1 week ago

7 Things: Resignations plague the White House, 5 including an Alabamian and a cop dies in U.S. Capitol riot, Palmer blames Trump and more …

7. Jones voices support for Garland

  • Former U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) voiced his support for Judge Merrick Garland after it was announced that he’s President-elect Joe Biden’s choice for U.S. Attorney General.
  • Jones said that “Garland will bring the integrity, professionalism and dedication to the DOJ that is badly needed.” Jones added that the chaos at the U.S. Capitol “underscore the challenges that he and his talented team will face on day one and they will need everyone’s support. He and the team certainly have mine.”

6. Trump social media suspended until Biden’s inauguration

  • Facebook has announced that President Donald Trump’s account would be suspended indefinitely or at least until President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated following his posts about the riots at the U.S. Capitol, which were deemed in violation of the platform’s rules.
  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted that the events on January 6 “demonstrate that President Donald Trump intends to use his remaining time in office to undermine the peaceful and lawful transition of power to his elected successor, Joe Biden.” Zuckerberg went on to say that “the risk of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great.”

5. Democrats want to invoke the 25th Amendment or impeach Trump

  • U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) have both called for the 25th Amendment to be used to remove President Donald Trump from office, holding him responsible for the violence on Capitol Hill.
  • Schumer said that Trump is “a very dangerous person,” while Pelosi said that if the 25th Amendment isn’t used, then they’re considering introducing articles of impeachment to remove him from office. There are only 12 days before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

4. White House promises a peaceful transition and condemns violence

  • White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany gave an address to condemn the violence seen at the U.S. Capitol, which she called “appalling” and “reprehensible.” McEnany also said that this was “a group of violent rioters undermining the legitimate First Amendment rights of the many thousands who came to peacefully have their voices heard in our nation’s capital.”
  • She went on to say that this is “the opposite of everything this administration stands for.” McEnany added, “Those who are working in this building are working to ensure an orderly transition of power.”

3. Alabamian dead in D.C., a police officer is fifth dead in U.S. Capitol riot

  • Five people died at the U.S. Capitol as a result of the riots and protests that took place on Wednesday. Among those who passed away was a man from Athens, Kevin Greeson, who suffered a heart attack. Another Alabamian, Lonnie Coffman, of Falkville, was arrested.
  • U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick was also killed in the melee when he was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher during the attack and was taken to a local hospital where he later died.

2. Palmer holds Trump responsible

  • U.S. Representative Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) has responded to the violence at the U.S. Capitol by condemning the actions of those involved, but he went a step further by saying he views President Donald Trump as “responsible for sending those people to the Capitol.”
  • Palmer stated that what happened at the Capitol was “an explosive situation” with people that were “there, I think, to incite something.” He added, “[W]ords and actions have consequences – unintended or not. We have to take responsibility for what we say and what we do, particularly when we have the magnetism and charisma that President Trump does.”

1. Trump’s circle deteriorates

  • After the violence at the U.S. Capitol, former White House chief of staff and U.S. envoy to Northern Ireland Mick Mulvaney has resigned from his position. Mulvaney advised, “We didn’t sign up for what you saw last night.”
  • Another in the administration to resign is Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. In a letter to department staff, Chao said, “Yesterday, our country experienced a traumatic and entirely avoidable event as supporters of the President stormed the Capitol building…it has deeply troubled me in a way that I simply cannot set aside.”
8 mins ago

7 Things: Alabama will send National Guardsmen to D.C., authorities preparing for protests, Shelby will wait to make decision on impeachment and more …

7. Impeach Biden?

  • Now that President Donald Trump has been impeached for the second time, U.S. Representative Marjorie Taylor Green (R-GA) has now said that she plans to introduce articles of impeachment against President-elect Joe Biden on January 21.
  • She said that the impeachment is important in this situation because we can’t have someone “who is willing to abuse the power of the office of the presidency and be easily bought off by foreign governments, foreign Chinese energy companies, Ukrainian energy companies.”

6. One BLM protestor and another Alabamian arrested for their role in U.S. Capitol riots

600

  • Utah-based agitator and BLM protester John Sullivan has been arrested for his direct roll in breaching the U.S. Capitol. Sullivan, who had his video licensed by the Washington Post and MSNBC, is on video encouraging people to enter the U.S. Capitol, cause damage, and even tried to get cops to leave their posts.
  • Another Alabama man who was arrested at the U.S. Capitol, Joshua Black of Leeds, has been charged with violent entry and entering restricted grounds for his role during the attack. Black, who recorded videos of himself on the floor of the U.S. House, told investigators, “I wanted to get inside the building so I could plead the blood of Jesus over it. That was my goal.” He added that while he had a knife, he “wasn’t planning on pulling it.”

