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Daily News Digest – October 11, 2021

Presented by the

Alabama League of Municipalities

Good morning!

Hope you had a good weekend and perhaps still are for those who are off work for Columbus Day.

Here’s your Daily News for Monday, October 11.

1. $46B in COVID funds have flowed into Alabama

  • About $46.8 billion. Billion with a B.
  • That’s how much federal COVID-19 relief money has gone to Alabama residents, businesses and government agencies since the pandemic began.
  • About $30.3 billion of that has been given directly to individuals and businesses to assist them, Kirk Fulford, deputy director of the Legislative Services Agency, told state lawmakers recently. About $6.3 billion was in the Paycheck Protection Program, forgivable loans to help businesses weather the economic drought caused by COVID-related shutdowns.
  • And nearly twice that much, $12.6 billion, has gone directly to individuals in stimulus checks.
  • The money had a big impact on the state’s record tax receipts for fiscal 2021, which ended September 30, Fulford said. That’s especially true in the Education Trust Fund, where sales and income tax are the main contributors.
  • Read more about the state’s revenue situation and how federal funds are impacting them from Mary Sell HERE.



2. Weather delay, rot posing worry for Alabama cotton crop

  • From rainy weather that delayed spring planting to bolls rotting in the field, Alabama cotton growers have reason for worry this year as they harvest a crop that’s smaller than in years past.
  • Many farmers are still waiting for much of the crop to open because heavy rainfall earlier this year delayed planting, forced them to replant in some cases and caused rot.
  • About 405,000 acres of cotton were planted in Alabama this year, according to Steve Brown, cotton agronomist for the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. That’s down from around 450,000 acres in 2020, and from 2019, when about 540,000 acres were planted.
  • Cotton acreage may have decreased due to weather, Brown said. Alabama was affected in 2020 by Hurricane Sally and other hurricanes that disturbed the cotton crop, making growing and harvesting the cotton a challenge.
  • Read more HERE.







A message from the

Alabama League of Municipalities

  • On July 29, the League announced the creation of its Economic Development Academy, which focuses on helping local leaders further understand their critical role in the economic development process. It is specifically designed to educate and engage municipal officials and designated community business leaders on best practices and strategies for successful economic and community development.
  • Recently, 30 communities were selected to form the inaugural class on November 1: Alexander City, Bessemer, Center Point, Centreville, Chelsea, Coffeeville, Columbiana, Elba, Enterprise, Gadsden, Geneva, Good Hope, Guin, Hartselle, Irondale, Lipscomb, Monroeville, Mount Vernon, Oneonta, Opp, Ozark, Pike Road, Scottsboro, Selma, Tallassee, Tarrant, Thomasville, Trussville, Tuskegee and Union Springs.
  • Congratulations to each community selected!
  • Click HERE for more information about ALM’s Economic Development Academy.






3. Fall poses big tests for Congress

  • Fall is a beautiful time in Washington, D.C. The weather changes, and with it the leaves, making for a crisp, cool season that can put you in a good mood.
  • The political weather, however, may not be so favorable in the nation’s capital this fall as lawmakers are barreling toward battles that are striking for the risks they pose to both parties and their leaders.
  • Year-end pileups of crucial legislation and the brinkmanship that goes with them are normal behavior for Congress.
  • Though few doubt that Congress will again extend the government’s borrowing authority when it expires in December, no one seems certain of how they’ll do it. Democrats don’t have the votes yet to enact President Joe Biden’s top priorities into law. And Republicans are nervous that Democrats may weaken the filibuster rule that lets the Senate’s minority party derail legislation.
  • Miscalculate and there could be a calamitous federal default, a collapse of Biden’s domestic agenda and, for good measure, a damaging government shutdown. Stir in lawmakers whose nerves are already frayed and are looking to tee up issues for next year’s midterm elections, and it’s a recipe for confrontations that could damage each party if leaders aren’t careful.
  • Read more from Alan Fram HERE.



