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Daily News Digest – September 16, 2020

Presented by

Alabama’s Trucking Industry



Good morning!

Here’s your Daily News for Wednesday, September 16.



1. Sally slams Alabama coast

  • Hurricane Sally made landfall this morning at 4:45 near Gulf Shores as a strong Category 2 storm, pushing a surge of Gulf water onto the coast and dumping torrential rain inland.
  • Moving at an agonizingly slow 3 mph with top winds of 105 mph, Sally’s northern eye wall had raked the Gulf Coast with hurricane-force winds and rain from Pensacola Beach westward to Dauphin Island for hours before its center finally hit land.
  • Trees were bending over and flailing around in the howling winds in downtown Pensacola, where driving rain flooded streets up to the bumpers of parked cars. In downtown Mobile, a street light snapped, swinging wildly on its cable.
  • Nearly 400,000 homes and businesses had lost electricity by early Wednesday, according to the site. A curfew was called in Gulf Shores due to life-threatening conditions.
  • The real threat from Sally isn’t the wind, however, but the flooding.
  • Ed Rappaport, deputy director of the National Hurricane Center said, “Sally has a characteristic that isn’t often seen and that’s a slow forward speed and that’s going to exacerbate the flooding.”
  • Word comes to Alabama Daily News from Baldwin County’s State Sen. Chris Elliott, R-Daphne.
  • “It’s pretty bad,” Elliott said via text at 7 a.m. today. “The sun is just coming up and the eye wall is moving through (Baldwin County) now so we can’t get out and about. Ninety-five percent of the county is without power.
  • “There’s significant coastal flooding. Lots of downed trees, many on houses. Riverine areas will continue to see rising waters throughout the day.”
  • Read more and see the latest charts HERE.



2. State virus hospitalizations lowest since June

  • COVID-19-related hospitalizations remained at an 11-week low on Tuesday at 716.
  • The Alabama Department of Public Health reported 701 new COVID-19 cases Monday – 514 confirmed cases and 187 probable cases. Thirty-two confirmed COVID-19 deaths were reported, bringing that total to 2,253 statewide. There have also been 134 deaths listed as probably caused by the virus.
  • BamaTracker, an independent site that uses ADPH data, reports that the number of COVID-19 tests statewide has dropped from a seven-day average of 11,161 in mid August to 5,232 on Tuesday. The drop is likely due to the surge of testing that coincided with colleges and schools reopening a month ago.
  • The percent of positive cases in recent days has been in the 12% range.
  • Story link.





A message from

Alabama’s Trucking Industry

  • This year’s National Truck Driver Appreciation Week takes on a special significance considering the crucial role truck drivers have played during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Professional truck drivers haul more than 10 billion tons of freight every year, which accounts for 70 percent of total U.S. freight tonnage, and more than 80 percent of U.S. communities rely exclusively on trucks to deliver their freight.
  • In Alabama, trucking accounts for 1 in 14 jobs in the state employing more than 111,000 Alabamians.






3. Locations for three new crisis care centers will soon be announced

  • The locations for three new crisis care centers meant to help those undergoing immediate mental health emergencies will be announced in October.
  • Alabama Department of Mental Health Commissioner Lynn Beshear told the Senate General Fund committee during an informal meeting on Tuesday that she hopes the centers can open by May of next year. The centers are meant to lessen the amount of mentally ill people being admitted to emergency rooms and jails and reduce the recidivism rate for those with mental illness.
  • The department works with 19 mental health providers throughout the state and the new emergency care centers will be housed with three of those entities, Beshear said. They will be open 24 hours a day and 365 days a year with clinical and supportive care services for anyone who needs it.
  • “In this work, it is to respond to the unique needs of our state and our communities, and we want this work to become the framework for a statewide system of crisis care,” Beshear said.
  • Read more from ADN’s Caroline Beck HERE.



