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Drummond Talks to Republican Women of Trussville

Brandon Moseley

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By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Thursday, March 7, Alabama’s Republican National Committeewoman, Vicki Ann Drummond, addressed the gathered members of the Republican Women of Trussville.

Drummond said that the Alabama Republican Party has three members that serve on the Republican National Committee: the Alabama Republican Party Chair (Terry Lathan), the National Committeeman (Paul Reynolds), and the National Committeewoman. “I am the woman.”

Drummond said, that she has always been involved in something conservative: “I grew up in a small town in North Alabama near the Tennessee line.  I love meeting with the Alabama Republican Women.  I have been in every county.  They are all the most unselfish people and all they want is a better government.”

Committeewoman Drummond said, “It is imperative to have a strong national party.” Candidates and campaigns come and go but the party remains.

Drummond praised RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. “I am so happy to be working with him. He is our only third term chairman. When he came into office we were in disarray he turned it around.  He is fearless.  He is a man of great faith.  He told networks that if you show a documentary on Hillary Clinton, we will not have a debate on your network and they buckled.  It is such an honor to serve with him.”

The Committeewoman said, “The Republican Party has three legs. The first is National Defense.  If we are not safe nothing else matters.  The second is smaller government and limited regulation.  The third is that we are the party of conservative thought.”

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Drummond said that not everybody agrees on every issue, but when you agree with 80 percent of what a party agrees with, you need to stick with that party. 

Drummond said, “We are forgetting that we are a Christian nation. I started reading about the founding fathers. 94% of founding fathers speeches had quotes from the Bible. We are a Christian nation and I don’t think we should let our children or grandchildren forget that.”

On the Common Core issue, Drummond said that she voted against it long before it ever came to Alabama.

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Drummond said that the US Department of Homeland security uses about 100,000 rounds of ammunition a year practicing and in the line of duty. Since Obama came into office they have bought over a billion rounds. Where are they going?

Drummond said that because of new banking rules, Americans overseas have to give up their privacy to have a bank account.  This is affecting missionaries and businessmen, Republican and Democrat. Americans overseas are denouncing their citizenship or are getting dual citizenship because of these rules.

Drummond said that she is on the RNC rules committee. “I love the rules committee. I was made for that because I think in black and white.”

Drummond said there are 18 states that control 240 electoral votes and they have not voted for a Republican in 25 years.  “I cannot fathom what this country would be like if we lose another election.” We had 5 million Evangelicals stay home in the next election.  Many of them would not vote for Romney because he was a Mormon.

Drummond said that the RNC has changed their strategy: “We did not change who we are.  We did not change our platform.  The Republicans have been running four to eight month presidential campaigns.  Obama ran a continuous campaign with operatives actually moving into communities year round. We never saw it coming.  We did not see that they are way ahead of us. Obama ran a four year campaign we ran a four month campaign. We are now running a year round campaign I don’t see us ever going back.”

Drummond said that with the number of candidates there is a possibility of a brokered convention in 2016.

“In 2012 there were too many debates.  Our candidates were bloodied and bruised.  The party is now limiting the number of debates.  We are choosing our locations and choosing our moderators.  We are moving back the convention 2 months and wanted to move it back further.  Federal campaign dollars don’t become available until the nominee is selected.  President Obama was running circles around us while Romney waited for the nomination.  The convention will be in Cleveland in 2016.  Over 50,000 people are expected to attend.”

Drummond said, “I get more angry at Republicans than I do at Democrats. I am not for gambling and I am not for taxes and if I were down there (Montgomery) I would vote against both.  I do believe there are a lot of places where we can cut back.”

Drummond warned that when more than 30 gambling parlors opened in Home County, the winning percentages were less than in Las Vegas.

“They would make over a million on some weekends.  Eventually Gov. Riley stepped in.  Gambling takes in about $750 million a year.  “They will run Alabama. That is very scary. I am praying real hard it doesn’t pass.”

Mrs. Drummond said, “I am against payday loans. We tried to get it down to 36 percent and couldn’t get that passed. When I saw a list of all the legislators who have gotten lobbyist money from the payday loan industry I became very disheartened.”

