The Wire

  • New tunnel, premium RV section at Talladega Superspeedway on schedule despite weather

    Excerpt:

    Construction of a new oversized vehicle tunnel and premium RV infield parking section at Talladega Superspeedway is still on schedule to be completed in time for the April NASCAR race, despite large amounts of rainfall and unusual groundwater conditions underneath the track.

    Track Chairman Grant Lynch, during a news conference Wednesday at the track, said he’s amazed the general contractor, Taylor Corporation of Oxford, has been able to keep the project on schedule.

    “The amount of water they have pumped out of that and the extra engineering they did from the original design, basically to keep that tunnel from floating up out of the earth, was remarkable,” Lynch said.

  • Alabama workers built 1.6M engines in 2018 to add auto horsepower

    Excerpt:

    Alabama’s auto workers built nearly 1.6 million engines last year, as the state industry continues to carve out a place in global markets with innovative, high-performance parts, systems and finished vehicles.

    Last year also saw major new developments in engine manufacturing among the state’s key players, and more advanced infrastructure is on the way in the coming year.

    Hyundai expects to complete a key addition to its engine operations in Montgomery during the first half of 2019, while Honda continues to reap the benefits of a cutting-edge Alabama engine line installed several years ago.

  • Groundbreaking on Alabama’s newest aerospace plant made possible through key partnerships

    Excerpt:

    Political and business leaders gathered for a groundbreaking at Alabama’s newest aerospace plant gave credit to the formation of the many key partnerships that made it possible.

    Governor Kay Ivey and several other federal, state and local officials attended the event which celebrated the construction of rocket engine builder Blue Origin’s facility in Huntsville.

7 hours ago

7 Things: Alabama passes a grim coronavirus milestone, Biden and Harris make their debut, Doug Jones raising money off Harris and more …

(YHN)

7. No surprise: People are losing faith in elections

  • After years of the media and their Democrats declaring the current President of the United States a treasonous fraud and fake calls of voter suppression and attempts at creating vote-by-mail requirement because they cannot get over the fact that Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton, a majority of the American people now lack confidence in the presidential election process.
  • When voters were asked, “How confident are you that the November election will be conducted in a fair and equal way?” 56% responded that they were “not too confident” or “not at all confident.” The promises of delayed and contested results around the country should only make this worse.

6. Small business outlook not optimistic

713

  • The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) conducted a study that shows small businesses have seen a 14% month over month drop in expecting the economy to improve, but while there’s been a drop in optimism with small businesses, there are still jobs available.
  • According to the survey, 27% of businesses are still looking for skilled workers and have been unable to fill those positions, but in Alabama, there have been improvements with NFIB State of Alabama director Rosemary Elebash saying unemployment was down “to 7.5 percent in June, a big improvement from April’s high of 13.8 percent.” She added that in July, “tax revenues grew by 4.27 percent after two months of declines.”

5. America’s confidence in police officers has fallen

  • A new Gallup poll shows that only 48% of American’s have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the police, compared to last year at 53%. This poll was taken not long after George Floyd died in police custody.
  • This year, 19% of black respondents to the survey said they had a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the police, but 56% of white people had the same confidence. This is the largest gap seen between these groups since Gallup has been conducting this annual poll.

4. Cases are appearing at universities and high schools

  • At Troy University, a student living in the dorms has tested positive for the coronavirus and there are three other students who are quarantined that live in the same suite. All three students already have plans to be tested and the university is encouraging all “students to take advantage of free COVID-19 testing available to all college students in Alabama through the GuideSafe program” and to continue wearing masks and practice social distancing.
  • A Georgia high school that did not require masks has gone to virtual learning after 14 coronavirus cases with 15 other tests have been done and now has over 1,100 students and staff in quarantine.

3. Doug Jones is fundraising off Kamala Harris

  • In a recent email sent out to all of U.S. Senator Doug Jones’ (D-AL) supporters, Jones again voices his support for his “friend” U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), advocating for the “unity” that former Vice President Joe Biden and Harris bring as running mates.
  • Jones continues on in the email to say that the current “election is going to come down to the contrast between unity and division” and that “we also have to energize traditionally underrepresented communities like Black and Latinx voters, and makes sure to add a fundraising link at the end of the message.”

2. Biden and Harris have made their debut with lies

  • Together in Delaware, former Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) took the stage together for the first time to debut as running mates on the 2020 Democratic ticket, with Biden saying there is “no doubt I picked the right person to join me as the next vice president of the United States of America.” He then lied about President Donald Trump’s record on Charlottesville, social security and national security.
  • Harris wasted no time to take shots at Trump, saying, “America is crying out for leadership, yet we have a president who cares more about himself than the people who elected him.” She also took time to compare the handling of the coronavirus to the way President Barack Obama handled the Ebola crisis, saying that Obama and Biden “did their job.”

1. Alabama surpasses 100,000 coronavirus cases

  • The spread of the coronavirus definitely appears to be slowing in the state of Alabama and around the country with two straight days of sub-1,000 cases in the state. The retransmission rate is below the number that shows exponential growth, and it will now take 51 days for the new case number to double.
  • While Alabama’s mask mandate may or may not be responsible for the slowing numbers, states like Illinois are so concerned about the lack of masks they are now actively fining businesses and have made assaulting a retail employee over masks a felony.

1 day ago

7 Things: Biden selects Kamala Harris as running mate, lawsuit challenging Alabama’s mask mandate dismissed, SEC still wants to play football and more …

(YHN)

7. More funding for mental health programs

  • Governor Kay Ivey has announced that from some of the funding the state received through the CARES Act, $6 million is going to be sent to community health provider agencies and $1 million for the Alabama Department of Mental Health’s (ADMH) Crisis and Recovery Services program. 
  • ADMH will distribute the $6 million among about 300 agencies eligible for funds. Ivey said in a statement, “Like people around the globe, the people of our state are suffering, and I remain committed to providing the necessary support to get our state and her people back on our feet.”

6. Drop everything and get counted

610

  • With a lot a stake for the state of Alabama, it is increasingly important that every Alabama resident take part in the 2020 U.S. Census. The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is making sure people know that by declaring today, “Drop Everything, Get Counted Day”
  • Kenneth Boswell, Alabama Counts! chairman and ADECA director makes the reasoning pretty clear, saying, “It should take each person roughly six minutes, but these six minutes are vital to Alabama’s future.” He is calling on employers to take time out of the day to ask employees to participate and then give them time to do so online.

5. TVA CEO pay being reviewed

  •  After President Donald Trump called out the Tennessee Valley Authority, the board reversed their foreign hiring decision, and now they are reviewing the $8.1 million in compensation for Tennessee Valley Authority president Jeff Lyash, interim chairman of the TVA board John Ryder has announced.
  • Ryder said that the board is committed “to doing what is best for the 10 million people in the Tennessee Valley.” He made sure to clarify that the review wasn’t of Lyash’s job performance, only of his pay that has made him the highest-paid federal employee.

4. Still no deal on coronavirus stimulus

  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has said that throughout stimulus package negotiations, Democrats have been treating the pandemic as a “political game” as they are still unable to come to an agreement on legislation.
  • McConnell accused Democrats of blocking relief “over unrelated liberal demands” and even blamed the press, too, for covering “their stonewalling like any ordinary political standoff.” He added that they’re doing a “disservice” to people in America “to act like this has just been more ordinary Washington gridlock.”

3. PAC 12 and the Big Ten decide they don’t want to lose to the SEC this year

  • The college football season continues to take hit after hit with two marquee conferences, the PAC 12 and the Big Ten, deciding that they will postpone their seasons until the spring. Now that two of the big five of college football’s major conferences are quitting, the pressure is now on the SEC, Big XII and ACC to call it quits as well.
  • Most of the college campuses in these two conferences will still have students on campus in the fall. Players are not happy, and Wisconsin is continuing to practice. There were rumblings that some of the dissenting schools in these leagues might seek new homes to play college football this year but that seems to have been kiboshed.

2. Lawsuit against mask mandate dismissed

  • A lawsuit against Governor Kay Ivey, State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris and the Alabama Board of Health has been dismissed by Montgomery County Circuit Judge Greg Griffin, but the attorney on the lawsuit, Seth Ashmore, has already said that his clients are planning to appeal.
  • The Jackson County residents who brought the lawsuit argued that the mask mandate was “illegally adopted” and created a “deprivation of liberty,” but the Alabama Emergency Management Act of 1955 gives the governor authority to make these sorts of mandates.

1. Surprise! Biden picked Kamala Harris

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden has officially named U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) as his running mate for the 2020 presidential election, which makes Harris the first black woman on a presidential ticket.
  • Biden and Harris will both be subject to criticism, though, as Harris formerly was critical about Biden and even said she believed the women who accused him of sexual assault and misconduct.

2 days ago

7 Things: Nick Saban and President Trump want to see college football played, Alabama leaders confused over unemployment benefits executive order, election results will probably be delayed and more …

(YHN)

7. Baldwin County Schools react to petitions calling for punishment

  • At Daphne High School, a group of cheerleaders took a picture together with a T-shirt that said “I Love Redneck Boys” on July 4, and a fellow student started a petition that gained 10,000 signatures calling for the school to take disciplinary action.
  • Baldwin County Schools has released a statement saying that the issue “has been handled at the local school level” and due to federal law, they won’t discuss specifics on any disciplinary actions “if any” are taken. Their “system has implemented sensitivity programs and Superintendent [Eddie] Tyler has stressed that we have a zero-tolerance for racism and bullying in our system,” even though there is neither in this case.

