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Daily News Digest – March 20, 2020

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Alabama’s Trucking Industry

Good morning and Happy Friday! I don’t know, it feels less like the weekend when you’ve been cooped up all week and will be for the foreseeable future. Cheers anyway!
Here’s your Daily News for March 20.


1. Dine-in service and beaches closed; State could see a shortage of ventilators

  • The Alabama Department of Public Health on Thursday prohibited any gatherings involving 25 or more people, closed state beaches and child care facilities, prohibited on-site dining in restaurants and canceled non-emergency medical procedures.
  • Gov. Kay Ivey said the order, effective through April 5, is the best way to contain the spread of the coronavirus and to stop a possible surge on Alabama hospitals and medical resources.
  • “Despite our best efforts, the threat of the COVID-19 virus continues to spread and, unfortunately, we have not yet reached peak impact,” Ivey said in a statement. “While I am pleased that many of our citizens are self-regulating and are practicing social distancing, we want to ensure that Alabama is doing our part to flatten the curve.”
  • Late Thursday, Ivey said her office and the Department of Public Health would offer further clarity on the 25-person rule for public gatherings and how it would be applied in business environments.
  • As of Thursday afternoon, 77 cases of COVID-19 had been confirmed statewide, up 27 cases from a day earlier. Jefferson County had the most cases at 34, followed by Lee County at 10, Shelby County at 9, Madison and Elmore Counties at 5, Tuscaloosa County at 4 and Montgomery County at 3. Baldwin, Calhoun, Chambers, Limestone, Talladega and Walker Counties reported 1 case each.
  • So far, in the U.S., 10,442 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed and 150 deaths are attributed to the disease, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Donald Williamson, the president of the Alabama Hospital Association, on Thursday said there are 1,344 ventilators statewide and that he anticipates the need to increase that number over the next few weeks.
  • Read more from ADN’s Caroline Beck HERE.


2. Virus impact: State delays tax liabilities, lawmaker looks to protect business from COVID-19 lawsuits

  • As more businesses are ordered shut and workers laid off, state leaders say they’re looking to help establishments that lost customers because of the new coronavirus and protection for those still operating.
  • The Alabama Department of Revenue this week said small retail businesses, including restaurants and bars, have more time to pay their February, March and April 2020 state sales tax liabilities. Small retailers whose monthly retail sales during the previous calendar year averaged $62,500 or less may file their monthly sales tax returns for those three months without paying the state sales tax reported as due. Late payment penalties will be waived for these taxpayers through June 1, 2020.
  • Separately, ADOR will follow Washington’s lead in delaying 2019 income tax payments from most individuals and businesses.
  • The Trump administration this week said it will allow individuals and businesses to delay paying their tax bills for 90 days past the April 15 deadline in an effort to inject as much as $300 billion into the economy, the Associated Press reported.
  • Taxpayers will still have to file their tax returns by April 15,  but won’t have to pay their tax bill for 90 additional days.
  • And Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, plans to file legislation offering civil immunity from coronavirus-related lawsuits. Orr said national and Alabama economies are being crushed by COVID-19 and businesses are closing to the public out of fear, concern or government mandate.
  • Read more 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. White House, senators negotiate $1 trillion economic rescue deal

  • Members of President Donald Trump’s economic team convene today on Capitol Hill to launch negotiations with Senate Republicans and Democrats racing to draft a $1 trillion-plus economic rescue package amid the coronavirus outbreak.
  • It’s the biggest effort yet to shore up households and the U.S. economy as the pandemic and its nationwide shutdown hurtles the country toward a likely recession.
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell unveiled the Republican opening offer to pump $1,200 direct checks to taxpayers, $300 billion for small businesses to keep idled workers on payroll and $208 billion in loans to airlines and other industries.
  • The 247-page McConnell CARES Act puts the leader’s imprint on opening talks with Democrats in Congress as lawmakers prepare to work through the weekend to fast-track perhaps the most urgent legislative undertaking since the 2008 financial crisis.
  • The one-time $1,200 stipends would be sent to individuals — $2,400 for couples — phased out at income thresholds of $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 per couple. Additionally, there would be $500 payments for each child.
  • Additionally, the McConnell bill would provide $300 billion to small businesses, with loans that would eventually be forgiven for employers who use them to meet payroll expenses.
  • To shore up industry, McConnell’s plan would provide $208 billion in loans and loan guarantees to distressed sectors, including $50 billion for commercial airlines, $8 billion for air cargo carriers and $150 billion for other eligible businesses, but those loans would have to be paid back.
  • Businesses would also be allowed to defer payment of the 6.2% employer payroll tax.
  • Read more HERE.



