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Daily News Digest – January 8, 2021

Good morning and Happy Friday! I think we should all take tomorrow off.

Thank you for all the reader feedback these last few days. I intend to reply to everyone, but in case I haven’t gotten to yours yet, please know I appreciate the gesture.

Here’s your Daily News for Friday, January 8.

1. The latest from Washington

A lot has happened over the last 24 hours. Let’s run down the latest…
  • President Donald Trump has conceded the election. In a Twitter video, Trump for the first time admitted that his presidency would soon end.
  • “A new administration will be inaugurated on Jan. 20,” Trump said in the video. “My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power. This moment calls for healing and reconciliation.”
  • White House staff and Cabinet officials are resigning. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Labor Secretary Elaine Chow both have resigned, as have the acting chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, the deputy national security adviser and at least nine senior administration officials, citing Wednesday’s attack by Trump supporters on the Capitol.
  • The tragedy deepened late Thursday as a Capitol police officer injured in the melee died, the fifth death related to the riot. Officer Brian D. Sicknick died due to injuries sustained while on-duty. He was hit in the head by a rioter wielding a fire extinguisher.
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he has accepted the resignation of Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger. The head of the U.S. Capitol Police is also resigning. Chief Steven Sund said Thursday that police had planned for a free speech demonstration and did not expect the violent attack.
  • We’ve also learned that three days before the riot, the Pentagon asked the U.S Capitol Police if it needed National Guard manpower. And as the mob descended on the building Wednesday, Justice Department leaders reached out to offer up FBI agents. Capitol Police turned them down both times.
  • There is a lot of talk about invoking the 25th Amendment to oust Trump from office early. However, at the moment, that’s all it is: talk. Section 4 of the 25th Amendment to the Constitution says that the Vice President and a majority of Cabinet can officially declare that the president is unable to discharge his duties, leaving it up to Congress to adjudicate the matter. But Axios’ Jonathan Swan, who I think is the best White House sourced reporter out there, says Pence has not even entertained the idea.
  • Read more HERE.

2. Alabama man killed in Capitol melee

  • One of the five people who died during the siege on the U.S. Capitol was a 55-year-old Alabama man who was an ardent supporter of President Donald Trump.
  • District of Columbia police said Kevin D. Greeson, of Athens, died of a medical emergency during the fracas on Wednesday at the Capitol.
  • Officials did not release additional details about Greeson’s cause of death or say where he collapsed, but family members said he had a history of high blood pressure and suffered a heart attack.
  • In a family statement emailed from his wife, Kristi, the family described Greeson as a Trump backer but maintained he was not there to participate in the rioting inside the Capitol. The family said they are devastated by the loss.
  • An account featuring a profile photo of Greeson and his name became more active after the election on Parler, a social media platform favored by some Trump supporters. A week ago, it echoed a message by a militia group and added: “I’m in.. call me I have guns and ammo!”
  • Meanwhile, another north Alabama man, Lonnie Coffman of Falkville, is facing charges of carrying a pistol without a license and having an unregistered gun and ammunition, U.S. Capitol Police said in a statement.
  • Full story HERE.



3. Lawmakers ‘cautious’ as General Fund growth slows

  • There are 25 days to go until the Alabama Legislature is slated to meet for its 2021 Regular Session.
  • Under normal circumstances, now is about the time we’d be having budget hearings, when state agency officials trot out before the House and Senate budget committees explaining their budget requests and answering questions from lawmakers.
  • This year is a little different, but yesterday in the State House the Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee did meet for an update on the status of the state’s operating fund.
  • In the first three months of fiscal 2021, revenues in the state’s General Fund grew about .67% over 2020.
  • By comparison, the General Fund’s more than 40 revenue streams saw a net growth of about 10% in the first three months of 2020 and ended the year in September with about 7% growth.
  • “There are revenue sources that are doing extremely well, there are revenue sources that are still feeling the impact of COVID and the net of that is $3.6 million dollars and a little less than 1% growth,” Kirk Fulford, deputy director of the Legislative Services Agency, told the Senate General Fund budget committee Thursday.
  • Fulford told lawmakers that the current spending budget is in very good shape.
  • “But that doesn’t mean there aren’t issues you shouldn’t pay attention to,” Fulford said.
  • Full story from ADN’s Mary Sell HERE.



