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Daily News Digest – June 1, 2020

Good morning!

Congrats to state employees who have the day off thanks to Jefferson Davis’ birthday. Just wait until next month when we observe Stonewall Jackson’s christening.

Here’s your Daily News for Monday, June 1.


1. Demonstrations turn violent in Birmingham

  • As riots raged last week and this weekend across the country over the police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota, protests throughout Alabama had remained peaceful.
  • That changed late last night as demonstrations turned into sometimes violent efforts to damage property and statues in downtown Birmingham.
  • What were peaceful protests against police brutality by day had by night become angry crowds attempting to take down a controversial confederate monument in Linn Park. Unsuccessful at destroying that massive obelisk, the crowd turned to the smaller, more recent statue of city founder Charles Linn and destroyed it (video link from WBRC at above photo).
  • The damage extended downtown as rioters broke windows and attempted to set fires at banks, restaurants, theaters and a museum.
  • Multiple reporters were violently attacked, including’s Madison Underwood and ABC 33/40’s Stephen Quinn. Watch that disturbing video HERE. News crews from WBRC Fox 6 also reported being shoved.
  • Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin condemned the violence and vandalism saying, “I’m appalled by what I’ve seen tonight and I’m very angry. None of our community deserves this. The city of Birmingham as a government and a city has stood in lockstep with the protesters who are peaceful. Stop destroying your own community.”
  • Woodfin also told protesters in Linn Park to stop attempting to take down the confederate monument and vowing to “finish the job” himself within 24 hours.
  • Read more from HERE. See more video from WBRC Fox 6 HERE.



2. Protests rage at White House

Demonstrators start a fire as they protest the death of George Floyd, Sunday, May 31, 2020, near the White House in Washington. Floyd died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
  • Secret Service agents rushed President Donald Trump to a White House bunker on Friday night as hundreds of protesters gathered outside the executive mansion, some of them throwing rocks and tugging at police barricades.
  • Trump spent nearly an hour in the bunker, which was designed for use in emergencies like terrorist attacks.
  • The abrupt decision by the agents underscored the rattled mood inside the White House, where the chants from protesters in Lafayette Park could be heard all weekend and Secret Service agents and law enforcement officers struggled to contain the crowds.
  • Trump traveled to Florida on Saturday to view the first manned space launch from the U.S. in nearly a decade. He returned to a White House under virtual siege, with protesters — some violent — gathered just a few hundred yards away through much of the night.
  • Demonstrators returned Sunday afternoon, facing off against police at Lafayette Park into the evening.
  • Trump continued his effort to project strength, using a series of inflammatory tweets and delivering partisan attacks during a time of national crisis.
  • Trump’s advisers discussed the prospect of an Oval Office address in an attempt to ease tensions. The notion was quickly scrapped for lack of policy proposals and the president’s own seeming disinterest in delivering a message of unity.
  • Trump did not appear in public on Sunday. Instead, a White House official who was not authorized to discuss the plans ahead of time said Trump was expected in the coming days to draw distinctions between the legitimate anger of peaceful protesters and the unacceptable actions of violent agitators.
  • Full story with video HERE.



3. Pardons and Paroles says more funding needed for new officers

  • In a letter to state legislators, Bureau of Pardons and Paroles Director Charlie Graddick said the agency’s goal of hiring up to 138 new parole officers in the next three years has been hindered by the agency’s allocation in the recently approved 2021 General Fund budget.
  • “We are in need of more officers as we work to reduce caseloads,” Graddick said in a press release.
  • There are currently around 300 parole officers who oversee more than 27,000 probationers and parolees in Alabama, according to data released by the bureau.
  • Graddick said nine new officers began work last week.
  • Last month, the Legislature passed and Gov. Kay Ivey signed a General Fund budget that included a $21 million decrease in funding for the bureau, taking its funding in fiscal year 2020 from $48.8 million down to $27.8 million for 2021.
  • Senate General Fund Budget chairman Sen. Greg Albritton, R-Range, said during committee discussions in May that left-over funds the bureau has will be used to replace whatever funding they don’t receive from lawmakers. At the time, the bureau had about $25 million in leftover funds from the previous administration.
  • Read more, including reactions from lawmakers, from ADN’s Caroline Beck HERE.