4. Global stocks, U.S. futures rise on virus aid hopes

  • Global stock markets and U.S. futures rose Friday on hopes government and central bank action can shield the world economy from a looming recession caused by the coronavirus.
  • Investors were encouraged after seeing more steps by the Federal Reserve and other central banks and governments to support credit markets and the economy.
  • On Wall Street, the future for the benchmark S&P 500 index rose 2.8% and that for the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 3.2%. The S&P 500 gained 0.5% on Thursday in a relatively modest change after wild price swings over the past week.
  • Hopes are rising that there will be progress in finding virus treatments and that “a boatload of stimulus by both central banks and governments will put the global economy in position for a U-shaped recovery,” said Edward Moya of Oanda in a report.
  • Read more HERE.

5. Trump to states: do more

  • Insisting the federal government is not a “shipping clerk,” President Donald Trump on Thursday called on states to do more to secure their own critically needed masks, ventilators and testing supplies as the pressure mounted on hospitals struggling to cope with a rising number of coronavirus patients.
  • During another fast-moving day in the capital, Trump and his administration took additional, once-unthinkable steps to try to contain the pandemic. The State Department issued a new alert urging Americans not to travel abroad under any circumstances. And Trump said the government should take partial ownership of companies bailed out during the pandemic, a step that would mark an extraordinary federal reach into the private sector.
  • Hoping to inject some good news into the dreary outlook, Trump held a White House briefing trying to highlight new efforts underway to find treatments for COVID-19.
  • He offered an upbeat promotion of therapeutic drugs in early testing that he said could be “a game-changer” in treating those suffering.
  • Read more and watch the news conference HERE.




ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Dine-in service and beaches closed; Could see a shortage of ventilators


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Virus impact: State delays tax liabilities, lawmaker looks to protect business from COVID-19 lawsuits


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – White House, senators to negotiate $1 trillion economic rescue deal


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Global stocks, US futures rise on virus aid hopes


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump urges states to do more as hospitals sound alarms


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 – Daily News Digest – March 19, 2020


AL.COM – Jefferson County has suspended nonessential businesses. Here’s what that means


AL.COM – Alabama Department of Corrections gets 1st worker COVID-19 diagnosis; no inmates confirmed positive


AL.COM – ‘Sunshine is your friend’ during epidemic, expert says


AL.COM – No price gouging due to coronavirus, Alabama officials warn; complaints include toilet paper, soda, beans


AL.COM – All Alabama restaurants go takeout only; hospital, nursing home visitor ban; beaches close


AL.COM – Alabama Power Foundation pledges $1 million to coronavirus relief


AL.COM – Gov. Kay Ivey closes all Alabama beaches both public and private because of coronavirus


AL.COM – Unemployment doubles, factories idle: How hard will coronavirus hit Alabama’s economy?


AL.COM – Alabama judge orders jail inmates released, then leaves it up to sheriffs


Montgomery Advertiser – Coronavirus: Montgomery, River Region businesses sink, stages go dark


Montgomery Advertiser – Coronavirus: Economic downturn clouds Alabama state budget picture


Montgomery Advertiser – Elmore County teacher tests positive for COVID 19; some students possibly exposed


YellowHammer News – Alabama’s breweries write letter requesting changes to coronavirus precautions and fiscal relief


YellowHammer News – Alabama Power nonprofits pledge $1 million to coronavirus relief efforts


YellowHammer News – Attorney General Steve Marshall: Price gouging illegal during coronavirus pandemic


Tuscaloosa News – Tuscaloosa leaders opt away from daytime curfew


Tuscaloosa News – One hospitalized after shooting at University Downs


Tuscaloosa News – Alabama delays GOP Senate runoff to July


Decatur Daily – Top DYS director candidate turns job down


Decatur Daily – City revokes 2 more businesses’ licenses


Decatur Daily – Virus impact: State scrambles to help businesses


Times Daily – SIDC working to help small businesses


Times Daily – Food pantries stretched by the coronavirus


Times Daily – Lawmakers look to defer tax liabilities, protect from lawsuits


Anniston Star – Ivey bans large gatherings statewide as Alabama COVID-19 count rises to 78


