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Daily News Digest – April 10, 2020

Presented by

Alabama’s Locally-Owned Health Mart Community Pharmacies


Good morning!
A blessed Good Friday to all who observe. May we be ever aware to the pain and suffering in the world, especially now.
Here’s your Daily News for Friday, April 10.



1. There’s going to be weather

  • It’s that time of the year.
  • Weather parameters are falling into place for a potentially significant severe weather threat for Alabama on Easter Sunday.
  • According to James Spann, “We expect a very favorable environment for organized convection, including the potential for long-track supercells and a corresponding strong tornado risk. Very strong low- to mid-level flow fields will also support widespread damaging wind potential.”
  • There’s no reason to get super worried about weather that we can’t control, but it’s good to be aware of the threat so we can be prepared.
  • Read and watch more from James Spann HERE.



2. Unemployment claims reach historic high

  • Unemployment claims reached levels never before recorded last week, according to the latest numbers from the Alabama Department of Labor.
  • From March 29 to April 4, 106,739 initial unemployment claims were made, of which 94,047 were related to COVID-19, the ADOL said. That is the highest number of weekly claims ever reported since 1987, when the metric was first tracked.
  • Job sector information wasn’t available for 36,662 of those new claims, according to ADOL. But 13,962 came from manufacturing, followed by 12,121 in the accommodation and food services industry. Health care and social assistance workers made up 10,483 of the new claims, followed by 10,148 in retail trade.
  • About a possible continuation of record-breaking claims, department communications director Tara Hutchison said ADOL has seen fewer preliminary claims so far this week than at the same time last week.
  • “However, it all depends on how long the pandemic lasts and how many other businesses ultimately end up affected,” she said.
  • Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington announced Thursday that Alabama began paying the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation benefit on Wednesday. The benefit was established with the passing of the federal CARES Act on March 27. Under the legislation, anyone receiving unemployment compensation benefits is eligible for the additional $600 a week stimulus payment. The payment is added to the recipient’s state weekly benefit amount. The maximum weekly state benefit is $275.
  • Read more from ADN’s Will Whatley HERE.






A message from

Alabama’s Locally-Owned Health Mart Community Pharmacies

  • Alabama’s community pharmacists are more than just the friendly faces that fill your prescriptions every month; they are an essential link in the healthcare chain.
  • In rural areas, community pharmacists are often the first – and sometimes the only – healthcare contact for residents in a community.
  • In addition to keeping Alabama communities healthy by filling prescriptions, most of the APCI network of community pharmacies provide vital healthcare services such as immunizations, clinical testing, and medication counseling.
  • We appreciate the pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and pharmacy staff members – your friends and neighbors – in our locally-owned pharmacies who go above and beyond to safely meet the healthcare needs of Alabamians during this unprecedented time.




3. Resumption of parole hearings considered

  • The Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles is looking at how it might restart parole hearings after canceling them indefinitely three weeks ago in response to concerns about the new coronavirus.
  • At least one lawmaker and criminal justice advocates think parole hearings need to continue in order to mitigate the possible outbreak of COVID-19 in prisons and they argue a health order from Gov. Kay Ivey would allow parole hearings to continue virtually. Bureau officials earlier this week said online hearings were’t legal.
  • Alabama law says the bureau is not allowed to hold meetings and deliberations through electronic communications, but the March 18 health order from Gov. Kay Ivey states that governmental bodies may take actions through telecommunications during this public health emergency whenever possible.
  • And for now, Bureau Director Charlie Graddick has the final word. Neither Attorney General Steve Marshall’s office or Ivey’s office would say whether online hearings would be legal during a state of emergency.
  • Even so, there is a 30-day notice requirement to crime victims, so it could be that the next parole hearings would take place after the state of emergency is lifted.
  • Graddick said in an emailed statement Thursday that they hope to “announce a plan and timetable soon” on when parole hearings can resume.
  • “The resumption of hearings is a complex issue given the national health emergency, stringent laws governing the board’s hearing process, including a 30-day notice requirement to crime victims and officials, and the legal requirements providing crime victims and other stakeholders the opportunity for meaningful in-person participation,” Graddick said.
  • Read the full story from ADN’s Caroline Beck HERE.



