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Daily News Digest – May 10, 2021

Good morning!

Here’s your Daily News for Monday, May 10.


1. Legislation to untax Rescue Plan relief may have to wait

  • Legislation is needed to ensure Alabama families and restaurant owners aren’t penalized on their state income taxes for credits and grants they receive under the federal American Rescue Plan Act.
  • But with one day left in the 2021 regular session, a proposed bill isn’t likely to pass. That means it will probably have to wait until later in the year.
  • The $1.9 trillion federal rescue plan’s enhanced child tax credit, earned income tax credit and child and dependent care tax credit will be worth about $1.7 billion to Alabama taxpayers and payments will begin this summer, Sen. Dan Roberts, R-Mountain Brook, said.
  • If lawmakers don’t act, Alabamians could be taxed a combined $87 million in state income taxes, he said.
  • “This is $87 million of federal aid which is meant to help the families,” he said recently on the Senate floor, urging passage of his Senate Bill 379.
  • Similarly, Roberts said Alabama restaurants are expected to receive about $426 million in grants.
  • Co-sponsor Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, said the prevailing thought in the Legislature is that lawmakers can deal with the bill in a special session later in the year. At least one is expected for required redrawing of legislative and congressional districts based on the 2020 census numbers. Other specials are possible.
  • Read more from Mary Sell HERE.



2. Cyberattack on US pipeline is linked to criminal gang


  • The cyberextortion attempt that has forced the shutdown of a vital U.S. pipeline was carried out by a criminal gang known as DarkSide that cultivates a Robin Hood image of stealing from corporations and giving a cut to charity, two people close to the investigation said Sunday.
  • The shutdown, meanwhile, stretched into its third day, with the Biden administration loosening regulations for the transport of petroleum products on highways as part of an “all-hands-on-deck” effort to avoid disruptions in the fuel supply.
  • Experts said that gasoline prices are unlikely to be affected if the pipeline is back to normal in the next few days but that the incident — the worst cyberattack to date on critical U.S. infrastructure — should serve as a wake-up call to companies about the vulnerabilities they face.
  • The pipeline, operated by Georgia-based Colonial Pipeline, carries gasoline and other fuel from Texas to the Northeast and runs through Alabama. It delivers roughly 45% of fuel consumed on the East Coast, according to the company.
  • Read more HERE.



3. McCarthy says he backs ousting Cheney from No. 3 job

  • Top House Republican Kevin McCarthy publicly endorsed Rep. Elise Stefanik for the post of No. 3 leader, cementing party support of the Donald Trump loyalist over Rep. Liz Cheney, an outspoken critic of the former president for promoting discredited claims that the 2020 election was stolen.
  • House Republicans could vote as early as Wednesday to remove Cheney, the highest-ranking woman in the Republican leadership and daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, and replace her with Stefanik, whose ascension has received Trump’s backing.
  • Asked in an interview on Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures” whether he supported Stefanik, R-N.Y., for the job of Republican Conference chair, McCarthy responded: “Yes, I do.”
  • “We want to be united in moving forward, and I think that is what will take place,” he said in response to a question about whether he had the votes to oust Cheney, R-Wyo.
  • McCarthy said the leadership post must focus on a message “day in and day out” on what he said were the problems of the Biden administration.
  • Cheney has taken on Republicans, including McCarthy, R-Calif., saying those who indulge Trump’s false claims of a stolen presidential election are “spreading THE BIG LIE, turning their back on the rule of law, and poisoning our democratic system.” In an opinion essay Wednesday in The Washington Post, she denounced the “dangerous and anti-democratic Trump cult of personality,” and warned her fellow Republicans against embracing or ignoring his statements “for fundraising and political purposes.”
  • Read more HERE.



4. Weak jobs report spurs new arguments over big fed spending

  • President Joe Biden insists an unexpected slowdown in companies’ hiring is clear new proof the U.S. needs the multitrillion-dollar federal boost he’s pushing. But his sales effort is challenged by critics who say Friday’s jobless figures show his earlier aid legislation — successfully rushed through Congress — is actually doing more harm than good.
  • Biden’s promised economic comeback hardly stalled on Friday. But it seemed to sputter a bit with a report that found merely modest April job gains of 266,000 and complicated his new $4 trillion push for infrastructure, education and children’s services.
  • The employment report failed to show that the U.S. economy was accelerating so much as stutter-stepping along as the unemployment rate ticked up to 6.1%. Economists had projected roughly one million added jobs last month, and the modest hiring indicated that the earlier $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package has provided an uneven boost so far.
  • Biden’s opponents say the legislation actually worsened problems in at least one way, with expanded unemployment benefits that gave the jobless a reason to stay at home instead of seeking work.
  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which represents businesses, put the blame squarely on the relatively generous unemployment benefits that Biden extended as part of his relief package. The group said the checks prevent people from accepting jobs.
  • “One step policymakers should take now is ending the $300 weekly supplemental unemployment benefit,” said Neil Bradley, chief policy officer at the Chamber. “Based on the Chamber’s analysis, the $300 benefit results in approximately one in four recipients taking home more in unemployment than they earned working.”
  • Read more HERE.



