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Daily News Digest – March 19, 2020

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Alabama’s Trucking Industry

Good morning!
Here’s your Daily News for Thursday, March 19.


1. Election postponed

  • Alabama political campaigns that were planning for a March 31 primary runoff election now have adjust their strategy after Gov. Kay Ivey moved the election date to July 14 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Runoff contests include two GOP nomination contests in the state’s first and second congressional districts and the heavily watched battle between former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate.
  • Ivey on Wednesday said delaying the election was the best way to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus while also allowing people to exercise their right to vote.
  • “The ability to hold free and fair elections is an inherent right as citizens of the United States and the great state of Alabama, but the safety and wellbeing of Alabama citizens is paramount,” Ivey said.
  • Still, the decision greatly changes the political landscape in an already heated campaign season.
  • Read more, including reaction from the campaigns and analysis from political strategists, in Caroline Beck’s story HERE.


2. Agencies plan for vulnerable populations

  • In the past 12 months, more than 1.8 million meals have been served at senior centers across Alabama.
  • As the state and local communities try to slow the spread of the coronavirus, gatherings in several counties have been halted, including at senior centers.
  • “One of the most pressing issues is how to continue feeding our seniors,” Jean Brown, commissioner of the Alabama Department of Senior Services, told Alabama Daily News.
  • Senior services and other state agencies that interact regularly with the public are now having to navigate news ways of reaching them, including vulnerable populations.
  • While many of its workers are now operating from home, the Alabama Department of Human Resources will still investigate child abuse cases and have monthly check-ins with the about 6,000 children in foster care.
  • “We still have to protect children,” ADHR spokesman Barry Spear said. Precautionary measures will also be taken to protect the public and ADHR workers from the coronavirus, Spear said.
  • As of Wednesday afternoon, the Alabama Department of Public Health reported 51 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state. Twenty-five of those are in Jefferson County.
  • Read more about what state agencies are doing to protect vulnerable populations from ADN’s Mary Sell HERE.





A message from

Alabama’s Trucking Industry

  • In these uncertain times, Alabama needs the trucking industry more than ever to deliver the items we need to feed, clothe and provide a healthy environment for our families.
  • Trucks safely and efficiently deliver more than 80 percent of all goods sold and/or produced in Alabama. So, if you have it, more than likely a truck brought it.
  • Professional truck drivers are American heroes. They work hard to make sure the items you need are on the shelves of your favorite retailer.
  • We’re all in this together, and the trucking industry is here to keep Alabama’s economy rolling.








3. Hyundai, other auto plants halt production

  • Concerns about the spreading coronavirus forced most of North America’s auto plants to close, at least temporarily.
  • Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama shut down its Montgomery plant after a worker tested positive for the virus.
  • Detroit’s three automakers -Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler – said their closures would begin this week, while Honda and Toyota will start next week. Nissan will close U.S. plants starting Friday.
  • Automakers have resisted closing factories largely because they book revenue when vehicles are shipped from factories to dealerships. So without production, revenue dries up.
  • “HMMA is suspending production in all areas, for all shifts, beginning at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, March 18, 2020,” the company said in a statement. “HMMA has already deployed additional sanitation measures across the entire facility and will now follow ADPH’s protocols for disinfecting the affected work area. HMMA will confer with ADPH and the CDC to determine if additional measures should be taken.”
  • Read more HERE.


4. How long will it last?

  • In a matter of days, millions of Americans have seen their lives upended by measures to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.
  • Normally bustling streets are deserted as families hunker down in their homes. Many of those who do venture out try to stay a safe distance from anyone they encounter, even as they line up to buy now-precious commodities like hand sanitizer. Parents juggle childcare as schools close, perhaps for the rest of the school year. And restaurants and bars sit empty as more and more convert to delivery-only options.
  • How long will this last? Scientists say there isn’t a simple answer.
  • Read more HERE.


