Daily News Digest – November 20, 2020

Daily News Digest – November 20, 2020

Presented by

the Boeing Company

Good morning and Happy Friday!

We haven’t had a GIF day in a while. Feels like it’s time.

Here’s your Daily News for November 20.

1. $298M in premium revenues to fund 20 state projects

  • Nearly $300 million in construction projects around the state will be funded through premium revenues from the state’s recent $1.25 billion bond sales, Gov. Kay Ivey announced Thursday.
  • The money will be dedicated to 20 projects.
  • The $1.25 billion bond issuance was approved last month by the Alabama Public School and College Authority. However, thanks to the interest rate secured by the Ivey and the Department of Finance, the state will now see an extra $298 million that will go toward additional projects.
  • “I’m grateful to the Alabama Legislature for the enabling legislation which established the (Public School and College Authority) and the astute work of State Finance Director Kelly Butler for positioning the bond sale in the best way possible,” Ivey said.
  • Unlike the $1.25 billion that is flowing to school systems and colleges and universities, this $298 million was earmarked for specific construction projects, related to education and workforce development.
  • Read more and see the full list of projects from ADN’s Mary Sell HERE.



2. Unemployment rate falls

  • Alabama’s unemployment rate decreased in October, but state joblessness is still impacted by the coronavirus.
  • The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in October was 5.8%, down from 6.7% in September, the Alabama Department of Labor said this morning. Alabama’s unemployment rate was 2.7% in October 2019.
  • October’s rate represents 130,329 unemployed persons, compared to 153,338 in September and 61,210 in October 2019.
  • “We’re glad to see nearly a drop of almost an entire percentage point in our unemployment rate this month,” Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington said in a written statement. “We will continue to see fluctuations in these economic indicators as pandemic concerns remain, but this month showed growth in both the number of jobs we are supporting and the number of people who are working.”
  • Full story from ADN’s Mary Sell HERE.






A message from

the Boeing Company

  • NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) is going to be the product of Alabama, including Boeing employees working each day in the Huntsville facility.
  • SLS can reach 17,000mph in just 8.5 minutes.
  • For 60 years, Boeing employees in Alabama have played a vital role in advancing aerospace technology and will be crucial in sending the next American astronauts to the Moon, Mars, and Deep Space.
Boeing is Alabama’s largest aerospace company and has been employing Alabamians for more than five decades. During that time, Boeing employees in Alabama have been part of every major milestone in America’s space program.

3. New polling on legislative session

  • It’s day two of our three-day roll out of new polling on state issues.
  • In today’s results: the survey from Cygnal shows Alabama voters strongly favor a special legislative session to take action on unfinished business but are also open to the use of technology, remote voting and other measures to conduct business safely.
  • In May, the Alabama Legislature adjourned its Regular Session that was severely curtailed by the coronavirus. After only meeting sparingly for two months, the House and Senate returned to a socially-distanced State House to pass only essential legislation, including the two state budgets and the distribution plan for the $1.7 billion the state received from the federal CARES Act.
  • However, several other bills that could have been considered essential were left at the wayside, including those for economic development, limiting coronavirus related lawsuits, and preventing Alabamians from being taxed for any coronavirus relief funding they receive.
  • We wanted to test whether or not Alabamians would support a special session, what legislative issues are important to them and how open they are to proxy voting and other alternative meeting plans, especially for at-risk lawmakers.
  • The results are interesting!
  • ADN Insiders can read the full story HERE.
  • Not an ADN Insider? It’s our premium paid subscription that allows members access to the latest scoops, rumors and rumblings and the ever popular Inside Alabama Politics postings.
  • New subscribers get a complimentary mug! (I think I’m going to have to get a new batch of mugs, btw)
  • Check out rates HERE.

4. Will Whatley: Compromise ain’t a dirty word

  • Will Whatley put pen to paper this week to hash out what he sees happening in Washington with the slow-but-steady march to a new government in January.
  • While the likelihood of a sharply divided government could lead to more gridlock, it doesn’t have to be that way, he writes.
  • Cooperation and compromise on things that matter might be just what the country needs.
  • Here’s an excerpt:
“What was once considered a virtue in compromise has now all but vanished. Our political polarization could very well doom us. There are bills before Congress that would provide much-needed relief for an economy ravaged by the pandemic; however, the two sides have become so diametrically opposed to each other that it’s hard to see them working together. Add in the Georgia runoff elections, which will decide which party will control the Senate, and you’re looking at a couple more months of people and businesses struggling to stay afloat.
“Look, it’s easy to take your ball and go home when things don’t go how you want them to. It’s just as easy to celebrate and gloat when things break your way. But when you are members of the greatest legislative body in the world, there are certain expectations of putting in work and making things better for the rest of us.” 
  • Read Will’s full column HERE.

