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MUSCLE SHOALS — Northwest Alabama Council of Local Governments Executive Director Keith Jones is optimistic a bipartisan U.S. Senate bill could prevent increasing the population threshold of a Metropolitan Statistical Area from 50,000 to 100,000 people.

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Shoals sheriffs say they hope a new law going into effect in January 2022 will help ease their overcrowding problems, which are primarily caused by state inmates who can remain in the county jail for months, and sometimes years, before being transferred to the Department of Corrections.

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While numbers of individuals seeking the COVID-19 vaccination are dropping, Mike Melton said Lauderdale County officials remain committed to bringing vaccinations to remote parts of the county, and those who may not have had access to the shots.

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