4. Online divisions: Twitter, Facebook diverge on Trump’s words

  • President Donald Trump posted identical messages on Twitter and Facebook this week. But while the two social platforms have very similar policies on voter misinformation and glorifying violence, they dealt with Trump’s posts very differently, proof that Silicon Valley is far from a united front when it comes to political decisions.
  • Twitter placed a warning label on two Trump tweets that called mail-in ballots “fraudulent” and predicted problems with the November elections. It demoted and placed a stronger warning on a third tweet about Minneapolis protests that read, in part, that “when the looting starts the shooting starts.”
  • Facebook left the posts alone.
  • “Facebook doesn’t want to alienate certain communities,” said Dipayan Ghosh, co-director of the digital platforms and democracy project at Harvard’s Kennedy School. “It doesn’t want to tick off a whole swatch of people who really believe the president and appreciate his tweets.”
  • Twitter, on the other hand has a history of taking stronger stances, he added, including a complete ban on political advertisements that the company announced last November.
  • That’s partly because Facebook, a much larger company with a broader audience, caught in the crosshairs of regulators over its size and power, has more to lose. And partly because the companies’ CEOs don’t always see eye to eye on their role in society.
  • “Our position is that we should enable as much expression as possible unless it will cause imminent risk of specific harms or dangers spelled out in clear policies,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a post on his social network Friday.
  • Full story HERE.


5. Will Whatley: Listen to Coach


  • The state of Alabama is entering its fourth month of dealing with the coronavirus to one degree or another.
  • At first government-ordered public health mandates ramped up, then they eventually ramped down. Now, we are in a situation in which the state’s success in keeping COVID-19 in check lies mostly on the responsibility and good sense of citizens, not the government.
  • That’s probably how it should be, writes ADN’s Will Whatley in his latest column, but as citizens it is our job to step up to meet that responsibility.
  • Here’s an excerpt:
“With all due respect to our government officials, I think it is safe to say that Nick Saban is the most well known and arguably the most powerful individual in the state, purely judging on how important college football is to us. Gus Malzhan could be second, depending on whether or not he has beaten Alabama that year. Football is more than just a beloved sport for our universities, it is a huge part of our economy and way of life. 
“So when Nick Saban donned a protective mask, went on ESPN and appealed to citizens to take the coronavirus seriously lest we lose out on a college football season, you know he meant business. And perhaps the threat of losing the pastime we are semi-religiously devoted to from the Pope of Bama football is what it will take for the state to take this pandemic seriously, even as government restrictions ease. 
“I’m not here to downplay the importance of our state government and elected officials. In fact, under some very tough circumstances, I believe officials at the state and local levels have performed about as well as they could. But as our economy necessarily begins to open back up, our success or failure in keeping this virus at bay will depend less and less on government action and more and more on personal responsibility. And, in that regard, I’m here to appeal to our shared interests…”
  • Read Will’s full column HERE.




ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – 20 arrested during George Floyd death protest in Alabama


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump took shelter in White House bunker as protests raged


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Pardons and Paroles says more funding needed for new officers


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Online divisions: Twitter, Facebook diverge on Trump’s words


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Will Whatley: Listen to Coach


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – More GOP women seeking office, but winning still in question


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – ‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killings shatters US


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Montgomery may consider face mask requirement


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama health officer: More testing doesn’t account for rise in cases


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – NASA’S historic encore: Astronauts arrive at space station


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Lawsuit seeks early, easier voting during COVID-19 pandemic


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Coronavirus alters hurricane shelter plans


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – In the Weeds with Dr. Eric Mackey


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Weekend Digest – May 31, 2020


AL.COM  – In Birmingham: Fires, windows shattered at banks, businesses as reporters attacked


AL.COM  – Police shoot pepper balls at Mobile activists as peaceful protest turns violent


AL.COM  – Protest in Hoover: arrests, confrontations continue


AL.COM  – Demonstrations continue in Alabama including protest at Birmingham police headquarters


AL.COM  – State increasing coverage of missing-person alerts


AL.COM  – 2 Alabama counties have more than 100 coronavirus deaths; state adds 463 cases overnight


AL.COM  – Alabama’s largest cities pressure lawmakers on ‘no-excuse’ absentee voting


AL.COM  – As coronavirus devastates Alabama nursing homes, no plan for statewide testing


AL.COM  – Columnist Roy Johnson: Okay, white people, here’s what you can do now


AL.COM  – Contributor Rachel Blackmon Bryars: Cry from a grieved heart


Montgomery Advertiser – It’s time to stand up’: Peaceful demonstrations, looting and chanting on sixth night of George Floyd protests


Montgomery Advertiser – ‘I can’t breathe’: Montgomery protesters decry George Floyd’s murder


Montgomery Advertiser – Protests break out around the US following deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor


Tuscaloosa News – Rally for racial justice draws crowd to downtown Tuscaloosa


Tuscaloosa News – Birmingham protesters demand justice for George Floyd


Tuscaloosa News – UA leadership addresses racial crisis


Decatur Daily – Police: Falkville woman admits assisting triple murder suspect, posts bail


Decatur Daily – Hartselle Aquatic Center plans to open in mid-June; lifeguard shortage remains


Decatur Daily – New principals hired for Austin High, Austin Middle and Austin Junior High


Times Daily – Muscle Shoals council could approve fire boat purchase today


Times Daily – Teachers create sign display for seniors


Times Daily – Weeden School construction to begin soon


Anniston Star – Anniston marchers call for ‘justice, equality and freedom for all’ in wake of George Floyd’s death


