Here’s your Daily News for Tuesday, October 12.
1. Marsh gauging ‘real interest’ in education for 2022
- Sen. Del Marsh, R-Anniston, was for ten years the most powerful member of the Alabama Senate and, arguably, the most influential lawmaker overall for much of that time.
- This past session, he gave up his role as Senate President Pro Tem saying he wanted to focus his last two years on issues he cared about rather than leading the chamber.
- One of those issues is education. More specifically, education reform.
- But after the 2021 session he’s not sure how many of his colleagues take the issue seriously.
- “I’m frustrated that there doesn’t seem to be a real interest in the education problems in the state,” Marsh told Alabama Daily News on Monday.
- In the 2021 regular session, Marsh filed the “Alabama Open Schools Act” to allow students from outside a system to enroll in its schools for a fee. It cleared the Senate Education Policy Committee but didn’t get a vote in the full chamber.
- “There just wasn’t time to educate people on what we’re trying to do,” Marsh said.
- He cites recent stats that put public school students’ achievement in reading and math near last in the nation.
- “You would think there would be a concern there, but I can’t find it,” Marsh said.
- Read more from Mary Sell HERE.
2. COVID-19 update: Hospitalizations way down statewide
- After an agonizing few months dealing with the delta variant, there are some real positive signs to report on the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Hospitalizations due to the virus are way down in recent days and weeks.
- As of Monday, the Alabama Department of Public Health reported 839 COVID-19 patients in Alabama hospitals. That’s down from 2,417 one month ago and from the delta peak of 2,890 on Sept. 1.
- The number of hospitalized patients has been one of the most important metrics to watch throughout the pandemic because it shows the severity of the spread and the strains on our health care infrastructure.
- State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris is continuing to urge Alabamians to get the COVID-19 vaccine, saying doing so now could help protect loved ones at family holiday gatherings.
- The vaccine is free, while treatment and hospitalization can cost thousands of dollars.
- Read more HERE.
3. Merck asks FDA to authorize promising anti-COVID pill
- Drugmaker Merck asked U.S. regulators Monday to authorize its pill for treating COVID-19 in what would add an entirely new and easy-to-use weapon to the world’s arsenal against the pandemic.
- If cleared by the Food and Drug Administration — a decision that could come in a matter of weeks — it would be the first pill shown to treat the illness. All other FDA-backed treatments against COVID-19 require an IV or injection.
- An antiviral pill that people could take at home to reduce their symptoms and speed recovery could prove groundbreaking, easing the crushing caseload on U.S. hospitals and helping to curb outbreaks in poorer countries with weak health care systems. It would also bolster the two-pronged approach to the pandemic: treatment, by way of medication, and prevention, primarily through vaccinations.
- The FDA will scrutinize company data on the safety and effectiveness of the drug, molnupiravir, before rendering a decision.
- Read more HERE.
4. Judge: Prison staffing levels will be issue on DOJ lawsuit
- A federal judge said prison staffing levels can remain an issue in the U.S. Department of Justice’s lawsuit against Alabama, but said federal officials must provide more details behind some of their allegations.
- U.S. District Judge David Proctor, in a mixed ruling for the state Friday, agreed with state lawyers that the Justice Department’s allegations of unsafe and unsanitary conditions were overly broad. But the judge refused Alabama’s request to dismiss staffing issues from the litigation.
- The U.S. Department of Justice last year sued Alabama saying state prisons violate the ban on cruel and unusual punishment because of high levels of inmate-on-inmate violence, excessive use of force by correctional staff, and unsafe and unsanitary conditions.
- The Friday ruling came after lawyers for Alabama sought to dismiss the claims related to “unsafe and unsanitary conditions and correctional staffing.”
- Read more from Kim Chandler HERE.
5. House returns for debt limit vote
- Members of the House are scrambling back to Washington on Tuesday to approve a short-term lift of the nation’s debt limit and ensure the federal government can continue fully paying its bills into December.
- The $480 billion increase in the country’s borrowing ceiling cleared the Senate last week on a party-line vote. The House is expected to approve it swiftly so President Joe Biden can sign it into law this week. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen had warned that steps to stave off a default on the country’s debts would be exhausted by Monday, and from that point, the department would soon be unable to fully meet the government’s financial obligations.
- But the relief provided by the bill’s passage will only be temporary, forcing Congress to revisit the issue in December — a time when lawmakers will also be laboring to complete federal spending bills and avoid a damaging government shutdown. The yearend backlog raises risks for both parties and threatens a tumultuous close to Biden’s first year in office.
- Read more HERE.
