Weekend summary – July 18, 2021

1. Bill Poole appointed state finance director

  • Gov. Kay Ivey has appointed State Representative Bill Poole as the state’s next chief financial officer, his office announced early Friday morning. (Although Todd is sort of announced the news the night before)
  • The appointment is effective August 1.
  • Last month, current CFO Kelly Butler announced her retirement due to medical complications that could be associated with ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
  • Poole has chaired the House Ways and Means Education Committee for the past six years, overseeing an education budget of more than $ 7 billion each year.
  • “Bill Poole is one of the most gifted public servants Alabama has seen in many years and his exceptional leadership qualities, as well as the respect he inspires on both sides of the aisle of the Legislative Assembly of Alabama, make him uniquely qualified to become Alabama’s next CFO. “Governor Ivey said in a press release.
  • Read more about Todd HERE.

2. Alabama promotes COVID-19 vaccination in TikTok contest

  • Alabama is turning to social media to encourage more people to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • The Alabama Department of Public Health has announced a TikTok contest to encourage young people to get vaccinated before school starts. The competition is open to young people aged 13 to 29.
  • To participate, applicants must submit a TikTok video showing themselves being vaccinated or include a creative message explaining, “This is why I got the vaccine”. All videos must tag @alcovidvaccine, #getvaccinatedAL, and #ADPH.
  • Winners will be determined based on creativity, originality and popularity measured by the number of likes and shares. Videos must be submitted by August 6.
  • Advertising professionals and department staff will select four winners who will each receive a $ 250 Visa gift card.
  • Learn more about the competition HERE.

3. Jurors Hear Dissenting Views on Alabama Sheriff on Trial

  • Prosecutors told jurors on Friday that a longtime Alabama sheriff had siphoned off campaign donations and inmate accounts to cover personal expenses, while a defense attorney argued that no money had been illegally taken and that there was an explanation for the transactions.
  • Lawyers gave conflicting portraits during opening statements in Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely’s bribery trial, media reported. Blakely faces 11 counts, including using his office for personal gain, stealing campaign funds and taking money from the sheriff’s office.
  • Blakely, 70, has pleaded not guilty. While a felony conviction would result in his automatic impeachment, he has continued to work as a sheriff since his indictment in 2019.
  • “Just because Mike Blakely is the sheriff doesn’t mean he’s above the law,” Kyle Beckman, assistant attorney general of Alabama, told jurors.
  • Learn more about the trial HERE.

4. Federal Court blocks future DACA claims

  • A Texas federal judge has declared illegal an Obama-era program that prevents the deportation of thousands of them brought to the United States as children.
  • U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen has ruled in favor of Texas, Alabama and seven other states that have filed a lawsuit to end the Deferred Action Program for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, which offers coverage limited to approximately 650,000 people.
  • The decision bars the government from approving any new applications, but leaves the program intact for existing beneficiaries.
  • The plaintiffs have promised to appeal the decision. Immigrants and advocates are urging Democrats and President Joe Biden to act quickly on the legislation following the ruling.
  • Calling the decision a “resounding siren” for Democrats, United We Dream executive director Greisa Martinez Rosas said they would be alone to blame if law reform did not take place.
  • “Until the President and Congressional Democrats grant citizenship, the lives of millions of people will be on the line,” Martinez Rosas said.
  • Read more HERE.

5. Medicaid expansion activists in Alabama court over graffiti

  • Community activists pleaded not guilty to felony charges on Friday for spray-painted messages on a street outside the Alabama Capitol urging the state to expand Medicaid.
  • The four activists of the SaveOurSelves justice and democracy movement were arrested last summer after painting “Expand Medicaid: and“ Black Lives Matter ”. The protest began with a mock funeral to remember those who died due to lack of medical care.
  • Two women in the group said they were strip searched at Montgomery Prison after being arrested, while the two men were not.
  • “All I’m guilty of is trying to save lives by expanding Medicaid so more people don’t die needlessly or lose their health. I want people to have the health care they need, ”Karen Jones, one of those arrested, said in a statement.
  • Faya Rose Toure, a civil rights lawyer, said she and Jones were strip searched in prison. Touré is married to former state senator Hank Sanders.
  • Learn more about the case HERE.


AL.COM – John Lewis honored in tributes in the year since his death, several located in Alabama.
AL.COM – The City of Huntsville is hiring a “music officer” with a salary of up to $ 89,211.
AL.COM – Mo Brooks makes Texas Dems who test positive for COVID laugh.
AL.COM – Colorado Springs Gazette editor-in-chief Tom Roeder: Will Congress spend $ 1.2 billion to move Space Command to Alabama?
AL.COM –Dale Strong takes a big fundraising lead in the race to replace Mo Brooks.
AL.COM – Football, swimming, water park: the objectives of the mobile officials remain the same for the sports tourism complex.
AL.COM – Employee information “may have been threatened” by the Mobile County cyberattack.
AL.COM – Columnist Cameron Smith: The Broken Piano Symphony.
AL.COM – Columnist Frances Coleman: From Edwin Edwards to Donald Trump, voters are sometimes willfully blind.
AL.COM – Two other incarcerated men died in Alabama jails this week: There were at least eight deaths in Alabama jails this month.
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Mo Brooks says Trump’s attack on Katie Britt was a surprise – “Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad he did.”
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – State Senator Orr pledges to introduce a bill allowing victims of political censorship to sue Big Tech platforms.
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Hyundai reveals pricing for Alabama-built Santa Cruz Sport Adventure Vehicle pickup.
THE HILL – Passport backlog threatens to disrupt travel plans for millions of Americans.
POLITICS – Strange but true: Bernie takes a “very pragmatic” turn.
POLITICS – Columnist Jack Shafer: What the White House Doesn’t Understand About Disinformation
AP NEWS – Alabama hospital sends COVID-19 vaccination team to Peru.
AP NEWS – Alabama promotes COVID-19 vaccination in the TikTok contest.
ROANOKE SCHEDULES – Questions arise two years after the departure of the railcar builder from Roanoke.
DAILY DECATUR – The Decatur Daily: The debate on the Decatur residence is a sign of deeper problems.
GADSDEN HOURS – Contributor John Floyd: City, county residents don’t want a rendering plant – period.
OPELIKA AUBURN NEWS – “Light That Fire To Learn”: A local educator hopes to create a hands-on STEM center for Lee County.
DOTHAN EAGLE – Balance the rain – The peanut growers at Wiregrass take care of the wet fields.
WASHINGTON POST – In this summer of covid freedom, disease experts warn: “The world needs reality check.”
WASHINGTON POST – As immigration heats up, Biden is fighting for a clear plan.
WASHINGTON POST – Contributor Daniel Epps: Major reform of the Supreme Court is unlikely. But these changes would be a good start.
WASHINGTON POST – Democrats are making the headlines on the right to vote, but a little more to counter the restrictive efforts of the Republicans.

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About Coy Lewallen

Coy Lewallen

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