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Daily News Digest – November 30, 2021

Presented by the

University of South Alabama Health System

Good morning!

Here’s your Daily News for Tuesday, November 30.


1. Union to get do-over vote at Amazon’s Bessemer facility

  • The National Labor Relations Board has ordered a new union election for Amazon workers in Bessemer based on objections to the first vote that took place in April.
  • The move announced Monday is a blow to Amazon, which spent about a year aggressively campaigning for warehouse workers in Bessemer to reject the union, which they ultimately did by a wide margin.
  • In a 20-page decision, the regional director for the NLRB Lisa Henderson focused much attention on Amazon’s installation of a U.S. Postal Service mail box at the main employee entrance, which may have created the false impression that the company was the one conducting the election process. Henderson also rejected Amazon’s argument that it was making voting easier and was trying to encourage as high a turnout as possible.
  • Amazon can appeal the decision within 10 days and have it reviewed by the full board of the NLRB.
  • Nationally, this story is about the tech retail giant and efforts to unionize its many facilities.
  • Yet, in Alabama, a large but sometimes unspoken part of the story is how unionization of this Bessemer facility could encourage the same at Alabama’s auto manufacturing plants and other industries.
  • Read more HERE.


2. Bill would keep GOMESA funds in Mobile, Baldwin

  • Earlier this fall, Gov. Kay Ivey announced $41 million from an oil and gas revenue fund for 17 projects in Baldwin and Mobile counties.
  • While state leaders each year have kept money from the federal Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006 on the coast, state Sen. Chris Elliott, R-Daphne, will try again next session with a bill ensuring future money stays in Mobile and Baldwin counties.
  • Codifying in state law that the money must stay on the coast will prevent future arguments that “well, this water connects to this water and maybe we could spend the money further north,” Elliott recently told Alabama Daily News.
  • The 2006 law created a revenue-sharing model for oil- and gas-producing gulf states. Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas also receive a portion of the revenue generated from oil and gas production offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the U.S. Department of the Interior.
  • GOMESA funds are to be used for coastal conservation, restoration and hurricane protection. According to the act, money can be distributed to the states and coastal political subdivisions, defined as within a coastal zone and not more than 200 nautical miles from the center of a leased track.
  • Read more from Mary Sell HERE.






A message from the

University of South Alabama Health System


  • Here, we combine knowledge, skill and technology with a patient-centered, team-based approach to care.
  • We’re committed to providing each patient with a personalized treatment plan in a nurturing environment, conducive to healing.
  • In partnership with the USA College of Medicine, we combine the latest in cancer therapies with comprehensive support for the emotional, social and physical challenges that a cancer diagnosis can bring.



3. Parole rate drops further

  • The rate of state inmates being granted freedom by the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles has dropped for the third straight year, and paroles are lagging for Black prisoners compared to white ones.
  •’s Mike Cason first reported the story.
  • The three-member board granted parole for 648 inmates and turned down 3,584 others during the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. The approval rate for the year was less than half the average of 37% for the previous 10 years.
  • Black prisoners are being granted parole less than half as often as their white counterparts, statistics show. The board has considered about 4,700 requests for pardons since November 2019, with a roughly equal number of white and Black applicants, yet it awarded pardons to 28% of white applicants and 18% of Black applicants.
  • Critics contend the board isn’t following its own guidelines and doesn’t provide enough information about why it denies parole. The rate began falling after parolee Jimmy O’Neal Spencer was charged with killing two women and a child in Guntersville in July 2018, eight months after he was released.
  • “It only took the one bad apple to have really changed this in the direction of ‘Lock them up, throw away the key,’” said Aimee Smith, an attorney who has represented clients before the board for about 20 years.
  • The low approval rate reflects a prison population in which 83% of inmates are serving time for violent crimes, said the head of an advocacy group for crime victims.
  • “I mean, there are some horrible, horrible crimes and unless you sit there each and every day, and listen to all of them, you don’t realize how violent these people are,” said Janette Grantham, state director of Victims of Crime and Leniency, or VOCAL. “And when we let one of them out, they’re going to go live next door to somebody.”
  • Read more HERE.



4. FedEx driver questioned about hundreds of packages in woods

  • The recent discovery of hundreds of packages in a wooded area in Blount County led authorities to question a FedEx driver, a sheriff said Monday.
  • As many as 400 packages of varying sizes were found in a ravine on private property near the small town of Hayden, Sheriff Mark Moon said.
  • The company said in a statement that the person involved was no longer providing service for FedEx Ground and added it was cooperating with law enforcement on its investigation.
  • “The security of our customers’ shipments is a top priority and we are committed to treating our customers’ packages with the utmost care,” FedEx said, adding that it would deliver recovered packages wherever possible and seek resolution for any damaged shipments.
  • Read more HERE.



5. Biden: Omicron variant cause for concern, not panic

  • President Joe Biden called the new coronavirus variant omicron a cause for concern but “not a cause for panic” Monday and said he was not considering any widespread U.S. lockdown. He urged Americans anew to get fully vaccinated, including booster shots, and return to face masks indoors in public settings to slow any spread.
  • Speaking Monday at the White House, Biden said it was inevitable that the new variant would reach the U.S., but he also said the country has the tools necessary to protect Americans — particularly the approved vaccines and booster shots.
  • When omicron arrives, and it will, Biden said, America will “face this new threat just as we’ve faced those that have come before it.”
  • Separately, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention broadened its recommendation for COVID-19 booster shots to include all adults because of the new variant. The agency had previously approved boosters for all adults, but only recommended them for those 50 years and older or living in long-term care settings.
  • “Everyone ages 18 and older should get a booster shot either when they are six months after their initial Pfizer or Moderna series or two months after their initial J&J vaccine,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a statement.
  • Read more HERE.



ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Union to get do-over vote at Amazon’s Bessemer facility


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Bill would keep GOMESA funds in Baldwin, Mobile counties


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama paroles drop further; releases lag for Black inmates


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – FedEx driver questioned about hundreds of packages in woods


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Biden: new variant cause for concern, not panic


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 – Inside Alabama Politics – November 23, 2021


AL.COM – Alabama Amazon warehouse to get new union vote


AL.COM – Austal USA partners with Alabama steelmaker SSAB for Navy work


AL.COM – Questions surrounding FedEx packages dumped in ravine could soon be answered, sheriff says


AL.COM – Jefferson County Committee for Economic Opportunity board slashed, new CFO hired


AL.COM – Huntsville schools to keep requiring masks when COVID spread is high


AL.COM – Gov. Ivey unveils push for electric cars – but will she drive one?


AL.COM – Federal government wipes out $2 billion in student loans


AL.COM – Stimulus update: Last child tax credit payment in December, important deadline ahead


Montgomery Advertiser – ‘Erratic’ garbage collection service has Autauga County on verge of dumping Waste Management


Montgomery Advertiser – Woman of steel: Rosa Parks memorial to be unveiled Wednesday at her museum


Montgomery Advertiser – Autauga county residents complain that Advanced Disposal is not picking up on schedule


Decatur Daily – Trinity man dies after 3-vehicle wreck


Decatur Daily – Line Street house has second fire in three days


Decatur Daily – DU sewer rehab to impact W. Moulton Street traffic


Times Daily – Lauderdale County coroner facing impeachment hearing in January


Times Daily – Tuscumbia kicking off Christmas parade season in the Shoals


Times Daily – Local officials have high hopes for infrastructure bill funds


Anniston Star – Anniston school board hears of system’s good financial health


Anniston Star – Foundation donates $25,000 to the Arc of Calhoun & Cleburne Counties


Anniston Star – New law to infuse billions for Alabama infrastructure


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Rash of vehicle break-ins in Tuscaloosa


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – UA Serenity Garden offers respite and remembers slain nursing student


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – UPDATE: Blount County families finally receive orders days after hundreds of packages dumped in ravine


Tuscaloosa News – Tree-mendous: Christmas tree installed outside Tuscaloosa County Courthouse


Tuscaloosa News – Eleven Tuscaloosa County residents charged in ‘straw purchase’ of firearms


Tuscaloosa News – Repaving planned for neighborhood streets across Tuscaloosa


YellowHammer News – Montgomery faces $25K fine after dropping Confederate street name, violating state law


YellowHammer News – Alabama Forestry Association endorses State Sen. Greg Albritton’s reelection campaign


YellowHammer News – Ainsworth: Critical Race Theory ban has ‘got to get done’ — Liberals are ‘trying to infiltrate our schools, change the narrative of history’


Gadsden Times – Doyle Hamm, Alabama death row inmate who survived botched execution attempt, dies at 64


Dothan Eagle – World shares, US futures slip on worries over omicron risks


Dothan Eagle – Appeals court to weigh Trump arguments to withhold records


Dothan Eagle – Sweden’s first female prime minister presents her government


Opelika-Auburn News – Omicron brings COVID-19 vaccine inequity ‘home to roost’


Opelika-Auburn News – EasyJet: Omicron variant already affecting flight bookings


Opelika-Auburn News – UK watchdog blocks Facebook’s acquisition of Giphy on fears it would stifle competition, orders deal reversed


WSFA Montgomery – Woman killed in Jemison train accident, another woman and three kids injured


WSFA Montgomery – DOJ files new complaint over Alabama prisons


WSFA Montgomery – 35-foot state Christmas tree delivered to Alabama Capitol


WAFF Huntsville – COVID-19 mobile vaccine clinics to be held in Colbert County


WAFF Huntsville – Reports: Auburn offensive coordinator out after one season


WAFF Huntsville – Madison County family adopts their 9th and 10th child


WKRG Mobile – Can a city declare itself a republic? Oroville, California just did


WKRG Mobile – Boebert in call refuses to apologize for anti-Muslim remarks


WKRG Mobile – Police find family of mystery boy found wandering alone on Baltimore street


WTVY Dothan – Man stabbed at Thanksgiving family gathering in Hartford


WTVY Dothan – Protect your belongings from Grinches this holiday season


WTVY Dothan – 35-foot state Christmas tree delivered to Alabama Capitol


WASHINGTON POST – Omicron mutations alarm scientists, but new variant first must prove it can outcompete delta


WASHINGTON POST – President Biden said South Africa has turned down vaccine doses. But the issue is more complicated than that.


WASHINGTON POST – Warnings omicron could reduce vaccine effectiveness spook global markets


NEW YORK TIMES – Fragmented Reactions Hinder Global Fight Against Omicron Variant


NEW YORK TIMES – Covid Live Updates: China Pledges 1 Billion Vaccine Doses for Africa


NEW YORK TIMES – Supply Chain Problems Have Small Retailers Gambling on Hoarding


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Stock Futures, Oil Drop on Omicron Vaccine Concerns


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Covid-19 Variant Omicron Threatens U.S., Global Economies


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Covid-19 Antibody Drugs Are Challenged by Omicron, Preliminary Testing Indicates



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