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Weekend Digest – June 28, 2020

Good afternoon and happy Sunday!
Here’s your Daily News for June 28.

1. Ivey weighs extending safer-at-home order

  • Alabama’s “safer at home” order is set to expire Friday, and Gov. Kay Ivey has not yet decided whether to renew it.
  • The order limits social gatherings, requires employees of restaurants and other businesses to wear masks and encourages masking for anyone who goes out in public.
  • Its existence is uncertain even though there’s been a surge in COVID-19 cases recently. Alabama set and broke record highs for new confirmed cases in a single day repeatedly this month.
  • The Alabama Department of Public Health confirmed Saturday 888 new virus cases overnight, bringing the state’s 7-day average of daily new cases to a record 782.7. The previous high was 779, set on June 16.
  • The 888 new cases is tied for the fifth most in any one day since the start of the pandemic. The state now has reported 34,605 total coronavirus cases, with 18,866 of those reported to have recovered.
  • The state also reported 11 new deaths, bringing the total deaths due to coronavirus to 898.
  • Read the whole report HERE.


2. Road map to reopening schools announced

  • Alabama students will be able to return to in-person teaching in the fall, but should expect to face a learning experience unlike any they have seen before.
  • State Superintendent Eric Mackey on Friday presented Alabama’s roadmap to reopening schools, which will include a combination of in-person and distance-learning options in response to the coronavirus.
  • “This is indeed going to be the most difficult school year that we’ve ever faced,” Mackey said. “It will be the most difficult school year to get through but we are absolutely determined to do it.”
  • The 46-page plan is not a mandate for local school systems, but rather a template meant to help how local school districts solve problems concerning reopening and for addressing remote learning that are unique to them. When and how individual systems reopen remains up to local leadership.
  • “It’s designed to help, it is not the answer to everything,” Mackey said.
  • School instruction will be a mixture of traditional in-person teaching, to completely remote online teaching and a blended version where both are used. Schools systems will decide on how their instruction will be delivered.
  • Read the full story from me HERE.


3. Mississippi set to remove Confederate emblem from its flag

  • Mississippi is on the verge of changing its state flag to erase a Confederate battle emblem that’s broadly condemned as racist.
  • The flag’s supporters resisted efforts to change it for decades, but rapid developments in recent weeks have changed dynamics on this issue in the tradition-bound state.
  • As protests against racial injustice recently spread across the U.S., including Mississippi, leaders from business, religion, education and sports have spoken forcefully against the state flag. They have urged legislators to ditch the 126-year-old banner for one that better reflects the diversity of a state with a 38% Black population.
  • Legislators are expected to start voting Sunday to remove the current flag from state law. A commission would design a new flag that cannot include the Confederate symbol and that must have the words “In God We Trust.”
  • Read the full story HERE.


4. Trump’s undercuts confidence in 2020 vote

  • It was a startling declaration about one of the pillars of American democracy, all the more so given its source.
  • The president of the United States last week publicly predicted without evidence that the 2020 presidential election would be “the most corrupt election in the history of our country.”
  • “We cannot let this happen,” Donald Trump told an audience of young supporters at a Phoenix megachurch. “They want it to happen so badly.”
  • Just over four months before Election Day, the president is escalating his efforts to cast doubt on the integrity of the vote.
  • It’s a well-worn tactic for Trump, who in 2016 went after the very process that ultimately put him in the White House. He first attacked the Republican primaries (“rigged and boss controlled”) and then the general election, when he accused the media and Democratic rival Hillary Clinton’s campaign of conspiring against him to undermine a free and fair election.
  • “The process is rigged. This whole election is being rigged,” he said that October when polls showed him trailing Clinton by double digits as he faced a flurry of sexual misconduct allegations.
  • Then, as now, election experts have repeatedly discredited his claims about widespread fraud in the voting process.
  • In a country with a history of peaceful political transition, a major-party candidate’s efforts to delegitimize an election amounted to a striking rupture of faith in American democracy. But to do the same as president, historians say, is unprecedented.
  • Read the full story HERE.