4. Sluggish jobs report a drag on Biden and his agenda

  • U.S. employers added just 194,000 jobs in September, a second straight tepid gain and evidence that the pandemic has kept its grip on the economy, with many companies struggling to fill millions of open jobs.
  • September’s sluggish job gains fell shy of even the modest 336,000 that the economy had added in August and were the fewest since December, when employers actually cut jobs.
  • Friday’s report from the Labor Department also showed that the unemployment rate sank last month from 5.2% to 4.8%. The rate fell in part because more people found jobs but also because about 180,000 fewer people looked for work in September, which meant they weren’t counted as unemployed.
  • Employers are still struggling to find workers because many people who lost jobs in the pandemic have yet to start looking again.
  • Read more about the national jobs report HERE.
  • Of course, there’s always a political impact to these jobs reports.
  • President Joe Biden promised an economy that could be firing on all cylinders, but Friday’s disappointing jobs report suggests a slowdown in growth could instead loom atop voters’ minds in the 2022 elections.
  • And while the Biden administration has worked overtime to spin the report into a positive, it’s difficult to ignore the obvious.
  • Republicans quickly seized on the modest gains as evidence that Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, enacted more than six months ago, has failed to deliver as promised.
  • Biden instead chose to highlight a drop in the unemployment rate to 4.8% as proof of “real economic progress” — even if it wasn’t the boom he was touting months ago. And Democrats further offered the latest jobs report as a reason to pass their proposed multitrillion-dollar tax and spending program to help with infrastructure, school, child care, family leave and health care, saying it is needed to improve prospects for continued growth.
  • Whatever the political spin, inflation running above 5% and job growth slowing will put Democrats on the defensive.
  • Glen Bolger, a Republican strategist and co-founder of Public Opinion Strategies, noted that independent voters tend to put a greater priority on the economy and their support will be decisive in the 2022 elections.
  • The latest jobs report is “not going to inspire confidence in either the Biden administration’s policies or the direction the country’s going economically,” he said.
  • Read more on the political fallout HERE.




5. AP Top 25

  • Georgia is the new No. 1 in The Associated Press college football poll by a unanimous vote, taking the top spot during the regular season for the first time since November 1982.
  • The Bulldogs moved up one spot a day after soundly beating Auburn on the road and seeing preseason No. 1 Alabama lose at Texas A&M. The defending national champion Crimson Tide slipped four spots to No. 5 after its first loss of the season.
  • After falling out of the rankings last week for the first time this season, the Aggies are back in at No. 21.
  • Auburn dropped out of the Top 25 after losing its second game of the season.
  • Read more and see the full Top 25 HERE.





Inside Alabama Politics – October 7, 2021


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – $46B in COVID funds have flowed into Alabama


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Fall will test leaders’ ability to keep Congress on rails


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Delta variant and worker shortage keep a lid on job growth


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Analysis: Hiring slowdown menaces Biden despite upbeat talk


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – AP Top 25: Georgia is No. 1, Big Ten grabs half of top 10


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama urging unvaccinated to get COVID-19 shots next week


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ivey extends ‘limited’ COVID-19 health emergency to Oct. 31


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – McConnell seizes on debt standoff to undermine Biden agenda


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Documents: Woman held in church fire showed up at services


AL.COM – Weather delay, rot posing worry for Alabama cotton crop


AL.COM – Contributor Jay Glass: 1979 Birmingham murder leads to Mobile lynching and end of Alabama KKK


AL.COM – How an Alabama campaign to support a dead candidate backfired, and put a key annexation initiative in jeopardy


AL.COM – How to help Alabama healthcare workers, grieving families


Montgomery Advertiser – Missing 14-year-old Luhniahyhua Safford returned home


Montgomery Advertiser – Hey, Look at Us! Decorated bales in Pike Road competition


Montgomery Advertiser – Opening night of the 2021 Alabama National Fair


Decatur Daily – COVID-19 federal funds in Alabama total $46B, contribute to big 2021 tax revenues


