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Daily News Digest – October 26, 2020

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Auburn University

Good morning!
Here’s your Daily News for Monday, October 26.

1. Cygnal poll: Tuberville leads Jones going into final week

  • A new poll shows Republican Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville leading Democratic U.S. Sen. Doug Jones by double digits going into the final week of campaigning before Election Day on Nov. 3.
  • In a recent survey of likely Alabama general election voters, Cygnal found that 54.7% of voters were either definitely or probably voting for Tuberville while 41.1% were either definitely or probably voting for Jones. A small percentage, 4.2%, remain undecided in the race, the survey showed.
  • The ballot test for Jones and Tuberville tracked closely with party-line voting attitudes in the state.
  • The survey also tested favorability ratings for some of the state’s top politicians as well as voter attitudes about the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Read more and see the full results HERE.



2. Virus-caused dip in Kindergarten enrollment concerns educators

  • This school year, as the coronavirus upended normal life, many parents of kindergarteners have chosen to keep their kids out of school.
  • There isn’t a final count yet, but early estimates show that at least 2,500 fewer children statewide are enrolled in Kindergarten than last year.
  • The situation is concerning state education leaders because school funding – including teacher units – is based on the previous year’s enrollment.
  • To put it in perspective, a decrease of 2,500 students could mean the reduction of 175 teacher units.
  • Leaders are also concerned about instructional progress. Kindergarten isn’t mandatory in Alabama, so some 6-year-olds could start 1st grade next year without the benefit of much early learning while others would older than most of their classmates.
  • The funding will almost certainly be addressed by the Legislature next session, though there do not appear to be any easy answers.
  • Read the full story from ADN’s Mary Sell HERE.






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Auburn University

At Auburn, we take our responsibility to heal, protect, discover and sustain seriously, and we recognize our actions have long-standing positive effects.
From serving under-represented populations through groundbreaking research and community outreach, to leading cyber security enforcement on a national level, to improving the physical environment our next generation will inherit, at Auburn, we are what we do.





3. Barrett confirmation expected today


  • Senate Republicans voted overwhelmingly Sunday to advance Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett toward final confirmation despite Democratic objections, just over a week before the presidential election.
  • Barrett’s confirmation later today is hardly in doubt, with majority Republicans mostly united in support behind President Donald Trump’s pick. But Democrats kept the Senate in session into the night in attempts to stall, arguing that the Nov. 3 election winner should choose the nominee to fill the vacancy left by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
  • Republicans are excited by the chance to install a third Trump justice on the court, locking in a conservative majority for years to come. Barrett’s ascent opens up a potential new era of rulings on abortion, gay marriage and the Affordable Care Act. A case against the Obama-era health law is scheduled to be heard Nov. 10.
  • Alabama’s delegation was split. Republican Sen. Richard Shelby voted to advance the nomination while Democratic Sen. Doug Jones voted against it.
  • I actually spoke to Jones a few hours after the vote. He said that his vote was against what he sees as a flawed process, not Barrett herself. I’ll have that full interview later this week.
  • The 51-48 vote launched 30 hours of Senate debate, which should conclude this afternoon.
  • Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said the Trump administration’s drive to install Barrett during the coronavirus crisis shows “the Republican Party is willing to ignore the pandemic in order to rush this nominee forward.”
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell noted the political rancor, but defended his handling of the process. He scoffed at the Democrats’ “horror stories” about the judge’s conservative qualifications.
  • “The Senate is doing the right thing,” McConnell said.
  • Read more HERE.



4. Zeta is on her way

  • Tropical Storm Zeta has formed off the Yucatan peninsula and is headed this way.
  • The good news is forecasters don’t see this storm gathering enough strength to hit the Gulf Coast as a hurricane, or at least not a major one.
  • The bad news is it is likely to bring a lot of rain and wind to a coastal region already battered from a rough hurricane season.
  • This year’s season has so many storms that the hurricane center has turned to the Greek alphabet after running out of official names.
  • Zeta is the furthest into the Greek alphabet the Atlantic season has gone.
  • The storm is expected to make landfall somewhere between Louisiana and Florida as soon as Wednesday.
  • Read more HERE.



5. Top 25: Big Ten rises

  • The big change in this week’s AP Top 25 is the ascension of the Big 10, which had its first games of the season on Saturday.
  • Clemson held its lock on No. 1 and Alabama is still solidly No. 2, but Ohio State has now captured the No. 3 spot ahead of Georgia and Notre Dame.
  • Caroline Beck’s Indiana Hoosiers climbed all the way to No. 17 after defeating Penn State, who slipped from No. 8 to No. 18.
  • The Big Ten now has five teams in the Top 25, while the SEC and ACC have only four each.
  • Auburn remained unranked after beating Ole Miss Saturday.
  • Read more and see the full rankings HERE.




ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – New poll: Tuberville leads Jones going into final week


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – COVID-19-caused dip in kindergarten enrollment concerns educators


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Senate votes to advance Barrett; confirmation expected Monday


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Zeta likely hurricane before hitting Yucatan, heading for US


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Servicewomen killed in Alabama plane crash identified


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – AP Top 25: Indiana jumps in at 17; Ohio State moves up to 3


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Absentee voting hits record level in Alabama


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump aide says ‘we’re not going to control the pandemic’


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama economy expected to contract 3.4%, rebound possible


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Voters could remove racist phrases from Alabama Constitution


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Weekend Digest – October 25, 2020


AL.COM – Alabama adds 1,000 COVID cases, hospitalizations continue to rise.


AL.COM – Tropical Storm Zeta gets stronger; forecast to become a hurricane but track is more uncertain than usual.


AL.COM – Columnist Dana Hall McCain: Virtue and truth in a political age.


AL.COM – Here’s 6 statewide constitutional amendments on ballot, and what they mean to you.


Montgomery Advertiser – Educators canvass for support of property tax increase in Montgomery


Montgomery Advertiser – Tropics watch: Tropical Storm Zeta could be a hurricane by Tuesday


Montgomery Advertiser – Alabama prisons complete new batch of COVID-19 testing


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – UAB researchers find that stay-at-home orders reduced COVID-19 infections and deaths


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Why are some absentee ballots in Alabama being thrown out?


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Investigation underway after house fire kills 1 person in Tuscaloosa


Tuscaloosa News – Tuscaloosa student housing talks now focusing on banning all four-, five-bedroom units


Tuscaloosa News – Pumpkin painting raises awareness about epilepsy


Tuscaloosa News – Groups use pumpkin’s color to spread message


Decatur Daily – Lawrence County High virtual only through Nov. 6


Decatur Daily – $48 million for local schools: Districts plan new construction, upgrades with state bond funds


Decatur Daily – Jury rejects insanity defense, finds Decatur woman guilty of murder


Times Daily – Ridgeway: “COVID-19 Cases Not Decreasing, But Treatments Look Promising”


Times Daily – Amendment would abolish selection commission


Times Daily – 2 inmates up for parole this week


Anniston Star – Calhoun County Fair goes on through rain, pandemic


Anniston Star – Habitat enlarges Anniston woman’s home


Anniston Star – Cleburne County library gains new image, patrons


YellowHammer News – Senate advances Barrett nomination — Shelby votes ‘aye,’ Jones ‘no’


YellowHammer News – Auburn University research team tackles new cotton virus


YellowHammer News – UAH leads new program to develop cyber workforce from underserved academia


Gadsden Times – Gadsden’s Goodwill moves to new location in Rainbow City


Gadsden Times – Cullman man killed in crash with school bus


Gadsden Times – Tropics watch: Tropical Storm Zeta could be a hurricane by Tuesday


Dothan Eagle – Answer Man: Why does the water pressure at my house drop sometimes?


Dothan Eagle – Armenia, Azerbaijan accuse each other of truce violations


Dothan Eagle – 2020 Watch: Is Biden remaking the Democratic coalition?


Opelika-Auburn News – Doug Jones fighting for Senate seat down to the wire against Tommy Tuberville


Opelika-Auburn News – Watch now: 50th annual Pioneer Day celebrates rural Alabama


Opelika-Auburn News – Valley man found dead in Lee County


WSFA Montgomery – Runaway teen from Notasulga found safe


WSFA Montgomery – ‘I’m devastated’: Prattville apartment fire victim loses everything


WSFA Montgomery – MACH to hold annual blanket drive for the homeless


WAFF Huntsville – Family, organizers host concert and protests for Dana Fletcher anniversary


WAFF Huntsville – Alabama A&M incentivizes future male minority teachers with 2 years tuition


WAFF Huntsville – COVID-19 in Alabama: 935 new confirmed cases on Sunday


WKRG Mobile – Senate to confirm Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination


WKRG Mobile – NASA to announce new discovery about the moon


WKRG Mobile – FBI investigating fire set in Boston ballot dropbox


WTVY Dothan – How to safely celebrate Halloween during a pandemic


WTVY Dothan – Voters line up to deliver absentee ballots in Montgomery


WTVY Dothan – Local animal park opens haunted trail for Halloween


WASHINGTON POST – White House signals defeat in pandemic as coronavirus outbreak roils Pence’s office


WASHINGTON POST – Big Tech’s biggest critics are racing to raise money for Biden’s campaign


WASHINGTON POST – Barrett nomination clears Senate hurdle, putting her on course to confirmation to Supreme Court


NEW YORK TIMES – 2020 Election Live Updates: Barrett Set to Be Confirmed to Supreme Court


NEW YORK TIMES – Missing From Supreme Court’s Election Cases: Reasons for Its Rulings


NEW YORK TIMES – Infection of Pence Aides Raises New Questions About Trump’s Virus Response


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Stock Futures Drop on Coronavirus Uptick, Fading Stimulus Hopes


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Facebook Prepares Measures for Possible Election Unrest


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Bayer to Buy Gene-Therapy Firm AskBio for Up to $4 Billion


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