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Daily News Digest – April 20, 2020

Presented by

Alabama Counts!


Good morning!
Man, how about the first two episodes of that Michael Jordan/Bulls documentary. Had some serious ’80s/’90s kid feels going on last night.
Here’s your Daily News for Monday, April 20.



1. Another Sunday, another squall of storms

  • Severe thunderstorms pounded parts of the Deep South with hail, high winds and drenching rains on Sunday as forecasters warned residents to brace for possible overnight tornadoes and flooding across a region reeling from a deadly twister outbreak one week ago.
  • Alabama’s Wiregrass region was hit particularly hard late last night as reports of wind damage ranged from Troy south to Dothan.
  • One death has been reported in Henry County, according to WTVY.
  • Alabama Power says as many as 30,000 of its customers lost electricity last night and crews now are working to restore service.
  • It looks like our next severe weather threat will be Thursday. Such is life during spring in the South.
  • Read more HERE.


2. Coronavirus pushes telemedicine efforts, access in Alabama

  • The new coronavirus has changed so many aspects of our daily lives, and some of those changes may have lasting impacts long after the virus is finally gone.
  • One is telemedicine, or connecting doctors and patients remotely for visits. While it existed in Alabama before the coronavirus, the need to keep residents at a social distance has quickly ramped up its use.
  • Dr. Eric Wallace, the medical director for telehealth at UAB, has been working to create a statewide telehealth network in Alabama. He said the conversation has altered dramatically because of the coronavirus.
  • “It’s changed from a patient willingness to do telehealth, from a provider willingness to do telehealth, from a payer willingness to do telehealth,” Wallace said. “Now we have a real imperative that we have to deliver health care this way.”
  • Wallace said that with a cell phone camera and a good connection, a physical examination can be done, but telehealth visits aren’t yet a complete replacement for in-person appointments.
  • “Telehealth is not about getting 100% of our visits remotely, it’s about getting as many visits as possible remotely to prevent the spread while making sure that the people who need care and need it here in person have that option,” he said.
  • Of course, there are challenges to a dramatically increased reliance on telemedicine. Not everybody has a laptop or camera with a video camera on it. And, with Alabama’s well-documented broadband access issues, not everybody lives in an area where you have the coverage to connect with a doctor via FaceTime.
  • All of this is informing a health policy discussion that will be interesting to see develop.
  • Read the full story from ADN’s Mary Sell HERE.






A message from

Alabama Counts!


Census 2020 has formally launched nationwide!
All Alabamians are encouraged to participate, as a low count could result in the loss of $13.6 billion in federal and state funding, the loss of potential economic development opportunities, and a reduced state representation in Congress.
The 10-question Census takes only six minutes or less, and you can participate online, by phone or via traditional paper form.
All participants’ information is protected by strict federal law.
Take yours at  today!





3. Trump, Congress near deal on small business, hospital aid

  • The Trump administration and Congress expect an agreement today on an aid package of up to $450 billion to boost a small-business loan program that has run out of money and add funds for hospitals and COVID-19 testing.
  • As talks continued, President Donald Trump said there’s a “good chance” of reaching a bipartisan agreement with Democrats.
  • “We are very close to a deal,” Trump said Sunday at the White House.
  • Along with the small business boost, Trump said the negotiators were looking at “helping our hospitals,” particularly hard-hit rural health care providers.
  • The Senate is scheduled for a pro forma session Monday, but no vote has been set.
  • The House announced it could meet as soon as Wednesday for a vote on the pending package, according to a schedule update from Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md.
  • With small-business owners reeling during a coronavirus outbreak that has shuttered much economic activity, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he was hopeful of a deal that could pass Congress quickly and get the Small Business Administration program back up by midweek.
  • “I’m hopeful that we can get that done,” Mnuchin said Sunday.
  • The emerging deal would provide $300 billion for small-business payroll program, and $50 billion would be available for small business disaster fund. Additionally, it would bring $75 billion for hospitals and $25 billion for testing, according to those involved in the talks.
  • Full story HERE.


