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Daily News Digest – January 4, 2021

Good morning!

It’s Monday and that means New Year’s resolutions really start counting. Best wishes with all the healthy food and good intentions this week.

Here’s your Daily News for Monday, January 4.

1. 117th Congress begins

  • Alabama’s newest Sen. Tommy Tuberville was sworn into office. So were members of the state’s House delegation, including newly-elected congressmen Jerry Carl from AL-1 and Barry Moore from AL-2.
  • For those three men, Sunday marked the culmination of a long road seeking to represent Alabama in the United States Capitol. It also saw the beginning of another journey, as campaigning now fully transitions to governing.
  • Democrat Nancy Pelosi was reelected as Speaker of the House by a narrow 216 to 209 vote over GOP leader Kevin McCarthy. That razor thin margin might portent many close votes in the House over the next two years.
  • The first day of a new Congress is a lot like the first day of school. Members find their offices and meet their classmates, families are there, although this year COVID-19 protocols only allowed one guest per member into the House chamber for the swearing in ceremony.
  • The Senate is a little different as only a third of its body is starting new six year terms. Which party holds the majority depends on Tuesday’s election in Georgia and the GOP membership is divided over the attempt by twelve senators, including Tuberville, to challenge the electoral college results from certain states.
  • Read more and see photos from Washington, D.C. HERE.

2. ‘I just want to find 11,780 votes’: Trump pressures Georgia officials to recalculate election in his favor

  • President Donald Trump pressured Georgia’s Republican secretary of state to “find” enough votes to overturn Joe Biden’s win in the state’s presidential election, repeatedly citing disproven claims of fraud and raising the prospect of a “criminal offense” if officials did not change the vote count, according to a recording of the conversation.
  • The phone call with Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Saturday was the latest step in an unprecedented effort by a sitting president to press a state official to reverse the outcome of an election that he lost. The president, who has refused to accept his loss to Biden, repeatedly argued that Raffensperger could change the certified results.
  • “All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have,” Trump said. “Because we won the state.”
  • Georgia counted its votes three times before certifying Biden’s win by a 11,779 margin, Raffensperger noted. “President Trump, we’ve had several lawsuits, and we’ve had to respond in court to the lawsuits and the contentions,” he said on the call. “We don’t agree that you have won.”
  • The Georgia officials on the call are heard repeatedly pushing back against the president’s assertions, telling him that he’s relying on debunked theories and, in one case, selectively edited video.
  • At another point in the conversation, Trump seemed to threaten Raffensperger and Ryan Germany, the secretary of state’s legal counsel, by suggesting both could be criminally liable if they failed to find that thousands of ballots in Fulton County had been illegally destroyed. There is no evidence to support Trump’s claim.
  • “That’s a criminal offense,” Trump says. “And you can’t let that happen.”
  • Read more and listen to the call in full HERE.



3. Wine, beer home delivery bills coming this session

  • A state lawmaker is proposing home delivery of beer and wine in a bill pre-filed for the 2021 legislative session.
  • “You’ve got a number of companies and businesses that deliver groceries,” Rep. Gil Isbell, R-Gadsden, told Alabama Daily News. “This would include beer and wine.”
  • Isbell said there are still ongoing discussions with several groups, including the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, about House Bill 101 and changes could be made.
  • Isbell sponsored the bill in the 2020 session and HB101 is a version that received committee approval.
  • Rep. Terri Collins, R-Decatur, has tried for several years to pass a bill allowing for direct shipment of wine from producers or retailers to Alabamians’ homes. She said she’d sponsor the bill again in the session that starts Feb. 2.
  • “The only bill I continuously hear about from people all over the state is the direct shipment bill,” Collins said recently.
  • She said Alabama is one of only a handful of states that doesn’t allow wine delivery at home.
  • “If you travel, you should be able to ship it home,” she said. “Or if you have a favorite, you should be able to order it.”
  • The Alabama Legislature’s 2021 Regular Session begins Feb. 2.
  • Full story from ADN’s Mary Sell HERE.



4. Likely wasting disease found in 2 more Mississippi counties

  • Initial tests show that a lethal and highly infectious deer ailment called chronic wasting disease may have spread to two more north Mississippi counties, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks says.
  • Both cases are within 25 miles of the Alabama line.
  • Chronic wasting disease has not yet been found in Alabama and the state last year ramped up its testing and sampling surveillance to closely monitor the deer population.
  • Alabama’s Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries quickly took note of the Mississippi cases.
  • “These are the first suspected CWD-positive cases in white-tailed deer within 25 miles of the Alabama state line,” the division noted in a news release. It said Alabama has tested more than 11,000 deer since 2002, and none was infected.
  • The disease is spread by malformed proteins called prions, like those that cause mad cow disease and the related human infection called Creutzfelt-Jacob disease.
  • Read more HERE.



5. ‘Mask Up’ video contest to show importance of wearing masks

  • State medical groups are sponsoring a video contest to explain why it’s important to wear a mask during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Alabama Department of Public Health, the Alabama Hospital Association and the Medical Association of the State of Alabama are sponsoring the “Mask Up Alabama” video contest. A Health Department news release says the contest is for Alabamians of all ages to share why they feel it is important to wear a mask.
  • The videos should be 30-second or less and need to highlight basic information related to mask wearing and COVID-19.
  • The deadline for submissions is noon on Jan. 11. There is no fee to enter the contest and the full rules can be found on the Health Department website.
  • Read more HERE.




