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Daily News Digest – January 25, 2022

Presented by the

University of South Alabama Health System

Good morning!

Remember that the qualifying deadline for the candidates for office is Friday. Well, except for Congress (see below). Hit me up with any surprises or interesting developments emerging from qualifying.

Here’s your Daily News for Tuesday, January 25.


1. Judges block state’s new congressional district map

  • Federal judges on Monday blocked Alabama from using newly drawn congressional districts in upcoming elections, ruling that the state should have two districts — instead of one — in which Black voters are a sizeable portion of the electorate.
  • “Black voters have less opportunity than other Alabamians to elect candidates of their choice to Congress,” the three-judge panel wrote in the 225-page ruling that found plaintiffs are “substantially likely” to prevail on claims that the current districts violate the Voting Rights Act.
  • The case took place in Alabama’s Northern District, with the panel including Judges Stanley Marcus, Anna Manasco and Terry Moorer. For what it’s worth, Marcus was appointed by former President Bill Clinton, while Manasco and Moorer were both appointed by former President Donald Trump.
  • The judges blocked use of the map and stayed the candidate qualification deadline with political parties from Friday until Feb. 11 to allow the Legislature the opportunity to enact a remedial plan.
  • Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall’s office said the ruling will be appealed.
  • Read more from Kim Chandler HERE.



2. Constitutional amendment needed for county, city ARPA spending on broadband

  • A proposed constitutional amendment clarifying that local governments can spend federal American Rescue Plan Act dollars on broadband expansion will wait until lawmakers’ regular session resumes next week.
  • That means it won’t get to Alabama voters until the November general election, potentially delaying when counties and cities can fully participate in broadband expansion.
  • Rep. Randall Shedd, R-Cullman, had hoped for passage in the current special session and appearance on the May 24 primary ballot.
  • The issue is the current constitution language that prohibits local governments from granting “public money or thing of value in aid of, or to any individual, association or corporation…”
  • The special is expected to end as soon as Thursday and no legislation beyond the bill spending about $772 million in ARPA funds has advanced.
  • The same fate met Sen. Dan Roberts’, R-Birmingham, bill to clarify state tax code to guarantee Alabamians aren’t penalized for some of the benefits for families in the American Rescue Plan Act.
  • That’s not always the case, though. During last year’s special session on redistricting, legislative leadership allowed unrelated bills dealing with vaccine mandates to come up and pass.
  • Shedd said he’ll file the same bill in the regular session that will resume next week, but that delay means the issue will be on November’s ballot, not May’s.
  • 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. Trial begins in accuser’s defamation case against Roy Moore

  • A jury was selected Monday in the defamation lawsuit filed by a woman who had accused failed U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore of molesting her when she was 14.
  • Leigh Corfman said Moore defamed her and made false statements as he denied her accusations during the 2017 U.S. Senate race in Alabama. The sexual misconduct allegations helped derail Moore’s hopes of winning the election.
  • Moore, a Republican, lost the 2017 race to Doug Jones, the first Alabama Democrat elected to the U.S. Senate in 25 years.
  • A jury of seven men and five women — plus four alternates -— was seated Monday. Opening arguments are expected Tuesday.
  • Read more from Kim Chandler HERE.



4. Ukraine on the brink: What are the options?


  • The Pentagon ordered 8,500 troops on higher alert to potentially deploy to Europe as part of a NATO “response force” amid growing concern that Russia could soon make a military move on Ukraine.
  • Putting the U.S.-based troops on heightened alert for Europe on Monday suggested diminishing hope that Russian President Vladimir Putin will back away from what President Joe Biden himself has said looks like a threat to invade neighboring Ukraine.
  • Still, with a war weary country, the most likely options to be considered first are diplomatic and economic sanctions.
  • Those could involve anything from cutting Russia off from U.S. dollars and international banking to slapping sanctions on a former Olympic gymnast reported to be Putin’s girlfriend.
  • One problem is that Russia does quite a bit of business with European countries that have a say in what sanctions are imposed.
  • Read more about what all is on the table HERE.



5. Auburn flies to No. 1 in AP Top 25 for first time in history

  • War Eagle is flying high over men’s college basketball for the first time in history.
  • A barely ranked afterthought to begin the season, Auburn climbed past Gonzaga to No. 1 in the AP Top 25 poll released Monday. The Tigers beat Kentucky over the weekend for their 15th consecutive win, then scooped up 45 of 61 first-place votes to become the nation’s top-ranked team for the first time since the poll began with the 1948-49 season.
  • The Bulldogs dropped to No. 2 with 15 first-place votes. Arizona remained third and earned the other No. 1 vote.
  • “The No. 1 ranking matters because it’s historical,” Tigers coach Bruce Pearl said Monday. “I’m very happy for Auburn. I’m very happy for my coaches and or players to have been been able to achieve that. That said, we got a lot of work to do.”
  • This week alone, it includes a trip to Missouri on Tuesday night and a showdown with Oklahoma on Saturday.
  • Read more and see the full AP Top 25 HERE.





A message from

Drive Electric Alabama

  • Electric vehicles are helping Alabamians go the distance.
  • EVs are more powerful, more practical, and more cost-effective than you think—plus, they’re driving our state’s economic growth.
  • Wherever you’re going, electric gets you there.





ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama’s new congressional districts map blocked by judges


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Constitutional amendment needed for county, city ARPA spending on broadband


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trial begins in accuser’s defamation case against Roy Moore


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – US orders 8,500 troops on heightened alert amid Russia worry


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – EXPLAINER: What are US options for sanctions against Putin?


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Auburn flies to No. 1 in AP Top 25 for first time in history


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Durant defends record after sister, father abuse story resurfaces


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Taxpayers face overloaded IRS as filing season opens Monday


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Community college system sees enrollment increase


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Birmingham closing more than century-old bridge for safety


AL.COM – Alabama’s congressional redistricting maps blocked: Federal judges seek more Black majority districts


AL.COM – National police group comes to defense of convicted Huntsville officer


AL.COM – ‘Descendant:’ A film of many voices, telling the story of Africatown


AL.COM – Lynching marker unveiled, and then removed in Mobile


AL.COM – 2 ‘Flurona’ cases detected in Alabama, both in young children, lab says


AL.COM – Will omicron shift COVID pandemic into an endemic?


AL.COM – Filing state taxes: Alabama begins processing returns today; what to know


Montgomery Advertiser – Alabama COVID package should get first votes on Tuesday


Montgomery Advertiser – Three things to know about the defamation trial against Roy Moore, Leigh Corfman


Montgomery Advertiser – Sidewalk planned to cross Prattville’s pedestrian ‘Bridge to Nowhere’


Decatur Daily – Area students back in class this week


Decatur Daily – Priceville police officer injured in shooting


Decatur Daily – Decatur man charged in Tennessee with trafficking for sex


Times Daily – Durant defends record after sister, father abuse story resurfaces


Times Daily – Movement calls for a single broadband entity in Shoals


Times Daily – Florence-Lauderdale Tourism opens online Shoals Shop


Anniston Star – Alabama COVID package should get first votes on Tuesday


Anniston Star – Durant defends record after sister, father abuse story resurfaces


Anniston Star – Bill would end cities’ occupational taxes


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Making housing more affordable in Birmingham’s Belview Community


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Florida sheriff’s department describe arresting Helena man wanted for double murder


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Friends remember woman and her father after they were found dead in Helena; Police investigating double homicide


Tuscaloosa News – Third suspect charged in Valley Hills shooting death of Northport teen


Tuscaloosa News – Alabama COVID package should get first votes on Tuesday


Tuscaloosa News – Tuscaloosa City Schools on target for a return to in-person classes, superintendent says


YellowHammer News – U.S. Rep. Jerry Carl cosponsors bill granting public access to Fauci’s financial disclosures


YellowHammer News – Alabama Aerospace and Aviation High School opens student enrollment, begins hiring teachers


YellowHammer News – Second Amendment advocates launch statewide grassroots campaign promoting constitutional carry


Gadsden Times – As IRS says to expect delays, RSVP offers free tax preparation help


Gadsden Times – Crossville, Snead State alum Nabors lands job with Bezos-owned company Blue Origin


Gadsden Times – Etowah Mega Sports Authority waiting for work to resume; play date still up in the air


Dothan Eagle – Abortion opponents eye priorities as high court ruling looms


Dothan Eagle – London police investigating Downing Street lockdown parties


Dothan Eagle – Ukraine urges calm, saying Russian invasion not imminent


Opelika-Auburn News – Very cold for the Upper Midwest as rain and storms strike along the Gulf Coast


WSFA Montgomery – City councilman pushing security upgrades for Ravenwood Apartments


WSFA Montgomery – C Spire to expand fiber broadband network in Montgomery


WSFA Montgomery – Federal Judges order Alabama to redraw Congressional map


WAFF Huntsville – 5 arrested on drug charges in Limestone County


WAFF Huntsville – Mississippi woman accused of scamming Limestone County resident


WKRG Mobile – Ukraine urges calm, saying Russian invasion not imminent


WKRG Mobile – German caution on arms to Ukraine rooted in history, energy


WKRG Mobile – Iconic musician seeks to rebuild Iraq through music


WTVY Dothan – Federal Judges order Alabama to redraw Congressional map


WTVY Dothan – Facebook group seeks broadband expansion in Alabama


WTVY Dothan – Dothan man convicted of child porn sentenced to 20 years


WASHINGTON POST – Russia conducts new military exercises as Biden, Europeans intensify diplomacy on Ukraine


WASHINGTON POST – Georgia prosecutor granted special grand jury in probe of Trump’s efforts to overturn state’s election results


WASHINGTON POST – Serial murders, beatings and beheadings: Violence against the homeless is increasing, advocates say


NEW YORK TIMES – For Ukrainian Soldiers, a Nervous Guessing Game on the Front


NEW YORK TIMES – Covid Live Updates: E.U. to Ease Travel Rules for Vaccinated Residents


NEW YORK TIMES – C.I.A.-Backed Afghan Fighters Are Still Waiting to Reach U.S.


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Stock Futures Fall in Wake of Turbulence on Wall Street


WALL STREET JOURNAL – On the Brink of War With Russia, Ukrainians Are Resigned and Prepared


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Investors Lose Appetite for Stocks of Unprofitable Companies




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