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Daily News Digest – October 5, 2021

Presented by
Southern Research

Good morning!

For the first time in about a month, we have no stories on the prison beat today. Enjoy the respite because I’m sure it won’t last long.

Here’s your Daily News for Tuesday, October 5.


1. Changes coming to medical marijuana law

  • Proposed changes to Alabama’s medical cannabis law will be coming soon.
  • Sen. Tim Melson, R-Florence, the sponsor of the cannabis bill that became law earlier this year, said he will file legislation to make technical changes to some of the wording around timing and deadlines in the law.
  • Melson said he’s waiting for newly appointed Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission Executive Director John McMillan and commission chairman Steven Stokes to finalize a list of needed changes. Melson said he may file the bill in the special session on redistricting expected in late October or early November.
  • Read more about the proposed changes from Mary Sell and Caroline Beck HERE.



2. Slain officer honored with procession through north Alabama

  • A police officer who was shot to death during a chase that left another officer wounded last week was honored Monday with a procession across north Alabama.
  • Hundreds of people, including entire classes of schoolchildren, stood along roadsides as the body of Sheffield Police Sheffield Police Sgt. Nick Risner, 40, was returned to the city from Huntsville by a motorcade that included dozens of emergency vehicles with lights flashing.
  • Many in the crowd held American flags. Some were held aloft by fire trucks along the route.
  • Risner, who worked with a police dog for Sheffield, was fatally wounded in Muscle Shoals on Friday and died Saturday. He was remembered as a dedicated, veteran officer who also served in the Army Reserves.
  • Authorities said Risner and another officer were shot after a man shot a person and pushed the deceased victim out of a car into a street in Muscle Shoals, prompting a search and chase that ended in a flurry of gunfire. Sheffield Lt. Max Dotson also was shot, but his vest prevented severe injury.
  • Brian Lansing Martin, 41, of Sheffield was arrested, but charges were not filed immediately.’s Carol Robinson reported that Martin was convicted of manslaughter in 2013 for the killing of his father but was released early in 2016 after serving three years of a seven year sentence.
  • Read more HERE.



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Southern Research






3. Brinksmanship on the debt limit

  • It wouldn’t be fall in Washington, D.C. without a partisan fight over government spending and/or debt that brings the country to the brink of calamity.
  • Such is the case now as Democrats look for a way to raise or suspend the nation’s debt limit in order to avoid default, a situation all agree would have disastrous economic consequences.
  • The difference this year is that Republicans are refusing to help raise or suspend the debt limit, arguing that since Democrats are forcing through massive spending bills on their own without Republican votes they should do the same with the debt limit.
  • President Joe Biden on Monday urged Republican senators to “get out of the way” and let Democrats suspend the nation’s debt limit, hoping to keep the U.S. government from bumping dangerously close to a credit default as Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell refuses to lend his party’s help.
  • “They need to stop playing Russian roulette with the U.S. economy,” Biden said at the White House. “Republicans just have to let us do our job. Just get out of the way. If you don’t want to help save the country, get out of the way so you don’t destroy it.”
  • Unmoved, McConnell said Republicans had given the Democrats a roadmap for dealing with the debt ceiling with months of warning. The Senate parliamentarian ruled this week that Democrats could raise the debt limit through the budget reconciliation process, which would allow them to bypass Republican filibuster.
  • “We have no list of demands. For two and a half months, we have simply warned that since your party wishes to govern alone, it must handle the debt limit alone as well,” the Kentucky senator wrote in the Monday letter. “I suggest that our Democratic colleagues get moving.”
  • Read more HERE.



4. Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp face worldwide outage

  • Facebook and its Instagram and WhatsApp platforms are back online after a massive global outage plunged the services and the businesses and people who rely on them into chaos for hours.
  • Facebook said late Monday that “the root cause of this outage was a faulty configuration change” and that there is “no evidence that user data was compromised as a result” of the outage.
  • The company apologized and said it is working to understand more about the cause, which began around 11:40 a.m. Eastern Monday.
  • Facebook was already in the throes of a separate major crisis after whistleblower Frances Haugen, a former Facebook product manager, provided The Wall Street Journal with internal documents that exposed the company’s awareness of harms caused by its products and decisions. Haugen went public on CBS’s “60 Minutes” program Sunday and is scheduled to testify before a Senate subcommittee today.
  • Twitter, meanwhile, chimed in from the company’s main account on its service, posting “hello literally everyone” as jokes and memes about the Facebook outage flooded the platform. Later, as an unverified screenshot suggesting that the address was for sale circulated, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted, “how much?”
  • Read more HERE.


5. Wallace wins at Talladega

  • The hard part wasn’t dodging his way around a crash and then driving to the front of the field at Talladega Superspeedway. That was just instinct for Bubba Wallace.
  • The challenge was the 45 minutes after Wallace took the lead, when the sky opened and he anxiously sat in the rain — hoping, wishing, praying — that NASCAR would call off Monday’s rescheduled race and declare him the winner.
  • With a crowd gathered behind his pit stand chanting its support — one man told his 6-year-old son, clad in a Wallace shirt and jumping up and down along the fence, that he was “witnessing history” — NASCAR pulled the plug and Wallace became just the second Black driver to win a race at the Cup Series level.
  • “Got some credibility to my name now,” said Wallace, a first-time Cup winner in his 143 starts. “I’m just like, ‘Finally, I’m a winner and I’m a winner in the Cup level,’ and it’s just like ‘Hell yeah!’ It was a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.”
  • There was an Alabama politics angle, as U.S. Senate candidate Katie Britt was the official starter for the YellaWood 500. YellaWood is of course owned by Jimmy Rane, a Britt supporter and contributor.
  • Read more HERE.




ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Melson: Proposed changes coming to medical marijuana law


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Slain officer honored with procession through north Alabama


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Brinksmanship continues on debt limit as deadline looms


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram suffer worldwide outage


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Milestone for Bubba Wallace as he earns 1st NASCAR victory


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – October 4, 2021


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Prison plan passes: How it happened and what’s next


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Can Democrats come together to save Biden agenda?


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Supreme Court back for new term


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Abortion, guns, religion top a big Supreme Court term


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ex-Facebook manager alleges social network fed Capitol riot


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – AP Top 25: Iowa up to No. 3; Clemson out of Top 25 first time since ’14


AL.COM – Alabama isn’t reporting school COVID outbreaks, contact tracing. Here’s why..


AL.COM – Southern Research sells Maryland campus, to bring 50 jobs to Birmingham


AL.COM – Alabama daycare shut down after allegedly lying about firing employee cited for abuse, neglect


AL.COM – Mobile readies for unusual runoff election, including a dead candidate


AL.COM – $125 million industrial park development planned in Moody


AL.COM – $15,000 of pineapples at Mississippi port destroyed because of rare stowaway butterfly larvae


Montgomery Advertiser – One killed in two-vehicle wreck near Maxwell AFB


Montgomery Advertiser – Flu season is almost here. Here’s what you need to know this year


Montgomery Advertiser – A look inside Prattville’s picker house


Decatur Daily – Thousands pay respects for fallen Sheffield officer


Decatur Daily – Officials: Drug court funding would save state money


Decatur Daily – Editorial: Prison construction doesn’t go far enough


Times Daily – Tuscumbia employees to benefit from relief act funds


Times Daily – Thousands pay respects for fallen Sheffield cop


Times Daily – Bill requires early release prisoners to be monitored



Anniston Star – Photos: Brief rain delay at Lap 73 of the Yellawood 500


Anniston Star – WALLACE MAKES HISTORY: ‘Man, those boos are quiet,’ Wallace says after historic victory


Anniston Star – Major water pipeline project discussed for McClellan


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Leaders receive positive feedback from fans after Protective Stadium opens


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Resuming evictions could have big impact locally


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – UPDATE: DEA agent killed, another injured along with Tucson police officer in shooting at Amtrak station


Tuscaloosa News – Flu season is almost here. Here’s what you need to know this year


Tuscaloosa News – Why monoclonal antibodies are expensive and hard to make in the fight against COVID-19.


Tuscaloosa News – University of Alabama sells Tutwiler dorm’s bricks, room numbers as fundraiser for scholarships



YellowHammer News – Ivey announces Birmingham area crisis center — ‘will go a long way in improving mental health care in Alabama’


Gadsden Times – Alabama surpasses 2020’s COVID-19 death total as Etowah County gets closer to that distinction


Gadsden Times – Flu season is almost here. Here’s what you need to know this year


Gadsden Times – Why monoclonal antibodies are expensive and hard to make in the fight against COVID-19.


Dothan Eagle – Response time questioned in Southern California oil spill


Dothan Eagle – Ex-US Rep. Todd Akin, sunk by ‘legitimate rape’ remark, dies


Dothan Eagle – Police: Woman shot multiple times, body dumped on interstate


Opelika-Auburn News – Ship’s anchor among possible causes of California oil spill


Opelika-Auburn News – Ex-US Rep. Todd Akin, sunk by ‘legitimate rape’ remark, dies


Opelika-Auburn News – Police: Woman shot multiple times, body dumped on interstate


WSFA Montgomery – Centennial Hill residents speak out against future RSA building


WSFA Montgomery – Pike Road residents weigh in ahead of Tuesday’s property tax vote


WSFA Montgomery – Row crop farmers face soggy situation in their fields


WAFF Huntsville – A community mourns the loss of Sgt. Risner; The fallen hero returns to the Shoals


WAFF Huntsville – Lockheed Martin opens new hypersonic missile factory


WAFF Huntsville – Deputies searching for missing teen


WKRG Mobile – 2,700-year-old toilet found in Jerusalem was a rare luxury


WKRG Mobile – Facebook outage got you bored? The funniest memes, jokes about the meltdown


WKRG Mobile – What caused Facebook, Instagram to go down? Here’s what we know


WTVY Dothan – Businessman Ricky Treadwell remembered for giving


WTVY Dothan – It is ‘natural to feel frustration’ amidst pandemic, according to UAB doctor


WTVY Dothan – Dothan doctor answers vaccine hesitancy questions


WASHINGTON POST – Biden says he cannot promise U.S. will not breach debt-ceiling limit: ‘That’s up to Mitch McConnell’


WASHINGTON POST – Zuckerberg’s apologies have been a staple of Facebook scandals. Now, the company offers defiance.


WASHINGTON POST – Facebook apps coming back online after widespread outage


NEW YORK TIMES – Facebook’s Apps Went Down. The World Saw How Much It Runs on Them.


NEW YORK TIMES – The End of a ‘Gilded Age’: China Is Bringing Business to Heel


NEW YORK TIMES – The End of a ‘Gilded Age’: China Is Bringing Business to Heel


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Facebook Whistleblower Frances Haugen Set to Appear Before Senate Panel


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Stock Futures Edge Up After Selloff; Oil Rally Builds


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Cotton Prices Surge to Highest Level in a Decade



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