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Daily News Digest – April 23, 2020

Presented by

The Boeing Company


Good morning!
We’ve got some more weather today, so be careful out there.
Here’s your Daily News for Thursday, April 23.


1. Inside Alabama Politics

A new edition of Inside Alabama Politics is out today.
We have the scoop on when the Legislature will resume, how that will work and what issues they are likely (or not likely) to tackle. Plus, there are notes on campaign finance reports and other political goings on.
In this edition:
  • When will the Legislature resume?
  • The budgets, economic development and ‘maybe’ bills;
  • Immunity fight brewing;
  • Another rural broadband push;
  • Prison construction update;
  • Ivey’s pandemic optics;
  • Campaigns vs. COVID: the money go ’round;
  • Merrill has no chill on Twitter;
  • Lawyers rehash the Hubbard ruling.
Read those stories and more in the latest issue HERE.
Reminder: Inside Alabama Politics is our sister publication, where paid subscribers get the latest news, political talk and gossip.
Not a subscriber? Has your subscription lapsed? Still mooching off someone else’s username and password? It’s easy to sign up, and those who do will be grandfathered in as we continue to merge the platforms and provide more unique content going forward.
See rates and subscribe today  HERE .



2. Delegation members submit reopen plans

  • Several members of Alabama’s congressional delegation sent recommendations to Gov. Kay Ivey this week on how to gradually reopen the state’s economy, including specific concerns in their districts.
  • Each representative’s report consisted of input from various business owners, state lawmakers, medical health officials and community leaders. Ivey requested the input last week.
  • Rep. Mo Brooks is the only member to suggest that the state’s current stay-at-home order be immediately rescinded without a formal replacement plan in place.
  • “Every delay day is a nail in the coffin of otherwise income and job-producing enterprises,” Brooks’ report said. “At some point, the job creating business is dead, forever, to the detriment of all of Alabama.”
  • But most of the others’ recommendations agree that before reopening, a 14-day downward trajectory of COVID-19 cases needs to be shown first.
  • Reps. Bradley Byrne and Robert Aderholt recommend reopening parts of the economy with a start date of May 1. Others agree that reopening should begin soon but don’t offer a specific date.
  • In his report, Byrne says that Alabama’s new COVID-19 case growth rate has fallen in the past five days compared to the growth rate seen from April 1-15. This declining rate and other data points are what leads Byrne to support the idea of opening up certain businesses by May 1.
  • Rep. Martha Roby’s report recommends that employers consider only allowing a certain number of the workforce to come back to work and that all businesses share risk details with customers clearly.
  • Rep. Gary Palmer recommends that the Alabama Department of Labor ensure that only those who have lost their jobs because of COVI-19 receive benefits and suggests that a system be created for employers to submit information to the department on employees who refuse to return to work.
  • Rep. Mike Rogers brought up the concerns about sporting venues since the Talladega Motor Speedway, Auburn University and Jacksonville State University are in his district.
  • No matter what Ivey’s reopening plan ends up being, the members emphasized the need for clear guidance and instruction from the state so as to avoid further confusion for business owners and inspire confidence with consumers.
  • Full story from ADN’s Caroline Beck HERE.






A message from

The Boeing Company

  • As Alabama’s largest aerospace employer, Boeing has more than 3,000 employees driving innovation that affects the nation.
  • Boeing’s Alabama workforce is taking a lead role in building the Space Launch System, the most powerful rocket ever built to take us to the Moon and Mars. Employees also support the Boeing-built International Space Station, which has had an on-going human presence for more than 20 years.
  • Operations in Alabama provide a level of national protection that is vitally important housing headquarters in Huntsville for Boeing Strategic Missile Defense Systems that manages the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile program and Ground-based Midcourse Defense — the nations’ only shield against long-range ballistic missile attacks.
  • Boeing also works with nearly 200 businesses across Alabama that directly and indirectly support 20,000 jobs.


3. Alabama nursing home cases likely to rise

  • Cases of COVID-19 have been reported in more than 70 Alabama nursing homes, including a veterans home, and officials say they expect the numbers to increase.
  • Seventy-three nursing homes in 39 counties have reported at least one COVID-19 positive resident or employee, Alabama Nursing Home Association spokesman John Matson said on Wednesday.
  • While the number of new reported COVID-19 cases in Alabama appears to have passed its high-water mark, Matson said that in other parts of the country nursing homes’ cases peaked about two weeks after the general population.
  • “If what we’ve seen in other places holds true, we could see cases rise,” Matson told Alabama Daily News.
  • At the veterans home in Alexander City, 43 residents and 30 employees had tested positive as of Tuesday, Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Kent Davis told Alabama Daily News. The first positive case was confirmed April 8.
  • “The numbers have gone up steadily the last week and a half,” Davis said.
  • No cases have yet been reported in the department’s homes in Pell City, Huntsville or Bay Minette, Davis said. But because he pushed for testing of all facility residents in Alexander City recently, he expects additional cases to be announced at that site soon.  That testing happened on Saturday.
  • “My biggest fear is an asymptomatic carrier we don’t know about,” Davis said.
  • Full story from ADN’s Mary Sell and Caroline Beck HERE.


