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Daily News Digest – April 9, 2020

Presented by

Alabama’s Locally-Owned Health Mart Community Pharmacies


Good morning!
Don’t forget that the Business Council of Alabama is hosting a call-in forum for small business assistance tonight at 7:00 on Alabama Public Television .
Here’s your Daily News for Thursday, April 9.



1. Farm product prices fall, but no shortage in food pipeline

  • Alabama’s 33,000-member agriculture workforce continues to operate as essential, but the coronavirus has impacted how much some will get paid for their work.
  • “Crops still have to get in the ground, cattle have to be doctored,” Brady Ragland, a commodity director for Alabama Farmers Federation, told Alabama Daily News. “Those activities have to go on.”
  • Some agriculture enterprises — like farmers markets and cattle auctions — have shifted online where possible because of the coronavirus. But even before the pandemic, farmers were bracing for a tough year.
  • “Farm income is expected to be considerably lower,” Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture Rick Pate said last week. “Commodity prices including cotton, corn, milk and live cattle have fallen significantly. The coronavirus outbreak has affected commodity prices across the board and is likely to do so for several months.”
  • Cotton prices have fallen 25% since early February, Pate said. Live cattle are off 16%. Milk and corn prices are down 11%.
  • “Even though demand from consumers is up for some agriculture products, prices remain low,” Pate said.
  • Pate and Ragland both said there is no shortage of food and the empty shelves and meat cases at grocers recently are a result of demand, not a problem with the supply chain.
  • Because dine-in restaurants, hotels, universities and schools — places that normally feed a lot of people everyday — have closed, all that consumer demand now falls on stores.
  • “What you’re seeing is a shift in logistics,” Ragland said.
  • Full story from ADN’s Mary Sell HERE.



2. Sessions targets China, calls for ‘reset’ in relationship

  • The outbreak of the new coronavirus has drastically altered the campaigns for Alabama’s runoff elections. Originally scheduled for March 31, runoffs for the GOP races for Congress and U.S. Senate are now postponed until July 14.
  • The pandemic and its total consumption of the news cycle have also shifted the narrative for candidates.
  • Former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who is running for his former seat in the U.S. Senate, has capitalized on the situation to take an aggressive position against China and highlight his foreign policy bonafides.
  • This week Sessions is releasing a plan called “Betting on America” that outlines proposals for exposing and punishing China for its role in spreading the new coronavirus.
  • The virus originated in Wuhan, China, and multiple media reports have called into question the Chinese government’s truthfulness in telling the world the full extent of the outbreak there. The U.S. intelligence community concluded last week that China concealed the true number of infections and deaths in the country, Bloomberg reported.
  • Sessions’ plan has multiple planks: exposing China’s role in the outbreak, mandating that a high percentage of medical equipment be made in America and stopping Chinese companies from building 5G internet infrastructure in the U.S.
  • In an interview with Alabama Daily News, Sessions discussed his China strategy, as well as how his campaign is adjusting to the challenges of the coronavirus outbreak.
  • Read our full conversation 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. Prison construction proposal deadline extended, 2 developers remain

  • The list of companies vying for the state’s $900 million contract to build three large prisons is apparently down to two.
  • Gov. Kay Ivey this week announced a two-week extension of the deadline for submitting responses to the state’s request for proposals. In that announcement, two companies were listed: Alabama Prison Transformation Partners and CoreCivic.
  • In November, four developer teams qualified to receive the RFP. First, GEO Group, a private prison company based in Florida, dropped out of the proposal process. Now, New Jersey-based Corvias is out.
  • Sen. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, is the Senate authority on prison reform and construction efforts. He said he thinks it’s the “strenuous requirements” in the RFP that are causing companies to pull their names.
  • “I think, coronavirus or no coronavirus, some companies are saying they just can’t do it,” Ward said.
  • Ward said the three-prison project could be split between companies.
  • “I’m not convinced that (the state is) not going to have to revisit this and put out another RFP, or even another (request for qualifications).”
  • The current deadline was moved this week from April 30 to May 14.
  • Full story from ADN’s Mary Sell HERE.



