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Daily News Digest – September 22, 2020

Presented by Alabama’s Locally-Owned

Health Mart Community Pharmacies


Good morning and happy Autumnal Equinox! It only gets darker from here forward, literally and figuratively.

Here’s your Daily News for Tuesday, September 22.

1. High court battle

  • President Donald Trump said Monday he expects to announce his pick for the Supreme Court on Friday or Saturday, after funeral services for Ruth Bader Ginsburg and just days before the first presidential election debate.
  • Trump told “Fox & Friends” that he had a list of five finalists, “probably four,” and that he is pushing for a confirmation vote before Election Day. Democrats have aggressively protested, pointing to the hypocrisy of Republicans for rushing through a pick so close to the election after refusing to do so for President Barack Obama in 2016.
  • The president met with Judge Amy Coney Barrett at the White House as the conservative jurist emerged as a favorite to replace Ginsburg on the Supreme Court, the start of a monumental Senate confirmation fight over objections from Democrats it’s too close to the November election.
  • Trump told reporters he would interview other candidates and might meet with Judge Barbara Lagoa when he travels to Florida later this week. Conversations in the White House and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office have been increasingly focused on Barrett and Lagoa.
  • Barrett, 48, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, was a strong contender for the seat that eventually went to Brett Kavanaugh in 2018. At the time, Trump told confidants he was “saving” Barrett for Ginsburg’s seat.
  • Read more about the state of play in the confirmation battle HERE.
  • Read more about the recent history surrounding SCOTUS confirmations HERE.



2. Medicaid enrollment increases

  • Enrollment in Medicaid in Alabama has increased during the coronavirus pandemic, up more than 46,000 recipients since last year and surpassing a previous enrollment high set in 2015.
  • Alabama Medicaid has retained an average of about 10,000 additional recipients per month since April 2020, the agency told Alabama Daily News.  Enrollment in July was 1,092,935 statewide.
  • This March, in response to federal CARES Act requirements, Alabama Medicaid, the health care provider for the state’s poor and disabled, announced it will not terminate coverage during the COVID-19 emergency if recipients were already enrolled in the program or became enrolled during the emergency period.
  • Medicaid enrollment is also up nationwide.
  • State lawmakers will be watching Medicaid enrollment increases as they begin to prepare budgets ahead of the next legislative session, which is scheduled to begin Feb. 3. Medicaid is the state General Fund’s largest expense each year, followed by the prison system.
  • “Hearing that does not surprise me; that’s been a concern I’ve had,” Sen. Greg Albritton, R-Range, said about the enrollment numbers. He’s the chairman of the Senate General Fund committee.
  • “Of all agencies, of all matters, any gains that we think we’ve made can be eaten up in one swoop by Medicaid,” he said.
  • Full story from ADN’s Mary Sell HERE.






A message from Alabama’s Locally-Owned

Health Mart Community Pharmacies


  • Alabama’s community pharmacists are more than just the friendly faces that fill your prescriptions every month; they are an essential link in the healthcare chain.
  • In rural areas, community pharmacists are often the first – and sometimes the only – healthcare contact for residents in a community.
  • In addition to keeping Alabama communities healthy by filling prescriptions, most of the APCI network of community pharmacies provide vital healthcare services such as immunizations, clinical testing, and medication counseling.
  • We appreciate the pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and pharmacy staff members – your friends and neighbors – in our locally-owned pharmacies who go above and beyond to safely meet the healthcare needs of Alabamians.
  • Find your locally-owned community Health Mart pharmacy HERE.










3. Ivey creates Alabama STEM council

  • Gov. Kay Ivey on Monday announced the creation of the Alabama STEM Council to improve science, technology, engineering and math-related education, career awareness and workforce development opportunities.
  • The council, created through an executive order, has 46 members who will advise state leadership on ways to improve Alabama’s education system in order to promote STEM careers and support current and future businesses.
  • “Alabama has continued to grow into an advanced manufacturing, aerospace engineering and cybertechnology center of excellence and as a result, the demand for qualified labor in these sectors has skyrocketed,” Ivey said in a statement. “The Alabama STEM Council will play a vital role in ensuring that our state’s future leaders have the opportunity to learn STEM-based skills that will help them transition into successful career pathways upon graduation.”
  • The creation of the STEM council was proposed during this year’s regular legislative session in House Bill 293, sponsored by Rep. Terri Collins, R-Decatur. It passed the House unanimously but was prevented from moving on to the Senate because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Collins, who chairs the House Education Policy Committee, told Alabama Daily News she worked with Ivey’s office to make sure the executive order aligned with her legislation.
  • “I just felt like we needed this in place and we did not need to wait one more year,” Collins said.
  • Read more from ADN’s Caroline Beck HERE.



