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Daily News Digest – April 22, 2020

Presented by

The Boeing Company

Good morning!
Here’s your Daily News for Wednesday, April 22.

1. Ivey: Stay-home order remains

  • When Gov. Kay Ivey called a press conference for Tuesday morning, many expected her to announce some kind of change to the current public health stay-home order allowing some businesses to reopen. The preceding few days had included a public push from Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth and Congressman Mo Brooks for the state to begin reopening parts of the economy as well as protests from Tea Party types around the state. Also, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp announced his state would open up swaths of its economy beginning Friday. All that amounts to significant political pressure.
  • Instead, Ivey held firm, announcing no changes to the stay-home order and reiterating that her decisions would be based on health data and expert input, not desired dates. While social distancing appears to be working to prevent catastrophic coronavirus transmission levels, Alabama isn’t out of the woods yet with the coronavirus and more testing needs to be in place, she said.
  • Indeed, the same day as Ivey’s announcement, the state reported more than 200 new cases as Mobile County tests came in, plus 22 new deaths from the virus. Also, Wayne Farms reported 75 positive coronavirus cases and one death at its Albertville chicken processing plant. And the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began warning that a second wave of the coronavirus, possible this fall or winter, could be deadlier than the first.
  • Ivey intends for now to keep the stay-home order active through April 30 and will decide next week on what can reopen, saying the decisions will be driven by data amid public safety concerns as the global pandemic continues.
  • “No one wants to open up businesses more than I do,” Ivey said at a morning news conference. “All of our decisions that I’m going to make are going to come from data, not a desired date.”
  • State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said the state hasn’t quite met a White House recommendation of 14 days of declining cases before proceeding to an additional phase of reopening as the global pandemic continues.
  • Read more from Kim Chandler HERE.

2. Senate approves $483 billion in additional virus aid

  • A $483 billion coronavirus aid package flew through the Senate on Tuesday after Congress and the White House reached a deal to replenish a small-business payroll fund and provided new money for hospitals and testing.
  • It now goes to the House, with a vote set for Thursday.
  • “I urge the House to pass the bill,” Trump said at the White House.
  • After nearly two weeks of negotiations and deadlock, Congress and the White House reached agreement Tuesday on the package — the fourth as Washington strains to respond to the health and economic crisis.
  • The bipartisan bill, Washington’s fourth in response to the crisis, is not expected to be the last as lawmakers take unprecedented steps to confront the virus and prop up communities nationwide amid the health crisis.
  • Most of the funding, $331 billion, would go to boost a small-business payroll loan program that ran out of money last week. There would be $100 billion for health care, with $75 billion to hospitals and $25 billion to boost testing for the virus, a key step in building the confidence required to reopen state economies. There is $60 billion for small-business loans and grants.
  • What started as a Trump administration effort with Republicans to bolster the government’s small-business Paycheck Protection Program quickly doubled in size, second only to the nearly $2 trillion coronavirus rescue package that became law last month.
  • As negotiations dragged on, Democratic demands for additional funds for hospitals and virus testing in the states became more pressing, and eventually gained support from Republicans.
  • “The Senate is continuing to stand by the American people,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to an almost empty chamber.
  • Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said the bill was made “better and broader” after Democrats forced the inclusion of money for hospitals and testing.
  • Missing from the package, however, was extra funding for state and local governments staring down budget holes and desperate to avert furloughs and layoffs of workers needed to keep communities running.
  • Full story HERE.





A message from

The Boeing Company

  • Boeing is under contract to continue development and sustainment of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system – the only operationally deployed missile defense program capable of defending the entire U.S. homeland against long-range ballistic missile attacks.
  • The contract highlights the confidence in the team to use technical capabilities to expand and improve a state-of-the-art missile defense system.
  • Boeing has led the industry team as prime contractor and system architect since inception of the GMD program 15 years ago with engineers and experts who work right here in Alabama.
  • The team stands ready to use its expertise to address emerging threats, support the mission, and keep the GMD system modernized.








3. In a pinch, company helped state switch to online learning

  • The statewide closure of schools has prompted educators to find ways to add to their teaching capabilities.
  • Faced with an unprecedented challenge of quickly connecting the state’s online learning platform, last month Publishers’ Warehouse in partnership with EBSCO Information Services, created EBSCOed, a digital PreK-12 resource portal for educators, parents and students. The portal pulls together online and published resources purchased by the state.
  • EBSCO Information Services, a division of EBSCO Industries, Inc. based in Birmingham, provides optimized e-journals, e-books and research databases combined with discovery service to support information needs.
  • “When it was decided that Alabama would not be going back to school, we started on the think tank and on March 16 we had a test site for the State Department of Education to look at,” Lisa Silver, president of Publishers’ Warehouse, said.
  • From there, a technology team worked to launch the digital portal. On March 23, the EBSCOed site went live.
  • Teachers who are educating students remotely can visit the digital portal and build lesson plans to send them. For educators who do not have devices or internet access at home, materials can be printed from EBSCOed and then built into packages to push out to students.
  • Dr. Eric Mackey, the State Superintendent of Alabama, said the state has been “very successful” in distributing support and resources.
  • “We send things to local superintendents, and then they get them out to their principals and teachers,” Mackey said in a phone interview. “That system has, fortunately, worked wonderfully so far.”
  • Read the full story from ADN’s Abby Driggers HERE.



