12 months ago

State Rep. John Rogers says he is still primarying Doug Jones (VIDEO)

Notorious State Rep. John Rogers (D-Birmingham) says he still intends to primary U.S. Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) in 2020.

Yellowhammer News was the first to report on Rogers’ intentions in the wake of his viral abortion comments during the Alabama legislature’s 2019 regular session.

Now, with the session over with, Rogers has had time to think more about the potential candidacy and, at least so far, he has not been dissuaded from running against Jones.

While at the Alabama Democratic Conference’s (ADC) meeting Friday in Montgomery, Rogers spoke with a tracker and said financial considerations would probably decide his potential campaign’s fate.

“Well, I haven’t filed with the [Federal Election Commission] yet,” Rogers said when asked if he still intends to primary Jones. “But I am going to do it.”

Rogers then added that he was trying to reach a certain monetary threshold of campaign contribution commitments before making the final announcement on his candidacy and filing with the FEC. He mentioned Jones’ “war chest,” which has almost entirely been stockpiled with out-of-state contributions and donations from overseas, as the obstacle to a Rogers victory.

Speaking of the need for funding, Rogers emphasized his commitment to being “a credible candidate” if he does run. He has previously said he would run to win, not just to make a statement.

Watch:

Rogers has previously challenged Jones to a public debate, but the junior senator from Alabama has ducked public questions on the potential primary challenger.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

56 mins ago

Data shows Alabama nursing homes performing better than national average for COVID-19 cases, deaths

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Thursday released facility-specific COVID-19 data for nursing homes across the United States, and an analysis of the data shows Alabama fairing better than the national average.

The data was collected on a mandatory basis by the CDC and currently covers through the week ending on May 31.

Nationwide, the average number of confirmed coronavirus cases per 1,000 residents in nursing homes was 91.2, while the average number of deaths from the disease per 1,000 residents was 30.2.

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In Alabama, both of those numbers were significantly lower than the national average, at 64.9 and 20.9, respectively.

Alabama Nursing Home Association president and CEO Brandon Farmer issued a statement on the data’s release.

“According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Alabama nursing homes report fewer cases of COVID-19 per 1,000 residents and fewer deaths from COVID-19 per 1,000 residents than the national average,” he confirmed.

“Because we are on the front lines of fighting COVID-19, we expect the number of COVID-19 cases to rise as more tests are administered and the data is added to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) system. The Alabama Nursing Home Association hopes this data will be used to prioritize resources for skilled nursing facilities,” Farmer advised.

“Alabama nursing homes have been transparent from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he continued. “Our members have reported cases to their local county health department and the Alabama Department of Public Health from the start. In May, we began reporting cases to the CDC. Facilities also inform residents and their family representatives and employees of cases in their buildings. We are following the guidelines set forth by the multiple state and federal agencies that regulate our sector. No other business or health care provider reports COVID-19 cases to more government entities and people than nursing homes.”

Nationwide, nursing homes reported 95,515 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 31,782 deaths through May 31. Nursing homes in Alabama reported 1,000 confirmed cases and 335 deaths.

Moving forward, CMS will release the next round of data on June 18. After that date, new data should be released weekly.

“The Alabama Nursing Home Association and its members will continue to work with local, state and federal leaders to address the needs of nursing home residents and employees,” Farmer concluded.

The CMS data can be viewed here.

As of Friday at 2:00 p.m., the Alabama Department of Public Health reported 19,073 total confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state, with 672 deaths.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

1 hour ago

NFIB survey of Alabama business owners shows ongoing COVID-19 related fears

A new study from the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) showed that an overwhelming majority of proprietors are nervous about several aspects of how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting their business.

Yellowhammer News reported in the first week of May that 70% of the NFIB’s membership across the United States was concerned about individuals filing frivolous lawsuits claiming a business had caused them to catch COVID-19.

A poll from the Alabama division of NFIB this week shows that 69% of businesses in the Yellowhammer State remain nervous about lawsuits, and roughly equal amounts are worried whether customers might come back and that it may prove difficult to comply with ongoing regulations.

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The top results of the survey as follows:

  • 70% of owners say they’re very or moderately concerned about getting customers back.
  • 69% are concerned about managing the health and safety of their customers; 66% are concerned about managing the health and safety of employees.
  • 69% are concerned with having to comply with new regulations related to the coronavirus.
  • 68% are concerned about finding an adequate supply of supplies such as hand sanitizer and disinfectant.

NFIB state director Rosemary Elebash told Yellowhammer News Friday that the survey was administered to businesses in every county and every city with a significant population.

“It wasn’t just NFIB members,” Elebash added about the survey, saying the group had worked with a number of trade associations to increase the amount of responses.

The NFIB also continues to strongly support Senator Arthur Orr’s (R-Decatur) bill to grant civil immunity from COVID-19 lawsuits to businesses in Alabama.