4. Shutdown politics: Dems unveil temporary spending bill

  • It wouldn’t be September if we weren’t talking about the possibility of a government shutdown and what Congress needs to do to avoid it.
  • Democrats controlling the House of Representatives unveiled a government-wide temporary funding bill on Monday that would keep federal agencies fully up and running into December. The measure would prevent a partial shutdown of the government after the current budget year expires at the end of the month, but Republicans immediately protested, and a Senate floor fight appears likely.
  • The temporary funding measure provoked Republicans and President Donald Trump, who were denied a provision that would give the administration continued authority to dole out agriculture assistance funds.
  • With just nine days before the end of the fiscal year, a potential shutdown can’t be dismissed.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had initially indicated she would add the measure language that would permit Trump to continue to release aid to farmers that would otherwise be delayed, but she pulled back after protests from other Democrats, who complain that the Trump administration has favored southern states such as Georgia — a key swing state and home of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue — and larger producers in distributing bailout funds. Farmers are suffering from low commodity prices and the effects of higher tariffs imposed by Trump.
  • Full story HERE.



5. Burkette pleads guilty, sentenced

  • Former State Sen. David Burkette, D-Montgomery, on Monday pleaded guilty to misdemeanor campaign finance charges.
  • He was charged with violating the Fair Campaign Practices Act during his run for the Montgomery City Council five years ago. The attorney general’s office said Burkette failed to deposit $3,625 in campaign contributions into his campaign checking account, and instead, deposited or cashed those contributions into or against his personal bank account.
  • Burkette was sentenced to 30 days in jail, but the sentence was suspended and he was placed on 12 months of probation. He was also ordered to pay a $3,000 fine.
  • “Candidates for public office at the state, county and municipal levels must comply with the State’s Fair Campaign Practices Act,” Attorney General Steve Marshall said in a statement. “Personally profiting from campaign funds erodes public confidence in the system and will not be tolerated.”
  • Read more HERE.




ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Pandemic, new rule increase Medicaid enrollment


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ivey creates Alabama STEM Council


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – As Democrats balk, Trump to make high court pick by Saturday


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump interviews Barrett while weighing a high court nominee


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Who’s a hypocrite? GOP, Dems debate past comments on court


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Burkette pleads guilty to campaign charge


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Democrats unveil temporary funding bill to avert shutdown


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – White minister who supported Montgomery bus boycott dies


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama Archives faces its legacy as Confederate ‘attic’


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – 2-cent gas tax increase coming Oct. 1


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – 2020 Watch: Is this suddenly a new election?


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – AP Top 25: Eight SEC teams in Top 25


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – September 21, 2020


AL.COM – Alabama adds 754 confirmed coronavirus cases overnight


AL.COM – Ex-Alabama state Sen. David Burkette gets 1-year probation on campaign finance violation


AL.COM -‘A lot of progress’: Power restored to around 80 percent of Baldwin County


AL.COM – Sen. Doug Jones, Tommy Tuberville spar over filling Supreme Court vacancy


AL.COM – Baldwin County, Gulf Shores schools out until next week


AL.COM – Jailed Alabama politician Mike Hubbard selling radio stations


AL.COM – Crops, tourism pummeled: Hurricane Sally rattles coastal Alabama’s economy


AL.COM – As demand drops, ADPH cuts hours for coronavirus hotline


AL.COM – Alabama 1 of 12 states with 35% obesity rate


AL.COM – Columnist Kyle Whitmire: Proposed LGBTQ charter school scored high marks. Alabama rejected it anyway


AL.COM – Will Alabama archives move past its days as the attic of Confederacy?