4. Trump bars new green cards

  • President Donald Trump announced what he described as a “temporary suspension of immigration into the United States.” But an executive order he is expected to sign today to implement the change would bar only those seeking permanent residency, not temporary workers.
  • “I will be signing my Executive Order prohibiting immigration into our country today,” Trump tweeted this morning.
  • The president said Tuesday he would put a 60-day pause on the issuance of green cards in an effort to limit competition for jobs in a U.S. economy wrecked by the coronavirus. The order would include “certain exemptions,” he said, but he declined to outline them, noting the order was still being crafted.
  • “By pausing immigration we’ll help put unemployed Americans first in line for jobs as America reopens, so important,” Trump said at the White House. “It would be wrong and unjust for Americans laid off by the virus to be replaced with new immigrant labor flown in from abroad.”
  • An administration official familiar with the plans, however, said the order will apply to foreigners seeking employment-based green cards and relatives of green card holders who are not citizens. Americans wishing to bring immediate family will still be able to do so, according to the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity before the plan was announced. About 1 million green cards were granted in the 2019 fiscal year, about half to spouses, children and parents of U.S. citizens.
  • Read more HERE.

5. APT: Educators, families & students ‘are not alone’

  • Alabama Public Television Executive Director Phil Hutcheson contributes an op-ed for the Daily News today telling educators, parents and students they can count on programming from APT throughout the uncertainty of the coronavirus outbreak.
  • APT’s educational programming has filled a technological gap in a way most never knew would be needed, as many rural areas in Alabama still lack access to the high speed internet needed to connect to online learning platforms.
  • It’s part of their original mission and plan moving forward, Hutcheson writes.
  • Here’s an excerpt:
“When schools closed last month, we immediately responded by changing our broadcast services to provide curriculum-related programming from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. Our statewide broadcast signal reaches more than 1.4 million Alabama households—96 percent of Alabama’s residents. Because of our unique ability to reach so many Alabamians, we have partnered with the Alabama State Department of Education to support educators and families as they embark on a new and unexpected journey to provide distance learning for students by supplying high-quality content accessible to nearly every household in Alabama…
“The past few weeks have been undeniably challenging for parents and educators alike. Meeting the demands of sheltering in place while facilitating your children’s learning is overwhelming. But know that you are not alone. Alabama Public Television is working hard to help parents and children connect with resources to help you through these months of school closures.”
  • Read the full op-ed HERE.


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS  – Alabama stay-home order to remain; protest held at Capitol


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS  – Senate approves $483B virus aid deal, sends it to House


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Online educational resource rolled out for Alabama educators, parents, students


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS  – Trump order to bar new green cards, not temporary visas


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS  – APT’s Phil Hutcheson to families, educators: ‘You are not alone’


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Georgia to reopen some businesses as early as Friday


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Publicly traded firms get $300M in small-business loans


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – AG: Hundreds report coronavirus-related price gouging


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – AG Marshall: Crime victims will still be heard during pandemic


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – April 21, 2020


AL.COM  – Gov. Kay Ivey says Alabama’s stay-at-home order remains in place


AL.COM  – Family Court trial referee who survived coronavirus: State not ready to fully reopen


AL.COM  – ‘It affects us all’: Alabama group helps Hispanic, immigrant communities with food, rent


AL.COM  – Alabama coronavirus test numbers are shrouded in mystery


AL.COM  – Columnist Kyle Whitmire: Mo Brooks spouts nonsense, Ivey finds her nerve


AL.COM  – No plan to reopen Alabama schools this spring, state chief says


AL.COM  – Where does Alabama rank among states with jobless claims?


AL.COM  – Woodfin eyes ‘tough decisions’ as Birmingham takes revenue hit


AL.COM  – Chicken plant reports 75 coronavirus cases, one death


AL.COM  – Rally near Capitol calls for returning Alabama to work


AL.COM  – Rep. Mo Brooks calls Alabama a ‘nanny state’ over coronavirus shelter-at-home order


Montgomery Advertiser – Reopen Alabama protesters call for easing of coronavirus business restrictions


Montgomery Advertiser – Gov. Kay Ivey sticks with stay-at-home orders for now, no call for reopening businesses


Montgomery Advertiser – Senate approves measure to replenish halted coronavirus small-business loan program


YellowHammer News – Senate approves additional $320 billion in COVID-19 relief for small businesses


YellowHammer News – Chairman Dale Strong optimistic for Madison County — ‘We are trending down in new cases’


YellowHammer News – Aderholt calls for Alabama hospitals being allowed to restart ‘elective procedures immediately’


