1. COVID-19 update
- Total confirmed COVID-19 cases since March were at 43,450 Sunday, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health, with about 30% of those cases occurring in the last two weeks.
- The state has seen a recent trend of about 1,000 new cases reported each day. On Sunday, a new high of 919 people were reported hospitalized statewide.
- Presumed recoveries are more than 22,000, according to ADPH, and just under 450,000 people have been tested for the virus. The percentage of tests coming back positive has also increased in recent weeks to 11.9% last week.
- The ADPH updates its information at 10 a.m. each day, and testing reports from the holiday weekend could lag. Since the health emergency began, 984 people in Alabama have died.
- COVID-19 is most dangerous for people with pre-existing health issues. As of Thursday, just 43 deaths had been reported in people with no underlying medical conditions.
- Full story HERE.
2. Man charged in Galleria shooting that killed 8-year-old boy
- A man has been arrested on a murder charge in connection with a recent shooting at a Hoover mall that killed an 8-year-old boy dead and left three other people injured, authorities said Sunday.
- Hoover police announced the arrest of Montez Coleman, 22, in connection with the shooting Friday afternoon at Riverchase Galleria. The boy was identified by police as Royta Giles Jr., a rising third grader at a local elementary school.
- Hoover Police Chief Nick Derzis said that Coleman, who had been sought on a capital murder warrant, also is charged with three counts of second-degree assault in the wounding of a man, woman and girl — all innocent bystanders. They were each treated for gunshot wounds and subsequently released from medical care.
- Derzis told reporters the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office issued a capital murder warrant against Coleman on Saturday night and that he was taken into custody without incident.
- Read more HERE.
3. Tuberville’s embarrassing hedge fund history reported
- After his coaching stint at Auburn came to an end, Tommy Tuberville got involved with a hedge fund that ended in disaster, with his partner going to jail and Tuberville sued for millions.
- John David Stroud, a former Lehman Brothers broker, and Tuberville started TS Capital Partners as a joint venture playing on the coach’s name and Stroud’s experience in the financial markets.
- Eventually, Tuberville returned to college coaching and Stroud apparently let the fund fall apart, while defrauding investors along the way.
- Stroud was later indicted on more than 20 criminal counts by a Lee County grand jury and pleaded guilty to a felony fraud charge.
- Tuberville was never implicated in the criminal case, but he did reach a private settlement with investors estimated at more than $2 million.
- This incident was well reported at the time, including by ESPN and other outlets. However, it hasn’t come up in a big way recently as the GOP primary for U.S. Senate has marched on.
- Now, the New York Times’ Danny Hakim has packaged it all together for a pretty thorough story you can read HERE.
4. Governors stress ‘personal responsibility’ over virus orders
- Elevating a message of personal responsibility over statewide crackdowns on businesses and requirements for people in public spaces has been a consistent approach among certain governors during the coronavirus crisis. That’s especially true in Republican-leaning states that had relatively few cases in the initial months of the outbreak but have begun to spike in recent weeks.
- Governors in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Montana, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Utah have invoked some form of the “personal responsibility” message over issuing strict statewide mandates.
- “You shouldn’t have to order somebody to do what is just in your own best interest and that of your family, friends and neighbors,” Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said late last week as she urged people to wear masks and take other precautions but downplayed the effectiveness of statewide orders.
- Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, has frequently invoked personal responsibility but took more decisive action this week in ordering Texans to wear masks in public in most cases. That came after another Republican governor, Doug Ducey of Arizona, changed direction and allowed mayors to make mask-wearing mandatory in their cities.
- “When we have people dying in this state as a result of this virus, we should be taking personal responsibility for this,” Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said.
- Full story HERE.
5. News Briefs
Alabama health officials can’t verify ‘COVID party’ reports
- TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Department of Public Health said it could not verify reports of so-called COVID-19 parties where students deliberately tried to become infected, but also warned people not to try it.
- Tuscaloosa City Councilor Sonya McKinstry told news outlets last week that she heard of students holding parties and wagering over who would become infected.
- The department said it could not verify any parties where persons tried to contract COVID-19 but warned that it is a dangerous and sometimes deadly virus.
- However, the Crimson White, the University of Alabama student newspaper, reported that one local clinic was left out of the investigation. Dr. Ramesh Peramasetty of the Crimson Care clinic in Tuscaloosa told the CW that “intentional” infection parties indeed were real and that his clinic staff had seen videos of parties attended by students.
- “There may be a few bad apples in any age group or population,” Peramsetty said.