4. Then & now: ten years after oil spill

  • The first photo was taken June 12, 2010 by the late, great Dave Martin of The Associated Press. The photo, which shows crude oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill washing ashore in Orange Beach, became one of the defining images of the 2010 oil spill.
  • The second one was taken a few weeks ago by AP’s Gerald Herbert along the same beach. It shows the pristine, emerald waters we are used to in Orange Beach.
  • Together, they illustrate the difference ten years makes since the 2010 catastrophe.
  • The spill that began April 20, 2010, killed 11 workers on an oil platform and marred miles of coastline from Texas to Florida. Money to corral the oil, clean estuaries and prop up economies began flowing shortly after the disaster, though much of it came from the 2016 approval of a $20.8 billion settlement that dictated payments by BP through 2031.
  • Not only have many cities and economies bounced back, they’re seeing new life and business in ways unforeseen during what locals call the “summer of oil.”
  • Jay Reeves takes us back to that time and forward to the present as only he can to show us how coastal life is different today along the Gulf Coast.
  • Read his full story HERE.



5. Column: From the oil spill, lessons and hope for coronavirus


  • Not to overdo it, but I have some thoughts on the oil spill myself.
  • Back then, I was working for Gov. Bob Riley as his press secretary, a role that offered a behind the scenes glimpse into a unique disaster and response.
  • There really is no comparison in terms of size and scope of the oil spill and what is happening now with the new coronavirus outbreak – there’s a reason we keep using the word unprecedented.
  • But there are some unmistakable parallels between the two, and perhaps lessons to be applied.
  • I wrote about some in my latest column. Here’s an excerpt:
“What made the oil spill different from previous or succeeding disasters, including tornadoes and hurricanes, is that the spill was ongoing as state and local leaders reacted. When a storm hits, the response begins the day after, and while it may take weeks or even months, the event that caused the damage is in the rear view mirror. That wasn’t the situation a decade ago and it’s not the case today with the coronavirus in Alabama.
“While April 20, 2010 was the date the disaster happened, it would be days before we knew there was oil leaking from a well at the bottom of the Gulf and several weeks before crude actually touched Alabama’s shores. What ensued was a months-long effort to prepare the coast for this slow-moving, but increasingly inevitable threat to the state’s way of life. That, along with its unprecedented nature, makes the oil spill more like the new coronavirus response than any natural disaster. The other day I told Jo Bonner, Gov. Kay Ivey’s chief of staff, that in some ways their administration is dealing with an oil spill, but it’s in every county of the state and this one kills people.
“Of course, Jo remembers ten years ago…”
  • Read the full column HERE.




A message from

The Alabama State Port Authority

To support Alabama’s manufacturing, retail/distribution, agribusiness and coal industries, we’re investing in seaport infrastructure, and adding capacity so that Alabama companies remain competitive in the global market place.
Competitive Alabama companies mean prosperity and jobs.
The PORT. Delivering a World of Opportunity.


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Storms rake Deep South, 1 week after deadly tornado outbreak


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Then and now: Coast is different 10 years after spill


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Sparkling waters hide some lasting harm from 2010 oil spill


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump, Congress near deal on small business, hospital aid


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Stacy column: In 10 years since oil spill, lessons for coronavirus response


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS  – Plan shows possible path to reopening many small businesses


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS  – Ivey: Return to ‘normal’ must be gradual


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS   – ADOC: 3 COVID-19 cases reported in prisons, 1 inmate died after diagnosis


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS   – Hammett: Utility Workers and Service Providers Continue to Power Alabama


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Weekend Digest, April 19, 2020


AL.COM  – Coronavirus strikes nine in east Alabama family, killing three


AL.COM  – The new normal: How Alabama might reopen after coronavirus lockdowns


AL.COM  – About 1,200 people in Alabama have recovered from coronavirus, ADPH says


AL.COM  – Alabama company does the dirty job of cleaning up coronavirus


AL.COM  – 10 years after Deepwater Horizon disaster: Along Alabama’s Gulf Coast, questions, and work, go on


AL.COM  – Columnist Kyle Whitmire: A love letter for the Post Office


AL.COM  – Columnist Frances Coleman: Whatever ‘normal’ used to be, it’ll be something different soon


Montgomery Advertiser – Live updates: Major storms affect power for about 7,500 Alabama Power customers


Montgomery Advertiser – University of Alabama’s Moody Music Building catches fire


Montgomery Advertiser – Man shot on Happiness Avenue on Sunday evening, one of three Montgomery weekend shootings


YellowHammer News – Montgomery Chamber issues students STEM challenge to make PPE for health care workers


YellowHammer News – State Sen. Arthur Orr: ‘I think there’s some steps we can take that would start releasing the grip of the government over our state’


YellowHammer News – State Health Officer Dr. Harris: ‘Makes perfect sense’ to wait for a couple more weeks of coronavirus declines to open businesses back up


Dothan Eagle – Pandemic reshapes life within Southeast Health walls


Dothan Eagle – Answer Man: How do you get rid of old motor oil stains on concrete?


