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Daily News Digest – January 12, 2022

Presented by the

University of South Alabama Health System

Good morning!

Here’s your Daily News for Wednesday, January 12.

1. Ivey charts ambitious path in State of the State address

  • Gov. Kay Ivey on Tuesday urged lawmakers to use federal pandemic relief on longstanding problems such as broadband access and water and sewer infrastructure, but also praised Alabama’s legal effort to block the Biden administration’s vaccine mandates.
  • Ivey delivered the annual State of the State address to lawmakers on the opening day of the Alabama Legislature, praising the state’s economic recovery from the pandemic.
  • “We must be smart with this one-time money and commit to the people of Alabama that we will invest –- not just casually spend -– these dollars. I’ll say again that these federal dollars are just one-time funds. This is not free money,” Ivey said.
  • How to use the money will be one the major issues before lawmakers in the session that began Tuesday.
  • Ivey also called for 4% pay raises for teachers and state employees.
  • Read more from Kim Chandler HERE.

2. State budgets: Historic revenue, ‘fiscal cliff coming’

  • Alabama lawmakers will have historic levels of revenue to appropriate for fiscal year 2023, but they shouldn’t expect recent growth to last and will need to plan accordingly.
  • “We know that these are artificially inflated revenue numbers,” State Finance Director Bill Poole told lawmakers Tuesday, the first day of the legislative session.
  • “… We need to be very, very careful as we contemplate these budgets that we don’t make permanent decisions based on a temporary circumstance,” Poole said. “That’s what we have right now, a temporary circumstance.”
  • Gov. Kay Ivey will soon send lawmakers a proposed $2.7 billion General Fund budget and an $8.3 billion education budget. Those are increases of about $300 million and $627 million, respectively.
  • For the 2021 fiscal year, revenues into the General Fund grew by 11.4% and into the Education Trust Fund by 16.4%, bolstered by federal COVID-19 relief spending and a strong economy.
  • “That is not a normal growth rate, Kirk Fulford, deputy director of the Legislative Services Agency told lawmakers.
  • In 2022, revenues are already above expectations, Fulford said. For 2023, estimated revenue is expected to grow another 2.08% in the General Fund and 3.61% in the ETF.
  • Read more from Mary Sell 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. Durant raises $4.3M in Q4

  • Mike Durant, the Huntsville business owner and veteran running for U.S. Senate, raised more than $4.3 million in the last three months of 2021.
  • He has $2.5 million in cash on hand starting the five-month stretch to the May 24 primary.
  • Durant entered the Senate race in mid-October, joining a GOP field led by Congressman Mo Brooks and former Business Council of Alabama chief Katie Britt.
  • Campaign finance information for Brooks and Britt wasn’t immediately available. Year-end fundraising reports aren’t due to the Federal Election Commission until Jan. 31.
  • Though he’s the newest candidate in the race, Durant has been making gains in polls.
  • The poll of 500 Republican primary voters last month showed Brooks with 31.1% of the potential votes and 26.2% for Britt in a four-way race. Durant had 16.6%.
  • Read more HERE.



4. 2nd election for Amazon workers in Alabama will be by mail

  • A federal labor board said that Amazon workers in Bessemer will vote by mail next month in a re-run election to decide whether or not to unionize.
  • The National Labor Relations Board said Tuesday that the ballots will be mailed out Feb. 4 and must be returned before the counting starts on March 28.
  • The move comes roughly a month and a half after the board ordered a new union election for Amazon workers based on objections by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union to the first vote that took place in April.
  • The move was a blow to Inc., which spent about a year aggressively campaigning for warehouse workers in Bessemer to reject the union, which they ultimately did by a wide margin.
  • In a 20-page decision, the regional director for the NLRB Lisa Henderson focused much attention on Amazon’s installation of a U.S. Postal Service mailbox at the main employee entrance, which may have created the false impression that the company was the one conducting the election process. Henderson also rejected Amazon’s argument that it was making voting easier and was trying to encourage as high a turnout as possible.
  • “Our employees have always had the choice of whether or not to join a union, and they overwhelmingly chose not to join the RWDSU last year,” said Amazon spokeswoman Barbara Agrait Tuesday, adding that she looks forward to having its team in Bessemer ‘”having their voices heard again.”
  • Read more HERE.



5. No. 4 Auburn holds off rival No. 24 Alabama, 81-77

  • Freshman Jabari Smith scored a season-high 25 points and Allen Flanigan made four straight free throws in the final 54 seconds, lifting No. 4 Auburn to an 81-77 victory over No. 24 Alabama on Tuesday night.
  • The Tigers (15-1, 4-0 Southeastern Conference) lost all of a 14-point lead before managing to avoid becoming the third Top-5 team to lose on the night. They pushed their win streak to 12 games in the rivals’ first Top 25 matchup in 35 years.
  • Smith’s 3-pointer gave Auburn a 73-59 lead with eight minutes left. Then Alabama (11-5, 2-2) scored the next 14 and tied it with Darius Miles’ dunk at the 4:04 mark. Flanigan, who missed the first 11 games recovering from surgery on his right Achilles, iced it at the line.
  • “Those balls he shot didn’t even hit the rim,” Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said. “They barely hit the net. I told him after the game, that’s all those hours in the gym with your grandfather and your father.
  • “You earned those free throws, and you made history tonight.”
  • Dylan Cardwell blocked a 3-point attempt after Flanigan’s last two foul shots with 22 seconds left. Alabama missed its final eight shots.
  • Read more HERE.




