. Air Force by Airbus. Their defense unit initially won a bid to build tankers in 2008, but saw the $35 billion deal overturned and instead handed to rival Boeing Co in 2011.
  • Airbus had planned to assemble those planes in Mobile and decided to start building planes there anyway after the loss, assembling commercial A320 jets starting in 2015. Monday’s bid would involve building yet another production line at the 1,200-employee Mobile complex that would assemble larger A330 jets.
  • The Air Force is trying to replace its fleet of aging KC-135 tankers, and could decide who will build the next round of tankers in late 2024 or early 2025, with deliveries starting in 2029. It’s currently buying 176 KC-46 tankers from Boeing, based on that company’s 767 airliner. That program has been troubled, with Boeing absorbing $5 billion in cost overruns. Boeing builds those tankers in Everett, Washington, and they’re based in Wichita, Kansas.
  • U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, an Alabama Republican, alluded to those problems Monday when he told people gathered in Mobile that Lockheed Martin and Airbus are “joining hands to build what the Air Force and Navy and everybody needs — a tanker that works.”
  • Read more from Jeff Amy HERE.



4. COVID-19 hospitalizations decline 5% across Alabama

  • The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 has decreased about 5% in Alabama since last week, a potential sign of improvement in the fight against the pandemic.
  • Statistics from the Alabama Department of Public Health showed 2,805 people were being treated for the illness on Monday, down from 2,961 last Tuesday.
  • Hospitalizations increase or decrease daily, and some hospitals are still struggling with an influx of illness, patients in intensive care on ventilators and staff shortages. But the percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 dropped to a still-high 36% after exceeding 40% for nearly four weeks straight.
  • “Things are not getting worse,” said Dr. Don Williamson, president of the Alabama Hospital Association.
  • Read more and watch the full interview with Dr. Williamson HERE.



5. Defamation trial: Moore denies knowing accuser

  • Former U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, testifying in a defamation case brought by a woman who said he sexually touched her decades ago when she was 14, maintained Monday that he never met his accuser.
  • “I don’t know her,” Moore testified under questioning from his attorney.
  • He disputed Leigh Corfman’s account that he molested her at his home after meeting her with her mother at the courthouse. “I never saw Ms. Corfman in Etowah County or any other place,” Moore said. adding at another point, “I never knew her. I never took her to my home.”
  • Corfman came forward during Moore’s 2017 Senate campaign and said Moore sexually touched her in 1979 when she was 14 and he was in his 30s and working as an assistant district attorney in Etowah County. Her story was first reported by The Washington Post. She was one of several women who said Moore pursued relationships with them when they were teens.
  • Read more from Kim Chandler HERE.



A message from the

Alabama Hospital Association

  • We need your help!
  • There’s a national blood shortage and Alabama hospitals are asking for donations. Every drop counts.
  • You can support your local hospital and community by donating blood today!






ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – School choice bill in Senate this week, tougher path in House


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Britt again dominates Senate race fundraising


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Airbus, Lockheed partner in bid to build refueling tankers in Alabama, Georgia


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – COVID-19 hospitalizations decline 5% across Alabama


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Former Senate candidate Moore on accuser: ‘I don’t know her’


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Inside Alabama Politics – January 31, 2022


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Some of Alabama’s smallest municipalities pass on ARPA funds


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Judge to hear suit over Confederate memorial in Tuskegee


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump dangles prospect of pardons for Jan. 6 defendants


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Marsh bringing ‘mother of all school choice bills’


AL.COM – Roy Moore testifies at trial: Sexual misconduct allegations ‘purely political’


AL.COM – 14 states take Alabama’s side in redistricting case at U.S. Supreme Court


AL.COM – Alabama lawmakers eye creation of ‘ultimate’ parent choice, education savings legislation


AL.COM – Airbus, Lockheed Martin announce plans to build tankers in Mobile


AL.COM – Will Bessemer’s Amazon union vote be any different this time?