4. State Bar pulls Ellen Brooks contract

  • Yesterday we reported that the State Bar was contracting with former Montgomery County District Attorney Ellen Brooks to temporarily lead the organization while it searches for a new executive director.
  • However, that effort hit a snag Thursday in the Legislative Contract Review Committee.
  • The Bar pulled the contract from consideration citing concerns about Brooks’ status as a supernumerary district attorney and the legality for her to work another state job at the same time.
  • Supernumerary district attorneys are retirees who can be called back into service at any time by the governor or attorney general to handle a case or group of cases that either are unusual or the current prosecutor can’t do. Meanwhile, the supernumerary can’t go into private practice.
  • Mary Sell has the scoop, which is available to ADN Insiders HERE.



5. Auburn’s Harsin hires Mike Bobo, Derek Mason as coordinators

  • Auburn’s Bryan Harsin hired former head coaches as his coordinators on Thursday, bringing in Mike Bobo to run the offense and Derek Mason to lead the defense.
  • Bobo was South Carolina’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach last season after five years as the coach at Colorado State. He also played quarterback for Georgia, where he was offensive coordinator from 2007-14.
  • “I’ve wanted to work with Mike now for quite some time as he complements the many things we want to do with our offense,” Harsin said. “We are going to be very versatile in what we do and Mike’s offensive background speaks for itself.”
  • The architect of Stanford’s 3-4 defense, Mason spent four seasons with the Cardinal and was elevated to defensive coordinator in 2011.
  • Vanderbilt fired Mason after losing the first eight games of his seventh season in 2020. He was just the second coach to lead the Commodores to multiple bowl appearances.
  • “Derek Mason is one of the best defensive minds in college football and his track record speaks for itself,” Harsin said. “I’ve always admired his ability to prepare his defenses and his approach with players on and off the field is outstanding.”
  • Full story 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 – Trump finally concedes amid talk of early ouster


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Capitol siege forces questions, ousters


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama man was among 4 who died during siege on US Capitol


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – The day my ‘second home,’ the Capitol, was overtaken by mob


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Lawmakers ‘cautious’ as General Fund growth slows


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Supernumerary status keeps Brooks from interim role at state bar


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Auburn’s Harsin hires Mike Bobo, Derek Mason as coordinators


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Safe, shocked and saddened: Alabama delegation reacts


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – ‘Vaccine is coming’: State urges patience amid slow rollout


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Lawmakers to meet in State House, public access questions remain


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Fauci: US could soon give 1 million vaccinations a day


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – January 7, 2021


AL.COM – Alabama tops 5,000 coronavirus deaths


AL.COM – Mile-long lines for COVID vaccines in Gadsden, drive-thru clinic runs out after 3 hours


AL.COM – Alabama federal prosecutor: Will prosecute Capitol protesters intent to commit crimes


AL.COM – Mo Brooks blames Antifa for Capitol riots, says he was warned about ‘fascist’ infiltration of rally


AL.COM – Columnist Kyle Whitmire: Mo Brooks didn’t shout fire. He helped set it


AL.COM – Columnist John Archibald: Forget how it happened; the future is clear.