A message from the

Alabama Municipal Electric Authority

  • One million Alabamians depend on reliable, affordable, innovative public power.
  • Public utilities employ 93,000 people in local jobs across the United States. Revenues from public power utilities go back into the community.
  • To learn more about AMEA and public power, visit





ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ivey: State must be ‘smart’ about pandemic relief funds


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – State budgets: Historic revenue, ‘fiscal cliff coming’


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Durant raises $4.3M in Q4


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – 2nd election for Amazon workers in Alabama will be by mail


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – No. 4 Auburn holds off rival No. 24 Alabama, 81-77


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Session begins today with ‘historic’ revenue discussions


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Health officials let COVID-infected staff stay on the job


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Home COVID tests to be covered by insurers starting Saturday


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama to spend $1M on training students for tourism work


AL.COM – Alabama legislature starts 2022 session, will debate teacher pay, COVID funding amid record revenue


AL.COM – Biden on filibuster changes: ‘Do you want to be on the side of Dr. King or George Wallace?’


AL.COM – More Alabama schools move virtual as legislators prepare to debate masks, education funding


AL.COM – Sen. Tommy Tuberville questioning Dr. Fauci: Who is the head coach of this virus?


AL.COM – Gas tax, prisons, ‘steady the ship’: Highlights of Gov. Kay Ivey state of the state addresses


AL.COM – Birmingham schools add reading, math tutors as part of $29.5 million learning loss push


Montgomery Advertiser – Gov. Kay Ivey calls for 4% teacher, state employee pay raises in State of the State address


Montgomery Advertiser – Autauga schools to go virtual Thursday, Friday after absences total nearly 20% of students


Montgomery Advertiser – Local law enforcement recover kidnapped Georgia teen, arrest father


Decatur Daily – Inmate who attacked jailer gets 150-month prison sentence


Decatur Daily – Attorneys in capital murder case seek to visit scene with client


Decatur Daily – State budgets: Historic revenue, ‘fiscal cliff coming’


Times Daily – Public invited to Chronic Wasting Disease meeting at UNA


Times Daily – National Weather Service: EF-0 tornado struck Muscle Shoals on Jan. 1


Times Daily – State budgets: Historic revenue, ‘fiscal cliff coming’


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Mayor Randall Woodfin outlines plans for continued neighborhood revitalization in 2022


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – HB44 could eliminate concealed carry permit laws in Alabama


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Greensboro lawmaker proposes new clean lottery bill


Tuscaloosa News – Alabama’s 2022 legislative session opens with potential record budgets, and a warning


Tuscaloosa News – Star Jones, gospel singer Kierra Sheard featured in Realizing the Dream events


Tuscaloosa News – Shorter isolation periods for Alabama K-12 students worries parents, school officials


YellowHammer News – Alabama Forestry Association endorses Katie Britt’s U.S. Senate campaign


YellowHammer News – Tuberville, GOP colleagues introduce bill sanctioning China over obstruction of COVID-19 origin investigation


YellowHammer News – AG Marshall formally qualifies reelection bid, says defending state sovereignty atop list of second term priorities


Gadsden Times – Gadsden Fire Department, local hospitals feeling the affect of COVID-19 increase


Gadsden Times – County officials speak out against bills promoting removal of concealed pistol permits


Gadsden Times – Big boom Saturday night creates mystery for locals, including police


Dothan Eagle – For victims, Syria torture trial is 1st step toward justice


Dothan Eagle – With more girls pregnant, Zimbabwe pushes a return to school


Dothan Eagle – Tennessee governor’s ex-top deputy to join law firm


Opelika-Auburn News – North Korea claims successful test of hypersonic missile


Opelika-Auburn News – Kanaya, Nakajima following big footsteps of Hideki Matsuyama


Opelika-Auburn News – Old Florida Keys bridge reopens to pedestrians, bicyclists


WSFA Montgomery – Warmer days ahead of weekend storm system


WSFA Montgomery – Parents of Bama Lanes shooting victim speak


WSFA Montgomery – Death investigation closed nearly 2 months after body found in Gantt Lake


WAFF Huntsville – New businesses coming to Lincoln Mill’s historic dye building


WAFF Huntsville – UAB Pediatrician encourages masking in schools, vaccines amid surge


WAFF Huntsville – Huntsville Police Citizens Advisory Council hosts forum on police recruitment


WKRG Mobile – Amid Djokovic backlash, Australia grapples with omicron wave


WKRG Mobile – Twin panda cubs debut at Tokyo zoo, woo devoted fans


WKRG Mobile – Large explosion outside Mogadishu airport, deaths reported


WTVY Dothan – Southeast Health sees increase in COVID hospitalizations, along with the entire state


WTVY Dothan – Southeast Health administers 3,300+ booster shots, and expect that number to grow


WTVY Dothan – 90% gambling legislation support. Are lawmakers listening?


WASHINGTON POST – Which mask? What test? Covid’s latest surge spreads an epidemic of confusion.


WASHINGTON POST – Russia’s political action man sets up shop in Kabul, hoping to win deals for Moscow


WASHINGTON POST – Omicron will infect ‘just about everybody,’ Fauci says


NEW YORK TIMES – ‘We have no option’: Biden calls for changing Senate rules to pass voting rights laws.


NEW YORK TIMES – Biden’s Longtime Defense of Senate Rules Withers Under Partisan Rancor


NEW YORK TIMES – Why Coronavirus Testing Is Falling Short in Many Schools Across the U.S.


WALL STREET JOURNAL – 2021 Is Expected to Rank as Biggest Year for Inflation in Four Decades


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Biden Administration to Offer Schools Millions of Free Covid-19 Tests Each Month


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Apple’s Metaverse Prospects Produce Real Optimism for Investors




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