- “Persons should not willfully expose themselves to this virus both for their own health and the health of others,” the department said.
- Tuscaloosa Fire Chief Randy Smith told the City Council on Tuesday that fire officials confirmed some students had attended parties despite knowing they were infected. The department thought the parties were rumors, but Smith said after some research, officials discovered they were real.
- The Department of Public Health said people with COVID-19 are to remain in home quarantine and could be fined for violating quarantine.
Grant to help foster farm conservation practices in Alabama
- AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — A $3 million federal grant will help encourage new conservation practices by Alabama farmers.
- A statement from Auburn University said the college of agriculture is getting the money to help row farms through an Agriculture Department program.
- Many soils in the state are low in organic matter and need rebuilding, and farms also need assistance with irrigation practices, which are important because of summertime droughts, said project leader Rishi Prasad. The program will additionally help farmers evaluate how much commercial fertilizers are being lost in the environment.
- Three farms in different parts of the state will be used to demonstrate new conservation practices, and learning sites will be established at Alabama Extension offices located in Lawrence, Geneva and Lee counties, said Audrey Gamble, an assistant professor and extension specialist.
Scaled-back fishing rodeo planned at Dauphin Island
- DAUPHIN ISLAND, Ala. (AP) — Organizers are scaling back plans for a major fishing tournament on the Alabama coast so it can be held despite the coronavirus pandemic.
- The Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo has grown to include music events and a “liars contest” that draw thousands of people during 86 years in operation. But this year’s tournament will just involve fishing when it begins July 17 at Dauphin Island.
- More than 75,000 people usually visit Dauphin Island, located south of Mobile, for the fishing or the show during a typical rodeo, which lasts three days.
- A news release from the state conservation agency said officials who were mindful of the need for social distancing during the pandemic didn’t want to draw crowds.
- “We worked with the town of Dauphin Island, and they told us they were OK with us fishing, having a weigh-in and selling T-shirts. They did not want us to give anybody a reason to congregate,” the president of the tournament, Cory Quint, said in a statement released by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
- The pandemic has gotten worse in Alabama since leaders allowed many businesses to reopen in a bid to revive the state’s economy.
- The fishing rodeo, which began as a competition for tarpon anglers, is billed as the nation’s largest saltwater fishing tournament.
INSIDE ALABAMA POLITICS – Inside Alabama Politics – June 30, 2020
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – COVID-19 hospitalizations top 900 Sunday
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – General Fund revenue dips in June; ETF awaiting income tax payments
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Governors stress ‘personal responsibility’ over virus orders
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Man charged in Alabama mall shooting that left boy, 8, dead
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Scaled-back fishing rodeo planned at Dauphin Island
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Democrats look to accelerate Southern political shift
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump’s leadership is tested in time of fear, pandemic
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Health officials fear virus surge after July 4 celebrations
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – After all-night lines, new system for unemployment help
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Grant to help foster farm conservation practices in Alabama
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – In the Weeds on Workforce Development
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Weekend Digest – July 5, 2020
AL.COM – Alabama adds another 1,091 coronavirus cases, hospitalizations drop to 800
AL.COM – Can Democrats, Biden win in a changing South?
AL.COM – ‘One surprise after another’: How one Alabama city’s economy is adapting to coronavirus
AL.COM – Birmingham crime down double digits in 1st half of 2020, police report
AL.COM – Do endorsements matter in Alabama’s Senate race?
