7. Infrastructure improvements coming to Huntsville
- With Meta building new Facebook facilities in the Huntsville area, there will be even more benefits to the area through infrastructure and education, as they have expanded on their initial investment. Huntsville director of Urban and Economic Development Shane Davis advised, “They like our business climate and environment and our investment into infrastructure and the workforce quality that is here.”
- There is likely to be an increased revenue for Huntsville City Schools, traffic improvements and a $2.8 million sewer extension. Meta will provide $2.5 million for these expansions and improvements. Davis said this is “a significant shot of revenue…and added growth in North Huntsville.”
6. Cuomo won’t be charged in nursing home deaths
- The investigation into former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s (D) handling of the coronavirus pandemic and how his decisions may have impacted deaths at nursing homes has concluded, and the Manhattan district attorney’s office will not be charging Cuomo.
- Cuomo’s attorney Elkan Abramowitz said that he had been “contacted today by the head of the Eder Care Unite from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office who informed me that they have closed its investigation.” Abramowitz added he “was told that after thorough investigation…there was no evidence to suggest any laws were broken.”
5. Judge orders in favor of Navy Seals in vaccine lawsuit
- A group of 35 Navy Seals that challenged President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate for service members has won an injunction from a federal judge on religious grounds. The ruling is the first such win against the vaccine for members of the military.
- The judge said that the way the Navy handled religious exemptions violated the First Amendment rights of the Navy Seals and cited the sacrifice of these very service members. U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor wrote, “The COVID-19 pandemic provides the government no license to abrogate those freedoms. There is no COVID-19 exception to the First Amendment. There is no military exclusion from our Constitution.”
4. The Capitol isn’t any safer than last year
- Democrats are currently preparing to celebrate their own holiday on January 6 as they review every moment of the U.S. Capitol riot in 2021. Now, some Republicans have been criticizing their treatment of the riot as the Capitol hasn’t been made any safer.
- A memo was released by U.S. Representative Rodney Davis (R-IL) asking, “[W]hy was the Capitol so unprepared?” Davis went on to write that Democrats are “no closer to finding out what led to the catastrophic security failure.” He also said, “Nothing has changed to make the Capitol campus safer from future attacks. Instead, Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats have focused their time and attention on going after former President Trump and those associated with him –even if those associates are their own colleagues.”
3. Battle over firearm permits ratchets up
- Many sheriffs across the state have made it clear that they don’t support permitless carry, also called constitutional carry, but now, State Representative Shane Stringer (R-Citronelle) has criticized the strategies used by some sheriffs to slow the creation of a database of those prohibited from owning a firearm.
- Stringer said, “I’m getting word that some of the sheriffs are putting pressure on ALEA to slow this database down…that concerns me. That doesn’t sound like someone who is concerned with officer safety or community safety.” He added that this is a strategy from the “Democrat playbook.”
2. Booster shots can now go to those as young as 12
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that children 12-15 years old can now get booster shots from Pfizer for the coronavirus. This is being done as another measure to counter the Omicron variant.
- The guidance on when to get a booster shot has also been altered. Previously, the recommendation was to get a booster six months after your second shot, but now that has changed to five months after your second shot. FDA vaccine chief Dr. Peter Marks said this “may help provide better protection against both the Delta and Omicron variants.”
1. 10-day quarantine is here to stay in Alabama
- While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has changed the recommended quarantine time for the coronavirus from 10 days down to five days, the Alabama Department of Public Health will continue with 10 days as schools restart.
- State Superintendent Eric Mackey clarified that this shortened quarantine time “is not applicable to schools,” as this suggestion was given for businesses and employees. ADPH said they “cannot recommend shorted isolation be adopted in schools until the CDC updates its documents.”