Daily News Digest – April 28, 2020

Daily News Digest – April 28, 2020

Presented by

AlabamaWorks!

Good morning!

Hope your stay at home is going well. Mine just got a lot better because I adopted a dog. Meet my new buddy, Toby .

Here’s your Daily News for Tuesday, April 28.

1. Ivey to announce future of stay-home order

  • Gov. Kay Ivey is expected to make an announcement today regarding the future of state closure orders because of the coronavirus outbreak.
  • Ivey and State Health Officer Scott Harris have scheduled news conference later this morning along with members of the governor’s coronavirus task force. Alabama is under a stay-home order through Thursday.
  • Ivey spokeswoman Gina Maiola said previously that the state would probably hear an announcement early this week “as to how Alabama will gradually phase in business.”
  • The Alabama Department of Public Health reported Monday that Alabama had more than 6,400 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 215 reported deaths.
  • Dr. Rachael Lee, an epidemiologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said Monday that there are positive signs in the numbers, but she emphasized the need for more testing to track and contain the virus.
  • “If you look at the case numbers per day, it appears to be slowing which is a good sign for Alabama that we aren’t seeing that high rise of cases like we were before,” Lee said.
  • She said while numbers in the Birmingham area have declined, they are still seeing cases and that “could potentially go up” if things are opened up too quickly.
  • Full story from Kim Chandler HERE.

 

 

 

2. Budget urgency

  • If you read your Daily News yesterday, you know that the Senate General Fund budget committee is meeting this morning.
  • If they pass the General Fund out of committee today, that’ll give the Legislature a head start on getting the budgets finished when they reconvene next Monday, May 4.
  • Many lawmakers, to include some of the leadership and budget chairs, had expressed a sense of urgency for getting this work done, citing the need to give fiscal certainty to schools and state agencies as soon as possible.
  • Others, including some Democratic leaders, have questioned the need to reconvene the session at all, saying all legislative business could wait until special sessions in the fall.
  • Indeed, a spokeswoman for Gov. Kay Ivey said the governor expressed to legislative leadership that she was surprised they wanted to move forward with budgets “without a better understanding of budget projections.”
  • Read more from ADN’s Mary Sell HERE.

 

 

 

A message from

AlabamaWorks!

  • Join AlabamaWorks! for our next Workforce Recovery Webinar!
  • This session, themed “Ask the Experts”, will provide guidance on important issues for employers to consider as employees eventually return back to the workplace at the safe and appropriate time.
  • Secretary of State John Merrill will also be joining to briefly discuss the impact COVID-19 has had on the election process and the postponed election.
  • As always, the webinar is available for live viewing on the AlabamaWorks! Facebook page as well as on our website.

 

 

 

 

 

3. Small business loans site crashes amid flood of new PPP applications

  • Alabama bankers couldn’t access on Monday the federal Paycheck Protection Program application site so that small businesses hurt by the coronavirus could apply for the loans.
  • Alabama Bankers Association President Scott Latham said the U.S. Small Business Administration promised that its systems would be prepared for action on Monday, but they were not.
  • “Despite the agency’s efforts to be ready, it has failed,” Latham said in a press release. “Bankers worked throughout the weekend in anticipation of E-Tran being ready to accept new PPP applications and will continue to stand ready so that much needed funding can be provided to small businesses across Alabama.”
  • The SBA’s online portal, known as the E-Tran, was overwhelmed on Monday because of a surge of applications that were double the amount it had during the initial round of PPP, a spokesperson from SBA told Alabama Daily News.
  • National Federation of Independent Businesses State Director Rosemary Elebash said that if the loan system is not operational soon, it could mean disaster for many small Alabama businesses.
  • “We have people who, not only have they already applied and did not receive funding during the first round, but for the system to now crash when they thought that their application could be received is extremely disappointing, because they are depending on these loans,” Elebash told ADN.
  • Monday is the first day of reopening for the Paycheck Protection Program, which received $310 billion in new funds from Congress last week meant to help small businesses survive during the coronavirus epidemic.
  • Full story from ADN’s Caroline Beck HERE.

