The Business Council of Alabama
Here’s your Daily News for Wednesday, August 4.
1. School protocols have key changes for masked vs unmasked
- There will be no statewide mask mandate as students return to school this month. Gov. Kay Ivey and other state leaders have repeatedly made that clear.
- However, several local school districts are imposing their own mask requirements as the COVID-19 Delta variant spreads across the state. More could follow suit in the coming weeks, partly due to an incentive built into the state’s new coronavirus back-to-school protocols.
- According to recently updated guidance from the Alabama Department of Public Health, schools that require students to wear masks won’t have to send home children exposed to the virus.
- For schools that don’t require masks, protocol is to send home students who are exposed to a COVID-19 positive classmate. There are exceptions for those who have been vaccinated or contracted the virus within the past three months.
- Also, masked schools are allowed to relax social distancing between students from 6 to 3 feet, while for unmasked schools it remains 6 feet.
- “That will make a huge change for us,” State Superintendent Eric Mackey said this week about the number of students who could potentially be sent home from school because another student was diagnosed with the virus.
- Sally Smith, executive director of the Alabama Association of School Boards, said the guidance on masked students staying in school after an exposure is an incentive for schools to adopt mandates.
- “But I would hope that they would do so just so schools can do their part to prevent further spread of the virus,” Smith said. “We respect that this is a local decision, but we strongly encouraged school boards to listen to the advice of the ADPH and CDC.”
- Read more from Mary Sell HERE.
2. NTSB releases Butler County crash report
- A crash that killed 10 people — including nine children — on a rain-slicked Alabama interstate happened after a tractor-trailer truck slammed into vehicles that had slowed down because of minor crashes, according to a preliminary report released Tuesday.
- The National Highway Safety Board’s initial findings on the fiery June 19 crash that involved 12 vehicles present a chronology of events but don’t assign a cause or blame as the agency continues to investigate.
- Eight of the victims were in a van from a youth home for abused or neglected children. The report said the van was hit by two commercial trucks. A Tennessee man and his baby in another vehicle were killed.
- Read more about the report from Kim Chandler and Jay Reeves HERE.
A message from
The Business Council of Alabama
- Small businesses have been the heartbeat of our hometowns for generations, and over the past year and a half, they’ve held us up more than ever. It hasn’t been easy, but they’ve fought mightily to keep their doors open and support our communities.
- Here at the Business Council of Alabama, we want to say a heartfelt “Thank you.” We couldn’t have gotten through this without you. You’re not just a business. You’re our neighbors and our friends. You were there for us, and we at the Business Council are here for you.
- Learn more about BCA and watch our “thank you” video HERE.
3. ALEA becomes first in nation to certify all officers in sensory training
- The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is the first state police department in the country to have all of its officers certified in sensory-inclusive practices, Gov. Kay Ivey announced on Tuesday.
- All of ALEA’s sworn officers have now received training on how to more effectively handle situations that involve someone with sensory needs or those with invisible disabilities.
- “Too often we have citizens with sensory issues or folks who have PTSD, autism, dementia and a whole host of special needs that frankly our heroes in blue haven’t been trained to deal with up to this point,” Ivey said.
- The training was provided for free by KultureCity, a Birmingham-based non-profit organization focused on helping communities become more accepting and inclusive for people with invisible disabilities.
- “Law enforcement officers in this state and all around the nation wear many hats every day,” said ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor. “Wearing those different hats, you need to be trained for whatever hat you have on. To me, this is another tool in the toolbox that we have to do our job properly.”
- Read more from Caroline Beck HERE.
4. Border crossings continue surge despite summer heat
- The number of children traveling alone who were picked up at the Mexican border by U.S. immigration authorities likely hit an all-time high in July, and the number of people who came in families likely reached its second-highest total on record, a U.S. official said this week, citing preliminary government figures.
- The sharp increases from June were striking because crossings usually slow during stifling — and sometimes fatal — summer heat.
- U.S. authorities likely picked up more than 19,000 unaccompanied children in July, exceeding the previous high of 18,877 in March, according to David Shahoulian, assistant secretary for border and immigration policy at the Department of Homeland Security. The June total was 15,253.
- The number of people encountered in families during July is expected at about 80,000, Shahoulian said. That’s shy of the all-time high of 88,857 in May 2019 but up from 55,805 in June.
- Overall, U.S. authorities stopped migrants about 210,000 times at the border in July, up from 188,829 in June and the highest in more than 20 years.
- Read more HERE.
5. Biden administration issues new eviction ban, though legal ground shaky
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a new eviction moratorium that would last until Oct. 3, as the Biden administration sought to quell intensifying criticism from progressives that it was allowing vulnerable renters to lose their homes during a pandemic.
- It would temporarily halt evictions in counties with “substantial and high levels” of virus transmissions and would cover areas where 90% of the U.S. population lives.
- The announcement was a reversal for the Biden administration, which allowed an earlier moratorium to lapse over the weekend after acknowledging a Supreme Court ruling prevented an extension without congressional action. That ripped open a dramatic split between the White House and progressive Democrats who insisted the administration do more to prevent Americans from losing their homes.
- Speaking at the White House on Tuesday, President Joe Biden said he pushed the CDC to again consider its options. But he still seemed hesitant as to whether the new moratorium could withstand lawsuits about its constitutionality, saying he has sought the opinions of experts as to whether the Supreme Court would approve the measure.
- “The bulk of the constitutional scholarship says that it’s not likely to pass constitutional muster,” Biden said. “But there are several key scholars who think that it may and it’s worth the effort.”
