Good morning and happy Memorial Day!
It’s a beautiful day and I hope you’re able to enjoy it with family and friends. Please remember to take some time to remember, acknowledge and honor the sacrifice of those who have died fighting in the United States Armed Forces.
This year’s National Memorial Day Concert was a little different with no in-person audience, but it’s still a fantastic event that I recommend playing at your cookout today.
Here’s your Daily News for Monday, May 25.
1. Special session(s)? Opinions vary, but issues are plenty
- When the Legislature adjourned a truncated, one-of-a-kind Regular Session a week ago today, one question lingered for lawmakers, lobbyists and journalists alike: will there be a special session?
- Hundreds of proposed bills, including high priority prison and economic development proposals, died when the coronavirus outbreak upended the session.
- Now, when the House and Senate will return to Montgomery for a special session and what topics they’ll address are still up in the air.
- Some Senate leaders, frustrated by the final days of the condensed session, say they don’t see a reason to return to Montgomery this year.
- Others say they have no choice but to return to tackle key items like prison reform, coronavirus lawsuit liability and expiring economic development incentives.
- One thing is for sure: the tension between the Gov. Kay Ivey and some Senate leaders remains, and it is impacting attitudes about the next steps needed at the State House, at least for now.
- As one senator put it, “Tension today doesn’t stop work tomorrow.”
- Mary Sell and I teamed up to report on the prospects for special sessions and what all might be included in a big long story you can read HERE.
2. Memorial Day even more poignant as veterans die from virus
- One was a 94-year-old veteran of World War II who was the first of his 11 brothers to enlist in the military. One was a Vietnam veteran who lost his leg overseas and was always touched when people thanked him for his service. Another was drafted into the military at 18 and was awarded a Purple Heart.
- They are among the untold number of veterans who served and survived during times of war only to die in recent weeks from the coronavirus.
- This year’s Memorial Day will pay tribute not only to those who died on the battlefield but more recent fallen soldiers. And in a reminder of the way coronavirus has transformed American lives and traditions, many of the usual Memorial Day gatherings have been either canceled or curtailed — mindful of the pandemic that has already killed more than 90,000 people in the U.S.
- According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, more than 1,000 veterans have been killed by the coronavirus. That does not include hundreds more who have died in state-run veterans homes.
- There have been 23 deaths reported in Alabama’s Bill Nichols State Veterans Home in Alexander City.
- Full story HERE.
3. Virus deaths top 550 in Alabama, confusion among states over data
- Alabama’s death toll from the coronavirus climbed to at least 551 on Sunday, according to data from the state Department of Public Health.
- There have been over 14,200 confirmed cases of the virus statewide. Close to 4,400 cases have been reported within the last 14 days.
- New rules from Gov. Kay Ivey went into effect Friday at 5 p.m. allowing entertainment venues like bowling alleys, arcades and theaters as well as child care facilities to reopen subject to social-distancing and sanitation rules. Youth sports practices have also been allowed to resume, though competition won’t begin until June 15, and summer camps are now allowed to open.
- For most, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.
- Data shows the situation in Alabama appears to be worsening over the last two weeks, with the number of new daily cases rising and the positivity rate of tests increasing over a 14 day period.
- The U.S. will likely top 100,000 coronavirus deaths in the coming days, a far lower number than many predicted earlier in the year.
- Meanwhile, elected officials, businesses and others nationwide are depending on coronavirus testing and infection-rate data as states reopen so that they will know if a second wave of contagion is coming.
- But states are reporting those figures in different ways, and that can lead to frustration and confusion about what the numbers mean. In some places, there have been data gaps that leave local leaders wondering whether they should loosen or tighten restrictions. In others, officials are accused of spinning the numbers to make their states look better and justify reopening.
- Full story HERE.
4. White House goal on testing nursing homes unmet
- Nearly two weeks ago the White House urged governors to ensure that every nursing home resident and staff member be tested for the coronavirus within 14 days.
- It’s not going to happen.
- At least half of the states are not going to meet White House’s deadline and some say it is too ambitious.
- Only a handful of states, including West Virginia and Rhode Island, have said they’ve already tested every nursing home resident.
- Many states said the logistics, costs and manpower needs are too great to test all residents and staff in a two-week window. Some say they need another week or so, while others say they need much more time.
- White House adviser Dr. Deborah Birx acknowledged Friday that the two-week recommendation was a challenge but said it was needed because of the particular vulnerability of nursing homes.
- “We should never be discouraged by those who can’t get it done,” she said. “We should be encouraged by those who have shown us that it can be done.”