 

 

4. Trump urges states to consider opening schools before summer

  • President Donald Trump says states should “seriously consider” reopening their public schools before the end of the academic year, even though dozens already have said it would be unsafe for students to return until the summer or fall.
  • Trump made the comments Monday in a call with governors discussing how to reopen their economies, among other topics.
  • “Some of you might start thinking about school openings, because a lot of people are wanting to have the school openings. It’s not a big subject, young children have done very well in this disaster that we’ve all gone through,” he said. While addressing Vice President Mike Pence, Trump added that it’s something “they can seriously consider, and maybe get going on.”
  • Alabama has no plans to open public schools again this academic year.
  • None of the governors on the call responded to the suggestion, according to a recording obtained by The Associated Press.
  • Trump made the comments as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention worked to finalize guidelines for reopening the economy. For schools, that included putting students’ desks 6 feet apart, serving meals in the classroom instead of the cafeteria and closing playgrounds.
  • Reopening schools is considered key to getting the economy moving again. Without a safe place for kids, many parents would have difficulty returning to work.
  • But some education officials say opening schools quickly would bring major risk and little reward, especially since the end of the school year is approaching.
  • Full story HERE.

 

 

5. Barr to prosecutors: Look for unconstitutional virus rules

  • U.S. Attorney General William Barr on Monday ordered federal prosecutors across the U.S. to identify coronavirus-related restrictions from state and local governments “that could be violating the constitutional rights and civil liberties of individual citizens.”
  • The memo to U.S. attorneys directs the head of the Justice Department’s civil rights division and the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan to coordinate the department’s efforts to monitor state and local policies and take action if needed.
  • “If a state or local ordinance crosses the line from an appropriate exercise of authority to stop the spread of COVID-19 into an overbearing infringement of constitutional and statutory protections, the Department of Justice may have an obligation to address that overreach in federal court.”
  • Barr’s memo comes about two weeks after the Justice Department filed a statement of interest in a civil case in Mississippi, siding with a Christian church where local officials had tried to stop Holy Week services broadcast to congregants sitting in their cars in the parking lot.
  • The directive also comes as many stay-at-home orders are set to expire and governors eager to rescue their economies are moving to ease restrictions meant to control the spread of the coronavirus, even as new hot spots emerge and experts warn that moving too fast could prove disastrous.
  • At the same time, protesters have staged demonstrations against stay-at-home orders, and in recent weeks, President Donald Trump has urged supporters to “liberate” three states led by Democratic governors.
  • Trump was asked at Monday’s coronavirus briefing about the strategy behind the decision by the Justice Department.
  • “Well, you’d have to ask Attorney General Barr, but I think he wants to see — like everybody, he wants to see people get back and he wants to see people get back to work,” Trump said. “He doesn’t want people to be held up when there’s no reason for doing it. In some cases, perhaps it’s too strict. He wants to make sure people have the rights and they maintain the rights, very importantly.”
  • Full story HERE.

 

News Briefs

Coroner: Man killed during police shootout shot himself

  • BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — An autopsy showed that a man who was killed during a shootout with Birmingham police shot himself, authorities said.
  • The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office said it determined that Larry Dejuan Henderson, 26, of Birmingham took his own life during a confrontation that left a police officer wounded on Friday.
  • Al.com quoted a witness as saying the man shot himself in the head after wounding a police officer during a confrontation outside a small restaurant. It began when a police officer questioned the man after he initially refused to pay for food.
  • The officer, 47-year-old detective Mikiel Smith, was shot twice in the right arm but is in good condition.

Wreck kills 2 teens in north Alabama

  • CULLMAN, Ala. (AP) — Authorities say a single-vehicle wreck in north Alabama killed two teenagers.
  • The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency says a Ford Mustang ran off a road in Cullman County on Sunday night and overturned. The two teens inside the vehicle were both thrown from the wreckage and fatally injured.
  • The Cullman Times quotes Coroner Jeremy Kilpatrick as identifying the victims as 16-year-old Dayden Michael Floyd of Blountsville and 17-year-old Joshua Dale McGinnis of Holly Pond.
  • State troopers haven’t said what might have caused the crash.

