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Daily News Digest – May 14, 2021

Good morning and Happy Friday!

FYI all our stories from earlier this week are out from behind the paywall now. You’ll find them in Headlines.

Here’s your Daily News for May 14.



1. Ivey signs wine shipment bill

  • Alabamians will soon be able to have a bottle of pinot noir or chardonnay delivered in the mail after Gov. Kay Ivey on Thursday signed wine shipment legislation into law.
  • State lawmakers approved the bill this session after years of debate. The new law sponsored by Rep. Terri Collins, R-Decatur, will allow wineries to obtain a direct wine shipper license from the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board to ship limited quantities of wine directly to Alabama residents 21 and older.
  • “We are moving Alabama with the times, and I am proud to officially make the wine shipment bill law,” Ivey said in a statement.
  • The bill will take effect in three months, which Collins said will give the state ABC Board time to work out rules.
  • Read more from Kim Chandler HERE.


2. Father to face capital murder charges in infant’s death

  • A Montgomery man will face capital murder charges in the death of his 5-week-old son, whose body was found shortly after the father made a public plea for the baby’s safe return, authorities said Thursday.
  • Montgomery County Sheriff Derrick Cunningham said the body of infant Caleb Whisnand Jr. was found Wednesday night in a rural area of neighboring Lowndes County. The baby’s father, 32-year-old Caleb Whisnand Sr., was then arrested on manslaughter charges.
  • After an autopsy was conducted, investigators said they determined the charges should be upgraded to capital murder.
  • “This is a baby. You are talking about a 5-week-old baby,” Cunningham said.
  • Authorities did not disclose the cause of the infant’s death or how long he had been dead. A warrant indicated the infant “was buried in a remote area” and investigators believe the infant was killed in Montgomery County. The court record estimated the time of death between 3:45 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Monday, which would be several hours before a 911 call was made from a gas station reporting the baby missing. However, Cunningham stressed Thursday that they were still trying to put together the timeline.
  • The arrest of the father came after a bizarre news conference in which the father made a plea for the baby’s return. He said he didn’t remember much, and asked the public for information, including where he had been before the disappearance.
  • “I don’t remember a lot. But I did remember I was breaking up with the cops. If anybody’s got anything, any place I could have gone,” he said.
  • Read more HERE.



3. Kids 12 and up eligible for COVID-19 vaccine in Alabama

  • Children ages 12 and older are now eligible to get the coronavirus vaccine in Alabama, the governor announced Thursday as she stressed that widespread vaccinations are the key to ending the pandemic.
  • Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine has been used for months in people 16 and older, and earlier this week the Food and Drug Administration cleared its use for those as young as age 12. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave final approval Wednesday.
  • Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey urged parents to consult with their child’s pediatrician if they have questions.
  • “The vaccine is our ticket back to normal, and I continue to feel optimistic and hopeful in the positive direction we are moving in as a state,” Ivey said.
  • State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said the vaccine will be available at private providers and other sites which have Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine available.
  • “We encourage the vaccination of adolescents ages 12 and older to get the protection offered by the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine,” Harris said in a statement.
  • Visit to search Alabama vaccine providers by vaccine brand offered.



4. Pipeline hack fuels gas crunch; Feds suspect Russian origins

  • Motorists found gas pumps shrouded in plastic bags at tapped-out service stations across more than a dozen U.S. states Thursday while the operator of the nation’s largest gasoline pipeline reported making “substantial progress” in resolving the computer hack-induced shutdown responsible for the empty tanks.
  • President Joe Biden said Thursday that U.S. officials do not believe the Russian government was involved in the hack of the Colonial Pipeline, which stretches from Texas to New Jersey. But he added, “We do have strong reason to believe that the criminals who did the attack are living in Russia. That’s where it came from.”
  • A cyberattack by hackers who lock up computer systems and demand a ransom to release them hit the pipeline on Friday. The hackers did not take control of the pipeline’s operations, but Colonial shut it down to contain the damage.
  • “We are not out of the woods yet, but the trees are thinning out,” Richard Joswick, global head of oil analytics at S&P Global Platts, said.
  • Gas stations should be back to normal next week, though, if the pipeline restart goes as planned and consumers are convinced that they no longer need to panic-buy fuel, Joswick said. He estimated that full recovery for the East and Gulf coasts would take at least a couple of weeks.
  • Read more HERE.



