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Weekend Digest – June 20, 2021

Good afternoon and happy father’s day! Shout out to my dad who I love and miss very much!
Here’s your Daily News for Sunday, June 20.

1. Crash “likely” due to storm, kills 10 in Alabama

  • Tropical Depression Claudette claimed 12 lives in Alabama as the storm swept across the southeastern U.S., causing flash flooding and spurring tornadoes that destroyed dozens of homes.
  • Ten people, including nine children, were killed Saturday in a 15-vehicle crash about 35 miles south of Montgomery on Interstate 65, according to Butler County Coroner Wayne Garlock.
  • He said the vehicles likely hydroplaned on wet roads, with eight children, ages 4 to 17, killed in a van belonging to a youth ranch operated by the Alabama Sheriffs Association for abused or neglected children. A man and a 9-month-old baby died in a separate vehicle. Multiple people were also injured.
  • Meanwhile, a 24-year-old man and a 3-year-old boy were killed when a tree fell on their house just outside the Tuscaloosa city limits Saturday, Capt. Marty Sellers of the Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit told The Tuscaloosa News.
  • The deaths occurred as drenching rains pelted northern Alabama and Georgia late Saturday.
  • Read more HERE.

2. Reports: Alabama higher ed relies more on tuition, less on state support

  • Revenue at Alabama’s higher education institutions in 2020 was greater than the national per-student average and ranked seventh in the nation, but students’ tuition dollars made up significantly more of that total than the national average.
  • About 67% of Alabama’s higher education’s total revenue came from tuition, according to information from the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association. In 2008, the “student share” of total revenue was 41.7%, according to a report from the association.
  • “The hard part is 67% of our total revenue is dependent on tuition, which means parents and families have a bigger share of that,” Alabama Commission on Higher Education Executive Director Jim Purcell told commission members at their quarterly board meeting this month.
  • “Alabama has a lot of low-income people, but our tuition revenue is twice the national average,” Purcell said.
  • State support for Alabama institutions in 2020 was $8,023 per full-time equivalent student, referred to as FTE, about $600 less than the national average. The report notes support for community colleges is slightly higher than that for four-year schools.
  • Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, chairman of the Senate education budget committee, said institutions’ current rates are largely a response to previous decreases in state funding.
  • Read more from ADN’s Mary Sell HERE.

3. Juneteenth, recalling end of slavery, is marked across US

  • Parades, picnics and lessons in history were offered Saturday to commemorate Juneteenth in the U.S., a day that carried even more significance after Congress and President Joe Biden created a federal holiday to observe the end of slavery.
  • A new holiday was “really awesome. It’s starting to recognize the African American experience,” said Detroit artist Hubert Massey, 63. “But we still have a long way to go.”
  • In Detroit, which is about 80% Black, students from University Prep Art & Design School dodged rain to repaint Massey’s block-long message, “Power to the People,” which was created last year on downtown Woodward Avenue.
  • The ‘o’ in “Power” was a red fist in memory of George Floyd and other victims of excessive force by police, Massey said.
  • “We did the original,” said Olivia Jones, 15, leaning on a long paint roller. “It’s important that we return and share that same energy.”
  • Read more HERE.

4. Slave owner descendants sell property for new Africatown hub

  • Descendants of the white Alabama businessman who financed the voyage of the last slave ship to land in the United States more than 160 years ago have agreed to sell a building that will become a hub for Africatown USA, the community settled by the freed Africans after the Civil War.
  • A long-closed credit union building owned by relatives of Timothy Meaher will open within weeks as a food bank and as home of the Africatown Redevelopment Corp., officials told a news conference Thursday. The family sold the brick building to the city for $50,000, well below its appraised value of $300,000.
  • The family, which tax records show owns millions of dollars worth of land around Mobile, issued a statement that described selling the building as a way “to give back to the community.”
  • “We all look forward to watching this endeavor become a reality with a lasting positive impact on the community for years to come,” it said.
  • Read more HERE.

