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Daily News Digest – June 7, 2021

Presented by the

Energy Institute of Alabama


Good morning!

Here’s your Daily News for Monday, June 7.


1. Congress returns

  • Congress is set to return from recess today, beginning a summer session that tends to be the busiest each year.
  • The days and weeks ahead are often seen as a last chance at legislating before the August recess and the start of campaigns for next year’s elections.
  • As Democrats strain to deliver on President Joe Biden’s agenda, the limits of bipartisanship in the 50-50 Senate are increasingly clear: Talks over an infrastructure package are teetering, though Biden is set to confer again today with the lead GOP negotiator, and an ambitious elections overhaul bill is essentially dead now that Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., announced his opposition Sunday.
  • But Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, also said votes may be coming on gun control legislation and the Equality Act, a House-passed bill to ensure civil rights for the LGBTQ community.
  • Fed up by the delays, some senators are ready to change the rules to eliminate the filibuster, which they blame for the inaction. The long-running Senate filibuster rules require 60 votes to advance most legislation, meaning as many as 10 Republicans would need to cross party lines to help Democrats achieve their priorities. Some senators propose reducing the voting threshold to 51.
  • Read more from Lisa Mascaro HERE.


2. Pendergrass to challenge Dismukes for State House

  • Josh Pendergrass, a lawyer and former communications director for Gov. Kay Ivey, will challenge state Rep. Will Dismukes in the GOP primary for House District 88 next year.
  • Pendergrass lives in Prattville, is a local Baptist pastor and runs several businesses.
  • In a campaign announcement, Pendergrass said he is running because he sees the “American Dream” becoming a reality for fewer people “and we need a representative who will change that.”
  • Dismukes easily won the empty seat in 2018, but his first four years in elected office have been controversial.
  • He briefly flirted with running for the U.S. Senate before announcing a run for Congress. He eventually dropped out of that race.
  • But Dismukes biggest issues started last year when he faced public criticism and calls for resignation for speaking at a birthday party honoring Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, who later co-founded the Ku Klux Klan.
  • (Not for nothing, but today happens to be Jefferson Davis’ birthday, which the state of Alabama continues to mark as a holiday).
  • He was later charged with theft by the Montgomery County District Attorney, accused of stealing from a former employer. That case is ongoing and Dismukes has maintained that he’s innocent. Late last month, Dismukes told Inside Alabama Politics he would run for reelection next year.
  • Read more from Mary Sell and Caroline Beck HERE.





A message from the

Energy Institute of Alabama

  • The Energy Institute of Alabama (EIA) is proud to continue the annual celebration on the first Monday in June honoring Alabama’s utility workers.
  • Alabama Lineman Appreciation Day is meant to recognize and honor the more than 2,000 hardworking linemen and linewomen represented by EIA member companies who ensure Alabama enjoys safe and reliable power.
  • In a release from EIA, Governor Ivey noted: “This past year with the devastating tornadoes and hurricanes throughout our state, we were reminded all too often of the incredible commitment and service from Alabama’s linemen. We honor those individuals today and remember those who were injured on the job or tragically lost their lives.”
  • Watch EIA’s video tribute to hardworking lineman HERE.







3. Alabama Air National Guard gets first female general

  • A woman is making history as the first female brigadier general in the Alabama Air National Guard.
  • Col. Tara McKennie was promoted Saturday to brigadier general in the Alabama National Guard. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey participated in the promotion ceremony.
  • McKennie will be the first female brigadier general in the Alabama Air National Guard, the governor’s office said. She also will be the first African American female general officer in both the Alabama Army and Air National Guard.
  • “Congratulations Brigadier General Tara McKennie on your promotion!” Ivey tweeted. “You have truly made history being both the first female and first African American General Officer for the Alabama National Guard. Thank you for your service to sweet home Alabama.”
  • Story link.


4. Testimony: Man led police to son’s body after public plea

  • An Alabama man who pleaded with the public for information about his missing son later led authorities to a shallow grave where the infant was buried and asked a police officer to shoot him before he was placed in handcuffs and charged in the death, testimony showed Friday.
  • Testimony in a hearing for Caleb Michael Whisnand Sr. revealed new details about the death of 5-week-old C.J. Whisnand and how authorities found the baby’s body, news outlets reported. The man told police the child’s death was accidental.
  • Whisnand, 32, was arrested last month just hours after making a public plea alongside the child’s mother, Angela Gardener for the baby’s safe return. Initially accused of manslaughter, the charge was later upgraded to capital murder.
  • Read more HERE.



5. Selma-to-Montgomery march camps top list of endangered sites

  • The landmark voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965 didn’t happen in just one day: Participants spent four nights camping along the roughly 55-mile route through Alabama, sleeping in tents and near farm buildings under the watch of guards to prevent white supremacist attacks.
  • Now threatened by decades of weather and wear, the campsites used by those marchers are among the nation’s most endangered historic places, according to a new assessment by a preservation group. The sites, along with 10 other locations in nine states, need immediate attention or risk being lost, according to the nonprofit National Trust for Historic Preservation.
  • Three of the campsites are privately owned, rural acreage along U.S. 80, which links Selma and the capital city, and the fourth is the City of St. Jude, a Roman Catholic complex where marchers spent the night before thousands followed the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to the Alabama Capitol on March 25, 1965, to demonstrate for voting rights for Black people.
  • Read more from Jay Reeves HERE.






ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – As Congress returns, Dems’ agenda faces tough test


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Pendergrass challenging Dismukes for House seat


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama Air National Guard gets first female general


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Testimony: Man led police to son’s body after public plea


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Selma-to-Montgomery march camps top list of endangered sites


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Tourism surge meets worker shortages at Alabama beaches


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Former Gov. John Patterson dies at 99


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Normandy commemorates D-Day with small crowds, but big heart


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Tuberville talks military, vaccines in Montgomery stop


AL.COM – Jefferson Davis birthday 2021: Monday is a state holiday in Alabama, offices closed


AL.COM – Bribing people to get inoculated seems to be succeeding in the U.S


AL.COM – U.S. Supreme Court asked to review men-only draft registration law


AL.COM – Birmingham, Montgomery among Alabama’s fastest shrinking cities


Montgomery Advertiser – Josh Pendergrass to challenge Will Dismukes for GOP nomination for House seat


Montgomery Advertiser – Now hiring: Prattville sweetens the deal in search for, retention of police officers


Montgomery Advertiser – New and future police officers are excited to serve on the Prattville Police Department


Decatur Daily – Cook Museum enjoying ‘normal’ operations as it celebrates 2-year anniversary


Decatur Daily – Decatur lawmaker: Public money shouldn’t be used to influence voters


Decatur Daily – Votes for Women: Marker at site where Susan B. Anthony spoke recognizes Decatur’s role in suffrage movement


Times Daily – Chamber seeks participation in Talent Pipeline Management Initiative


Times Daily – Post Memorial Day spike in COVID cases a concern


Times Daily – Man receives multiple 99-year sentences


Anniston Star – Health care workers honored at Farm Fest event


Anniston Star – Anniston kids introduced to flight program


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – FIRST ALERT: A chance of more storms and heavy rain Monday


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Health leaders concerned about Alabama’s low vaccination rate


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – California congressman serves Rep. Mo Brooks with Capitol siege lawsuit


Tuscaloosa News – John Patterson, Alabama governor during Freedom Rides, dies at 99


Tuscaloosa News – Assistant City Clerk Debby Clements, an ‘anchor’ of City Hall, steps away into retirement


Tuscaloosa News – ‘Pain and shame’ explain why Tuscaloosa’s Bloody Tuesday remains less-known


YellowHammer News – Eric Swalwell serves Mo Brooks’ wife lawsuit — Brooks claims servers violating Alabama criminal trespass code by ‘unlawfully’ entering home


YellowHammer News – Ainsworth draws big crowd for 2022 lieutenant governor campaign rollout


YellowHammer News – Auburn University heartworm research, soil study awarded LAUNCH funding


Gadsden Times – John Patterson, Alabama governor during Freedom Rides, dies at 99


Gadsden Times – Gadsden man featured in Shutterstock’s HIV global photography campaign


Gadsden Times – ‘Pain and shame’ explain why Tuscaloosa’s Bloody Tuesday remains less-known


Dothan Eagle – UK PM’s party rebels prepare to challenge foreign aid cuts


Dothan Eagle – China hosts Southeast Asian ministers as it competes with US


Dothan Eagle – The Latest: Slovakia becomes 2nd EU nation to use Sputnik V


Opelika-Auburn News – Police say 23 arrested during clashes over NYC park curfew


Opelika-Auburn News – Richard Robinson, longtime Scholastic CEO, dead at 84


Opelika-Auburn News – El Salvador president wants Bitcoin as legal tender


WSFA Montgomery – Suspect who shot at Auburn police found late Sunday night


WSFA Montgomery – Rewards offered after Walmart fires in Alabama, Mississippi


WSFA Montgomery – California congressman serves Rep. Mo Brooks with Capitol siege lawsuit


WAFF Huntsville – California congressman serves Rep. Mo Brooks with Capitol siege lawsuit


WAFF Huntsville – Dutton man fatally injured in a two-vehicle crash in Jackson County


WAFF Huntsville – The city of Huntsville will begin Old Madison Pike Bridge demolition Sunday


WKRG Mobile – Three sent to hospital after crash in Dothan


WKRG Mobile – 77th Anniversary of DDay remembered by Mayor Sandy Stimpson


WKRG Mobile – UPDATE: Mobile Police investigate after finding woman shot in Halls Mill Road area


WTVY Dothan – Enterprise police searching for missing Enterprise teen


WTVY Dothan – COVID-19 ‘natural immunity’ could be coming to an end soon


WTVY Dothan – ADPH no longer updating COVID-19 dashboard daily


WASHINGTON POST – Supreme Court begins its sprint to finish — and a decision by one justice might be the most important


WASHINGTON POST – Vaccination rates fall off, imperiling Biden’s July Fourth goal


WASHINGTON POST – After unending conflicts, Gazans wrestle with rebuilding — and whether it’s worth it


NEW YORK TIMES – Covid Live Updates: Vaccine Lag in U.S. South May Lead to Summer Wave


NEW YORK TIMES – Senate Poised to Pass Huge Industrial Policy Bill to Counter China


NEW YORK TIMES – In Arizona 2020 Election Review, Risks for Republicans, and Democracy


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Google Settles Antitrust Case Over Advertising Practices


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Options Traders Bet on Return of $100 Oil


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Stock Futures Edge Down to Start Week


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