5. Outbreaks aren’t started by kids in classrooms

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published a new study that shows K-12 classrooms meeting in-person don’t create coronavirus outbreaks, as they saw no major differences in coronavirus cases between areas that had in-person class and those that were only online.
  • The report says that the “CDC recommends that K-12 schools be the last settings to close after all other mitigation measures have been employed and the first to reopen when they can do so safely.” The CDC also noted that the structure of schools “can support adherence to critical mitigation measures to help prevent and slow the spread of COVID019.”

4. Trump was right about the virus going away after the election

  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) is allowing some bars and restaurants to open up for indoor dining after the state lost a court case on the matter. Cuomo’s administration is still considering challenging the ruling.
  • Chicago is also ready to open up, as Mayor Lori Lightfoot says the reopening of bars and restaurants “as quickly as possible” will actually lower the spread of the coronavirus because these establishments will follow rules that private parties are not.

3. Shelby hasn’t decided on impeachment yet

  • U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) hasn’t voiced how he plans to vote on President Donald Trump’s impeachment. He’s maintained that “we need to wait and hear the evidence.”
  • Previously, Shelby voted against impeaching Trump on charges of obstruction of Congress and abuse of power. The Senate isn’t expected to take up impeachment until Trump is already out of office.

2. Montgomery preparing for protests

  • While there is talk of “armed” protests nationwide during the inauguration, Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed has announced that the city is preparing for possible protests at the capitol, due to reports that there are armed protests being planned at all 50 state capitols and the U.S. Capitol on January 17-20.
  • Reed said, “Our residents and businesses can take comfort in knowing we are taking every step to ensure their safety and security this weekend.” He added that he’s instructed, “Chief Finley and the Montgomery Police Department to use every resource at their disposal and authorized extra manpower.”

1. Alabama National Guard going to D.C.

  • Governor Kay Ivey announced that there will be 250 National Guard members from Alabama sent to Washington, D.C. to help prepare for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. This will be part of the about 20,000 National Guard members in the area.
  • Gina Maiola, Ivey’s press secretary, said that this was done “At the request of the Chief of The National Guard Bureau, General Daniel R. Hokanson.” Ivey has previously said that law enforcement is monitoring the situation as there have been threats of armed protests across the country.

2 hours ago

Point Broadband to offer high-speed fiber internet on Alabama’s Lake Martin

Point Broadband announced plans to offer fiber-to-the-premises high-speed internet for select areas on Lake Martin in Alabama.

“In today’s digitally-driven world, fast and reliable fiber internet is crucial to keep everyone and everything connected,” said Point Broadband CEO Todd Holt. “Point Broadband is thrilled to offer residents and businesses in the Lake Martin area access to some of the best broadband technology available today.”

180

The fiber broadband company based in West Point, Georgia, which operates in nine states, will provide up to 1 gigabit symmetrical broadband service with whole-home W-Fi, allowing numerous devices to run around the clock.

“With more people working, students learning and families entertaining all from their homes, we recognize the importance of ensuring your home has the right resources to meet your needs,” Holt said.

Lake Martin residents can sign up or express interest at point-broadband.com/lake-martin/.

Point Broadband is partnering with Alabama Power on the new initiative. The company will contract for a portion of Alabama Power’s fiber infrastructure to help support Point Broadband’s offering of high-speed internet on Lake Martin.

“The need for greater broadband accessibility for Alabamians to continue to learn, grow business and lead healthy lives is greater than ever before,” said Leslie Sanders, vice president of Alabama Power’s Southern Division. “We’re excited to partner with Point Broadband to be part of the solution. The advanced technology of our electric grid makes it smarter, more reliable and resilient, and can also help facilitate the expansion of broadband services.”

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

15 hours ago

Ivey fulfills request to send Alabama National Guardsmen to D.C. for security of Biden inauguration

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has authorized the sending of approximately 250 members of the Alabama National Guard to help secure the Washington, D.C. area ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

First reported Gray Television and confirmed to Yellowhammer News, the move was made in response to a request by the head of the National Guard, Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson.

