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Daily News Digest – August 9, 2021

Presented by

The Business Council of Alabama

Good morning!

Here’s your Daily News for Monday, August 9.


1. Nearly all Alabama COVID deaths among unvaccinated

  • Since the pandemic began, just 26 of the 11,600 people in Alabama who have died of COVID-19 were fully vaccinated, State Health Officer Scott Harris said.
  • And most of the nearly 2,000 COVID-19 patients currently in state hospitals are also unvaccinated, he said.
  • Harris released the numbers as the state tries to boost lagging vaccination rates. Health officials say recent cases resulting in severe illness and death could have largely been prevented if people had gotten inoculated.
  • The state has seen a sharp uptick in cases and hospitalizations, prompting renewed warnings from health officials for precautions such as wearing masks, in addition to the continued call for vaccinations.
  • The number of people hospitalized stood at 1,968 on Saturday, the highest the state has seen since late January. The Alabama Department of Public Health is expected to update those numbers later today.
  • Read more from Kim Chandler HERE.


2. Growing demand, industry support lead to state investment in electric vehicle chargers

  • Earlier this summer, the State of Alabama awarded 18 grants worth more than $4 million to help private entities add electric vehicle charging stations for public use. However, during the process, the state received 76 applications requesting more than $18 million.
  • “Eighteen million dollars in requests does show the demand for these charging stations,” Kenneth Boswell, director of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, told Alabama Daily News.
  • Now, ADECA is working on a statewide EV charging plan that will show where stations are needed, including along evacuation routes.
  • In 2019, Gov. Kay Ivey and lawmakers approved a 10-cent-per-gallon fuel tax increase. The legislation also placed an annual $200 fee on electric vehicles and a $100 annual fee on hybrid vehicles and created the ElectricTransportation Charging Infrastructure Grant Program. In the 2022 General Fund budget, lawmakers allocated $2 million for EV charging station grants.
  • While EVs are marketed as a cleaner alternative to gas and diesel-fueled vehicles, Alabama leaders’ interest in the industry is more than being climate friendly. Electric vehicles are becoming a larger part of the state’s auto industry.
  • Read the full feature story from Mary Sell and see maps for where stations are expected HERE.








A message from

The Business Council of Alabama

  • Small businesses have been the heartbeat of our hometowns for generations, and over the past year and a half, they’ve held us up more than ever. It hasn’t been easy, but they’ve fought mightily to keep their doors open and support our communities.
  • Here at the Business Council of Alabama, we want to say a heartfelt “Thank you.” We couldn’t have gotten through this without you. You’re not just a business. You’re our neighbors and our friends. You were there for us, and we at the Business Council are here for you.
  • Learn more about BCA and watch our “thank you” video HERE.





3. Hurry up and wait in the Senate on infrastructure

  • Often elusive, the political center is holding steady in the Senate as a coalition of Democratic and Republican senators brushes off critics to push the $1 trillion infrastructure package toward final passage.
  • On the left, the Democrats have withstood the complaints of liberals who say the proposal falls short of what’s needed to provide a down payment on one of President Joe Biden’s top priorities.
  • From the right, the Republicans are largely ignoring the criticism from their most conservative voices, including a barrage of name-calling from former President Donald Trump as he tries to derail the package.
  • All told, some 70 senators appear poised to carry the bipartisan infrastructure bill to passage, a potentially robust tally of lawmakers eager to tap the billions in new spending it will unleash for public works projects back home.
  • As many as 20 Republicans are expected to join Democrats in what would be a big vote on final passage. Overcoming a 60-vote hurdle Saturday with backing from 18 Republicans was a sign that the bipartisan tenuous alliance could hold on the public works package.
  • Alabama Sens. Richard Shelby and Tommy Tuberville, both Republicans, voted against invoking cloture.
  • A final vote on passage is expected early Tuesday morning.
  • Once voting wraps up, senators immediately will turn to the budget outline for a $3.5 trillion package of child care, elder care and other programs that is a much more partisan undertaking and expected to draw only Democratic support.
  • Read more HERE.



4. Board lets Amtrak move ahead with Gulf Coast passenger plan

  • A government agency turned down objections from freight railroads Friday and let Amtrak move ahead with procedural work to resume passenger train service between New Orleans and Mobile.
  • The Surface Transportation Board dismissed objections from CSX and Norfolk Southern Railway and let Amtrak continue with its attempt to gain access to freight lines for passenger trains, which it hopes to begin operating along the Gulf Coast in January.
  • The region has been without passenger service since Hurricane Katrina badly damaged tracks and equipment in 2005. Before that, passenger trains ran between New Orleans and Mobile three times a week.
  • While Louisiana and Mississippi have supported a resumption, partly in hopes of increasing tourism, Alabama has withheld funding over concern that Amtrak trains would interfere with freight service at the Port of Mobile. The board said the lack of unanimous state support showed the need for a hearing to consider issues surrounding passenger service.
  • The Southern Rail Commission, which supports the new service, said in a statement it was “especially pleased” that the board found no need for an environmental review and set an “aggressive” hearing schedule to move the project along.
  • Read more HERE.



5. Bobby Bowden remembered as legend on and off field

  • Bobby Bowden did it all.
  • Not only did he put Florida State on the map by taking the Seminoles from afterthought to dynasty, he left an indelible mark on the game with a rare combination of coaching acumen, gracious demeanor and a compassion for those he coached and competed against.
  • The beloved, folksy Hall of Fame coach who built one of the most prolific college football programs in history died early Sunday at 91 at his home in Tallahassee, Florida, surrounded by his wife Ann and their six children following a battle with pancreatic cancer. Bobby’s son, Terry, called his passing “truly peaceful.”
  • And while he’s gone, the Birmingham native’s legacy as a top-notch coach — and human being — will live on.
  • Read the full obituary HERE.




ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Official: Nearly all Alabama COVID deaths among unvaccinated
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Growing demand, industry support lead to state investment in electric vehicle chargers
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Senate poised to pass $1T infrastructure plan
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Board lets Amtrak move ahead with Gulf Coast passenger plan
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Bobby Bowden, folksy coach of Florida St dynasty, dies at 91
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama ICU beds almost full as COVID hospitalizations continue rapid rise
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Mask mandates in schools draw support, ire of parents
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama says it has built method for nitrogen gas execution
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Census experts puzzled by high rate of unanswered questions
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Weekend Digest – August 8, 2021
AL.COM – Alabama reported 88 new COVID deaths in first week of August, 24 in one county
AL.COM – Fauci hopeful COVID vaccines get full OK by FDA within weeks
AL.COM – Pandemic set off deadly rise in speeding that hasn’t stopped
AL.COM – Vaccination rates among hospital staffs in Alabama likely ‘50-60%’
AL.COM – More than half of all Americans now fully vaccinated, Alabama far behind
AL.COM – Columnist John Archibald: The South is in need of saving
Montgomery Advertiser – Faith Radio Golf Tournament taking place Sept. 21 at Wynlakes
Montgomery Advertiser – Pike Road Family Fun Run for school libraries is Thursday
Montgomery Advertiser – Huge secluded mansion for sale on Mill Creek Road in Wetumpka
Decatur Daily – Wanted: School bus drivers locally and statewide
Decatur Daily – Sorrell proposes anti-mask mandate legislation
Decatur Daily – Woman saved after swimming inside 70-foot water tower
Times Daily – Landers: 70% of state’s COVID cases are from Delta variant
Times Daily – Municipal league launches Economic Development Academy
Times Daily – Muscle Shoals Rep. proposes anti-mask mandate legislation
Anniston Star – Woodstock 5K returns after pandemic hiatus
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Where can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Early morning homicide in Birmingham
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – ADPH: More than 607K positive COVID cases as Delta variant increases
Tuscaloosa News – BETTY SLOWE’S BLOG: Aug. 9, 2021: Mile Marker still stands after almost 200 years
Tuscaloosa News – Bayou coronavirus crisis: ‘COVID doesn’t have a preference for Democrats or Republicans’
Tuscaloosa News – Final parcel for West Tuscaloosa corridor project purchased for $1.6 million
YellowHammer News – Greg Gregerson, Gregerson’s Foods receives AGA’s Spirit of Alabama award
YellowHammer News – Panel: Innovation imperative to Alabama’s future success
YellowHammer News – Protective Life’s corporate headquarters powered with 100% renewable energy from Alabama Power
Gadsden Times – Local school systems had jobs to fill to start this school year
Gadsden Times – Broadway musical “Newsies” coming to Mort Glosser Amphitheatre from Aug. 12-15
Gadsden Times – Bayou coronavirus crisis: ‘COVID doesn’t have a preference for Democrats or Republicans’
Dothan Eagle – Belarus leader accuses opposition of plotting a coup
Dothan Eagle – The Latest: Nigeria postpones 2nd vaccine rollout
Dothan Eagle – South Korea to release Samsung scion on parole
Opelika-Auburn News – The Latest: Nigeria postpones 2nd vaccine rollout
Opelika-Auburn News – South Korea to release Samsung scion on parole
Opelika-Auburn News – Belarus leader accuses opposition of plotting a coup
WSFA Montgomery – Lawsuit filed against trucking companies involved in fatal I-65 crash
WSFA Montgomery – Capri Theatre faces new challenge since safely reopening
WSFA Montgomery – Montgomery investigates nearly 1,000 ‘delinquent businesses’
WAFF Huntsville – Back-to-School: start dates for north Alabama school districts
WAFF Huntsville – ADPH: More than 607K positive COVID cases as Delta variant increases
WAFF Huntsville – Lanes close on I-565 due to debris on interstate
WKRG Mobile – ‘Nowhere to run’: UN report says global warming nears limits
WKRG Mobile – Judge: Norwegian cruises can require proof of vaccination
WKRG Mobile – ‘I tried to barter with God’: Family ravaged by COVID after gathering
WTVY Dothan – More than 65,000 vaccine doses wasted because of low uptake
WTVY Dothan – Troy Walmart dance video goes viral
WTVY Dothan – Alabama sees increase in vaccine interest, by the thousands
WASHINGTON POST – Humans have pushed the climate into ‘unprecedented’ territory, landmark U.N. report finds
WASHINGTON POST – Melissa DeRosa, top aide to Cuomo, resigns in wake of state attorney general’s report
WASHINGTON POST – Thousands flee Greek island Evia by boat as ‘horror-movie’ wildfires rage
NEW YORK TIMES – A Hotter Future Is Certain, Climate Panel Warns. But How Hot Is Up to Us.
NEW YORK TIMES – ‘This Is Really Scary’: Kids Struggle With Long Covid
NEW YORK TIMES – Abbott Criticized for Ban on Covid Mandates as Cases Soar in Texas
WALL STREET JOURNAL – Sexual-Assault Allegation at Alibaba Triggers Outrage, Investigation
WALL STREET JOURNAL – China’s Attempts to Take the Stress Out of Schooling Sparks Its Own Angst
WALL STREET JOURNAL – China’s Producer Prices Jump Despite Efforts to Cool Commodities Costs

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