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Daily News Digest – August 13, 2020

Presented by

The Business Council of Alabama



Good morning!

Here’s your Daily News for Thursday, August 13.



1. Coronavirus update: State hospitalizations dip

  • Alabama added 875 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases on Wednesday and 33 deaths, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.
  • Total reported cases since March was at 100,801 Wednesday; there had been 1,814 COVID-19-related deaths.
  • The most recent weekly percentage of positive tests continued to dip to 12.3%, according to Aug. 8 data. That’s down from 16.7% in mid-July.
  • Meanwhile, 102 hospitals on Wednesday reported 1,372 COVID-19 patients statewide. That’s the lowest hospitalization number in nearly a month.
  • Anyone following the numbers has noticed that the statistics have been a little wonky lately. Yesterday, ADPH said part of the problem has been new laboratories weren’t yet familiar with state reporting requirements.
  • Full story and charts HERE.


2. Community college registration falls as classes start

  • Alabama community colleges are seeing a drop in fall student registration by as much as 29% as most campuses will be starting classes virtually and in-person Monday.
  • During Wednesday’s Alabama Community College System board meeting, Vice Chancellor Susan Price told board members that the current number of registered students is 55,981, down from 70,938 during the 2019 fall semester.
  • Price said those preliminary numbers don’t reflect students who haven’t paid for classes yet. Also, others could sign up for classes in the first days of the new semester.
  • “We tend to have a surge the week that school begins, so we are expecting those people who are on the fence right now to come to our institution next week and take advantage of registration then,” Price said.
  • Price also noted that two-year schools have seen an increase in four-year college students enrolling in online community college classes for their fall semester in order to save money on less expensive tuition.
  • “They know they can get a quality and more affordable education online from us, so that’s been a really interesting twist in registration,” Price said.
  • Full story from ADN’s Caroline Beck HERE.




A message from

The Business Council of Alabama

The Business Council of Alabama is proud to present Engage Alabama, a virtual business conference open to all Alabamians.
It is available at no cost to attendees, thanks to our incredible sponsors.
This two-day summit, taking place August 26-27, will bring together more than 40 elected officials, industry leaders, and subject matter experts to provide invaluable resources on hot-button issues in our state.
Register at no charge, and the first 750 to do so will receive a complimentary conference t-shirt.





3. Ivey steers $26M in CARES funds toward state agriculture

  • Gov. Kay Ivey on Wednesday directed $26 million in federal CARES Act funds to help state agriculture producers weather the financial storm of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The Alabama Agriculture Stabilization Program will process grants to help farmers, cattlemen, nursery growers catfish and poultry producers and others in Alabama’s $70 billion agriculture industry.
  • The program will be administered through the office of Ag Commissioner Rick Pate.
  • Alabama Farmers Federation President Jimmy Parnell thanked Ivey and Pate for their attention to Alabama’s producers during the ongoing pandemic.
  • “We will continue to work closely with Commissioner Pate and the Department of Revenue to provide details on how to apply for assistance as soon as they become available,” Parnell said.
  • Read more HERE.



4. Innovation Commission meets today

  • A commission formed to boost entrepreneurship and innovation in the state will hold its first virtual meeting today.
  • Formed by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey in mid July via executive order, the Alabama Innovation Commission, known as Innovate Alabama, is intended to be a platform for innovators to engage policymakers and exchange ideas.
  • The commission is charged with examining existing policies to find ways to spur innovation and enhance technology accelerators, in addition to addressing the challenges and red tape that startup companies often face.
  • The goal is to produce a policy agenda to state agencies and the Legislature.
  • Rep. Bill Poole, R-Tuscaloosa, chairs the commission and Sen. Greg Reed, R-Jasper, serves as vice chair.
  • The group also includes an advisory council of well-known corporate and technology leaders.
  • Read more from ADN’s Will Whatley HERE.




5. Aid talks break down

  • Americans counting on emergency coronavirus aid from Washington may have to wait until fall.
  • Negotiations over a new virus relief package have all but ended, with the White House and congressional leaders far apart on the size, scope and approach for shoring up households, re-opening schools and launching a national strategy to contain the virus.
  • President Donald Trump’s top negotiator, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, tried to revive stalled talks Wednesday, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer dismissed the “overture,” saying the Trump administration is still refusing to meet them halfway. Congressional Republicans are largely sitting out the talks.
  • “The White House is not budging,” Pelosi and Schumer said in a joint statement.
  • With the House and Senate essentially closed, and lawmakers on call to return with 24-hours notice, hopes for a swift compromise have dwindled. Instead, the politics of blame have taken hold, as the parties are focused on the presidential contest lawmakers’ own reelection campaigns.
  • Trump said the Democrats are “holding the American people hostage.”
  • The Democrats said they are waiting for the White House to put a new offer on the table. “We have again made clear to the Administration that we are willing to resume negotiations once they start to take this process seriously.”
  • But Mnuchin shot back with his own statement, saying, “The Democrats have no interest in negotiating.”
  • Full story HERE.





ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Coronavirus update: State hospitalizations dip
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Community college registration numbers fall as classes start
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ivey steers $26M in CARES funds toward state agriculture
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – ‘Innovate Alabama’ commission to hold virtual meeting today
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – For Americans waiting on virus aid, no new relief in sight
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – What’s keeping Washington from a virus deal?
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – How Biden chose Harris: Inside his search for a running mate
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Big Ten, Pac-12 pull plug on fall football amid pandemic
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Judge dismisses lawsuit challenging Alabama mask order
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – August 12, 2020
AL.COM – Early COVID-19 test results for Alabama college students show low positivity rate
AL.COM – Mobile steel mill to get $500 million electric arc furnace expansion
AL.COM – What we know about Alabama’s 100,000 coronavirus cases
AL.COM – Alabama House majority leader to co-chair Tuberville campaign
AL.COM – Doug Jones calls out Tuberville for Medicare, SSI stance while clashing with PAC over economy
AL.COM – Columnist Kyle Whitmire: Welcome to the United States of Alabama
Montgomery Advertiser – Prattville man charged with drug trafficking after traffic stop, held on $539K in bonds
Montgomery Advertiser – Cullman woman accused of setting fire to Montgomery homes owned by spouse’s family
Montgomery Advertiser – MPS Culture and Climate Committee calls for policy changes, better student mental health services
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Certain gaiters no longer advised as COVID-19 facial coverings
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Counselors say students may lose social skills while online learning
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – ADPH: Some positive COVID-19 cases could have been missed
Tuscaloosa News – 2 Alabama schools go virtual after positive COVID-19 test
Tuscaloosa News – Lucky Dollar kidnapping, carjacking suspect sought
Tuscaloosa News – Alabama woman charged with sister’s murder
Decatur Daily – New reality greets Lawrence County High students: walking in formation, no vending machines
Decatur Daily – Nonprofits seeing COVID-19 impact on city
Decatur Daily – Decatur City and Morgan County schools reopen with precautions
Times Daily – ‘He was a great guy’ – police, community mourns officer’s death
Times Daily – Community college registration numbers fall as classes start
Times Daily – State leaders: We don’t have money for Trump’s program
Anniston Star – Community college registration numbers fall as classes start
Anniston Star – UPDATED: Anniston pushes in-person school back to Sept. 8
Anniston Star – Heflin candidates hope to improve on what’s there
YellowHammer News – Doug Jones: Kamala Harris ‘exactly what we need’
YellowHammer News – Michael Jordan speaks to Univ. of Alabama football team — ‘Winning has a price’
YellowHammer News – Jack’s offering free coffee to teachers August 17–21 — ‘A small way we hope to say thank you’
Gadsden Times – Council talks about concerns with homeless population
Gadsden Times – Council finalizing advisory committee
Gadsden Times – Man arrested in Douglas after foot chase
Dothan Eagle – Headland police host ‘Back to School Supply Drive’
Dothan Eagle – Kenneth Glasgow arrested again; state seeks to revoke bond
Dothan Eagle – UPDATED: Enterprise schools: 3 students positive for COVID; 118 others sent home
Opelika-Auburn News – Auburn High announces attendance restrictions for fall sports
Opelika-Auburn News – Opelika man charged in connection to shooting into an Opelika police car
Opelika-Auburn News – Watch now: AU move-in: Freshmen express confidence in Auburn’s protocols
WSFA Montgomery – Bullock County COVID-19 cases draw comparisons to the Spanish Flu
WSFA Montgomery – Family drives hours to see girl’s first day of kindergarten
WSFA Montgomery – MPD patrol vehicle involved in crash
WAFF Huntsville – Counselors say students may lose social skills while online learning
WAFF Huntsville – ADPH: Some positive COVID-19 cases could have been missed
WAFF Huntsville – Three more ADOC staff members test positive for COVID-19
WKRG Mobile – Prosecutors: Mobile doctor was driving 130+ mph when he caused crash that killed student
WKRG Mobile – Dodge Elementary teacher dies from COVID-19
WKRG Mobile – Huntsville Police Citizens Advisory Council hears protest testimonies from public
WTVY Dothan – 32 students sent home from New Brockton High School
WTVY Dothan – Police: Pastor busted for cocaine…again
WTVY Dothan – Ala. tax revenue growth helps local governments during pandemic
WASHINGTON POST – Biden formally introduces Harris as the Democratic ticket goes after Trump
WASHINGTON POST – U.S. reports highest number of covid-19 deaths in one day since mid-May
WASHINGTON POST – Trump, House Republicans embrace candidate who has made racist statements, drawing attention to party’s tolerance of bigotry
NEW YORK TIMES – The True Coronavirus Toll in the U.S. Has Already Surpassed 200,000
NEW YORK TIMES – On Native American Land, Contact Tracing Is Saving Lives
NEW YORK TIMES – Biden and Harris Pledge a Strong Challenge to Trump and a Path Out of Crisis
WALL STREET JOURNAL – Corporate America Worries WeChat Ban Could Be Bad for Business
WALL STREET JOURNAL – Weekly Unemployment Claims on Track for 21 Weeks Above 1 Million
WALL STREET JOURNAL – Joe Biden-Kamala Harris Ticket Makes Debut After Historic VP Pick



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