I hope you and your family have a happy Fourth of July weekend. To mark today’s release of the Hamilton film on Disney Plus, please enjoy these GIFs without reading too much into them.
Here’s your Daily News for Friday, July 3.
1. ‘Dramatic upswing’ in Alabama virus cases, hospitalizations
- The number of COVID-19 patients in Alabama hospitals climbed to more than 800 Thursday, the highest number since the pandemic began, as the number of reported infections continued to rise.
- Alabama on Thursday reported an additional 1,200 cases, making it the third consecutive day of adding about 1,000 cases each day. There were 840 COVID-19 patients in state hospitals Thursday, the highest number since the outbreak began, said Dr. Don Williamson, the former state health officer who now heads the Alabama Hospital Association.
- “It is very concerning,” State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said of the latest numbers.
- “What we’ve witnessed each time we’ve seen these surges occur, we have had an increased number of cases that pop up for whatever reason and then we begin to see, a few days or week or so later, increases in hospitalizations. The pattern has been shortly after that we begin to see increased numbers of deaths,” Harris said.
- Alabama has reported nearly 40,000 cases of the new coronavirus since the pandemic began with more than 25% of infections being reported in the last two weeks, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health. So far, at least 947 Alabamians have died after contracting the virus.
- “Clearly, we are now in a dramatic upswing,” Williamson said of the latest case and hospitalization numbers.
- Full story from Kim Chandler HERE.
2. General Fund revenue dips in June; ETF awaiting income tax payments
- Revenues collected in the state General Fund were down about $4.8 million, or 4.15%, in June compared to the year prior, but overall, collections are up for the year.
- Many of the decreases are easily attributed to COVID-19 shutdowns and slowdowns of both businesses and government offices: sales taxes on automobiles, lodging taxes at hotels and court costs.
- Because many taxes are collected in arrears, much of the June collection represents May activity.
- “The story on the General Fund is that growth has slowed over the last three months since COVID-19,” Kirk Fulford, deputy director of the fiscal division of the Legislative Services Agency. “With over 40 revenue sources dedicated to the General Fund, it can withstand a few sources slowing down without causing an enormous impact if other sources are growing. Through February, year-to-date growth was $100 million, 11.5% and now stands at $106.5 million, 7.3%, growth through June.”
- Some of the decreases are part of larger trends, Sen. Greg Albritton, R-Range said. He’s chairman of the Senate General Fund budget committee. The state’s tax on oil and gas production was down $1.7 million in June, but had been trending down prior to COVID-19 and is down -38.27% compared to the prior year.
- “The best thing I can tell you is that there weren’t any surprises,” Albritton said about the June receipt report. “Our estimates were pretty darn close.”
- But down is down, he said and that’s why General Fund committee meetings have been called for next week.
- “We want to get these numbers out publicly and discuss them,” Albritton said.
- Full story from ADN’s Mary Sell HERE.
3. Supreme Court blocks curbside voting in Alabama
- The U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision Thursday blocked a lower court ruling allowing curbside voting in Alabama and waiving some absentee ballot requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Conservative justices granted Alabama’s request to stay a federal judge’s order that would allow local officials to offer curbside voting in the July runoff and loosen absentee ballot requirements in three of the state’s large counties. The order will remain stayed while the court decides whether to hear Alabama’s appeal.
- Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said he was pleased the court acted quickly so that Alabama voting rules remain in place for the July 14 runoff.
- “Alabama is again able to enforce laws that help ensure the fairness and integrity of our elections,” the Republican said.
- The court rulings stem from a lawsuit filed by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program. A group of voters had sought more voting options because of health concerns.
- Full story from Kim Chandler HERE.
4. Bashinsky wins back control of Golden Flake fortune
- The heiress to the Golden Flake potato chip empire is for now back in control of her fortune after a ruling Thursday by the Alabama Supreme Court.
- Justices said Joann Bashinsky’s basic due-process rights were egregiously violated when the probate court made the emergency decision without giving her time to obtain counsel after her lawyers were disqualified. The permanent petition remains pending before the court.
- Joann Bashinsky is the widow of Sloan Y. Bashinsky, Sr. who owned the majority stock in Golden Enterprises, Inc., and who was the founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Golden Flake Foods. Her personal estate is estimated to be worth $80 million, and her entire estate was valued at $218 million.
- Pennsylvania-based Utz Quality Foods bought Golden Enterprises for $141 million in 2016.