5. House GOP set to put Stefanik into leadership post

  • Republicans are ready to vault Rep. Elise Stefanik into the ranks of House leadership, with the party hoping to turn the page from its searing civil war over the deposed Rep. Liz Cheney and refocus on winning control of the chamber in next year’s elections.
  • Stefanik, R-N.Y., a moderate turned avid defender of former President Donald Trump and his unfounded claims of 2020 election fraud, was widely expected to be elected Friday as the No. 3 House GOP leader.
  • She’d replace Cheney, R-Wyo., who was ousted this week for repeatedly rebuking Trump for encouraging supporters who attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6 and for his lie that his 2020 reelection was stolen from him by fraudulent voting.
  • Stefanik, 36, gives Republicans a chance to try changing the subject from the acrimonious fight over the defiant Cheney by installing a Trump loyalist — and one of the party’s relative handful of women in Congress — in a visible role.
  • But GOP schisms are unlikely to vanish quickly. Many hard-right conservatives have misgivings about Stefanik’s centrist voting record, and tensions remain raw over Trump’s taut hold on the party and Cheney’s rancorous ouster.
  • The conference election could happen as soon as this morning.
  • Read more HERE.



ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Cheers! Alabama governor signs limited wine delivery bill


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Father to face capital murder charges in infant’s death


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Kids 12 and up eligible for COVID-19 vaccine in Alabama


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Pipeline hack fuels gas crunch; US suspects Russian origins


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – House GOP set to put Stefanik into leadership


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Op-Ed: Electric Vehicles Important for Alabama’s Automotive Industry


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Op-Ed: Alabama Needs All the Tools to Ensure Our Youngest Students Can Read


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Jim Searcy: Expansion of Broadband Will Propel Economic Growth in Alabama


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – EXPLAINER: Why are fears of high inflation getting worse?


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Biden courts Hill leaders, but no deal on infrastructure


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Spending oversight bill clears Legislature, but not in time to avoid possible veto


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – ‘Last-ditch’ effort to revive gambling in the House, but time running out


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Lawmakers want another shot at state-owned prison plan


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest– May 12, 2021


AL.COM – Alabama schools, colleges, getting $280 million from technology fund


AL.COM – Colonial Pipeline reportedly paid hackers nearly $5 million in ransom


AL.COM – Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signs year-round daylight saving time bill


AL.COM – What new COVID-19 mask guidelines mean for Alabama


AL.COM – Calls continue for Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle to fire police chief


AL.COM – Air Force still backing Alabama as new Space Command headquarters


AL.COM – McDonald’s raising pay at 650 locations to attract new workers


AL.COM – New Orleans port, rail associations join Alabama in call for more studies before Amtrak return


Montgomery Advertiser – HB 445 All Faiths Prayer Rally at Alabama Capitol


Montgomery Advertiser – Wine shipment bill signed by Gov. Kay Ivey; legislation takes effect in August


Montgomery Advertiser – Father charged with capital murder after infant’s autopsy; deputies say he buried child in nearby county


Decatur Daily – Experts: Better training, hiring practices, pay needed for law enforcement


Decatur Daily – Small Business Awards honor 3 for leadership, creativity


Decatur Daily – Legislation to untax Rescue Plan relief may have to wait


Times Daily – Florence municipal court offers 2 amnesty days


Times Daily – Refinancing existing debt will save Muscle Shoals $1.2M


Times Daily – Colbert County Circuit Clerk’s office resumes passport service


Anniston Star – Instructive element adds value to Freedom Rider sites


Anniston Star – Anniston officials say they will follow up on this latest comprehensive plan


