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Daily News Digest – June 22, 2020

Good morning!

Here’s your Daily News for Monday, June 22.


1. Second wave? Experts say we’re still in the first

  • It’s not yet July, but the recent uptick in coronavirus cases in many states has many people talking about a “second wave” of the outbreak.
  • About 120,000 Americans have died from the new virus and daily counts of new cases in the U.S. are the highest they’ve been in more than a month, driven by alarming recent increases in the South and West.
  • But there is at least one point of agreement: “Second wave” is probably the wrong term to describe what’s happening.
  • “When you have 20,000-plus infections per day, how can you talk about a second wave?” said Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health. “We’re in the first wave. Let’s get out of the first wave before you have a second wave.”
  • Clearly there was an initial infection peak in April as cases exploded in New York City. After schools and businesses were closed across the country, the rate of new cases dropped somewhat.
  • But “it’s more of a plateau, or a mesa,” not the trough after a wave, said Caitlin Rivers, a disease researcher at Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Health Security.
  • Scientists generally agree the nation is still in its first wave of coronavirus infections, albeit one that’s dipping in some parts of the country while rising in others.
  • In Alabama, new cases reported by the Alabama Department of Public Health finally began to level late last week and into the weekend after an alarming spike over the last two weeks. Yet, sometimes there are lags in test processing prolong results.
  • Read more about the national picture HERE.
  • And read Kim Chandler’s full story about the coronavirus’ human toll here in Alabama HERE.


2. We need to talk about Talladega

  • Around the county, they’re going to be talking about Alabama today, but for all the wrong reasons.
  • If you’ve ever been to a NASCAR race at Tallageda SuperSpeedway, you know the Confederate battle flag is a fairly common sight, whether in the infield or at tailgates outside the track.
  • So when NASCAR recently prohibited the flag amid a national outcry over racism, there was bound to be some backlash here, even though only 5,000 fans were allowed to attend and the infield was closed.
  • No flags made it into the track Sunday, but cars and trucks driving along nearby roads were flying the flag and parading past the entrance to the superspeedway over the weekend. A small plane flew over the track Sunday pulling a banner with the flag and the words “Defund NASCAR.”
  • That would have made for a story unto itself.
  • Then, last night, NASCAR reported that a noose was found in the garage stall of Bubba Wallace.
  • Wallace, an Alabama native, is the only Black driver in the elite Cup Series who just two weeks ago successfully pushed the stock car series to ban the Confederate flag at its venues.
  • NASCAR said it has launched an investigation into the noose incident, vowing to do everything possible to find who was responsible and “eliminate them from the sport.”
  • On Twitter, Wallace said the “the despicable act of racism and hatred leaves me incredibly saddened and serves as a painful reminder of how much further we have to go as a society and how persistent we must be in the fight against racism.”
  • “As my mother told me today, ‘They are just trying to scare you,'” he wrote. “This will not break me, I will not give in nor will I back down. I will continue to proudly stand for what I believe in.”
  • Full story from John Zenor HERE.


3. Buck’s Pocket State Park back open after 4 years

Photo credit: Amy Cassiday, Outdoor Alabama

  • A state park in northeastern Alabama is back open after four years. The completely renovated Buck’s Pocket State Park campground and a new 8-mile-long trail for ATVs and other small off-road vehicles opened last week.
  • The park headquarters are in Grove Oak, an unincorporated community in DeKalb County. The park itself also goes into Jackson and Marshall counties, and is in a natural pocket in Sand Mountain’s plateau, according to the Alabama State Parks website.
  • The new off-road vehicle trail starts across from the campground entrance and runs through mountains and along South Sauty Creek.
  • The park got a $652,000 grant to make the trail and improve the campground and other trailhead facilities, including the office and store. The campground now features 23 RV campsites and 11 primitive campsites, with more primitive campsites planned.
  • Read more HERE.


4. Amid wave of cultural change, Trump tries to stir a 2016-like backlash

  • It was June 2015, and Democrats felt the nation’s political and cultural winds blowing their way. The Supreme Court ruled in President Barack Obama’s favor on landmark gay marriage and health care cases. The White House was awash in rainbow light, a symbol of a liberal cultural takeover that seemed unstoppable.
  • The following year, Donald Trump was elected president, propelled by a revolt of voters who weren’t on board.
  • As he barrels toward the November election, Trump is again positioning himself as the spokesperson for voters resisting a new wave of cultural change, ready to ride any backlash from the protests calling for racial equality and police reform and last week’s Supreme Court rulings extending protections to gay workers and young immigrants.
  • “THE SILENT MAJORITY IS STRONGER THAN EVER BEFORE,” Trump tweeted Friday, aligning himself with those who believe their voices are increasingly missing from the national dialogue.
  • In truth, Trump has never had support from a majority of Americans, nor has he seen a political imperative in trying to. He lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton in 2016 but offset that by boosting turnout in crucial Midwestern battleground states among disaffected, largely white voters. That’s the same narrow path he’s trying to replicate against Democrat Joe Biden.
  • Yet Trump’s efforts to harness the culture wars to mobilize many of those same voters in 2020 may be more difficult than it was four years ago. Polls show that some of the cultural shifts that took hold during Obama’s presidency have continued during Trump’s tenure, signaling that his election alone couldn’t hold back the evolving views of an increasingly diverse nation.
  • Yet some of Trump’s supporters believe the nation is in a similar place to where it was during those heady days for liberals in 2015, with cultural trends and even court decisions papering over deep resentment and unease among many Americans.
  • Full story from Julie Pace HERE.