- Joann Bashinsky has been locked in a legal battle with two former employees who claim she has dementia and is no longer able to manage her estate. The petition to appoint a conservator came after Bashinsky loaned her only grandson $23 million for his business ventures.
- Full story from Kim Chandler HERE.
5. 40 of 50 states see rise in coronavirus cases
- The coronavirus infection curve rose in 40 of the 50 states heading into the July Fourth holiday weekend.
- With the number of daily confirmed coronavirus cases nationwide climbing past 50,000, an alarming 36 states saw an increase in the percentage of tests coming back positive for the virus.
- “What we’ve seen is a very disturbing week,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious-disease expert, said in a livestream with the American Medical Association.
- The surge has been blamed in part on Americans not covering their faces or following other social distancing rules as states lifted their lockdowns over the past few weeks. Fauci warned that if people don’t start complying, “we’re going to be in some serious difficulty.”
- The U.S. recorded 51,200 new confirmed cases Wednesday, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University. That represents a doubling of the daily total over the past month and is higher even than what the country witnessed during the most lethal phase of the crisis in April and May, when the New York metropolitan area was easily the worst hot spot in the U.S.
- All but 10 states are showing an upswing in newly reported cases over the past 14 days.
- While some of the increases may be explained by expanded testing, other indicators are grim, too, including hospitalizations and positive test rates. Over the past two weeks, the percentage of positive tests has doubled in Georgia, Kansas, Montana, Michigan, Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi, South Carolina and Ohio. In Nevada, it has tripled. In Idaho, it is five times higher.
- Full story with the chart showing state statistics HERE.
INSIDE ALABAMA POLITICS – Inside Alabama Politics – June 30, 2020
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ivey: This is our time, Alabama
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – ‘Dramatic upswing’ in Alabama virus cases, hospitalizations
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – General Fund revenue dips in June; ETF awaiting income tax payments
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Supreme Court blocks curbside voting in Alabama
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Potato chip heiress wins back control of fortune
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Confirmed coronavirus cases are rising in 40 of 50 states
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Officials: Students in Alabama threw COVID contest parties
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Move to rename ‘Bloody Sunday’ bridge has critics in Selma
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – US adds 4.8 million jobs as unemployment falls to 11.1%
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Statewide virtual school provider selected; Broadband access ‘inequities’ remain
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Mobile, Tuscaloosa join Alabama cities requiring face masks
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – July 2, 2020
AL.COM – U.S. Supreme Court blocks order allowing curbside voting in Alabama runoff
AL.COM – 18,000 Alabamians filed initial unemployment claims last week; more than 620K filed during pandemic
AL.COM – How bars could kill the college football season
AL.COM – Jones calls on Senate to beef up funding to state labor departments after Alabama issues
AL.COM – Columnist Kyle Whitmire: Good luck, America! Alabama’s given up
AL.COM – Gov. Kay Ivey extends public health emergency powers until September
AL.COM – Gov. Ivey ‘open to discussion’ on changes to Alabama’s Confederate holidays
AL.COM – Alabama A&M, Toyota help sponsor free mobile COVID test clinic in Huntsville
AL.COM – Alabama adds 1150+ coronavirus cases, 10 counties account for almost 60% of growth
AL.COM – ‘John Lewis: Good Trouble’ weaves past, present together
AL.COM – Long lines as Alabama cities see new demand for coronavirus testing
AL.COM – 23,300 Alabamians have unclaimed income tax refunds; $24 million due from 2016, IRS says
AL.COM – UA says probe into ‘COVID-19 parties’ doesn’t show its students participating
Montgomery Advertiser – Already understaffed, 25 Montgomery firefighters have tested positive for COVID-19 and many more quarantined
Montgomery Advertiser – U.S. Supreme Court upholds Alabama restrictions on absentee ballots, curbside voting
Montgomery Advertiser – More than 100 people have died in Montgomery from coronavirus complications
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Nursing homes wait up to 5 days for COVID-19 test results
