Good morning and welcome to October!
The best part is it actually feels like it outside.
Here’s your Daily News for Thursday, October 1.
1. Mask mandate extended
- Gov. Kay Ivey announced an extension of her “Safer at Home” public health order on Wednesday, extending the statewide mask mandate until Nov. 8. Ivey also said hospitals and nursing homes will now be allowed to admit one visitor per resident or patient, a change from previous orders.
- A motivation to extend the mask order is the need to have a safe environment for poll workers, poll watchers and voters on Election Day, Ivey said at a press conference at the State Capitol.
- However, Secretary of State John Merrill said Wednesday that wearing a mask will not be required to cast a ballot on Election Day. Ivey’s order says mask wearing is not required during constitutionally protected activities, including voting.
- Along with the extended mask mandate, the order now allows a resident living in a nursing home or long-term care facility to have one visitor present at a time unless there is a compelling reason to limit access.
- Ivey said there had been some confusion with the previous health orders on this rule and that they were never meant to prevent someone from accompanying their loved one to the hospital.
- “Naturally, we want to do everything in our power to protect the safety of both the patient as well as the health care workers by allowing a loved one to accompany you into a critical health care setting, especially during a vulnerable time in one’s life,” Ivey said. “It’s just simply the right thing to do.”
- Brandon Farmer, president and CEO of the Alabama Nursing Home Association, said in a press release that he approves of this change in the visitation policy for nursing home residents and that his member facilities will be following the guidance on proper visitation procedures released from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
- Read more from ADN’s Caroline Beck HERE.
2. Federal judge loosens absentee rules
- Older Alabama voters at risk for contracting COVID-19 shouldn’t have to comply with all the state’s requirements for casting absentee ballots, which disproportionately harm Black people during the pandemic, a federal judge decided Wednesday.
- Ruling in a lawsuit filed on behalf of voters with health problems that make them more susceptible to getting sick from the new coronavirus, U.S. District Judge Abdul K. Kallon said that being forced to follow some provisions during the general election could wrongly endanger their lives.
- Voters 65 and older with health problems shouldn’t be required to have a notary or two witnesses sign ballot affidavits or to submit a copy of a photo identification; Kallon wrote. Also, counties that wish to allow “curbside voting” should be allowed to do so for those who need it, he ruled.
- Secretary of State John Merrill strongly disagreed with the ruling, saying the state’s photo ID and witness requirements “are necessary deterrents for those wishing to illegally influence elections.”
- Attorney General Steve Marshall announced Wednesday that he will appeal on behalf of the State of Alabama to block the court’s ruling. He said there is no evidence that the state’s current absentee voting process poses a risk to voters’ safety or that any Alabama voters were unable to cast their absentee ballots in the July 14 runoff elections due to the policies in question.
- “Once again, a federal district court has sided with those making unsupported claims that Alabama’s absentee voter requirements of a photo ID and witness signatures place voters at risk from COVID-19,” Marshall said in a statement. “Voting began weeks ago. And every Alabama voter is entitled to vote under the same laws, not new ones written by a federal court in the middle of voting.”
- Kallon heard evidence about voting during the pandemic during a hearing in September. Earlier, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a similar decision by Kallon that pertained to the runoff election in July.
- Full story HERE.
3. Shelby meets with Barrett, pledges support
- U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby met with Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, Wednesday and pledged his support for confirming her nomination.
- Traditionally, a Supreme Court nominee will meet with senators prior to a confirmation hearing or vote. Barrett has met with several senators in the past few days.
- Shelby, a Republican, said he was impressed with Barrett and that he would strongly support her nomination if and when it comes to the floor of the U.S. Senate.
- “After speaking with Judge Barrett, I am confident that she is the right choice to serve on the Supreme Court,” Shelby said.
- Alabama’s Democratic Sen. Doug Jones said last week that he would not vote for any nominee to the Supreme Court unless they were selected after the election.
- Read more HERE.
4. More talks on COVID relief
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin held an “extensive conversation” Wednesday on a huge COVID-19 rescue package, meeting face to face for the first time in more than a month in a last-ditch effort to seal a tentative accord on an additional round of coronavirus relief.
- After a 90-minute meeting in the Capitol, Pelosi issued a statement saying the two would continue to talk. “We found areas where we are seeking further clarification,” she said. Talks resume today.
- “We made a lot of progress over the last few days. We still don’t have an agreement,” Mnuchin said after meeting with Pelosi and briefing top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell.
- At the very least, the positive tone set by Pelosi and Mnuchin represented an improvement over earlier statements. But there is still a considerable gulf between the two sides, McConnell said.
- “I’ve seen substantial movement, yes, and certainly the rhetoric has changed,” White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said.
- Read more HERE.
5. Trump, Biden continue sniping from the road; Debate Commission say changes coming
- President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden kept up their debate-stage sniping from the road and the rails on Wednesday, fighting for working-class voters in the Midwest while both parties — and the debate commission, too — sought to deal with the most chaotic presidential faceoff in memory.
- Less than 12 hours after the wild debate concluded, Biden called Trump’s behavior in the prime-time confrontation “a national embarrassment.” The Democratic challenger launched his most aggressive day on the campaign trail all year, with eight stops planned for a train tour that began mid-morning in Cleveland and ended 10 hours later in western Pennsylvania. Trump proclaimed his debate performance a smashing success during a Wednesday evening rally in Duluth, Minnesota.
- “Last night I did what the corrupt media has refused to do,” Trump said. “I held Joe Biden accountable for his 47 years of failure.”
- Meanwhile, the Commission on Presidential Debates promised it would review its rules and see about adding “additional structure” for the next two debates.