Tuscaloosa marks anniversary of tornado disaster

  • TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Tuscaloosa on Monday marked the anniversary of the tornado outbreak that killed more than 50 people in the west Alabama city.
  • Denny Chimes rang 53 times Monday afternoon at the University of Alabama to honor each person who died when a massive twister hit on April 27, 2011. More than 5,000 homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed in the city that day.
  • About 250 people died statewide during the outbreak as dozens of tornadoes swept across Alabama, and some entire towns were nearly leveled.
  • The coronavirus pandemic is interfering with plans to mark the anniversary elsewhere. An annual memorial event in DeKalb County was called off because of the need to avoid crowds, but flags are being lowered to honor storm victims there.

Headlines

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS  – Ivey to announce future of COVID-19 stay-home order

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS  – Spokeswoman: Ivey ‘surprised’ by Legislature’s push to pass budgets in May

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Small Business Loan site crashes amid flood of new PPP applications

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS  – Barr to prosecutors: Look for unconstitutional virus rules

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS  – Trump urges states to consider opening schools before summer

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – White House aiming for Trump pivot from virus to economy

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS  – Coronavirus-adjusted General Fund budget in committee Tuesday

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama public libraries offer online resources during pandemic

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS  – Census delay could put off new voting districts, primaries

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Selma clothing plant gets deep clean amid virus concerns

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS  – AP-NORC poll: Mixed support for mail voting amid pandemic

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS  – South Korea maintains Kim Jong Un health rumors are untrue

 

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – April 27, 2020

 

AL.COM  – Ivey announces Tuesday press conference; lawmaker says announcement coming on plans to reopen state

 

AL.COM  – Alabama automakers resuming production

 

AL.COM  – Tyson Foods chairman: ‘The food supply chain is breaking’

 

AL.COM  – Scientists find gene that doubles Alzheimer, ALS risk

 

AL.COM  – Small business loan applications not going through, bank association says

 

AL.COM  – Alabama lawmakers to consider scaled-back budget on Tuesday

 

AL.COM  – Alabama high school seniors help senior citizens for school project during pandemic

 

Montgomery Advertiser – Director of Public Safety Ron Sams steps down from post

 

Montgomery Advertiser – Gov. Kay Ivey expected to discuss future of Alabama stay-at-home order Tuesday

 

Montgomery Advertiser – Despite Confederate Memorial Day holiday, Alabama coronavirus testing and unemployment office open

 

YellowHammer News – Montgomery Hyundai plant resuming some operations, plans to be at full production by next week

 

YellowHammer News – Mobile COVID-19 testing unit from UAB to begin bringing testing to Birmingham neighborhoods

 

YellowHammer News – Doug Jones warned town hall audience not to listen to Trump about coronavirus

 

Tuscaloosa News – Wreck kills 2 teens in north Alabama

 

Tuscaloosa News – Confederate Memorial Day marked in Alabama

 

Tuscaloosa News – Ivey expected to announce future of COVID-19 stay-home order

 

Decatur Daily – Coronavirus-adjusted General Fund budget in committee today

 

Decatur Daily – Census says restart to field operations will be in phases

 

Decatur Daily – Health officials ready guidelines as restrictions ease

 

Times Daily – ‘Miracle Worker’ will be held, starting June 26

 

Times Daily – Shoals COVID-19 cases among lowest in state

 

Times Daily – Senate panel to vote on revised budget plan

 

Anniston Star – Coronavirus-adjusted General Fund budget in Alabama Senate committee Tuesday

 

Anniston Star – RMC, local governments ramp up COVID-19 testing as lockdown decision approaches

 

Anniston Star – More than 6,500 in Alabama positive for COVID-19, more than 200 have died and 888 hospitalized

 

WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – UAB begins using convalescent plasma to treat COVID-19 patients with help from Red Cross

