7 Things: Hurricane Sally intensifies, coronavirus surges globally as cases drop in U.S., Ivey prepares tourism push and more …
7. Athens returning to school early
- Athens City Schools have pushed up their date for students to return to in-class learning due to the number of parents requesting that children go back to school to join other students in the classroom.
- Originally, in-class instruction wasn’t meant to return until October 19, but now, elementary students will go back to class on September 28 and secondary students will return October 6.
6. Just tell us what isn’t racist
- President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign has put out a new ad against former Vice President Joe Biden. At the very end of the ad, Biden can be seen kneeling in front of black churchgoers. The text “stop Joe Biden and his rioters” then appears on the screen.
- Due to the ending of the ad, it’s been called “overtly racist and offensive” by Reverend Silvester Beaman, who also said that it’s “a racist attack on the African American church,” but also the message “subtly incites white terrorism against people of color and attacks the Black Church and Black people for refusing to bow down to the idol called white supremacy.”
5. Ainsworth joining push for Census participation
- Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth (R-AL) has joined Governor Kay Ivey in encouraging people in Alabama to fill out the 2020 U.S. Census before the deadline on September 30, reinforcing how important it is for the state.
- Ainsworth said, “We’re looking at $13 billion [at stake]. We could potentially lose a congressional seat.” He also emphasized that the focus is “education, it’s healthcare, it’s about our road system. It’s a big deal.”
4. Ivey putting money toward tourism
- Governor Kay Ivey announced $10 million of the CARES Act funding that Alabama received will be used in a new campaign to bring tourism to the state. According to Ivey, this is a way to help out the industry that’s been impacted by the pandemic.
- Alabama Tourism Department Director Lee Sentell explained that the plan is to “generate a marketing campaign aimed at potential guests from outside the state.” Ivey said that she’s “pleased to award these well-deserved dollars to an industry that has been hurting so that people can feel confident that they can be safe when visiting Alabama destinations.”
3. China has a presence in Alabama schools
- State Rep. Tommy Hanes (R-Bryant) has already attempted to bar Confucius Institutes from operating on publicly funded college campuses in Alabama. His bill failed, but Hanes is now concerned that the Chinese government-funded “institutes” are now moving from colleges to K-12 schools and wants that forbidden as well.
- Hanes argues that the goal of this influence is “teach our young people to get them to believe Chinese communism is a different form of communism, and it’s not bad,” and not like the other attempts at communism that have failed under the guise of Chinese cultural enrichment education.
2. Coronavirus surges globally
- As coronavirus cases and deaths in the United States slow, the rest of the world is seeing a bit of a surge with new record highs of cases in Spain and India, and now Israel, France, UK and Austria have re-imposed restrictions.
- The United States is not in the clear by any stretch, but recent surges that have been seen on college campuses and elsewhere are starting to taper off.
1. Ivey issues State of Emergency as Hurricane Sally approaches
- As the path of Hurricane Sally seems to track right over Alabama, Governor Kay Ivey announced a State of Emergency when the tropical storm was upgraded to a hurricane. Ivey closed down the state’s beaches at 3:00 p.m. on Monday.
- Ivey said in her announcement, “We pray Sally doesn’t do any harm, but we must be prepared just in case.” She added that as the “governor, you have my assurance that every resource will be available if we need it. Be safe, Alabama.”