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Daily News Digest – May 11, 2020

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Good morning!
Here’s your Daily News for Monday, May 11.

1. Alabama reopens with mix of relief, concern

  • Many of Alabama’s shuttered businesses are reopening today, or at least on a path to such.
  • The state is lifting restrictions on non-work gatherings of 10 or more people beginning today. Businesses including restaurants, hair salons, bars, breweries and gymnasiums can reopen with rules including increased cleaning, crowd limits and, in some cases, the use of face masks.
  • Christy DellÁria, the owner of In the Loop Hair Studio in Montgomery, Alabama, said she was looking forward to reopening, but said some clients had already been driving to Georgia where salons opened sooner.
  • “I’m excited to be behind the chair again but also scared because a lot of our clients drove to Georgia for their colors and it will be at least four more weeks before we see them. The next month is still going to be a struggle,” DellÁria said
  • DellÁria at first voluntarily closed her salon in March for 15 days — to do her part to try to curb the spread of coronavirus — and then the state ordered all close contact businesses to close. She estimated she could only go another month shut down before losing her business all together.
  • She said it had been frustrating that big box stores have remained open and busy.
  • “I go into Wal-Mart or Lowes, there are hundreds of people. When you walk into those places you don’t feel any different, like anything has changed. I try to get butter and there are six people around me, no masks whatever,” she said.
  • More than 450,000 Alabamians have applied for unemployment since the pandemic began.
  • Ahem, Pine Bar says they’ll be open at 4:00 p.m.
  • Read the full story from Kim Chandler HERE.



2. What passed, what didn’t


  • Alabama lawmakers began the 2020 legislative session with several big-ticket items before them, including a prison overhaul, a possible state lottery and medical marijuana legislation.
  • Those issues fell by the wayside as the coronavirus outbreak interrupted the legislative session.
  • House Speaker Mac McCutcheon said it is “very possible” that the governor will call them into special session at some point to deal with prisons or other issues. The U.S. Department of Justice last year said that male inmates live in violent prisons that violate the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment. The Justice Department threatened to sue Alabama unless conditions improve.
  • “When you look at all the important issues that we talked about, legislation that we have not addressed. And then you put in there all of the issues that we are going to be concerned with when it comes to corrections — that’s a lot of work to be done.”
  • Lawmakers used their abbreviated meeting time to focus on state budgets and passing a $1.25 billion bond issue to fund school construction.
  • Take a look at what passed and failed in the 2020 regular legislative session HERE.





A message from


  • Join AlabamaWorks! for our next Workforce Recovery Webinar Tuesday at 4:oo p.m.
  • This session will focus on the future of work post-COVID-19.
  • As always, the webinar is available for live viewing on the AlabamaWorks! Facebook page as well as on our website.





3. US approves new coronavirus antigen test with fast results

  • U.S. regulators have approved a new type of coronavirus test that administration officials have promoted as a key to opening up the country.
  • The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday announced emergency authorization for antigen tests developed by Quidel Corp. of San Diego. The test can rapidly detect fragments of virus proteins in samples collected from swabs swiped inside the nasal cavity, the FDA said in a statement.
  • The antigen test is the third type of test to be authorized by the FDA.
  • Antigen tests can diagnose active infections by detecting the earliest toxic traces of the virus rather than genetic code of the virus itself.
  • The FDA said that it expects to authorize more antigen tests in the future.
  • Full story HERE.



4. Pence self-isolating after exposure to infected aide

  • Vice President Mike Pence was self-isolating Sunday after an aide tested positive for the coronavirus last week, but he planned to return to the White House on Monday.
  • An administration official said Pence was voluntarily keeping his distance from other people in line with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He has repeatedly tested negative for COVID-19 since his exposure but was following the advice of medical officials.
  • His action came after three of the nation’s top scientists took their own protective steps following possible exposure to a White House staffer infected by the coronavirus.
  • “Vice President Pence will continue to follow the advice of the White House Medical Unit and is not in quarantine,” spokesman Devin O’Malley said Sunday. “Additionally, Vice President Pence has tested negative every single day and plans to be at the White House tomorrow.”
  • Full story HERE.



