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Daily News Digest – August 24, 2020

Presented by the

Alabama Rural Broadband Coalition


Good morning!

Here’s your Daily News for Monday, August 24.



1. State reports 1,428 new coronavirus cases over weekend, average steady

  • The Alabama Department of Public Health reported 1,428 new cases of the coronavirus over Saturday and Sunday, leaving the seven-day average for new cases at a relatively steady 859.
  • Hospitals reported a total of 1,093 COVID-19 patients Sunday, an increase of 26 from Saturday. State hospitalizations due to the virus have been falling over the last few weeks after peaking at 1,613 on August 6.
  • A total of 17 new deaths were reported over the weekend, bringing the state’s cumulative death toll to 1,944. A total of 110,094 COVID-19 cases have been reported statewide since the pandemic began.
  • The state’s Risk Indicator Dashboard showed only two counties – Walker and Greene – in the “very high risk” category based on recent metrics for the virus’ spread in local communities. Bibb, Clarke, Clay, Cleburne, Franklin, Sumter and Washington counties were all in the “high risk” category, while all other counties are in moderate or low risk categories.
  • In recent days, the state’s two largest universities have begun cracking down on student gatherings after photos and videos circulated of large crowds at bars in Auburn and Tuscaloosa.
  • Full story HERE.


2. Trump announces plasma treatment authorized for COVID-19

President Donald Trump listens as Dr. Stephen Hahn, commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, speaks during a media briefing in the James Brady Briefing Room of the White House, Sunday, Aug. 23, 2020, in Washington.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

  • President Donald Trump on Sunday announced emergency authorization to treat COVID-19 patients with convalescent plasma — a move he called “a breakthrough,” one of his top health officials called “promising” and other health experts said needs more study before it’s celebrated.
  • The announcement came after White House officials complained there were politically motivated delays by the Food and Drug Administration in approving a vaccine and therapeutics for the disease that has upended Trump’s reelection chances.
  • The blood plasma, taken from patients who have recovered from the coronavirus and rich in antibodies, may provide benefits to those battling the disease. But the evidence so far has not been conclusive about whether it works, when to administer it and what dose is needed.
  • Earlier this month, Mayo Clinic researchers reported a strong hint that blood plasma from COVID-19 survivors helps other infected patients recover. But it wasn’t considered proof.
  • Full story HERE.








A message from the

Alabama Rural Broadband Coalition

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the significant need and demand for the expansion of rural broadband all across Alabama, especially for school-aged children.
  • Fast and reliable internet is something that all Alabamians should enjoy.
  • For Alabama to thrive in a 21st century economy, every Alabamian should have access to a reliable internet connection. High-speed broadband is a basic personal necessity in today’s society and will bring an array of benefits related to education, telemedicine, economic development and agriculture.





3. Marco weakens ahead of Louisiana landing, Laura churns into Gulf

  • Alabama is starting to see some of the first rainfall from Marco, which was downgraded back to a tropical storm after one day at hurricane strength.
  • The downgrade is good news for Louisiana, where the center of the storm is expected to make landfall today. But even as a tropical storm, Marco can pack a punch, including by causing flooding throughout the region.
  • That’s threat is exaserbated by Tropical Storm Laura, two days behind Marco and taking a strikingly similar path to landfall, which is expected Wednesday.
  • It has been more than 60 years since two tropical storms were in the Gulf of Mexico at the same time.
  • At the moment, Alabama appears likely to avoid a direct hit, but the state could see plenty of rain over the next week.
  • Read more and see the maps HERE.



4. RNC: What to watch

  • Joe Biden and his Democratic Party used their convention last week to argue that the underpinnings of American Democracy hang in the balance this November. This week, it’s President Donald Trump’s turn.
  • Republicans will renominate the president and highlight four years of the Trump administration and promises he delivered on, such as overturning business regulations, pulling out of international agreements, appointing two U.S. Supreme Court justices and transforming the U.S. immigration system.
  • While Democrats held an entirely virtual convention, pulled off without any major technical mishaps, the Republicans are holding a pared-down version of an in-person gathering on Monday in Charlotte, North Carolina. The convention runs through Thursday and includes a presidential speech from the White House South Lawn and a vice presidential address from Fort McHenry in Baltimore.
  • The convention was originally scheduled to be held in Charlotte until Trump moved it to Jacksonville, Florida, with the hope the Republican-led state would allow thousands to attend. But Trump had to scrap that plan as coronavirus cases continued to climb.
  • Read more about what to watch at the convention as it begins tonight HERE.