AL.COM – Alabama cities left to go it alone as governor urges, but doesn’t require masks
AL.COM – Alabama’s economy, rattled by coronavirus, looks for the way forward
AL.COM – Alabama doesn’t have enough contact tracers to keep up with surging coronavirus
Montgomery Advertiser – An 8-year-old boy was killed, while 3 others injured, in shooting at Alabama mall
Montgomery Advertiser – It takes a toll: Montgomery’s homicide unit wants justice as much as a victims’ families
Montgomery Advertiser – Montgomery Public Schools will start class Aug. 10, district sets plans for return to campuses
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Clay drive-in fireworks celebration happening Sunday night
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – ADPH: 984 Alabamians have died from COVID-19 as more than 43K test positive & 22K recover
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Former Glencoe police chief dies from COVID-19
Tuscaloosa News – Two charged in homicide at apartment complex
Tuscaloosa News – Bama Bug Fest crawls into new home
Tuscaloosa News – School plans to honor secretary’s memory
Decatur Daily – COVID-19 case forces delay in Limestone summer programs
Decatur Daily – Juvenile fatally shot July 4 near East Acres in Decatur
Decatur Daily – In pandemic, taxes on online purchases up; trend concerns educators
Times Daily – Lauderdale school students to return to class later than planned
Times Daily – 2 Lauderdale polling places move
Times Daily – General Fund revenue dips 4.15% in June
Anniston Star – Light show, fireworks bring out holiday crowds despite virus surge
Anniston Star – Shots fired, no one hurt in Jacksonville incident, police say
Anniston Star – Small but spirited crowd at July 4th parade as COVID-19 cases continue to spread
Gadsden Times – Alabama doesn’t have enough contact tracers to keep up with surging coronavirus
Gadsden Times – ECMSCA, youth soccer players talk about facility needs
Gadsden Times – Facebook groups pivot to attacks on Black Lives Matter
YellowHammer News – Palmer calls for Sessions-Tuberville debate; Cites needs for Huntsville-Memphis Interstate, Birmingham Beltline, Mobile Bridge, Dothan I-10 Connector
YellowHammer News – Walmart announces 8,000 veterans hired in Alabama through Welcome Home Commitment
YellowHammer News – Macon County organic farmer cultivates ambitions with ag startup
Dothan Eagle – Judge orders courthouse offices closed to the public
Dothan Eagle – Man dies in Barbour County crash
Dothan Eagle – COVID-19 concerns lead to closings
Troy Messenger – Friends, coworkers reflect on Thomas’ impact in City of Brundidge
Troy Messenger – A garden and an online journal help Lieb focus and cope
Andalusia Star News – PARADIN’ THE ANDY WAY
Opelika-Auburn News – Seeking unity: Becoming the Beloved Community
Opelika-Auburn News – Opelika Housing Athority to provide free internet service to residents
Opelika-Auburn News – AU building program will offer doctorate degree
Daily Mountain Eagle – Grant to help foster farm conservation practices in Alabama
Daily Mountain Eagle – Health officials fear virus surge after July 4 celebrations
Daily Mountain Eagle – After all-night lines, new system for unemployment help
Trussville Tribune – UPDATE: Arrest made in Galleria shooting that left child dead, wounded 3
Trussville Tribune – Several ejected from vehicle on I-22 in Walker County, 1 dead
Trussville Tribune – 1 of 2 protesters hit by driver on Seattle freeway dies
Athens News Courier – Scaled-back fishing rodeo planned at Dauphin Island
Athens News Courier – North Alabama business produces CBD products using state hemp
Athens News Courier – Grant to help foster farm conservation practices in Alabama
Sand Mountain Reporter – ADOL announces extended benefits program
Sand Mountain Reporter – DCHLC names Smith as Crossville Woman of the Year
Sand Mountain Reporter – MCSO welcomes new refrigerator
WSFA Montgomery – One dead after two-vehicle crash in Bullock Co.
WSFA Montgomery – Suspect arrested after July 4 shooting in Enterprise
WSFA Montgomery – Body recovered from Catoma Creek in Montgomery Saturday evening
WAFF Huntsville – Homicide investigation underway in Morgan County
WAFF Huntsville – Suspect charged in fatal overnight shooting in Harvest
WAFF Huntsville – Harvest firefighters battle overnight house fire
WKRG Mobile – One out of four stolen dogs from the Puppy Den in Daphne found in Georgia
WKRG Mobile – Satsuma police officer put on administrative leave after possible misconduct
WKRG Mobile – Wemo’s Wings temporarily closes after employee tests positive for COVID-19
WTVY Dothan – Suspect Wanted In July Fourth Shooting Investigation Turns Himself In
WTVY Dothan – Employees at Houston County Courthouse test positive for COVID-19
WTVY Dothan – Florida Department of Health releases Sunday COVID-19 numbers
WASHINGTON POST – Rush to reopen led to spikes in cases that threaten to overwhelm hospitals in some states, officials say
WASHINGTON POST – The politics of race are shifting, and politicians are struggling to keep pace
WASHINGTON POST – Coronavirus will undermine trust in government, ‘scarring body and mind’ for decades, research finds.
NEW YORK TIMES – The Fullest Look Yet at the Racial Inequity of Coronavirus
NEW YORK TIMES – The Swamp Is Coming From Inside Trump’s Campaign
NEW YORK TIMES – Inquiry Prompted by Trump’s Hurricane Dorian Claim Is Being Blocked, Investigator Says
Front Pages (images link to newspaper websites, which you should visit and patronize)