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Weekend Digest – October 18, 2020

Good afternoon and Happy Sunday!
Here’s your Daily News for October 18.

1. Alabama finishes Census count on par with most other states

  • Alabama completed the U.S. Census on par with other states after lagging behind for months, Gov. Kay Ivey’s office said Friday.
  • While the state had the worse response rate in the nation at the beginning of October, the overall household response rate was up to 99.9%, or the same level as 48 other states, by Thursday as the count ended.
  • Door-to-door Census workers contacted households that didn’t respond to surveys on their own. The state promoted the Census for months because things including federal dollars and congressional representation are determined by its findings.
  • “We’re hopeful that the spirit of our citizens in this effort will translate into good news for Alabama down the road,” Ivey said in a statement.
  • The 2020 Census was challenged by the coronavirus pandemic, natural disasters, court fights and the Trump administration’s push to have it end a month early. The government is scheduled to release statewide population figures on Dec. 31.
  • Read the full report HERE.


2. ADPH expands free breast cancer screening efforts statewide

  • October is breast cancer awareness month and the Alabama Department of Public Health, in partnership with the Joy to Life Foundation, is expanding free breast cancer screenings statewide to underserved women.
  • The ADPH’s Alabama Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program funding was previously limited to just south Alabama, but as funding in north Alabama became needed, the Joy to Life Foundation offered to expand its efforts.
  • “We are very appreciative of our longstanding partnership with the Joy to Life Foundation and to its co-founders Joy and Richard Blondheim,” said State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris in a press release.
  • The early detection program provides free mammograms, Pap/HPV testing, and if needed, diagnostic testing to women who have no insurance, have an income at or below 250% of the poverty level and are age 40-64. If there is a diagnosis of cancer, most women are eligible to receive treatment through the Alabama Medicaid Agency.
  • Read more about the program and how to participate in it from me HERE.


3. Auburn to study pandemic in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi

  • A new study will look at how the pandemic is affecting poor communities in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi.
  • An announcement from Auburn University said the yearlong research will examine how leaders can get people in low-income, vulnerable communities to take collective action during a crisis.
  • The study will look at how health messages are received in such places in the three states, said research team leader Kelly Dunning.
  • “Specifically, we will analyze the effectiveness of science-based messages, how influential various sources of the messages were and the perceived trustworthiness of the institutions delivering COVID-19 information in low-income communities, compared to their wealthier counterparts,” she said.
  • Read the full report HERE.


4. Populous Jefferson County approves Saturday absentee voting

  • Alabama’s most populous county decided Friday to open its courthouses for absentee voting on two Saturdays because of the heavy turnout expected on Election Day and the pandemic.
  • Commissioners in Jefferson County, which supported Democrat Hillary Clinton over Republican President Donald Trump in 2016, voted unanimously during a special meeting to open courthouses in Birmingham and Bessemer this Saturday and again on Oct. 24, news outlets reported.
  • The decision was driven by concerns over public health precautions during the coronavirus pandemic. Critics also had questioned whether not having the courthouses open during a flood of absentee balloting amounted to voter suppression.
  • “We expect a large voter turnout for the Nov. 3rd election. As such, the safety of our citizens and personnel working the polls remains paramount,” said Commissioner Joe Knight.
  • Read the full report HERE.


5. Policy vs. personality: Undecideds torn as election nears

  • Amanda Jaronowski is torn. The lifelong Republican from suburban Cleveland supports President Donald Trump’s policies and fears her business could be gutted if Democrat Joe Biden is elected.
  • But she abhors Trump personally, leaving her on the fence about who will get her vote.
  • Jaronowski is part of a small but potentially significant group of voters who say they remain truly undecided less than three weeks before the Nov. 3 election. They have been derided as uninformed or lying by those who cannot fathom still being undecided, but conversations with a sampling of these voters reveal a complicated tug of war.
  • Many, like Jaronowski, are longtime Republicans wrestling with what they see as a choice between two lousy candidates: a Democrat whose policies they cannot stomach and a Republican incumbent whose personality revolts them. Some voted for third-party candidates in 2016 because they were so repelled by their choices — Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton — and may do so again.
  • While polls show there are far fewer on-the-fence voters this year than the unusually high number in 2016, the Trump and Biden campaigns each believes it still can win over numbers that matter.
  • Read more about undecided voters HERE.



ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama finishes Census count on par with most other states
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – ADPH expands free breast cancer screening efforts statewide
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Auburn to study pandemic in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Populous Jefferson County approves Saturday absentee voting
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Policy vs. personality: Undecideds torn as election nears
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – October 16, 2020
AL.COM – Coronavirus cases rising in most Alabama counties in October: Week in review.
AL.COM – Alabama museum linked to lynching memorial offers free admission for limited time.
AL.COM – She parked near her ‘Biden’ yard signs, so they painted ‘Trump’ on her car.
AL.COM – Alabama A&M, Troy respond to concerns about Confucius Institutes.
AL.COM – Columnist Amanda Walker: Are we any smarter than we used to be?
AL.COM – Columnist Frances Coleman: Take the time, make the effort to look for the truth.
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Huntsville, Auburn named in list of 100 best places to live for 2020.
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Alabama restaurant empowers, prepares youths for life.
DECATUR DAILY – Morgan success story: 400-employee Decatur-based firm began in Hartselle living room 20 years ago.
DECATUR DAILY – The Decatur Daily: The Daily recommends Joe Biden for president.
FLORENCE TIMES DAILY – Poll: Prison building plan has low approval.
FLORENCE TIMES DAILY – The Times Daily: Don’t blame Trump for using legal loopholes.
GADSDEN TIMES – Editor Greg Bailey: Times will follow election story to its conclusion.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – New memorial billboard honoring shooting victims unveiled in west Montgomery.
WASHINGTON POST – Women’s March in D.C. draws thousands in protest of Supreme Court nominee, Trump.
WASHINGTON POST – Trump aides seek to set aside division and plan for final sprint to Election Day.
WASHINGTON POST – The Washington Post: Even after being impeached for it, Trump is still leveraging his office to bolster his mud-slinging.
WASHINGTON POST – Contributor Jill Lepore: Let history, not partisans, prosecute Trump.
WASHINGTON POST – Trump and Pelosi haven’t spoken in a year as grave crises grip the nation.
NEW YORK TIMES – Federal Appeals Courts Emerge as Crucial for Trump in Voting Cases.
NEW YORK TIMES – Would Biden’s Tax Plan Help or Hurt a Weak Economy?
NEW YORK TIMES – The New York Times: End Our National Crisis: The Case Against Donald Trump
NEW YORK TIMES – As the Coronavirus Surges, a New Culprit Emerges: Pandemic Fatigue
NEW YORK TIMES – U.S. Schedules First Execution of a Woman in Nearly 70 Years
NEW YORK TIMES – Third Justice Dept. Prosecutor Publicly Denounces Barr
THE GUARDIAN – Why is a rundown Mississippi county the most heavily audited in the US?

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