6. Alabama’s third-largest school district to open Wednesday

673

  • Baldwin County Public Schools will become the largest school district in Alabama to open schools when they open up on Wednesday, but enrollment in their virtual private school is now up to about 7,000 students, up 1,920% over the last year and make up close to 20% of the district’s enrollment.
  • Other large districts in the state, Huntsville, Madison County, Mobile and Jefferson County, have delayed in-class schooling. Baldwin will now become the focus of the Alabama media as we will receive a blow-by-blow of every infection in the area and school system as long as they resist the urge to shut down.

5. No investigation for Cuomo because CNN won’t cover it

  • There have recently been calls for an investigation into New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s (D) decision to send coronavirus positive nursing home patients back to nursing homes, but Cuomo has said that “you’d have to be blind to realize it’s not political.”
  • Cuomo also said during his press conference that looking at the sources calling for an investigation proves how political is if you “look at their political affiliations.” He added, “[L]ook at what publications raise it and what media outward networks raise it.”

4. Presidential debate coming to Alabama?

  • In a letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates, Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth (R-AL), State Majority Leader Greg Reed (R-Jasper) and State House Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville) are requesting that an additional presidential debate be scheduled and set in Alabama.
  • Arguing in favor of adding another presidential debate before many states cast absentee ballots or vote by mail, their letter states that “debates give Americans a firsthand look at each candidate’s own policies and intellect in an unscripted setting.”

3. Election results could be delayed

  • Federal Elections Commission (FEC) Commissioner Ellen Weintraub has said that there’s a “substantial chance” that the general election results won’t be fully available the night of the election, since it’s expected that there will be an influx of mail-in and absentee ballots.
  • She has said that we might just “need to take a deep breath and be patient this year,” adding that this could impact not only the presidential election but others as well. She stated, “If it takes a bit longer to count all the votes accurately, that’s what we need to do in order to ensure that everyone’s vote counts.”

2. Confusion over unemployment benefits

  • State Senator Greg Albritton (R-Atmore) and State Representative Steve Clouse (R-Ozark) have expressed concerns over President Trump’s executive order on unemployment compensation with Clouse saying, that “at first glance it doesn’t look like we could do it.” He added that the state might not be able to afford the additional benefits “until the end of the year,” but also noted that the state could use some CARES Act funding to pay the matching funds.
  • CNN is reporting that states would be allowed to use their current unemployment insurance payments as part of the required “match,” with the end result being a federal kicker of $300 — or half of what the original bill allocated when the coronavirus pandemic started.

1. Everyone who matters wants to play college football

  • Head football coach at the University of Alabama Nick Saban has voiced his support for playing college football this fall, saying his motives in wanting to play is more for the players. According to Saban, players are “a lot safer with us than they are running around at home,” but he fully expects to be criticized for his opinion, even with SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey on board, too.
  • Saban clearly supports the “#WeWantToPlay” movement that was partially started by Alabama running back Najee Harris, as does President Donald Trump (and Tommy Tuberville) who tweeted out his support by saying, “The student-athletes have been working too hard for their season to be cancelled. #WeWantToPlay.” Trump was instantly attacked by some in the sports media.

3 days ago

Madison County Commission says it will not break the law to remove a Confederate monument

(@whnt/Twitter)

Alabama is obviously not immune from the racial strife gripping the United States. In recent months, we have seen statues come down, a state representative attended a birthday party for Nathan Bedford Forrest, small riots and acts of vandalism.

Like most Americans, Alabamians have generally accepted that the Confederate memorials all over the state on courthouse squares and in public parks are going to come down. Some are headed to cemeteries, some are headed to storage, and the fate of many is still unknown.

In Madison County, the Huntsville City Council and the Madison County Commission have both voted to move its controversial Confederate statue, and a new resting place at Maple Hill Cemetery has been selected. However, the monument still remains.

373

That monument was vandalized last week, and Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong did not want to use taxpayer resources to clean it up, so it stands defaced and ugly near the steps of the Madison County Courthouse.

Strong appeared on WVNN’s “The Dale Jackson Show” on Monday and made it clear he wasn’t going to clean it up or force county employees to do so, but he hinted that if someone wanted to clean it up in the dead-of-night, like when it was vandalized, they should have at it.

In the interview, Strong voiced frustration with recent reporting that indicated he and the Madison County Commission have not reached out to Attorney General Steve Marshall’s office seeking a way to remove the statue and pay a $25,000 fine.

The commission views this as a non-starter. Strong believes attempting to “negotiate” breaking the law is a violation of his oath of office. Instead, he “filed an application of waiver with the committee based on a law that was written in 2017,” he advised.

Strong is worried about precedent, saying, “[T]here’s a lot of hesitation in contacting the attorney general. What happens if the next time someone that somebody desires to remove the name Jefferson Street, Washington Street or they don’t like the name on a building? What do we do? Just go in here and let somebody set a fee, pay the fee, and say hey just remove whatever you want to?”

My takeaway:

This is what should be done. The Alabama Memorial Preservation Act is the law of the land and it has been upheld.

Obviously, Chairman Strong is right. The law needs to be followed, and if it is unwieldy, change the law. If you don’t, we will be seeing attempts to move historic markers, veterans memorials and the like that are followed by the presentation of a cartoonish $25,000 check.

Society cannot just ignore the laws we dislike and pay a fine and move on. The precedent is bad, and the Madison County Commission and its chairman want no part of it.

Listen:


Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN.

3 days ago

7 Things: Trump signs executive order for economic relief, Jones is ready to test Tuberville, the college football season is on shaky ground and more …

(YHN)

7. This would make more sense if there was a VP pick for Biden

  • Even though presumptive Democratic presidential nominee former Vice President Joe Biden hasn’t made, or announced, a final decision on who his running mate will be, the defense of that pick is already underway, referring to the coming criticism as sexist and racist with “women’s groups” already gearing up to call all detractors names.
  • According to NBC News, the groups are putting news outlets “on notice” and then ridiculously saying, “We’re not saying any attack on a woman is sexist. We’re not saying that any criticism of a woman is unfair,” as Christina Reynolds, vice president of communications at Emily’s List is quoted.

6. Child care facilities have remained open

636

  • Of the 2,410 child care facilities throughout Alabama, 63% have stayed open throughout the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Alabama Department of Human Resources. That’s compared to the 12% that stayed open in the initial shut down, and there has been no reported outbreak among children.
  • The department also reported that 501 child care facilities or providers have received a total of $7 million in financial aid through Temporary Assistance for Stabilizing Child Care grant program, but 58% of facilities have had financial challenges during the pandemic.

5. Coastal cities behind in Census

  • Alabama has a statewide average response rate of 60.7% for the 2020 U.S. Census, but Gulf Shores at 35.9%, Orange Beach at 18.3% and Dauphin Island at 27.7%, are all surprisingly far behind in their responses. This is a trend being seen in other parts of the country, too. 
  • In other tourist cities, responses for the Census are well below state averages, like in Gatlinburg, TN, where participation is at 18.5%, and Destin, FL, is at 31%. Florida and Tennessee have statewide averages over 60%, but these low response rates have been attributed to the higher volume of rental homes in the area and owners have likely not responded to the Census yet. 

4. Viral Georgia school closed

  • The Georgia high school, North Paulding High School, that gained national attention after a picture of a crowded hallway was posted to social media, has decided to close the school for in-class learning and will change to virtual classes since nine students and staff have been diagnosed with the coronavirus.
  • The virtual classes will only be until Tuesday at least, and the school district will notify parents if in-class learning will continue after that, but the closure is being used to sanitize facilities.

3. College football had a bad weekend

  • Much to the pleasure of the American media (even the sports media), college football appears to be headed towards more cancellation this week after last week saw both the MAC and Connecticut football both cancel their seasons. according to giddy reporting, more conferences are ready to follow suit.
  • According to CBS Sports, “prominent athletic directors spoke to CBS Sports” and told them that the season is all but done. The cancellation of the season was painted as a “when not if” situation with PAC-12 and Big Ten allegedly inching towards a delay.

2. Jones doesn’t think Tuberville has been tested

  • During this week’s edition of “Capitol Journal” on Alabama Public Television, U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) said that during the primary, former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions didn’t “hardly touch” on important issues with former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville and he hasn’t been tested on issues that matter. 
  • Jones also said that when it comes to the recent polling data that shows Tuberville 17 points ahead of Jones, he doesn’t have a lot of “stock” in that data, mentioning how the polls were incorrect during the special election when Jones was elected in 2017. 

1. Unemployment extended

  • As the House and Senate couldn’t come to an agreement, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to extend unemployment benefits of $400 per week, a deferral on student loan payments and payroll tax, and a hold on select evictions, with Trump saying that “if Democrats continue to hold this critical relief hostage I will act under my authority as president to get Americans the relief they need.”
  • Democrats have voiced displeasure with President Donald Trump’s most recent executive order, and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has warned that if Democrats decide to challenge the order legally, there would likely be a delay in assistance to Americans that many deem necessary.