4. First Class Pre-K remains highest for quality

  • Alabama’s First Class Pre-K program was named the country’s highest quality state pre-kindergarten program for the 14th year in a row, Gov. Kay Ivey announced on Wednesday.
  • “Alabama First Class Pre-K is once again proving to be successful in providing a solid foundation for our youngest learners to be successful in school and life,” Ivey said in a statement.
  • The annual rankings are done by the National Institute for Early Education Research.
  • The Alabama First Class Pre-K program received its largest-ever single year funding increase recommended by Ivey and approved by the Alabama Legislature in 2019, which expanded access to more than 38% of 4 year olds in the state while meeting all 10 NIEER quality standards benchmarks in the 2019-2020 school year.
  • The Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education began providing pre-K teacher pay parity in 2015, and has sustained every single teacher pay raise since then, Ross said. More than 2,400 pre-K teachers are employed in First Class Pre-K classrooms in all 67 counties.
  • “Teachers are a strong direct determinant of pre-K program quality,” said Secretary of Early Childhood Education Jeana Ross said. “Highly qualified, responsive and sensitive teachers are the most important factor in successful child outcomes. Pay parity ensures a credentialed, specialized early childhood education professional is in the classroom to provide developmentally appropriate early learning experiences.”
  • Full story from ADN’s Will Whatley HERE.


5. Trump ‘disagreed strongly’ with Georgia’s reopen plan

  • President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he “disagreed strongly” with the decision by Georgia’s governor to reopen salons, gyms and other nonessential businesses that had been shuttered to contain the coronavirus, saying, “It’s just too soon.”
  • During the daily White House briefing, the president indicated that while he is in favor of states reopening their economies, Gov. Brian Kemp is moving a little too fast.
  • Kemp announced earlier this week that as of Friday, elective medical procedures could resume in Georgia, and that barbershops, nail salons and gyms could reopen with restrictions. Limited in-restaurant dining is scheduled to resume on Monday.
  • Trump indicated that Kemp’s aggressive reopening strategy went beyond the recommendations of a three-phase plan the administration unveiled last week. The plan advises 14 days of declining new infections and robust testing of health care workers before proceeding to a phased opening of the economy.
  • “I want him to do what he thinks is right,” Trump said. “But … I think (opening) spas and beauty salons and tattoo parlors and barbershops in Phase One … it’s just too soon.”
  • Full story HERE.





ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama congressional delegation sends reopening suggestions to Ivey


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – COVID-19 cases in Alabama nursing homes likely to rise


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama First Class Pre-K earns high mark, increases enrollment


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump: I ‘disagreed strongly’ with Georgia’s reopening plan


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 – Daily News Digest – April 22, 2020


AL.COM  – Mobile County now has the most coronavirus cases & deaths in Alabama


AL.COM  – Alabama Policy Institute says increased unemployment pay could cause job-quitting


AL.COM  – Some Alabama food stamp recipients could see boost in monthly benefits


AL.COM  – Alabama holds firm as other Southern states look to ease coronavirus restrictions


AL.COM  – Columnist Kyle Whitmire: The John Merrill Show is on again. Somebody change the channel.


AL.COM  – Columnist John Archibald: Alabama Secretary of State not an idiot: He’s worse.


AL.COM  – 14 years and counting: Alabama’s First Class Pre-K tops again


Montgomery Advertiser – Family members of Staton inmates say prisoner has tested positive for COVID-19


Montgomery Advertiser – Small businesses can call Montgomery chamber help line with pandemic questions


YellowHammer News – Whitman Miller awarded Harry S. Truman Scholarship


YellowHammer News – Byrne calls for Ivey to announce timeline for reopening economy by Friday — Says many AL-01 businesses, beaches should reopen May 1


YellowHammer News – Alabama Farmers Federation connecting out-of-work military personnel, veterans with jobs


