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Weekend Digest – November 15, 2020

Good afternoon and Happy Sunday!
Here’s your Daily News for Sunday, November 15.

1. Alabama adds nearly 3,000 virus cases in single day

  • Alabama on Friday added almost 3,000 COVID-19 cases, the highest number reported in a single day since the pandemic began. Health officials believe many of those cases arose from Halloween parties, sporting events and other group gatherings.
  • “This is a new record for us,” State Health Officer Scott Harris said. “Overall, we believe the number accurately shows that Alabama is seeing increased community transmission of COVID-19.”
  • Harris said unlike past surges of that size, the increase is not due to a large data dump of previously backlogged reporting. He did however acknowledge that a few of the cases may be from the past few weeks.
  • The Alabama Department of Public Health said a preliminary analysis indicates that a large number of these cases are from social gatherings of more than 10 persons, including attendance at such events as fall or Halloween parties, sporting events, work-related meetings, and church-sponsored activities. Cases from schools, universities, health care workers, congregate settings, long-term care, and travel were also a factor, the department said.
  • Read more from Kim Chandler HERE.


2. Bedsole, Patton face off in HD49 special election

  • Alabaster City Councilman Russell Bedsole will face Democratic candidate Cheryl Patton on Tuesday in the special general election for Alabama’s House District 49.
  • House District 49 encompasses portions of Bibb, Chilton and Shelby counties. A special election was called to fill the vacancy created by former State Rep. April Weaver, R- Brierfield, who recently resigned to take a position with the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services.
  • Weaver has held the seat since 2010 and the district has voted Republican reliably for many years.
  • Bedsole received $87,735 in campaign contributions and has an ending balance of $31,822. Patton told ADN that she had raised a couple of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions but Secretary of State records don’t show any contributions.
  • Alabama Daily News asked each candidate what their top priorities are for their district, how they feel the state has handled the COVID-19 pandemic and what they think about plans to build a men’s prison in District 49.
  • Read more from me HERE.


3. New report details race disparities in homicides within state prisons

  • A new report from the Alabama Appleseed Center for Law and Justice shows that Black men are more than 3.3 times likely to be murdered in Alabama’s prisons than their white peers.
  • The report examines six years of data and explains that 37 of the 48 men killed by homicide while in custody of the Alabama Department of Corrections between 2014 and 2020 were Black.
  • This year is on track to be the deadliest on record, with homicide rates outpacing 2019 and dozens of additional inmates dying from suicide and COVID-19, the report says.
  • “The fact that nothing has changed in that time — and that people continue to die as a result — is a scandal,” Alabama Appleseed Executive Director Carla Crowder said in a press release.
  • Samantha Rose, the ADOC’s press secretary, told ADN in an emailed statement on Friday that the ADOC disagrees with the report’s findings.
  • “First and foremost, violence of any kind, against anyone, is unacceptable,” Rose said. “This is a matter we take very seriously, and to imply that our Department is complicit in allowing violent incidents to occur is simply inaccurate.”
  • Read more from me and the full report HERE.


4. Trump seems to acknowledge Biden win, but he won’t concede

  • President Donald Trump on Sunday appeared to acknowledge for the first time that Joe Biden won the White House, but made clear he would not concede and would keep trying to overturn the election result.
  • Trump, without using Biden’s name, tweeted that “He won,” something Trump had not said before publicly, though he said the Democrat’s victory was only “in the eyes” of the media.
  • Biden defeated Trump by winning back a trio of Midwestern battleground states: Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, and topped the 270 electoral vote threshold to clinch the presidency. Biden so far has 77.5 million votes, the most ever by a winning candidate, to Trump’s 72.3 million.
  • The president has previously refused to accept the results of the election and he dug in again Sunday, in a subsequent tweet saying, “I concede NOTHING! We have a long way to go.” Even while seemingly acknowledging Biden’s victory, he also argued that the former vice president only won because the election was “rigged.”
  • Read more HERE.


5. Troy dedicates building named for John Lewis

  • An Alabama university that in the 1950s refused to admit the late Congressman John Lewis has dedicated a main campus building in honor of the late civil rights icon.
  • University officials dedicated John Robert Lewis Hall in a ceremony Friday that included congressional representatives and members of the Lewis family.
  • “It is the right thing to do to name this building for a great man,” Troy Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr. said in a statement.
  • The Troy University Board of Trustees in August voted to rename historic Bibb Graves Hall — named for a former Alabama governor who had ties to the Ku Klux Klan— in honor of Lewis. While Lewis became a longtime Georgia congressman, he was a native of Pike County, Alabama, and grew up not far from the university. The civil rights icon died July 17 at the age of 80.
  • Read more HERE.



ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama adds nearly 3,000 virus cases in single day
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Bedsole, Patton face off in HD49 special election
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – New report shows Alabama’s Black prison inmates murdered at higher rates than white inmates
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump seems to acknowledge Biden win, but he won’t concede
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Troy dedicates building named for John Lewis
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – In the Weeds w/ Tommy Tuberville, Alabama’s next senator
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Pathfinder: Alabama health officer Dr. Scott Harris on a mission to guide state through COVID crisis
AL.COM – With 21,000 new COVID cases this month, November on track to be Alabama’s worst: Week in review
AL.COM – Coronavirus hospitalizations spike in Alabama, but health officials not panicking
AL.COM – Black Lives Matter activist says his business was burned because of racial justice work
AL.COM – Shots fired into home of Selma mayor; no injuries reported
AL.COM – Oldest member of Alabama State Bar, law professor, dies at 102
AL.COM – Hospitalized COVID-19 patients are twice as likely to die as hospitalized flu patients: study
AL.COM – College students pivot to virtual instruction
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – State Sen. Elliott: Second COVID-19 shutdown order ‘unenforceable’ — ‘Who is going to go to the restaurant and say you’re closed down?’
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Auburn collaborating to help Rural Medicine Program provide future doctors throughout Alabama
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Alabama neighborhood lights up early for Christmas as girl lives her final days — ‘We are never alone’
DECATUR DAILY – Q&A: Tuberville on hiring staff, election results and socialism
DECATUR DAILY – The Decatur Daily: COVID’s second wave is here
TIMES DAILY – Lodging tax revenues fall $230K
GADSDEN TIMES – Gadsden, Etowah County schools still on course as COVID-19 leads others to make changes
ANNISTON STAR – Columnist Phillip Tutor: The end of days for Alabama’s racist constitution
DOTHAN EAGLE – The Dothan Eagle: Money on the table
WASHINGTON POST – After thousands of Trump supporters rally in D.C., violence erupts when night falls.
WASHINGTON POST – After ambitious campaign promises, Biden faces a governing grind
WASHINGTON POST – Trump lost at the ballot box. His legal challenges aren’t going any better
WASHINGTON POST – Trump and his White House minimize pandemic surge as he focuses on denying election loss
WASHINGTON POST – Trump dramatically changed the presidency. Here’s a list of the 20 most important norms he broke — and how Biden can restore them
NEW YORK TIMES – Contributor Catherine Coleman Flowers: Mold, Possums and Pools of Sewage: No One Should Have to Live Like This. Before she died of Covid-19, Alabama’s Pamela Rush opened her home to show the world what poverty looks like.
NEW YORK TIMES – No signal: Internet ‘dead zones’ cut rural students off from virtual classes.
NEW YORK TIMES – Developmental Disabilities Heighten Risk of Covid Death
NEW YORK TIMES – Economic Demands Test Biden Even Before Inauguration
NEW YORK TIMES – Missing From State Plans to Distribute the Coronavirus Vaccine: Money to Do It

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