Montgomery Advertiser – Montgomery man charged with murder in same area where he faces unrelated robbery charge


Montgomery Advertiser – Thanks to Auburn University donation, historic cotton gin returns home to Prattville


Montgomery Advertiser – Alabama still negotiating lease agreements with prison companies


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Birmingham city leaders still planning for a springtime Magic City Classic


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Former U.S. Attorney: Nothing patriotic about riots in DC


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – State health leaders say emergency departments are slammed with patients


Tuscaloosa News – Alabama man among those arrested in U.S. Capitol riot; faces gun, ammo charges


Tuscaloosa News – Despite vaccines’ availability, public should continue to practice patience, doctor warns


Tuscaloosa News – Six-month-old child died of asphyxiation, court documents reveal


Decatur Daily – 10 deaths bring Morgan’s COVID death toll to 100; no timeline for widespread vaccinations


Decatur Daily – Lawrence gets some relief funds, applies for more


Decatur Daily – Local participants in study want COVID vaccine if they received placebo


Times Daily – Muscle Shoals council rescinds term limits on board service


Times Daily – Cook Out opens to big demand


Times Daily – Firm will help Muscle Shoals communicate with residents


Anniston Star – Suspects sought in Heflin gas station robbery


Anniston Star – Editorial: President Trump should leave now (or be removed)


Anniston Star – What we know — and don’t know — about when COVID shots will be available


YellowHammer News – Alabama attorney general, Dept. of Public Health warn against scams claiming to offer COVID-19 vaccines and tests


YellowHammer News – Rep. Gary Palmer: ‘I hold the president responsible for sending those people to the Capitol’


YellowHammer News – One Alabama man died, another arrested during Wednesday’s turmoil on Capitol Hill


Gadsden Times – Alabama man among those arrested in U.S. Capitol riot; faces gun, ammo charges


Gadsden Times – Warning: Scammers claim to offer COVID-19 vaccine, testing


Gadsden Times – Memorial Bridge on Broad Street to close temporarily on Jan. 24 for inspection


Dothan Eagle – Hamic’s daughter: Be careful but don’t let COVID rule life


Dothan Eagle – Outdoor hockey traditions under shadow of climate change


Dothan Eagle – Police officer’s death intensifies Capitol siege questions


Opelika-Auburn News – Two Opelika teens arrested, charged with auto burglary and theft


Opelika-Auburn News – Lee County sees COVID-19 death roll rise, more than 200 new cases reported for second straight day


Opelika-Auburn News – Neil Sheehan, Pentagon Papers reporter, Vietnam author, dies


WSFA Montgomery – Montgomery Housing Authority gets grant for Centennial Hill community


WSFA Montgomery – Montgomery Councilman Tracy Larkin memorialized at City Hall


WSFA Montgomery – Athens man among 4 who died at U.S. Capitol Wednesday


WAFF Huntsville – Friday school delays, closures in the Tennessee Valley


WAFF Huntsville – Huntsville pastor calls Congressman Brooks’ words at D.C. rally irresponsible


WAFF Huntsville – Priceville Police Department working to combat crimes in homes


WKRG Mobile – Education head Betsy DeVos quits, cites Trump rhetoric


WKRG Mobile – Local activists react to assault on the US Capitol and how it was treated differently


WKRG Mobile – Veterans receive COVID-19 vaccine in Bay Minette


WTVY Dothan – Wiregrass Wellness Center sees increase in clients suffering from anxiety and depression amidst pandemic


WTVY Dothan – Pfizer study suggests vaccine works against virus variant


WTVY Dothan – Social platforms lock down Trump accounts, some indefinitely


WASHINGTON POST – Calls intensify to remove Trump from office even as he acknowledges ‘a new administration’


WASHINGTON POST – Trump’s failures this week open rifts in a Republican Party he has controlled


WASHINGTON POST – Betsy DeVos resigns as Education secretary, citing Trump’s role in riot


NEW YORK TIMES – Capitol Attack Leads Democrats to Demand That Trump Leave Office


NEW YORK TIMES – Capitol Police Officer Dies From Injuries in Pro-Trump Rampage


NEW YORK TIMES – Republicans Splinter Over Whether to Make a Full Break From Trump


WALL STREET JOURNAL – ‘In a Dark Place’: Before Condemning Violence, Trump Spent Day Increasingly Isolated and Angry


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Some CEOs Fire Rioters, Call for President Trump’s Removal From Office


WALL STREET JOURNAL – At the U.S. Capitol, Milling Crowd Sparked Riot in a Few Crucial Minutes


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