4. Small business boost fails first Senate vote

  • The Senate has twisted itself into knots over President Donald Trump’s new coronavirus aid request, as Democrats refused to rubber stamp his proposal for $250 billion more to boost small businesses, demanding modifications along with an additional $250 billion for health care providers and states. Republicans wouldn’t go along.
  • The standoff Thursday doesn’t end the pursuit of more rescue funds, but it came as the government reported that 6.6 million more people filed for unemployment benefits last week, increasing worries that the economy is sliding toward a severe recession. The small business program at issue is off to a rocky rollout.
  • GOP leader Mitch McConnell sought to keep Thursday’s debate limited to Trump’s request and wouldn’t accept Democratic additions. Even if the GOP plan had succeeded in the Senate, the Democratic-controlled House is determined to make changes to ensure small businesses in minority communities benefit from the burst of government funding.
  • Democrats and Republicans agree the aid is urgently needed and talks are sure to continue, but it reinforces that Congress and the White House will need to find bipartisan agreement — especially with lawmakers scattered in their states and districts and both the House and Senate unable to conduct roll-call votes.
  • “Nobody thinks this will be the Senate’s last word on COVID-19,” McConnell said. “Let’s continue to work together, with speed and bipartisanship. We will get through this crisis together.”
  • Full story HERE.


5. Del Marsh: A logical path forward

  • Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh contributes an op-ed for today’s Daily News outlining steps he believes should be taken to get life back to normal after the coronavirus outbreak.
  • He argues that some of the pandemic models used to rationalize “lockdown and shelter in place” policies have since proven to be “unreliable,” which will help next time there is an outbreak.
  • He also details several recommendations that the state and federal government should consider after April 30.
  • Here’s an excerpt:
“Now that we have the facts, it is time to take a rifle approach instead of the shotgun approach. This will allow us to save just as many lives without destroying our state’s economy and ultimately public services. I welcome input to this strategy. Now is the time to prepare for the future. We have the information to make calculated and rational decisions.”
  • Read Marsh’s full piece HERE.


News Briefs

AlabamaWorks! to identify COVID-19 impact with business survey

  • AlabamaWorks! is conducting an Alabama COVID-19 Workforce Response Survey to help the state fully understand the impact of the pandemic on the state’s workforce and provide a clear path forward for businesses, industry and state government.
  • Businesses large and small are asked to participate.
  • “While these are challenging times, we fully understand that now, more than ever, business and industry leaders must continue to work together with Governor Ivey’s administration and various state agencies to move us all forward together,” Alabama Workforce Council Chairman Tim McCartney said.
  • The official survey, which is critical for helping individual industry sectors recover from COVID-19, is available here:
  • Full story HERE.


Medical Association President: Stay Home, Stay Safe

  • The head of the Medical Association of the State of Alabama is urging state residents to keep abiding by the stay home order implemented last week and to remain vigilant in their social distancing efforts.
  • John S. Meigs, Jr., MD, is the president of the association, which represents medical doctors throughout the state.
  • In an op-ed this week, Meigs gave the medical perspective on public policy decisions.
  • “For a contagious respiratory infection for which we have no treatment, isolation, social distancing and public avoidance are our only effective means to slow down the spread of this disease and save lives. Dr. Scott Harris and Governor Ivey are to be commended for having the courage to make this difficult decision and to do what is right, what was needed, in the face of the political pressure against these measures.”
  • Read his full letter HERE.

Synagogue vandalized with swastikas, anti-Semitic slurs

  • HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama synagogue has been vandalized with swastikas and other anti-Semitic graffiti at the start of Passover.
  • News outlets reported Thursday that Huntsville police were investigating after the Etz Chayim temple was desecrated Wednesday night.
  • Photos showed at least two Nazi symbols on the exterior of the building along with anti-Jewish slurs.
  • A statement from another Jewish congregation in the city, B’nai Sholom, says an attack on one synagogue is an attack on all. The statement says B’nai Sholom has asked for additional police protection in response.
  • Etz Chayim’s website describes it as a conservative synagogue with about 60 families as members.

