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Daily News Digest – May 13, 2020

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Good morning!
Here’s your Daily News for Wednesday, May 13.



1. Pelosi unveils another $3 trillion spending bill

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday unveiled a more than $3 trillion coronavirus aid package, a sweeping effort with $1 trillion for states and cities, “hazard pay” for essential workers and a new round of cash payments to individuals.
  • The House is expected to vote on the package as soon as Friday. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said there is no “urgency.” The Senate will wait until after Memorial Day to consider options.
  • Dubbed the Heroes Act, the Democrats’ plan is built around providing nearly $1 trillion for states, cities and tribal governments to avert layoffs, including $375 billion for smaller suburban and rural municipalities largely left out of earlier bills.
  • Money provided to states in the previous CARES Act did not allow for replacing lost revenue or spending on non-outbreak related projects, which sparked confusion and disagreement in Montgomery.
  • Pelosi’s bill would also offer a fresh round of $1,200 direct cash aid to individuals, increased to up to $6,000 per household, and launches a $175 billion housing assistance fund to help pay rents and mortgages. There is $75 billion more for virus testing.
  • Republicans are wary of another round of aid and McConnell declared the Democratic proposal a grab bag of “pet priorities.” He said Tuesday it is not something that “deals with reality.”
  • This would be the fifth coronavirus package. It’s a starkly partisan offering with no real input from Republicans, who prefer to assess the impact of earlier expenditures before approving more.
  • Read the full story HERE.
  • Read the highlights of Pelosi’s bill HERE.


2. Census response map shows lags as field operations restart

  • About 1.4 million Alabama households have turned in their 2020 census forms, a state self-response rate of 56.7% compared to a national rate of 58.6%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • State agencies are now putting extra effort in those parts of the state where responses are lagging. A swath of Black Belt and southern counties, and a few in north Alabama, are trailing in mail-in, Internet and telephone replies, according to a map maintained by the Census Bureau. Early this week, Coosa County in central Alabama had the lowest return rate at 26.6 percent. The response rate data is based on 2018 and 2019 population estimates.
  • Census kickoff efforts in March and April got off to a slow start because of the coronavirus. The Census Bureau last week announced a restart in about two dozens cities across the nation, including Birmingham, Huntsville and Mobile.
  • Alabama had a 72% response rate to the census 10 years ago. State officials have said they want more than 72% this year to ensure billions in federal funding for dozens of state and community programs and to secure the state’s seven congressional seats.
  • Read more from ADN’s Mary Sell and see the interactive response map HERE.





A message from



AlabamaWorks! is here as a resource for the people and businesses in our state during this difficult time.
Important workforce resources, tools and updates regarding COVID-19 can be found all in one place on our website.
Visit for more information on small businesses, unemployment information, state agency updates as well as information for those recently unemployed on how to establish a career pathway or re-skill.









3. 23 COVID-19 deaths at VA nursing home

  • Twenty-three residents at the Bill Nichols State Veterans Home in Alexander City have died from the COVID-19 virus, the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs said Tuesday.
  • There are 41 active resident cases of the virus, according to department spokesman Bob Horton.
  • Twelve of 41 employees who tested positive for the virus have recovered and are back on staff.
  • Alabama Daily News previously reported that all residents at the about 131-person facility were tested for the virus on April 18.
  • A National Guard unit decontaminated the home and those residents that tested positive for the virus are isolated from residents that are non-positive, Horton said.
  • Three employees at the William F. Green State Veterans Home in Bay Minette tested positive for the virus. There are no reports of residents testing positive of the virus at the home in Bay Minette, or the homes in Huntsville and Pell City.
  • Read more from ADN’s Mary Sell HERE.


