Daily News Digest – May 12, 2020

Daily News Digest – May 12, 2020

Presented by

AlabamaWorks!

 

Good morning!
Here’s your Daily News for Tuesday, May 12.

 

 

1. Restaurants, bars, salons reopen with precautions

Leslie Musumecci checks a text while Emily Summerville rinses her hair Monday at The Nook in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (Gary Cosby Jr./Tuscaloosa News via AP)
  • The sign at Chappy’s Deli proclaimed “DINING ROOM NOW OPEN.” But the scene was hardly normal as Alabama’s economy took another step toward reopening Monday despite an increasing number of coronavirus cases.
  • Mask-wearing servers took orders and waited on spaced-out tables at Chappy’s, a popular lunch spot in the capital city.
  • “This is the first couple hours being open, the first lunch. The customers who have come in have been super excited,” said Chappy’s owner Jeff Barranco.
  • Dine-in restaurants, bars, salons and gyms could reopen Monday — with rules on crowd limits and cleaning — as the state eased restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The partial opening came despite an upswing in the number of virus cases in Alabama.
  • As of Monday, about 10,000 people in the state had tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, and about 400 people statewide had died. State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said officials were trying to determine how much of the swelling caseload was linked to increased testing or increased disease.
  • While easing restrictions, Gov. Kay Ivey has encouraged people to remain cautious as they go about their daily activities.
  • Full story from Kim Chandler and Jay Reeves HERE.

 

2. Legislature approves funds to review maternal deaths

  • The Alabama Legislature has approved nearly half a million dollars to investigate deaths from childbirth and pregnancy complications in the state.
  • The money approved in the state’s General Fund budget last week will fund a committee that is reviewing autopsies and medical records of women who died from childbirth complications.
  • AL.com’s Anna Claire Vollers has reported extensively on the state’s need to study maternal deaths. According to the Department of Public Health, the number of pregnancy related deaths in the state has increased by more than six times between 2014 and 2017.
  • Gov. Kay Ivey included the $478,000 for the Maternal Mortality Review Committee and the Legislature has kept that line item whole through the budget process. The General Fund is now on her desk and could come back to the Legislature on unrelated issues, but the maternity line item appears to have consensus.
  • “Until we have a thorough review of the maternal death data, we can’t answer the all-important question of ‘why’ when a mother dies,” said Dr. John Meigs, the president of the Medical Association of the State of Alabama.
  • Read more HERE.

 

 

 

 

A message from

AlabamaWorks!

  • This session will focus on the future of work post-COVID-19.
  • As always, the webinar is available for live viewing on the AlabamaWorks! Facebook page as well as on our website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Trump says he’s ‘met the moment’ on testing

  • President Donald Trump insisted Monday his administration has “met the moment” and “prevailed” on coronavirus testing, even as the White House itself became a potent symbol of the risk facing Americans everywhere by belatedly ordering everyone who enters the West Wing to wear a mask.
  • Trump addressed a Rose Garden audience filled with mask-wearing administration officials, some appearing publicly with face coverings for the first time during the outbreak, after two aides tested positive for COVID-19 late last week.
  • The upbeat message was undercut by the new protective measures implemented to keep Trump safe, evidenced by the absence of Vice President Mike Pence and three of the nation’s top medical experts, who were in various states of isolation after two cases of COVID-19 were confirmed among staffers in one of the most protected complexes in America.
  • A memo to staff Monday directed “everyone who enters the West Wing to wear a mask or facial covering.” Staff will be allowed to remove their face coverings if they sit at least six feet apart from their colleagues.
  • The stepped-up protective measures comes as Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield and the FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn, were all quarantining after exposure to the White House staffers.
  • The three experts are scheduled to testify before a Senate panel today on “Safely Getting Back to Work and Back to School.” However, they, along with committee chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., will all participate remotely. Alexander is quarantining after a staff member of his own tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Read more about the White House situation and watch the president’s Rose Garden event HERE.
  • Read more about the hearing at watch it live beginning at 9:00 a.m. Central Time HERE.