Tagovailoa’s agent says he’s healthy, will be ready for camp

  • Tua Tagovailoa’s agent says the quarterback is healthy and will be ready for training camp.
  • Tagovailoa held a virtual pro day with former NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer on Thursday after the former Alabama star’s personal pro day was canceled because of the coronavirus outbreak. Video of Tagovailoa’s workout will be sent to NFL teams.
  • Tagovailoa injured his hip on Nov. 15 and had season-ending surgery two days later. He is expected to be among the top five picks in the NFL draft later this month.
  • “His health is just fine,” agent Leigh Steinberg told The Associated Press. “There’s two doctors that have seen him, Dr. Lyle Cain (Alabama’s orthopedic surgeon), and Dr. Chip Routt, who performed the surgery. Both have said that he is healthy and he’ll be lively and ready to go for training camp and the likelihood of recurrence is very low.”
  • Doctors cleared Tagovailoa to run and begin football activities on March 9 and he has been training with Dilfer, who won a Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens.
  • “He’s running around, he’s bouncing around with high energy,” Steinberg said.
  • Tagovailoa replaced Jalen Hurts in January 2018 and rallied Alabama to a victory over Georgia in the national championship game. He won the starting job that fall, beating out Hurts, then led Alabama back to another title game, where it lost to Clemson.
  • Tagovailoa was the Heisman Trophy runner-up in 2018.
  • Story link.




A message from

The Alabama Department of Archives & History

  • Explore Alabama’s history from the comfort of your couch!
  • With schools and businesses closed and social distancing required, the Archives has launched a new website, It features links to free resources from more than twenty organizations across the state.
  • The site includes links to virtual tours and exhibits, recorded public programs, documentaries, educational materials, digital collections, research databases, publications, and more. New content is added frequently.







ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – James Spann: Significant severe weather threat for Alabama Sunday


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama unemployment claims reach historic levels


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Resumption of parole hearings being considered


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – UPDATED: Prison construction proposal deadline extended, 2 developers remain


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Senators block new virus aid


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – AlabamaWorks! to identify COVID-19 impact with business survey


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Medical Association President: Stay Home, Stay Safe


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Tagovailoa’s agent says he’s healthy, will be ready for camp


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Farm product prices fall amid pandemic, but no shortage in food pipeline


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Sessions targets China, calls for ‘reset’ in relationship


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Point of order: Congress weighs how to govern from afar


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama resolves complaint over old ventilator guidelines


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – As grocery stores serve essential need, capacity limits and safety measures added


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest, April 9, 2020


AL.COM  – Alabama begins paying stimulus unemployment benefits; $40M on the way to workers.


AL.COM  – Alabama schools chief worried about mental health, meals, internet access for students


AL.COM  – 393 Alabama healthcare providers, 155 nursing home staff, residents have coronavirus


AL.COM  – Pandemic not halting 2020 Census count in Alabama


AL.COM  – Alabama near the top among states with people needing loans due to pandemic


AL.COM  – Tornado season during COVID-19 pandemic may bring difficult decisions


AL.COM  – Stimulus checks to arrive sooner than expected; deposits reportedly start ‘early’ next week


AL.COM  – Alabama law enforcement debunk rumors of state line checkpoints


AL.COM  – As demand spikes, Alabama food banks are running out of food and resources


Montgomery Advertiser – Coronavirus: Food donations pour in for River Region health care workers


Montgomery Advertiser – Coronavirus: Alabama BOE votes to waive final requirements so student teachers can graduate


Montgomery Advertiser – Group wants to give black girls cash for spreading joy during coronavirus pandemic


YellowHammer News – Sessions: U.S. should stop funding ‘corrupt’ World Health Organization


YellowHammer News – Ainsworth forms subcommittee to plan reopening of Alabama’s economy


YellowHammer News – Auburn veterinarian advises public to not self-medicate with Ivermectin


Tuscaloosa News – University Medical Center offers town halls, telemedicine


Tuscaloosa News – Coronavirus threat extends Mercedes plant shutdown


Tuscaloosa News – Tornado or virus? Pandemic means tough sheltering decisions


Decatur Daily – Farm product prices fall amid pandemic, but no shortage in food pipeline


Decatur Daily – Extra unemployment money on the way in Alabama


Decatur Daily – Joint venture AFC Feed to build $7.4 million animal feed facility and warehouse


Times Daily – Deadline extended for prison contract proposals


Times Daily – Florence Library doors closed, but services continue


Times Daily – Council will interview board of ed candidates by phone


Anniston Star – More than 2,800 COVID-19 cases in Alabama; 78 have died


Anniston Star – Calhoun County task force shifts from COVID-19 preparedness to response


