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Daily News Digest – November 24, 2020

Presented by the

Alabama Association of REALTORS®


Good morning!

Here’s your Daily News for Tuesday, November 24.


1. Marsh to step down as Pro Tem; Reed will lead Senate

  • Ever since Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh announced that he wouldn’t seek reelection in 2022, the lingering question has been whether or not he would remain the Senate’s top leader the next two years.
  • In fact, in conversations with ADN’s Mary Sell, he expressed mixed feelings about it.
  • Yesterday, however, Marsh removed all doubt by telling the Senate Republican Caucus during a meeting in Birmingham that he would step down as pro tem for the next legislative session.
  • Most thought the formal nominating process for new leadership would wait until Dec. 7 when the caucus was scheduled to meet in Montgomery. However, seeing no need to wait, the GOP senators nominated and confirmed their next top leaders.
  • Sen. Greg Reed, R-Jasper, will replace Marsh as Senate President Pro Tem and Sen. Clay Scofield, R-Guntersville, will become Majority Leader.
  • It is bittersweet news for many in Montgomery who have admired Marsh’s steady leadership over the years. During a tumultuous decade that saw each branch of state government experience scandal and upheaval at the highest levels, Marsh was a consistent presence in the Senate.
  • He’s not stepping away from his Senate seat yet, though, and actually has plenty left he’d like to accomplish in the next two years.
  • Read more from ADN’s Mary Sell who broke the story last night HERE.


2. Full poll results

For the last several days, we’ve been rolling out the results of our Cygnal poll of various issues surrounding the Alabama Legislature and COVID-19.
Today, those full results are online in a big story, complete with reactions from top state leaders, now liberated from behind the paywall.
The biggest takeaways?
  1. Most voters give the state in general and Gov. Kay Ivey specifically high marks for the response to the pandemic.
  2. A strong majority of Alabama voters believe a special session should be called to take care of unfinished business (economic development, liability, taxes on COVID funds).
  3. Whenever the Legislature does meet, voters want to have in-person access to their elected representatives, and are open to alternative locations if necessary.
Read the full results, including the topline memo and crosstabs HERE.

A message from the

Alabama Association of REALTORS®

  • Homebuying and selling looks different these days thanks to COVID-19. Buyers are looking more to suburban areas, multi-generational housing is on the rise, and sellers are getting more for their homes in this competitive market.
  • What’s more? The transaction process itself has evolved. REALTORS® are able to help you navigate this new world of home buying and selling with new technology that allows us to safely and responsibly continue serving consumers across the state.
  • From virtual tours to virtual closings using remote notarization, REALTORS® are the trained experts in all things real estate. Find yours today.







3. Health officials urge caution

  • It’s a pretty big week in Alabama in terms of people getting together.
  • There’s Thanksgiving on Thursday, then the Black Friday sales the day after, then the Iron Bowl on Saturday.
  • That makes for a lot of folks moving around and interacting with different groups of people, all during a time when the coronavirus is making a fierce comeback in Alabama and nationally.
  • That’s why state health officials are making a public plea with Alabamians to be extra cautious this week to avoid large gatherings and unnecessary contact with folks outside their households.
  • “We’re not going to get a do-over on this,” State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said during a briefing in Montgomery.
  • Alabama had 1,574 new COVID-19 cases reported on Monday and 3,459 Alabamians have died from the virus.
  • Alabama hospitals are now seeing more than 1,500 COVID-19 patients on any given day, which is the highest number the state has seen since July when hospitals were reaching maximum capacity.
  • Harris said he will not be traveling to a family member’s house this Thanksgiving and will be staying home with his wife.
  • Harris also gave an update on the state’s COVID-19 vaccination plans and said once an emergency use authorization is approved for the first vaccine product, ADPH will begin distributing the vaccine immediately.
  • Health care workers, first responders and those who are most at-risk of serious illness will be part of the first groups able to receive the vaccine since the first batch is expected to be no more than 112,000 doses, Harris said.
  • The state will be ready to receive and store the vaccine by Dec. 7 but it will likely be mid-December before the first shipment of vaccine doses arrives in Alabama.
  • Full story from ADN’s Caroline Beck HERE.



