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Daily News Digest – July 20, 2021

Good morning!

Here’s your Daily News for Tuesday, July 20.


1. Dunn won’t run for reelection; candidates line up

  • Democratic State Sen. Priscilla Dunn won’t be running for reelection in 2022 and at least two current state representatives plan on running for the vacant seat.
  • Dunn’s husband, Grover Dunn, told Alabama Daily News on Monday that his wife would be retiring after finishing her last year in office.
  • Dunn has been absent for most of the current quadrennium, which began in 2019, due to health-related reasons. She has held the Senate District 19 seat since 2009 and also served in the House from 1998 to 2009.
  • Alabama House Rep. Louise Alexander, D-Bessemer, told ADN on Monday that she plans on running for the Senate seat next year. State Rep. Merika Coleman, D-Birmingham, plans to run as well. And at least one other state representative is considering it.
  • Read more from Caroline Beck HERE.



2. Pre-filed bill would require pregnant worker accommodations

  • A pre-filed bill in the Alabama Legislature seeks to offer more protections for pregnant workers by outlining accommodations that employers would be required to take supporting their health.
  • House Bill 1 from Rep. Neil Rafferty, D-Birmingham, titled the Alabama Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, would require employers to provide “reasonable accommodations” related to pregnancy, childbirth or other related medical conditions.
  • Rafferty told Alabama Daily News that he has heard from various women in Alabama who have been too afraid to speak to their employers about policies that would support their pregnancy for fear of retaliation or being fired.
  • Read more from Caroline Beck HERE.



3. State advises against eating fish from some waterways

  • Alabama public health officials are warning people to avoid eating any fish from some state waterways because of contamination.
  • The state Department of Public Health issued its latest fish consumption advisories this month.
  • They are based on nearly 500 samples of specific fish species taken during the fall of 2020 from 41 bodies of water, health officials say.
  • Restrictions on consumption are broken down by waterbody and presented as the safe number of meals of a species that can be eaten in a given period of time. In some locations, people are advised to avoid all fish.
  • Mercury is often cited as the fish contaminant of concern.
  • Pictured above is the map from just one of Alabama’s six water basins.
  • Read more and see the map HERE.


4. GOP will block Biden ‘spending spree’ for now

  • President Joe Biden said his infrastructure and families agenda must be passed to sustain the economic momentum of his first six months in office, aiming to set the tone for a crucial week of congressional negotiations on the two bills.
  • But a Wednesday deadline set by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on the bipartisan infrastructure bill was in doubt as Republicans signaled they would block a procedural vote, for now, while details are still being worked out. Senators are wrangling over how to pay for the new spending in the $1 trillion package of highway, water system and other public works projects.
  • At the same time, Democrats are developing the particulars of a separate bill that would invest a stunning $3.5 trillion nationwide across Americans’ lives — with support for families, education, climate resiliency and other priorities that they aim to ultimately pass with solely Democratic support. Democrats hope to show progress on that bill before lawmakers leave Washington for their recess in August.
  • Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell decried the “spending spree” as “the last thing American families need.”
  • McConnell and outside groups including the conservative Americans for Prosperity encouraged Republicans to vote against proceeding to the bipartisan package until they have more details. “I think we need to see the bill before we decide whether or not to vote for it,” McConnell told reporters at the Capitol.
  • Full story HERE.


5. SEC Media Days: Sankey joins call for change in college athletics oversight

  • Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey echoed the NCAA president’s call for potential changes in how college athletics are governed Monday, though he did not endose a breakaway by the five most powerful leagues.
  • Sankey spoke about the need for change to open SEC Media Days, less than a week after NCAA President Mark Emmert said it’s time to consider decentralizing and deregulating college sports in a shifting of the traditional power structure.
  • Emmert’s stance, Sankey said, “does speak to we’re going to have to administer this differently” but not necessarily formally separating Power Five conferences from the pack.
  • “Yet I think people are going to be asking that question of me,” Sankey said. “I think within our programs people will ask that question of me. I think nationally people will ask that question of me. But it doesn’t predict that kind of outcome at this point.”
  • The powerhouse SEC and the rest of the college football are preparing for a fall season amid one of the most tulmultuous periods in college sports. Aside from the heavy impacts of the pandemic, the landscape has clearly changed with a Supreme Court ruling against the NCAA last month in an antitrust case related to caps on education-related compensation.
  • And as of this month, athletes no longer have to worry about many NCAA, school and conference rules that had prohibited them from earning money off their fame for things such as online endorsements, sponsorship deals and personal appearances. Athletes have begun signing deals big and small to profit off so-called name, image and likeness deals from coast to coast, in some cases protected by state laws barring the NCAA from interfering.
  • Read more from John Zenor HERE.



ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Sen. Priscilla Dunn won’t seek reelection; candidates line up to run


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Pre-filed bill would require pregnant worker accommodations


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – State advises against eating fish from some waterways


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – GOP will block Biden ‘spending spree’ for now


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Sankey joins call for change in college athletics oversight


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Who’s running and who’s not? Lawmakers talk reelection


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – State asks feds if COVID funds can be used for prisons


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Amid pandemic uptick, surgeon general worried


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Senator: Bipartisan infrastructure bill loses IRS provision


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Schumer sets infrastructure vote, pressures Dems


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – House Republicans post record fundraising ahead of 2022 race


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – July 19, 2021


AL.COM – Mo Brooks suggests COVID masks could cause cancer, heat stroke


AL.COM – Group studies changes in Alabama school building approval process


AL.COM – Carnival Cruise Line to resume sailings from Mobile on October 21


AL.COM – Judge sends home key witness, pauses corruption trial of north Alabama sheriff


AL.COM – Mobile official on vaccine hesitancy: COVID-19 will be here for ‘many more months and years to come’


AL.COM – 90% of those who reject COVID vaccine fear side effects more than virus, poll shows


AL.COM – Former Birmingham resident takes key communications role in Biden administration


Montgomery Advertiser – Privacy, room and character at Woodley Road home


Montgomery Advertiser – Social Security lets you change your direct deposit information online


Montgomery Advertiser – Montgomery woman, Wetumpka man die after Elmore County two-vehicle wreck


Decatur Daily – Brooks raises $826K in second quarter for Senate campaign


Decatur Daily – Judge in Blakely trial suspends testimony by witness under investigation


Decatur Daily – 2 Decatur fatalities: Man arrested after woman’s knifing death; pedestrian hit by car dies


Times Daily – Pre-filed bill would require pregnant worker accommodations


Times Daily – Colbert County has solicited bids for COVID-19 vaccination trailer


Times Daily – Colbert County Recycling program raising funds with recyclable materials


Anniston Star – Pre-filed bill would require pregnant worker accommodations


Anniston Star – Dozen passengers from Sunday bus crash leave hospital in stable condition


Anniston Star – JSU hosts Cocky Cookoff BBQ contest in August


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Part of I-65 NB in Alabaster closed after truck loses load of scrap metal


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – YMCA looking to hire 100 after-school counselors for Hoover schools


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – State officials remain neutral on child masking as pediatric group calls for masks rise


Tuscaloosa News – Visitors, residents can expect traffic, construction as Tuscaloosa concert season starts


Tuscaloosa News – Singer-songwriter Koe Wetzel to play Tuscaloosa Amphitheater this fall


Tuscaloosa News – Erykah Badu returning to Tuscaloosa Amphitheater on Oct. 10


Yellowhammer News – UNA celebrates Year of the UNA Woman 150 years after admitting first female


Gadsden Times – Southside fire, police dispatch duties to transfer to Etowah County 911


Gadsden Times – In Alabama, many still lack broadband access


Gadsden Times – Judge: Pilgrim’s Pride can intervene in lawsuit opposing proposed rendering plant


Dothan Eagle – World shares mixed on worries virus may upend recoveries


Dothan Eagle – Louisiana lawmakers embark on the unknown: A veto session


Dothan Eagle – Pandemic, penalties aside, bribes go on at China hospitals


Opelika-Auburn News – UK government backs Guaidó claim in Venezuelan gold fight


Opelika-Auburn News – Florida Rep. Buchanan positive for COVID despite vaccine


Opelika-Auburn News – Garland bars prosecutors from seizing reporters’ records


WSFA Montgomery – CDC: Drug overdoses increased during pandemic


WSFA Montgomery – ANHA says visitors are still allowed at Alabama nursing homes despite rising COVID cases


WSFA Montgomery – Hearing held on controversial school construction safety requirements


WAFF Huntsville – Highway 431 reopened in Boaz after fuel spill cleanup


WAFF Huntsville – Lauderdale Co. murder case heading to grand jury


WAFF Huntsville – Popular cybersecurity summer camp underway in Decatur


WKRG Mobile – 88th annual Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo wraps up with awards night


WKRG Mobile – COVID-19 hospitalization numbers going back up in Pensacola area, mayor says


WKRG Mobile – ‘They have lost almost everything’: Citronelle home heavily damaged in house fire


WTVY Dothan – Abbeville council reaffirms vote to move dispatch to Headland temporarily


WTVY Dothan – Wiregrass industrial plant looking to make more than 100 hires this week


WTVY Dothan – Grocery store owners honored for supporting Wiregrass veterans


WASHINGTON POST – Mask mandates make a return — along with controversy


WASHINGTON POST – Delta variant poses major risk to Biden’s promises of swift economic comeback


WASHINGTON POST – $21 billion settlement with opioid distributors expected to be announced this week


NEW YORK TIMES – How an Unproven Alzheimer’s Drug Got Approved


NEW YORK TIMES – How Bad Is the Bootleg Fire? It’s Generating Its Own Weather.


NEW YORK TIMES – A House Race in Cleveland Captures the Democrats’ Generational Divide


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Ghosn Escape Planner Michael Taylor Is Sentenced to Two Years in Prison


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Markets Stabilize After Worst Fall for Stocks in Months


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Opioid Settlement of $26 Billion Between Drug Companies, States Expected This Week



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