4 days ago

VIDEO: Alabama coronavirus numbers drop, 200,000 students will be tested before class starts, Tuberville and Trump have huge leads and more on Alabama Politics This Week …

Radio talk show host Dale Jackson and Alabama Democratic Executive Committee member Lisa Handback take you through this week’s biggest political stories, including:

— Are the masks working?

— How will the state react to the numbers after 200,000 college students are tested before school starts back?

— Are President Donald Trump and GOP U.S. Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville sitting on insurmountable leads in Alabama?

Jackson and Handback are joined by Alabama Arise’s Jane Adams to discuss Medicaid expansion and progressive politics in Alabama.

68

Jackson closes the show with a “parting shot” directed at all the education officials who want to cancel classes without thinking about the long-term ramifications of that decision and how people will respond politically to this in the future.

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN.

6 days ago

7 Things: College students with coronavirus will be isolated, PPP saved 672,861 jobs, State Rep. Dismukes has another bad day and more …

(YHN)

7. Fauci is already looking at coronavirus next year

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci has predicted that the coronavirus is going to be something that we live with for a while since it’s unlikely that we’ll be able to completely get rid of it due to how “highly transmissible” it is.
  • Fauci said that we need a “combination of a good vaccine and attention to public health measures,” and he doesn’t mean more shutdowns, but we could be wearing masks and social distancing for quite some time. Fauci added that “by the time we get through 2021 and go around for another cycle that we’ll have this under control.”

6. No plans to clean the Madison County monument

553

  • Madison County Commission Chair Dale Strong has addressed the issue of the vandalized Confederate monument outside the Madison County courthouse in downtown Huntsville, saying, “It will be left as is for now.”
  • Strong clarified that there are no plans to clean the monument currently, adding, “[It] would not be right to ask county employees to do it.”

5. Democrats don’t want a deal

  • As negotiations continue between Republicans and Democrats over another coronavirus relief bill, U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) has said, “Democrats might not want a deal, politically.”
  • There’s further evidence that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) have minimal intention of reaching a deal. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has said that four offers have been made that include $600 per week unemployment benefits, but Pelosi and Schumer have rejected each offer and given no counteroffers.

4. Majority favor mask order

  • A new poll released by Hill-HarrisX shows that among registered voters, 82% would support a national mask mandate, with 61% strongly supporting and 21% somewhat supporting.
  • The age groups of 18-34 and 50-64 showed 81% support a mandate, and those in the 35-49 and 65 and over age range show 83% support a mandate, but even 66% of Republicans, 93% of Democrats and 85% of independents support a mandate.

3. Arrest warrant issued for Will Dismukes

  • State Representative Will Dismukes (R-Prattville) was ordered to report to authorities by 4:00 p.m. on Thursday per an arrest warrant issued for first-degree theft of property, which is a Class B felony. It is alleged that Dismukes stole well over $2,500 from his former employer Weiss Flooring.
  • The issue has been investigated since May 20, and the business owners were the ones who brought the allegation forward. The illegal activity is said to have happened “from 2016 to 2018,” according to Montgomery County District Attorney Daryl Bailey. Governor Kay Ivey commented on the arrest, saying, “If true, it is disappointing when a public official, elected with the confidence of the people, abuses that trust.”

2. Paycheck Protection Program saved a lot of jobs

  • It’s estimated that the Paycheck Protection Program managed to save 672,861 jobs throughout Alabama, according to a new analysis released by Business.org. Nationally, there were more than 50.9 million jobs saved.
  • There have been more than 700,000 Alabamians file for unemployment since the coronavirus pandemic started, but last week has been the lowest for unemployment claims since March with 11,692.

1. Beds being prepared to isolate college students

  • College students are returning to campuses across the state, and everyone has to be tested before classes resume. The University of Alabama board of trustees has decided to spend $1.2 million to rent out 252 apartment beds so that they will have beds free on campus in the event that students test positive and need to be isolated.
  • Their plan will free up 450 beds on campus for isolation. Keeping coronavirus positive students on campus will make meal delivery and medical attention easier, according to vice president of the division of finance and operations Matthew M. Fajack. Currently, there are 8,281 students assigned to live on campus for the fall semester.

1 week ago

7 Things: Alabamians worried about school, 200,000 students being tested won’t cause a backlog, closer to deal on extended unemployment benefits and more …

(YHN)

7. 2016 issues are still reverberating

  • With less than 100 days before the next 2020 presidential election, we are still learning the extent of the malfeasance committed by operatives in the Obama administration in regard to the Trump campaign as former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates testified before Congress that presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee former Vice President Joe Biden and then-President Barack Obama were aware of the Russia investigation before she was but said they didn’t direct it and former FBI Director James Comey went rogue.
  • It definitely appears that misdeeds were committed in 2016, and the conclusions are finally expected in the near future. Recent reports by NBC News indicate that former CIA Director John Brennan has agreed to an interview with the prosecutor in charge, Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham.

6. Twitter and Facebook block Trump’s content

696

  • President Donald Trump’s recent social media posts about the coronavirus pandemic have been taken down with Twitter and Facebook saying Trump’s comment that children are “almost immune from this disease” is a false statement and even saying, “This video includes false claims that a group of people is immune from COVID-19 which is a violation of our policies around harmful COVID misinformation.” However, his post clearly did not do that.
  • Obviously, the platforms are intentionally taking these messages down and pretending they are interpreting them in the most literal way possible, further showing the dishonesty that is prevalent in social media and the American media, as well as their willingness to put their thumbs on the scale for the presidential election.

5. Confederate statue vandalized

  • Protesting over the Confederate monument in downtown Huntsville outside of the Madison County courthouse has taken place regularly in recent months, and now someone has taken red paint of some kind and used it to vandalize the statue, but local authorities couldn’t confirm what the actual substance was.
  • The Madison County Commission has passed a resolution for the monument to be relocated to Maple Hill Cemetery, but currently, the state’s Memorial Preservation Act prohibits this. If the monument is moved without state approval, there’s a $25,000 fine that follows, but the Tennessee Valley Progressive Alliance claims they have raised the funds to pay the fine and want the statue removed.

4. Biden won’t go to Milwaukee

  • Instead of accepting the Democratic nomination at the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee, former Vice President Joe Biden will accept the nomination in Delaware. Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez said this decision reflects “the leadership Joe Biden will bring to the White House” by making decisions after seeking expert opinions.
  • This announcement also comes as both party conventions have decided to scale back their events amid the coronavirus pandemic, but Biden has said that with his decision not to attend the convention in person, he wants “to set an example as to how we should respond individually to this crisis.”

3. McConnell is willing to add $600 in unemployment benefits

  • After a lot of back and forth between members of Congress, Senate Majority Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has said that he would be willing to support extending the $600 per week in unemployment benefits, but with the specification that he’ll only support it if President Donald Trump also does.
  • Republicans have voiced concerns about passing another coronavirus relief package due to the growing deficit and the record high deficit that’s already accumulated this year due to previous relief packages, but Democrats have made it clear that they won’t support a package that doesn’t include the unemployment benefits.

2. Testing college students won’t add to backlog

  • Before students go back to school on college campuses across the state, they will first be tested for the coronavirus, which is going to be about 200,000 tests, but university and public health officials have said that this shouldn’t cause issues with people across the state also getting tested since they’re using a different testing platform for students.
  • Rather than taking anything away, the program to test college students will just be adding to the state’s capability to test, and UAB will be able to process 10,000-15,000 tests per day through the $30 million in funding provided through the CARES Act. Test results for students should come back in three or less days.

1. Pandemic concerns diagnosed

  • The Household Pulse Survey, which was created by the U.S. Census Bureau and Economic Research Service, has been collecting data on how people are handling the coronavirus pandemic since April, and a vast majority of Alabamians are concerned about school changes.
  • According to the survey, 99.6% of respondents in Alabama said they’re concerned about changes in K-12 schools, which is similar to the rest of the country, 45.8% are concerned about their employment status or loss of income, 28.5% are expecting a loss of income, 33.3% are concerned about losing their homes, and 13% are worried about food supply.

1 week ago

Mo Brooks: Democrats are banking on creating more moochers in 2020

(M. Brooks/Facebook, YHN)

The latest stimulus bill in Congress is tied up for many reasons, but a major sticking point appears to be the continuation of a $600 a week unemployment booster on top of what states already pay in benefits.

With the current impasse, there is currently no bonus to be given to those who are unemployed.

This is creating a battle between those who want to keep the bonus payment going for the foreseeable future and those who believe that the high payment is keeping people from vigorously re-entering the job market.

The stalemate in Washington, D.C. will eventually break. Some form of sweetener will be included, and the battle for stimulus will move on to the next bill.

U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) views this battle as part of the larger ideological battle in the United States.

270

Brooks appeared on WVNN’s “The Dale Jackson Show” on Wednesday and referred to the Democratic Party as “the moocher party.” He said he believes this disconnect all started in the 1960s when Democrats embraced the idea of the “Great Society.”

Brooks opined, “Democrats have discovered that’s a huge voting block that they get in elections, so one way to win an election is to turn more independent, self-reliant voters into moochers.”

The congressman from Huntsville believes this is nothing new and noted how political it all is.