5. Football this weekend?!

  • It has been 20 days since either Auburn or Alabama played football. Each had a scheduled off week, then another forced by outbreaks of COVID-19.
  • To put it in perspective, the teams haven’t played since Halloween and we are less than a week until Thanksgiving.
  • Auburn hosts Tennessee Saturday on ESPN at 6:00.
  • The Tigers hope to build on a 48-11 thrashing of LSU in their last game three weeks ago and win a third straight. Read more HERE.
  • Alabama hosts Kentucky on the SEC Network at 3:00.
  • The top-ranked Tide had been rolling along on both offense and defense and was coming off a 41-0 win over Mississippi State. Meanwhile, the Wildcats are still grieving the death of offensive line coach John Schlarman, who died of cancer two days before the Vanderbilt game. Read more HERE.
  • By the way, as weird as it is to think about, we are one week out from the Iron Bowl.



News Briefs


Jury sees texts between online model, husband tried in death

  • COLUMBIANA, Ala. (AP) — Jurors in the trial of a man charged with the murder of his wife, an online adult model who lived a double life as a stay-at-home mom, reviewed text messages Thursday that showed discord in their marriage in the days before she died.
  • Eight days before she was found dead outside their suburban home on Jan. 12, 2018, Kathleen Dawn West texted husband William Jeffrey West: “I know you’re scared to tell me you don’t want to be with me, but it’s only hurting me more by lying,” al.com reported.
  • Text messages shown to the Shelby County jury showed she also wrote: “If you don’t want me say it.” The man replied: “Baby, I want you. Do you want me? We really never talked after NYE.”
  • Jurors were allowed to see the messages based on a decision by Circuit Judge Bill Bostick. The woman told West he was “throwing away 14 years of marriage.” But she also sent him nude photos of herself and said in one message: “Thank you for making me feel sexy.”
  • Read more HERE.

Morgan County man arrested in 1995 slaying after calling police

  • BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — The days without an arrest turned into months and then years after someone killed Christopher Alvin Dailey in 1995. While never closed, the case went cold without new evidence.
  • Then the phone rang at the Decatur Police Department. Johnny Dwight Whited called investigators saying he wanted to confess to the slaying, authorities said Thursday.
  • Whited, 53, of Trinity, was charged with murder after providing details that matched evidence and information collected after Dailey’s death, police said in a statement.
  • Court records don’t include a defense attorney who could speak on behalf of Whited on the murder charge, but he already was awaiting trial on a methamphetamine charge with his trial scheduled for May. Whited’s lawyer in the drug case, Griff Belser, said he was unaware of the arrest in the slaying until after it was announced by police.
  • “He has not mentioned anything about this other matter to me,” Belser said.
  • Full story from Jay Reeves HERE.

A message from

the Business Council of Alabama

  • The Business Council of Alabama has launched Keep Alabama Open, working to unite hardworking Alabamians in the earnest pursuit of protecting jobs and safeguarding self governance.
  • Businesses, while following state health orders to keep customers and themselves safe, should be able to continue to earn a living and support their families.





ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – $298M in premium revenues to fund 20 state projects


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama’s unemployment rate fell almost a full point to 5.8% in October


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Poll: Voters favor legislative action on unfinished business (ADN Insider subscription)


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Will Whatley: ‘Compromise’ and ‘cooperation’ ain’t dirty words


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – No. 1 Alabama returns to the field against grieving Kentucky


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – No. 23 Auburn hosts Tennessee in Gus Malzahn’s 100th game


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Jury sees texts between online model, husband tried in death


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Morgan County man arrested in 1995 slaying after calling police


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Hospital official: Coronavirus out of control in Alabama


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ivey, lawmakers send additional $200M in CARES funds to small businesses, non-profits


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – New poll shows voters approve of state’s pandemic response (ADN Insider subscription)


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – November 19, 2020


AL.COM – Alabama gets $2.17 for every $1 paid in federal taxes, report states


AL.COM – Huntsville is a finalist again for U.S. Space Command headquarters


AL.COM – Alabama’s COVID tracing app joins nationwide network


AL.COM – Toyota Motor Manufacturing in Huntsville announces new president


AL.COM – South Alabama capital campaign raises $160.9 million, exceeds goal by $10 million-plus


AL.COM – Columnist Kyle Whitmire: Alabama is open for COVID


AL.COM – Robert Aderholt continues quarantine after COVID-19 exposure


AL.COM – Gov. Kay Ivey among those meeting with president-elect Joe Biden, VP-elect Kamala Harris


