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Daily News Digest – March 14, 2022

Presented by the

Alabama League of Municipalities

Good morning and Happy Pi Day!

Here’s your Daily News for Monday, March 14.

1. Alabama marks two years of COVID

  • Sunday marked two years since COVID-19 was first detected in Alabama, a milestone that comes as most metrics show the virus receding in the state.
  • State Health officer Dr. Scott Harris said the anniversary offers a way to look back at what has transpired but also look forward toward a more hopeful year ahead.
  • “The first case we had in Alabama came on the 13th, which was a Friday the 13th and it’s kind of felt like Friday the 13th ever since,” Harris quipped on APT’s Capitol Journal.
  • “Finally, we are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. There are a lot of ways, Todd, that this has been a tremendous success. Just going from a disease that was completely unknown to the human race to having safe, effective vaccines available a year later is really remarkable. It really is incredible. But, as you know, there was just an incredible toll that had to be paid.”
  • As of Sunday, 18,832 deaths in Alabama have been attributed to COVID-19, including more than 2,000 this year so far.
  • Hospitalizations are way down compared to late January when the omicron variant was spiking. Just 242 Alabamians are hospitalized with COVID, down from almost 3,000 on January 25.
  • Read more and see Harris’ full comments HERE.


2. Unemployment

  • Alabama’s unemployment rate for January held steady at 3.1%.
  • January’s rate represents 69,141 unemployed persons, compared to 69,434 in December and 90,390 in January 2021.
  • We’ll have more unemployment updates this month as the Department of Labor releases February’s report in 11 days.
  • Read more on today’s report from Mary Sell HERE.





A message from the
Alabama League of Municipalities

Municipalities are the foundation of Alabama’s economy. The Alabama League of Municipalities was formed in 1935 and currently represents more than 450 member municipalities.
Year after year, the League works to secure legislation enabling all cities and towns to perform their functions more efficiently and effectively; offers specialized training for both municipal officials and employees; and conducts continuing studies of the legislative, administrative and operational needs, problems and functions of Alabama’s municipal governments.
For more information, visit

3. Yates out as Brooks’ chief, Pettitt back in

  • The office of Congressman Mo Brooks has made a staff change at the top.
  • Marshall Yates, who served as chief of staff for the past two years, has resigned, according to Brooks. Mark Pettitt, who was Brooks’ longtime chief before retiring in 2020, has come out of retirement to take over the job.
  • Since Brooks’ announced his run for the U.S. Senate almost a year ago, Yates has been highly involved in the day-to-day operations of the campaign.
  • Late last year, Inside Alabama Politics reported that Brooks shook up his campaign team and brought in new staff and consultants. Robert Cahaly of the Trafalgar Group is the new pollster, Fred Davis is the new ad man and Forrest Barnwell-Hademeyer is the new campaign manager. The Brooks camp spun the moves positively as “bringing in the A-Team.”
  • ADN Insiders can read the full story HERE.


4. US official: Russia seeking military aid from China

  • A U.S. official said Russia asked China for military equipment to use in its invasion of Ukraine, a request that heightened tensions about the ongoing war ahead of a Monday meeting in Rome between top aides for the U.S. and Chinese governments.
  • In advance of the talks, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan bluntly warned China to avoid helping Russia evade punishment from global sanctions that have hammered the Russian economy. “We will not allow that to go forward,” he said. China in turn accused on Monday the U.S. of spreading “disinformation.”
  • Chinese state broadcaster CCTV said the talks with the U.S. were underway around 11:50 a.m. Rome time (1050 GMT), but gave no other details.
  • The prospect of China offering Russia financial help is one of several concerns for President Joe Biden. A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive matters, said that in recent days, Russia had requested support from China, including military equipment, to press forward in its ongoing war with Ukraine. The official did not provide details on the scope of the request. The request was first reported by the Financial Times and The Washington Post.
  • The Biden administration is also accusing China of spreading Russian disinformation that could be a pretext for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces to attack Ukraine with chemical or biological weapons.
  • Read more HERE.


5. Four state teams are dancing

  • This year’s Selection Sunday was a historic one for Alabama college basketball teams.
  • Four squads – Auburn, Alabama, UAB and Jacksonville State – were seeded in the NCAA Tournament that begins this week. That’s a greater tournament presence than the football-crazed state has had in the past. And at least two of the teams will play each other.
  • Auburn secured the No. 2 seed in the Midwest Region and will play 15-seed Jacksonville State in Greenville, S.C. on Friday.
  • Alabama is seeded at no. 6 in the West Region and will play the winner of the Rutgers-Nortre Dame play-in game on Friday in San Diego.
  • UAB is seeded at No. 12 in the South Region and will play fifth seed Houston on Friday in Pittsburg.
  • Auburn fans are hoping the Tigers can rekindle the magic of 2019, when they defeated “blue blood” powers Kansas, North Carolina and Kentucky on their way to a Final Four appearance.
  • Both Auburn and Alabama have struggled of late, each making an early exit from the SEC Tournament.
  • Meanwhile, UAB and JSU have been hot, with the Blazers winning their conference tournament and the Gamecocks coming up just short in the title game.
  • Story link.

A message from 

the Safe Surgery Coalition

Would you allow someone who is not a highly trained surgeon to operate on your brain, heart, kidneys or lungs? Of course not.
Yet some legislators are trying to change the law in Alabama to allow people who are not trained surgeons – in fact they are not even medical doctors – to operate on your eyes.