“Democrats perceive that that’s going to help them tremendously in the 2020 elections just a few months from now,” he advised.

My takeaway:

Brooks, of course, is right.

The argument from the media and their Democrats is always going to be some version of: “We want to give you [this] and they don’t because they want you to die.”

Free healthcare, free childcare, free college education, and it never stops.

Stopping any of this is the equivalent of kicking a baby in the face and taking its food.

Democrats have bought into this idea for years, and in the time of rampant unemployment and a pandemic, they will kick their grievance politics into full gear to gain new power.

The House, Senate and presidency are at risk this year. Republicans can give in and extend the $600 unemployment benefit (they will), and Democrats will just move to the next free item.

In 2020, this strategy might work.

Listen:

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN.

1 week ago

7 Things: Masks working but ICUs still at risk, Alabama’s budgets are doing OK, Trump and Tuberville have huge leads and more …

(YHN)

7. Space and Rocket Center saved

  • After a $250,000 donation was made by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville exceeded the $1.5 million needed to remain open and hold space camp in April 2021.
  • Earlier this week, Boeing donated $500,000 to keep the center open. Donations came in from all 50 states and many countries internationally. U.S. Space and Rocket Center CEO and executive director Louie Ramirez said that companies that donated “are true community partners.”

6. There doesn’t seem to be any racism in the death George Floyd 

551

  • The detainment and death of George Floyd led to protests, riots, chaos, carnage, destruction and death across the United States of America after cries of racism and police brutality were used to reinvigorate the Black Lives Matter movement and transform American society, but released video shows no racism of any kind took place.
  • Floyd is shown on the tap as agitated and clearly on drugs as he resists arrest for a long period of time, and he was complaining about having claustrophobia before he was laid on the street at his request.

5. Give everyone a free mask?

  • U.S. Representatives Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Ro Khanna (D-CA) are both pushing for a “mass distribution” of free masks to be provided through the next coronavirus relief package, and they’ve sent a letter to the leadership in the House and Senate.
  • In the letter, they wrote, “[I]t’s time to take masks seriously as one of the more effective interventions we have against the virus.” They also mention in their letter the high cost of testing and contact tracing “and the trillions that we spent on economic relief, masks are a low-cost intervention.”

4. Trump is leading Biden in Alabama

  • Morning Consult released polling data recently to show how voters in Alabama may vote in the November general election, and President Donald Trump is still expected to beat former Vice President Joe Biden significantly.
  • Trump is currently leading in Alabama with 58%, while Biden is only at 36%. The poll shows 4% of Alabama voters are still undecided. This data isn’t unexpected since Alabama notoriously votes Republican.

3. Tuberville is leading substantially

  • A new poll by Morning Consult shows that former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville is leading in the U.S. Senate race against U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) by 17 points, and only 9% of those polls remained undecided.
  • Tuberville had support from 52%, compared to Jones at 35%. A previous poll earlier in the year showed Tuberville with a 14% lead over Jones, but Jones’ campaign senior adviser Joe Trippi has disputed this data, saying there’s “no way in hell Doug Jones is down by even double digits.”

2. No budget cuts

  • According to Alabama Finance Director Kelly Butler, despite slowed tax revenues throughout the state due to the coronavirus pandemic, there won’t have to be any budget cuts for the state. Some of this could be due to Governor Kay Ivey’s decision to delay the tax deadline to July 15.
  • The most recent numbers reported also show that income tax receipts for this year were actually up 0.3% compared to the last fiscal year. Butler said this verifies they “will not have to worry about proration or anything like that in the education budget for fiscal year ’20.”

1. ICU beds are nearing short supply

  • Alabama’s State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris says he believes the mask ordinance is working with coronavirus cases starting to level out throughout the state of Alabama, but Intensive Care Unit availability is still an issue.
  • Alabama Hospital Association’s Dr. Don Williamson says about 15%, or 238, of Alabama’s ICUs beds are available, but Williamson believes the concern is more about with students returning to schools where the spread could easier reach grandparents, parents and teachers.

1 week ago

7 Things: Fauci says coronavirus vaccine could be here by end of year, app will do contract tracing of Alabama college students, Trump fires TVA chairman and more …

(YHN)

7. Schiff is launching another investigation

  • The Department of Homeland Security is being requested by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) to provide information on how they conducted intelligence or monitored protests and riots in Portland, Oregon.
  • Schiff is claiming that there was “deeply troubling” surveillance, asserting that there was “monitoring of peaceful protesters” and that there have been reports of “potential exploitation of electronic devices.” The DHS has been given until August 10 to provide requested reports.

6. Jones wants work to continue on coronavirus stimulus package

620

  • U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) has joined other senators in sending a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) requesting to bring the Senate back into session to work through a coronavirus relief package.
  • In the letter, senators are calling for more unemployment aid, as the additional $600 per week benefits have expired. The senators ask that they return to session to “pass bipartisan legislation to help working American families.”

5. School laptops lost in the mail

  • In Alabama, schools are working to restart classes virtually or in-person amid the coronavirus pandemic, and now there are more than 33,000 laptops that were supposed to go to 18 school systems across the state that are stuck in customs.
  • Director of the School Superintendents of Alabama Ryan Hollingsworth said that the hold up is apparently due to a human rights dispute, but the specific dispute is unclear. The Etowah County School System has been told that the 4,000 laptops they were supposed to receive for students may not arrive until almost October.

4. Protocol information for schools released if a student or teacher is symptomatic

  • With schools across Alabama still returning to in-class learning, the Alabama Department of Public Health has released guidelines for schools to follow in the event that a student or teacher is showing symptoms of the coronavirus or tests positive for the virus.
  • If someone has symptoms, they’ll be sent home as well as anyone in close contact with them, and if a student or teacher does test positive, all those in contact will have to quarantine for two weeks. The state will not be mandating when schools have to close as it will be left up to the local school systems.

3. TVA chair fired over foreign workers

  • Tennessee Valley Authority board chairman Skip Thompson has been fired by President Donald Trump after efforts to outsource 20% of TVA’s technology jobs, which is more than 200 jobs.
  • Trump said that this should “serve as a warning to any federally appointed board: If you betray American workers, you will hear two words: ‘You’re fired.’” U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) tweeted support of Trump’s decision and also noted: “TVA executive salaries EXORBITANT.”

2. Contact tracing app launching for Alabama schools

  • The new GuideSafe app will be funded through $30 million of the CARES Act funding that Alabama received, and will feature three portions – Healthcheck, Exposure Notification and Event Passport. The app development was announced during a press conference with Alabama Department of Public Health’s State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris and officials from the University of Alabama System. 
  • College students will be required to use the app, and Exposure Notification will be used to notify those who have been in contact with a coronavirus positive person. Event Passport will be an “assessment tool for meetings, conferences, and events of more than 10 people,” according to a UAB statement. While the app will only be available to students at first, they’re hoping to bring it to the general public soon.

1. Coronavirus vaccine expected by the end of the year

  • National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease Dr. Anthony Fauci has said that the coronavirus vaccine will most likely be ready for distribution by the end of 2020 or early 2021, saying this is based off “the animal data, as well as the human data” they’ve been seeing.
  • Fauci reiterated that he doesn’t “think it’s dreaming” to expect the vaccine to be ready, and they’ve had more than 25,000 people prepare to participate in the clinical trials. The vaccine will likely be available for high-risk individuals or first responders before the general public.

1 week ago

The cancellation of in-class schooling should lead to more school choice, not less

(Pixabay, YHN)

The global coronavirus pandemic is wreaking havoc on our way of life, our economy, our politics, and with school about to start for most Americans, it is about to change how that institution works as well.

Reportedly, one-third of Alabama’s school systems will start fully online and two-thirds of schools will open with in-class options.

Each school system has these options at their disposal, and the local systems should do what they feel is best.

Parents, however, are at the mercy of elected officials and school administrators who more often than not will defer to the whims of the all-powerful education associations that still dominate local, state and federal elections.

632

The Alabama Education Associaton (AEA) is still around and still a player. In spite of their lack of popular support, Republican and Democratic politicians bow to them.

And why shouldn’t they? These groups are still able to motivate teachers and generate campaign contributions.

Is the AEA as powerful as it used to be? Obviously not. Is it still strong? Yes, very.

The school systems that have completely shelved the beginning of the school year for an online-only option are now leaving some parents in a lurch with young kids at home and no way to teach them and earn an income themselves.

But if you are an educator, you are in luck. The school systems are working to provide teachers with the ability to bring their children to school.

Huntsville City Schools has not made this choice yet, and wouldn’t you know it, but teachers are rather annoyed by this.

(Note: I shared the following posts on Facebook and many of those involved were aghast that their Facebook posts were shared, so I will just quote them)

I have 3 littles and am waiting to hear from the district so I can plan for them. You are right, when teacher mommies and daddies know that their own personal children are cared for, it makes it so much easier to go above and beyond for the children of others.

Could it work that teachers could bring their kids, The kids would be disbursed to the appropriate grade and taught in class. Mom would teach her grade level and when school is over they would go home. Their kids would be the lucky ones.

Have you heard anything about our educators, who are teaching remotely, being able to take their school-age children to their classroom? They only have a few days left to make plans.

These teachers will be allowed to bring their kids to work, and they will get what they want.

Parents? Deal with it.

