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Daily News Digest – June 3, 2021

Good morning!

Here’s your Daily News for Thursday, June 3.


1. As prison lease plan fizzles, Ivey, lawmakers considering options

  • As the clock ran out on Gov. Kay Ivey’s plan to lease new prisons, several lawmakers said they want to consider using some of the more than $2 billion in new federal Coronavirus relief money on improved prison infrastructure.
  • Earlier this year, Ivey signed lease agreements with Tennessee-based CoreCivic to build two large men’s prisons. Tuesday was the deadline for those agreements to be final and Ivey confirmed to reporters Wednesday that the lease-only route is no longer an option as support from potential underwriters has fallen away.
  • “To that end, my team and I will meet with legislative leaders again in the coming days to review all that we have learned through this process thus far, including the complexity and depth of the multi-faceted challenge at-hand,” Ivey said in a statement. “Anyone who is serious about these issues understands that replacing our failing prison infrastructure with safer, more secure facilities that accommodate the rehabilitation of incarcerated people is essential. It is not a question of if this will happen, but how.”
  • Reading between the lines on what Ivey said, a lease option could still be a part of what the state ultimately does, especially considering the time a bid process takes. But the deal as we knew it with CoreCivic isn’t happening.
  • Meanwhile, lawmakers have signaled to Ivey they want another crack at a state-funded prison plan.
  • Alabama budget makers and leaders are continuing to lay the groundwork for the distribution and spending of Rescue Plan funds. The state this summer will start seeing some of the more than $4 billion allocated to it and local governments in the Biden administration’s American Rescue Plan Act.
  • State government’s Rescue Plan funding includes $2.1 billion earmarked for state relief and $192 million for state capital projects fund.
  • “We need to consider what we could do with some of these funds for prison construction,” Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, told Alabama Daily News.
  • Read more from Mary Sell HERE.


2. Ivey announces reelection bid

  • Gov. Kay Ivey has made it official: she’s running for reelection.
  • Citing her record over the last four years that includes the state’s emergence from the COVID-19 pandemic, Ivey, 76, made the announcement in a video message released by her campaign.
  • (Not for nothing, but ADN Insiders knew this was happening last Friday by way of Inside Alabama Politics)
  • The governor emphasized her administration’s investment in infrastructure, job creation, Alabama’s pandemic recovery and its low unemployment rate.
  • “Alabama is working again, and the best is yet to come,” Ivey said in her distinct Southern drawl. “The COVID crisis has tested us all, but together we’ve met the call with the same things that make us who we are — faith, resilience and a good old-fashioned bucket load of common sense. The result: a future brighter than any other in America,” Ivey said.
  • Shortly after her announcement, Ivey made an unscheduled campaign appearance at Dirk’s Filet & Vine, a popular meat and three lunch spot in Cloverdale.
  • Read more from Kim Chandler and see the video announcement HERE.



3. What is dead may never die: I-10 bridge returns to Mobile’s plans

  • Almost two years ago, a proposal to build a redesigned Mobile Bay Way complete with a high-arching bridge over the Mobile River was declared dead after local opposition to tolls killed the project.
  • However, as’s John Sharp reports, the project is now back on the table, as the Mobile Metropolitan Planning Organization voted Wednesday to place an alternative truck-only version of the bridge plan back on its local infrastructure agenda.
  • The Eastern Shore Metropolitan Planning Organization, which nixed the original bridge plan, meets next week to consider reopening the proposal.
  • To be sure, there are many officials who don’t like the idea of a truck-only toll bridge. Alabama Trucking Association President Mark Colson told planning officials that, while truckers agree a new bridge is needed, they can’t be the only ones on the hook to fund it.
  • “We are willing to be part of the solution,” Colson said. “But a funding solution should be fair and equitable to all of those involved.”
  • Some are saying this is just a way to get the project rolling again and that a truck-only toll isn’t be the end goal. Then there’s the prospect of federal money, including earmarks.
  • Read more from John Sharp HERE.



4. Free beer, other new incentives for Biden’s ‘vaccine sprint’

  • Dangling everything from sports tickets to a free beer, President Joe Biden is looking for that extra something — anything — that will get people to roll up their sleeves for COVID-19 shots when the promise of a life-saving vaccine by itself hasn’t been enough.
  • Biden on Wednesday announced a “month of action” to urge more Americans to get vaccinated before the July 4 holiday, including an early summer sprint of incentives and a slew of new steps to ease barriers and make getting shots more appealing to those who haven’t received them.
  • Among those efforts is a promotional giveaway announced Wednesday by Anheuser-Busch, saying it will “buy Americans 21+ a round of beer” once Biden’s 70% goal is met.
  • “Get a shot and have a beer,” Biden said, advertising the promotion even though he himself refrains from drinking alcohol.
  • Additionally, the White House is partnering with early childhood centers such as KinderCare, Learning Care Group, Bright Horizons and more than 500 YMCAs to provide free childcare coverage for Americans looking for shots or needing assistance while recovering from side effects.
  • Read more from Zeke Miller HERE.



5. Trump toys with conservatives on 2024 run

  • Donald Trump was calling into yet another friendly radio show when he was asked, as he often is, whether he’s planning a comeback bid for the White House. “We need you,” conservative commentator Dan Bongino told the former president.
  • “Well, I’ll tell you what,” Trump responded. “We are going to make you very happy, and we’re going to do what’s right.”
  • It was a noncommittal answer typical of a former president who spent decades toying with presidential runs. But multiple people who have spoken with Trump and his team in recent weeks say such remarks shouldn’t be viewed as idle chatter. Instead, they sense a shift, with Trump increasingly acting and talking like he plans to mount a run as he embarks on a more public phase of his post-presidency, beginning with a speech on Saturday in North Carolina.
  • Read more from Jill Colvin HERE.






ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – As prison lease plan fizzles, Ivey, lawmakers considering options


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ivey announces run for another term


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Free beer, other new incentives for Biden’s ‘vaccine sprint’


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump toys with conservatives on 2024 run


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Report: More data, tracking needed on prison education efforts


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Britt resigns BCA, readies Senate run


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Biden, Capito to meet as infrastructure deadline looms


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – US formally ends policy for asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – OPEC to boost oil output as economies recover, prices rise


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Biden suspends oil leases in Alaska’s Arctic refuge


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – June 2, 2021


AL.COM – Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announces she’s running for reelection in 2022


AL.COM – Medicaid expansion could create 28,500 jobs in Alabama, advocates say


AL.COM – Mo Brooks avoiding service of Capitol siege lawsuit, plaintiff says


AL.COM – Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey says lease plan for prisons no longer an option


AL.COM – I-10 Bridge and Bayway project returns to Mobile’s plans


AL.COM – Mazda Toyota looking to hire 2,400 for Alabama plant. Here’s how to apply


AL.COM – Contributor Cameron Smith: Standing in a culture that wants us to bow down


Montgomery Advertiser – Late City Council member Richard Bollinger honored


Montgomery Advertiser – Here’s what election changes Pa. county commissioners want the Legislature to make


Montgomery Advertiser – Prattville Council OKs pay bonuses for some workers thanks to federal COVID relief money


Decatur Daily – Melson: Support of ‘solid legislators’ key for medical marijuana; what’s next for access


Decatur Daily – Metzgar receives Army commission, Auburn degree


Decatur Daily – Toyota to build entry-level SUV Corolla Cross at Limestone plant


Decatur Daily – Second interim president named for Calhoun


Times Daily – Shoals housing costs reach record amid high demand


Times Daily – Homebound now getting COVID vaccines


Times Daily – Leasing is no longer an option for prisons


Anniston Star – As prison lease plan fizzles, Ivey, lawmakers considering options



Anniston Star – Report: More data, tracking needed on prison education efforts



Anniston Star – City has new plan for proposed Satcher Institute


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Anniston teen uses bags of books to comfort children during stressful times


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Tutors see increase demand for services this summer


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Amistad Murals inside new art museum at Talladega College


Tuscaloosa News – Scott Holmes named new Tuscaloosa city attorney


Tuscaloosa News – As prison construction deadline passes, Gov. Kay Ivey plans meeting with Legislature


Tuscaloosa News – Lanier, McKinstry enter race as qualifying begins for District 7 special election


YellowHammer News – Mazda Toyota Manufacturing unveils first Alabama production model


YellowHammer News – Hometown Lenders’ second Back the Blue event to feature Alabama AG Steve Marshall


YellowHammer News – ‘The best is yet to come’: Gov. Kay Ivey makes it official, will seek reelection in 2022


Gadsden Times – Etowah sports authority discusses financing, getting soccer fields ready for fall play


Gadsden Times – As prison construction deadline passes, Gov. Kay Ivey plans meeting with Legislature


Gadsden Times – Moore talks need for more road and bridge projects in Biden’s infrastructure plan


Dothan Eagle – Police: 3 officers stable after being shot in Delaware


Dothan Eagle – The ultimate garage & estate sale guide for this weekend


Dothan Eagle – EU, Mideast nations look to train at Cyprus security center


Opelika-Auburn News – EU, Mideast nations look to train at Cyprus security center


Opelika-Auburn News – Police: 3 officers stable after being shot in Delaware


Opelika-Auburn News – Buckingham Palace barred minorities from office jobs in ’60s


WSFA Montgomery – Town Hall held to address concerns over violent crime in Montgomery


WSFA Montgomery – June is National Adopt a Cat Month


WSFA Montgomery – Rosa Parks Committee requests DOJ to investigate Huntsville Police Department


WAFF Huntsville – Mark C. Smith Concert Hall upgrades, Broadway Theater League announces 2021-2022 show lineup


WAFF Huntsville – Huntsville City Council members want to see action plan for HPD


WAFF Huntsville – Decatur Police Department welcoming community dog walk watchers


WKRG Mobile – Mobile MPO approves I-10 truck bridge plan


WKRG Mobile – ‘I’m broken to pieces:’ Vigil held for 25-year-old woman found dead in Saraland


WKRG Mobile – Man searching for 2 heroes who saved his life at Crab Island in Destin


WTVY Dothan – UPDATE: Missing Eufaula senior found safe


WTVY Dothan – Vietnam Vet graduates after 40 years


WTVY Dothan – Businesses looking to hire high school students


WASHINGTON POST – Trump has grown increasingly consumed with ballot audits as he pushes falsehood that election was stolen


WASHINGTON POST – Justice Dept. secretly obtained New York Times reporters’ phone records during Trump administration


WASHINGTON POST – Time could be running out for infrastructure deal


NEW YORK TIMES – Israel Live Updates: Fragile Coalition to Oust Netanyahu Faces Growing Pressure


NEW YORK TIMES – Tasked to Fight Climate Change, a Secretive U.N. Agency Does the Opposite


NEW YORK TIMES – Covid Live Updates: U.S. Nursing Home Deaths Drop Sharply


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Palantir and DoorDash CEOs Top List of Biggest Pay Packages in 2020


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Labor Shortage Draws Attention of U.S. Lawmakers


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Jobless Claims Expected to Drop to Another Pandemic Low



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