Daily News Digest – September 16, 2021

Daily News Digest – September 16, 2021

Presented by the

Alabama League of Municipalities

 

Good morning!
Here’s your Daily News for Thursday, September 16.

 

1. Alabama has blocked more than $5 billion in unemployment fraud since start of pandemic

  • More than $5 billion of unemployment benefits has been blocked from being sent out in Alabama due to concerns of fraud during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Alabama Department of Labor.
  • That is an unprecedented amount and a problem seen all across the country, ADOL Secretary Fitzgerald Washington said.
  • ADOL communications director Tara Hutchison told ADN that the $5 billion accounts for the time from March 2020 to the present and is mostly coming from the new federal programs like the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance fund, or PUA, that was approved under the CARES Act.
  • According to ADOL’s unemployment benefits and claims paid dashboard, around $5.2 billion has been paid out to Alabamians from state and federal benefits since March 16, 2020.
  • Further fraud data provided to ADN from ADOL showed that approximately $1 billion in benefits has so far been identified as potential fraud, but not verified.
  • While the amount of potential fraud and blocked claims is very high for the state’s history, ADOL said they only had three convictions in calendar year 2020 for prosecutable fraud cases and two pre-trial diversions.
  • Read more from Caroline Beck HERE.

 

2. James stakes out culture issues in mulling another run for governor

  • Telling a reading audience full of political junkies that a two-time candidate for governor who is considering another run is having a press conference at the Capitol is like throwing out a bouquet of catnip at a vet clinic.
  • That was the case yesterday with our piece on Tim James and Lynda Blanchard potentially challenging Gov. Kay Ivey and thank you to all who subscribed to become ADN Insiders.
  • Though this wasn’t a campaign announcement (which ADN Insiders knew yesterday), it did not disappoint in generating news.
  • In his last run for governor in 2010, James picked seemingly obscure issues no one was talking about to create a contrast between himself and other candidates, namely the English language driver license thing.
  • This time, he’s doing something similar, attempting to bring cultural issues to the forefront of the campaign.
  • Staking out far-right political territory, the 59-year-old toll road developer on Wednesday called transgender acceptance, critical race theory and yoga in gym class part of a “beast with three heads” threatening children in public schools.
  • And while plenty has been and will be debated about the first two items, few appear to be up in arms about yoga.
  • He criticized newly passed Alabama legislation that allowed students to do yoga in schools. “They took prayer out of schools and then they put in this Trojan horse called yoga,” he said, noting its ties to Hinduism.
  • Ivey’s campaign zeroed in on his yoga comments when asked about James’ possible entry into the race.
  • “We appreciate his unwavering commitment to the important fight on yoga. As for Governor Ivey, she doesn’t do any yoga,” Ivey’s campaign joked in a statement.
  • Read the full story from Kim Chandler HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A message from the

Alabama League of Municipalities

  • During the 2021 Regular Session, League bill SB-119 revised Alabama’s municipal elections by moving nearly all elections in Alabama’s cities and towns off the presidential election cycle where they have resided on the calendar since 1984.
  • ALM appreciates the support of Alabama’s lawmakers, especially bill sponsors Sen. Jabo Waggoner (R-Vestavia Hills) and Rep. Jim Hill (R-Odenville) and Governor Ivey for signing the bill into law.
  • Cities and towns affected by the new law will hold their next elections in August 2025 and will hold elections every four years thereafter.
  • To learn more about the Alabama League of Municipalities, visit www.almonline.org.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Dubose challenges Drake in HD45

  • Even in this anti-establishment political environment, it’s difficult to challenge an incumbent. That’s why it rarely happens and why it’s news when it does.
  • Retired banker Susan Dubose is the latest to try it taking on State Rep. Dickie Drake, R-Leeds, in House District 45.
  • Drake is currently in his second full term. He was first elected in 2011 to fill the seat after his brother, former State Rep. Owen Drake passed away.
  • In her campaign announcement, Dubose listed red meat issues she’d be running on: election integrity, second amendment rights, limited government and education.
  • Drake told ADN that he had intended his next term to be his last.
  • Read more from Caroline Beck HERE.