4. Trump administration allows transition to begin

  • The federal government recognized President-elect Joe Biden as the “apparent winner” of the Nov. 3 election, formally starting the transition of power.
  • President Donald Trump relented after suffering yet more legal and procedural defeats in his effort to challenge the election.
  • Trump still refused to fully concede and vowed to continue to fight in court after General Services Administrator Emily Murphy gave the green light Monday for Biden to coordinate with federal agencies ahead of his Jan. 20 inauguration. But Trump did tweet that he was directing his team to cooperate on the transition.
  • Murphy acted after Michigan on Monday certified Biden’s victory in the battleground state and a federal judge in Pennsylvania tossed a Trump campaign lawsuit on Saturday seeking to prevent certification in that state.
  • Trump tweeted moments after Murphy’s decision: “We will keep up the good fight and I believe we will prevail! Nevertheless, in the best interest of our Country, I am recommending that Emily and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols, and have told my team to do the same.”
  • Full story HERE.



5. Remembering Alvin Holmes


  • Since the passing of longtime State Rep. Alvin Holmes Saturday, Alabama politicos have been sharing their memories of the one-of-a-kind lawmaker.
  • I’ve heard some good ones these last few days that show both his zany and cantankerous sides.
  • Suffice to say it was fun when Mr. Holmes was on your side of a bill or contract or issue, and not a lot of fun when he was on the other side. To put it the way one friend of mine did, Mr. Holmes was an equal opportunity kicker of ant hills.
  • Dana Beyerle covered Holmes for 25 years as a reporter in the Capitol Press Corps.
  • He contributes a column today sharing some of his memories of the Holmes he got to know from the press gallery.
  • Here’s an excerpt:
“During the 25 regular legislative sessions and dozens of special extraordinary legislative sessions that I covered as a capital reporter for United Press International and the New York Times Regional Newspapers between 1988 and 2012, I liked and admired Rep. Holmes’ for his serious mien and for his tongue-in-cheek observations of human nature in general and House dynamics in particular.
“Rep. Holmes could light up any House deliberation; sometimes he was silly, sometimes he was challenging, but most of the time he was absolutely correct, especially when he talked about human relationships and ‘what is right.’”
  • Read Dana’s full column HERE.





A message from

the Business Council of Alabama


  • The Business Council of Alabama has launched Keep Alabama Open, working to unite hardworking Alabamians in the earnest pursuit of protecting jobs and safeguarding self governance.
  • Businesses, while following state health orders to keep customers and themselves safe, should be able to continue to earn a living and support their families.






ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Marsh stepping down as Senate president pro tem; new leaders selected


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Poll: Alabamians approve of virus response; want legislative action, access


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Health officials advise against large Thanksgiving gatherings, ‘We’re not going to get a do-over on this’


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Formal Biden transition begins as Trump relents


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Dana Beyerle: Remembering Alvin Holmes


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – AstraZeneca: COVID-19 vaccine shown to be ‘highly effective’


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Redstone among top 6 candidates for Space Command HQ


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – AP Top 25: Alabama now unanimous No. 1


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Weekend Digest – November 23, 2020


AL.COM – 1,574 new COVID-19 cases in Alabama; hospitalizations continue to spike


AL.COM – No tolls, only a ‘vision’: Mobile, Baldwin officials reassure I-10 opponents


AL.COM – Alabama cannot ban LGBTQ youth conversion therapy, court rules


AL.COM – Bessemer Amazon warehouse workers take official step toward unionizing


AL.COM – Alabama civil rights icon Bruce Boynton, who inspired Freedom Rides, dies at 83


AL.COM – Alabama certifies election results, record absentee voting


AL.COM – Doug Jones as Biden’s attorney general? What oddsmakers have to say


AL.COM – Contributor Cameron Smith: Big if true


AL.COM – Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind to build $28 million Decatur campus


Montgomery Advertiser – Shelters hit hard by COVID-19 volunteer restrictions ahead of holiday season


Montgomery Advertiser – Ceremony honors late Rep. Alvin Holmes


Montgomery Advertiser – Meals served outside at Friendship Mission because of pandemic


