Good morning!

Here's your Daily News for Thursday, July 1.
1. Alabama teachers retiring in droves
  • Alabama teachers and public school employees are retiring at the highest levels seen in nearly a decade, state records show.
  • More than 3,500 employees retired in the most recent period tracked.
  • That’s the most since the 2010-2011 school year, when just under 4,100 employees retired after changes to Alabama retirement benefits.
  • Alabama already had a teacher shortage before the COVID-19 pandemic. It's an issue state lawmakers have sought to address the past few years with legislation aimed at increasing salaries, improving benefits and offering targeted incentives for hard-to-staff areas.
  • Read more from Trish Crain HERE.
2. Census on track for August data release after court ruling
  • The U.S. Census Bureau said Wednesday that it's on schedule to deliver the numbers used for redrawing congressional and legislative districts by mid-August after federal judges rejected a challenge that could have delayed the data release even further.
  • The panel of three federal judges on Tuesday denied the state of Alabama’s request for a preliminary injunction to halt the Census Bureau from using a statistical method aimed at keeping people’s data private in the redistricting numbers. The decision in federal court in Opelika allows the Census Bureau, for now, to proceed toward its goal of releasing the redistricting data by Aug. 16.
  • Differential privacy adds intentional errors to the data to obscure the identity of any given participant in the 2020 census while still providing statistically valid information. The Census Bureau says more privacy protections are needed than in past decades as technological innovations magnify the threat of people being identified through their census answers, which are confidential by law.
  • Civil rights group have raised concerns that differential privacy could hamper voting rights enforcement and make it harder for the creation of districts where racial or ethnic minorities are the majority.
  • Attorney General Steve Marshall said they were disappointed by the decision but would decide how to proceed after the redistricting data is released in August.
  • "... the Bureau has no authority to manipulate population data states use for redistricting, and the Bureau's decision to dramatically skew redistricting data is patently unnecessary and unlawful," Marshall said. "Those issues remain live in this case."
  • Read more HERE.
3. NCAA clears way for athlete compensation as state laws loom
  • The NCAA Board of Directors approved one of the biggest changes in the history of college athletics Wednesday, clearing the way for nearly a half-million athletes to start earning money based on their fame and celebrity without fear of endangering their eligibility or putting their school in jeopardy of violating amateurism rules that have stood for decades. 
  • The decision, expected for months as state after state passed laws intended to render NCAA rules moot on the topic, came on the eve of the market opening Thursday for athletes in a dozen states, including giants like Texas and Florida.
  • The move effectively suspends NCAA restrictions on payments to athletes for things such as sponsorship deals, online endorsements and personal appearances. it applies to all three divisions or some 460,000 athletes.
  • The NCAA will also allow athletes to enter into agreements with agents, though all athletes are expected to keep their school informed of any and all NIL arrangements. The NCAA said schools are responsible “for determining whether those activities are consistent with state law.”
  • Some in-state athletes have already taken advantage of the change. Auburn quarterback Bo Nix posted an endorsement of Milo's tea on Instagram Wednesday.
  • Read more HERE.
4. SCOTUS wrapping term, could rule on voting laws
  • The Supreme Court is wrapping up its first all-virtual term, with decisions expected in a key case on voting rights and another involving information that California requires charities to provide about donors.
  • The court's last day before its summer break could include a retirement announcement. Many liberals have been urging 82-year-old Stephen Breyer, the oldest of the justices, to retire in order to have his successor nominated by President Joe Biden and confirmed by the Democrat Majority Senate. Breyer has no has given no indication he intends to step down this year.
  • In a case from Arizona, the justices are being asked to uphold two state voting restrictions that limit who can return early ballots for another person and bars the counting of votes cast in the wrong polling precincts.
  • The federal appeals court in San Francisco said both measures disproportionately affect minority voters and violated the Voting Rights Act prohibition on discrimination in voting.
  • During arguments in February, the justices seemed likely to upend that ruling and allow the Arizona restrictions to remain in place.
  • Read more HERE.
5. House votes to create Jan. 6 probe
  • Sharply split along party lines, the House launched a new investigation of the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection on Wednesday, approving a special committee to probe the violent attack.
  • The vote to form the panel was 222-190, with all but two Republicans objecting that majority Democrats would be in charge. The action came after Senate Republicans blocked creation of an independent commission that would have been evenly split between the two parties.
  • Alabama's delegation voted along party lines with Republicans arguing the committee amounts to one party investigating the other.
  • This morning, Punchbowl News is reporting that Republicans will likely decline to participate on the panel, with Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy threatening to strip committee assignments for anyone who agrees to be appointed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
  • Read more HERE.



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  • Meanwhile, an Alabama man who stormed the U.S. Capitol with other members of the Oath Keepers extremist group pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy and is cooperating with prosecutors in another major boost for the Justice Department in its sweeping Jan. 6 investigation.
  • Mark Grods, 54, is the second member of the group to admit to participating in a conspiracy to block the certification of President Joe Biden's victory and agree to cooperate in the Department of Justice's massive investigation. Grods' case was kept secret until Wednesday to protect the investigation and his safety before he testified in front of a grand jury, according to court documents.
  • Grods, of Mobile, pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy and obstruction of an official proceeding. U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta said Grods would likely face around four to five years in prison under federal sentencing guidelines. But prosecutors are likely to ask for even less time in exchange for his cooperation against others.
  • Read more HERE.
Headlines
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - Inside Alabama Politics – June 29, 2021 Part Two