Decatur Daily – FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY Q&A//Motivated by ‘a love of reading’


Decatur Daily – Seville ‘a win-win situation for everyone’ as it transforms from crime haven to idyllic neighborhood


Times Daily – COVID-19 federal funds in state total $46B


Times Daily – Colbert Co. Commission negotiating purchase of another TVA building


Times Daily – City applies for sewer funds for ag center


Anniston Star – Older residents not the only to struggle with Parkinson’s


Anniston Star – Georgia church assists tornado victims


Anniston Star – Museum visitors enjoy festive time on a warm fall day


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Homeowners still working to clean up after Wednesday night’s flooding


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Teachers say kids social skills aren’t at the same level as before the pandemic


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Car crashes into building in Hoover


Tuscaloosa News – Kentuck Festival returns for 50th year with new stage, music, masks and more


Tuscaloosa News – HELP WANTED: Tuscaloosa-area hospitality industry rebounding, but more is needed


Tuscaloosa News – Alabama death row case highlights intellectual disabilities in capital punishment


YellowHammer News – State Rep. Sorrell: ‘Nullification bill’ needed in special session to combat Biden vaccine push


Gadsden Times – DAVID MURDOCK COLUMN: On ‘simple’ and ‘complicated’ — and ‘tricksy’


Gadsden Times – PET OF THE WEEK: This Jerry Springer is no TV host, but a playful cat


Gadsden Times – WHEN HARRY MET … the Rev. Colt Hudson, pastor and man of many interests


Dothan Eagle – German companies urge next government to step up on climate


Dothan Eagle – Merck asks FDA to authorize promising anti-COVID pill


Dothan Eagle – Bing Crosby’s heirs sell stake in estate to boost his work


Opelika-Auburn News – Tornadoes cause damage in Oklahoma; storms rock central US


Opelika-Auburn News – Merck asks US FDA to authorize promising anti-COVID pill


Opelika-Auburn News – Merck asks US regulators to authorize promising pill against COVID-19, with decision expected within weeks


WSFA Montgomery – New Civil Rights Corridor bringing history to citizens virtually


WSFA Montgomery – 1 dead, 1 arrested after overnight Orrville shooting


WSFA Montgomery – Dr. Jeffrey Simon, Montgomery pediatrician, dies


WAFF Huntsville – Shooting sends one to the hospital with life-threatening injuries


WAFF Huntsville – Traffic delays expected ahead of AAMU’s homecoming parade, football game


WAFF Huntsville – Waterloo High School mourns loss of student


WKRG Mobile – Boat ride turns into water rescue for father and son in Fort Morgan


WKRG Mobile – Magnitude 6.5 earthquake strikes off coast of Alaska


WKRG Mobile – Fiona Hill, a nobody to Trump and Putin, saw into them both


WTVY Dothan – ADPH: Diabetics at higher risk of COVID hospitalizations, many qualify for booster shot


WTVY Dothan – News4Now Extra: Bama, Auburn facing big challenges this weekend


WTVY Dothan – Dothan clerk robbed at gunpoint


WASHINGTON POST – ‘Frustration is at an all-time high’: Behind Biden’s falling poll numbers


WASHINGTON POST – Liberal Democrats have become the mainstream of the party and less willing to compromise with dwindling moderates


WASHINGTON POST – Navy nuclear engineer and his wife charged with trying to share submarine secrets with a foreign country


NEW YORK TIMES – Inside Rikers: Dysfunction, Lawlessness and Detainees in Control


NEW YORK TIMES – There Is Shadow Inflation Taking Place All Around Us


NEW YORK TIMES – ‘This Drop Came So Quickly’: Shrinking Schools Add to Hong Kong Exodus


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Oil Price Jumps Above $80 and Natural Gas Races Higher, Turbocharged by Supply Shortages


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Merck Asks FDA to Authorize Promising Covid-19 Pill


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Millennials Team Up to Fulfill the Dream of Homeownership



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