5. News Briefs

Publix recalls some of its salad products in several states

  • One of the South’s largest grocery store chains is announcing a recall of some salads sold in its stores.
  • Publix announced that Fresh Express is voluntarily recalling a limited quantity of Fresh Express 11.5-ounce Southwest Chopped Kit.
  • Publix said the problem is that wheat, soy, cashews, and coconut might be in some of the salad kits, but aren’t listed on the labels. That could cause allergic reactions that could be life-threatening for some people.
  • The salads were sold this month in Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.
  • Read more HERE.

Alabama man sentenced in death of police captain’s brother

  • BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A 24-year-old man convicted in the shooting death of the brother of an Alabama police officer has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.
  • Kwamaine Gathright was convicted last year of manslaughter in the 2016 shooting of 27-year-old Kevin Hooten and sentenced on Thursday, reported.
  • Police said Hooten was in the passenger’s seat of a vehicle when someone opened fire on the vehicle the morning of Sept. 8, 2016. Hooten was shot in the arm and head. He was treated at two hospitals before being moved to Arlington Rehabilitation healthcare facility in early 2017. He died there in February of that year.
  • Zerina Jones, the mother of Hooten’s 2- and 3-year-old daughters, told the news site that Hooten never spoke to them again, but noted he responded to family on occasion with the squeeze of a hand and by looking at them.
  • Hooten was the brother of Brighton Police Capt. Kenneth Hooten.
  • “Justice is finally served. My brother can rest peacefully now and me and my mother can have some peace,” Kenneth Hooten said. “I wish Kwamaine Gathright had been convicted of capital murder and gotten life without the possibility of parole, but any conviction is better than no conviction and he was sentenced to the maximum.”

Production workers strike against major Navy shipbuilder

  • BATH, Maine (AP) — More than 4,000 workers went on strike against one of the Navy’s largest shipbuilders today after rejecting a three-year contract. It was the first strike by production workers at Bath Iron Works in 20 years.
  • Pickets formed at midnight when the old contract expired in a dispute that focused on subcontracting, work rules and seniority over wages and benefits.
  • Bath Iron Works already had fallen six months behind on ship construction, partly due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the strike threatened to further delay production of destroyers for the U.S. Navy, the company said.
  • Competition is becoming fierce. Bath Iron Works, a subsidiary of General Dynamics, competes against Mississippi’s Ingalls Shipbuilding for construction of technologically sophisticated destroyers. Mobile, Alabama ship builder Austal USA is also competing for work on smaller warships.
  • Full story HERE.




ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – NASCAR: Noose found in Bubba Wallace garage at Alabama race


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – 2nd wave of virus cases? Experts say we’re still in the 1st


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Rise in coronavirus cases brings new concerns in Alabama


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – State creates color-coded chart of COVID spread


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Buck’s Pocket State Park back open after 4 years


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Amid wave of cultural change, Trump tries to stir a backlash


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Publix recalls some of its salad products in several states


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Access to ballot, seal of democracy’s covenant, a point of contention


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – ‘Black Lives Matter’ painted at site of former slave market


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump comeback rally features empty seats, staff infections


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama city sets up ‘leave bank’ for its employees


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Weekend Digest – June 21, 2020


AL.COM  – Apple CEO, Auburn grad Tim Cook speaks about social justice issues on CBS


AL.COM  – Plane protesting NASCAR flies Confederate flag above Talladega




AL.COM  – Columnist Roy Johnson: Juneteenth should be an Alabama holiday, of course


AL.COM  – What’s in a name? Push is on to erase George Wallace from Alabama buildings, roads, tunnels


AL.COM  – Beyond Trump: Senate candidates Sessions, Tuberville talk protests, China, schools


Montgomery Advertiser – Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed: The “time is right” to lift citywide curfew


Montgomery Advertiser – ‘One beautiful life’: Dad’s love for daughter leads to wheelchair innovation for disabled people


Montgomery Advertiser – Local community group serves more than 1,000 meals ahead of Father’s Day


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – 4 injured, 1 in critical condition after Auburn shooting early Sunday morning


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Cullman Co. celebrates Juneteenth with opposition


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – UAB officials warn long-term impact of COVID could impact elective procedures