Montgomery Advertiser – Former Alabama Sen. David Burkette gets probation, $3K fine in campaign finance case


Montgomery Advertiser – Doug Jones: Don’t rush to pick next U.S. Supreme Court justice


Montgomery Advertiser – Montgomery man free on bond charged in armed robbery


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – COVID-19 in Alabama: Where are we with cases after Labor Day?


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – 2-cent gas tax increase coming Oct. 1


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Tuscaloosa City Schools looking to add touchless water fountains to school buildings


Tuscaloosa News – PARA breaks ground on the all-inclusive playground at Sokol Park


Tuscaloosa News – BFGoodrich donates 14,000 masks to Tuscaloosa VA


Tuscaloosa News – Tuscaloosa City Superintendent Mike Daria earns state Innovator Award


Decatur Daily – Delayed capital murder trial won’t include statements made after defendant served whiskey


Decatur Daily – Calhoun enrollment down 9%, while virtual enrollment increased by 52%


Decatur Daily – 2-cent gas tax increase coming Oct. 1


Times Daily – 1 dies in wreck at Cox Creek Parkway


Times Daily – Local NAACP sets date for election of officers


Times Daily – ‘Saw You at the Pole’ event is Wednesday in Rogersville


YellowHammer News – U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer: Nancy Pelosi ‘committed a felony’ — She shouldn’t be speaker


YellowHammer News – Workforce development expert Dr. Brock Kelley appointed interim president of Lurleen B. Wallace Community College


YellowHammer News – Lisa Thomas-McMillan is a 2020 Woman of Impact


Gadsden Times – Etowah County COVID-19 cases reach the 3,000 mark


Gadsden Times – Woman charged with drug use while pregnant


Gadsden Times – Gadsden healthcare facilities fear patients neglecting other conditions because of COVID-19 concerns


Dothan Eagle – California wildfire threatening more than 1,000 homes


Dothan Eagle – Asia Today: Duterte extends virus calamity status by a year


Dothan Eagle – Trump interviews Barrett while weighing a high court nominee


Opelika-Auburn News – Tropical Storm Beta makes landfall on Texas coast


Opelika-Auburn News – Top contenders for Ginsburg’s seat on Supreme Court


Opelika-Auburn News – Food Bank busy keeping up with local demand


WSFA Montgomery – Human remains found in Coosa County ID’d as missing man


WSFA Montgomery – No COVID-19 spike after Labor Day; State health leader ‘pleasantly surprised’


WSFA Montgomery – Montgomery church sends help to hurricane-affected areas


WAFF Huntsville – Madison County Students head back to the Classroom


WAFF Huntsville – ADVA Commissioner speaks with 48 News regarding Tut Fann


WAFF Huntsville – Police arrest suspect in Athens stabbing


WKRG Mobile – Mobile County Crime Map: Shooting at Anne Place Apartments on Schillinger Road


WKRG Mobile – Woman living in car after COVID-19, Sally halt life plans, finds way to push through


WKRG Mobile – OB mayor wants beaches to open by Saturday


WTVY Dothan – Sally leaves Wiregrass 211 with a high volume in calls


WTVY Dothan – Proposed amendments to Alabama’s constitution will be on November 3 ballot


WTVY Dothan – 10 questions about Dothan police crackdown answered


WASHINGTON POST – Trump says he will announce Supreme Court pick by end of week after meeting with a top candidate for Ginsburg seat


WASHINGTON POST – Democrats largely powerless to stop GOP from confirming Trump’s court choice


WASHINGTON POST – Biden’s moderation contrasts with Democratic rage as court fight looms


NEW YORK TIMES – Republican Senators Line Up to Back Trump on Court Fight


NEW YORK TIMES – Ginsburg Will Lie in State in the Capitol, the First Woman to Be Given the Honor


NEW YORK TIMES – My Unlikely Friendship With Ruth Bader Ginsburg


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Stocks Close Sharply Lower; Dow Drops More Than 500 Points


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Trump to Make Supreme Court Nomination Over the Weekend


WALL STREET JOURNAL – CDC Removes Guidelines Saying Coronavirus Can Spread From Tiny Air Particles



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