5. Stacy Column: Still time to work together

  • We’ve now all had a half-weekend to recover from the crazy six-day legislative session last week.
  • That was really quite something.
  • Here’s where we stand now: Alabama’s legislative and executive branches are locked in a constitutional conflict over how to spend emergency relief money from Congress. And while it makes for sweet, headline-filling, click-generating news for people like me, this situation has the potential to hurt the state in how we respond to a very serious pandemic.
  • There’s a way out of this that allows everybody to win, and I wrote about it in my latest column.
  • Here’s an excerpt:
“As I mentioned, the Legislature is anticipating a veto from the governor on the General Fund, which lawmakers can easily override with simple majorities. But it doesn’t have to be a binary choice between the governor’s way or the Legislature’s way. The state constitution allows the governor to send executive amendments back to the Legislature for its consideration. Sometimes this is used to clean up muddy language and other times there are honest-to-God policy disagreements. In this case, the executive amendment could be particularly useful for bringing a positive resolution to the situation…”
  • My full column HERE.




A message from

the Alabama State Port Authority

Alabama’s leaders are investing in the state’s only seaport.
The Rebuild Alabama Act will modernize our seaport to leverage $1.2 billion already spent in shore-side and harbor improvements.
A modern and efficient seaport, coupled with excellent rail, waterways and highway networks lowers shipping rates for Alabama businesses, attracts new investments and creates jobs.
The PORT. Investing today in Alabama’s tomorrow.


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS  – Alabama reopening met with mix of relief, concern


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS  – Prison changes, lottery bills postponed as session cut short


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – US approves new coronavirus antigen test with fast results


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS  – Pence spends weekend at home after exposure to infected aide


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Stacy Column: Still time to work together




ALABAMA DAILY NEWS  – Lawmakers send Ivey $7.2B education budget, plan to return to deal with veto


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS  – Alabama reopening restaurants, bars with limits on Monday


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – New virus clusters show risks of 2nd wave as protests flare


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS  – As Trump pulls back from virus, Congress races to fill void


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Georgia man’s death raises echoes of US racial terror legacy


AL.COM  – What Alabama’s updated ‘safer at home’ plan means for you


AL.COM  – Outbreak taking toll on African-Americans in Alabama


AL.COM  – 2 earthquakes hit Tennessee, not far from Alabama state line


AL.COM  – Alabama father and son fight to save small businesses, 1 meal at a time


AL.COM  – 9,692 coronavirus cases in Alabama, 393 deaths; Latest county-by-county numbers


AL.COM  – Alabama to spend nearly half a million to investigate maternal deaths


AL.COM  – Columnist John Archibald: Why this Mother’s Day is different


Montgomery Advertiser – Coronavirus: Gov. Kay Ivey to loosen restaurant, hair salon, gym restriction


Montgomery Advertiser – See what businesses are allowed to open under Alabama’s relaxed coronavirus order


Montgomery Advertiser – 5 Mother’s Day ideas to make Mom feel special, in addition to that very important call


YellowHammer News – Alabama researchers energize efforts to aid search for COVID-19 therapies


YellowHammer News – Mercedes-Benz donates over $500,000 in funds, goods and services for COVID-19 relief efforts


YellowHammer News – State Sen. Stutts applauds ADPH’s Dr. Scott Harris, Says State Health Officer selection should be ‘apolitical’


Tuscaloosa News – Alabama teen sinks shrimp boat for Eagle Scout project


Tuscaloosa News – Alabama reopening met with mix of relief, concern


Tuscaloosa News – What passed, what didn’t in Alabama legislative session


Decatur Daily – Local churches split on resuming in-person worship after changes to state health order


Decatur Daily – Local gyms able to reopen under revised safer-at-home order


Decatur Daily – Lawrence to begin emptying dumpsters an additional day without rate increase


Times Daily – Muscle Shoals, Russellville ranked in top 30 schools of US News & World Report


Times Daily – Florence author releases book Tuesday


Times Daily – NACOLG Dial-A-Ride bus service resumes Wednesday


Anniston Star – Anniston church honors mothers with drive-in service


Anniston Star – Jacksonville Guard unit gets sendoff to war zone — without an audience