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama marks two years of COVID-19


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Bill would require more resource information for pregnant women prior to abortions


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Yates out as Brooks’ chief, Pettitt back in


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – US official: Russia seeking military aid from China


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Auburn, Alabama, UAB, JSU get NCAA Tournament bids


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Late winter storm blasts South with snow and wind


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Rally marks anniversary of ’65 voting march


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Apparel company, 557 jobs coming to vacant Alabama plant


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Oil, sanctions, jets: How Congress pushes Biden on Ukraine


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Latest updates: UN says 596 civilians killed since war began


AL.COM – Average US gas price rises 22% in two weeks to record $4.43


AL.COM – New Alzheimer’s drug leaves sharp divide in its wake: What patients are saying


AL.COM – Columnist Roy Johnson: State champ Guntersville’s ‘Black Shadow’ sees team as ‘model for how our country should be’


AL.COM – Obama tests positive for COVID-19, says he’s ‘feeling fine’


AL.COM – Electronic bingo halls keep popping up in Jefferson County


Montgomery Advertiser – Precision Grooming Spa opens in east Montgomery


Montgomery Advertiser – Optic nerves: How a fight over eye care consumed the Alabama Senate


Montgomery Advertiser – Greene County emerges as flashpoint in Alabama gambling legislation

Decatur Daily – Home invasion suspect dead after shootout with Decatur police


Decatur Daily – Medical expert in murder trial: Toddler’s bruises ‘consistent’ with abuse’


Decatur Daily – Overnight storms result in 30 wrecks in Morgan County


Times Daily – Daughter: Late Sheffield officer is ‘still saving lives’


Times Daily – Council to vote on new Muscle Shoals sportsplex scoreboards


Times Daily – Council approves purchase of engines for retention pond pumps


Anniston Star – Anniston, Heflin to hold St. Patrick’s events for man and beast


Anniston Star – Local police: Traffic tickets are to change habits, not make money


Anniston Star – Holocaust Remembrance event to be held April 5 in new Merrill Hall


YellowHammer News – UAH programs in top 25 nationally for federal funding as university ranks in research elite


Gadsden Times – Interested in going onstage? WBS theater group sets ‘Guys and Dolls’ auditions


Gadsden Times – Juneteenth holiday talks lead to questions about Gadsden’s overtime policy


Gadsden Times – PET OF THE WEEK: Got some room? Need some action? High-energy Squiggs is the dog for you


Dothan Eagle – Philippines summons Chinese envoy to protest naval intrusion


Dothan Eagle – US official: Russia seeking military aid from China


Dothan Eagle – Acclaimed filmmaker Brent Renaud shot, killed in Ukraine


Opelika-Auburn News – Anti-Trump Republicans lining up for 2024 shadow primary


Opelika-Auburn News – US view of Putin: Angry, frustrated, likely to escalate war


Opelika-Auburn News – Daunte Wright’s family balks at plan to take down memorial


WSFA Montgomery – National Pi Day celebrates math and science


WSFA Montgomery – UPDATE: 2-year-old, man killed in double shooting in Tuscaloosa


WSFA Montgomery – I-65 NB in Lowndes County reopens following crash


WAFF Huntsville – Huntsville flight diverted due to unruly passenger


WAFF Huntsville – Decatur police arrest three people on drug charges


WAFF Huntsville – Lawrence County man accused of killing mother


WKRG Mobile – Russia-Ukraine war: Key things to know about the conflict


WKRG Mobile – As Ukraine war rages, Israel grapples with fate of oligarchs


WKRG Mobile – COVID-19 delays trial in plot to abduct Mich. Gov. Whitmer


WTVY Dothan – Four Alabama teams make the NCAA Tournament


WTVY Dothan – Alabama state trooper warns against drunk driving this spring break


WTVY Dothan – 7-year-old girl killed in Lee County house fire


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Man killed in two car crash in Blount County


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Local activist group says youth gun crime in Birmingham is tragic


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Huntsville flight diverted due to unruly passenger


Tuscaloosa News – Shooting kills one, injures two near Tuscaloosa park


Tuscaloosa News – Greene County emerges as flashpoint in Alabama gambling legislation


Tuscaloosa News – Two years in: Doctors look back at COVID pandemic, say it’s not time to declare victory


WASHINGTON POST – Kyiv under fire as Ukraine, Russia hold talks and humanitarian crisis grows


WASHINGTON POST – Russian missiles strike Ukrainian military range near Poland, killing dozens. Moscow promises further attacks.


WASHINGTON POST – As refugees flee into Poland, some Ukrainians have decided to do the unexpected: Go home


NEW YORK TIMES – Live Updates: Russia and Ukraine Hold Talks After Bloody Weekend


NEW YORK TIMES – China Sees at Least One Winner Emerging From Ukraine War: China


NEW YORK TIMES – ‘Things Will Only Get Worse.’ Putin’s War Sends Russians Into Exile.


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Investors Dash to Haven Assets During Ukraine Crisis Market Turmoil


WALL STREET JOURNAL – JPMorgan Leads Talks to Contain Nickel Crisis Damage


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Tencent Faces Possible Record Fine for Anti-Money-Laundering Violations


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