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – How state food banks will use multi-million dollar grant allocated by Gov. Ivey


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Children’s of AL explains new ways to gift patients during COVID-19


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – COVID virus mutation explained and how it affects the vaccine


Tuscaloosa News – ‘Be vigilant’: Dr. Scott Harris urges safe Thanksgiving plans as COVID numbers rise


Tuscaloosa News – University of Alabama sets fundraising record with $222 million


Tuscaloosa News – Chuck’s Fish to offer free Thanksgiving meal to-go


Decatur Daily – ‘Sky is falling at Decatur Morgan’: Parkway COVID-19 unit opens as hospital reaches all-time high for inpatients treated for virus


Decatur Daily – State health officials beg people to be cautious at Thanksgiving


Decatur Daily – One in three patients positive for COVID-19 at Decatur Morgan Hospital


Times Daily – Muscle Shoals Christmas decorating contest soon underway


Times Daily – TVA nature trail will close Nov. 30


Times Daily – UNA receives $15M, Lauderdale Schools


Anniston Star – State acts against some cities over monument removal, but not Anniston


Anniston Star – Ranburne’s new mayor tackles full agenda in council meeting


Anniston Star – Two Kitty Stone students commended for cleaning bike trails


YellowHammer News – Del Marsh to step down as Senate pro tem, be succeeded by Greg Reed


YellowHammer News – State of Alabama allocates $3.6M in COVID relief funds to food banks


YellowHammer News – Alabama’s Miles College launches collaboration with IBM to develop students’ tech skill sets


Gadsden Times – Reddick: Future Gadsden City school consolidations being discussed


Gadsden Times – Calhoun County deputy fatally shoots woman who tried to shoot him, sheriff says


Gadsden Times – ALDOT advises: Buckle up, stay sharp and move over for emergency, work vehicles


Dothan Eagle – Answer Man: What is the inscription on the east face of the Washington Monument?


Dothan Eagle – UK telecom companies face big fines under new security law


Dothan Eagle – China FM in Japan to discuss virus, regional concerns


Opelika-Auburn News – Local citizens raise funds for liver transplant


Opelika-Auburn News – Watch now: Auburn-made vials to carry Moderna coronavirus vaccine to world


Opelika-Auburn News – Homicide investigation launches after body found in Notasulga


WSFA Montgomery – Winn-Dixie parent company recalls basil product


WSFA Montgomery – Father-daughter duo wins family of the year award


WSFA Montgomery – Mourners march in honor of former state Rep. Alvin Holmes


WAFF Huntsville – Two DeKalb County corrections officers arrested; Investigation underway


WAFF Huntsville – Madison City residents express overcrowding concerns


WAFF Huntsville – NY Times best selling author Fannie Flagg donating profits to Free 2 Teach


WKRG Mobile – Pensacola mayor on ferry service: ‘I wish Skanska would’ve funded it’


WKRG Mobile – Pro Tem Marsh to step down as senate president once legislative session begins in February


WKRG Mobile – Road rage pistol whip video brings to light more stories of similar scenarios


WTVY Dothan – Police nab suspect in deadly restaurant shooting


WTVY Dothan – Dothan Regional Airport adds fourth Delta flight just in time for holiday season


WTVY Dothan – Operation Christmas Child boxes collected in the Wiregrass heading to the next stop


WASHINGTON POST – Trump relents on transition as Republicans join mounting calls for him to acknowledge Biden’s win


WASHINGTON POST – Under pressure, Trump appointee Emily Murphy approves transition in unusually personal letter to Biden


WASHINGTON POST – Biden’s nominees have pushed policies that Trump used to fuel his rise


NEW YORK TIMES – Trump Administration Approves Start of Formal Transition to Biden


NEW YORK TIMES – Since Election Day, a Lot of Tweeting and Not Much Else for Trump


NEW YORK TIMES – What Donald Trump Liked About Being President


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Trump Clears Way for Biden Transition Process to Begin After Weeks of Delay


WALL STREET JOURNAL – U.S. Stock Futures Rise as Election Uncertainty Ebbs


WALL STREET JOURNAL – GM Stops Backing Trump Administration in Emissions Fight With California




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