 

4. Bulging deficits may threaten prized Pentagon arms projects

  • The government’s $3 trillion effort to rescue the economy from the coronavirus crisis is stirring worry at the Pentagon. Bulging federal deficits may force a reversal of years of big defense spending gains and threaten prized projects like the rebuilding of the nation’s arsenal of nuclear weapons.
  • Defense Secretary Mark Esper says the sudden burst of deficit spending to prop up a damaged economy is bringing the Pentagon closer to a point where it will have to shed older weapons faster and tighten its belt.
  • “It has accelerated this day of reckoning,” Esper said
  • It also sets up confrontations with Congress over how that reckoning will be achieved. Past efforts to eliminate older weapons and to make other cost-saving moves like closing under-used military bases met resistance. This being a presidential election year, much of this struggle may slip to 2021. If presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden wins, the pace of defense cuts could speed up.
  • Rep. Ken Calvert of California, the ranking Republican on the House Appropriations defense subcommittee, says defense budgets were strained even before this year’s unplanned burst of deficit spending.
  • “There’s no question that budgetary pressure will only increase now for all segments of our federal budget, including defense,” Calvert said.
  • For military leaders, the money crunch poses an economic threat that could undermine what they see as spending crucial to U.S. security.
  • Full story from Robert Burns HERE.

 

 

5. Sessions: Setting the record straight on recusal

  • Former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions contributes what he bills “a letter to the people of Alabama” today detailing his thought process behind recusing himself from the Justice Department’s investigation into Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election.
  • Of course, Sessions is now running for his old Senate seat, and criticisms about his recusal have dogged him through the GOP primary.
  • President Donald Trump has never gotten over it, convinced that all his legal troubles stemmed from Sessions not taking personal charge of the investigation.
  • Sessions tells a different story, saying the law required him to recuse himself and that Trump’s troubles would have been far worse if he had flouted the law and overseen the investigation as AG.
  • His letter, following previous interviews and press statements, marks a more aggressive tone Sessions is taking toward defending himself and his record on the Trump question.
  • Here’s an excerpt:
“As the world knows, the President disagreed with me on recusal, but I did what the law required me to do. I was a central figure in the campaign and was also a subject of and witness in the investigation and could obviously not legally be involved in investigating myself. If I had ignored and broken the law, the Democrats would have used that to severely damage the President.
“Some have asked, why take the job as Attorney General if I knew I would have to recuse myself from the investigation? I knew no such thing. I wasn’t informed of Comey’s secret investigation until after I became Attorney General, and the investigation wasn’t publicly confirmed by the FBI until weeks after my recusal.
“Knowing of the President’s disagreement with my decision, I tendered my resignation in writing the morning after Robert Mueller was appointed as special counsel. But President Trump chose not to accept it, and he asked me to continue to serve as his Attorney General…”
  • Read his full letter HERE.

 

Headlines

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama restaurants, bars, salons reopen with precautions

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Legislature approves funds to review maternal deaths

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Source: Tagovailoa signs $30.275 million, 4-year deal

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump says he’s ‘met the moment’ on testing

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Fauci warns of ‘suffering and death’ if US reopens too soon

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Bulging deficits may threaten prized Pentagon arms projects

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Jeff Sessions: Setting the record straight on recusal

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Florida man pleads guilty to prescription fraud in Alabama

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Prison changes, lottery bills postponed as session cut short

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – US approves new coronavirus antigen test with fast results

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Stacy Column: Still time to work together

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – May 11, 2020

AL.COM – 12 COVID-19 cases reported in Alabama federal prisons

AL.COM – Could there finally be a purpose for the abandoned Century Plaza Mall?

AL.COM – Dr. Anthony Fauci: Football is ‘perfect set up for spreading’ COVID-19 virus

AL.COM – Alabama adds 236 coronavirus cases, nears 10,000 mark; County-by-county numbers

AL.COM – J.C. Penney will file for bankruptcy, close 200 stores, reports say

AL.COM – Columnist Kyle Whitmire: It’s not Alabama’s State House that needs replacing

Montgomery Advertiser – Alabama’s coronavirus case count surpasses 10k

Montgomery Advertiser – Four injured, one critically in Monday shooting near Rosa Parks Ave. and Courtland Drive

Montgomery Advertiser – Skeletal remains discovered a decade ago in Ramer may be missing Walker County man

YellowHammer News – Bills about helping military families, medical marijuana, police officer protections, yoga delayed by COVID-19

YellowHammer News – AG Marshall signs on to letter asking Congress to investigate China’s role in COVID-19 outbreak