A message from the

Alabama Rural Broadband Coalition


  • High-speed broadband is a basic necessity in today’s society and brings benefits in education, telemedicine, economic development and agriculture.
  • For Alabama to thrive in a 21st century economy, every Alabamian should have access to a reliable internet connection.








ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Congress opens new session; Tuberville, Carl and Moore take oath


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – ‘I just want to find 11,780 votes’: Trump pressures Georgia officials to recalculate election in his favor


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Wine, beer home delivery bills coming this session


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Likely wasting disease found in 2 more Mississippi counties


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – ‘Mask Up’ video contest to show importance of wearing masks


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Dark days of pandemic: Alabama has bulge of December cases


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Tuberville, other GOP lawmakers enlist in Trump effort to undo Biden win


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – ‘We need your help:’ Birmingham asks for help fighting gun violence


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – In a first, Congress overrides Trump veto of defense bill


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – 6 years later, Alabama and Ohio state go at it again


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Weekend Digest – January 3, 2021


AL.COM – Alabama adds almost 2,500 new COVID cases


AL.COM – Tuberville sworn in as U.S. senator, releases statement


AL.COM – Columnist David Sher: Banned from Mountain Brook Facebook Group


AL.COM – Columnist Cameron Smith: Do Christians want God more than political power?


Decatur Daily – Residents focusing on health, travel and relationships in the new year


Decatur Daily – Decatur mayor tests positive amid statewide surge in COVID cases


Decatur Daily – Athens woman: Fatal shooting left family ‘broken,’ Child Advocacy Center helped


Times Daily – North Alabama Medical Center rebrands facilities


Times Daily – Laboratory-made proteins aid in COVID battle


Times Daily – Empty Table Fund collections reaching record high


Tuscaloosa News – GARY COSBY JR.: Goodbye 2020, we will not miss you


Tuscaloosa News – Jim Flemming, longtime Tuscaloosa business and civic leader, dies at 77


Tuscaloosa News – University of Alabama requires coronavirus test for returning students


YellowHammer News – U.S. Rep. Jerry Carl takes oath — ‘I take this responsibility seriously, and I look forward to serving you in the 117th Congress’


YellowHammer News – U.S. Rep. Barry Moore sworn in for 117th Congress — ‘I am humbled by the opportunity to serve my state’


YellowHammer News – Tommy Tuberville sworn in as Alabama’s junior U.S. senator — ‘I’m going to wake up every day with one mission – to speak for the people of Alabama’


Gadsden Times – Gadsden’s 2021 slate of bass tournaments grows


Gadsden Times – Former United Way head, longtime community leader Joanne Hightower dies


Dothan Eagle – UK ramps up inoculations with Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine


Dothan Eagle – Britain has inoculated the first patient in the world with the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine


Dothan Eagle – Trump, on tape, presses Ga. official to ‘find’ him votes


Opelika-Auburn News – WATCH NOW: Lee County officials look forward to a busy 2021


Opelika-Auburn News – Tick-Tock: The Tokyo Olympics hit the 200-days-to-go mark


Opelika-Auburn News – Britain has inoculated the first patient in the world with the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Officials working to add COVID-19 vaccines to Legion Field testing site


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – US Mint to release coin honoring Tuskegee Airmen


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Woman injured in Birmingham near airport, police are investigating


WSFA Montgomery – US Mint to release coin honoring Tuskegee Airmen


WSFA Montgomery – Montgomery launches no-contact system for business license renewals


WSFA Montgomery – Alabama hopes to build back tourism in 2021


WAFF Huntsville – What we know about the new COVID-19 strain


WAFF Huntsville – Walmart in Decatur closes for deep cleaning


WAFF Huntsville – COVID-19 in Alabama: 2,047 new confirmed cases on Sunday


WKRG Mobile – Jerry Carl sworn in; says he feels humbled after his first day in Congress


WKRG Mobile – Renowned Baltimore dirt biker who starred in HBO drama is charged with partner’s murder


WKRG Mobile – Casey Anthony files paperwork to start investigation firm in Florida


WTVY Dothan – Representative Barry Moore Sworn in for 117th Congress


WTVY Dothan – Southeast Health announces visitation policy change


WTVY Dothan – Watch: Barry Moore talks about his congressional inauguration


WASHINGTON POST – ‘I just want to find 11,780 votes’: In extraordinary hour-long call, Trump pressures Georgia secretary of state to recalculate the vote in his favor


WASHINGTON POST – The time to question election results has passed, all living former defense secretaries say


WASHINGTON POST – Bitter GOP split upends the pomp as a new Congress takes over


NEW YORK TIMES – Trump, in Taped Call, Pressured Georgia Official to ‘Find’ Votes to Overturn Election


NEW YORK TIMES – Trump Call to Georgia Official Might Violate State and Federal Law


NEW YORK TIMES – Republicans Begin New Congress Feuding Over Bid to Overturn Election


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Trump Pressured Georgia Secretary of State to ‘Find’ Votes


WALL STREET JOURNAL – MGM Makes $11 Billion Offer for Ladbrokes Owner Entain


WALL STREET JOURNAL – U.S. Stock Futures Point to Rally At Start to 2021



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