Daily News Digest – March 6, 2020

Daily News Digest – March 6, 2020
Good morning and Happy Friday!
Here’s your Daily News for March 6.



1. Woods executed

  • A man convicted as an accomplice in the 2004 killings of three police officers in Alabama who were shot by another man was executed Thursday evening.
  • Inmate Nathaniel Woods, 43, was pronounced dead at 9:01 p.m. CST Thursday following a lethal injection at the state prison in Atmore, authorities said. The inmate had no last words before the chemicals began flowing, but appeared to arrange his hands in a sign of his Islamic faith.
  • Alabama’s first execution of the year came after a last minute bid to stop it that included support from the son of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., and others who argued it was unfair to execute a man who didn’t pull the trigger in the slayings.
  • The state of Alabama said that Woods was an active participant with the slayings and had bragged about it afterward in statements, song lyrics and art.
  • The U.S. Supreme Court issued a temporary stay to consider last-minute appeals and then denied the inmate’s petitions. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey denied a request for clemency.
  • Read the full story from Kim Chandler HERE.


2. Senate passes 5G bill

  • A bill that would set a state-wide standard for deploying 5G cellular infrastructure, including how much money cities can charge providers for access to existing utility structures, passed the Senate Thursday.
  • The Alabama League of Municipalities had opposed the bill over concerns that cities would lose the ability to oversee their right-of-way resources.
  • However, the group dropped its opposition after the Senate adopted amendments aiming to provide more local control for 5G infrastructure and ensure that any existing contracts with wireless companies would remain intact.
  • 5G, which stands for “fifth generation,” is the latest in wireless technology that allows high-speed internet access over cellular networks to ensure quality of service in high-capacity areas. Those networks require “small cell” receivers and antennas to take the signal transmitted from cell phone towers and disperse it locally. Providers want to place those cells, described as the size of two stacked rolls of paper towels, on utility and light poles and other public-owned property.
  • Senate Bill 172 from Sen. Arthur Orr passed the Senate by a vote of 30-0. It now goes to the House.
  • Read more HERE.



3. WHO: ‘This is not a drill’

  • The global march of the corona virus triggered a vigorous appeal from the World Health Organization for governments to pull out “all the stops” to slow the epidemic.
  • As China appeared to finally be winning its epic, costly battle against the coronavirus, the fight was revving up in newly affected areas of the globe, unleashing disruptions that profoundly impacted billions of people.
  • The virus has infected 98,000 people and killed over 3,300.
  • “This is not a drill. This is not the time for giving up. This is not a time for excuses. This is a time for pulling out all the stops,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in Geneva. “Countries have been planning for scenarios like this for decades. Now is the time to act on those plans.”
  • Closer to home, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control is trying to catch up to the rising demand for test kits in states.
  • Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told reporters Thursday that a private manufacturer authorized to make the tests expects to ship the kits to U.S. laboratories by week’s end. That amounts to the capacity to test roughly 400,000 people, given that it takes multiple test samples to a confirm a result.
  • The number of U.S. cases has grown rapidly in the last several days after more labs started testing and guidelines for eligibility were expanded. The U.S. tally stood at about 200 cases on Thursday, including 12 deaths — 11 in Washington state and one in California.
  • President Donald Trump today is expected to sign legislation providing $8.3 billion for public health agencies to aid their work on tests, vaccines and potential treatments.
  • “In situations like this, I believe no expense should be spared to protect the American people, and in crafting this package none was,” said Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala. “It’s an aggressive plan, a vigorous plan that has received an overwhelming positive reaction.”
  • Read more HERE.



4. With Warren out, it’s a two man race

  • Elizabeth Warren ended her once-promising presidential campaign on Thursday after failing to finish higher than third place in any of the 18 states that have voted so far. While the Massachusetts senator said she was proud of her bid, she was also candid in expressing disappointment that a formerly diverse field is essentially now down to two men.
  • “All those little girls who are going to have to wait four more years,” Warren told reporters outside her home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as her voice cracked. “That’s going to be hard.”
  • Known for having “a plan for that,” Warren electrified progressives for much of the past year by releasing reams of policy proposals that addressed such issues as maternal health care, college debt, criminal justice reform and the new coronavirus. She planned to pay for many of her ambitious proposals with a 2 cent tax on fortunes worth more than $50 million, an idea that prompted chants of “Two cents! Two cents!” at her rallies.
  • But that energy — and an impressive organization — didn’t translate into support once voters started making their decisions last month. She failed to capture any of the 14 states that voted on Super Tuesday and finished an embarrassing third in Massachusetts.
  • The Democratic contest now centers on Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is trying to rally progressives, and former Vice President Joe Biden, who is appealing to moderates. They are both white men in their late 70s, a fact that is prompting soul-searching for some Democrats who heralded the historic diversity that characterized the early days of the primary.
  • Full story HERE.


