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Weekend Digest – September 20, 2020

Good afternoon and Happy Sunday!
Here’s your Daily News for September 20.

1. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

  • Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a towering women’s rights champion who became the court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington. She was 87.
  • Ginsburg died of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer, the court said.
  • Her death just over six weeks before Election Day is likely to set off a heated battle over whether President Donald Trump should nominate, and the Republican-led Senate should confirm, her replacement, or if the seat should remain vacant until the outcome of his race against Democrat Joe Biden is known.
  • Chief Justice John Roberts mourned Ginsburg’s passing. “Our Nation has lost a jurist of historic stature. We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague. Today we mourn, but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her — a tireless and resolute champion of justice,” Roberts said in a statement.
  • Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said late Friday that the Senate would vote, even though it’s an election year.
  • Read more about the justice HERE.


2. Trump promises to replace Ginsburg with a woman – and soon

  • President Donald Trump is promising to put forth a female nominee in the coming week to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, pushing the Republican-controlled Senate to consider the pick without delay.
  • Taking the stage Saturday night at a North Carolina rally to chants of “Fill that seat,” the president said he would nominate his selection despite Democrats’ objections. And, after conducting what he joked was a “very scientific poll” of the Fayetteville crowd as to whether supporters wanted a man or a woman, he declared the choice would be “a very talented, very brilliant woman.”
  • He added that he did not yet know whom he would choose.
  • “We win an election and those are the consequences,” said the president, who then seemed to signal that he’d be willing to accept a vote on his nominee during the lame-duck period after the election. “We have a lot of time. We have plenty of time. We’re talking about January 20th.”
  • But one Republican senator had already broken ranks. Maine’s Susan Collins, who is in a tough reelection battle, said earlier Saturday that she believed replacing Ginsburg should be the decision of the president who is elected Nov. 3.
  • Three more defections from the GOP ranks would be needed to stop Trump’s nominee from joining the court.
  • Read more HERE.


3. Tropical Storm Beta churns slowly toward Texas, Louisiana

  • As Alabama and Florida are still recovering from Hurricane Sally, Tropical Storm Beta is making a slow crawl toward the western gulf coast, stirring worries about more heavy rain, flooding and storm surges.
  • Beta was one of three named storms whirling in the Atlantic basin during an exceptionally busy hurricane season. If the system makes landfall in Texas — which forecasters predict it will sometime on Monday — it would be the ninth named storm to make landfall in the continental U.S. in 2020. That would tie a record set in 1916, according to Colorado State hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach.
  • Coastal communities began preparing for Beta over the weekend, with the Texas city of Galveston and surrounding Galveston County issuing voluntary evacuation orders on Saturday. Seabrook, north of Galveston, issued its own order.
  • Craig Brown, the mayor pro tem of Galveston, said in a statement that high tides and up to 10 inches (25 centimeters) of expected rainfall would leave roads impassable, especially in the west end and low-lying areas of the city.
  • Read more about the storm HERE.


4. ‘Limited fire safety practices’ worsened Scottsboro marina fire

  • A fire that killed eight people and did more than $500,000 damage at a Scottsboro marina started accidentally but was worsened by the marina’s “limited fire safety practices,” according to a federal report.
  • The National Transportation Safety Board, in a report released this month, said the Jan. 27 fire started near the electrical panel of a houseboat named Dixie Delight at the Jackson County Park Marina in Scottsboro. The fire spread quickly because of the abundance of combustible lawn furniture and propane cylinders for barbecue grills on the dock and boat decks.
  • The report found the county and marina’s “limited fire safety practices” contributing to the severity of the fire and loss of life.
  • “The fire spread due to the neighboring vessels of similar fiberglass construction, an abundance of combustible lawn furniture on the vessel decks and open dock areas, and the presence of portable liquid propane cylinders used for barbecue grills, which all increased the dock’s fire load,” the report found.
  • Read more about the report HERE.


5. Hubbard asks judge to trim prison sentence

  • Lawyers for former House Speaker Mike Hubbard are asking a judge to reduce his four-year prison sentence for his conviction on ethics charges since appellate courts overturned half of the counts.
  • Hubbard was sentenced to a four-year concurrent sentence, meaning his prison time was not automatically reduced when appellate courts overturned six of the 12 counts in his 2016 ethics conviction. In a motion filed Friday, his attorneys argued that he should get a new sentence because “Hubbard now stands convicted on but half the counts for which he was originally sentenced by this Court.”
  • Lawyers asked the judge to consider, “the punishment that Hubbard has already suffered.”
  • Read more HERE.