5. News Briefs

Virus poses a test: Can fractured Washington still ‘go big’?
  • WASHINGTON (AP) —The fast-moving coronavirus upending every facet of American life is testing whether Washington, a capital city fractured by years of bitter partisanship and inaction, can still do big things.
  • Not since the Great Recession of 2008, and before that the Sept. 11 attacks of 2001, has the federal government attempted to mount such an ambitious response to an emergency, and so quickly. The country’s once-revered, now often maligned institutions — from the White House to Congress to the Federal Reserve — are being summoned into action to shoulder the lift.
  • It starts with a massive $1 trillion rescue package that includes sending $1,000 checks to Americans, with a goal of pushing it through Congress and onto President Donald Trump’s desk in a matter of days.
  • What Washington’s leaders do, or fail to do, will shape the road ahead for millions of anxious Americans who are suddenly facing a deeply uncertain future.
  • Read the full story from Lisa Mascaro and Andrew Taylor HERE.
Sheriff: Alabama man wanted for sexually abusing girl
  • DOTHAN, Ala. (AP) — Authorities in Alabama have asked for the public’s help in finding a man accused of sexually abusing a young girl.
  • Allen Dale Stromberg, 45, is wanted by the Autauga County Sheriff’s Office, news outlets reported.
  • Sheriff Joe Sedinger said Stromberg is being charged with rape and sexual abuse of a child.
  • The girl told an adult about the alleged abuse who then reported it to authorities, Sedinger said.
  • “We need to get him,” the sheriff said.
  • It was not immediately known when the alleged rape and sexual abuse took place and how Stromberg knows the girl who is 12 or 13 years old, according to authorities.
  • Authorities said Stromberg has an Alabama commercial driving license and may be looking for work as a truck driver or heavy machine operator in the Dothan area.
  • Tips can be sent to the sheriff’s office or Crime Stoppers.
Police: Decomposing body found in closet of abandoned home
  • MIDFIELD, Ala. (AP) — A decomposing body was found in the closet of an abandoned home, police in Alabama said.
  • The remains, which weren’t immediately identified, were located Wednesday morning inside a house in Midfield, news outlets reported.
  • Police received a tip leading officers to the body, Midfield police Chief Jesse Bell said.
  • The State Bureau of Investigation was working with Midfield police on the case.




ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Runoff election delayed to July; Political campaigns have to rethink strategy


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – In public health emergency, agencies make plans for vulnerable populations


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – How long will Americans be fighting the coronavirus?


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump’s $1T plan to stabilize economy hit by virus


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Virus poses a test: Can fractured Washington still ‘go big’?


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Hyundai, other automakers shut plants over coronavirus fears


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Amid historically low unemployment, uptick expected from virus impact


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Lawmakers looking for coronavirus’ impact on budgets; precautions could alter rest of legislative session


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – March 18, 2020


AL.COM  – Rural hospital in Alabama prepares for coronavirus: ‘It’s coming’


AL.COM  – 66,000 workers in Jefferson County facing income loss from coronavirus


AL.COM  – Huntsville airport bracing for $10 million loss


AL.COM  – Opelika distillery to begin brewing hand sanitizer


AL.COM  – Gov. Kay Ivey postpones March 31 runoff because of coronavirus


AL.COM  – Sessions touts law enforcement endorsements hours after Senate runoff postponement


AL.COM  – Testing sites can’t meet demand in Alabama as kits remain scarce


AL.COM  – University of Alabama closes for semester, cancels commencement


AL.COM  – Alabama allows curbside alcohol sales: Here’s what that means


AL.COM  – Hyundai suspends work at Montgomery plant after employee tests positive for COVID-19


Montgomery Advertiser – During Terri Sewell town hall, questions about coronavirus screening and cost


Montgomery Advertiser – Coronavirus: County jail inmates ordered released in Autauga, Elmore, Chilton counties


Montgomery Advertiser – Alabama unemployment claims surge amid COVID-19 pandemic


YellowHammer News – Trump: Coronavirus ‘no match for the spirit and resolve of the American people’


YellowHammer News – Univ. of Alabama going online-only for rest of spring semester


YellowHammer News – Regions Bank limits in-person branch services to drive-through, scheduled appointments amid coronavirus outbreak


Tuscaloosa News – Sheriff: Alabama man wanted for sexually abusing girl


Tuscaloosa News – Hearing rescheduled for suspect in slayings of Biscuits pitcher’s family


Tuscaloosa News – Tuscaloosa city, county schools to offer free meals for students


Decatur Daily – COVID-19 cases up as hospital, businesses work to control pandemic


Decatur Daily – ABC allows restaurants to sell alcohol at curbside during virus pandemic


Decatur Daily – In public health emergency, agencies make plans for vulnerable populations


Times Daily – Florence Mayor updates city services


Times Daily – Uptick in unemployment expected from virus impact


Times Daily – Runoff election delayed to July; Political campaigns have to rethink strategy