5. Will Whatley: Time to make Senate race about Alabama

  • ADN’s Will Whatley checks in this week with a column about the U.S. Senate race, both where it has been and where it is going.
  • During the GOP primary, we heard a lot of rhetoric about President Trump and who loves him the most, Will writes, but very little about the specific issues that impact Alabama.
  • Now that Sessions and Tuberville are in a runoff to claim the nomination, he’d like to see them focus more on the people and problems here at home.
  • Here’s an excerpt:
“This is about who can best serve us in the world’s most prestigious legislative body. It’s about who can do the most for our farmers, for our veterans, for our military bases, for our businesses, and for our citizens.
“Now I’m not here to suggest you vote for one candidate over another. Personally, I believe you should do your own research and find the candidate who you think will best represent you and your interests. No, this is a direct plea to the remaining candidates to make this race about Alabama and her citizens.
“For months, we’ve heard a handful of gentlemen talk a lot about Donald Trump. We’ve heard them talk about their support for some of his policies, but little about what they would do to improve the lives of everyday Alabamians. 
“And that’s a crying shame because we deserve someone who’ll fight for us and not just whomever occupies the White House.”
  • Read his full column HERE.






A message from the

Safe Surgery Coalition

Dangerous legislation has been re-introduced in the Alabama Legislature which would allow people who are not medical doctors or trained surgeons to perform surgery on or around your eyes.
Similar legislation was rejected in 2019 and we ask that Alabama lawmakers once again stand in the best interests of patient safety and quality of care.








ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama executes man convicted in killing of 3 officers
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – 5G infrastructure bill passes Senate
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Will Whatley: Time to make Senate race about Alabama
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump set to sign $8.3B bill to fight coronavirus outbreak
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – US labs await virus-testing kits promised by administration
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Warren ends presidential campaign, centering race on 2 men
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Supreme Court divided in 1st big abortion case of Trump era
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Lawmakers: Schools unfairly hurt by report cards’ treatment of non-English speakers
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama universities cancel international travel amid coronavirus concerns
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – March 5, 2020
AL.COM – Nathaniel Woods executed for 2004 slayings of 3 Birmingham police officers
AL.COM – Alabama lawmakers push for longer summer, shorter school year
AL.COM – Alabama Senate passes bill to block transgender treatments for minors
AL.COM – Will Sessions and Tuberville debate before Alabama Senate runoff?
AL.COM – Ivey’s group begins study of gambling revenue potential
AL.COM – Will Alabama see ‘multi-billion-dollar’ steel project?
AL.COM – Columnist John Archibald: I’ve been too silent on execution of Nathaniel Woods
AL.COM – Committee approves bill to repeal Alabama pistol permit requirement
AL.COM – Huntsville Hospital restricts patient visitation as coronavirus spreads.
AL.COM – Alabama gets high marks in economic development ranking.
AL.COM – Contributor Parker Snider: An Amendment 1 post-mortem on schools vote: Idealism trumps reality
Montgomery Advertiser – Nathaniel Woods executed as accomplice in 2004 police murders
Montgomery Advertiser – Plan for liquor store near Old Cloverdale dies after Montgomery Council vote
Montgomery Advertiser – O.J. Simpson, Kim Kardashian West latest celebrities speaking out for Nathaniel Woods
YellowHammer News – First-ever Alabama Business Technology Conference coming to Montgomery in April
YellowHammer News – Exclusive: Charlie Kirk speaks ahead of Birmingham book signing event on Thursday
YellowHammer News – Shelby praises congressional passage of coronavirus funding bill he negotiated
Tuscaloosa News – Event raises money for church’s food pantry
Tuscaloosa News – Lake Tuscaloosa cleanup is April 4
Tuscaloosa News – Ivey appoints TPD officer to massage therapy board
Decatur Daily – Lawmakers: Schools unfairly hurt by report cards’ treatment of non-English speakers
Decatur Daily – Council members raise concerns about chemicals in Flint Creek
Decatur Daily – Patterson asks Court of the Judiciary to halt proceedings until criminal case resolved
Times Daily – Lexington man gets 2 years in work release
Times Daily – Statewide 5G infrastructure bill passes first vote but cities still concerned
Times Daily – Shoals Ambulance to host mask testing and training for emergency personnel
Anniston Star – Randolph Park teacher remembered for dedication, love for children
Anniston Star – Woman charged with taking meth while pregnant
Anniston Star – Forecasters: Dry days ahead for Alabama after record rainfall
Gadsden Times – Alabama executes inmate convicted in killing of 3 officers
Gadsden Times – Woman faces child abuse charge after paddling a child
Gadsden Times – Southside man charged in chase
Dothan Eagle – Geneva sheriff: ‘I just believe it was an accidental shooting, but we will never know’
Dothan Eagle – Police search for 18-year-old shooting suspect; reward offered
Dothan Eagle – UPDATE: Dunkin’ to open third Dothan location Sunday; first 100 guests get free coffee for a year
Troy Messenger – Felony indictments issued
Troy Messenger – Troy students abroad feel safer staying overseas
Troy Messenger – Troy school board approves contract for interim superintendent
Andalusia Star News – Pre-K registration deadlines looming, drawings coming
Andalusia Star News – APD seeks assistance identifying thieves
Andalusia Star News – A decade in business
Opelika-Auburn News – Crash kills Auburn man
Opelika-Auburn News – A cool March night: Lauren Burk’s last day unraveled
Opelika-Auburn News – Watch: New Jersey troopers pull man to safety seconds before truck explodes
Daily Mountain Eagle – 3 arrested for kidnapping, robbery
Daily Mountain Eagle – Schools celebrate Read Across America
Daily Mountain Eagle – Chambers to seek funds after another high bid
Trussville Tribune – Trussville City Council unsure on how to move forward with school board position
Trussville Tribune – Trussville Rotary Daybreak Club names students, teachers of the month from HTHS and CCHS
Trussville Tribune – Foster Aid Ministry serving foster care families, workers in St. Clair County
Athens News Courier – Local cotton grower receives multiple awards for high Stoneville yields
Athens News Courier – Rain causing problems at county schools
Athens News Courier – Limestone officials surprised by Tuesday’s primary
Sand Mountain Reporter – ALDOT close to finalizing repair plan for US 231
Sand Mountain Reporter – Primary Election results for DeKalb, Etowah counties
Sand Mountain Reporter – Buckles cut loose | Former Geraldine Assistant Police Chief terminated for viral Facebook comments
WSFA Montgomery – Woman saved from human trafficking inside Huntsville International Airport
WSFA Montgomery – Suspects in Enterprise officer-involved shooting identified
WSFA Montgomery – Governor’s gambling study group holds first meeting
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Jefferson County leaders meet to discuss coronavirus preparations
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Those opposing new Open Records bill explain why
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Lawmakers: Schools unfairly hurt by report cards’ treatment of non-English speakers
WAFF Huntsville – Council members claim city administration is hiding PFAS testing results from the public
WAFF Huntsville – Governor’s gambling study group holds first meeting
WAFF Huntsville – Coronavirus confirmed in Tennessee, Georgia
WKRG Mobile – Community, fellow officers pay respects to PPD Officer Stephen Grogan
WKRG Mobile – Pensacola Bay Fishing Bridge to close for 45 days
WKRG Mobile – Fire rescue responds to house fire on W. Mallory Street in Pensacola
WTVY Dothan – Lawmaker wants to keep body cam video away from public
WTVY Dothan – Officer injured, suspect in custody after police pursuit
WTVY Dothan – Supreme Court stays Nathaniel Woods’ execution
WASHINGTON POST – Coronavirus fears reverberate as Iranian diplomat dies; U.S. officials widen states of emergency
WASHINGTON POST – The Trump administration’s greatest obstacle to sending a clear message on coronavirus may be Trump himself
NEW YORK TIMES – 2 Jurors Voted to Spare Nathaniel Woods’s Life. Alabama Executed Him.
NEW YORK TIMES – U.S. States Declare Emergencies as Global Outbreak Nears 100,000 Cases

Front Pages (images link to newspaper websites, which you should visit and patronize)