Week in Good News

Whitney Griswold Califf: a strong supporter of work geared toward helping Montgomery
  • When Zaria Fann needed help talking to a teacher about her grades, she asked Whitney Griswold Califf for advice.
  • When Cubie Ray Hayes needed another refrigerator for the Lanier food pantry, Griswold Califf called her parents about an extra one they had.
  • And when Kevin King heard about a grant opportunity, he knew Griswold Califf could help with the application.
  • Griswold Califf, a Millbrook native who now lives in Montgomery, is known as the person who works behind the scenes to connect people with resources and opportunities. Her professional work for River Region nonprofits has exposed her to organizations throughout the area and her compassion for bettering others’ lives has fueled her to support their missions.
  • Read more about Whitney Griswold Califf’s selfless work from the Montgomery Advertiser’s Krista Johnson.



ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump promises to replace Ginsburg with a woman – and soon
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Tropical Storm Beta churns slowly toward Texas, Louisiana
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – NTSB: ‘limited fire safety practices’ worsened marina fire
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Former House speaker asks judge to trim prison sentence
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – August unemployment drops to 5.6%
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – ‘Forrest Gump’ author Winston Groom dead at 77
AL.COM – No spike in cases in Alabama so far since Labor Day: Week in review.
AL.COM – For Lucy Buffett, post-storm cheeseburger giveaway is about community.
AL.COM – Shelby backs swift Supreme Court action, Jones decries ‘power play’.
AL.COM – Trump’s list of possible Supreme Court nominees includes a former Alabama attorney general.
AL.COM – First estimate of Sally cleanup costs for Mobile County: $19 million.
AL.COM – Columnist Frances Coleman: Longing for the days when radio was really useful in a hurricane.
AL.COM – Columnist Amanda Walker: A crazy little thing called love.
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Mo Brooks calls on state government leaders to close Confucius Institutes at public universities.
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – University of Alabama researcher secures funding for tech-focused projects to support dementia patients, caregivers.
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Doug Jones has previously vowed to oppose Trump’s Supreme Court nominee — ‘I’ll do everything I can’.
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – ¡HICA! and Fiesta serve Alabama Latino community, offering free COVID testing, authentic cultural experience.
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Alabama’s flags flying at half-staff in honor of late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Doug Jones, Tommy Tuberville react to passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
DECATUR DAILY – Serving Up Hope: Meet Lynette Burton Brown, a soul food cook, radio host and founder of Kidz Table.
DECATUR DAILY – The Decatur Daily: Costs of climate inaction mounting.
GADSDEN TIMES – Gadsden hospitals seeing fewer COVID-19 inpatients now; looking ahead they have concerns.
ANNISTON STAR – Columnist Phillip Tutor: Sandra Sudduth’s quest for justice for all in Jacksonville.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Episcopal clergy: ‘Our hearts break’ for Jewish people attacked during zoom prayer service.
OPELIKA AUBURN NEWS – The Opelika Auburn News: We may be good on the grid iron, but with census, we’re dead last.
DOTHAN EAGLE – Local census official: ‘It’s not too late’ to respond.
DOTHAN EAGLE – The Dothan Eagle: After a week in jail, former House Speaker Hubbard seeks reduced sentence.
WASHINGTON POST – Trump says he will move ‘without delay’ to fill Ginsburg’s Supreme Court seat.
WASHINGTON POST – Ginsburg’s death crystallizes the choice in November as no other issue can.
WASHINGTON POST – How Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death could jeopardize the Affordable Care Act
WASHINGTON POST – The Washington Post: Ruth Bader Ginsburg spent her life fighting double standards. Republicans should not embrace one to replace her.
WASHINGTON POST – Nearly 200,000 deaths, millions of ripples. Each covid-19 fatality shifts attitudes about the virus.
WASHINGTON POST – Weary Gulf Coast mayors say hurricane season has changed for the worse, which many attribute to climate shifts.
WASHINGTON POST – Who is Amy Coney Barrett, the judge at the top of Trump’s list to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg?
NEW YORK TIMES – Joe Biden’s Court Vacancy Plan: More Talk of Health Care and the Pandemic
NEW YORK TIMES – Ginsburg’s Death Further Polarizes Voters Just Weeks Before Election
NEW YORK TIMES – The New York Times: Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Legacy
NEW YORK TIMES – In ‘Power Grab,’ Health Secretary Azar Asserts Authority Over F.D.A.
NEW YORK TIMES – Republicans Killed the Obamacare Mandate. New Data Shows It Didn’t Really Matter.
CNBC – The pandemic is driving millions of America’s ‘working poor’ to the edge.

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