Elebash noted in a release that Orr’s bill would be “one of NFIB’s top priorities” if Governor Kay Ivey calls a special session later in the year.

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95

2 hours ago

Tuberville: Nationwide unrest linked to ‘education and jobs’

Many argue there is much more to the civil unrest across the nation than the lone incident in Minneapolis involving the death of George Floyd while in the custody of the police department. Former Auburn head football coach Tommy Tuberville indicated he agrees with that.

During an appearance on Huntsville WVNN’s “The Jeff Poor Show,” Tuberville, a candidate for U.S. Senate, said based on his interactions with people on the campaign trail, there is a longing to get back to a sense of normalcy in the wake of the heights of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I speak to eight to ten places a day — groups are worried, obviously. I think they’re getting a little more confident they can go out and be around other people,” he said. “And we’re just hoping we can just put this pandemic, and it is a problem, it is serious — again, you’ve got to protect yourself. It’s not going away. It is still here, especially if you’re having health problems and those things. That will go away — but then all of a sudden we get hit with this civil unrest, and again — we’re all Americans. We’re all in this together. We’ve got to find a solution.”

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Tuberville said he is asked for his thoughts by voters while on the trail, to which he said he points to “education and jobs,” and the erosion of the American middle class.

“I had a group ask me today, ‘Coach, what do you think the problem is?’ Education and jobs. We don’t have a middle class anymore,” Tuberville stated. “There are people out there that don’t have the opportunity to advance in this country like they want to. This is not a black issue. This is not a white issue. This is an American issue. We shipped our jobs to China, bottom line. We’re finding out more and more about that every day, and we’ve got to give the opportunity for young men and women to have a chance to grow in this country, and give them a fair chance. Unfortunately, our middle class has dissipated. We have more drugs in this country, and a lot of people take other options. We got to understand — we’re all in this together, 340 million people. We’re either going to make it together or not make together.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly and host of Huntsville’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN.

2 hours ago

City of Mobile temporarily removes Admiral Raphael Semmes statue from downtown

The City of Mobile has removed the statue of Admiral Raphael Semmes from downtown, however this appears to be a temporary action.

Mayor Sandy Stimpson tweeted that the statue was removed at his direction in the early morning hours of Friday. The base of the monument still remains.

“On June 4, 2020, I ordered that the statue of Admiral Raphael Semmes be moved from its location at the intersection of Government and Royal streets in downtown Mobile,” the mayor said. “The task was completed this morning, June 5. The statue has been placed in a secure location.”

“To be clear: This decision is not about Raphael Semmes, it is not about a monument and it is not an attempt to rewrite history,” he continued.

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“Moving this statue will not change the past. It is about removing a potential distraction so we may focus clearly on the future of our city. That conversation, and the mission to create One Mobile, continues today,” Stimpson concluded.

Per WKRG, City of Mobile spokesperson George Talbot clarified that the removal of the statue is temporary. Next steps are to be announced at a later date.

This comes after the statue was defaced earlier this week. The City promptly cleaned the statue after that incident.

Semmes commanded the CSS Alabama in the Confederate Navy. He died in Mobile in 1877.

Originally dedicated in 1900, the statue of Semmes is covered by the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act. The City could potentially face a $25,000 fine for removing the statue.

Semmes is a member of the Alabama Hall of Fame. The City of Semmes in western Mobile County was named after him, as was The Admiral Hotel (a Curio by Hilton property) in downtown Mobile.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

4 hours ago

Former Alabama AG Bill Pryor named chief judge of 11th Circuit Court

Judge William “Bill” H. Pryor, Jr. on Wednesday took over as chief judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.

Pryor served as Attorney General of Alabama from 1997-2004 before being nominated by President George W. Bush to serve on the 11th Circuit in 2003.

The 11th circuit court has jurisdiction over all appeals out of federal district courts in Florida, Alabama and Georgia. The court meets in Atlanta.

News of Pryor’s ascension into the chief judge role was first reported by Law.com. Selection as chief judge on federal courts is based on seniority.

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Law.com quotes Pryor as saying, “I will strive to follow the example of the chief judges who preceded me by serving our circuit with the professionalism and integrity that the members and employees of the federal judiciary regularly serve the American people.”

As chief judge, Pryor will be in charge of the court’s operations and administration. He will serve in the role for seven years.

Preceding Pryor as chief of the 11th Circuit was Judge Ed Carnes, also an Alabamian, who turned 70 on Wednesday and is assuming senior status.

Carnes’ replacement is another Alabamian. Judge Andrew Brasher was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in a 52-43 vote in February to take over Carnes’ spot on the court. Brasher is currently a U.S. District Court Judge for the Middle District of Alabama.

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95