Tuscaloosa News – Police: Woman coughs on officer who shut down birthday party


Tuscaloosa News – Alabama prison system reports fourth COVID-19 case


Tuscaloosa News – In a pinch, company helped Alabama switch to online learning


Decatur Daily – Virus warnings for Ramadan as some pandemic shutdowns ease


Decatur Daily – Coroner, health experts: Social distancing can go too far


Decatur Daily – 2 men charged with burglary


Times Daily – Shoals mayors willing to review reopening strategy


Times Daily – Alabama congressional delegation sends reopening suggestions to Ivey



Times Daily – Shoals MPO applies for BUILD grant for RR overpass


Anniston Star – People line up for coronavirus screening at Glen Addie


Anniston Star – Alabama congressional delegation sends reopening suggestions to Ivey


Anniston Star – Nearly 5,600 in Alabama positive for COVID-19, 190-plus have died and more than 700 are hospitalized


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – State Health officials working to track down those infected with COVID-19, what to expect if you get a phone call


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Alabama congressional delegation sends reopening suggestions to Ivey


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Salon owner diagnosed with COVID-19 while business closed


WAFF Huntsville – Marshall County Commission holds emergency meeting for Easter EF2 tornado


WAFF Huntsville – Albertville Wayne Farms employee: COVID-19 procedures not being followed


WAFF Huntsville – Alabama COVID-19 cases rise to 5,610; ADPH verifies 178 deaths


Gadsden Times – Etowah County to let bids for megasite improvements


Gadsden Times – Most common underlying conditions in state COVID-19 deaths


Gadsden Times – Health care workers bring smiles to assisted living residents with tic-tac-toe


Dothan Eagle – Elba inmate tests positive for COVID-19


Dothan Eagle – COVID-19 cases show little growth at Dothan hospitals


Dothan Eagle – Forecast: Two waves of severe storms target Wiregrass area Thursday


Troy Messenger – Deadline for STAR ID extended to Oct. 1


Troy Messenger – TH&R cleared of COVID-19


Troy Messenger – More than 1,000 truckers fed


Opelika- Auburn News – Lanett man arrested and charged with attempted murder


Opelika-Auburn News – COVID-19 latest: Confirmed cases rise slightly; hospitalizations slightly decrease at EAMC


Opelika-Auburn News – Opelika man remembered as town icon after COVID-19 death


Daily Mountain Eagle – Foothills Festival moved to Spring 2021


Daily Mountain Eagle – Art, poetry contests part of National Library Week


Daily Mountain Eagle – Crime victims vigil goes virtual for 2020


Trussville Tribune – New state, federal task force introduced to investigate financial crimes directly related to coronavirus


Trussville Tribune – Alabama confirmed coronavirus deaths rise to 178 with 5,342 positive cases; Jefferson County now with 30 deaths


Trussville Tribune – Suspect in Trussville Firehouse Subs stabbing charged with attempted murder


Athens News Courier – TVA sees lower fuel cost, lowering customer cost


Athens News Courier – LCSO: Man caught choking on meth bag during traffic stop


Athens News Courier – DUMPED DOGGIES: Motorist rescues abandoned pups from Limestone roadside


Sand Mountain Reporter – 3 suspected shop lifters arrested at Walmart in Boaz


Sand Mountain Reporter – Alabama unemployment rate up to 3.5% for March | ADOL has disbursed $164 million in COVID-19 related unemployment benefits


Sand Mountain Reporter – Ivey says 2020 Census more important than ever


WSFA Montgomery – Cleaning companies face own battle with COVID-19


WSFA Montgomery – Ala. licensure board warns consumers of fraudulent storm repairs


WSFA Montgomery – ADOC confirms fourth inmate case of COVID-19


WKRG Mobile – Hospital CEOs send letter to commissioners in support of limited beach reopening


WKRG Mobile – Chickasaw City schools changing food pick up day for severe weather threat


WKRG Mobile – Mobile nursing home has two more COVID-19 deaths


WTVY Dothan – Georgia governor announces reopening of some businesses


WTVY Dothan – Cattle and Crop prices feel effects of COVID-19


WTVY Dothan – ADPH retracts Coffee County COVID-19 Death


WASHINGTON POST  – Trump signs order pausing immigration for 60 days, with exceptions


WASHINGTON POST  – States rushing to reopen are likely making a deadly error, coronavirus models and experts warn


WASHINGTON POST  – Trump says he ‘strongly’ disagrees with Ga. Gov. Kemp’s decision to reopen businesses


NEW YORK TIMES  – McConnell Says States Should Consider Bankruptcy, Rebuffing Calls for Aid


NEW YORK TIMES – House will vote on a $484 billion relief plan, and McConnell suggests states declare bankruptcy


NEW YORK TIMES – Hidden Outbreaks Spread Through U.S. Cities Far Earlier Than Americans Knew, Estimates Say



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