Anniston Star – Anniston declares state of emergency to manage municipal needs


Anniston Star – Pandemic reminds many at JSU of second anniversary of tornado


Anniston Star – GOP Senate campaigns face new landscape with election delay


Fox 6 Birmingham – Runoff election delayed to July; Political campaigns have to rethink strategy


Fox 6 Birmingham – Alabama COVID-19 Telemedicine Task Force to figure out a better way to service their patients


Fox 6 Birmingham – Tuscaloosa considering curfew following fights at city parks


Dothan Eagle – Southeast Health implementing operational changes as first COVID-19 case confirmed


Dothan Eagle – Restaurants adjust hours, delivery to keep serving customers


Dothan Eagle – Local community blood bank facing emergency need as COVID-19 outbreak cancels planned drives


Gadsden Times – Alabama cases: 51, as testing continues


Gadsden Times – Department of Revenue offers tax relief to Alabama small businesses


Gadsden Times – Curfew suggested for school-aged kids in Etowah County


Troy Messenger – Man arrested on charges of bank robbery


Troy Messenger – Ivey moves primary runoff in response to Coronavirus


Troy Messenger – Brundidge Council updates status of community events


Andalusia Star News – Troy University alters business hours


Andalusia Star News – Local hospitals announce new visitor rules


Andalusia Star News – Mission trip changes course


Opelika-Auburn News – Coronavirus update: US moves to confront its health and economic crises. Here’s what’s happened so far today.


Opelika-Auburn News – SEC commish Greg Sankey hopeful for a ‘return to our normal, organized activities’ like football


Opelika-Auburn News – English, Rendleman talk COVID-19 personnel plans


Daily Mountain Eagle – Volunteer-led COVID-19 response begins Thursday across county


Daily Mountain Eagle – Picnic tables quickly end but may return


Daily Mountain Eagle – Ivey postpones runoff to July 14


Trussville Tribune – University of Alabama closes campus for Spring semester, cancels graduation exercises


Trussville Tribune – UPDATED: 51 confirmed coronavirus cases in Alabama, 25 in Jefferson County


Trussville Tribune – Thousands of spring breakers flock to Florida beaches despite coronavirus threat


Athens News Courier – Alabama delays March 31 primary runoff to July 14


Athens News Courier – LCCI has food for those in need


Athens News Courier – Deadline extended for vehicle registration, renewal, tax


Sand Mountain Reporter – Local businesses help launch Neighborhood Bridges Boaz


Sand Mountain Reporter – ADOR provides tax relief for small businesses | Waives late payment fees through June 1


Sand Mountain Reporter – Social Security offices to only offer phone service | Online services remain available


WSFA Montgomery – SUSCC: 2 students tested positive COVID-19


WSFA Montgomery – Alabama COVID-19 cases jump to 51 Wednesday afternoon


WSFA Montgomery – HandsOn River Region 211 specialists take calls from home


WAFF Huntsville – Huntsville International Airport expects large revenue loss due to pandemic


WAFF Huntsville – Virus could lead to release of inmates with low bail


WAFF Huntsville – Huntsville Hospital limiting visitors to 1 per patient


WKRG Mobile – Some national parks say open amid coronavirus concerns


WKRG Mobile – Mobile Mayor and Health Officer at odds over new health order


WKRG Mobile – Local business owners are being affected by COVID-19


WTVY Dothan – Coronavirus closings and cancellations


WTVY Dothan – Walton County Commissioners will vote Thursday on whether to close county beaches


WTVY Dothan  – Coronavirus case at Southeast Health confirmed


WASHINGTON POST  – Trump’s $1 trillion stimulus is a gamble for reelection — and a sea change for Republicans once opposed to bailouts


WASHINGTON POST  – Federal Reserve announces it will backstop the U.S. money market industry, its seventh major emergency action this week


WASHINGTON POST  – Analysis: The case for just giving Americans money to help with coronavirus fallout


NEW YORK TIMES  – A Taxonomy of Bailouts: Comparing the Coronavirus Rescues With Rescues Past


NEW YORK TIMES  – Census Suspends Field Operations Amid Coronavirus Fears


NEW YORK TIMES  – Younger Adults Make Up Big Portion of Coronavirus Hospitalizations in U.S.


NEW YORK TIMES  – ‘We’re Petrified’: Immigrants Afraid to Seek Medical Care for Coronavirus



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