Inside Alabama Politics – October 7, 2021
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Marsh gauging ‘real interest’ in education for 2022
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – COVID-19 update: Hospitalizations way down statewide
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Merck asks FDA to authorize promising anti-COVID pill
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Judge: Prison staffing levels will be issue on DOJ lawsuit
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – House returns to stave off default with debt limit vote
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – $46B in COVID funds have flowed into Alabama
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Fall will test leaders’ ability to keep Congress on rails
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Delta variant and worker shortage keep a lid on job growth
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Analysis: Hiring slowdown menaces Biden despite upbeat talk
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – AP Top 25: Georgia is No. 1, Big Ten grabs half of top 10
AL.COM – Tribes ask University of Alabama to return artifacts from Moundville
AL.COM – Alabama getting new license plate design in 2022
AL.COM – Judge denies Alabama’s request to dismiss parts of DOJ lawsuit against prison system
AL.COM – Alabama school district warns of food shortages, asks for parent help after deliveries fail
AL.COM – Columnist Cameron Smith: Congress frets about the ceiling while America’s fiscal house burns
Montgomery Advertiser – Indigenous Peoples’ Day Celebration
Montgomery Advertiser – North Burbank Drive shooting kills 13-year-old; juvenile charged with manslaughter
Montgomery Advertiser – Police identify 36-year-old victim in shooting on Miller Street
Decatur Daily – Proposals begin process of building downtown parking deck
Decatur Daily – Decatur City Schools’ central office staff begins moving in at new headquarters
Decatur Daily – American Legion in Decatur organizing Field of Flags display
Times Daily – City seeking to strengthen fire inspection laws
Times Daily – Colbert Water Department to save $400K refinancing bonds
Times Daily – Election workers accused of shredding voter applications
Anniston Star – City releases regulations for certain debris pickup
Anniston Star – Boxing program helps Parkinson’s disease patients
Anniston Star – Older residents not the only to struggle with Parkinson’s
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Police search for armed robbery suspect in woods along I-65
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Hoover City Council to hold emergency meeting Tuesday to address flooding issues
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Effort to boost West Tuscaloosa literacy rate seeks financial help
Tuscaloosa News – Tuscaloosa’s holiday ice rink could make permanent move to Government Plaza
Tuscaloosa News – University of Alabama graduate lands job of starship captain on “Star Trek: Discovery”
Gadsden Times – Gadsden’s traditional step back into history, ‘A Walk Through Time,’ returns
Gadsden Times – Funeral service for slain 3-year-old set this week
Gadsden Times – Indie pop duo 50 Fifty to host Halloween concert Oct. 29
Dothan Eagle – Report says UK’s slow virus lockdown cost 1000s of lives
Dothan Eagle – House returns to stave off default with debt limit vote
Dothan Eagle – UK job vacancies hit record high amid worker shortages
Opelika-Auburn News – Millennial Money: Save for holidays now, skip regret later
Opelika-Auburn News – China pledges $230 million for biodiversity fund at UN meet
Opelika-Auburn News – Surging California winds spark new wildfires, power outages
WSFA Montgomery – Alabama opens online applications for hemp growth, processing
WSFA Montgomery – Faith and Blue Weekend ends with conversations about policing
WSFA Montgomery – Montgomery County man killed in Crenshaw County wreck
WAFF Huntsville – Family wants surveillance video after woman found dead in police van
WAFF Huntsville – Tennessee Valley farmers impacted by last week’s rain, flooding
WAFF Huntsville – Athens woman off ventilator after battling COVID-19
WKRG Mobile – Wilmer woman dies in crash on Snow Road
WKRG Mobile – Louisiana man dies in ATV crash in George County, Miss.
WKRG Mobile – The Vikings Begin: Travelling exhibit comes to History Museum of Mobile
WTVY Dothan – Rotary Club meeting was for the birds, literally!
WTVY Dothan – Man killed by deputies had drug, crime issues
WTVY Dothan – Holmes Co. fugitive arrested in Washington County
WASHINGTON POST – At least 85 percent of the world’s population has been affected by human-induced climate change, new study shows
WASHINGTON POST – Already, 18 weather disasters costing at least $1 billion each have hit the U.S. this year
WASHINGTON POST – Annapolis couple accused of selling nuclear secrets could face life in prison
NEW YORK TIMES – In China, Home Buyers Who Went All In Say They Want Out
NEW YORK TIMES – Raiders Coach Resigns After Homophobic and Misogynistic Emails
NEW YORK TIMES – Governor’s Race Puts Mask and Vaccines Mandates to a Political Test
WALL STREET JOURNAL – Return of Office Workers Reaches Pandemic High as Employees Trickle In
WALL STREET JOURNAL – Stock Futures Waver Amid Energy, Inflation Concerns
WALL STREET JOURNAL – Chinese Developer Fantasia Loses Two Board Members
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