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Daily News Digest – February 8, 2021

Good morning!

[Insert pithy comment about the Super Bowl or ads]

Honestly didn’t watch much because I, ever your servant, was busy putting together the latest edition of Inside Alabama Politics.

Here’s your Daily News for Monday, February 8.


1. Alabama begins expanded COVID-19 vaccinations today

  • Alabama today will expand who is eligible to receive immunizations against COVID-19 but health officials cautioned there’s still not enough vaccine for everyone who qualifies for a shot.
  • Everyone 65 and older; educators; grocery store workers; some manufacturing workers; public transit workers; agriculture employees; state legislators and constitutional officers will be eligible to get vaccinations. Previously only health care workers, first responders, nursing home residents and people 75 and older were eligible.
  • “If you are eligible for a vaccine, then we will get you one if want to take it. But it is not going to happen immediately for everyone. There is still going to be awhile before we have enough,” Dr. Scott Harris, the state health officer, told reporters Friday.
  • Harris said an estimated 1.5 million people will be eligible for the vaccinations.
  • The Alabama Department of Public Health site has a map of providers providing shots.
  • Full story HERE.


2. Auburn University fully returning to on-campus operations

  • Auburn University is fully resuming on-campus operations that were disrupted by the coronavirus last year.
  • All optional remote instruction ended on Sunday and most employees who have been working on a virtual basis will return to campus today, the Opelika-Auburn News reported.
  • The decision to reopen was based on multiple factors, said Dr. Fred Kam, director of the university medical clinic.
  • “You’re looking at all the data, all of the information and … you’re forecasting on where you think things will be,” Kam said.
  • The university has seen a downward trend in COVID-19 since 113 cases were reported during the week ending Jan. 17. The university said 75 new virus cases were self-reported during the week ending Jan. 31, three fewer cases than the previous week. The school also reported a 0.9% positivity rate among those tested through its voluntary sentinel testing.
  • Read more HERE.



3. Senate takes up impeachment this week

  • Former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial is opening this week with a sense of urgency — by Democrats who want to hold the former president accountable for the violent U.S. Capitol siege and Republicans who want it over as fast as possible.
  • Scheduled to begin Tuesday, just over a month since the deadly riot, the proceedings are expected to diverge from the lengthy, complicated trial that resulted in Trump’s acquittal a year ago on charges that he privately pressured Ukraine to dig up dirt on a Democratic rival, Joe Biden. This time, Trump’s Jan. 6 rally cry to “fight like hell” and the storming of the Capitol played out for the world to see. While Trump very well could be acquitted again, the trial could be over in half the time.
  • So far, it appears there will be few witnesses called, as the prosecutors and defense attorneys speak directly to senators who have been sworn to deliver “impartial justice” as jurors. Most are also witnesses to the siege, having fled for safety that day as the rioters broke into the Capitol and temporarily halted the electoral count certifying Biden’s victory.
  • Initially repulsed by the graphic images of the siege, Republican senators including Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell denounced the violence and pointed a finger of blame at Trump. But in recent weeks GOP senators have rallied around Trump arguing his comments do not make him responsible for the violence. They question the legitimacy of even conducting a trial of someone no longer in office.
  • Read more from Lisa Mascaro and Hope Yen HERE.


4. Remembering George Shultz

  • Former Secretary of State George P. Shultz, a titan of American academia, business and diplomacy who spent most of the 1980s trying to improve Cold War relations with the Soviet Union and forging a course for peace in the Middle East, has died. He was 100.
  • Shultz died at his home on the campus of Stanford University, where he was a distinguished fellow at the Hoover Institution, a think tank, and professor emeritus at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.
  • A lifelong Republican, Shultz held three major Cabinet positions in GOP administrations during a lengthy career of public service.
  • He was labor secretary, treasury secretary and director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Richard M. Nixon before spending more than six years as President Ronald Reagan’s secretary of state.
  • Shultz negotiated the first-ever treaty with the Soviet Union to reduce the size of their ground-based nuclear arsenals. The 1987 accord was a historic attempt to begin to reverse the nuclear arms race, a goal he never abandoned in private life.
  • “He was a gentleman of honor and ideas, dedicated to public service and respectful debate, even into his 100th year on Earth,” President Joe Biden said in a statement. “That’s why multiple presidents, of both political parties, sought his counsel. I regret that, as president, I will not be able to benefit from his wisdom, as have so many of my predecessors.”
  • Read more HERE.


5. Inside Alabama Politics

The latest edition of Inside Alabama Politics is out today.
In today’s edition:
  • How goes the session;
  • What to expect on gambling;
  • Shelby keeps us waiting, but for how long?
  • Aderholt to the catbird seat;
  • The latest with the Alabama State Bar;
  • Potpourri.
Read these stories and more HERE.
Not an ADN Insider? It’s our premium service in which paid subscribers get access to scoops, exclusives and the ever-popular editions of Inside Alabama Politics. And remember, subscribing counts as a campaign expense. See rates HERE.
By the way, I realize I’m tardy getting new subscribers your mugs. I will be parked outside the State House this week with a box of mugs in my Jeep, so email me if you want to meet up and get your mug.






ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama begins expanded COVID-19 vaccinations


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Auburn University fully returning to on-campus operations


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump impeachment trial to open with sense of urgency, speed


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – George Shultz wasn’t ‘afraid to struggle against the odds’


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Coronavirus cases drop at US homes for elderly and infirm


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – AP sources: Alabama senator has indicated he won’t run again


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Calendar timing means virus deaths won’t be seen in census


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Calls grow for US to rely on rapid tests to fight pandemic


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Weekend Digest, February 7, 2021


AL.COM – Why cremations are becoming increasingly common in Alabama


AL.COM – UA Trustees vote to remove George Wallace’s name from UAB building


AL.COM – Contributor Lisa McNair: Hopeful even though my sister was killed by white men


AL.COM – Columnist Dana Hall McCain: This is no time for junk litigation


AL.COM – Amazon’s new CEO Andy Jassy in ‘hot seat’ as Alabama workers consider union


AL.COM – State lawmakers want to change the way Alabama handles future lockdowns


AL.COM – How long will it take to vaccinate Alabama and how can we speed it up?


AL.COM – Columnist Cameron Smith: An uncomfortable $15 minimum wage column


Montgomery Advertiser – Friday night crash kills Tallassee teen, state troopers say


Montgomery Advertiser – Coronavirus testing of Alabama legislators, now back in session, could accelerate


Montgomery Advertiser – Man clinging to life after Sunday evening shooting in Montgomery


Decatur Daily – 5G infrastructure bill clears Senate


Decatur Daily – Report: Changes to habitual offender law needed


Decatur Daily – Keeping Meals on Wheels recipients connected more important than ever, volunteers say


Times Daily – Salvation Army opening new Sheffield store on Monday


Times Daily – Colbert County Commission sets speed limit on Poplar Creek Loop


Times Daily – Bids open Feb. 26 for U.S. Hwy 72 resurfacing job in Killen


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – ADPH: More than 472K COVID-19 cases, more than 8,500 deaths in Alabama as more than 252K people have recovered


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – UAB infectious disease expert answers questions on Johnson and Johnson vaccine


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Officials, volunteers on high alert for elevated trafficking risk at Super Bowl


Tuscaloosa News – Coronavirus testing of Alabama legislators, now back in session, could accelerate


Tuscaloosa News – Mental distress, suicidal person calls spike for Tuscaloosa police amid pandemic


Tuscaloosa News – PHOTOS: Judge John England


YellowHammer News – Biotech firm BioGX to invest $5 million in Alabama growth plans


YellowHammer News – Heslin named director of USA Health Mitchell Cancer Institute


YellowHammer News – State Rep. Ball: ‘This is the year’ for medical marijuana — Says we need to find a way ‘to utilize this plant in the way God intended it’


Gadsden Times – Westbrook Christian’s Taylor selected as National Merit Scholarship semifinalist


Gadsden Times – Coronavirus testing of Alabama legislators, now back in session, could accelerate


Gadsden Times – Jones says rendering plant-related bill, one of several he’s introduced, is in committee


Dothan Eagle – Wiregrass 2-1-1 begins 14th year of leading others to help


Dothan Eagle – Global shares rise as optimism grows over global recovery


Dothan Eagle – Inside Malawi’s Covid-19 wards, the impact of vaccine nationalism is all too clear


Opelika-Auburn News – Chinese-Australian reporter accused of spreading secrets


Opelika-Auburn News – The Latest: Schools, shops, salons are reopening in Austria


Opelika-Auburn News – Florida firetruck stolen while crew responded to call


WSFA Montgomery – 1 injured in shooting in Montgomery Sunday evening


WSFA Montgomery – Montgomery prepares for week-long COVID-19 vaccine clinic


WSFA Montgomery – Alabama seeing less severe 2020-21 flu season


WAFF Huntsville – One year later after Mary Malone’s case remains unsolved family finds unique way to cope


WAFF Huntsville – Educators disappointed with 2% cost of living raise proposal by Gov. Ivey


WAFF Huntsville – Madison County teacher expresses her excitement about COVID-19 vaccine


WKRG Mobile – Pretrial conference set for Monday for Destin businessman accused of child abuse, animal cruelty


WKRG Mobile – Pope seeks ‘Copernican revolution’ for post-COVID economy


WKRG Mobile – Immigrants, activists worry Biden won’t end Trump barriers


WTVY Dothan – Kerry Jenkins reflects back on winning 2003 Super Bowl with Tampa Bay Bucs


WTVY Dothan – Convictions upheld in murders of Northside Methodist Academy graduate and her son


WTVY Dothan – Auburn University fully returning to on-campus operations


WASHINGTON POST – On cusp of impeachment trial, court documents point to how Trump’s rhetoric fueled rioters who attacked Capitol


WASHINGTON POST – Live updates: Biden says Trump administration handling of pandemic was ‘more dire than we thought’


WASHINGTON POST – Senior Democrats to unveil $3,000-per-child benefit as Biden stimulus gains steam


NEW YORK TIMES – Impeachment Case Aims to Marshal Outrage of Capitol Attack Against Trump


NEW YORK TIMES – AstraZeneca’s Vaccine Does Not Work Well Against Virus Variant in South Africa


NEW YORK TIMES – Where Do Vaccine Doses Go, and Who Gets Them? The Algorithms Decide


WALL STREET JOURNAL – SoftBank Turns $11 Billion Profit, Helped by DoorDash


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Rollout of AstraZeneca Covid-19 Vaccine Halted in South Africa After Study


WALL STREET JOURNAL – As Biden Decides What to Do With Trump’s Border Wall, Landowners Are in Limbo



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