4. State resolves complaint over old ventilator guidelines

  • Alabama agreed to remove old ventilator triage guidelines that advocates said discriminated against the elderly and disabled, the U.S Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday.
  • The difficult decisions about who could get a ventilator if there aren’t enough for all who need one has taken on new urgency as intensive care units prepare for surges in patients amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Federal officials cautioned states and doctors that civil rights laws still apply, and that decisions on who gets a ventilator should not be based on stereotypes about a person’s worth.
  • The Alabama document, created a decade ago during the H1N1 pandemic, included factors such as profound intellectual disabilities and severe dementia in weighing against providing the potentially life-saving treatment.
  • The Alabama Department of Public Health said a new plan had since been created, but federal investigators expressed concern that the older guidelines were “still available on some state webpages, and it was not clear whether any of their potentially problematic provisions could still be applied under the new guidelines.”
  • Full story HERE.



5. Congress talks next phase of coronavirus aid

  • Congress is rushing headlong into a conflict over the next coronavirus aid package as the White House wants to pump $250 billion into a small business fund but opposes Democrats’ proposal to tack on billions for protective gear, food stamps and support to state and local governments.
  • An attempt for a vote today in the Senate will pose a first test.
  • Despite the urgency to act, it’s a sudden breakdown over what all sides agree is the need for federal help as the pandemic crisis roars through communities large and small, and Washington prepares to go beyond the $2.2 trillion package approved just two weeks ago.
  • President Donald Trump urged passage of the small business funds “ASAP.”
  • Still, signs of potential progress emerged Wednesday in Washington’s effort to push cash out the door to suddenly out-of-work Americans and shuttered businesses.
  • The first tranche of $1,200 direct payments to Americans are set to begin next week, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told House Democrats during a conference call with the administration’s coronavirus task force.
  • Mnuchin also told the lawmakers that $98 billion in loans for small businesses has been approved under the program which the Trump administration wants Congress to bolster in Thursday’s vote, according to a person unauthorized to discuss the private call and granted anonymity.
  • Read more about that HERE.
  • Meanwhile, Congress is weighing how to potentially govern from afar.
  • “Congress” literally means to gather together. But the coronavirus pandemic and election year politics are forcing lawmakers to consider ways of governing from afar, some for the first time in U.S. history.
  • The virus’ continuing spread is raising doubts among lawmakers and aides that the House will reconvene in Washington as scheduled after April 20. Democrats are increasingly annoyed that Trump gets a daily platform to rebut unflattering stories and update Americans on his administration’s response to the crisis. Like millions of people around the world, homebound members of Congress have time on their hands for suggestions, and they’re making them with rising urgency — from virtual congressional hearings to remote voting and the more likely buddy system by which votes are cast by proxy.
  • Read more about that HERE.






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 – 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 – Congress in standoff on virus aid, but first checks coming


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 – Alabama numbers show race disparity in COVID-19 deaths


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump blasts world health group, defends early virus steps


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Census sends paper forms to laggards as Midwest sets pace


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Celebrated singer-songwriter John Prine has died at 73


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – BCA to host small business forum on Alabama Public Television


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Americans brace for ‘hardest, saddest’ weeks of their lives


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest, April 8, 2020


AL.COM  – Alabama parole backlog rising; ACLU calls for hearings to resume


AL.COM  – Foundation tells Ainsworth to stop promoting Christianity


AL.COM  – The business of justice: Lawyers dealing with impact of coronavirus on their practice


AL.COM  – Alabama’s fastest growing city says ‘No’ to a coronavirus curfew


AL.COM  – UAB testing new coronavirus treatment on its sickest patients


AL.COM  – Alabama officials, city leaders slow to approve hazard pay for first responders


AL.COM  – Alabama had a ventilator and PPE stockpile, but it was depleted before COVID-19 hit


AL.COM  – Columnist John Archibald: What would Kathryn Tucker Windham do in a pandemic?


Montgomery Advertiser – Coronavirus: Hyundai extends shutdown at Montgomery plant


Montgomery Advertiser – Alabama resolves civil rights review over ventilator protocol amid coronavirus pandemic


Montgomery Advertiser – Papa John’s employee tests positive for coronavirus, store closed temporarily for cleaning


YellowHammer News – Alabama community colleges donate medical supplies to those fighting COVID-19


YellowHammer News – Aderholt: Implement ‘Buy America’ policies to secure medical, pharmaceutical supply chains


YellowHammer News – AlabamaWorks surveying businesses on workforce impacts of COVID-19




Tuscaloosa News – Sheriff: 3 charged with murder of man found in shallow grave


Tuscaloosa News – Sewell to host telephone town hall on coronavirus


Tuscaloosa News – Alabama grocery stores implement safety measures


Decatur Daily – Landowners sue Decatur over planned Ala. 20 overpass


Decatur Daily – As grocery stores serve essential need, capacity limits and safety measures added


