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7 Things: America is busted; Rogers backs increased aid to Ukraine; and more …

7. TVA is looking at how rolling blackouts happened

  • Freezing temperatures over the Christmas holidays led to unprecedented rolling blackouts for the first time in the Tennessee Valley Authority’s 90-year history. TVA has accepted full blame and now seeks to know how to make sure it never happens again and will appoint a “blue-ribbon panel” to determine the next steps.
  • TVA Chief Operating Officer Don Moul said the panel will “bring tremendous experience and expertise not only in public power and energy systems, but also an understanding of the growing energy needs of the region.”

6. Violent wave hitting Huntsville

  • A recent rash of high-profile shootings in Huntsville and the surrounding areas is shattering the perception of a safe medium-sized, but growing, city. There has been a mass shooting, a seemingly random shooting into an apartment, multiple unsolved murders on one street, and a triple murder-suicide in the new year.
  • There have been arrests in the mass shooting, some leads on the Newson Road shootings, but the random shooting has no motive, witnesses, or suspects. All of this is creating a sense of danger in the community that law enforcement is trying to tamp down. Sgt. Jack Pugh with the Huntsville Police Department Major Crimes Unit says, “Huntsville’s a safe place. Sometimes, you have more (major crimes), or we may go a couple of months with zero.”

5. Yet more information is available about shooting on the Tuscaloosa Strip

  • The lawyer for the shooter and fellow defendant of a former Alabama basketball player Darius Miles, in the death of a 25-year-old mother in Tuscaloosa, says his client is not the “bad guy.” 
  • John Robbins, who represents Michael Lynn Davis, has said that when the full story is out everyone will see things differently. The victim’s mother said the boyfriend of the victim had a handgun, too, and when a confrontation occurred shots rang out and both the victim and Davis were shot.

4. EPA steps in to fight landfill fire

  • A fire has been burning in Moody for months. The air quality is so bad it is affecting schools’ ability to conduct outdoor activities, and now the Environmental Protection Agency is helping to fight the situation.
  • The EPA’s Terry Stilman says the air quality has been found to be of poor quality and, “it’s [affecting] people in the area, and it needs to be addressed and that’s what we’re doing here.” Heavy machinery is now being brought into the area to smother the fire.

3. Former U.S. Rep. Brooks trades barbs with U.S. Rep. Carl

  • On Dec. 30, 2022 an administrative decision provided a $39,000 tax-free pay raise for every member of Congress, according to former U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville).
  • U.S. Rep. Jerry Carl (R-Mobile) says Brooks would be for the pay raise if he was still in Congress, but Brooks says the issue is about whether or not the pay raise was done correctly and not the pay increase itself.

2. Calls for more weapons to Ukraine grow with Rep. Mike Rogers on board

  • The situation in Ukraine is not only fodder for NHL Network hosts mad that a player won’t wear a gay pride jersey, but it is also nearing a potential turning point where the United States could be openly assisting the Ukrainian forces in the fight for Russian-controlled Crimea.
  • U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Saks) wants Ukraine to get more assistance and the House Armed Services Committee Chairman is joining the House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) in calling for Biden to quit the handwringing and says, “now is the time for the Biden and Scholz governments to follow the lead of our U.K. and Eastern European allies – Leopard 2 tanks, ATACMS (Army Tactical Missile Systems), and other long-range precision munitions should be approved without delay.”

1. We did it! We did nothing! We passed the debt limit … now what?

  • They said it was inevitable and they were right. The U.S. government has now exceeded its borrowing limit and the debt junkies responsible in the House, the Senate, and the White House can’t agree on how to apply for a bigger credit line. House Republicans say cut some spending and they will allow more debt, the media and their Democrats say just raise the limit with no conditions and pledge to not negotiate.
  • But fear not, the Treasury can play games until June and some expect Congress to use that as a reason to wait. According to U.S. Rep. Jerry Carl (R-Mobile), that could happen, “And I say, Republicans and Democrats. No one really wants to address it until the last minute, and that’s the thing that frustrates me the most, I know it’s frustrating McCarthy too. McCarthy’s already told them he doesn’t want to wait until May to get started on it.”

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