- Nursing homes residents, who are typically older and often have underlying medical conditions, have been particularly hard hit by the virus. More than 36,000 residents and staff have died from outbreaks at the nation’s nursing homes and long-term care facilities, according to an AP tally. . That is more than a third of all deaths in the U.S. that have been attributed to the virus.
- Nursing home operators have said the lack of testing kits and other resources have left them nearly powerless to stop the virus from entering their facilities because they haven’t been able to identity silent spreaders not showing symptoms.
- Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said meeting the White House’s recommendation would mean testing 50,000 people in two weeks when it took three months for the state to test 150,000 people.
- “It’s just not possible,” he said.
- Full story HERE.
5. Woods, Manning win a TV charity match as good as real thing
- Tom Brady delivered the shot of the match that made it easy to forget the rest of his swings. Tiger Woods didn’t miss a fairway and earned a small measure of revenge against Phil Mickelson.
- The PGA Tour is set to return in just over two weeks, and it has a tough act to follow.
- In the second and final charity match that brought live golf to TV, this exhibition was as entertaining as the real thing.
- Woods lagged a long birdie putt close enough that his partner, Peyton Manning, didn’t have to putt. That secured a 1-up victory over Mickelson and Brady in “The Match: Champions for Charity.”
- The goal was to raise $10 million or more for COVID-19 relief funds, and online donations sent money climbing toward about twice that much.
- Former University of Alabama golfer Justin Thomas pitched in as an on-course reporter, while Auburn great Charles Barkley provided his unique brand of commentary from the booth. The two mixed it up as any proper rivals would.
- The country needed some live sports and good humor and got both in this fun event.
- Read more and watch the highlights HERE.
A message from
The Alabama State Port Authority
- Thanks to Governor Ivey and the Alabama Legislature, larger ships are welcome at Alabama’s only seaport.
- The Rebuild Alabama Act helps pay for modernizing Alabama’s harbor and channel to accommodate larger ships, deliver more capacity and lower rates for Alabama shippers.
- Keeping Alabama companies competitive helps our businesses grow, attracts new investment, and employs more Alabamians.
- The PORT. Providing Alabama products cost competitive access to global markets.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Will there be a special session? Opinions vary but issues are plenty
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Memorial Day even more poignant as veterans die from virus
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Virus deaths in Alabama surpass 550 with new rules in effect
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – CDC, states’ reporting of virus test data causes confusion
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – White House goal on testing nursing homes unmet
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Woods, Manning win a TV charity match as good as real thing
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama coronavirus outlook worsening amid state reopening
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Sessions rejects criticism, Trump unloads
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – SEC, Big 12 to allow football workouts on campus next month
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump’s pitch to voters: Trust me, economy will soar in 2021
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Biden says he was too ‘cavalier’ in saying black voters ‘ain’t black’ if they choose Trump
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Weekend Digest, May 24, 2020
AL.COM – Two Alabama cities, two very different outbreaks
AL.COM – Trump says Sessions was not ‘mentally qualified’ to be AG
AL.COM – Gulf Shores police investigate vandalized turtle nest
AL.COM – Alabama added 386 coronavirus cases overnight
AL.COM – Cities, counties struggling with loss of revenue, need for services
AL.COM – Alabama’s Dynetics is this close to building America’s next moon lander
AL.COM – Tax data shows pandemic effect, and how people spent the lockdown
Montgomery Advertiser – Investigators probe Hope Hull death after Saturday morning 911 call
Montgomery Advertiser – Prattville man killed in fatal wreck on Bridge Creek Road
Montgomery Advertiser – ‘Call home’: Parents of missing Montgomery man Phillip Rawlings searching for information
Tuscaloosa News – No Bama Belle cruises, events for 2020, captain says
Tuscaloosa News – Sewer line work to close part of The Strip through July
Tuscaloosa News – Alabama hospitals lost $739M in revenue in March, April
Decatur Daily – Opinions vary on possible special sessions, but outstanding issues are plenty
Decatur Daily – Infectious disease doctors: Relaxation of health order was a mistake
Decatur Daily – Schools plan to offer traditional, virtual classes in fall
Times Daily – Opinions vary on possible special sessions, but outstanding issues are plenty
Times Daily – Cherokee paving project completed
Times Daily – Shoals jobless rate hits 15.3% in April
Anniston Star – Opinions vary on possible special sessions, but outstanding issues are plenty
Anniston Star – More locals out as Alabama relaxes restrictions
Anniston Star – Talladega man charged in Friday homicide in Anniston
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Opinions vary on possible special session, but outstanding issues are plenty
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Second hair stylist from Springfield Great Clips tests positive for COVID-19
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Stacy Column: Bright spots in the budgets, Part One
WAFF Huntsville – 3 dead in shooting at a home in Morgan County; one victim transported to hospital
WAFF Huntsville – Opinions vary on possible special session, but outstanding issues are plenty
WAFF Huntsville – Alabama COVID-19 cases rise to 14,478; ADPH confirms 551 deaths
YellowHammer News – McCutcheon shrugs off House-Senate dispute — ‘Always tension towards the end of any session’; Says House negotiated with Ivey to stave off veto
YellowHammer News – State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris on Montgomery coronavirus situation: Hospitals have ‘a lot of patients,’ ‘Said they’re able to handle what they’re seeing’
YellowHammer News – Marsh: ‘Politicians overreacted’ on coronavirus, put country ‘in a very delicate situation’ — Future ‘could get ugly’
Gadsden Times – Flying Cowboy who crashed in Riddles Bend explains what happened
Gadsden Times – Local, state unemployment rates surge
Gadsden Times – How is the county’s Census response so far? Here’s a look
Dothan Eagle – Answer Man: Can COVID-19 be transmitted by mosquitoes?