4. Pelosi: House to stay in session until COVID-19 rescue pact

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday the House will remain in session until lawmakers deliver another round of COVID-19 relief, a move that came as Democrats from swing districts signaled discontent with a standoff that could force them to face voters without delivering more aid.
  • “We are committed to staying here until we have an agreement, an agreement that meets the needs of the American people,” Pelosi said on CNBC.
  • Pelosi told her Democratic colleagues on a morning conference call that “we have to stay here until we have a bill.”
  • The move highlighted the extent to which coronavirus legislation has settled into a kind of suspended animation in the final legislative weeks before the November election. Both parties insist they want action, keeping the idea of new relief alive, but negotiations between Democrats and the White House remain frozen, with both sides entrenched in their positions.
  • Talks between Pelosi and the Trump administration broke down last month and there had been little optimism they would rekindle before Election Day. And last week, Senate Democrats scuttled a scaled-back GOP coronavirus rescue package.
  • Read more from Andrew Taylor HERE.



5. Burkette to plead guilty

  • Former Alabama State Sen. David Burkette plans to plead guilty to a misdemeanor campaign finance charge under an agreement that would require him to pay a fine and waive his right to appeal.
  • Alabama Daily News first reported that Burkette resigned his office amid discussions with prosecutors who were investigating him for ethics and campaign finance violations. He was arrested on Sept. 3.
  • Now, the Montgomery Advertiser’s Brian Lyman reports that a plea deal for Burkette was filed in Montgomery County Circuit Court.
  • Under its terms, Burkette, 63, would pay a $3,000 fine, and prosecutors would not seek restitution or demand a particular sentence, according to the newspaper. A hearing is scheduled for Sept. 21.
  • By the way, qualifying for the special election to fill the Senate District 26 vacancy ended yesterday. A slate of candidates is now ready to run for the seat.
  • Read more HERE.




A message from



  • This Thursday, AlabamaWorks! is hosting its Virtual Workforce Conference.
  • It will feature experts from industry and education to identify challenges and focus on solutions to develop a more dynamic workforce.
  • Hear new and innovative approaches to workforce practices, education initiatives to grow the workforce pipeline, and strategies to increase collaboration.
  • See the lineup and register HERE.





ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Hurricane Sally blasts ashore in Alabama with punishing rain


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – COVID-19 hospitalizations dips to 716


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Locations for three new crisis care centers to be announced in October


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Pelosi: House to stay in session until COVID-19 rescue pact


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Burkette to plead guilty


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Israel signs pacts with 2 Arab states: A ‘new’ Mideast?


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ivey honors Truck Driver of the Year at State Capitol


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Aderholt kicks off $30 million irrigation initiative


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – September 15, 2020


AL.COM – 6 Democrats, 1 Republican, seek vacated Montgomery Senate seat


AL.COM – Black Belt far behind rest of nation in work force participation: Black Belt 2020


AL.COM – Huntsville teachers have coronavirus concerns as students return to campus


AL.COM – ‘Consider alternative options now’: Baldwin officials encouraging river residents to evacuate


AL.COM – Former Alabama senator pleads guilty to campaign finance violation


AL.COM – Executive responsible for fraud that collapsed Colonial Bank gets compassionate release from prison


AL.COM – Alabama ABC has no plans to extend curbside alcohol sales


AL.COM – $87 million Atmore peanut shelling facility to create 100 jobs


Montgomery Advertiser – Will Hurricane Sally make landfall in Alabama? Here’s what we know


Montgomery Advertiser – Hurricane Sally: What Alabama schools have closed because of the storm


Montgomery Advertiser – ‘Gut punch’ trauma for Alabama Jewish community: Zoom call hacked with anti-Semitic bigotry


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Cruz urges Department of Justice to investigate Netflix film ‘Cuties’


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Locations for 3 new crisis care centers to be announced in October


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Birmingham police make arrest after fatal shooting of 71-year-old woman


Tuscaloosa News – Bar limits, mask order working to slow spread of COVID-19, mayor says