 

 

4. Patrice ‘Penni’ McClammy plans to run for her late father’s House seat

  • Montgomery attorney Patrice “Penni” McClammy, daughter of former Alabama House Representative Thad McClammy, on Wednesday said she plans to seek her late father’s seat.
  • McClammy said she’ll formally announce her run for House District 76 on Friday at her law office.
  • McClammy said in a written statement that she would like to continue the work her father started in the State House and help her community. She already has the support of House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels, D-Huntsville.
  • Rep. Thad McClammy, D-Montgomery, died in August from natural causes. He was first elected to the House in 1994.
  • House District 76 consists of parts of south and central Montgomery. The special primary election will be held on Nov. 16, 2021.
  • Full story from Caroline Beck HERE.

 

5. House panel rejects drug pricing plan in setback to Biden

  • A House committee dealt an ominous if tentative blow Wednesday to President Joe Biden’s huge social and environment package, derailing a money-saving plan to let Medicare negotiate the price it pays for prescription drugs.
  • The House Energy and Commerce Committee vote to drop the proposal from its piece of Biden’s signature 10-year, $3.5 trillion spending plan was not necessarily fatal. The separate House Ways and Means Committee kept it alive by approving nearly identical drug-pricing language.
  • Even so, the provision’s rejection by one committee underscores the clout that moderates looking to curb new spending — or any small group of Democrats — have as Biden and party leaders try pushing the entire package through the narrowly divided Congress.
  • Facing unanimous Republican opposition, Democrats will be able to lose just three House votes and none in the 50-50 Senate to send the overall measure to Biden. That’s a precarious margin for what will be an enormous bill laced with numerous politically sensitive initiatives on spending and taxes.
  • Read more HERE.

 

 

Headlines

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – James stakes out ‘culture war’ issues in mulling another run for governor

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama has blocked more than $5 billion in unemployment fraud since start of pandemic

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – ‘Retain Alabama’ effort aims to sell students on homegrown opportunities

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Susan Dubose challenges Rep. Dickie Drake for HD45

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Patrice ‘Penni’ McClammy plans to run for her late father’s House seat

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – House panel rejects drug pricing plan in setback to Biden

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – States learning how many Afghan evacuees coming their way

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Majority of House GOP said to view new prison bill positively, Democrats still discussing

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – IAP Update: James, Blanchard jumping in race for governor?

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ivey accuses Facebook of targeting her account; company says it was an error

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Democrats try delicate tax maneuvers for $3.5 trillion bill

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Book: Top US officer said he would warn China of Trump strike

 

AL.COM – Alabama saw more deaths in 2020 than any year in history

 

AL.COM – 1 in 500 Americans have now died of COVID

 

AL.COM – Protest occurs at Auburn after three students report assault, rape within a week

 

AL.COM – Alabama AG Steve Marshall supports Florida law aimed at ‘censorship’ by ‘big tech’

 

AL.COM – Tim James teases run for Alabama governor, lashes out over critical race theory, transgenderism, yoga

 

AL.COM – Alabama’s oyster outlook good for 2021, but signs suggest a coming decline

 

AL.COM – Columnist Kyle Whitmire: Convicted Alabama House speaker apologizes — for his conviction

 

AL.COM – Columnist Roy Johnson: I once thought Gov. Ivey wanted Alabamians to vaccinate; now, I know better

 

Montgomery Advertiser – Penni McClammy only declared candidate for House District 76 seat held by her late father

 

Montgomery Advertiser – Apparent domestic-related shooting leaves man dead outside Vaughn Road restaurant

 

Montgomery Advertiser – Gov. Kay Ivey’s re-election page on Facebook temporarily goes down

 

Decatur Daily – Council to interview 3 next week for Environmental Services director

 

Decatur Daily – Police: Man in Decatur standoff shot at neighbor over dispute about dogs