- Read more HERE.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – School protocols have key changes for masked vs unmasked
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Report: Deadly crash began when tractor-trailer hit vehicles
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – ALEA becomes first in nation to certify all officers in sensory training
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Children stopped at border likely hit record-high in July
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Biden administration issues new eviction ban, though legal ground shaky
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to surge in Alabama
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Union: NLRB officer recommends new vote for Amazon workers
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Longtime Alabama sheriff convicted on theft, ethics charges
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – State hiring marketing firm for teacher recruitment
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Poole sworn in as state finance director; special election set
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – August 2, 2021
AL.COM – Marjorie Taylor Greene suggests Alabamians would shoot Biden’s ‘police state friends’: Leaked video
AL.COM – 99% of Alabama’s 2,379 COVID deaths from January to June were unvaccinated
AL.COM – Two large Alabama hospitals require all staff and volunteers get COVID-19 vaccinations
AL.COM – East Alabama hospital loses 4 patients to COVID in 24 hours
AL.COM – Steve Marshall: Businesses can require employees to get COVID vaccine
AL.COM – South Alabama seeing state’s highest COVID positivity rates
AL.COM – Alabama Auditor Jim Zeigler takes step to run for governor: ‘Taxpayers versus Insiders’
AL.COM – Different politics, same doubts: Why Blacks and conservatives in Alabama have low vaccination rates
Montgomery Advertiser – Alabama vaccinations on the rise, but hospitalizations continue serious spike
Montgomery Advertiser – More Alabamians seek out COVID-19 vaccine as hospitalizations surge
Montgomery Advertiser – NTSB: Preliminary report finds auto transporter slammed into stopped traffic, leading to deadly I-65 wreck
Decatur Daily – Health experts seeing ‘slight increase’ in vaccinations as CDC calls for masks on school buses
Decatur Daily – State hiring marketing firm for teacher recruitment
Decatur Daily – Limestone coroner to serve as temporary sheriff
Times Daily – Colbert EMA director in quarantine after COVID-19 diagnosis
Times Daily – Poole sworn in as state finance director
Times Daily – ALEA officers certified in sensory inclusive practices
Anniston Star – Michael Ray to headline Spirit on Mountain Street fest in Jacksonville
Anniston Star – Alabama becomes first in nation to certify all ALEA officers in sensory inclusive practices
Anniston Star – Poole sworn in as state finance director; special election set
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Birmingham Police identify victim in homicide investigation on East Lake Blvd.
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – What you’ll need to treat COVID-19 at home
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Rural Alabama hospitals resume struggle with COVID patients
Tuscaloosa News – New train overpass opens near University of Alabama campus
Tuscaloosa News – District 7: Cassius Lanier takes oath of office on Tuscaloosa City Council
Tuscaloosa News – PHOTOS: Cassius Lanier Sworn In
YellowHammer News – Boeing brass visits Alabama A&M University, calls school ‘key HBCU’
YellowHammer News – Report: Vote of Bessemer Amazon workers to forgo unionization could be nullified
YellowHammer News – Tuberville takes aim at illegal immigration, anti-law enforcement rhetoric — ‘Wanting safe communities is something every American wants and deserves’
Gadsden Times – Gadsden-Etowah EMA weekly COVID-19 updates to return
Gadsden Times – More Alabamians seek out COVID-19 vaccine as hospitalizations surge
Gadsden Times – Etowah County Courthouse to be closed Friday afternoon
Dothan Eagle – Olympics Latest: Women’s semifinals set in beach volleyball
Dothan Eagle – Olympic families find solace, create bonds far from Tokyo
Dothan Eagle – How to chop remodeling costs when wood prices are high
Opelika-Auburn News – Olympics Latest: Aussie athletes in ‘unacceptable behavior’
Opelika-Auburn News – Number of children stopped at border likely hits record; 11 hours of questioning for Cuomo; Tokyo update
Opelika-Auburn News – Olympic families find solace, create bonds far from Tokyo
WSFA Montgomery – Montgomery’s new Whitewater Project could become Olympics training ground
WSFA Montgomery – Law enforcement works on community outreach through National Night Out
WSFA Montgomery – ‘It was chest deep’: Resident recounts Montgomery flooding
WAFF Huntsville – Back-to-School: start dates for north Alabama school districts
WAFF Huntsville – Former Sheriff Mike Blakely remains in custody at the jail he used to run
WAFF Huntsville – Madison County Emergency Rental Assistance Program update
WKRG Mobile – Alabama law enforcement officers complete sensory-inclusion training
WKRG Mobile – Texas and bacon heat up the trending stories for August 3
WKRG Mobile – Monroeville firefighters limiting interaction with public due to rise in COVID-19 cases
WTVY Dothan – Wiregrass sees an uptick in vaccine interest
WTVY Dothan – Dothan changes its mind, will allow reporters at polling places
WTVY Dothan – Coffee County organizations provide school supply relief, COVID-19 vaccinations for community
WASHINGTON POST – Biden calls for Cuomo to resign after investigation finds the New York governor sexually harassed 11 women
Biden calls on Cuomo to resign
WASHINGTON POST – Pentagon police officer killed during encounter outside U.S. military headquarters, officials say
WASHINGTON POST – Missouri governor pardons Mark and Patricia McCloskey, who pointed guns at protesters
NEW YORK TIMES – Under Fire and Alone, Cuomo Fights for His Political Life
NEW YORK TIMES – New York Voters React to Cuomo Report: ‘I’ve Had Enough’
NEW YORK TIMES – Is the Delta Variant Making Younger Adults ‘Sicker, Quicker’?
WALL STREET JOURNAL – Andrew Cuomo Faces Impeachment Call as President Biden Urges Him to Quit
WALL STREET JOURNAL – Businesses Are Loading Up on Credit. Spending Could Follow.
WALL STREET JOURNAL – CVS Logs Higher Revenue Boosted by Covid-19 Shots