YellowHammer News – AM/NS Calvert donates PPE to University of South Alabama Children’s & Women’s Hospital

Tuscaloosa News – PARA activity centers reopen Tuesday

Tuscaloosa News – Alabama restaurants, bars, salons and gyms reopen

Tuscaloosa News – Alabama legislature approves funds to review maternal deaths

Decatur Daily – Restaurants, barber shops gradually reopen under new health order

Decatur Daily – As countries restart, WHO warns about lack of virus tracing

Decatur Daily – Oxycodone, marijuana found in Southwest Decatur search, police say

Times Daily – Muscle Shoals, Russellville ranked in top 30 schools of US News & World Report

Times Daily – Lawmakers send Ivey $7.2B education budget

Times Daily – NACOLG Dial-A-Ride bus service resumes Wednesday

Anniston Star – Anniston church honors mothers with drive-in service

Anniston Star – Jacksonville approves July back to school sales tax holiday

Anniston Star – Cleburne commissioners agree on specifications for garbage service bid

WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Alabama Retail Association says businesses beyond grateful to reopen Monday

WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Stacy Column: Still time to work together

WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – One-year-old injured in double shooting

WAFF Huntsville – Alabama COVID-19 cases rise to 10,164; ADPH confirms 403 deaths

WAFF Huntsville – Athens Post Office reopens following weekend wreck

WAFF Huntsville – Man shot, killed in Limestone County

Gadsden Times – Some local eateries opening; others holding off for now

Gadsden Times – Local salons, gyms deal with reopening

Gadsden Times – Alabama tops 400 deaths, 10,000 COVID-19 cases

Dothan Eagle – More Alabama businesses reopen as COVID cases rise

Dothan Eagle – 1 critically injured in Dothan firearm assault Monday afternoon

Dothan Eagle – Daleville police confirm suicide on U.S. Highway 84 Friday night

Troy Messenger – Pike County nears 100 confirmed cases

Troy Messenger – ‘Every effort’ to keep customers, staff safe

Andalusia Star News – VE DAY was 75 years ago

Trussville Tribune – VIDEO: Trussville Mayor Buddy Choat talks about reopening and economic impact of closures

Trussville Tribune – Trussville PD Shoplifting Review: Department arrests 10 for shoplifting in Trussville

Trussville Tribune – Trussville PD arrest man for stuffing stroller box with over $2K worth of stolen merchandise at Walmart

Athens News Courier – LEAVE IT TO US: Students give back with fee-free grocery delivery

Athens News Courier – BREAKING: LCSO on scene of fatal shooting in East Limestone

Athens News Courier – Athens Post Office open after weekend wreck

Sand Mountain Reporter – Albertville men burglarize home damaged by tornado in Boaz

Sand Mountain Reporter – State eases COVID-19 business, restaurant restrictions

Sand Mountain Reporter – Boaz man charged after motel raid | Two suspects remain at large

WSFA Montgomery – 2 more ADOC staff members test positive for COVID-19

WSFA Montgomery – Tallassee police officer arrested, charged with marijuana possession

WSFA Montgomery – Florida man pleads guilty to prescription fraud in Alabama

WKRG Mobile – Five Mile Swamp Fire and Hurst Hammock Fire both 90 percent contained

WKRG Mobile – Members of Gov. Ivey’s COVID-19 task force disagree with reopening plan

WKRG Mobile – Thomasville lifts curfew effective Monday night

WTVY Dothan – Trump abruptly ends briefing after contentious exchanges

WTVY Dothan – Dothan police responding to shooting on East Newton Street

WTVY Dothan – Chipola Forestry Center provides updates on Panhandle wildfires

WASHINGTON POST – At Senate hearing, Fauci will caution against reopening too early

WASHINGTON POST – Farmers’ hopes for respite from Trump-era struggles fade amid pandemic

WASHINGTON POST – Trump’s bid to shield his tax returns and finances, broad claims of presidential immunity head to Supreme Court

NEW YORK TIMES – Tribal Nations Face Most Severe Crisis in Decades as the Coronavirus Closes Casinos

NEW YORK TIMES – G.O.P. Split Over State Aid That Could Mostly Go to Democratic Strongholds

NEW YORK TIMES – Eat Rat, Make New Body: Easy Stuff for Pythons – The extreme metabolism of some snakes could provide leads on how to regenerate human tissue

 

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