Decatur Daily – State officials encourage absentee voters to submit applications early


Times Daily – ‘Operation Drumstick’ to help feed musicians


Times Daily – As grocery stores serve essential need, capacity limits and safety measures added



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



Anniston Star – As Alabama grocery stores serve essential need, capacity limits and safety measures added



Anniston Star – Sparklight donates $4,000 to Community Enabler


Anniston Star – Authorities: Oxford woman used meth while pregnant


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Farm product prices fall amid pandemic, but no shortage in food pipeline



WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – As grocery stores serve essential need, capacity limits and safety measures added



WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Living with an ER doctor during the COVID-19 crisis


WAFF Huntsville – Appreciation rings out loud for health care workers in Florence


WAFF Huntsville – Madison County Schools shares more details on blended learning plan


WAFF Huntsville – Nonprofits adjusting service, some avoiding homeless camps for social distancing


Gadsden Times – 4 COVID-19 deaths confirmed in Etowah


Gadsden Times – Jones provides update on legislative session amid COVID-19


Gadsden Times – AVL available for students, teachers for online learning


Dothan Eagle – Quarantined residents, toilet paper shortage causing plumbing problems for Dothan Utilities


Dothan Eagle – COVID-19 – The Latest: Southeast Health, Flowers update number of cases; Geneva County finally reports confirmed case; Wiregrass Transit suspending service on Thursday


Dothan Eagle – Wiregrass posts no new COVID-19 deaths, slight rise in cases


Troy Messenger – COVID-19 situation creates new challenges for suppliers, stores


Troy Messenger – Law enforcement addresses ‘stay at home’


Troy Messenger – Brundidge hires Wright as assistant city manager


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


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


Opelika-Auburn News – COVID-19 latest: More than 60 hospitalized with confirmed or suspected coronavirus at EAMC; Lee County Coroner confirms nursing home deaths; Lanett City Hall employees test positive; Lee County confirmed cases jump by 45, cases near 2,500 in state


Opelika-Auburn News – Police reports from April 8


Opelika-Auburn News – EAMC celebrates success story with patient


Daily Mountain Eagle – Man shot by two suspects in Carbon Hill


Daily Mountain Eagle – COVID-19 affects Holy Week church traditions


Daily Mountain Eagle – Family Services Center matching needs with resources


Trussville Tribune – Trussville PD to read to kids online during coronavirus quarantine


Trussville Tribune – Moody custodian goes far beyond duties at schools during coronavirus outbreak


Trussville Tribune – DEMARCO: Alabama leaders must include small businesses in pandemic recovery policy


Athens News Courier – Local competition seeks storytellers


Athens News Courier – Warning siren at McKee Road, Alabama 251 out of service


Athens News Courier – USDOL: Employers cannot retaliate against workers reporting unsafe conditions


Sand Mountain Reporter – State’s ALtogether website goes live | Online tool designed to aid businesses, individuals during pandemic


Sand Mountain Reporter – Dial 211 to learn about resources available in Marshall County


Sand Mountain Reporter – Alabama Farmers to host virtual field trips every Friday through May 22


WSFA Montgomery – Jewish families celebrating Passover differently during COVID-19


WSFA Montgomery – Alabama nursing homes seek priority for COVID-19 testing, resources


WSFA Montgomery – 155% increase in Ala. food assistance applications between February and March


WKRG Mobile – Science Corner: Air pressure explained with a balloon in a bottle


WKRG Mobile – Mental health resources for veterans during COVID-19


WKRG Mobile – The City of Prichard and local business help families during the COVID-19 crisis


WTVY Dothan – UAB chosen for new clinical trial to treat COVID-19 patients


WTVY Dothan – Birmingham City Council passes hazard pay for first responders


WTVY Dothan – Hundreds of masks made for hospital staff by ASF members


WASHINGTON POST  – Showdown heats up between Trump, Democrats over demand for more coronavirus small-business funds


WASHINGTON POST  – Bernie Sanders ends his presidential campaign


WASHINGTON POST  – Coronavirus unlikely to significantly diminish with warm weather, National Academies of Sciences panel finds


NEW YORK TIMES  – Toyota Extends North American Plant Shutdown; Will Stop Paying 5,000 Temporary Workers


NEW YORK TIMES  – Unemployment Tally Expected to Surge by Millions: Live Updates


NEW YORK TIMES  – As Economic Pain Grows, So Does Pressure to Ease Lockdowns



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