Anniston Star – Gov. Ivey speaks to gas shortage, medical marijuana


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – AL Regional Medical Services offering incentives to Hispanic community to get COVID-19 vaccine


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Can’t find chicken wings at the store? Here’s why


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – UAB’s Dr. Saag calls new CDC guidance on masks “liberating”


Tuscaloosa News – Wine shipment bill signed by Gov. Kay Ivey; legislation takes effect in August


Tuscaloosa News – Father charged with capital murder after infant’s autopsy; deputies say he buried child in nearby county


Tuscaloosa News – Man, woman sentenced in Pickens County robbery that turned deadly


YellowHammer News – Shelby, Tuberville introduce ‘Alabama Black Belt National Heritage Area Act’


YellowHammer News – U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer participates in ‘Back the Blue Bike Tour’ — ‘Proud to stand with our nation’s police officers’


YellowHammer News – ‘Finally’: Ivey applauds updated ‘common sense’ CDC guidance for those who have been fully vaccinated


Gadsden Times – Wine shipment bill signed by Gov. Kay Ivey; legislation takes effect in August


Gadsden Times – Ceremony Saturday to honor fallen peace officers in Etowah County


Gadsden Times – Father charged with capital murder after infant’s autopsy; deputies say he buried child in nearby county


Dothan Eagle – National Vision: Q1 Earnings Snapshot


Dothan Eagle – Justices consider hearing a case on ‘most offensive word’


Dothan Eagle – 5 things to know for May 13: Pipeline hack, Congress, Covid, police, Mideast violence


Opelika-Auburn News – Global stock markets sink as inflation worries mount


Opelika-Auburn News – Weary Gaza marks Muslim feast as violence spreads in Israel


Opelika-Auburn News – Nowhere to run: Fear in Gaza grows amid conflict with Israel


WSFA Montgomery – Health leaders say Pfizer will soon start making changes to quantities sent out


WSFA Montgomery – Alabama Power warns of scam targeting customers


WSFA Montgomery – Man found guilty in 2015 Dallas County murder


WAFF Huntsville – Huntsville City Council supports construction of new crisis diversion center with unanimous vote


WAFF Huntsville – Governor Ivey signs wine delivery, daylight saving time bills into law


WAFF Huntsville – Man arrested in Morgan Co. after claiming to be police officer; charged with multiple crimes


WKRG Mobile – UPDATE: Mobile police investigating homicide on Baltimore Street


WKRG Mobile – Colonial reportedly paid nearly $5 million ransom to bring pipeline computers back online


WKRG Mobile – City council postpones vote on removing Confederate National Flag from PPD badges


WTVY Dothan – Premier Bulls Tour is making their way to Marianna for the first time after COVID-19 setbacks


WTVY Dothan – Father’s charge upgraded to capital murder in Montgomery baby’s death


WTVY Dothan – Nurses week: Wiregrass Medical Center nurses share their purpose


WASHINGTON POST – Israeli forces hit Hamas tunnels in Gaza as all-out war looms; more rockets rain down


WASHINGTON POST – Is it now reasonable to discuss the end of the pandemic? Yes, but with caveats.


WASHINGTON POST – Scientists call for ‘proper investigation’ into virus origins


NEW YORK TIMES – Covid Live Updates: Vaccinated Americans Can Go Maskless, C.D.C. Says


NEW YORK TIMES – Forget Backstage Passes or V.I.P. Bracelets. Vaccination Cards Are the New Ticket.


NEW YORK TIMES – Israel Ground Forces Shell Gaza as Fighting Intensifies


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Alibaba Posts First Loss Since Going Public After Antitrust Fine


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Stock Futures Rise After Turbulent Week of Trading


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Student’s Death in China Spurs Questions About Surveillance



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