Daily News Digest – June 21, 2021

Daily News Digest – June 21, 2021

Good morning!

Here’s your Daily News for Monday, June 21.

1. Investigators seek answers in ‘horrific’ crash

  • State law enforcement continues to investigate a multi-vehicle wreck Saturday on I-65 in Butler County that killed 10, most of them children.
  • The initial cause of the wreck has been attributed to rain and wet conditions from Tropical Depression Claudette.
  • The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency on Saturday evening asked for the public’s help gathering information on the wreck. Anyone with photos or videos from the scene is asked to submit them to media.relations@alea.gov or share via social media @aleaprotects.
  • The wreck involved 17 vehicles, including a van containing children ages 4 to 17, belonging to the Tallapoosa County Girls Ranch, a youth home operated by the Alabama Sheriffs Association. Michael Smith, the youth ranches CEO, said the van was heading back to the ranch near Camp Hill, northeast of Montgomery, after a week at the beach in Gulf Shores. It caught fire after the wreck and Candice Gulley, the ranch director, was the van’s only survivor — pulled from the flames by a bystander.
  • Cody Fox, 29, of New Hope, Tenn., and his 9-month-old daughter were pronounced deceased at the scene.
  • Fatalities also include a 3-year-old, 8-year-old, 12-year-old,14-year-old, 15-year-old, two 16-year-olds and a 17-year-old. All of the juveniles were from Alabama and were pronounced deceased at the scene, ALEA said.
  • Read more from Mary Sell HERE.



2. Biden and Congress return for summer grind

  • Until recently, the act of governing seemed to happen at the speed of presidential tweets. But now President Joe Biden is settling in for what appears will be a long, summer slog of legislating.
  • Congress is hunkered down, the House and Senate grinding through a monthslong stretch, lawmakers trying to draft Biden’s agenda into bills that could actually be signed into law.
  • Infrastructure. An election overhaul. Expanding Medicare. Perhaps not since the drafting of the Affordable Care Act more than a decade ago has Washington tried a legislative lift as heavy.
  • It’s going to take a while. And don’t forget that Appropriations season is still ongoing with a government to fund and a debt ceiling to deal with by Sept. 30.
  • Read more from Lisa Mascaro HERE.


3. Inflation: the policy and the politics

  • Two months of sharply rising prices have raised concerns that record-high government financial aid and the Federal Reserve’s ultra-low interest rate policies — when the economy is already surging — have elevated the risk of accelerating inflation.
  • In May, consumer prices rose 5% from a year earlier, the largest such year-over-year jump since 2008.
  • Many economists see the recent spike as temporary. Others say they worry that higher consumer prices will persist. Jason Furman, a Harvard professor who was President Barack Obama’s top economic adviser, thinks the reality is more complicated. He does, however, lean toward the higher-inflation-will-persist camp.
  • Read a more detailed conversation with Furman about the causes and consequences of inflation and HERE.
  • Meanwhile, Republicans are increasingly seeing the economic squeeze inflation brings as a way to connect policies made in Washington with the experiences of voters whose pocketbooks may be feeling the strain.
  • Gas prices have whizzed past $3 per gallon in much of the nation. The cost of used cars and new furniture, airline tickets, department store blouses, ground beef and a Chipotle burrito are on the rise, too.
  • With the GOP only needing a handful of seats to control the House and Senate, they are seeing the issue as a path to retake power in Washington.
  • Read more HERE.



4. ‘Obamacare’ survives again: Supreme Court dismisses big challenge

  • The Supreme Court, though increasingly conservative in makeup, rejected the latest major Republican-led effort to kill the national health care law known as “Obamacare” last week.
  • The justices, by a 7-2 vote, left the entire Affordable Care Act intact in ruling that Texas, other GOP-led states and two individuals had no right to bring their lawsuit in federal court. The Biden administration says 31 million people have health insurance because of the law, which also survived two earlier challenges in the Supreme Court.
  • The law’s major provisions include protections for people with existing health conditions, a range of no-cost preventive services, expansion of the Medicaid program that insures lower-income people and access to health insurance markets offering subsidized plans.
  • Also left in place is the law’s now-toothless requirement that people have health insurance or pay a penalty. Congress rendered that provision irrelevant in 2017 when it reduced the penalty to zero.
  • The elimination of the penalty had become the hook that Texas, Alabama and other GOP-led states, as well as the Trump administration, used to attack the entire law. They argued that without the mandate, a pillar of the law when it was passed, the rest of the law should fall, too.
  • Trump’s appointees — Justices Amy Coney Barrett, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh — split their votes. Kavanaugh and Barrett joined the majority. Gorsuch was in dissent, signing on to an opinion from Justice Samuel Alito.
  • Justice Stephen Breyer wrote for the court that the states and people who filed a federal lawsuit “have failed to show that they have standing to attack as unconstitutional the Act’s minimum essential coverage provision.”
  • Read more HERE.


5. Sheriff: Lee County man shot, killed after pointing gun at police

  • An armed 20-year-old man was fatally shot early Saturday during a standoff with sheriff’s deputies and Alabama state troopers, authorities said.
  • Alabama Law Enforcement Agency troopers identified the slain man as Jeff Melvin of Salem, an unincorporated community that’s part of the Auburn metropolitan area.
  • Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones said deputies received a 911 call just after 1 a.m. from a motorist who reported that there was a man with a gun near the road. When deputies arrived, they found Melvin armed with a shotgun, news outlets reported.
  • Deputies told Melvin several times to drop the weapon, but he refused, according to Jones. He continued to hold the weapon and “racked the action on the weapon to chamber a round,” Jones said.
  • Read more HERE.




ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Investigators seek public’s help on deadly 1-65 crash


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Biden and Congress return for summer grind


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Inflation ahead? A top economist says it’s complicated


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Republicans point to inflation in bid to retake Congress


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Sheriff: Lee County man shot, killed after pointing gun at deputies


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – ‘Obamacare’ survives again: Supreme Court dismisses big challenge


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


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Weekend Digest – June 20, 2021


AL.COM – Tuscaloosa urging conservation measures following water leak amid flooding


AL.COM – Are there 2 new stimulus checks coming soon?


AL.COM – Columnist John Archibald: I’m back, like a rash


AL.COM – ‘Finding Your Roots:’ Roy Wood Jr. hopes painful look at the past will pay off in his son’s future


AL.COM – 9 children, 1 adult killed in Alabama crash: ‘The most horrific accident in Butler County history’


Montgomery Advertiser – Nine children among 10 killed in ‘horrific’ crash in Butler County; NTSB investigating


Montgomery Advertiser – Photos: Tropical Storm Claudette moves through Southern U.S.


Montgomery Advertiser – Tropical Storm Claudette falls to depression, heavy rains and flash floods threaten Alabama


Decatur Daily – Decatur police issue capital murder warrant after morning shooting


Decatur Daily – UPDATE: Hartselle man dead in early morning shooting, Huntsville woman charged


Decatur Daily – Child killed by vehicle in Southwest Decatur, investigation ongoing


Times Daily – Chemical castration law has never been used


Times Daily – COVID-19 cases, vaccinations continue to decline


Times Daily – Tuition covers 67% of higher ed revenue


Anniston Star – Anniston City Council adds Juneteenth to its official holidays


Anniston Star – Bond revoked for man charged with attempted murder in Calhoun County


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – New push to start conversations about COVID-19 vaccine in barbershops and beauty salons


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Juneteenth Celebration makes way for conversation about ongoing initiatives


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – 9 juveniles, 1 adult killed in Saturday’s ‘horrific’ I-65 crash in Butler County


Tuscaloosa News – Nine children among 10 killed in ‘horrific’ crash in Butler County; NTSB investigating


Tuscaloosa News – PHOTOS: Clean up from flash flooding at Willowbrook Trailer Park in Northport


Tuscaloosa News – Photos: Tropical Storm Claudette moves through Southern U.S.


YellowHammer News – Milestone: AIDT celebrates 50 years of shaping Alabama’s workforce


YellowHammer News – Birmingham leaders launch new Prosper collaborative


YellowHammer News – Secretary of State hopeful State Rep. Allen says John Merrill-era home-visit voter ID policy to remain in place if elected


Gadsden Times – Nine children among 10 killed in ‘horrific’ crash in Butler County; NTSB investigating


Gadsden Times – Photos: Tropical Storm Claudette moves through Southern U.S.


Gadsden Times – Tropical Storm Claudette falls to depression, heavy rains and flash floods threaten Alabama


Dothan Eagle – Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven loses no-confidence vote


Dothan Eagle – EU to slap new sanctions on Belarus, target its economy


Dothan Eagle – Couric book tour this fall will be in-person, in theaters


Opelika-Auburn News – Inflation ahead? Even a top economist says it’s complicated


Opelika-Auburn News – Japanese organizers set limit of 50% of capacity up to a maximum of 10,000 fans for all Tokyo Olympic venues


Opelika-Auburn News – Miami sergeant fires at suspect in Home Depot parking lot


WSFA Montgomery – Tallapoosa County Girls Ranch mourns 8 juveniles in I-65 wreck


WSFA Montgomery – 9 juveniles, 1 adult killed in Saturday’s ‘horrific’ I-65 crash in Butler County


WSFA Montgomery – Embryo frozen for over 5 years becomes Auburn couple’s bundle of joy


WAFF Huntsville – 9 juveniles, 1 adult killed in Saturday’s ‘horrific’ I-65 crash in Butler County


WAFF Huntsville – Tuscaloosa mayor signs executive order after flooding threatens water supply


WAFF Huntsville – Man and child confirmed dead after storm in Tuscaloosa County


WKRG Mobile – ALEA: 10 dead, including nine children, in I-65 crash near Greenville; youngest victim 9 months old


WKRG Mobile – East Brewton tornado confirmed EF-2 with peak winds of 127 mph


WKRG Mobile – 8 kids in youth van among the 12 lives lost to Claudette


WTVY Dothan – Man and child confirmed dead after storm in Tuscaloosa County


WTVY Dothan – Four hour standoff in Okaloosa County leads to Crestview mans arrest


WTVY Dothan – Shooting outside Newton night club under investigation


WASHINGTON POST – The economy isn’t going back to February 2020. Fundamental shifts have occurred.


WASHINGTON POST – Joe Manchin, at the apex of his power, finds few allies in his quest for bipartisanship


WASHINGTON POST – Republicans, spurred by an unlikely figure, see political promise in targeting critical race theory


NEW YORK TIMES – New York City is beginning to rebound from the economic devastation of the pandemic.


NEW YORK TIMES – Scorching Hot in Phoenix: What it’s Like to Work in 115 Degrees  


NEW YORK TIMES – Liz Cheney’s Unlikely Journey From G.O.P. Royalty to Republican Outcast


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Stock Futures Point to Rebound in Dow


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Turbocharged U.S. Economy Attracts Foreign Investors


WALL STREET JOURNAL – American Airlines Cuts Some Flights to Avoid Potential Strains



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