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Daily News Digest – November 29, 2021

Presented by the

Alabama League of Municipalities

Good morning and Happy Hanukkah!

Here’s your Daily News for Monday, November 29.


1. New law to infuse billions for Alabama infrastructure

  • Alabama could get more than $6.8 billion in road and transportation funding in the recently approved $1.2 trillion Infrastructure, Investment and Jobs Act.
  • While broad outlines of how that money will be allocated are now available, more federal direction is needed before specific projects are identified.
  • The state should see about $5.8 billion for highways and bridges, $402 million for public transportation, $142 million for airports and $79 million for electric vehicle charging stations.
  • The Alabama Department of Transportation’s total appropriation in fiscal year 2021 was $1.6 billion, about 57% of which came from state-level funds.
  • “It’s absolutely going to be a tremendous benefit,” said Tom Layfield, executive director of the Alabama Road Builders Association. “But from a cautionary standpoint, inflation is going to eat up a good bit of it.”
  • Increased prices of steel and fuel are already impacting projects.
  • Read more about the scope of the infrastructure funds from Mary Sell HERE.



2. Retiree bonus bills back for 2022 session

  • Sens. Del Marsh, R-Anniston, and Bobby Singleton, D-Greensboro, said recently they’ll try again in the upcoming session to give one-time bonuses to retired state workers and teachers.
  • Marsh has already pre-filed for the upcoming session Senate Bill 11, giving a bonus of at least $300 to state retirees. Singleton said he plans to pre-file a similar bill for retired educators soon.
  • Unless lawmakers act, retirees in the state do not get bonuses or cost of living increases. The 2021 bills cleared a Senate committee in the spring, but then stalled.
  • Read more from Mary Sell HERE.
  • Note: We are trying something new with our legislative coverage. With some help from our friends at FastDemocracy, you can now see and read the legislation right in the story. Check it out.



A message from the

Alabama League of Municipalities

  • Since 1935, the League has served as the primary legislative advocate for Alabama’s municipalities, representing its members at the Alabama Legislature, in Congress and with numerous administrative agencies.
  • The League’s advocacy team (pictured above) diligently monitors all legislative activities and actively works to amend or defeat any legislation considered harmful to municipalities or the function of local government.
  • The advocacy team consists of Greg Cochran, Executive Director; Baker Allen, Director of Policy and Research; Bryan Parker, Director of Governmental Affairs; Lori Lein, General Counsel; and Kayla Bass, Director of External Affairs.
  • To view legislative information or to contact the advocacy team, visit




3. Talladega Forest wildfires 90% contained, trails reopen

  • Two separate wildfires burning in the Talladega National Forest are over 90 percent contained as of Friday and trails will reopen, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
  • Federal officials said conditions are safe to reopen trails in the Talladega National Forest near Cheaha Wilderness and Cheaha State Park. Fire crews continue mop up and rehabilitation activities at the “Duck Nest” and “Fall Branch” wildfires.
  • Officials cautioned that the public should be careful while in the area.
  • The “Fall Branch” wildfire involved an area of 735 acres. The “Duck Nest” wildfire involved 370 acres.
  • Story link.



4. Omicron variant: what we know and what we don’t

  • Hopefully your Thanksgiving holiday and Iron Bowl weekend weren’t spent glued to cable news.
  • If they were you’d know there’s a new COVID-19 variant and some of the talking heads are getting panicky.
  • Any new variant of this virus is cause for concern, especially after the way Delta ravaged our state and country this summer.
  • However, most health experts are saying it’s too early to hit the panic button.
  • The World Health Organization says it could still take some time to get a full picture of the threat posed by omicron as scientists worldwide scramble to assess its multiple mutations.
  • Read more about what we know and what we don’t about omicron HERE.



5. SECCG week: Smart dismisses 6-game losing streak against Tide

  • Even with Georgia undefeated in 2021 and unanimous No. 1 in The Associated Press Top 25 for the eighth consecutive week, Nick Saban and Alabama still cast a shadow over the Bulldogs’ season.
  • Alabama looms as the imposing barrier between the Bulldogs and their Southeastern Conference championship quest.
  • Georgia has lost six consecutive games against No. 4 Alabama entering Saturday’s SEC championship game in Atlanta. That stretch includes three games played in Atlanta — SEC championship games in 2018 and 2012 and the national championship game following the 2017 season.
  • Georgia coach Kirby Smart insists the losing streak against Alabama has nothing to do with this year’s team. Smart, the former Crimson Tide defensive coordinator, is 0-3 against his former boss, Alabama coach Nick Saban, in his six years at Georgia.
  • “Well, I hadn’t been a part of all those, but obviously, this year is this year, and every year is independent of the previous,” Smart said Sunday. “I don’t think there’s any overlap between the two. I know people want to make it that, make it some kind of overlap. Every year is independent of the previous.”
  • Full story HERE.



ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – New law to infuse billions for Alabama infrastructure


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Retiree bonus bills back in 2022 session


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Talladega Forest wildfires 90% contained, trails reopen


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – What we know and don’t know about omicron variant


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Georgia’s Smart dismisses 6-game losing streak against Tide


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama prisons to resume visitation after 20 months


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Hundreds of FedEx packages are found in Alabama woods


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Supreme Court set to take up all-or-nothing abortion fight


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Inside Alabama Politics – November 23, 2021


AL.COM – Cyber Monday and Christmas holiday likely to bolster Alabama’s already hot online retail economy


AL.COM – Alabama death row inmate who survived botched execution dies of natural causes


AL.COM – Alabama parole rate far short of board’s own recommended guidelines


Montgomery Advertiser – Plans for Rosa Parks, Helen Keller statues at Alabama State Capitol move forward


Montgomery Advertiser – Slaves, bodyguards or soldiers? Gadsden group honors Black men they count among Confederate veterans


Montgomery Advertiser – Pike Road Kiwanis Club ornament sales fund scholarships


Decatur Daily – Data show Mississippi reading law working; Alabama’s drives change, educators say


Decatur Daily – Sisters help Volunteer Center with Holiday Hope Chests


Times Daily – Lauderdale Co. DA “disappointed” in Senator’s criticism


Times Daily – Empty Table Fund gets an anonymous $10K donation


Times Daily – County preparing request for proposals for jail architects


Anniston Star – Day care sector struggles to keep employees


Anniston Star – Black Friday ’21 draws no packed crowds


Anniston Star – Fire still 90% contained, but all Cheaha trails open


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Children’s of Alabama doctor says pediatric gunshot victims suffer from physical and mental wounds


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Remembering the Gatlinburg Wildfires five years later


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Alabama teen uses Christmas tree to encourage child adoptions


Tuscaloosa News – Million Dollar Band represents University of Alabama at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade


Tuscaloosa News – Alabama state retirees could get $300 bonus in 2022 under proposed bill


Tuscaloosa News – Merchants Alley in Athens celebrates art and music


YellowHammer News – Student cyber competition team is fifth of 120 competing in DOE contest


YellowHammer News – UA student chosen as a Rhodes Scholar


YellowHammer News – U.S. Rep. Carl: ‘We’re very close to having something put together’ on I-10 Mobile Bay Bridge


Gadsden Times – Alabama state retirees could get $300 bonus in 2022 under proposed bill


Gadsden Times – Christmas at the Falls requires plenty of time, effort to get ready for opening


Gadsden Times – Reward offered in murder of Jerry Wayne Davis Jr.


Dothan Eagle – Nissan investing in electric vehicles, battery development


Dothan Eagle – Leftist holds commanding lead in Honduran presidential vote


Dothan Eagle – Baltic lawmakers meet Taiwan’s Tsai, stepping up cooperation


Opelika-Auburn News – Food, gas prices pinch families as inflation surges globally


Opelika-Auburn News – Interfaith love a risk amid India’s Hindu nationalist surge


Opelika-Auburn News – Leftist holds commanding lead in Honduran presidential vote


WSFA Montgomery – Alabama teen uses Christmas tree to encourage child adoptions


WSFA Montgomery – 35-foot state Christmas tree to be displayed at Capitol


WSFA Montgomery – Alabama, Auburn fans campout ahead of the Iron Bowl


WAFF Huntsville – Woman shot and killed at Birmingham nightclub


WAFF Huntsville – Study puts Alabama in top 10 for most deadly car wrecks during the holiday season


WAFF Huntsville – Locals shopping small on Black Friday


WKRG Mobile – Court hearing this week could shed new light on Ladd stadium shooting


WKRG Mobile – Brothers to take center stage in Jussie Smollett trial


WKRG Mobile – WHO criticizes travel bans on southern African countries


WTVY Dothan – Alabama teen uses Christmas tree to encourage child adoptions


WTVY Dothan – 35-foot state Christmas tree to be displayed at Capitol


WTVY Dothan – BBB warns of the ‘12 Scams of Christmas’


WASHINGTON POST – Omicron variant now in North America as first cases found in Canada


WASHINGTON POST – International travelers stranded, angry in omicron’s wake: ‘The first thing I did was cry’


WASHINGTON POST – Biden administration focuses on booster shots as best strategy against new coronavirus variant


NEW YORK TIMES – Covid Live Updates: Countries Close Borders as More Omicron Cases Emerge


NEW YORK TIMES – Will the Vaccines Stop Omicron? Scientists Are Racing to Find Out.


NEW YORK TIMES – Virgil Abloh, Barrier-Breaking Designer, Is Dead at 41


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Stock Futures, Oil Rise as Investors Weigh Omicron Variant


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Omicron Variant Drives Rise in Covid-19 Hospitalizations in South Africa Hot Spot


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Some Hospitals Prepare to Lose Staff Over Covid-19 Vaccination Mandate



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