5. FAA considering plan to land space vehicles in Alabama

  • The Federal Aviation Administration is considering a plan to land commercial space vehicles in Alabama.
  • The agency recently released information about a proposal by the Huntsville airport and Nevada-based Sierra Space to use the site roughly 15 miles (24 kilometers) west of downtown to land ships that resemble a small space shuttle with upswept wings, WHNT-TV reported.
  • The spacecraft would be launched elsewhere and land on an existing runway in Huntsville, which has the largest commercial airport in north Alabama and is a hub for the aerospace industry.
  • The Huntsville-Madison County Airport Authority said the FAA is conducting a preliminary review of the proposal.
  • Read more HERE.


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Official: Crash, “likely” due to storm, kills 10 in Alabama
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Reports: Alabama higher ed relies more on tuition, less on state support
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Juneteenth, recalling end of slavery, is marked across US
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Slave owner descendants sell property for new Africatown hub
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – FAA considering plan to land space vehicles in Alabama
AL.COM – Claudette a tropical depression but still causing heavy rain and tornado threat in Alabama.
AL.COM – Tropical Storm Claudette levels Alabama mobile home park: ‘It kind of affected everybody’.
AL.COM – Alabama awaits dangerous Delta variant as vaccine rates slow.
AL.COM – Alabama House Democrats seek permanent state holiday for Juneteenth.
AL.COM – Space vehicles could land in Alabama under FAA plan.
AL.COM – Columnist Cameron Smith: ‘Repeal and Replace’ falls on its face.
AL.COM – Alabama officials celebrate freedom on Juneteenth.
AL.COM – Columnist Roy Johnson: I’ll take new Juneteenth national holiday and everything it should not obscure.
AL.COM – Columnist Frances Coleman: Hooray for the dads who give fatherhood their all, no matter how challenging it is.
AL.COM – Contributor Champ Lyons, Jr.: The 21st century case for Alabama criminal justice reform.
ALABAMA POLITICAL REPORTER – Contributor Thomas Jackson: The enduring promise of Juneteenth.
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Birmingham leaders launch new Prosper collaborative.
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Power Moves: Stillman College President Cynthia Warrick creates partnership, impact and legacy.
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Secretary of State hopeful State Rep. Allen says John Merrill-era home-visit voter ID policy to remain in place if elected.
THE HILL – Excellence Act will expand mental health and substance use treatment access to millions.
THE HILL – Black lawmakers warn against complacency after Juneteenth victory.
POLITICO – As pandemic subsides, businesses push Congress for one more bailout.
POLITICO – Million-dollar lotteries fail to cut through vaccine apathy.
FLORENCE TIMES DAILY – University celebrates Year of the UNA Woman.
FLORENCE TIMES DAILY – Sheriffs skeptical new law will alleviate overcrowding in county jails.
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – Columnist Gary Cosby: Can Katie Britt save the Alabama Republican Party from Mo Brooks?
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Southern Baptists take on critical race theory but not by name. Here’s why.
OPELIKA AUBURN NEWS – ‘Stand for what is right and true’: Citizens of Auburn and Opelika gather to observe Juneteenth.
DOTHAN EAGLE – Overcrowded and frustrated: Alabama prison woes burden local jails with state inmates.
WASHINGTON POST – Contributor Libby Copeland: Genetic testing is changing our understanding of who fathers are.
WASHINGTON POST – VA plans to offer gender-confirmation surgery to transgender veterans, reversing ban.
WASHINGTON POST – Meet Opal Lee, the 94-year-old activist who marched for miles to make Juneteenth a federal holiday.
WASHINGTON POST – Risks and rewards: The summer that could define the Biden presidency.
NEW YORK TIMES – Columnist Nicholas Kristof: A 14-Year-Old Bride, Wed to Her Rapist, Playing on a Jungle Gym
NEW YORK TIMES – The New York Times: The Two Men Blocking Military Sexual Assault Reform

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