Tuscaloosa News – Christy Bobo sworn in to fill Northport council seat


Tuscaloosa News – Tuscaloosa City Schools shows off new elementary school


Decatur Daily – New bridge, Alabama 20 limited access get chamber support


Decatur Daily – COVID-19 hospitalization rate at Decatur Morgan Hospital concerns doctor


Decatur Daily – Valley could get 4 inches of rain, 35 mph wind gusts from Sally


Times Daily – Keller Hospital’s Breast Program Selected to Present Series for Young Women


Times Daily – Survey, public input calls for more hiking, water activities


Times Daily – Muscle Shoals installs paperless hiring process


Anniston Star – Cleburne sheriff to hire additional investigator


Anniston Star – Jacksonville appoints committee to decide fate of Confederate monument


Anniston Star – Anniston High to get new roof as school board passes budget


YellowHammer News – Lynn Beshear is a 2020 Woman of Impact


YellowHammer News – BCA endorses Bedsole in Alabama HD-49, Robbins in HD-33 special elections


YellowHammer News – Northwest Alabama plant closing, 500 jobs lost due to Mexico outsourcing


Gadsden Times – Mid-South band festival canceled for 2020 because of COVID-19 pandemic


Gadsden Times – New jail contract approved; Gadsden City Council members discuss possibility of city jail


Gadsden Times – Attorney General’s office cautions about price gouging


Dothan Eagle – Dothan police, fire departments getting 700 new radios for $2.2 million


Dothan Eagle – League of Women Voters hosts voter services event Saturday


Dothan Eagle – Bracing For Sally: Wiregrass prepares for storms, possible flooding


Opelika-Auburn News – Auburn lands new manufacturer for Borbet site


Opelika-Auburn News – Commissioners add member; approve $48M 2021 budget


Opelika-Auburn News – EAMC virus numbers drop; doctor pushes flu shots


WSFA Montgomery – FIRST ALERT WEATHER DAY: Sally approaches Alabama coast


WSFA Montgomery – 16th Street Baptist Church bombing survivor remembers the day, 57 years later


WSFA Montgomery – Montgomery sanitation workers could soon receive hazard pay


WAFF Huntsville – Sally brings cooler temps across the Tennessee Valley


WAFF Huntsville – Limestone County Commissioner prepared in case of damage from Hurricane Sally


WAFF Huntsville – North Alabama Task Force rescue team deploys to Prattville


WKRG Mobile – Tracking the Tropics: Sally making landfall as Category 2 hurricane, expected to bring ‘historic, life-threatening’ flooding


WKRG Mobile – Dangerous conditions reported in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach as Sally rolls ashore


WKRG Mobile – VIDEO: Possible transformer blows in Robertsdale


WTVY Dothan – Coffee County EMA looking for churches as pre-event storm shelter


WTVY Dothan – Two men arrested in connection to multiple burglaries in Geneva, Hartford and Holmes County


WTVY Dothan – SALLY: WTVY’s latest on Gulf Shores and the coming storm


WASHINGTON POST – Pro-Trump youth group enlists teens in secretive campaign likened to a ‘troll farm,’ prompting rebuke by Facebook and Twitter


WASHINGTON POST – Trump, in town hall, says he wouldn’t have done anything differently on pandemic


WASHINGTON POST – Boeing 737 Max crashes were ‘horrific culmination’ of errors, investigators say


NEW YORK TIMES – Some of the Planet’s Most Polluted Skies Are Now Over the West Coast


NEW YORK TIMES – House Report Condemns Boeing and F.A.A. in 737 Max Disasters


NEW YORK TIMES – Hurricane Sally Live Updates: Storm Makes Landfall After Regathering Strength


WALL STREET JOURNAL – FAA, Boeing Blasted Over 737 MAX Failures in Democratic Report


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Fed Meeting to Focus on Laying Out Interest-Rate Strategy


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Retail Spending Has Continued to Rebound, But Pace Likely Slowed in August




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