Your “littles” aren’t “the lucky ones.”

You “mommies and daddies” don’t need the assurance that your “children are cared for” so you can perform.

This is embarrassing but telling. They have the stroke and they call the shots.

And why shouldn’t they? Alabama schools are 51st out of 50, so give them more power. Help kill the school year for everyone and then demand the school systems take on the responsibility and liability — and there is a liability here — so teachers can keep working.

Yes, yes, what about those babies?

The decision-makers are risk-averse, but they are also in a situation where they want to take care of the teachers.

But this is not the only concern at play.

Alabama’s political leaders should demand a special session be called to allow all parents who want their children to have the opportunity to be enrolled in an in-person classroom to have that option.

If the local school district says “no school for nine weeks,” 85% of the monies spent on their child should be given to the parents to make other plans.

This is the same percentage of money parents who take advantage of the Alabama Accountability Act receive, which teachers and their politicians hate, too.

But that’s how this works: perks for them but you just take what they decide.

What kind of assistance can this provide?

Private school? Parenting pod? Hiring childcare?

Make the parents produce receipts to get the money. It is unacceptable that the leadership has left actual parents out in the cold like this.

Something should be done for these parents. Unfortunately, nothing will be done unless your kids are one of the “lucky ones.”

Educators and politicians have left parents and students out on this one, so when this is all said and done, don’t be surprised if the push for vouchers and school choice grows.

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN

1 week ago

7 Things: No fines for violators of the mask ordinance, no issues found in Alabama nursing homes, Biden urged to avoid debate stage and more …

(YHN)

7. Overnight camp in Georgia sees outbreak

  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Georgia Department of Public Health have published a report showing that 231 children and 29 adults at an overnight camp in Georgia tested positive for the coronavirus after attending the camp in June and after “camp attendees engaged in a variety of indoor and outdoor activities that included daily vigorous singing and cheering, which might have contributed to transmission.”
  • The CDC said that this situation provides more “evidence demonstrating that children of all ages are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection and, contrary to early reports, might play an important role in transmission.” At the camp, there were only 344 people tested, so 76% of tests were positive.

6. Americans just want sports, sports refuses

626

  • Both the NBA and MLB saw significant ratings drop-off after their perspective opening games while the leagues have force-fed the American public social justice messaging at every opportunity as opposed to offering them an escape.
  • This ratings collapse comes as Americans are trapped inside their homes, with movie theaters, concerts and other entertainment options lacking, but the media and their Democrats continue to cram a message down the throat of the American people, who can’t really openly oppose but have decided to ignore it.

5. Space and Rocket Center gets help from Boeing

  • The U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville previously announced that if they didn’t raise $1.5 million soon, they’d have to close their doors, and now Boeing has donated $500,000 to their “Save Space Camp” campaign. 
  • Thanks to the Boeing donation, the Center has now raised more than $1.1 million, but there have also been donations from individuals from all 50 states and more than 6,000 individuals worldwide. 

4. The coronavirus relief bill has stalled

  • The most recent coronavirus relief package in the U.S. Senate, the HEALS Act, has stalled, and U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) doesn’t think Democrats are “serious about really providing effective relief.” He said that after the HEROES Act was passed in May, he didn’t think they would “negotiate in good faith.”
  • Johnson also provided some financial perspective on the relief packages, with previous packages being $2.9 trillion, saying that’s “about 13.5 percent of last year’s economy” with the HEROES Act being “$3 trillion, basically another 13, 14 percent. It’s just not a serious proposal.”

3. Biden advised to hide in his basement

  • While former Vice President Joe Biden continues to be told to say he is ready to debate President Donald Trump, his advisors, supporters and the American media are reminding him that they will support him no matter what he does so there is no reason for him to expose himself on the debate stage for millions of Americans to judge his abilities.
  • CNN political analyst and former Clinton White House spokesman Joe Lockhart told Biden and CNN’s audience, “Whatever you do, don’t debate Trump.” Hillary Clinton senior adviser Zac Petkanas tweeted, “Biden shouldn’t feel obligated to throw Trump a lifeline by granting him any debates at all. This is not a normal presidential election and Trump is not a legitimate candidate.”

2. No issues within nursing homes

  • After nursing homes across the state saw high rates of coronavirus deaths and infections, the Alabama Department of Public Health had to inspect and evaluate the facilities, but there were no issues found and now there are some questioning the inspections.
  • Senior policy attorney for the Center for Medicare Advocacy Toby Edelman said that finding no issues within the facilities “is really quite implausible,” especially when 50% of nursing homes in the state had infection control issues, according to a report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

1. No citations are being issued for ignoring mask mandate

  • When the statewide mask mandate was issued, Governor Kay Ivey did emphasize education instead of citations for people who violate the mandate, and so far, that has been true since police and sheriff departments in Mobile, Montgomery and Jefferson counties haven’t issued any citations for those not wearing masks.
  • Ivey has said that the reason for “the mask mandate was not to penalize people but to inform them of urgency and importance of wearing a face mask can help provide as we slow down this pandemic.” With slightly over two weeks of the mask ordinance behind us, Alabama saw a huge number of new coronavirus cases on Sunday.

2 weeks ago

VIDEO: Will Dismukes’ troubles mount, calls for more stimulus may never end, Governor Kay Ivey keeps the masks on and more on Alabama Politics This Week …

Radio talk show host Dale Jackson and Alabama Democratic Executive Committee member Lisa Handback take you through this week’s biggest political stories, including:

— Can State Rep. Will Dismukes (R-Prattville) survive the latest news to come out of the event he appeared at for Nathan Bedford Forrest?

— Will politicians in Washington, D.C. ever be able to stop creating stimulus programs without the economy totally collapsing?

— How much longer will we be wearing masks in public?

Jackson and Handback are joined by Yellowhammer News reporter Henry Thornton to talk about all that is happening in Montgomery in regard to Dismukes, prison reform and more.

45

Jackson closes the show with a “parting shot” aimed at people trying to defend Dismukes and those holding a 199th birthday party for Nathan Bedford Forrest.

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=304131553974923

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN.

2 weeks ago

7 Things: Trump suggests an election delay, UAB doctor says masks are working, SEC says no non-conference games and more …

(YHN)

7. Tuberville didn’t quarantine when he traveled to D.C.

  • Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has listed many states as “hot spots” and requires any “non-essential” visitors to quarantine for two weeks after arriving in the area, and while Alabama is on the list of “hot spots,” former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville, Alabama’s GOP senatorial nominee, didn’t abide by quarantine rules upon arriving.
  • Criticism came after a picture of U.S. Representative Bruce Westerman (R-AR) and Tuberville was released where neither man is wearing a mask or social distancing, but campaign manager Paul Shashy said that Tuberville wasn’t on a “non-essential” visit. According to Shashy, Tuberville “was working hard to help determine the direction of this nation for the next several years” and bring back “sanity” to the U.S. House, adding he wants to “make sure Alabama has a U.S. Senator who represents Alabama values.”

6. Pop-up hospitals being planned for coronavirus pandemic

713

  • While Alabama tries to get a grip on the coronavirus problem, hospitals continue to worry about patient count and a potential surge, so a plan is being created to create pop-up hospitals as seen in New York City earlier this year.
  • Alabama Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris discussed this on Wednesday and said contingency plans are being made, saying the Alabama National Guard is scouting locations across the state but no details were given.

5. Teachers are uncomfortable returning to classrooms

  • The Alabama Education Association conducted a survey and found that 65% of administrators, support personnel and teachers in Alabama are “very uncomfortable” returning to school facilities this academic year. The survey found 50% of teachers have underlying health conditions that make them at risk for the coronavirus.
  • Teachers across the country have worked tirelessly to demand the school year start online. Some are now declaring that if they don’t get their way they will strike, and some are demanding they either not be forced to return to the classroom to teach online or that they are allowed to bring their kids to the classroom with them because they don’t have childcare.

4. Auburn professor showing his true feelings about police

  • Jesse A. Goldberg, Ph.D., is starting at Auburn University as a “Lecturer of African American & American Literature and Composition in the English Department” in the fall, and this week he tweeted “F—k every single cop.” He claimed that the “only ethical choice” for any police officer “is to refuse to do their job and quit,” and Goldberg labeled cops as “instruments of violence on behalf of capital.”
  • Executive director of Public Affairs at Auburn Brain Keeter said Goldberg’s statement is “inexcusable and completely counter to Auburn values,” adding that Auburn does “not support hateful words or actions that degrade, disrespect or exclude,” and “officials are considering options available at the university.”

3. Conference only schedule for SEC

  • The Southeastern Conference has decided to go forward on a 10-game schedule for the 2020 college football season, and games will only be played against other SEC teams. The season is set to start on September 26.
  • Even though the season is being delayed by three more weeks, the SEC Championship is still scheduled for December 19. SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said this “schedule is consistent with the educational goals of our universities to allow for the sale and orderly return to campus of their student populations.”

2. UAB doctor says masks are working

  • With a high of 1,851 as the seven-day average of new coronavirus cases, case numbers fell close to 1,600 just two weeks after Governor Kay Ivey put out the statewide mask mandate, which provides a little hope that we’re moving in the right direction. However, some are skeptical that the decrease directly relates to the wearing of masks.
  • Director of UAB’s Division of Infectious Diseases Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo said that with hospitalizations “we’re at a precariously stable point.” She said that masks have definitely helped new coronavirus cases across the state level off, but Marrazzo also added that a main area of concern is over the state’s positive test rate of 18%. Marrazzo added that “much is going to happen, or be determined by what happens, in the next seven to 14 days.”