Dothan Eagle – As more services resume, church leaders weigh pandemic’s lasting impact
Dothan Eagle – Sunday mornings may never be the same in America after COVID-19
Troy Messenger – New scholarship honors Starling’s spirit
Troy Messenger – Despite gains, Pike County rate remains second lowest in state
Troy Messenger – TPL invites summer readers to ‘imagine your story’
Andalusia Star News – Police: 3 arrested for murder over a cell phone
Andalusia Star News – Andalusia’s beloved ‘Hugging Helen’ passes away
Andalusia Star News – Remember When: Sending our boys away to WWI
Opelika-Auburn News – Woman killed in two-vehicle crash near Opelika
Opelika-Auburn News – ALEA reminds residents to be safe over Memorial Day weekend
Opelika-Auburn News – Churches take it steady with re-openings
Daily Mountain Eagle – Adamsville man killed at Jasper Speedway after go-kart crash
Daily Mountain Eagle – Oliver: Taft Road too dangerous to drive
Daily Mountain Eagle – Voters to decide Nov. 3 if elected officials go to state retirement
Trussville Tribune – Smaller classes, online reservations new norm as gyms reopen
Trussville Tribune – Morning Update: Alabama adds 4,279 cases in past two weeks; deaths move to 551 with 88 recorded in Jefferson County
Trussville Tribune – ADPH adds ‘presumed recoveries’ to coronavirus data website; 7,951 presumed recovered so far
Athens News Courier – Disturbance of Gulf Shores sea turtle nest draws police
Athens News Courier – As veterans die from virus, Memorial Day has different mood
Athens News Courier – Sessions, running for Senate, rejects criticism
Sand Mountain Reporter – Families upset over high grass, weeds at Marshall Memorial Gardens
Sand Mountain Reporter – 7,951 COVID-19 cases presumed recovered in Alabama
Sand Mountain Reporter – Heroes immortalized | Mural in Boaz honors city’s veterans
WSFA Montgomery – La. man hopes social media can find family in precious photo with Muhammad Ali
WSFA Montgomery – Man injured jumping from ‘Chimney Rock’ on Lake Martin Saturday
WSFA Montgomery – Alabama Department of Labor works to resolve unemployment glitch
WKRG Mobile – Warm and muggy tonight, afternoon scattered showers and thunderstorms tomorrow
WKRG Mobile – OBPD to continue search for remaining missing swimmers at Orange Beach
WKRG Mobile – FDOH: Florida cases over 50K, deaths surpass 2K
WTVY Dothan – FDA commissioner urges Americans to follow COVID-19 safety guidelines over Memorial Day weekend
WTVY Dothan – Police: Mother arrested, charged with murder of nine-year-old son in South Florida
WTVY Dothan – White House goal on testing nursing homes unmet
WASHINGTON POST – Administration leaves testing responsibility to states in report to Congress
WASHINGTON POST – Some churches tentatively open as Memorial Day crowds descend on tourist hot spots
WASHINGTON POST – A deadly ‘checkerboard’: Covid-19’s new surge across rural America
NEW YORK TIMES – The Coronavirus Is Deadliest Where Democrats Live
NEW YORK TIMES – Florida Law Restricting Felon Voting Is Unconstitutional, Judge Rules
NEW YORK TIMES – Pay Cuts Become a Tool for Some Companies to Avoid Layoffs
Front Pages (images link to newspaper websites, which you should visit and patronize)