Tuscaloosa News – ‘Black Lives Matter’ painted at site of former slave market


Tuscaloosa News – State creates color-coded chart of COVID spread


Tuscaloosa News – Rise in coronavirus cases brings new concerns in Alabama


Decatur Daily – Mayor, council say rift may affect other issues


Decatur Daily – Decatur nursing home hit by COVID-19


Decatur Daily – Officials prepare for July 14 runoff election, absentee deadline approaches


Times Daily – Elledge Lane annexation request approved


Times Daily – Soldier’s Rest has storied history


Times Daily – The show will go on: Miracle Worker play opens Friday


Anniston Star – Protest against NASCAR Confederate flag ban, counterprotest unfold with little drama (with photo gallery


Anniston Star – Cleburne County teens dance their COVID blues away


Anniston Star – Volunteers renovate Legacy Club building


YellowHammer News – AG Steve Marshall rejects ‘defund police’ push at FOP conference — ‘What you are doing matters’


YellowHammer News – UA to help bring computer sciences to Alabama high schools


YellowHammer News – Baudry Lab finds 125 naturally occurring compounds with potential against COVID-19


Dothan Eagle – Chalk Talk: Dothan City Schools looking at social media policy after coach removed for Facebook posts


Dothan Eagle – EMA chief of staff Stokes submits resignation


Dothan Eagle – Dothan school employee tests positive for COVID-19


Gadsden Times – Three groups march in Gadsden


Gadsden Times – GPL looking at June 29 reopening date


Gadsden Times – Senate candidates Sessions, Tuberville talk protests, China, schools


Troy Messenger – Pike County Schools explore three models for delivering education in the fall


Troy Messenger – ‘I want to represent something bigger than myself’


Troy Messenger – A TRIBUTE TO SAM: New athletic award honors Sam Jones’ spirit of sportsmanship


Andalusia Star News – GROUP WANTS COMMISSIONER OUT: Commissioner says comments weren’t racist


Andalusia Star News – Local college students gear up for mask wearing at school


Opelika-Auburn News – Multiple gunshot victims reported in Auburn after late-night shooting


Opelika-Auburn News – Gogue promises hard look at campus, building names


Opelika-Auburn News – Sunday morning car crash kills driver


Daily Mountain Eagle – Rise in coronavirus cases brings new concerns in Alabama


Daily Mountain Eagle – ‘Black Lives Matter’ painted at site of former Alabama slave market


Daily Mountain Eagle – Pollock granted parole by board; three get denials


Trussville Tribune – Leland Dockery Tribute Cruise-In proves to be huge success


Trussville Tribune – Woman killed after tree falls on house in Center Point


Trussville Tribune – ALDOT to make improvements on I-20 in Leeds


Athens News Courier – Publix recalls some of its salad products in several states


Athens News Courier – Patton ‘very happy’ to step up for ACS


Athens News Courier – Arrest reports for 6/20/20


Sand Mountain Reporter – Alabama’s May unemployment rate drops to 9.9%


Sand Mountain Reporter – Alabama Barn Quilt Trail sheets Sand Mountain | Wilson’s Fabric among first area businesses to participate


Sand Mountain Reporter – Sardis City to hold Sunday sales referendum


WSFA Montgomery – Man suffers life threatening injuries in Montgomery shooting


WSFA Montgomery – 4 injured, 1 in critical condition after Auburn shooting early Sunday morning


WSFA Montgomery – 81-year-old Conecuh County woman reported missing


WAFF Huntsville – Huntsville Police investigate shooting on Clayton Dr.


WAFF Huntsville – Single vehicle crash claims life of Sheffield man


WAFF Huntsville – Huntsville man continues march for social injustice; leaving Chicago Monday


WKRG Mobile – Two dead, seven others injured following a shooting in Charlotte, North Carolina


WKRG Mobile – CDC to make updated recommendation on masks ‘soon’


WKRG Mobile – Monroe County Sheriff’s Office confirm one dead, one in hospital regarding standoff


WTVY Dothan – Trump comeback rally features empty seats, staff infections


WTVY Dothan – Child vaccination rates drop during pandemic, health officials worried


WTVY Dothan – Man suffers life threatening injuries in Montgomery shooting


WASHINGTON POST  – With ‘kung flu,’ ‘thugs,’ and ‘our heritage,’ Trump leans on racial grievance as he reaches for a campaign reset


WASHINGTON POST  – Democrats, public health experts decry Trump for saying he asked officials to slow down coronavirus testing


WASHINGTON POST  – ‘I’m not going to vote for him’: John Bolton calls Trump a ‘danger for the republic’


WASHINGTON POST  – For Biden and Democrats, confidence comes with a chaser: Fear.


NEW YORK TIMES  – The President’s Shock at the Rows of Empty Seats in Tulsa


NEW YORK TIMES  – Vast Federal Aid Has Capped Rise in Poverty, Studies Find


NEW YORK TIMES  – ‘They Just Dumped Him Like Trash’: Nursing Homes Evict Vulnerable Residents


NEW YORK TIMES  – Why Some State Universities Are Seeing an Influx



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