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Daily News Digest – October 28, 2020

Presented by

Auburn University



Good morning!

Congrats to the talented Reshad Hudson of CBS 42 News for getting called up to the big leagues to cover Congress. You’ll kill it in DC, my friend.

Also congrats to this kid for nailing her Kay Ivey Halloween costume.

Here’s your Daily News for Wednesday, October 28.



1. Zeta rains, winds begin

  • Zeta re-strengthened into a hurricane early today as the Gulf Coast braces for the 27th named storm of a historically busy Atlantic hurricane season.
  • Landfall is expected south of New Orleans, with life-threatening storm surge and strong winds along portions of the northern Gulf Coast beginning around midday.
  • Alabama is already starting to see bands of the storm and can expect to experience strong wind gusts and heavy rains today and tomorrow.
  • Gov. Kay Ivey declared a state of emergency and encouraged residents to remain “weather aware.”
  • “While this storm is not expected to have an impact as large as storms we’ve seen move through the Gulf earlier this year, we want to be in the best place possible to respond to anticipated rain, storm surge and mass power outage,” Ivey said.
  • Zeta broke the previous record for a 27th named Atlantic storm, taking shape more than a month before that one on Nov. 29, 2005. It’s also this season’s 11th hurricane. An average season sees six hurricanes and 12 named storms.
  • Read more and see the latest track HERE.



2. In the Weeds w/ Mayor Steven Reed

  • It has been just over a year since Steven Reed was elected mayor of Montgomery, a historic moment that brought national attention to a city known as the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement for electing its first black mayor.
  • But the celebration was short lived because in just a few months, Reed was dealing with multiple major challenges: a fight with the Legislature over a planned occupational tax, a worsening threat from the coronavirus pandemic and calls for policing reforms in the wake of the killing of George Floyd.
  • Now, Reed is taking on perhaps his biggest challenge yet: trying to convince the people of Montgomery County to raise their property taxes to pay for improvements to the long-troubled Montgomery Public Schools. Technically, the mayor has no authority over the school system. It’s governed by the county school board and superintendent. But Reed has become the biggest cheerleader for the plan, which he says is essential to turn local schools around, help recruit more businesses to the city and even keep Maxwell Air Force Base from relocating.
  • I sat down with Mayor Reed to talk about his first year in office and discuss the education tax referendum in depth.
  • Read and listen to our “In the Weeds” discussion HERE.
  • Podcast listeners can find “In the Weeds” on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify.





A message from

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. Jones fights for survival while Tuberville coasts

  • The race between Democratic Sen. Doug Jones and Republican challenger Tommy Tuberville in solidly pro-Trump Alabama will test whether Democrats can make inroads in the Deep South and if Jones’ 2017 special election win was a fluke driven by the fact that the GOP nominee, Roy Moore, faced a litany of sexual misconduct allegations.
  • The outcome of this year’s race could also have a big effect on the Senate, which Republicans currently control 53-47. While Tuberville entered the race as a strong favorite, Jones holds a 4-to-1 spending advantage.
  • Jones has been on a campaign blitz while Tuberville has adopted a strategy akin to running out the clock. Tuberville has announced fewer public campaign events, concentrated media appearances on conservative talk radio and has refused to debate Jones.
  • I know this first hand because I’ve asked a few times to interview Tuberville for a simple Q&A piece and the campaign hasn’t responded. Still hoping they will.
  • Read more about the state of the Senate race from Kim Chandler HERE.



4. Black Belt lags in business and GDP growth

  • It will take a combined effort by education institutions and businesses to tackle persistent workforce, economic and educational development problems in the Black Belt, a new report says.
  • The University of Alabama’s Education Policy Center’s ninth and final report on the rural region details how businesses and state policy can work together to improve the workforce and close the skills-gap challenges there.
  • Data presented shows most of the 24 Black Belt counties, as defined by the EPC, are at or below the state’s average of 22.4 businesses per 1,000 residents. Eight counties were at or below 15 businesses per 1,000 residents.
  • The report also shows the gross domestic product per capita in each county in 2018, and only three Black Belt counties were above the state’s average.
  • All of the Black Belt counties were also below the statewide average for personal income per capita by county, which in 2018 was $43,229. In fact, 10 of the 14 counties with the lowest personal income capita in Alabama are in the Black Belt with the lowest being Bullock County.
  • Stephen Katsinas, director of the center, said it is going to take an “all hands on deck” approach to fix the multitude of problems facing the Black Belt region, but a specific approach for that area’s needs is also required.
  • Full story from ADN’s Caroline Beck HERE.


5. COVID-19 hospitalizations highest since August

  • More people are hospitalized for treatment of COVID-19 in Alabama than any time since August as the coronavirus pandemic worsens across the state, health officials reported Tuesday.
  • Statistics from the Alabama Department of Public Health showed that 1,001 people were hospitalized with the illness, marking the first time since Aug. 31 that hospitalizations statewide passed the triple digits.
  • While worsening, the total is much lower than in July, when around 1,600 people were treated daily in hospitals after a surge of cases that health officials believe was linked to the Fourth of July holiday.
  • With Halloween this weekend, health officials are advising the public to take special care to avoid close contact with trick-or-treaters.
  • Read more and see the latest Bama Tracker charts HERE.



ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Zeta re-strengthens to a hurricane, takes aim at Gulf Coast


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – In the Weeds w/ Steven Reed


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Black Belt lags in business and GDP growth


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Jones fights for survival in Alabama as Tuberville coasts


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – COVID-19 hospitalizations in Alabama highest since August


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Barrett confirmed by Senate for Supreme Court, takes oath


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – In the Weeds with Sen. Doug Jones


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – More than 200,000 Alabama absentee votes already cast


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – October 27, 2020


AL.COM – Alabama statewide school COVID tracker to debut Oct. 30; Here’s how it works


AL.COM – Kimber Arms moving headquarters from New York to Troy, creating 366 Alabama jobs


AL.COM – Tropical Storm Zeta Alabama school closings: Systems dismissing early Wednesday


AL.COM – Huntsville pays $33k to move Confederate monument


AL.COM – U.S. Steel announces successful startup of $412 million Fairfield electric arc furnace


AL.COM – Rodney Smith Jr., Alabama’s lawn mowing man, says green card application rejected


AL.COM – Mazda Toyota unveils logo, updates construction progress


AL.COM – Alabama law requires companies to give workers time off to vote, but there are limits


Montgomery Advertiser – Chad Anderson on how the proposed property tax increase could help MPS


Montgomery Advertiser – Catherliene Williamson on how the proposed property tax increase could help MPS


Montgomery Advertiser – Chad Anderson on how the proposed property tax increase could help MPS


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Birmingham PD identifies victim in Titusville shooting Tuesday evening


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Police confirm two more shootings in Bessemer area Tuesday night


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Gulf Coast braces, again, for hurricane as Zeta takes aim


Tuscaloosa News – Dickens Downtown, Northport’s Christmas celebration, canceled for 2020


Tuscaloosa News – Have you seen her? Tuscaloosa police search for missing teen


Tuscaloosa News – As Tommy Tuberville pitches to Republican base, Doug Jones tries to assemble a coalition


Decatur Daily – Princess to get $250,000 upgrade to comply with Disabilities Act


Decatur Daily – Political scientist: One-party dominance hurts Alabama


Decatur Daily – Morgan superintendent: Operations not affected while he’s in quarantine


Times Daily – Colbert Commission wants ADEM to enforce regulations


Times Daily – Tuscumbia will have a modified Dickens Christmas event


Times Daily – Demand already high for Christmas for Kids


Anniston Star – Tension, accolades mark final Heflin meeting for 2


Anniston Star – Oxford plans road improvements by activity complex and on U.S. 78


Anniston Star – Gilley Christmas lights In Ball Play will be dark this year


YellowHammer News – Ivey declares State of Emergency ahead of Tropical Storm Zeta


YellowHammer News – Alabama TV reporter Reshad Hudson promoted to national position in Washington D.C.


YellowHammer News – U.S. Steel begins operation of state-of-the-art furnace at facility in Fairfield


Gadsden Times – As Tommy Tuberville pitches to Republican base, Doug Jones tries to assemble a coalition


Gadsden Times – Southside mourns passing of J.L. McGlaughn, city’s first police chief


Gadsden Times – COVID-19 spike leads to temporary closure of DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office


Dothan Eagle – UPDATED: Tropical storm watch covers southeast Alabama


Dothan Eagle – Philadelphia victim’s family sought ambulance, not police


Dothan Eagle – 3 social media CEOs face grilling by GOP senators on bias


Opelika-Auburn News – Opelika adapts traditional Christmas parade to a stationary event due to pandemic


Opelika-Auburn News – Belgium’s ex-King Albert finally receives daughter Delphine


Opelika-Auburn News – As world goes online in pandemic, another mammoth chip deal


WSFA Montgomery – First Alert Weather Day: Very strong wind, power outages likely tonight as Zeta blasts through


WSFA Montgomery – Police: Eufaula man dead after early morning shooting


WSFA Montgomery – Alabama lawn mowing man, Rodney Smith Jr., fighting to stay in the U.S.


WAFF Huntsville – Alabama requires employers to give some employees an hour to vote


WAFF Huntsville – School bus driver, 7-year-old girl killed in Tennessee crash


WAFF Huntsville – Deputies: Gas station owner charged with attempted murder and more in Limestone County


WKRG Mobile – President Trump’s campaign website hacked in cryptocurrency scam


WKRG Mobile – Police: Woman covered care-dependent husband with kitty litter after accident


WKRG Mobile – Electronic ballot machines tested in Mobile County ahead of Election Day


WTVY Dothan – Wiregrass hospitals give COVID-19 updates


WTVY Dothan – Police: Woman on drugs caused fatal traffic wreck in Dothan


WTVY Dothan – Tax preparer allegedly scammed client of $11,000


WASHINGTON POST – Wisconsin officials stress need for quick return of mail ballots in wake of Supreme Court ruling


WASHINGTON POST – One week out, Biden imagines a post-Trump America and the president launches more attacks


WASHINGTON POST – After supporting Trump by one vote in 2016, a Wisconsin community reassesses


NEW YORK TIMES – How the Surging Virus Has Crashed Into Campaigning in Every Imaginable Way


NEW YORK TIMES – Kavanaugh’s Opinion in Wisconsin Voting Case Raises Alarms Among Democrats


NEW YORK TIMES – The Resistance Arrives at Its Biggest Chance to Resist


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Stock Futures Point to Selloff on Rising Virus Cases


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Justice Department Cites Treatment of Hunter Biden Articles in Call to Change Law Protecting Online Platforms


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Trump Mostly Plays Defense as Biden Looks to Expand Electoral Map



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