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - Census on track for August data release after court ruling

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - NCAA clears way for athlete compensation as state laws loom

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - Key voting decision expected from Supreme Court

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - House votes to probe Capitol riot over Republican opposition

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - Poole, Ledbetter will compete for House Speaker

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - ‘It definitely feels early’: GOP’s long race to 2024 begins

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - Ivey, 19 other GOP governors oppose Supreme Court expansion

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - Daily News Digest – June 30, 2021

AL.COM - Alabama pastor running for governor says hydroxychloroquine could have saved COVID-19 victims
 
AL.COM - Alabama’s new commission on medical marijuana taking shape
 
AL.COM - Closing arguments set in trial over sale of Bellefonte Nuclear Plant
 
AL.COM - Ruling striking down parts of Alabama’s abortion consent law for minors upheld
 
AL.COM - Birmingham Police seized 1,405 guns off streets so far this year, Woodfin says
 
AL.COM - Columnist Kyle Whitmire: Who is Mo Brooks today, yesterday, tomorrow? It depends
 
AL.COM - Columnist Cameron Smith: Want to pay for national infrastructure? Stop making trillions in improper payments
 
Montgomery Advertiser - 'Insufficient evidence': Judge orders intentional murder charge to be dropped against woman

Montgomery Advertiser - 'Pursued the victim': Judge rejects Stand Your Ground immunity request in 2019 homicide case

Montgomery Advertiser - Grand jury to weigh reckless murder, assault charges against teen in Day Street homicide


Decatur Daily - Suspect in Krispy Kreme robbery charged with previous armed robberies

Decatur Daily - Gas, lodging and construction zone fines more costly as record travel expected for holiday

Decatur Daily - Decatur City Schools personnel agenda for June 24

Times Daily - 3 charged after scuffle with deputies

Times Daily - UNA SGA president doesn't resign, remains silent

Times Daily - Jerry McGee helped start popular songwriters' showcase

Anniston Star - These tips will help you safely enjoy Alabama’s lakes and rivers

Anniston Star - Doses might go to waste as local COVID vaccinations far short of goal

Anniston Star - Grants' benefits celebrated in Heflin, Borden Springs

WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham - Woman says she was scammed while trying to rent a home in Springville

WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham - Health officials talk Breakthrough COVID-19 and what you need to know

WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham - Scooter riders should keep safety in mind

Tuscaloosa News - Tuscaloosa leaders warn about danger of personal fireworks, celebratory gunfire

Tuscaloosa News - Reading Allies program works to help Tuscaloosa children improve skills

Tuscaloosa News - Track the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, including forecasts and storm names list

YellowHammer News - Alabama Launchpad chooses finalists in latest startup competitions

YellowHammer News - State Rep. McMillan: Passing legislation on prison construction ‘going to be a mountain too high to climb during an election year’

YellowHammer News - Shelby announces FAA grants to eight Alabama airports

Gadsden Times - Community meeting seeks solutions, probes the complexity of crime problems

Gadsden Times - Track the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, including forecasts and storm names list

Gadsden Times - Isbell provides report on Gadsden tax structure, impact if occupational levy is removed

Dothan Eagle - Registered sex workers in Germany drop sharply in pandemic

Dothan Eagle - Key voting rights decision expected from Supreme Court

Dothan Eagle 5 things to know for July 1: Trump Org, Bill Cosby, condo collapse, Covid-19, China

Opelika-Auburn News - Tropical Storm Elsa, 5th named storm, forms in Atlantic

Opelika-Auburn News - H&M says profit up by $1.2 billion as world opens up again

Opelika-Auburn News - 5 things to know for July 1: Trump Org, Bill Cosby, condo collapse, Covid-19, China

WSFA Montgomery - One of Alabama’s must-do’s is now open

WSFA Montgomery - Montgomery reopens entertainment districts with new provisions

WSFA Montgomery - 4th charged in November Andalusia murder

WAFF Huntsville - Local leaders put on their aprons for Athens Relay for Life Celebrity Waiters Night

WAFF Huntsville - Pedestrian hit by a car on Governors Drive Wednesday night

WAFF Huntsville - What comes next if jury finds Christopher Henderson guilty of capital murder

WKRG Mobile - Fourth of July celebrations along the Gulf Coast

WKRG Mobile - Gulf Breeze neighbors cautious after spotting three bears roaming around

WKRG Mobile - Trump company, executive indicted in tax probe, AP source says

WTVY Dothan - World Championship Domino Tournament returns to Andalusia

WTVY Dothan - Level Plains to hold first firework display for the city

WTVY Dothan - Elba holding 6th annual Let Freedom Ring event

WASHINGTON POST - Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg surrenders in criminal case over company’s business dealings

WASHINGTON POST - Surfside’s Jewish community grows closer after tower collapse: ‘It’s three degrees of separation’

WASHINGTON POST - Federal judge blocks Florida law that would penalize social media companies

NEW YORK TIMES - Top Trump Executive Allen Weisselberg Surrenders to Face Charges

NEW YORK TIMES - N.Y.C. Mayor’s Race Remains Tight With Adams Leading in Revised Tally

NEW YORK TIMES - Infighting and Poor Planning Leave Condo Sites in Disrepair

WALL STREET JOURNAL - Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg Surrenders to Authorities

WALL STREET JOURNAL - Stock Futures Point to Tepid Start to Third Quarter

WALL STREET JOURNAL - Car Market Is Expected to Cool Amid Dearth of Vehicles on Lots


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