 

WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Coronavirus-adjusted General Fund budget in committee Tuesday

 

WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – ADPH: About 1.5% of population tested so far for coronavirus

 

WAFF Huntsville – 2 injured in possible drive-by shooting in north Huntsville

 

WAFF Huntsville – Alabama COVID-19 cases rise to 6,539; ADPH verifies 228 deaths

 

WAFF Huntsville – Fayetteville restaurant cashes in on rolled back COVID-19 regulations

 

Gadsden Times – COVID-19 has claimed 8 lives in Etowah County

 

Gadsden Times – Pot, liquid meth seized in DeKalb County; 3 arrested

 

Gadsden Times – Southside police chief arrested for public intoxication

 

Dothan Eagle – Local COVID-19 cases increase by 9

 

Dothan Eagle – New census report shows Houston is among fastest growing counties in Alabama

 

Dothan Eagle – Man accused of beating female victim, collapsing lung; apprehended

 

Troy Messenger – Celebrating birthdays now means signs and parades

 

Troy Messenger – ‘If you were one of her customers, you were friends for life’

 

Troy Messenger – Ivey to share COVID-19 reopening plans on Tuesday

 

Opelika-Auburn News – COVID-19 latest: Auburn University campus to stay closed through end of June; Ivey, health officials to hold news conference Tuesday

 

Opelika-Auburn News – The danger of flash floods and overwhelming emotions

 

Opelika-Auburn News – High School Students may miss out on graduation

 

Daily Mountain Eagle – COVID-19 changes Decoration Day plans

 

Daily Mountain Eagle – Ivey expected to announce future of COVID-19 stay-home order

 

Trussville Tribune – Trussville to explore all avenues to support local businesses impacted by coronavirus pandemic

 

Trussville Tribune – UAB introduces new COVID-19 mobile testing site coming to Birmingham, Center Point

 

Trussville Tribune – Small Business Loan’s site crashes amid backlogs, tech problems during first day of reopening

 

Athens News Courier – ESSENTIAL TO ESSENTIAL: Limestone County Cattlemen give back

 

Athens News Courier – NATIONAL DONATE LIFE MONTH: City marks April as time to consider organ donation

 

Athens News Courier – AP-NORC poll: Rising support for mail voting amid pandemic

 

Sand Mountain Reporter – Marshall County School System transitions to at-home learning | Wigley reports on progress

 

WSFA Montgomery – Tuscaloosa recognizes ninth anniversary of April 27 tornado strike

 

WSFA Montgomery – Auburn, AUM extend operational modifications until June 30

 

WSFA Montgomery – COVID-19 drive-in testing to be available in several counties

 

WKRG Mobile – Woman accused of stealing car with baby inside from Crestview gas station

 

WKRG Mobile – Sen. Doug Jones proposes debit cards for COVID-19 relief payments

 

WKRG Mobile – MPD: Man from missing person case in 2011 arrested in Mobile

 

WTVY Dothan – Marianna teen killed in early morning wreck Sunday

 

WTVY Dothan – New parents quarantined for weeks away from twin boys after contracting coronavirus

 

WTVY Dothan – Krispy Kreme gives free doughnuts to healthcare workers

 

WASHINGTON POST  – White House issues coronavirus testing guidance that leaves states in charge

 

WASHINGTON POST  – SBA program reopens with new glitches and new scrutiny after NBA franchise returns loan funds

 

WASHINGTON POST  – Contributor King Abdullah II: It’s time to return to globalization. But this time let’s do it right

 

WASHINGTON POST  – Under pressure to reopen this fall, school leaders plot unprecedented changes

 

NEW YORK TIMES  – Bankers Rebuke S.B.A. as Loan System Crashes in Flood of Applications

 

NEW YORK TIMES  – Texas and Ohio Push to Reopen; White House Promises to Help States Test

 

NEW YORK TIMES  – In a call with governors, Trump suggests some states should reopen schools

 

NEW YORK TIMES  – The attorney general tells prosecutors to look for unconstitutional virus orders

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