 

Decatur Daily – 200 volunteers complete 28 projects on Day of Caring

 

Times Daily – Muscle Shoals employees get one-time $800 pay boost

 

Times Daily – National Preparedness Month encourages people to be ready for emergencies

 

Times Daily – Radio stations invite public to “Park and Pray”

 

Anniston Star – Oxford library site of 9/11 pictorial exhibit

 

Anniston Star – Oxford’s road construction still moving forward

 

WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Pfizer says it will submit data to FDA soon about vaccine for 5 – 11 year olds

 

WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Hwy 280 shutdown due to law enforcement incident

 

WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Man found guilty in death of Jeff Co. woman found in well

 

Tuscaloosa News – Tim James ponders another run for governor of Alabama

 

Tuscaloosa News – Stillman College will hold virtual classes through Sept. 26 as COVID-19 tests continue

 

Tuscaloosa News – Gov. Kay Ivey’s re-election page on Facebook temporarily goes down

 

YellowHammer News – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama providing coverage for monoclonal antibody treatment

 

YellowHammer News – State Sen. Chris Elliott named Alabama Forestry Association 2021 Legislator of the Year

 

YellowHammer News – Tuberville contends Biden administration, not military to blame for Afghanistan crisis — ‘will not get a knock on them because of this’

 

Gadsden Times – Love Center Homeless Shelter, Maraella Winery hosting cornhole tourney Oct. 16

 

Gadsden Times – What is a cottage food? Major revisions to law defines, adds rules for producers

 

Gadsden Times – SPAN at 40 years: How one program has helped students in Etowah County

 

Dothan Eagle – Nicholas crawls into Louisiana from Texas, dumping rain

 

Dothan Eagle – Rival Koreas test missiles hours apart, raising tensions

 

Dothan Eagle – Leader says Poland wants to be in EU, but remain sovereign

 

Opelika-Auburn News – Sidelined by rivals, Germany’s far-right AfD bides time

 

WSFA Montgomery – The high rain and thunderstorm chances are staying put

 

WSFA Montgomery – Alabama Shakespeare Festival raises curtain on 50th season, plans in-person performances

 

WSFA Montgomery – 16th Street Baptist Church remembers 4 little girls killed in bombing 58 years ago

 

WAFF Huntsville – Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations kick off

 

WAFF Huntsville – Facebook Data Center in Huntsville up and running

 

WAFF Huntsville – Deputies searching for missing Moulton man

 

WKRG Mobile – Hezbollah-organized fuel arrives in crisis-hit Lebanon

 

WKRG Mobile – Long weekend becomes 9 week lockdown for AP Vietnam reporter

 

WKRG Mobile – States learning how many Afghan evacuees coming their way

 

WTVY Dothan – 2022 Senate candidates battle in first forum since they announced candidacy

 

WTVY Dothan – Friends of the Library preparing for book sale fundraiser

 

WTVY Dothan – Momma Try’d to perform at Headland’s September Under the Oaks concert

 

WASHINGTON POST – With resounding California victory, Newsom takes control of his party in state

 

WASHINGTON POST – Well before the evacuation, a generation of Afghans escaped to Europe. Their experience has been dire.

 

WASHINGTON POST – Biden’s ‘incomprehensible’ travel ban on European visitors widens transatlantic rift

 

NEW YORK TIMES – Thousands of Afghans on American Military Bases Await Resettlement

 

NEW YORK TIMES – U.S. Booster Policy Is in Flux as Studies Add to Dissent

 

NEW YORK TIMES – Newsom Beat the Recall, Now Comes the Hard Part: Governing California

 

WALL STREET JOURNAL – A Former Mao Aide’s Diaries Spark a Custody Battle Over an Unofficial History of China

 

WALL STREET JOURNAL – China’s Economic Recovery Is Looking Gloomier

 

WALL STREET JOURNAL – China’s Biggest Movie Star Was Erased From the Internet, and the Mystery Is Why

 

 

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