Tuscaloosa News – Doctors: Execution drugs could help COVID-19 patients


Tuscaloosa News – High living taking shape near Bryant-Denny


Tuscaloosa News – 10 years after BP spill: Oil drilled deeper; rules relaxed


Decatur Daily – Decatur council rejects hiring freeze


Decatur Daily – Coronavirus pushes telemedicine efforts, access in Alabama


Decatur Daily – Local small businesses benefit from COVID-19 payroll loan program


Times Daily – Cox Boulevard project: 3 parcels must be condemned


Times Daily – Florence, UNA create Earth Day video contest


Times Daily – Telemedicine has grown by leaps since March


Anniston Star – Ivey: Alabama’s reopening will depend on testing


Anniston Star – More than 5,300 in Alabama positive for COVID-19, 100-plus have died and nearly 700 are hospitalized


Anniston Star – AG: Hundreds report coronavirus-related price gouging


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – ADPH: Nearly 150 Alabamians have died from COVID-19 as over 5,300 test positive


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Teenager arrested after stabbing coworker in Trussville


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – FDA authorizes new at-home COVID-19 test kit


WAFF Huntsville – Employees staying home as COVID-19 cases at Wayne Farms in Albertville rise


WAFF Huntsville – Alabama COVID-19 cases rise to 5,327; ADPH verifies 144 deaths


WAFF Huntsville – Athens Youth Commission makes cards for the developmentally disabled

Dothan Eagle – Wiregrass COVID-19 death toll at 12


Dothan Eagle – Former Abbeville police chief to fight for his First Amendment; counsel prepares for litigation


Dothan Eagle – Coronavirus morning brief: The latest on the $500 billion aid package, Trump’s immigration order, and more


Gadsden Times – Gadsden council discusses hazard pay, city finances


Gadsden Times – Jump reported in confirmed state COVID-19 deaths


Gadsden Times – Ivey: More testing needed before economy reopens


Troy Messenger – Reeves: ‘Hopefully we’re nearing our peak’


Troy Messenger – More severe weather forecast for Thursday


Troy Messenger – Family loses home to fire, faces new hardship with wind storms


Andalusia Star News – Covington Casket to expand


Andalusia Star News – Major damage in portions of county


Andalusia Star News – NWS confirms EF-2 tornado


Opelika-Auburn News – EAMC, LifeSouth seeking plasma donations from former COVID-19 positive patients


Opelika-Auburn News – COVID-19 latest: Hospitalizations slightly decrease at EAMC; local death toll rises; stay at home order remains in place until April 30


Opelika-Auburn News – Council may take Hubbard’s name off street


Daily Mountain Eagle – Cleanup efforts continue in Quinton


Daily Mountain Eagle – Alabama stay-home order to remain; protest held at Capitol


Daily Mountain Eagle – Crime victims vigil goes virtual for 2020


Trussville Tribune – Alabama to stay the course with statewide stay-at-home order, Ivey says


Trussville Tribune – Alabama now reports 144 confirmed coronavirus deaths with 175 reported


Trussville Tribune – St. Clair County Health Department to set up drive-thru COVID-19 testing site at Pell City High School


Athens News Courier – Ivey: More testing needed before Alabama opens


Athens News Courier – SOCIAL SECURITY: Got dependents but don’t file taxes? IRS needs info


Athens News Courier – Limestone DA recognizes National Crime Victim’s Rights Week


Sand Mountain Reporter – Ivey says stay-at-home order to remain in place, more testing needed


Sand Mountain Reporter – Wayne Farms confirms 1 death, 75 cases of COVID-19


Sand Mountain Reporter – Honoring Holocaust Remembrance Day | Birmingham Holocaust Education Center plans Yom HaShoah Commemoration event


WSFA Montgomery – Teenager arrested after stabbing coworker in Trussville


WSFA Montgomery – Auburn City Council set to discuss renaming of Mike Hubbard Blvd.


WSFA Montgomery – U.S. News & World Report ranks 3 Montgomery schools in state’s top 10


WKRG Mobile – COVID-19 question of the day: ‘If I have to go out, what precautions should I take when I get home?’


WKRG Mobile – Okaloosa County reopens public beaches, other counties to decide within week


WKRG Mobile – Child abuse cases expected to rise during COVID-19 pandemic


WTVY Dothan – Salvation Army helps those affected by storm


WTVY Dothan – Coffee County death reported from COVID-19


WTVY Dothan – Ivey urges Alabamians to continue following stay at home order


WASHINGTON POST  – Senate passes $484 billion bill that would expand small-business aid, boost money for hospitals and testing


WASHINGTON POST  – CDC director warns second wave of coronavirus is likely to be even more devastating


WASHINGTON POST  – Governors chart different paths as they respond to the coronavirus


NEW YORK TIMES  – No Takers: Hyundai Cars Sit in U.S. Ports as Virus Keeps Buyers Away


NEW YORK TIMES  – Southern States Largely Go It Alone in Reopening Decisions


NEW YORK TIMES  – The Death of the Department Store: ‘Very Few Are Likely to Survive’

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