AL.COM – Columnist Dana Hall McCain: Saddened to be right on Falwell.


Montgomery Advertiser – Elmore County deputy recovering from gunshot wound as suspect makes first court appearance


Montgomery Advertiser – Protection order against Tallassee Mayor Johnny Hammock extended


Montgomery Advertiser – Col. Howard Howell’s 100th birthday celebrated with drive by lineup in front of First Baptist Church


Anniston Star – ‘Mother of all school choice bills’ in Alabama Legislature this week


Times Daily – Marsh bringing ‘mother of all school choice bills’


Times Daily – Lifelong friendships were milestone of championship season


Times Daily – Artist displays work from ‘Past 30 Years’


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Heflin Police searching for missing woman with dementia


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – $5k reward offered in case of missing Montgomery 18-year-old


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Investigation underway after two people found dead in St. Clair County


Tuscaloosa News – Leadership team begins to take shape at Saban Center


Tuscaloosa News – Tuscaloosa County park officials take top honors at statewide conference


Tuscaloosa News – Troopers searching for vehicle involved in fatal hit-and-run in Tuscaloosa County


YellowHammer News – Eagle Forum PAC endorses Mo Brooks for U.S. Senate


YellowHammer News – Lawmakers attempt to shield Alabama families from $88M tax hike stemming from federal COVID-19 relief tax credits


YellowHammer News – State Sen. Del Marsh to introduce ‘Parent’s Choice Act’ — ‘It finally gives parents and children control of their destiny’


Gadsden Times – Michael Shell to seek Gadsden mayor’s office in Aug. 23 municipal election


Gadsden Times – Snead State holds initial signing for new apprenticeship program


Gadsden Times – Qualifying for 2022 primaries ended Friday: Here is the lineup for local races


Dothan Eagle – Growth slows at end of 2021 in 19 countries that use euro


Dothan Eagle – UK government says Prime Minister Boris Johnson has received report from investigation into lockdown-breaching parties.


Dothan Eagle – Eriksen set for playing return after signing for Brentford


Opelika-Auburn News – Boris Johnson tries to change subject from ‘partygate’ woes


WSFA Montgomery – New initiative focuses on farmers’ mental health


WSFA Montgomery – Missing Montgomery teen’s family desperate for answers


WSFA Montgomery – $5k reward offered in case of missing Montgomery 18-year-old


WAFF Huntsville – Revitalization projects underway in north Huntsville


WAFF Huntsville – Police searching for alleged armed robbers


WAFF Huntsville – Nursing shortages lead to high paying temporary jobs within hospitals


WKRG Mobile – Fire at fertilizer plant may cause explosion, area evacuated


WKRG Mobile – Bomb shelters, guerrilla war: Building Ukraine’s resistance


WKRG Mobile – Myanmar takeover anniversary marked by strike, int’l concern


WTVY Dothan – $5k reward offered in case of missing Montgomery 18-year-old


WTVY Dothan – Doors now open at Ozark free after school program


WTVY Dothan – Deputies: Escaped Houston County inmate arrested after stealing vehicle


WASHINGTON POST – Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for children under 5 could be available by the end of February, people with knowledge say


WASHINGTON POST – Republicans lead 2022 money race as both parties hit record levels of cash on hand


WASHINGTON POST – Russia responds in writing to U.S. proposal on Ukraine crisis


NEW YORK TIMES – Trump Had Role in Weighing Proposals to Seize Voting Machines


NEW YORK TIMES – Former Pence Chief of Staff Has Testified to the Jan. 6 Committee


NEW YORK TIMES – Covid Live Updates: Pfizer Could Apply Soon for Authorization of Vaccine for Children Under 5


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Bond Market Hints at Calm After Disruptive Selloff


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Stock Futures Creep Down Ahead of Earnings, Manufacturing Data


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Elevated Job Openings Show Early Sign of a Pullback



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