1. We aren’t delaying the election

  • In an attempt to voice concern about the mail-in voting system, President Donald Trump tweeted that mail-in voting will cause the general election to “be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history” and suggested delaying the elections. Later, he clarified, “I want to have the election. But I also don’t want to wait for three months and find out that all the ballots are all missing and the election won’t mean anything. That’s what’s going to happen, and everyone knows it.”
  • During a radio interview in Kentucky, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said that the election date is set and won’t change. U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) tweeted, “No, Mr. President. We’re not delaying the election.” A senior administration official explained the issue, saying Trump “is simply raising a question, whereas Democrats are proposing an entirely new system…that will result in enormous delays in the election results.”

2 weeks ago

Huntsville will not be painting political slogans on the street even though other cities in Alabama allow it

(City of Birmingham/Twitter, YHN)

Cities around the country have acquiesced to mobs that want to spread the message of “Black Lives Matter.” In addition to peaceful protests, we have also seen marches, encampments and even riots.

Additionally, some cities have decided to allow the local community activists to have access to public streets to put murals on the road declaring that “Black Lives Matter.”

While black lives clearly do matter, the political sloganeering and the local officials who allow it open the door to others who would like to get their political messaging out to the masses and not doubt would appreciate the tacit endorsement of the local government that their message is valid.

380

In fact, a former Alabama state senator was arrested this week for trying to put “Good Trouble” and “Expand Medicaid” outside of the Alabama State House.

Clearly, this is a development that could, and should, lead to an arms race that sees groups seek places to put their message.

If “Black Lives Matter” is given the space, why not “Taxed Enough Already,” “Back the Blue” or even offensive messages like “White Power?”

The law is pretty clear here, which is why you see Ku Klux Klan rallies in public places. The cities cannot pick and choose what messages it allows. It either shuts this stuff down or everything is fair game.

In Huntsville, there were competing fundraisers for murals for “Black Lives Matter” and “Back The Blue.” (FULL DISCLOSURE: I started the second one and raised over $2,500)

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle doesn’t want any part of this.

He said Thursday on Huntsville WVNN’s “The Dale Jackson show, “[W]hen you open that Pandora’s Box, there’s no telling what’s going to end up on the streets.”

Battle also acknowledged once it starts, it never stops.

“[I]f you let one go, then you have a second or third or fourth, and then you get into freedom of speech rights and everything else,” he added.

My takeaway:

I was obviously glad to hear this. The point of my fundraiser was to kill all of this before it got out of hand in the city in which I live.

The goal was clear, as I wrote:

I am a taxpayer in the city, I care about black lives, and I back the blue, but I also don’t want this divisive nonsense in my streets because all it does is create problems.

Obviously, “Black Lives Matter,” but how about “Back the Blue?” Neither statement cancels out the other. But if the city is going to let public space be used for political statements, my political statement should be allowed as well.

Hopefully, the city rejects this silly idea.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

So as soon as Mayor Battle said this wasn’t going to happen, I shut down my fundraiser and started the process of refunding the money.

Listen:

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN.

2 weeks ago

7 Things: Alabama’s mask order extended, Dismukes resigns from his church while calls continue for his official resignation, wait before commenting on the governor’s weight and more …

(YHN)

7. Huntsville and Birmingham are the best for business

  • Business Facilities magazine has released its annual State and Metro Rankings Report for the best business climates, and Huntsville and Birmingham both topped categories on the list.
  • Huntsville was ranked first for small-sized metro area for business, and Birmingham was first in a mid-size metro area. Overall, Alabama was listed as fourth. Alabama Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield said this is “another testament to the advantages that our state possesses for businesses across the globe.”

6. Tech CEOs questioned by Congress

679

  • Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Sundar Pichai of Google, Tim Cook of Apple and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook all went before the House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee for questioning about competitors, censorship, antitrust laws and bias against conservatives.
  • Subcommittee Chairman U.S. Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) said this is “the most bipartisan issue” in a long time, and added, “Our founders did not bow before a king and we should not bow before the emperors of the online economy.” U.S. Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH) said that “big tech” targets conservatives, but the CEOs argued that they acted within the legal limits and within their rights, even with Zuckerberg saying they “have distinguished ourselves as one that defends freedom of expression the most.”

5. Brooks has endorsed Tuberville

  • U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) is being challenged by former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville in the November general election, and now U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) has endorsed Tuberville by highlighting his support of President Donald Trump in his endorsement.
  • Brooks said that “Socialist Democrats like Doug Jones, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez threaten America’s national security, suppress American worker wages, and take needed American jobs from struggling American families.” He’s asking voters that want a strong border and “support freedom and liberty” to also vote for Tuberville.

4. Many Alabamians could face eviction

  • Due to the coronavirus pandemic and the economic fallout that earlier shutdowns caused, there are many people in Alabama that could potentially be evicted from their rental homes, according to a study by Stout Risius Ross, a global advisory firm. This comes as President Donald Trump is asking Congress to extend an eviction ban for some renters.
  • The study shows that 48.25% of renters in Alabama — 246,000 households — could be evicted, and 31% of housing in Alabama are rental properties. Other estimates, like those from Alabama Arise, suggest that there could be as high as 361,600 households evicted.

3. “A lady never discusses her age or her figure—a true gentleman doesn’t either” 

  • As Governor Kay Ivey announced that the “Safer-At-Home” order would be extended until August 31, Alabama Board of Education member Wayne Reynolds was watching through AL.com’s live stream and commented on Ivey’s appearance, saying “she is gaining weight.” He later defended himself by saying that it wasn’t “meant to be derogatory” and he was commenting as a private citizen.
  • Reynolds was interviewed by AL.com and clarified that Ivey “looked heavy in that white suit” and that he “just made an observation” but he observed that “a lady in pink that came out before her that looked quite slim.” Ivey responded to the comment, saying, “A lady never discusses her age or her figure—a true gentleman doesn’t either.”

2. State Rep. Dismukes resigns from his church

  • After attending the 199th birthday celebration for the first Grand Wizard and Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, State Representative Will Dismukes (R-Pratville) has resigned as an Alabama Baptist bivocational pastor at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church as the fallout from his Facebook post on the matter makes national news.
  • Additional information on the event has come to light as State Representative Christopher England (D-Tuscaloosa) posted a flier from the event that includes the “Unreconstructed Band” and “ice-cold watermelon served from PICKANINNY FREEZE WATERMELON STAND,” which make it far harder to make the argument that this is about anything other than, at best, tone-deaf bad judgment, but Dismukes still says has no plans to resign from the legislature.

1. Masks today, masks tomorrow, masks forever

  • During a press conference with State Health Director Dr. Scott Harris, Governor Kay Ivey announced that she’s extending the statewide mask mandate, which was set to expire on Friday, until August 31.
  • Ivey also announced that any teachers and students in 2nd grade and higher will be required to wear masks within school buildings. With the current mask mandate, the state has seen the seven-day average of coronavirus cases go from 1,851 to 1,594.

2 weeks ago

7 Things: Zero coronavirus deaths reported, Alabama Republicans continue to distance themselves from Dismukes, Schumer says there is no negotiation on new stimulus funding and more …

(YHN)

7. Space and Rocket Center faces possibly closing

  • Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville has announced that $1.5 million is needed to keep their doors open, otherwise, they’ll have to close permanently. The organization has said they’ve lost two-thirds of their revenue.
  • The Center is asking for public support through their Save Space Camp campaign for people to donate through. On the page, they specified they’ll have to close in October if they can’t raise more funds. It’s estimated that the Center adds about $120 million to the North Alabama economy.

6. Tuberville gets National Right to Life endorsement

659

  • Former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville will be up against U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) in November, and Tuberville on Tuesday was endorsed by the largest pro-life group in the nation, National Right to Life.
  • A distinct reason for their endorsement is Tuberville’s support of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which wouldn’t allow abortions after 20 weeks. Jones has voted against the legislation; the organization also said the senator “supports a policy of abortion on demand.”

5. Attorney General Barr is brought to Capitol Hill so Democrats can get videos for fundraising

  • A clearly partisan embarrassment was on display Tuesday when Attorney General William Barr sat before the House Judiciary Committee to answer questions. Unfortunately for anyone interested in his answers, Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives used their time to berate him and left little time for him to respond to their inquiries.
  • Barr’s frustration with the questions and lack of time for answers led to him asking about the current riots in major American cities and Democrat silence on those matters. He stated, “What makes me concerned for the country is that this is the first time in my memory that the leaders of one of our great two political parties, the Democratic Party, are not coming out and condemning mob violence and the attack on federal courts.” Barr added, “Why can’t we just say: ‘Violence against federal courts has to stop?’ Could we hear something like that?”