Brandon Moseley is a senior reporter with eight and a half years at Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Facebook. Brandon is a native of Moody, Alabama, a graduate of Auburn University, and a seventh generation Alabamian.

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Alabama DHR announces grants providing temporary assistance for stabilizing child care

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(STOCK PHOTO)

The Alabama Department of Human Resources announced on Friday a new grant program to provide assistance to licensed child care providers in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Temporary Assistance for Stabilizing Child Care, or TASCC, grant program’s purpose is to stabilize the number of child care providers that are open and providing services, as well as encourage providers to reopen.

DHR is now accepting applications for TASCC grants. The deadline to apply is August 7, 2020. The total grant amounts will be based on each provider’s daytime licensed capacity with a base rate of $300 per child.

To be eligible for a grant, licensed providers must be open or plan to reopen no later than August 17, 2020, and continue to remain open for a period of one year from the date of receiving the grant award. As of this week, 1,306 of Alabama’s 2,448 child care facilities were open in the state.

“We are proud to offer this program as a support and an incentive to an important sector of our economy. These grants will give the support many providers need to reopen and assist those already open,” said Alabama DHR Commissioner Nancy Buckner. “This program is going to be vital for our child care numbers to reach the level required to provide adequate services as parents return to work. We have already made significant strides in reopening facilities over the past several months; in April only 14 percent were open while now 53 percent are open.”

These grants will provide support for paying employees, purchasing classroom materials, providing meals, purchasing cleaning supplies, providing tuition relief for families, as well as other facility expenses.

DHR recommends child care providers read all guidance prior to submitting a TASCC application. Child care providers need to complete the application to determine the estimated grant amount. Grant applications will be processed as they are received and grants awarded once approved.

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An online fillable application is available for the TASCC grant at www.dhr.alabama.gov/child-care/. The application must include an Alabama STAARS Vendor Code in order to be processed. For questions regarding the application, please email DHR at [email protected].

 

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Gov. Ivey awards grant for new system to aid child abuse victims

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Gov. Kay Ivey delivers the 2019 state of the state address. (CHIP BROWNLEE/APR)

Gov. Kay Ivey has awarded a $375,000 grant to establish a statewide network that will ensure that victims of child abuse receive immediate and professional medical care and other assistance.

The grant will enable the Children’s of Alabama and the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Pediatrics to collaborate with the Alabama Network of Children Advocacy Centers in creating the Child Abuse Medical System.

 “Child abuse is a horrendous crime that robs children of their youth and can negatively affect their future if victims do not receive the proper professional assistance,” Ivey said. “I am thankful for this network that will ensure children get the professional attention they need and deserve.”

The medical system will be a coordinated statewide resource that includes pediatric physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses and other medical professionals along with specialized sexual assault nurse examiners.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grant.

“ADECA is pleased to join with Gov. Ivey and those dedicated people who are part of the Child Abuse Medical System to support these children at a time they need it most,” said ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell.

Ivey notified Tom Shufflebarger, CEO of Children’s of Alabama, that the grant had been approved.

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ADECA manages a range of programs that support law enforcement, economic development, recreation, energy conservation and water resource management.

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Courts

U.S. Attorney Jay Town announces resignation

Eddie Burkhalter

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U.S. Attorney Jay Town announced his resignation Friday. (WHNT)

Jay Town, the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, on Friday announced his resignation and plans to work at a Huntsville defense contractor and cybersecurity solutions company. 

Town’s resignation will be effective Wednesday, July 15, according to a press release. 

“After much thoughtful prayer and great personal consideration, I have made the decision to resign as the United States Attorney of the Northern District of Alabama.  I have tendered my resignation to Attorney General William Barr. General Barr expressed his gratitude for my service to the Department of Justice and to the Northern District and, despite having hoped I would continue in my role, understood and respected my decision,” Town said in a statement. 

“I am extremely grateful to President Trump, to whom I also tendered a letter, for his special trust and confidence in me to serve as the U.S. Attorney. It was an honor to be a part of this Administration with an unrivaled class of United States Attorneys from around the nation.  I will forever remain thankful to those who supported my nomination and my tenure as the U.S. Attorney,” Town continued.

Town said his job with the unnamed Huntsville defense contractor and cybersecurity solutions company is to begin later this year, and the company is to announce his position “in a few weeks.” 