5. Alabama bundling sets of hunting and fishing licenses

  • Starting today, Alabama will have sets of licenses available for hunters and anglers. They range for a set for people who want to fish off of piers to one for those who do everything.
  • The packages aren’t discounted but make purchases more convenient for the 2020-2021 seasons, David Rainer, a Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, said in an email.
  • “We’re trying to make it easier on people who are hunting and fishing in Alabama, especially non-residents or new hunters and anglers who don’t really know exactly what they need,” Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Director Chuck Sykes said in a news release. “People can go online and look for what activity they want to do, and we’re providing everything they need to do it with one click.”
  • All current licenses expire on Aug. 31.
  • Read more HERE.


News Briefs


Officials: Fort Rucker solider found dead off post

  • FORT RUCKER, Ala. (AP) — A solider stationed at an Alabama U.S. Army post was found dead Sunday morning, officials said.
  • Fort Rucker officials said the soldier was found off the post near the town of Clayhatchee, news outlets reported.
  • Information on the solider and details surrounding the solider’s death weren’t immediately released.
  • Fort Rucker is in southeast Alabama, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) from Dothan. The base is the primary flight training installation for U.S. Army Aviators and is home to the United States Army Aviation Center of Excellence and the United States Army Aviation Museum.

Hearing next month Dismukes on theft charges

  • MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A state lawmaker facing theft charges has a preliminary hearing set for next month.
  • Trey Norman, an attorney for state Rep. Will Dismukes, requested the hearing scheduled for Sept. 3 before Montgomery County District Court Judge Monet Gaines, al,com reported.
  • Dismukes was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives in 2018. The freshman lawmaker, a Republican from Prattville, resigned as pastor of a Baptist church in Prattville after attending a celebration marking the birthday of a Confederate general who was an early Ku Klux Klan leader.
  • Dismukes was arrested Aug. 6 for allegedly stealing thousands of dollars from the flooring company where he once worked. Norman said Dismukes disputes the accusation.
  • If convicted of the felony first-degree theft of property charge, Dismukes would automatically be removed from office.

Pair plead not guilty to kidnapping charge in girl’s death

  • BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Two people have pleaded not guilty to federal kidnapping charges in the 2019 disappearance and death of a 3-year-old girl, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.
  • reports that the two suspects in the disappearance and murder of 3-year-old Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney pleaded not guilty Thursday to federal kidnapping charges.
  • Patrick Stallworth, 39, and his girlfriend, Derick Irisha Brown, 29, face federal kidnapping charges, as well as state capital murder charges. in the October 2019 disappearance and death.
  • The child disappeared while at a birthday party in Tom Brown Village in Birmingham.
  • They pleaded not guilty to the federal charges during their arraignment in Birmingham federal court.

3 Alabama locations added to national historic register

  • MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Three spots in Alabama are being added to the nation’s honor roll of historic locations, including a landmark store near the University of Alabama.
  • The Alabama Book Store in Tuscaloosa is joining the National Register of Historic Places, the Alabama Historical Commission said in a news release. The shop has been located on the Strip near the Alabama campus since 1942.
  • The two other additions include Bricklayers Hall in Montgomery, which was used for meetings and work space during the civil rights era, and Vanity Fair Park in Monroeville. The park was established in 1948 in a partnership between Vanity Fair Mills and residents of the southwest Alabama town.
  • The register is the nation’s official list of places that are worth historic preservation.
  • “Through the advocacy of citizens and the Alabama Historical Commission, we hope these resources and their legacies remain for generations to come,” Lisa D. Jones, executive director of the agency, said in the release.
  • About 1,250 locations in the state are on the National Register, which includes more than 95,000 sites nationwide.




ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – State reports 1,628 new coronavirus cases over weekend, average steady


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump announces plasma treatment authorized for COVID-19


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Marco weakens before Louisiana landing, Laura churns into Gulf


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – WHAT TO WATCH: After Biden’s moment, it’s Trump’s prime time


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama bundling sets of hunting and fishing licenses


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – University of Alabama forbids students gatherings


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama facing shortage of school workers during pandemic


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – House passes bill to reverse changes blamed for mail delays


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Weekend Digest, August 23, 2020


AL.COM – Alabama president tells students COVID case rise ‘unacceptable’


AL.COM – Auburn University investigating students packing bars amid pandemic


AL.COM – Baldwin County EMA director: No need for state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Marco


AL.COM – Columnist Kyle Whitmire: This election is different


AL.COM – Columnist Roy Johnson: Year-round school? Time to seriously consider it


AL.COM – Contributor Cameron Smith: No one is righteous, not even you


AL.COM – Most of Alabama’s $1.8 billion coronavirus relief fund committed


AL.COM – Alabama school district gives one-on-one technical help for remote learning families