4. Former state senator arrested in Montgomery

  • Former State Senator Hank Sanders and several others were arrested in Montgomery in front of the State Capitol as they attempted to spray paint “Good Trouble” and “Expand Medicaid” on the street. This happened just after a group known for advocating for expanding Medicaid, Alabama SaveOurselves Movement for Justice and Democracy, held a news conference.
  • Tuskegee Mayor Johnny Ford claimed that “[m]ore than 300,000 Alabamians would benefit in terms of having affordable and accessible health care” if Governor Kay Ivey expanded Medicaid. He added that “the new civil rights struggle is health rights.” This marks the second time that members of this group of activists have been arrested.

3. Schumer won’t negotiate

  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) released the HEALS Act, which only included funding for $200 in additional unemployment benefits, instead of $600 per week, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has said that those unemployment benefits are non-negotiable.
  • House Minority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) referenced House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), saying, “We don’t have red lines, we have values.” He emphasized that unemployment benefits are negotiable, but Schumer responded to this by saying they “don’t believe that” and that the benefits need to be kept until at least January 31. He credited those benefits for “why the economy is creeping back up.”

2. Dismukes’ actions shouldn’t reflect representatives

  • State Representative Danny Garrett (R-Trussville) spoke out against State Representative Will Dismukes (R-Prattville) attending the birthday party of Nathan Bedford Forrest on social media. In a radio interview, he explained why he doesn’t want Dismukes’ actions to represent other members of the legislature.
  • Garrett said that members of the legislature have been having important “conversations about what we can do to move relationships between black and white members and our constituents forward,” and added that Dismukes’ post about the party and things like it “undermine” those efforts.

1. Lower day for coronavirus cases

  • The Alabama Department of Public Health has reported the most recent coronavirus case numbers at 1,180 in one day across the state, making the total number of cases 80,309, which is a slight decrease in daily totals.
  • There were no recorded deaths on Tuesday, but there have been 1,446 deaths in the state. There are currently 1,599 people hospitalized. Jefferson County added 143 cases, Madison County had 113, Montgomery County had 70, and Mobile County added 134 cases.

2 weeks ago

Dale Jackson: Root for the mask order, and ask Governor Ivey to extend it

(Hal Yeager/Governor's Office)

For close to two weeks, Alabama has been under the tyranny of a mask order implemented by Governor Kay Ivey. I hope everyone is OK.

We heard about the horror stories of oxygen levels and pre-existing breathing conditions that make wearing a mask impossible but for some reason don’t put you at risk of worse outcomes because of the virus.

We still haven’t seen the body bags full of dead people who were forced to wear masks. We also haven’t gotten videos of people raging at Wal-Mart employees.

225

I personally witnessed a total of four people without masks in a public place: a family in Wal-Mart and one angry person at Home Depot.

We had some knuckleheads on the Internet complaining about the order, but most Alabamians put on their masks and went on about their business. However, a real estate agent has sued over it.

Has the mask order worked? Madison County seems to think so, but it is truly too soon to know.

Whether the illness takes 14 days to show itself or 10 days is up for debate, but either way, we still don’t know if the order is going to have any impact at this point.

Some numbers have leveled off, which is typically what happens before they start going down.

For those rooting against this, look at how ridiculous government is willing to be in other states.

In New Jersey, gym owners have been arrested. In California, lockdown is back. In Alabama, we are now closing bars at 11:00 p.m.

Does the coronavirus operate under the rules of the “Gremlins” universe? Obviously not, but the government is making it pretty clear that they are just throwing stuff at the wall.

For Governor Kay Ivey, this is simple: Extend this mask order, and pray that it works.

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN.

2 weeks ago

7 Things: Calls for State Rep. Dismukes to resign, latest coronavirus stimulus package moves forward, state ABC board closes bars after 11:00 p.m. and more …

(YHN)

7. Out of state hospitals want Alabama’s help

  • The coronavirus pandemic is clearly putting a strain on medical facilities across the country, and now David Spillers, CEO of the Huntsville Hospital Healthcare System, has claimed that hospitals in Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee and South Alabama have requested to move patients to North Alabama, which he rejected.
  • Spillers explained that the hospitals were “all asking to transfer patients to Huntsville Hospital because the hospitals in their area were full.” He added, “They felt like they could not take any more COVID patients. We were unable to accept those patients because we were dealing with the patients we have here in north Alabama.”

6. The push to cancel schools continues 

725

  • Green and Sumter Counties have delayed all sports for nine weeks and Birmingham City Schools has canceled middle school sports. Jefferson County Health Officer Dr. Mark Wilson has recommended to superintendents across the county that middle schoolers and high schoolers not return to the classroom for the first nine weeks of this school year and younger grades should only be in the classroom if there’s isolated groups, social distancing and masks.
  • Wilson said that due to the current level of coronavirus spread occurring in the area, “there is a considerable chance that cases of COVID-19 will occur among students/and or staff despite precautions in the schools.” Wilson also warned, “If classes are not stringently isolated from one another, whole schools may end up having to close.” He recommended canceling or postponing “close contact sports.”

5. Huntsville is one of the best cities to live in

  • Business Insider is starting to examine which cities would be best to live in after the coronavirus pandemic, and it’s been determined that Huntsville is the top Southern city to live in and 13th-best nationally. 
  • Decatur was ranked the 19th-best Southern city to live in post-pandemic. These rankings were determined by unemployment rates before the pandemic, housing costs and how many jobs in the area that can be done remotely.

4. Renaming U.S. Highway 80 highway for John Lewis

  • In a letter written to Governor Kay Ivey, the seven U.S. Representatives in Alabama are requesting that the part of U.S. Highway 80 between Montgomery and Selma be renamed the “John R. Lewis Voting Rights Highway” after U.S. Representative John Lewis (D-GA) passed away.
  • Members wrote that “sacrifices made by John Lewis in the 1965 Selma to Montgomery marches were essential to advancing civil rights to countless Americans.” the portion of the highway that would be renamed is “from the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma to the city of Montgomery.” The letter reasoned, “[T]his was the 54-mile stretch of highway where the march to Montgomery took place.”

3. Coronavirus only spreads after 11:00 p.m, apparently

  • As a way to try and prevent the further spread of the coronavirus, the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board has decided to ban the sale of alcohol at any establishment after 11:00 p.m., starting August 1. 
  • This was done to try and limit “social gatherings,” according to ABC Board administrator Mac Gipson. ABC Board chair Col. Alan Spencer emphasized that this won’t be a long-term rule, but they “will relieve this restriction as soon as possible.”

2. The HEALS Act is here

  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Republicans have released their new economic relief package, and McConnell said that he hopes this legislative package won’t provoke “partisan cheap shots” or “the predictable, tired, old rhetoric as though these were ordinary times and the nation could afford ordinary politics.”
  • The $1 trillion package includes $100 billion for schools, another round of $1,200 stimulus checks, another round of the Paycheck Protection Program, $200 per week of additional of unemployment benefits instead of $600 per week, lability protections for churches, businesses, charities, schools, nurses and doctors, $20 billion for vaccine development, $16 billion for coronavirus testing, and funding for farmers and military.

1. Dismukes has denounced the KKK, but calls for his head continue

  • State Representative Will Dismukes (R-Prattville) previously posted a picture of himself attending and speaking at the birthday celebration of the first grand wizard of the KKK and Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, and while he has since disavowed the KKK, he left much to be desired from his statement
  • Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan commented on the issue, saying those elected in Alabama are held “to a high standard of actions.” She also criticized Dismukes for not explaining why he was at the birthday celebration and called his statement “shallow in understanding.” The College of Republican Federation of Alabama and many Alabama Democrats have asked for Dismukes’ resignation. House Speaker Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia) pointed out that many representatives spent the weekend honoring the life of U.S. Representative John Lewis (D-GA) who he noted is “an Alabama native and civil rights icon who dedicated his life to securing freedom, liberty, and equality for all Americans.”

2 weeks ago

Dale Jackson: No, Nathan Bedford Forrest cannot have a birthday party

(Will Dismukes/Facebook)

It is stupid to have a birthday party for anyone that has been dead for a century-plus.

It is incredibly stupid to have a birthday party for a long-dead Confederate general and former Ku Klux Klan leader.

It is indescribably stupid for a state representative to participate in such an event, but here we are as State Rep. Will Dismukes (R-Prattville) has found himself in hot water for posting pictures of himself at an annual celebration of Nathan Bedford Forrest’s birthday.

369

We are in the middle of a lot of racial strife in this country.

Black Lives Matter, as a cause and a political statement, is the strongest movement in America right now.

That movement’s growth is not fed by well-thought-out reasoning and arguments about the end of the nuclear family and defunding of the police. It is fed by rage.

Rage about George Floyd’s death at the hands of police officers.

Rage about Confederate monuments, Christopher Columbus statues and Ulysses S. Grant busts alike.

Rage about federal police showing up in Portland after mobs have tried to burn down a courthouse for the last 50 days.

This isn’t about reason. It is about anger.

A birthday party for a Klansman attended by a state representative is not only stupid, but it is also irresponsible for a bunch of different reasons:

  1. Forrest is a former Klansman.
  2. Dismukes is an adult.
  3. Dismukes represents Alabama.
  4. Dismukes represents the Alabama House of Representatives.
  5. Dismukes represents his district.
  6. Dismukes represents his political party and movement.

Dismukes’ district is in Prattville, Alabama, and the “Alabama” part gives dishonest members of the media yet another reason to beat up this state as a home of backward racist rednecks pining for the Confederacy, because that is exactly what it looks like. You can’t even blame them in this case.