“The Attorney General of the United States will announce my replacement in the coming days or weeks,” Town said in the release.  

Town has served in his position since confirmation by the U.S. Senate in August 2017. Prior to that appointment, Town was a prosecutor in the Madison County District Attorney’s office from 2005 until 2017.

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Attorney General William Barr in a statement Friday offered gratitude for Town’s three years of service. 

“Jay’s leadership in his District has been immense.  His contributions to the Department of Justice have been extensive, especially his work on the China Initiative and most recently as a Working Group Chair on the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice. I appreciate his service to our nation and to the Justice Department, and I wish him the very best,” Barr said in a statement.

The U.S. Justice Department in April 2019 notified Gov. Kay Ivey that the department’s lengthy investigation into the state’s prisons for men found systemic problems of violence, sexual assaults, drugs and corruption which are likely violations of the inmates’ Constitutional protections from cruel and unusual punishment. 

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Town’s office leads the discussions between the U.S Department of Justice and the state on the prison conditions. 

Problems with violence, deaths and drugs in Alabama’s overcrowded, understaffed prisons have not markedly improved in the year’s since the U.S. Department of Justice released its report.

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Health

Alabama’s daily COVID-19 deaths second highest since start of pandemic

In the past two weeks the state recorded 190 coronavirus deaths, a 38 percent increase from the previous two weeks.

Eddie Burkhalter

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(STOCK PHOTO)

Alabama saw 35 deaths from COVID-19 on Friday, the second highest daily number of deaths since the pandemic began. 

The previous record daily high was May 12, when the state recorded 37 coronavirus deaths. Prior to that, the high was on April 22, when Alabama saw 35 deaths from the virus. In the past two weeks the state recorded 190 coronavirus deaths, a 38 percent increase from the previous two weeks.

While cases have been surging since mid-June, deaths have largely remained stable. Deaths are considered a lagging indicator, meaning that it takes longer for deaths to begin rising after cases and hospitalizations begin rising.

“The fact that we’re seeing these sharp increases and hospitalization in cases over the past week or two is really concerning,” said UAB expert Dr. Jodie Dionne-Odom earlier this week. “And we expect, given the lag that we know there is between cases and hospitalization — about a two-week lag, and a three-week lag between cases and deaths — that we’re on a part of the curve that we just don’t want to be on in our state.”

It’s unclear whether this new rise in deaths will become a trend, or whether it is a one-day anomaly, but the 14-day average of deaths per day is now nearly as high as the previous peak on May 14 — weeks after the state hit its first “peak” in cases per day in late April. The previous high of the 14-day average of deaths per day was 16 on May 14. The average is now at 14 deaths per day, on average.

The uptick in deaths comes after days of record-high new daily COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. The state added 1,304 new COVID-19 cases Friday, down from Thursday’s record-high of 2,164, but the trend of rising daily cases has continued largely unabated since early June. 

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The 14-day average of daily tests was at an all-time high Friday, at 8,125, which was 308 more tests than the previous high, set Wednesday. The percent of tests that were positive also increased, however, so the new cases can’t be attributed solely to more testing. 

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The 14-day average of the percent positivity was 14.22 on Friday. Excluding Thursday’s figure, because the Alabama Department of Public Health didn’t publish total tests administered on Thursday, which threw  off percent positive figures, Friday’s 14-day average was the highest it’s been since the beginning of the pandemic. 

There were a few higher 14-day average percent positivity days in April, but those numbers were skewed as well, because ADPH wasn’t able to collect all testing data from commercial labs during that time period. 

Along with surging new cases, the number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized on Thursday was higher than it’s been since the beginning of the pandemic. On Thursday 1,125 coronavirus patients were being treated in state hospitals, which was the fifth straight day of record current hospitalizations. 

UAB Hospital’s COVID-19 Intensive care units were nearing their existing capacity earlier this week. The hospital has both a COVID ICU and a COVID acute care unit designated to keep patients separated from those who don’t have the virus, but it has more space in other non-COVID units should it need to add additional bed space.

Hospitals in Madison County this week are also seeing a surge of COVID-19 patients. Paul Finley, the mayor of the city of Madison, told reporters Wednesday that local hospitals were reporting record numbers.

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