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – More businesses boosting online presence during COVID-19
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Second ADOC employee dies after testing positive for coronavirus
Tuscaloosa News – Cases rise in youth amid reports of ‘COVID parties’
Tuscaloosa News – Patriotic reading part of Tuscaloosa’s holiday tradition
Tuscaloosa News – ‘Dramatic upswing’ in Alabama virus cases, hospitalizations
Decatur Daily – Decatur CFO projects revenue will meet budget despite pandemic
Decatur Daily – Plan to test college students for coronavirus emerges
Decatur Daily – Statewide virtual school provider selected; broadband access ‘inequities’ remain
Times Daily – Plan would test college students for virus
Times Daily – Muscle Shoals school board amends calendar
Times Daily – Colbert County, TVA will upgrade Bear Creek canoe launch
Anniston Star – Leaders in Anniston’s Black community make case for masks
Anniston Star – JSU International House director discusses her journey to U.S. citizenship
Anniston Star – Six fell victim to local homicides halfway through 2020
YellowHammer News – U.S. Supreme Court restores normal Alabama election laws ahead of July 14 runoff
YellowHammer News – Byrne gets additional Austal ship added to FY21 NDAA, joins Brooks and Rogers in advancing key defense bill
YellowHammer News – Ala. Supreme Court: Jefferson County Probate Court ‘egregiously violated’ due-process rights of philanthropist Joann Bashinsky
Dothan Eagle – Troy to require students to wear face masks on campus
Dothan Eagle – Firework displays to light up Wiregrass skies this holiday weekend
Dothan Eagle – Woman accused of stealing checks, cash from local bank
Gadsden Times – Council members ask for details on mask ordinances
Gadsden Times – Recreation, culture, activities are important parts of attracting businesses
Gadsden Times – Tuberville campaign vehicle burns on Interstate 59
Troy Messenger – John Lewis documentary opens nationwide today
Troy Messenger – SBI will investigate inmate’s death in county jail
Troy Messenger – U.S. adds 4.8 million jobs in June
Andalusia Star News – State NAACP calls for Holmes to resign
Andalusia Star News – Local author wins CBA gold
Opelika-Auburn News – 4-year-old cancer patient is one of five children in Huntsville hospital fighting coronavirus
Opelika-Auburn News – Officials: Students in Alabama threw COVID contest parties
Opelika-Auburn News – Auburn man charged for possession of child pornography
Daily Mountain Eagle – Council appoints Herron as mayor; Anderson resigns
Daily Mountain Eagle – Supreme Court blocks curbside voting in Alabama
Daily Mountain Eagle – Senate candidate’s campaign bus catches on fire in Alabama
Trussville Tribune – Pinson Council cuts ribbon for 100-person tornado shelter in Palmerdale
Trussville Tribune – Pinson woman on Dean’s List at University of Kentucky
Trussville Tribune – Supreme Court blocks curbside voting in Alabama
Athens News Courier – Officials: Students in Tuscaloosa threw COVID-19 contest parties
Athens News Courier – Senate candidate’s campaign bus catches on fire in Alabama
Athens News Courier – COUNTY SCHOOLS: Superintendent shares plan for CARES Act funding
Sand Mountain Reporter – Albertville to provide free supplies to all students
WSFA Montgomery – Montgomery firefighters reunite with family after deadly blaze
WSFA Montgomery – Auburn plant expansion to support COVID-19 vaccine effort
WSFA Montgomery – 85-year-old south Alabama man dies after Montgomery crash
WAFF Huntsville – Alabama A&M project to bring mobile testing to low-income areas
WAFF Huntsville – U.S. Supreme Court blocks curbside voting
WAFF Huntsville – Peaceful rally held to remove Confederate monument outside Madison County Courthouse
WKRG Mobile – Inmate escapes Childersburg CBF
WKRG Mobile – Man charged in fatal crash that killed Theodore HS senior released from jail
WKRG Mobile – Trump’s Rushmore trip draws real and figurative fireworks
WTVY Dothan – Troy University releases health and safety guidelines ahead of fall semester
WTVY Dothan – Tuberville campaign vehicle catches fire in DeKalb County
WTVY Dothan – US unemployment falls to 11%, but new shutdowns are underway
WASHINGTON POST – As coronavirus rebounds, more patients are being hospitalized and capacity is stretched
WASHINGTON POST – U.S. sets record for new coronavirus cases, surpassing 55,000
WASHINGTON POST – Supreme Court says Alabama does not have to loosen ballot restrictions because of virus
WASHINGTON POST – The grim, unmentioned downside of the employment records Trump is hyping
NEW YORK TIMES – Black Lives Matter May Be the Largest Movement in U.S. History
NEW YORK TIMES – A Problem for College in the Fall: Reluctant Professors
NEW YORK TIMES – Coronavirus Cases Are Peaking Again. Here’s How It’s Different This Time.
NEW YORK TIMES – Republican Leaders Want to End Obamacare. Their Voters Are Expanding It.
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