Now, every Republican in the state has to answer for Dismukes’ actions. They can say nothing or give some mealy-mouthed response about Southern pride. Or, they can do what State Representative Danny Garrett (R-Trussville) did when he spoke out against this on Sunday.

As Garrett states, Dismukes is celebrating a Klansman as former U.S. Representative John Lewis (D-GA) is traveling across a bridge where he was once beaten to the point of his skull being fractured.

What is Dismukes thinking?

This is embarrassing and a lack of judgment by a man who is supposed to be a leader in this state.

Dismukes has failed this state, his district, his party and general decency.

But maybe he represents the thoughts of his district. If that is true, there are major issues in that.

This failure should be denounced by every Republican in Alabama.

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN.

2 weeks ago

7 Things: Coronavirus cases could be slowing, big testing push for Alabama college students, AG disputes DOJ’s prison report and more …

(YHN)

7. Cruz: Democrats are keeping schools closed to hurt Trump

  • U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) appeared on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” and accused Democrats of trying to keep businesses and schools closed as a way to hurt President Donald Trump in the upcoming election, which is now less than 100 days away.
  • Cruz said that the Democrats have “cynically decided [the] best way to defeat Donald Trump is to shut down every business in America, shut down every school in America.” This is a thought shared by others as Democrats continue to push unemployment benefits rather than payroll tax cuts in the upcoming economic relief packages.

6. Jones wants to extend unemployment benefits

714

  • During a Facebook Live press conference, U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) mentioned his support of extending the $600 per week unemployment benefits that the CARES Act has provided throughout the coronavirus pandemic, but what he “really would favor is something that can pass Congress.”
  • Members of the Senate should see the details of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) new stimulus package early this week, but Jones said that he’s “concerned the unemployment benefits are going to get even worse,” as Paycheck Protection Program benefits are set to expire soon, too. 

5. More checks are coming

  • During CNN’s “State of the Union,” White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said that another $1,200 payment to citizens is coming as part of the next economic stimulus package, but Kudlow added he “would have preferred a payroll tax cut, on top of that check.”
  • Kudlow went on to say that the current unemployment benefits of $600 per week in addition to state benefits are making it more difficult for businesses to “hire people back,” saying that they’ve “had a flood of inquiries and phone calls and complaints” from businesses, which was an original concern of the added benefits.

4. John Lewis crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge one last time

  • Civil rights icon and former U.S. Representative (D-GA) John Lewis will have his body taken to the U.S. Capitol, where it will lie in state, but before he headed to Washington, D.C., he was honored in Alabama with a final trip over the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma before being laid in repose in the Alabama State Capitol. 
  • At the site of Bloody Sunday, Lewis’ casket was moved on a horse-drawn caisson and carried across the bridge over a carpet of rose petals meant to signify the blood that was shed there. Currently, there is a movement to rename the bridge in his honor, but it is unknown if that will succeed as some want to honor all marchers and others want the bridge to remain named after the former U.S. Senator and KKK leader in a sign of defiance.

3. Marshall not happy with DOJ prison report

  • Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall appeared on Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal” over the weekend where he discussed the Justice Department’s report on Alabama prisons and criticized the timing. 
  • The report detailed “systematic unconstitutional conditions” within Alabama’s men’s prisons, which Marshall said some of these issues are “dated.” He expressed displeasure with how they didn’t include “the significant efforts made by the department to be able to remedy some of the issues that’s been identified.” Marshall said that they weren’t given the report before it went to the public and had no “opportunity to be able to specifically respond to information” that was incorrect. 

2. 200,000 college students in Alabama are about to be tested

  • As part of the plan called GuideSafe, over 200,000 college students are going to be tested for the coronavirus as they return to campus. UAB infectious disease specialist Dr. Michael Saag said they’ve been developing the plan “to test up to 10-15,000 students a day as they return to campus over a three and a half week period.”
  • GuideSafe will have more than 50 colleges participating, and it’ll pay for students to be tested through the CARES Act funding that Alabama received. Many schools will require a negative test from students before they start classes. Dr. Saag emphasized the importance of testing since there are “about 39.4 cases per hundred thousand [people].” He added, “And with that number in the state, there’s a 40% likelihood that if you had 10 people in a room, just 10, one of those 10 would be infected.”

1. Let’s not spike the football yet, but coronavirus cases are slowing

  • The most recent coronavirus case numbers from the Alabama Department of Public Health show only 1,037 cases in one day, which is the lowest amount of case numbers in one day since July 7, and brings the statewide total to 77,351. 
  • Hospitalizations have gone from 1,536 down to 1,425. The drop in case numbers come 10 days after Governor Kay Ivey announced the statewide mask mandate.

3 weeks ago

VIDEO: School seems unlikely but football is in, illegal immigrants not being counted benefits Alabama, Edmund Pettus Bridge could become John Lewis Bridge and more on Alabama Politics This Week …

Radio talk show host Dale Jackson and Alabama Democratic Executive Committee member Lisa Handback take you through this week’s biggest political stories, including:

— How can we demand schools be closed but football happen for high schoolers?

— How big were two recent court rulings (Voter ID and illegal aliens can’t be counted for representation) for Alabama?

— Will the Edmund Pettus Bridge be renamed for civil rights icon and former U.S. Representative John Lewis (D-GA)?

Jackson and Handback are joined by Democratic candidate for Public Service Commission president Laura Casey to discuss Democrats running for office, the role of the Public Service Commission and her campaign.

65

Jackson closes the show with a “parting shot” directed at locales that decided to allow “Black Lives Matter” murals while not allowing other political opinions to be shared in the same public areas, such as roadways.

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN.

3 weeks ago

7 Things: Another record bad day for coronavirus in Alabama, UAB looking for vaccine volunteers, Tuberville targets Jones and more …

(YHN)

7. Another abortion clinic for Alabama

  • The new Planned Parenthood clinic has opened in downtown Birmingham. The clinic plans to offer abortions at the facility, but there isn’t an exact date on when those services will be offered.
  • The previous Birmingham facility has been in an area that regularly attracts protesting, and vice president of external affairs Barbara Ann Luttrell has said safety and security of patients and staff is their “number one concern” with the new facility, which has a fenced-in parking lot, security cameras and a gate while also being bordered by Interstate 65 west.

6. Parts of RNC canceled

637

  • Some of the Republican National Convention events were set to take place in Jacksonville, Florida, next month, but President Donald Trump at a White House press briefing announced that these events will be canceled due to coronavirus concerns.
  • Trump said, “The timing for this event is not right, it’s just not right,” adding that there’s “nothing more important in our country than keeping our people safe.” This is a changed position when previously Trump pushed for the convention to be moved from North Carolina after Governor Roy Cooper said he wasn’t confident a full convention could be held due to the virus.

5. Treatment in Alabama prisons deemed unconstitutional

  • It’s been determined by the United States Department of Justice that the treatment of inmates in the men’s prisons in Alabama is unconstitutional, violating the Eighth Amendment and, specifically, the use of “excessive force at the hands of prison staff.”
  • The report from the DOJ details “the use of batons, chemical spray, physical altercations such as kicking — often result in serious injuries and, sometimes, death” as the use of excessive force. Currently, Governor Kay Ivey has been creating a plan for building three new prisons that are meant to improve the overall conditions within Alabama’s prisons. 

4. President Trump wants dollars to follow students

  • President Donald Trump has been encouraging schools to reopen this fall with social distancing and proper sanitation processes, and now he’s requesting that $105 billion be added to the next coronavirus stimulus package for schools.
  • Trump announced that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is preparing guidelines for schools so they can reopen safely, and Trump has also introduced the idea that if a school district closes, parents should be given the funds that their child being enrolled provides so they can send their child to another district or private school that will reopen.

3. Tuberville prepares to take on Senator Jones’ record

  • The race between former Auburn football head coach Tommy Tuberville and U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) has yet to heat up leading up to their November showdown, but during a radio interview, Tuberville highlighted areas of disagreement he will talk about moving forward.
  • Tuberville looks to inform voters of Jones’ decision making on abortion, gun rights, judicial appointments and the impeachment of President Donald Trump that are more in line with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) than the citizens of the state of Alabama, saying, “Doug Jones votes with people that give him money from the Northwest and the Northeast.”

2. UAB will be involved in vaccine trials

  • As some coronavirus vaccines move further along in the development process, UAB Hospital has announced that they’re looking for 500 people to participate in vaccine trials. 
  • The vaccine has shown some promise, and nationally, there will be 30,000-33,000 people who receive the trial. the vaccine will be administered in two doses given one month apart, and UAB researcher Dr. Paul Goepfert said they’ll mostly be interested in trying the vaccine on people who are more likely to come into contact with the virus. 

1. Record high day for coronavirus cases

  • The Alabama Department of Public Health has added 2,283 coronavirus cases in one day, breaking the previous record of daily cases at 2,164, and now the overall case count is 72,696. While there was an issue with some negative tests in Mobile being counted as positive, it’s still believed that after that issue is resolved, it will still be a record day for cases.
  • There were 32 deaths added, making the total 1,357. it’s estimated that 32,510 people have recovered from the virus, and there are currently 1,547 people hospitalized, but the current number of positive tests is about 14%.