4. High school graduations to test virus rules in Alabama

  • The high school graduation season will present a test of Alabama’s ability to reopen society without hastening the spread of the new coronavirus as thousands gather for ceremonies at some of the state’s largest schools.
  • As many as 2,500 people will be allowed at a Tuesday evening commencement for nearly 550 graduates in the football stadium at Thompson High School in Alabaster.
  • Spain Park and Hoover high schools, with 3,300 students combined, will hold ceremonies on Wednesday and Thursday at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium, with a normal seating capacity of 10,800 that must be halved under state pandemic rules.
  • Graduates from each school in Hoover will be given an N-95 face mask that they will be required to wear except when on stage, according to an announcement Tuesday. Others in attendance are encouraged, but not required, to wear masks.
  • The ceremonies are allowed because the state last week eliminated rules that limited crowds to 10 people or fewer. Gatherings of any size are allowed now as long as people from different households stay at least 6 feet apart.
  • Read more from Jay Reeves HERE.


5. Weaver resigns for Trump admin post

  • State Rep. April Weaver, R-Brierfield, has resigned her seat in the Alabama House of Representatives for a Trump Administration post yet to be named.
  • Weaver announced the move Tuesday in a press release, saying she was excited to be able to use her skills and experience on a national level. That would point to the job being in the health arena, as Weaver is a registered nurse, former hospital administrator and has specialized in health policy throughout her legislative career. She previously chaired the House Health Committee.
  • Weaver was first elected to the House in 2010 as part of the Republican wave that gave the GOP control of the Legislature for the first time since Reconstruction.
  • “Serving in the Alabama House of Representatives has been one of the greatest experiences of my life,” Weaver said. “It has been a tremendous honor and privilege to represent the people of House District 49 for the past ten years.”
  • District 49 includes parts of Bibb, Chilton and Shelby counties. The open seat will require a special election to fill, which could possibly be accomplished on the July 14 primary runoff ballot should the governor call it soon.
  • Full story HERE.




ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Pelosi unveils $3T spending bill, GOP senators give the cold shoulder


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS  – Highlights of Democrats’ $3 trillion-plus virus relief bill


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Census response map shows lags as field operations restart


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Survey shows coronavirus impact on Alabama businesses


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS  – 23 deaths at Alabama VA home attributed to COVID-19


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – High school graduations to test virus rules in Alabama


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Weaver resigns House seat to take unnamed Trump admin post


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama restaurants, bars, salons reopen with precautions


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS  – Legislature approves funds to review maternal deaths


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Source: Tagovailoa signs $30.275 million, 4-year deal


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – May 12, 2020


AL.COM  – UAB doctor recovering from COVID-19 says reopening a ‘horrible’ idea


AL.COM  – AG Marshall joins in call for protection from COVID-19 lawsuits


AL.COM    – Alabama secures experimental drug for hospitalized COVID-19 patients


AL.COM  – Alabama’s 1st LGBTQ charter school denied state-level appeal


AL.COM  – How much money is left in Alabama’s unemployment fund?


AL.COM  – 95% of Alabama coronavirus deaths among people with underlying conditions


AL.COM  – Honeywell Aerospace closing Anniston operation by 2021


AL.COM  – Birmingham ends shelter-in-place curfew, extends mask ordinance


AL.COM  – Alabama artists are resilient but losing millions due to coronavirus


AL.COM  – Columnist John Archibald: Alabama reopens: Is it worth it?


Montgomery Advertiser – Montgomery police search for missing teen Madyson Jones


Montgomery Advertiser – Investigators reap mounds of stolen items from notorious country compound ‘The Farm’ after big raid


Montgomery Advertiser – C-130 Hercules aircrafts fly over Montgomery for health care workers


YellowHammer News – UAH boosts search for COVID-19 drugs using HPE Cray Sentinel supercomputer


YellowHammer News – Two drive-thru testing sites to open in Montgomery area fueled by Hyundai donations


YellowHammer News – Poll: Alabama Republicans support legislature, not Ivey, appropriating COVID-19 relief funds


Dothan Eagle – More Alabama businesses reopen as COVID cases rise


Dothan Eagle – Daleville police confirm suicide on U.S. Highway 84 Friday night


Dothan Eagle – National Salvation Army Week now underway


Tuscaloosa News – Council denies extension of apartment ban


Tuscaloosa News – COVID-19 kills 23 people at an Alabama veterans nursing home


Tuscaloosa News – High school graduations to test virus rules in Alabama


Decatur Daily – First COVID-19 death of Morgan County resident reported by state


Decatur Daily – NARCOG shifts to low-maintenance landscaping on Second Avenue property