Anniston Star – Alabama’s Saban, Byrne address police brutality crisis


Anniston Star – ‘We must do better’: Auburn athletics speaks out against racial injustice during weekend of protests


Gadsden Times – Virus taking hold in rural, old plantation region of Alabama


Gadsden Times – March, prayer vigil for George Floyd


Gadsden Times – Local black officers react to Floyd murder, riots


YellowHammer News – Alabama journalists assaulted in downtown Birmingham as city hit by rioters, looters (VIDEO)


YellowHammer News – Alabama farmers and ranchers affected by coronavirus can apply for monetary relief


YellowHammer News – Alabama automakers adopt COVID-19 safety measures as production ramps up


Dothan Eagle – Hundreds pack Houston County Courthouse to demonstrate Floyd’s death


Dothan Eagle – Pilot dies when helicopter crashes in Ozark neighborhood


Dothan Eagle – DHS assistant coach’s social media posts about nation’s civil unrest grab attention


Troy Messenger – Law: ‘We’re probably in for a hard time’


Troy Messenger – ‘Using our voices’: Protesters line Troy Square


Troy Messenger – Saying thanks to first responders


Andalusia Star News – Andalusia’s first black councilman passes away


Andalusia Star News – LBWCC bans smoking, vaping, tobacco on campus effective June 1


Andalusia Star News – Straughn grads view this week’s launch in Florida


Opelika-Auburn News – ICYMI: Local rallies for Black Lives Matter held during the weekend


Opelika-Auburn News – Watch now: Auburn community comes together for peaceful protest


Opelika-Auburn News – Auburn-Opelika Long Range Transportation Plan looks at goals for the future


Daily Mountain Eagle – Birmingham protests turn violent


Daily Mountain Eagle – GALLERY: Birmingham falls into chaos after rally


Daily Mountain Eagle – Investigation continues into local woman’s 2018 disappearance


Trussville Tribune – St. Clair County Jail: Inmate Roster, Saturday, May 30, 2020


Trussville Tribune – Over 100 Hewitt-Trussville Middle School students inducted into the National Junior Honor Society


Trussville Tribune – TCS creates website for Hewitt-Trussville High School graduation


Athens News Courier – GO FISH: Free Fishing Day is June 13


Athens News Courier – County schools to join Calhoun pilot program


Athens News Courier – City of Athens refinances, extends credit line for sewer projects


Sand Mountain Reporter – Marshall County’s high unemployment rate explained


Sand Mountain Reporter – Gladden joins Albertville BOE


Sand Mountain Reporter – More than 9,000 COVID-19 cases presumed recovered statewide


WSFA Montgomery – UA President releases statement on nationwide unrest following death of George Floyd


WSFA Montgomery – Auburn University president addresses recent events of racial injustice


WSFA Montgomery – Decatur protesters hold peaceful rally, march to demand justice and peace


Fox 6 Birmingham – ADPH: 630 Alabamians have died from COVID-19 as more than 17K test positive


Fox 6 Birmingham – “Birmingham, the World is Watching” Rally to serve as example of non-violent protest


Fox 6 Birmingham – Protesters smash windows, break into Alabama Power Museum, take swing at WBRC FOX6 News crew


WAFF Huntsville – Law enforcement respond to looting threats at Target in Decatur


WAFF Huntsville – Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox: ‘As Americans, we must meet this moment with purpose’


WAFF Huntsville – Peaceful protest held in Downtown Huntsville in reaction to George Floyd killing


WKRG Mobile – Four arrested for firing guns, reckless endangerment, eluding police


WKRG Mobile – Fire officials in Mobile on scene of possible on Esplanade Ave.


WKRG Mobile – Minor clash after tear gas shot into crowd as protesters block I-10 ramp, minor damage to one police car


WTVY Dothan – Deadly shooting and officer wounded in Florida panhandle, some attending event from Dothan area


WTVY Dothan – Protesters tear down statue, damage Confederate monument, smash windows and start fire in Birmingham


WTVY Dothan – DCS coach under fire for social media comments


WASHINGTON POST  – Night of destruction across D.C. after protesters clash with police outside White House


WASHINGTON POST  – As cities burned, Trump stayed silent — other than tweeting fuel on the fire


WASHINGTON POST  – In Trump’s campaign against antifa, observers see an attempt to distract from protesters’ genuine outrage


WASHINGTON POST  – Crowded protests spark concerns about fresh outbreaks of the deadly coronavirus


WASHINGTON POST  – Parents hoping to get back to work face a child care crisis


NEW YORK TIMES  – George Floyd Protests: Overnight Mayhem Follows Peaceful Rallies


NEW YORK TIMES  – Poor Countries Face a Debt Crisis ‘Unlike Anything We Have Seen’


NEW YORK TIMES  – Campaign Funds for Judges Warps Criminal Justice, Study Finds


NEW YORK TIMES – Will Protests Set Off a Second Viral Wave?


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