According to National Public Radio, which is based in Washington, D.C., around 20,000 members of the National Guard will be in the Capitol area to help keep the peace through the inauguration. They will come from nearly all states, per NPR’s reporting.

157

The dramatically-heightened security comes in the wake of a group of President Donald Trump supporters storming the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday, January 6. The violence led to the death of five people including a member of the Capitol Police.

Ivey’s press secretary, Gina Maiola, told Yellowhammer News in a statement about the National Guard’s deployment, “At the request of the Chief of The National Guard Bureau, General Daniel R. Hokanson, the Alabama National Guard has activated approximately 250 Soldiers in support of the 59th Presidential Inauguration in Washington D.C.”

The activation of the soldiers comes as the FBI has warned states that protesters in the vein of those who stormed the U.S. Capitol may demonstrate in their areas over the coming days.

Ivey said at a public appearance on Tuesday that she was aware of law enforcement monitoring the situation.

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.

15 hours ago

SAIL awards nearly $1 million to summer learning programs in Alabama

Summer Adventure in Learning (SAIL), a joint project of six charitable organizations, announced Thursday that dozens of organizations in Alabama that provide summer learning opportunities to children will be receiving financial support.

Forty independent programs in the state will receive a total of $898,500.

SAIL cites research showing that students from low-income families frequently lose months of reading and math skills during the summer break. The organization sets out to prevent this learning loss among low-income students by funding summer learning programs that target those kids.

290

Most SAIL-affiliated programs are in the Birmingham area, though it also has six programs to whom it gives funds in the Black belt and three large programs in the Huntsville area.

“We have always known the importance of intentionally academic summer programming, but it proved more critical than ever after schools closed in the spring of 2020,” said Elizabeth Dotts Fleming, the executive director of The Schools Foundation, in a release.

The Schools Foundation is SAIL’s chief partner in the Huntsville area.

SAIL does not require the summer learning programs it funds to follow a specific curriculum, allowing a large degree of flexibility among the programs it funds.

However, all programs taking SAIL funding consent to a test of its students at the beginning and end of its run so the program’s effectiveness can be assessed.

In a release, SAIL shared that “In the summer of 2020, SAIL supported 34 programs. 14 provided in-person programs, 17 virtual, and 3 offered an at-home curriculum. Due to COVID restrictions, enrollment was down from SAIL’s normal 2,500+ students to 1,250.”

“State law requires school systems to offer summer reading camps, but leaves the implementation to each district,” remarked Mitchie Neel, the executive director of the Blount County Education Foundation.

“We know from research that how you structure a summer learning program influences how much students will learn. Partnering with SAIL allows us to meet students where they are while nurturing the whole child and bringing them up to grade level,” Neel added.

A list of the programs receiving funding from SAIL in 2021 can be found here for the Birmingham area, here for the Black Belt and here for Huntsville.

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.

16 hours ago

Four Bama underclassmen — Jones, Waddle, Surtain and Barmore — declare for NFL Draft

Four underclassman members of the Alabama Crimson Tide’s national championship-winning team will not return to Tuscaloosa next fall.

Quarterback Mac Jones, wide receiver Jaylen Waddle, defensive tackle Christian Barmore and cornerback Patrick Surtain II announced on Thursday they will forego their remaining college eligibility and enter the 2021 NFL Draft.

The quartet made the announcement via a press conference broadcast by the university. All four are expected by national college football analysts to be taken in the first round of the draft.

217

Jones, a Heisman finalist, is declaring for the NFL after his lone season under center for the Tide — a year in which he posted dominant numbers, including leading the NCAA in completion percentage. His 2020 performance pushed him from fringe consideration to a consensus first round pick.

Waddle was already expected to be a top first round pick entering the year, and even an injury that derailed much of his season has not changed the consensus thinking. ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr., in December, ranked Waddle as the eighth-most talented player in the 2021 draft.

Surtain and Barmore have been similarly been graded as likely pros for much of their time at Bama. Surtain’s father played several seasons in the NFL. Kiper ranks Surtain as the best CB and Barmore as the second-best defensive tackle in the 2021 draft class.

Senior wide receiver Devonta Smith and senior running Najee Harris have not yet made their draft status official — and pandemic rule changes grant them an additional season of eligibility — but their official entrance in the draft is considered a formality. Both are expected to go in the first round along with their four underclassmen teammates who declared on Thursday.

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.