Decatur Daily – 3 Morgan County school systems set graduation plans


Times Daily – Spirit of Freedom moves to Veterans Day


Times Daily – Police seek community’s help in April shooting


Times Daily – Logan touts new council’s accomplishments in reelection bid


Gadsden Times – Person at commission meeting tests positive for virus


Gadsden Times – Marshall County sex offenders to report by phone in June


Gadsden Times – Etowah County High Schools set graduations


Anniston Star – Audit shows Heflin in better financial shape


Anniston Star – Oxford donates to Community Foundation for small business relief


Anniston Star – Hobson City centenarian Willie Maude Atkinson dies


Troy Messenger – Florida man pleads guilty in drug fraud case; Troy woman faces trial


Troy Messenger – Banks man sentenced to 40 months on gun charge


Troy Messenger – Troy seeks $2M grant to rehab east-west corridor


Andalusia Star News – Local barbershop reports busy first day back open


Andalusia Star News – Superintendents happy with education budget


Andalusia Star News – SARA officials discuss cafe opening, more space coming


Opelika-Auburn News – COVID-19 latest: Hospitalizations back on the rise; Air Force Reserves set to flyover EAMC Tuesday


Opelika-Auburn News – Auburn University student group says ‘leave it to us;’ shops for seniors


Opelika-Auburn News – Lee County Courthouse to reopen


Daily Mountain Eagle – State parole board hearing four local cases in May


Daily Mountain Eagle – Elks Lodge donates to CH thrift store


Daily Mountain Eagle – Multiple arrests made in Yerkwood


Trussville Tribune – High school graduations to test virus rules in Alabama


Trussville Tribune – Coronavirus cases in Alabama jump to 10,167 with 423 deaths


Trussville Tribune – Governors disregarding White House guidelines on reopening


Athens News Courier – BREAKING: Man charged with murder in Monday shooting


Athens News Courier – NOW SHOWING: Cinemagic to host fundraiser for LCCI


Athens News Courier – Athens-Limestone graduations set May 19, 21-22


Sand Mountain Reporter – ALEA finalizing plans to resume normal driver license division operations


Sand Mountain Reporter – Local students awarded Democratic Club scholarships


Sand Mountain Reporter – Tips for newly unemployed, when business slows down


WSFA Montgomery – Alabama receives doses of Remdesivir, the only FDA approved drug to fight COVID-19


WSFA Montgomery – ADOC self-reports three new COVID-19 cases among staff


WSFA Montgomery – Employees fearful of returning to work could still receive unemployment benefits


Fox 6 Birmingham – Hoover plans graduation ceremonies, charging community to be responsible


Fox 6 Birmingham – Bham Strong helps non-profits with staffing during COVID-19


Fox 6 Birmingham – You can now test for COVID-19 at home, but is it safe or worth it?


WAFF Huntsville – Business van crashes into house in NE Huntsville


WAFF Huntsville – Alabama COVID-19 cases rise to 10,464; ADPH confirms 435 deaths


WAFF Huntsville – State senator files bill to curb COVID-19 lawsuits


WKRG Mobile – Motorcyclist killed in Okaloosa County accident


WKRG Mobile – Baldwin County real estate sees little effect from COVID-19


WKRG Mobile – UPDATE: Fairhope Police locate child seen near several fires reported this week


WTVY Dothan – Florida Dept. of Ag. faces lawsuit for halting online concealed carry applications


WTVY Dothan – Expert offers advice as employees head back to work amid pandemic


WTVY Dothan – Geneva County food pantry delivers much needed assistance in second month


WASHINGTON POST  – Coronavirus could roar back if states lift restrictions too soon, top U.S. health officials warn


WASHINGTON POST  – Small business used to define America’s economy. The pandemic could change that forever


WASHINGTON POST  – April saw the sharpest increase in grocery store prices in nearly 50 years.


NEW YORK TIMES  – America’s Job Losses Might Be Slowing: Daily Tracker


NEW YORK TIMES  – McConnell, With Majority at Risk, Returns to an Old Target: Obama


NEW YORK TIMES  – Trump Is Courting Black Voters. His Failures on the Virus Are a Problem



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