Anniston Star – ‘Ahmaud!’: Local residents hold socially distanced protest over Georgia shooting


Gadsden Times – Alabama reopening met with mix of relief, concern


Gadsden Times – Rehiring after closure brings difficult decisions


Gadsden Times – Schools can hold graduations starting Monday


Dothan Eagle – Abbeville native Richardson works for Roush Fenway Racing


Dothan Eagle – Two face charges after high-speed chase on U.S. 231


Dothan Eagle – New normal: Rural towns feel virus impact, show strength


Troy Messenger – Guidelines that allow bars, restaurants, gyms and salons to reopen to the public on Monday are being met with caution and concern in Pike County.


Troy Messenger – Goshen residents ‘adopt’ high school seniors


Troy Messenger – Brundidge candidates look ahead to city elections


Andalusia Star News – Juveniles charged in burglaries


Andalusia Star News – Cancer survivor to pursue pediatric oncology career


Andalusia Star News – Andalusia local’s grandson bikes across the United States in 17 days


Opelika-Auburn News – Watch now: Extra family time put to work by Auburn mom


Opelika-Auburn News – Downtown Opelika shops slowly welcome back customers


Opelika-Auburn News – AU profs satisfied with spring semester, all things considered


Daily Mountain Eagle – Mom celebrates answered prayer on Mother’s Day


Daily Mountain Eagle – Jones rises to COVID-19 challenges


Daily Mountain Eagle – New Jasper business thrives despite COVID-19 pandemic


Trussville Tribune – Alabama reopening met with mix of relief, concern


Trussville Tribune – Alabama confirmed coronavirus cases near 10,000, deaths sit at 390


Trussville Tribune – Virus outbreak puts members of White House Task Force in quarantine


Athens News Courier – Work to replace damaged Alabama highway ahead of schedule


Athens News Courier – FOLLOWING THE NEED: Limestone native cares for COVID-19 patients in NYC


Athens News Courier – Fifth Avenue bridge reopens, paving next


Sand Mountain Reporter – Marshall County Emergency Food and Shelter Program receives federal aid


Sand Mountain Reporter – Alabama Supreme Court extends state of emergency through May 15


Sand Mountain Reporter – MCSO corrections officer charged with promoting contraband


WSFA Montgomery – Businesses prepare for in-house customers


WSFA Montgomery – Coach Saban surprises 103-year-old World War II Veteran


WSFA Montgomery – 9-year-old cheerleader now using her strength to beat cancer


Fox 6 Birmingham – Shooting leaves a man dead and a 7-year-old injured in Wylam


Fox 6 Birmingham – City and health officials on the reopening of Alabama


Fox 6 Birmingham – ADPH: 393 Alabamians have died from COVID-19 as over 9,800 test positive


WAFF Huntsville – St. John Catholic Church host drive thru communion


WAFF Huntsville – Fallen officers to be remembered during virtual candelight vigil


WAFF Huntsville – Breweries ready to welcome back customers under phase two


WKRG Mobile – Mobile Police confirms 4th homicide in less than 48 hours


WKRG Mobile – Second fire reported in Bon Secour on County Road 49 leaves 50 plus acres burned, say fire officials


WKRG Mobile – National Hospital Week launches with a special message from Gov. Kay Ivey


WTVY Dothan – 3 members of White House virus task force in quarantine


WTVY Dothan – Charges: Geneva County man molests one year old, child’s grandmother streams video


WTVY Dothan – US approves new coronavirus antigen test with fast results


WASHINGTON POST  – Top Trump economic advisers say unemployment rate could surpass 20 percent, job market could worsen


WASHINGTON POST  – Republicans grow nervous about losing the Senate amid worries over Trump’s handling of the pandemic


WASHINGTON POST  – Social distancing enforcement is ramping up. So is concern that black and Latino residents may face harsher treatment


NEW YORK TIMES  – As Banks Stumble in Delivering Aid, Congress Weighs Other Options


NEW YORK TIMES  – The New Language of Telehealth


NEW YORK TIMES  – Stock Markets Show Broad Optimism

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