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Today is Thanksgiving

Brandon Moseley

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Today is a state and national holiday thanking God for the many blessings that He has bestowed on us and our country.

The first Thanksgiving was celebrated by the surviving Pilgrims and their Wampanoag Indian friends celebrating the Pilgrims’ first harvest after a brutal winter. The successful first harvest with the aid of the compassionate Indians insured that the Plymouth Colony survived.

Thanksgiving was first declared a holiday by the first President George Washington in 1789 after it was requested by the U.S. Congress.

President Thomas Jefferson made the decision not to celebrate the holiday and the holiday went in and out of fashion depending on the whims of each President until Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a federal holiday in 1863, during the height of the Civil War. Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens,” to be celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November.

In 1620, a group of religious dissenters left England aboard the Mayflower bound for the English colony in Virginia, founded in 1607. En route to the new world they made the decision to divert the ship towards the American wilderness and landed near modern-day Plymouth, Massachusetts to set up their own colony separate and totally isolated from the Virginians and the then dominant Church of England. The Pilgrims had no authority from the crown to do this and theoretically separated themselves from England and support from the outside world. 45 of the 102 immigrants died during that harsh first New England winter, and there was only one recorded birth.

In Virginia, the English colonists quickly got into a decades-long series of wars with the Indians of the Chesapeake Bay area. The Pilgrims strived to have friendly relations with the Indians. They managed to plant and harvest their first crop with tremendous help from the Native Americans allowing them to survive. The surviving Pilgrims celebrated a bountiful harvest that would sustain them for the next winter. Following the harvest, they invited their Wampanoag Indian friends to a celebration thanking God that they survived such a dangerous gamble, and the first Thanksgiving was born.

According to the colony’s governor, William Bradford, and future governor, Edward Winslow, the first Thanksgiving meal included onions, beans, lettuce, spinach, cabbage, carrots, peas, corn, potatoes, lobster, bass, clams, oysters, turkey and various waterfowl. The Wampanoag Indians brought an offering of five deer. The pilgrims gave thanks to God, offered prayers and sang hymns in celebration.

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In 1628, a much larger colony, the Massachusetts Bay Colony, arrived with a charter to create a “New England.” They were shocked to find the hardy Pilgrims were already there, cementing the pilgrims a place in the history of what would eventually become the United States.

The Pilgrims were not the first English settlers in North America. Virginia was founded thirteen years earlier and they celebrated a day of Thanksgiving in 1610. The English were not the first European settlers in North America. St. Augustine was founded by the Spanish in 1565, 55 years ahead of the Pilgrims landing at Plymouth; but somehow it was the Pilgrims with their distinctive black clothes, religious fervor, turkey dinners, and friendly relations with the Native Americans that has captured the national imagination.

Today is a day for thanking God for the blessings that we have enjoyed, renewing and strengthening ties with family, making memories, and eating too much turkey and dressing, arguing about whether bread dressing or cornbread dressing is better, and watching parades and NFL football on TV.

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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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Elections

Alabama Forestry Association endorses Tuberville

Brandon Moseley

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Republican U.S. Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville.

Wednesday, the Alabama Forestry Association announce that it is endorsing Republican Tommy Tuberville for the United States Senate.

“We are proud to endorse Tommy Tuberville in the United States Senate race,” said AFA Executive Vice President Chris Isaacson. “He is a conservative with an impressive list of accomplishments, and we know that he will continue that record in his role as U.S. Senator. Tommy knows that decisions made in Washington impact families and businesses and will be an effective voice for the people of Alabama.”

“I am honored to have the endorsement of the Alabama Forestry Association,” Coach Tuberville stated. “The AFA is an excellent organization that stands for pro-business policies. Protecting Alabama industry is a key to our state’s success.”

Coach Tuberville recently won the Republican nomination after a primary season that was extended because of the coronavirus global pandemic.

Tuberville is a native of Arkansas and a graduate of Southern Arkansas University. He held a number of assistant coaching positions, including defensive coordinator at Texas A&M and the University of Miami where he won a national championship. Tuberville has been a head coach at Mississippi, Auburn, Texas Tech, and Cincinnati. In his nine years at Auburn University the team appeared in eight consecutive bowl games. His 2004 team won the SEC Championship and the Sugar Bowl. Tuberville coached that team to a perfect 13 to 0 season.

Tuberville has been married to his wife Suzanne since 1991. They have two sons and live in Auburn.

Tuberville is challenging Democratic incumbent Doug Jones in the November 3 general election.

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Health

Corinth, Mississippi, is the scenario that school superintendents must be prepared for

Brandon Moseley

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Many Alabama school systems will resume in-person classes later this month. Corinth Mississippi rushed ahead to open classes and already there are positive tests for the coronavirus and over a hundred students are now in quarantine. This is the fear that every school superintendent in the country will have to face when making the decision on whether or not to resume in person classes in their school systems.

Taylor Coombs, a spokesperson for the Corinth School District, told CNN that six students and one staff member have tested positive for the novel strain of the coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. Coombs said that an additional 116 students have been considered in “close contact” of a positive case have been sent home to quarantine for 14 days. Corinth has 2,700 students.

The Corinth School District told parents in a letter posted on Facebook Wednesday that an individual from Corinth Middle School tested positive as well as an employee at Corinth Elementary School. The letter said the school has done contact tracing and is asking anyone who had contact with the individuals to quarantine for 14 days.

While in quarantine, children cannot attend school or any school activities, such as sports.

In-person classes resumed in the district on July 27, according to the school calendar. Corinth parents were given the option of returning to the school for normal classes or to do virtual learning.