AL.COM – Potential solution emerges for Alabama’s Black Belt sewage woes


AL.COM – Second stimulus check: GOP will move forward with stimulus once Trump exits, Biden says


AL.COM – Mardi Gras parades raise coronavirus worries for Mobile police


Montgomery Advertiser – Hayneville remembers Sheriff Big John Williams one year after his death


Montgomery Advertiser – Discovery of man’s body leads Montgomery police to launch 2020’s 57th homicide investigation


Montgomery Advertiser – Two years in the making, Maxwell honored for its commitment to improving local schools


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Family of 19-month-old files wrongful death lawsuit against DHR and others


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – $298M in premium revenues to fund 20 state projects


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Online COVID-19 tool shows risk potential during gatherings like Thanksgiving


Tuscaloosa News – Woman wanted by police, accused of hindering prosecution in 2018 homicide case


Tuscaloosa News – Tinsel Trail returns to Tuscaloosa’s River Walk for eighth year


Decatur Daily – State sends additional $200 million in CARES funds to small businesses, non-profits


Decatur Daily – State to provide $43.5 million for Center for Arts dorm, Deaf and Blind Institute facility in Decatur


Decatur Daily – Decatur police arrest suspect in 1995 cold case slaying of Huntsville man


Times Daily – UNA receives $15M, Lauderdale Schools $8M


Times Daily – 3 local inmates have parole denied


Times Daily – Bond sale revenues to fund 20 projects


Anniston Star – Calhoun BOE talks finances at Thursday meeting


Anniston Star – Anniston schools may pay teachers before holiday


Anniston Star – Ivey, lawmakers send additional $200M in CARES funds to small businesses, non-profits


YellowHammer News – Huntsville still in contention for U.S. Space Command headquarters


YellowHammer News – New coronavirus cases in Alabama at highest point since July, hospitalizations increasing sharply


YellowHammer News – ‘Life-changing impact’: Ivey’s support enables ‘transformational’ UAB precision medicine project to proceed


Gadsden Times – Judge certifies Rainbow City Council race with Bedwell winning by 2 votes — but it’s not over yet


Gadsden Times – One Gadsden man stabbed in domestic incident, another injured in fight


Gadsden Times – Southside artist Milwee releases poetry collection book


Dothan Eagle – Teen being charged as adult after firing a gun that critically-injured woman


Dothan Eagle – ScreenTech, United Way team up for holiday collegiate shirts


Dothan Eagle – Dothan mom arrested for exposing kids to THC-infused sweets


Opelika-Auburn News – Asia Today: Australia’s Victoria hits 3 weeks without virus


Opelika-Auburn News – Ex-high school coach charged with having sex with student


Opelika-Auburn News – The Latest: Hong Kong to close more schools to fight virus


WSFA Montgomery – 2 Macon County schools move to remote learning due to COVID-19


WSFA Montgomery – COVID-19 pushes LifeSouth’s blood supply to the brink


WSFA Montgomery – Montgomery’s latest revenue report shows people are still shopping despite COVID-19


WAFF Huntsville – One man in critical condition after a shooting in Huntsville; Investigation underway


WAFF Huntsville – Florence City Council tightens restrictions in city council meetings due to COVID numbers increasing


WAFF Huntsville – Marshall County Sheriff’s Office employees test for COVID, cancel holiday programs


WKRG Mobile – MPD in search of woman wanted for identity theft, theft of property


WKRG Mobile – DA: Capital cases on hold in Mobile County due to COVID-19


WKRG Mobile – BIKER DAD: Ride this weekend honors airman killed in Northwest Florida training accident


WTVY Dothan – Investigation of death of Jackson Co. man attacked by animal is underway


WTVY Dothan – Jackson Co. man killed by pack of stray dogs


WTVY Dothan – This crime is terrifying and it has happened here


WASHINGTON POST – Trump uses power of presidency to try to overturn the election and stay in office


WASHINGTON POST – Trump’s escalating attacks put pressure on vote certification process


WASHINGTON POST – Rudy Giuliani’s post-election meltdown starts to become literal


NEW YORK TIMES – Trump Targets Michigan in His Ploy to Subvert the Election


NEW YORK TIMES – Biden Calls Trump’s Attack on Electoral Process ‘Totally Irresponsible’


NEW YORK TIMES – Mnuchin to End Key Fed Emergency Programs, Limiting Biden


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Mnuchin Declines to Extend Several Fed Emergency Lending Programs


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Job Market Growth Slows Across U.S. as Covid-19 Cases Surge


WALL STREET JOURNAL – With Covid-19 Pandemic Dragging On, Some Countries Say They Can’t Afford to Fight




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