Tuscaloosa News – Firefighters respond to fire at Moody Music Building


Tuscaloosa News – Coronavirus live updates: US death toll hits 40,000; New York set for aggressive antibody testing; more cash soon for small businesses


Tuscaloosa News – Tuscaloosa resident finds way to honor essential workers


Decatur Daily – On the front lines: Decatur woman working as ER nurse in Brooklyn


Decatur Daily – State unemployment rate expected to rise even more after March sees slight increase


Decatur Daily – On the front lines: Decatur woman working as ER nurse in Brooklyn


Times Daily – TimesDaily to increase home delivery price April 20


Times Daily – Project will make Sheffield Public Library restrooms ADA compliant


Times Daily – College HVAC teacher gets creative during challenging times


Gadsden Times – Cherokee County DHR in need of foster parents


Gadsden Times – Gadsden area family loses three members to COVID-19


Gadsden Times – McCords Crossroads homemakers sewing masks


Anniston Star – Alexandria man charged after firing at deputies during seven-hour standoff


Anniston Star – Look Back … to trouble in River City, according to one pastor, 1945


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Sunday morning storms cause extensive damage in Thorsby


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Suspect arrested in B’ham manhunt linked to Chelsea Robbery


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Homicide investigation underway in Birmingham


WAFF Huntsville – Huntsville Police recover drugs and gun stolen in Bessemer


WAFF Huntsville – BREAKING: Moody Music Building on campus of UA on fire; crews working to put out flames


WAFF Huntsville – National Guard teams disinfect nursing homes with positive COVID-19 cases


Troy Messenger – ‘We can’t afford another shutdown’


Troy Messenger – On closing: ‘There was no reason to lose money’, owner says


Troy Messenger – Boutwell’s lifelong hobby finds a place in new showroom


Andalusia Star News – 44.9% of locals have taken time to complete Census


Andalusia Star News – Opp native living in the epicenter of COVID-19 in U.S.


Andalusia Star News – Wetumpka brothers were World War II vets


Opelika-Auburn News – Storms bring street flooding, wind damage


Opelika-Auburn News – Auburn University students spruce up EAMC


Opelika-Auburn News – Two coronavirus patients: one tested, one untested


Daily Mountain Eagle – Commissioners commend others for help after storms


Daily Mountain Eagle – Lambert overseeing hospital response to COVID-19


Daily Mountain Eagle – ALDOT crews work on road destroyed by storm


Trussville Tribune – Center Point Fire District to honor fallen firefighter 20 years after death


Trussville Tribune – St. Clair County Jail: Inmate Roster, Sunday, April 19, 2020


Trussville Tribune – Alabama confirmed coronavirus cases near 5,000 with 113 deaths


Athens News Courier – Mom hauling kids accused of ramming partner’s SUV


Athens News Courier – 13 killed in Canada shooting rampage, deadliest in 30 years


Athens News Courier – FLYING HOME: Mooresville teen builds house for town’s bats


Sand Mountain Reporter – Kappler closes after employee contracts COVID-19


Sand Mountain Reporter – Domestic violence cases rise amidst pandemic


Sand Mountain Reporter – Weathering the aftermath | Boaz man recounts night of devastating twister


WSFA Montgomery – COVID-19 impacting law enforcement operations


WSFA Montgomery – Severe weather causes major damage at Wind Creek State Park


WSFA Montgomery – List of safe places, shelters as severe weather expected Sunday


WKRG Mobile – FDOH reports death of 44-year-old man related to COVID-19 in Okaloosa County, marks the county’s third death


WKRG Mobile – Over 62,000 Alabama residents without power


WKRG Mobile – Nearly 100 workers infected with COVID-19 at Tyson plant


WTVY Dothan – Weather claims the life of Henry County resident


WTVY Dothan – Lockdown politics increasingly pit economic, health concerns


WTVY Dothan – Gunman kills 16 in rampage, deadliest in Canadian history


WASHINGTON POST  – Trump administration, congressional leaders near deal on virus aid that includes major boost for small businesses


WASHINGTON POST  – Trump says government will step up coronavirus testing efforts, after governors blast federal inaction


WASHINGTON POST  – Ten years after Gulf of Mexico oil spill, Trump administration weakens regulations


WASHINGTON POST  – The World Health Organization — under attack by Trump — was targeted by conservatives in 1948, too


NEW YORK TIMES  – Antibody Test, Seen as Key to Reopening Country, Does Not Yet Deliver

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