5. Jeff Dunn: Let’s Have an Honest Discussion about COVID-19 in Alabama’s Prisons

  • In a new op-ed from Alabama Department of Corrections Commissioner Jeff Dunn, he explains in his own words how ADOC has approached addressing the enormous issue that is COVID-19 within state prisons.
  • He explains how in making decisions to slow the spread of the virus in Alabama prisons, he has had to balance the concerns for public health with public safety.
  • Here is an excerpt:
“For correctional systems, successfully managing COVID-19 and its associated disruptions is a complex endeavor that cannot be reduced to simple conversations about testing data or be solved through the sudden release of un-rehabilitated inmates back into society.
“Reflexive thinking and impulsive reactions are unhelpful and, frankly, dangerous to our inmate population, staff, and the public at-large. All operational and strategic decisions made by correctional leaders must therefore effectively balance public health with public safety, which is no easy feat given the unprecedented nature of this pandemic.”
  • Read the full piece HERE.


Week in Good News

Space Camp resuming in Huntsville after virus shutdown
  • Space Camp is resuming at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville after shutting down because of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • A scaled-back version of the popular program will resume Sunday as students arrive for a week of hands-on lessons and activities related to space travel, WHNT-TV reported.
  • Fewer campers than normal will be present, and workers have adjusted some of the activities to reduce the chance of spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • The state-owned space museum that operates Space Camp also has reopened with limited attendance rules, physical distancing and additional cleaning procedures. The museum closed some activities where it wasn’t possible for visitors to stay apart.



ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ivey weighs extending safer-at-home order for Alabama
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Road-map to reopening schools announced; Mackey stresses importance of distance learning
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Mississippi set to remove Confederate emblem from its flag
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump’s attacks seen undercutting confidence in 2020 vote
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump’s attacks seen undercutting confidence in 2020 vote
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Op-ed: Let’s Have an Honest Discussion about COVID-19 in Alabama’s Prisons
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – June 26, 2020
AL.COM – Selma mayor latest to order COVID-19 masks in Alabama.
AL.COM – Alabama adds 888 new coronavirus cases Saturday, breaks record for 7-day average.
AL.COM – Bubba Wallace: You won’t see Confederate flag ban protesters tear gassed and shot with rubber bullets.
AL.COM – ‘This is hurtful’: Gadsden struggles with fate of Emma Sansom Monument.
AL.COM – Mobile squares off with the feds over Airbus tariffs.
AL.COM – Alabama hospitals hitting new highs for coronavirus patients, ICU beds at 82 percent capacity.
AL.COM – Contributor Cheryl Austin: What does de-fund the police really mean?
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – State Sen. Albritton: General fund budget hearings required to see that revenue projections are ‘on target’.
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Auburn University’s Supply Chain Management Program earns No. 7 national ranking.
TIMES DAILY – Local business produces CBD products from Alabama grown hemp.
TIMES DAILY – Mackey stresses importance of distance learning.
TIMES DAILY – Top doctors plead for change in behavior.
DECATUR DAILY – Pandemic, protests trigger soaring gun sales.
DOTHAN EAGLE – The Dothan Eagle: A Clark Griswold kind of summer.
WASHINGTON POST – With Trump leading the way, America’s coronavirus failures exposed by record surge in new infections.
WASHINGTON POST – Princeton says it will remove Woodrow Wilson’s name from its public policy school.
WASHINGTON POST – Mississippi lawmakers pass resolution paving way to remove Confederate symbol from state flag.
WASHINGTON POST – Alabama officer fired over post of protester in rifle scope.
NEW YORK TIMES – ‘We Could Be Feeling This for the Next Decade’: Virus Hits College Towns
NEW YORK TIMES – Trump Faces Mounting Defections From a Once-Loyal Group: Older White Voters
NEW YORK TIMES – Contributor Caroline Williams: You Want a Confederate Monument? My Body Is a Confederate Monument
NEW YORK TIMES – Columnist Maureen Dowd: Trump, Not So Statuesque

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