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Daily News Digest – June 29, 2022

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The Alabama Municipal Electric Association

Good morning!

Here’s your Daily News for Wednesday, June 29.


1. SD27: Party decision based on voter’s intent, not registration status

  • There are some new details in the Senate District 27 saga this morning.
  • The Alabama woman whose provisional ballot made the Senate District 27 GOP primary contest a tie, as decided by a state Republican Party committee, was not a registered voter until May 25, a day after the primary.
  • That makes the ballot of Patsy Kenney “ineligible” as a matter of state law, according to Secretary of State John Merrill. He said the local elections officials acted correctly in throwing out the provisional ballot.
  • However, those who advocated that Kenney’s vote in the primary should count argue she made the effort to register at a state driver license office and that her intent is enough for her ballot to count.
  • It was that argument that won the day for Alabama Republican Party officials, who counted the vote, declared the race a tie and opted for a coin flip to decide the nominee.
  • “The ruling we made reflects the best decision we could have made with the information provided to us,” ALGOP Chairman John Wahl told Alabama Daily News.
  • Wahl would not say whether that information included the fact that the vote in question was from someone not registered to vote until after the election.
  • Read more from Mary Sell and me HERE.



2. Alabama parolee accused in Guntersville triple slaying up for parole again in August

  • Jimmy O’Neal Spencer, the man whose alleged 2018 killings of three people in Guntersville led to leadership and policy changes at the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles, has a parole hearing in August.
  • Bureau Director Cam Ward told Alabama Daily News the hearing is automatic and Spencer, who is awaiting trial for capital murder in the deaths of Colton Lee, Marie Martin and Martha Reliford, has little chance of being granted parole.
  • “While I cannot speak for the board and am not allowed to influence their decisions, the Jimmy Spencer case was a dark chapter in the role that Pardons and Paroles serves in the criminal justice system,” Ward told Alabama Daily News. “I sincerely believe there is a better chance of a snowball falling on my house in August than him ever getting paroled.”
  • The hearing is set for Aug. 9, according to an ABPP schedule on its website. Spencer is currently serving the sentence for which he was granted parole in 2017, despite a life sentence and long criminal history.
  • Read more from Mary Sell HERE.





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3. Former White House aide offers first hand account of Jan. 6

  • Cassidy Hutchinson, a previously little known White House aide under former President Donald Trump, testified to the House Jan. 6 committee providing some key first-hand accounts of the events leading up to the attack on the Capitol.
  • She also offered her recollections of second hand accounts, some of which are being disputed by others who were in Trump’s proximity then.
  • Hutchinson testified that a defiant Trump was told there were guns and other weapons in the rally crowd at the White House, but sent his supporters to the Capitol anyway.
  • Told that guns, knives, brass knuckles and other weapons were being confiscated from the security screenings, Trump didn’t care. “They’re not here to hurt me,” the president said. He wanted to take away the magnetometer stations to allow more people inside the grounds, regardless of their weaponry.
  • “Take the effing mags away,” an agitated Trump ordered security personnel moments before taking the stage, Hutchinson recalled.
  • She also testified that White House attorneys were trying to tamp down the president’s speech to the crowd and stop his plans to go to the Capitol that day when Congress would be certifying the election results.
  • Read more and watch the testimony for yourself HERE.



4. Justices side with doctors convicted in pain pill schemes

  • The Supreme Court this week ruled for doctors who face criminal charges for overprescribing powerful pain medication in a case arising from the opioid addiction crisis.
  • Justice Stephen Breyer wrote for the court that prosecutors must prove that doctors knew they were illegally prescribing powerful pain drugs in violation of the federal Controlled Substances Act.
  • One of the appeals came from Xiulu Ruan of Mobile, who along with partner James Couch was convicted of overprescribing medications at their Physicians Pain Specialists of Alabama clinic and pharmacy.
  • They grossed $20 million between 2012 and a raid in 2015. In 2014, they wrote 66,892 prescriptions, prosecutors said.
  • Prosecutors, Breyer wrote, “must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant knowingly or intentionally acted in an unauthorized manner.” The justices ruled unanimously for the doctors, though only six endorsed Breyer’s standard for conviction.
  • Read more HERE.




5. US consumer confidence slumps to lowest level in 16 months

  • U.S. consumer confidence slipped to its lowest level in 16 months as persistent inflation and rising interest rates have Americans as pessimistic as they’ve been about the future in almost a decade.
  • The Conference Board said Tuesday that its consumer confidence index slipped to 98.7 in June from 103.2 in May, the second straight monthly decline and the lowest level since February 2021.
  • The business research group’s expectations index, based on consumers’ six-month outlook for income, business and labor market conditions, tumbled in June to 66.4 — its lowest level since 2013 — from 73.7 in May. It has been a consistently weak spot in the survey recently.
  • Inflation has soared over the past year at its fastest pace in more than 40 years, with rising costs for nearly everything negating Americans’ pay raises.
  • Consumer prices surged 8.6% in May from a year earlier, faster than April’s year-over-year increase of 8.3%, the Labor Department reported earlier this month. The new inflation figure was the highest since 1981 and came after the Federal Reserve raised its main borrowing rate by a half point in early May in its effort to tamp down rising inflation.
  • Read more HERE.





ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – SD27: Party decision based on voter’s intent, not registration status


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama parolee accused in Guntersville triple slaying up for parole again in August


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – 1/6 Takeaways: Angry Trump, dire legal warnings and ketchup


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Justices side with doctors convicted in pain pill schemes


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – US consumer confidence slumps to lowest level in 16 months


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama school choice advocates encouraged by SCOTUS ruling on funding


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – 46 migrants found dead in abandoned trailer in San Antonio


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Groups oppose $725M Alabama bond sale for building prisons


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Supreme Court backs coach in praying on field after games


AL.COM – US Supreme Court delays creation of Black Louisiana Congressional district until deciding Alabama redistricting


AL.COM – Pete Buttigieg to visit Birmingham to promote infrastructure plan


AL.COM – Birmingham City Council approves $517 million budget


AL.COM – Tuberville: 401(k) retirement plans should be able to invest in cryptocurrency.


AL.COM – Alabama among the top 10 gas guzzling states, survey says


AL.COM – Birmingham mayor announces cooling shelter for homeless during World Games


AL.COM – Columnist Kyle Whitmire: The secret’s out. Huntsville is nation’s worst transparency scofflaw


Montgomery Advertiser – ‘I did everything I was supposed to do’: Voter at center of Auburn GOP primary dispute


Montgomery Advertiser – Bibb Correctional Facility inmate dies after being stabbed


Montgomery Advertiser – ‘It’s a blessing’: New $419,000 senior center in Autaugaville breaks ground


Decatur Daily – Spirit of America festival brings fun, fireworks


Decatur Daily – Board terminates Hazlewood principal’s contract


Decatur Daily – Newly appointed Athens councilman recommended by predecessor


Times Daily – Sheffield officials join forces to discuss school safety


Times Daily – Job fair brings interest, on-the-spot hirings


Times Daily – Parole hearings set for 2 Shoals murderers


Anniston Star – Legal fireworks come with cautions, limitations


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Rent continues to skyrocket around Alabama


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Know before you swipe: Some gas stations increasing holds on cards, reports say


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Birmingham passes new $517 million budget, including money to improve trash pick-up


Tuscaloosa News – Bibb Correctional Facility inmate dies after being stabbed


Tuscaloosa News – ‘Frankly unacceptable’: Tuscaloosa residents protest Supreme Court’s abortion ruling


Tuscaloosa News – Mo’Bay Beignet Co. to open first downtown Tuscaloosa location


YellowHammer News – State Rep. Scott Stadthagen: Joe Biden ‘is launching a war to destroy’ Title IX


YellowHammer News – Tuberville, Aderholt laud SCOTUS ruling in high school coach religious liberty case


Gadsden Times – Gadsden State kicks off unique new RN apprenticeship program with signing event


Gadsden Times – Qualifying for Gadsden municipal elections draws to a close; here are the candidates


Gadsden Times – Bibb Correctional Facility inmate dies after being stabbed


Dothan Eagle – Biden boosts US troop presence in Europe; primary results in 7 states; R. Kelly sentencing today


Dothan Eagle – Ukraine’s leader pushes for fuller NATO embrace, more arms


Dothan Eagle – Lawyer who left Jan. 6 panel seeking Missouri US Senate seat


Opelika-Auburn News – Jury is chosen to decide Florida school shooter’s sentence


Opelika-Auburn News – 51 migrants die after trailer abandoned in San Antonio heat


Opelika-Auburn News – Cassidy Hutchinson, Trump White House aide, now in spotlight


WSFA Montgomery – Tallassee mayor says city sued over police action


WSFA Montgomery – Montgomery approves $3.4M bid for Garrett Coliseum renovation


WSFA Montgomery – ALEA increasing water patrols for Fourth of July weekend


WAFF Huntsville – ‘Beyond the Call of Duty: End of Watch Ride to Remember’ stops in Sheffield


WAFF Huntsville – Hendersonville manhunt ends with suspect dead after shootout in KY


WAFF Huntsville – Housing market showing signs of slowing down


WKRG Mobile – Pelosi receives Communion in Vatican amid abortion debate


WKRG Mobile – At NATO, Biden says US will enhance military presence in Europe to send message that alliance is ‘strong and united’


WKRG Mobile – Verdict looms in trial over 2015 Paris extremist attacks


WTVY Dothan – Lawsuit expected in Dale County EMS feud


WTVY Dothan – Pinckard, Alabama faces $4 million demand


WTVY Dothan – Auburn University’s new online program aims to combat teacher shortage


WASHINGTON POST – Trump sought to lead armed mob to Capitol on Jan. 6, aide says


WASHINGTON POST – Election deniers in Colo. rejected in favor of more moderate Republicans


WASHINGTON POST – Elmo gets coronavirus shot, sparks another Muppet feud with Ted Cruz


NEW YORK TIMES – Cassidy Hutchinson’s Testimony Highlights Legal Risks for Trump


NEW YORK TIMES – For Many Women, Roe Was About More Than Abortion. It Was About Freedom.


NEW YORK TIMES – Illinois Abortion Clinics Prepare for Rush of Patients After Roe


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Cassidy Hutchinson Says Trump Demanded to Be Driven to the Capitol on Jan. 6


WALL STREET JOURNAL – FedEx’s New Boss Faces Strategic Choice as Package Volumes Fall



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