Anniston Star – Alabama extends prison construction proposal deadline, 2 developers remain


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Warnings about Stimulus Checks and other Coronavirus Fraud Attempts


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Resumption of parole hearings being considered


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Prison construction proposal deadline extended, 2 developers remain


WAFF Huntsville – Guntersville Fire and Rescue take safety precautions during COVID-19 pandemic


WAFF Huntsville – Marshall County Schools receive new buses with outside cameras


WAFF Huntsville – Prison construction proposal deadline extended, 2 developers remain


Gadsden Times – Courthouse employee tests positive for COVID-19


Gadsden Times – ADPH data offers state COVID-19 insight


Gadsden Times – More than 2,500 cases; 48 COVID-19 deaths


Dothan Eagle – EMA: Possible severe storms in Easter forecast


Dothan Eagle – Southeast Health ready if COVID-19 spikes


Dothan Eagle – Dothan doctor with COVID-19 vlog hopes to save lives through education


Troy Messenger – TES students learn, celebrate from a distance


Troy Messenger – Boxes will help feed elderly


Troy Messenger – Locals leaders ‘not seeing a big surge yet’


Andalusia Star News – Nine cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Covington County


Andalusia Star News – How local churches will provide Easter services


Andalusia Star News – AES TAG students create motivational posters to boost spirits


Opelika-Auburn News – Opelika council hires contractor for Covington Rec


Opelika-Auburn News – Ignore social media on veterinary drug for COVID-19, says AU prof


Opelika-Auburn News – COVID-19 latest: Lee, Tallapoosa counties reporting more deaths; Lee County confirmed cases top 200, state cases near 2,800; Auburn University Med Clinic sets up testing site in parking deck


Daily Mountain Eagle – Jasper City Schools joins ‘Be the Light’ movement


Daily Mountain Eagle – Jasper police, firefighters find special way to honor JPD officer’s son on his third birthday


Daily Mountain Eagle – Bozeman: Grocery store employees “accepted the challenge”


Trussville Tribune – Alabama Small Business Commission’s Emergency Task Force forms subcommittee on reopening state’s economy


Trussville Tribune – Alabama confirmed coronavirus cases move to 2,838, official deaths at 48 with 78 reported


Trussville Tribune – Jefferson State Community College donates ventilators to EAMC as hospital celebrates first virus patient’s recovery from coronavirus


Athens News Courier – Pandemic impacts Relay for Life fundraising efforts in Athens


Athens News Courier – 1 dead in truck accident on Alabama 53


Athens News Courier – County school board to livestream meeting


Sand Mountain Reporter – ColorMasters confirms two COVID-19 cases


Sand Mountain Reporter – Man stabbed, killed in Boaz | Victim, suspect identified


Sand Mountain Reporter – 2 Wayne Farms employees test positive for COVID-19 | Company says food still safe


WSFA Montgomery – CAVHCS working to protect patients, staff during COVID-19


WSFA Montgomery – Gov. Ivey sends special Easter egg surprise to Alabama children with serious illnesses


WSFA Montgomery – Montgomery nurse volunteers for battle against COVID-19 in New York City


WKRG Mobile – Mobile family worries unemployment money could come too late


WKRG Mobile – Blue Wahoos offering meal kits during baseball shutdown


WKRG Mobile – Family: McIntosh man dies from COVID-19, “He drove himself to the hospital and never left”


WTVY Dothan – Apr. 9th: Alabama has 2,547 confirmed cases of coronavirus as deaths toll nears 50


WTVY Dothan – Alabama Department of Labor now paying federal $600 stimulus benefit


WTVY Dothan – ALEA dispels rumors during Alabama’s stay at home order


WASHINGTON POST  – Trump administration pushing to reopen much of the U.S. next month


WASHINGTON POST  – Trump forges ahead with broader agenda even as coronavirus upends the country


WASHINGTON POST  – New pressures arise as disease seems to level off but economy plummets


NEW YORK TIMES  – For McConnell, Virus Carries Echo of His Boyhood Polio


NEW YORK TIMES  – Across the South, ‘Walking a Tightrope’ While Awaiting the Worst


NEW YORK TIMES  – Small Businesses Wait for Cash as Disaster Loan Program Unravels



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