- At the moment, both candidates are still committed to participating in both.
- Read more HERE.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Mask order extended till after election; visitor policy changed for long-term care facilities
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Federal judge loosens Alabama absentee voting rules
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Shelby meets with Barrett, pledges support to confirm
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Pelosi and Mnuchin have ‘extensive’ talks on COVID relief
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Biden, Trump snipe from road; Debate commission say changes coming
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – GOP lawmakers grill Comey on leadership of Russia probe
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Debate Takeaways: An acrid tone from the opening minute
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Rapid COVID-19 tests coming to state
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Medical, health groups encourage Alabamians to get flu shots
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – State lifts pandemic restriction on bar hours
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Plans to build new state veterans home progress
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – September 30, 2020
AL.COM – North Alabama school board member denies using racial slur about employees
AL.COM – Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville says Trump condemned white supremacists at debate
AL.COM – Coast Guard investigates oil found on Perdido Key beaches after Hurricane Sally
AL.COM – Alabama nursing homes to allow limited in-person visits
AL.COM – Hurricane Sally housing crunch: Pain is clear, but the numbers aren’t
AL.COM – 2 Alabama police officers charged with felony assault in ‘brutal beating’
AL.COM – University of Alabama cancels spring break 2021
AL.COM – Alabama’s Gulf Coast beaches reopen Friday
AL.COM – Alabama COVID mask order extended to Nov. 8
Montgomery Advertiser – What Montgomery voters need to know about Nov. 3 property tax referendum
Montgomery Advertiser – Police launch death investigation after 45-year-old Montgomery man dies
Montgomery Advertiser – Alabama counties can offer curbside voting on Nov. 3, judge rules
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – JCAEA reviews results of teacher survey on returning for face to face instruction
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Birmingham Crossplex issues new safety restrictions as city opens art, cultural and sporting facilities
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Alabama will allow nursing home visits, but not hugging or close contact yet
Tuscaloosa News – University of Alabama plans to cancel spring break
Tuscaloosa News – Two candidates compete in Northport City Council runoff
Tuscaloosa News – Mayor plans strict occupancy enforcement at bars this weekend
Decatur Daily – Housing Authority directors announce retirements as HUD issues low rating
Decatur Daily – Swan Creek Greenway to get new trailhead
Decatur Daily – Lawrence BOE to borrow $8 million for new classrooms, athletic facilities
Times Daily – 4 blood drives planned through Sunday
Times Daily – Election officials preparing for runoff, general election
Times Daily – Ivey extends mask mandate through Nov. 8
Anniston Star – New website provides parents with learning, health resources
Anniston Star – Anniston Veterans Day ceremony canceled due to COVID
Anniston Star – UPDATED: Statewide mask order extended until Nov. 8
YellowHammer News – State of Alabama to appeal after ‘judicial activism’ threatens ‘integrity of the elections process’
YellowHammer News – Elliott responds to Ivey’s Hurricane Sally ‘Monday morning QB’ remarks: ‘We have got to have an administration that doesn’t get their feelings hurt’
YellowHammer News – Gov. Ivey extends apology to 16th Street Baptist Church bombing survivor
Gadsden Times – Gov. Kay Ivey extends mask order to November
Gadsden Times – Drive-thru flu shot clinic set for Friday in Glencoe
Gadsden Times – Altoona man charged with sexual abuse of a child
Dothan Eagle – Alabama governor extends pandemic rule requiring face masks
Dothan Eagle – Nursing homes resume indoor visits
Dothan Eagle – Federal judge loosens absentee rules for vulnerable voters
Opelika-Auburn News – Asia Today: September was India’s worst month of pandemic
Opelika-Auburn News – Unemployment marches higher in Europe amid pandemic
Opelika-Auburn News – EU takes legal action against UK over planned Brexit bill
WSFA Montgomery – Alabama Nursing Home Association announces plan for indoor visits
WSFA Montgomery – UA cancels Spring Break, extends Winter Break
WSFA Montgomery – Man shot in Montgomery Wednesday night
WAFF Huntsville – Crime Stoppers: Phat Sammy’s Burglary
WAFF Huntsville – A warm and breezy night with a cold front on the way
WAFF Huntsville – Inside visitation at nursing homes will open soon
WKRG Mobile – Gov. Ivey extends Alabama mask order through Nov. 8
WKRG Mobile – Can the coronavirus travel more than 6 feet in the air?
WKRG Mobile – Dr. Birx: No pressure on CDC from White House to relax school guidelines
WTVY Dothan – Man missing from Bessemer since August 6
WTVY Dothan – Alabama mask mandate extended; visitors to be allowed in hospitals, nursing homes
WTVY Dothan – Beaudry named Chief at Troy University
WASHINGTON POST – Belligerent Trump debate performance stokes fears among Republicans about November
WASHINGTON POST – Acrimonious debate sparks calls for new rules to rein in Trump and questions about the format’s usefulness for voters
WASHINGTON POST – After debate debacle, Trump gets advice from his most trusted advisers: ‘Fox & Friends’ hosts and guests
NEW YORK TIMES – For Voters Still Mulling, One Thing Is Clear: That Debate Didn’t Help
NEW YORK TIMES – Trump Renews Fears of Voter Intimidation as G.O.P. Poll Watchers Mobilize
NEW YORK TIMES – Chris Wallace Calls Debate ‘a Terrible Missed Opportunity’
WALL STREET JOURNAL – U.S. Stock Futures Rally Ahead of Economic Data
WALL STREET JOURNAL – Venezuela’s Food Chain Is Breaking, and Millions Go Hungry
WALL STREET JOURNAL – Athene, MassMutual Made Over $3 Billion Takeover Offer to American Equity