5. Alex Cejka wins Regions Tradition playoff over Stricker

  • With a big comeback and an even bigger putt, Alex Cejka ensured he won’t have to wait or play his way into events for a while.
  • Cejka won the Regions Tradition on Sunday in only his third PGA Tour Champions start, beating defending champion Steve Stricker with a birdie on the first hole of a playoff to earn a full exemption for the next two seasons.
  • A childhood refugee from communist Czechlosovokia, the 50-year-old Cejka made a 10-foot birdie putt on No. 18 and Stricker missed an 8-footer with a chance to extend the playoff at Greystone Golf & Country Club.
  • “It’s incredible. I still can’t believe it. I have no words,” said Cejka, who made the field as first alternate when Jay Haas withdrew on Monday. “I fought so hard.”
  • Read more HERE.



News Briefs


2 Montgomery officers and suspect shot and injured

  • MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Authorities said a suspect was in custody after two Montgomery police officers were shot and injured while responding to a call.
  • The officers responded shortly after 2 p.m. to a call of a person shot and found a man with life-threatening injuries, news outlets reported. The man was taken to a hospital.
  • Police then exchanged gunfire with a suspect and two officers were hit. They were taken to a hospital, but their injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.
  • The suspect, who was shot in the arm, was also taken to a hospital.
  • Police told news outlets that the State Bureau of Investigation had taken over the case.

Marshall moves to impeach Alabama sheriff

  • MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama attorney general’s office said Friday it had started impeachment proceedings against Clarke County Sheriff Ray Norris, who was accused of multiple acts of malfeasance.
  • Norris first came under investigation last year and papers were served on Friday, Attorney General Steve Marshall said in a statement.
  • First elected in 2010, Norris allegedly used his office to obtain thousands of dollars from a company whose owner got about $140,000 in payments from the sheriff’s office, the attorney general’s office said.
  • Norris also was accused of filing false financial disclosure forms, and failing to file a tax return for 2019. That year, Norris failed to disclose $12,700 in contributions from 16 different sources and numerous expenditures, the state alleged.
  • Norris can remain in office until an impeachment trial is held. He did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
  • The Alabama Supreme Court, which will consider the impeachment against Norris, has ordered him to appear on June 2, prosecutors said.

New exhibit at Alabama monument recalls Freedom Riders

  • ANNISTON, Ala. (AP) — A new exhibit at the recently opened Freedom Riders National Monument recalls the experiences of the people who traveled the South in buses 60 years ago to test racial segregation.
  • The exhibition, called “Freedom Riders,” opened on Saturday at the monument, located at the old bus station in Anniston, where Freedom Riders were stopped during their journey in 1961 and attacked by a white mob.
  • The new exhibit, funded with a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, includes news coverage and photographs from the Freedom Rides, according to a statement from the National Park Service, which operates the monument. It was put together by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and PBS’s history series, “American Experience.”
  • Intended to test implementation of court orders outlawing racial segregation in interstate transportation, the Freedom Rides began in Washington, D.C. on public buses that traversed the South. Violence in Anniston and Birmingham, where participants were beaten, shocked the nation and brought about federal intervention.
  • Established in 2017, the Anniston monument opened last month after years of work.

Montgomery surpassed by Baldwin in population

  • BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — With declining population around Alabama’s capital and thousands of new residents moving to the coast, Montgomery County has been surpassed in population by fast-growing Baldwin County, home to the state’s largest beach communities and towns along Mobile Bay’s eastern shore.
  • New estimates released by the Census Bureau show that with a population that dropped by 5,000 people to 225,000 in 2020, Montgomery County is now the fifth-largest county in the state behind Baldwin, which added 47,000 people to grow to more than 229,000 residents, reported.
  • Baldwin grew faster than all of the state’s other 66 counties over the decade, boosting its population by nearly 26%. Alabama’s population growth trailed the U.S. as a whole, adding about 5% since 2010 to a little over 5 million residents in 2020.
  • Census estimates show nearly 6,000 more people moved into Baldwin from somewhere else in the United States than moved out between 2019 and 2020. The net increase in in-migration was second in Alabama behind only Madison County, home to Huntsville.
  • “It’s not a regional shift or a rearrangement,” said Lee Lawson, chief executive of the Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance. “The majority of our growth is from outside our region, which is a positive. And the good news about our growth is that our job growth has mirrored our population growth. For me, that is the biggest plus and validator.”
  • The population decline in Montgomery fits a pattern seen in cities nationwide. The most urban counties in the nation lost residents or experienced slower growth, the Census found.





ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Legislation to untax Rescue Plan relief may have to wait


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – House GOP leader says he backs ousting Cheney from No. 3 job


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Cyberattack on US pipeline is linked to criminal gang


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Weak jobs report spurs new arguments over big fed spending


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alex Cejka wins Regions Tradition playoff over Stricker


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Gambling and gun rights bills to be decided on last day


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Saban tapes message encouraging Alabamians to get vaccinated


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Jury convicts Alabama officer of murder in 2018 shooting


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Inmate killed in prison assault 1 day before release


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama court clears way for suit over Texas woman’s death


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Weekend Digest – May 9, 2021


AL.COM – Dr. Anthony Fauci says ‘no doubt’ US has undercounted its COVID-19 deaths


AL.COM – Alabama’s fastest growing and fastest shrinking counties from 2019 to 2020


AL.COM – Florida sued over new law that limits ballot initiatives


AL.COM – Advocacy groups take part in Selma-to-Montgomery ‘votercade’


AL.COM – Major US pipeline halts operations after ransomware attack


Montgomery Advertiser – Portion of ‘Mothers of Gynecology’ art exhibit unveiled in Montgomery on Mother’s Day


Montgomery Advertiser – Police identify man shot, killed on West South Boulevard


Montgomery Advertiser – 2 Montgomery police officers shot during incident on Tyler Court


Decatur Daily – Mother’s Day at Home: After cancer and miscarriage, Decatur woman makes new home with her 2 children


Decatur Daily – Police: Gambling raid in response to complaints


Decatur Daily – Capital murder, non-capital murder cases set for trial in second half of year


Times Daily – Funding questions remain for broadband bill


Times Daily – Florence hotelier group hoping to establish a Tourism Improvement District


Times Daily – LiftOff Shoals competition names 2 finalists


Anniston Star – Broadband bill passage a ‘milestone’ but funding questions remain


Anniston Star – Billboard campaign prods cities to remove Confederate monuments


Anniston Star – 60 years after the Freedom Riders bus burning, how far have we come?


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Pfizer vaccine may be approved for kids 12 and up this week; local officials urge vaccination


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – NOPD arrests father, son in killing of well-known Tangipahoa Parish Elvis tribute artist


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Incentive at Talladega Superspeedway for those 16 and up who get vaccinated


Tuscaloosa News – Portion of ‘Mothers of Gynecology’ art exhibit unveiled in Montgomery on Mother’s Day


Tuscaloosa News – One person dead after five-vehicle crash at intersection in Tuscaloosa


Tuscaloosa News – Alabama Supreme Court clears way for suit over former student Megan Rondini’s death


YellowHammer News – UAB-developed viral immunotherapy for pediatric brain tumors shows promise


YellowHammer News – Satterfield Technologies created the iconic Regions Tradition 3D tee markers


YellowHammer News – Alabama A&M football earns national championship among HBCUs


Gadsden Times – Portion of ‘Mothers of Gynecology’ art exhibit unveiled in Montgomery on Mother’s Day


Gadsden Times – Community Services group to discuss ‘COVID culture’


Gadsden Times – Recently retired Attalla fire chief Dillard reflects on career


Dothan Eagle – UK Labour leader shuffles team after disappointing elections


Dothan Eagle – Shohei Ohtani making history with 2-way success for Angels


Dothan Eagle – China to draw ‘separation line’ on peak of Mount Everest


Opelika-Auburn News – Hit by COVID, Senegal’s women find renewed hope in fishing


Opelika-Auburn News – US trashes unwanted gear in Afghanistan, sells as scrap


Opelika-Auburn News – China blames the US for hyping fears of uncontrolled rocket reentry as space race heats up


WSFA Montgomery – Amber Alert issued for south Alabama teen believed in ‘extreme danger’


WSFA Montgomery – Montgomery woman celebrates 102nd birthday and Mother’s Day


WSFA Montgomery – Gambling and gun rights bills to be decided on last day


WAFF Huntsville – 1 dead, 1 injured in Madison County wreck


WAFF Huntsville – One woman fatally injured in a car wreck near Sommerville


WAFF Huntsville – More people are seeking help for drug abuse but are there enough resources?


WKRG Mobile – Missing Child Alert issued for 11-year-old Florida boy who disappeared on Mother’s Day


WKRG Mobile – UPDATE: ALEA cancels AMBER alert for missing girl from Slocomb


WKRG Mobile – First public input meeting set for Truck Bridge project


WTVY Dothan – Wine industry looks forward to new Alabama law


WTVY Dothan – Alabama is extending at-home vaccinations


WTVY Dothan – Marion community reacts to closing of Judson College


WASHINGTON POST – A blinking light ahead: Slowing population growth raises questions about America as a land with unlimited horizons


WASHINGTON POST – McCarthy backs ousting Cheney from GOP leadership, paving way for removal vote this week


WASHINGTON POST – Rep. Clyburn says qualified immunity doesn’t have to be part of policing reform bill


NEW YORK TIMES – Biden Plans an Order to Strengthen Cyberdefenses. Will It Be Enough?


NEW YORK TIMES – Covid-19 Live Updates: Hopes Fade for Global Herd Immunity


NEW YORK TIMES – Covid-19: Hopes for ‘Herd Immunity’ Fade as Virus Hurtles Toward Becoming Endemic


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Pentagon Weighs Ending JEDI Cloud Project Amid Amazon Court Fight


WALL STREET JOURNAL – U.S. Pipeline Shutdown Exposes Cyber Threat to Energy Sector


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Hedge Funds Face Backlash From Europe in Bond Market



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