Corinth has been screening students and staff on a daily upon entering the building with temperature checks, according to the district’s reopening plan. Staff are having to answer questions daily about if they have had symptoms in the past several days. Despite this a number of students still were infected during the first week of school and over a hundred were exposed to the virus.

On Tuesday, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves (R) issued a mandatory mask mandate for the state which includes schools, beginning Wednesday.

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“I know that I want to see college football in the fall,’ Reeves said. “The best way for that to occur is for us all to recognize that wearing a mask, as irritating as it can be – and I promise you, I hate it more than anybody watching today — it is critical.”

Mississippi has the fifth-highest recorded case count per 100,000 people. 2.13 percent of the population having been already diagnosed with the infection. Mississippi trails only Louisiana, Arizona, Florida and New York.

Alabama is seventh in the country at 1.93 percent of the population. Of Alabama’s 91,776 total cases, 21,363 (23 percent) were diagnosed in just the last two weeks. 1,639 Alabamians have died already from COVID-19 to this point in the global pandemic. 314 of those deaths (19.2 percent) passed in just the last two weeks.

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Despite the setbacks, Mississippi is pushing ahead on reopening the schools.

“I believe that there is enough motivation (now) to safely get our kids in school that we can really juice the participation of mask wearing throughout our state for the next two weeks,” Gov. Reeves said on Tuesday when he issued the mask order and the new measures to combat the virus. Reeves acknowledged that the earlier “piecemeal approach” had not been effective.

Alabama will follow Mississippi’s lead and begin reopening schools next week, with the understanding that outbreaks, like Corinth, are possible and perhaps even likely as we move forward with in-person classes and high school football to follow later this month. School systems need to open with a plan for testing, quarantining, and unfortunately even for the unfortunate deaths of a staff member or student.

161,606 Americans have already died from the COVID-19 global pandemic.

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National

Public asked to help find missing mother of three en route to Alabama

Brandon Moseley

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Marilane Carter, age 36, left Kansas City, Kansas, late Saturday night Aug 1 heading to Birmingham seeking help for her mental health. She was seeking help possibly at Grandview or UAB. Her last known phone contact was near Memphis, Tennessee, around Sunday, August 2 at 8:00 p.m. near I-55.

According to the family, there has been no contact and no vehicle sighting since that time. Her phone is dead and there have been no credit card charges on her account.

“We are concerned for her safety,” the family said in a statement.

Marilane is married to Adam Carter and together they have three young children.

The family is asking that we all keep an eye out for Marilane and keep her and her family in your prayers.

Carter is 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs 130 pounds. She has long brown hair, green eyes, and was last seen wearing a green t-shirt and black yoga pants.

“The biggest thing: pray that God orchestrates this in such a way that brings Marilane to safety – as well as glory to Him,” the family wrote. “We covet your prayers and help to find Marilane. #findmarilane.”

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Marilane is a 36-year-old white female. She was driving a 2011 dark grey GMC Acadia with a Kansas tag: 194LFY. She has family in Kansas City, Birmingham, and Fairhope. If found or you have any information call 911 and ask for the police.

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Elections

Jones campaign says that Tuberville is not taking the pandemic seriously

Brandon Moseley

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Incumbent Sen. Doug Jones, left, and Republican challenger Tommy Tubberville, right.

Saturday, the Senator Doug Jones (D-Alabama) re-election campaign released a statement critical of Republican Senate nominee Tommy Tuberville suggesting that he is not taking the COVID-19 global pandemic serious enough.

“The Washington Post reported today that the stock market plummeted after jobless claims climbed last week by 1.4 million and the economy shrank by 9.5 percent — the biggest decline in most of our lifetimes,” the Jones campaign wrote. “While economists are worried about the permanent damage COVID-19 will do to the economy, and public health experts are pleading for people to abide by state and local mask orders, Tommy Tuberville “snickers” in response to questions about flouting public health orders while in DC to raise campaign cash. The people of Alabama need to know that Tuberville is not taking the pandemic seriously, raising serious questions about how he would handle this crisis if elected.”

The Washington Post reported that “Tuberville is fundraising and holding ­in-person meetings in Washington this week, defying orders from D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) that visitors from Alabama and other coronavirus hot spots quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.”

“Tuberville spent at least some of his time at the Trump International Hotel, according to a photo posted to Facebook by Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) showing the two men in the hotel lobby on Tuesday night,” the media reports stated. “Neither man was masked.”

Tuberville told the Alabama Media Group that he has been called “everything in the world,” so the last week is nothing new.

The Washington Post reported Wednesday the former Auburn coach broke Washington D.C. policy requiring “non-essential” visitors from states with high coronavirus case counts to self-quarantine for 14 days when he attended fundraising meetings in the city this week.

In addition, a photo of Tuberville with Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Arkansas) at the Trump International Hotel in Washington showed neither man wearing a face covering.

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Tuberville addressed the controversy in comments to the Alabama Republican Executive Committee on Saturday. Tuberville said that he followed all the rules and wore his mask everywhere he went. When he was at events he would take his mask off to dine and people would come over to his table to shake his hand and get their picture taken. The press has seized on those moments to attack him.

The COVID-19 global pandemic has killed 707,158 people worldwide including 160,833 Americans since it first was discovered in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China in late 2019. Absent an effective treatment or a vaccine, social distancing and masks are the only tools that we have to slow the spread of the virus.

The Tuberville versus Doug Jones race for U.S. Senate is going to have an important role in whether or not Republicans are able to hold on to their narrow Senate majority.

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Tuberville is an Arkansas native. He is best known for his tenure as Auburn University’s head football coach, which includes an undefeated and untied team that won the SEC Championship and the Sugar Bowl. He also coached at Texas Tech, Cincinnati, and Mississippi.

The general election is November 3. Tuberville has been endorsed by President Donald J. Trump (R).

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