AL.COM – Alabama’s real estate market resilient during pandemic


Montgomery Advertiser – After road rage incident, Tallassee mayor, woman charged with misdemeanor harassment


Montgomery Advertiser – Marco strengthens to Category 1 hurricane: See its track toward the Gulf coast here


Montgomery Advertiser – Bricklayers Hall added to National Register of Historic Places

Associated Press


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Suspects in murder of Kamille ‘Cupcake’ McKinney enter not guilty pleas on federal kidnapping charges


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Ala. top infectious disease expert: Convalescent plasma doesn’t show much benefit for COVID-19 patients


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Franklin Graham to speak at RNC


Tuscaloosa News – Motorcyclists ride to support injured TPD Officer Justin Taylor


Tuscaloosa News – U.S. Mint collector coin to feature Alabama State professor’s drawing of President Bush


Tuscaloosa News – Tuscaloosa student apartment restrictions clear committee


Decatur Daily – Stories on issues in Decatur’s 4 contested council races, 1 contested school board race


Decatur Daily – Plans for Bank Street building include apartments, retail


Decatur Daily – Athens, Huntsville centers enrolling volunteers for COVID-19 research study


Times Daily – Outgoing Cherokee mayor says he accomplished most of his goals


Times Daily – Air-conditioning coming to 7 Lauderdale gyms


Times Daily – Grandfather confers degrees in makeshift front-yard ceremony


Anniston Star – Sylacauga 19-year-old dead in Oxford wreck


Anniston Star – Cleburne County Fair draws light crowd


Anniston Star – Anniston woman celebrates 100th birthday with parade


YellowHammer News – Alabama Democratic Party chair Chris England: Joe Biden, Doug Jones can ‘absolutely’ win Alabama in November


YellowHammer News – Three days added to Alabama’s 2020 red snapper season


YellowHammer News – Alabama Power crews back home after aiding other states


Gadsden Times – University of Alabama further restricts dorms, Greek houses amid pandemic re-opening


Gadsden Times – Gadsden Mall: ‘Better times are coming’


Gadsden Times – Fall opening planned for bowling alley/arcade/etc.


Dothan Eagle – Wiregrass voters head to polls Tuesday


Dothan Eagle – Morning headlines: Tracking storms Marco, Laura; GOP convention opens tonight; protests in Wisconsin after police shooting


Dothan Eagle – RNC preview: Trump delivered on many 2016 promises


Opelika-Auburn News – Peaceful protest urged in fatal police shooting of Black man


Opelika-Auburn News – Opelika Mayor Fuller elected VP of state league of municipalities


Opelika-Auburn News – Austria expels Russian diplomat, Moscow set to respond


WSFA Montgomery – Protest against church closures held outside Alabama Capitol


WSFA Montgomery – Emails show businesses held sway over state reopening plans


WSFA Montgomery – Montgomery mayor joins Oscar winner as Black TV award presenter


WAFF Huntsville – Ala. top infectious disease expert: Convalescent plasma doesn’t show much benefit for COVID-19 patients


WAFF Huntsville – Libertarian candidate for president Jo Jorgensen rallies in Huntsville


WAFF Huntsville – UA students react to new on and off campus COVID19 guidelines


WKRG Mobile – Riot declared in Portland, police precinct set on fire


WKRG Mobile – Top Trump aide Kellyanne Conway to leave White House


WKRG Mobile – Storm Marco closes in on Louisiana as Laura buffets Cuba


WTVY Dothan – ADPH: Wiregrass counties now at low to moderate risk of disease spread


WTVY Dothan – Jalen Hurts gets backpack to match young fan


WTVY Dothan – 6 things that are cheaper because of the pandemic


WASHINGTON POST – Kellyanne Conway to leave the White House at the end of the month, citing the need to focus on her family


WASHINGTON POST – RNC 2020 live updates: Republicans poised to formally renominate Trump


WASHINGTON POST – More than 500,000 mail ballots were rejected in the primaries. That could make the difference in battleground states this fall.


NEW YORK TIMES – As Census Count Resumes, Doubts About Accuracy Continue to Grow


NEW YORK TIMES – Covid-19 Live Updates: Researchers Document First Case of Virus Reinfection


NEW YORK TIMES – Not the Convention, or the Election, North Carolina Republicans Hoped For


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Trump to Highlight Successes in Nightly Appearances at GOP Convention


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Money Funds Waive Charges to Keep Yields From Falling Below Zero


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Global Stocks Rally on Potential Coronavirus Treatment



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