Anniston Star – RMC enacts strict visitation policy


Anniston Star – Liability and tax relief expected to occupy Alabama legislators


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Truck drivers having difficult time getting meals


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Dine-in service and beaches closed; Could see a shortage of ventilators


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Virus impact: Revenue delays tax liabilities, lawmaker looks to protect business from COVID-19 lawsuits


WAFF Huntsville – Parents struggle to find child care as Gov. Ivey closes day cares, preschools


WAFF Huntsville – Local cabinet refinisher arrested again


WAFF Huntsville – Jackson County businesses providing free meals to students


Dothan Eagle – COVID-19 – The Latest: Jackson County reports first confirmed case; Alabama closes beaches, implements restrictions impacting restaurants, bars and more


Dothan Eagle – Dothan neighborhood shows love, solidarity with no-contact scavenger hunt


Dothan Eagle – Houston County Probate Office combats COVID-19 by spotlighting online renewals


Gadsden Times – On the rise: 78 confirmed cases in state


Gadsden Times – Ivey issues sweeping health order closing beaches, daycares, limiting restaurants


Gadsden Times – Etowah, Attalla schools provide meals to go


Troy Messenger – City of Troy closes City Hall due to COVID-19 Coronavirus, services will continue


Troy Messenger – Troy Library now closed due to COVID-19 Coronavirus


Troy Messenger – SERVING ON: Schools provide meals during COVID-19 Coronavirus


Andalusia Star News – PowerSouth implements pandemic plan


Andalusia Star News – Gov. Ivey issues statewide public health order


Andalusia Star News – Walmart changing hours; making senior time


Opelika-Auburn News – COVID-19 latest: Chambers County patient self-quarantining at home; 10 cases confirmed in Lee County, 78 in state; ADOC employee tests positive


Opelika-Auburn News – Parents, police struggle to herd the young during virus outbreak


Opelika-Auburn News – Opelika Power offering temporary grace period


Daily Mountain Eagle – McConnell unveils economic rescue plan amid virus shutdown


Daily Mountain Eagle – Cordova educators continue to challenge students during shutdown


Daily Mountain Eagle – Alabama at 28 virus cases; calls to avoid large gatherings


Trussville Tribune – Senate Intel chairman alleged to have utilized information gleaned from coronavirus briefings to sell stock ahead of economic downturn


Trussville Tribune – Jefferson County Department of Health orders all non-essential businesses to close


Trussville Tribune – UPDATED: 77 confirmed coronavirus cases in Alabama, 34 in Jefferson County


Athens News Courier – City, county utilities suspend cutoffs for nonpayment


Athens News Courier – City, county utilities suspend cutoffs for nonpayment


Athens News Courier – AG warns against price gouging


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


Sand Mountain Reporter – Marshall County 911 takes precautions due to COVID-19


WSFA Montgomery – Social distancing causing increase in deliveries


WSFA Montgomery – Aggressive new restrictions in effect as Alabama’s COVID-19 cases rise to 78


WSFA Montgomery – Some Alabamians stuck in Peru amid growing pandemic


WKRG Mobile – Latest: Coronavirus updates from around the world


WKRG Mobile – Residents react to two future COVID-19 testing sites in Mobile


WKRG Mobile – Eglin Air Force Base announces first confirmed COVID-19 case


WTVY Dothan – Coronavirus closings and cancellations


WTVY Dothan – Early County woman dies of COVID-19


WTVY Dothan – California governor puts state on lock down to battle COVID-19


WASHINGTON POST – Senate Republicans release massive economic stimulus bill for coronavirus response


WASHINGTON POST – Coronavirus deniers and hoaxers persist despite dire warnings, claiming ‘it’s mass hysteria’


WASHINGTON POST – The danger of a second wave


WASHINGTON POST – One-third of the Lower 48 faces risk of flooding this spring, Weather Service says.


WASHINGTON POST – Senate Democrats propose bailout for student loan borrowers.


WASHINGTON POST – Rural areas may be the most vulnerable during the coronavirus outbreak.


WASHINGTON POST – Coronavirus will radically alter the U.S.


WASHINGTON POST – As layoffs skyrocket, the holes in America’s safety net are becoming apparent



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