The weekly average number of new cases of COVID-19 per day in Alabama has fallen by about 67% since the beginning of this year, according to the state Department of Public Health’s daily update on Saturday.
The agency reported 1,189 new cases of the disease during the latest 24-hour period, raising the number of cases since the pandemic began last March to 479,856. The state has averaged 1,220 cases per day over the past week, down from the average of 3,718 cases a day for the week that ended Jan. 1.
There have been 9,242 deaths from the coronavirus throughout the pandemic, including 62 in Saturday’s update.
Alabamians are mourning the death of Sheila Washington, the founder of the Scottsboro Boys Museum and Cultural Center. Washington fought to bring honor and dignity to the nine young Black males falsely accused of rape during the Jim Crow era.
As a child, Washington was fascinated with the story of the Scottsboro boys who ranged in age from 12-19. They were traveling by train through Jackson County when they were accused of raping two women. The 1931 trial drew national attention. An all-white jury in Scottsboro sentenced eight of the nine to death.
Later, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in the case leading to two landmark civil rights precedents regarding the right to counsel and non-discrimination in jury selection.
Bills that would allow the use of medical marijuana and the home delivery of alcohol, plus a long-anticipated lawsuit liability bill, were some of the major legislation to advance Wednesday in the Legislature.
It was the first committee day of the new session, and lawmakers are working fast for fear of another COVID-19 slowdown, as happened last year.
The day was not without some glitches. While the public has been encouraged to stay out of the State House and watch action online, at least three committees had technological difficulties and at least part of their meetings couldn’t be seen.
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Read more on the legislative session, which began Tuesday.
Amazon could be on the verge of its first unionized warehouse in the U.S. If workers at the Alabama facility vote yes next month, they would turn a new page both for the company and the region.
Alabama’s COVID-19 death toll climbed above the 5,000 mark on Thursday as the state Department of Public Health added 86 deaths in its daily update.
The agency said 5,080 people have died of the disease since the pandemic began in March. The 86 deaths included some that occured over the holiday period last weekend and were reported on a delayed basis.
ADPH reported an additional 5,046 new cases of the coronavirus in its 24-hour update, including some that were diagnosed last weekend. There have been 389,230 cases throughout the pandemic.
Richard Shelby was sworn in to the United States House of Representatives in 1979, eight years before he took his current place in the Senate. He was 44 years old at the time, and also a Democrat.
A lot has changed for the Birmingham native since then. Having switched to the Republican Party in 1994 after the GOP’s historic sweep of Congress, Shelby has assumed a great deal of influence in the Senate, now serving as chairman of the powerful Appropriations Committee. It’s a position that has helped him steer federal money to the state since he took the gavel two years ago, and it’s a chairmanship that Shelby — and many of his Republican friends back in Alabama — is keen to keep.
But time is not on his side. With two years remaining in his sixth and term, Shelby faces a huge decision: whether or not to run for re-election in 2022, when he would be 88 years old. It’s a decision Shelby has said he will announce sometime in January.
Rather than adding to the just approved fiscal 2021 budget, Jefferson County Commissioners said Tuesday that money called for from a recent classification survey would come from the county’s contingency fund.
Chief Financial Officer Angela Dixon presented a resolution for an increase in funds related to a community development specialist position. The survey called for additional funds totaling $119,280.
“We’re in a brand-new budget,” Commissioner Steve Ammons said. “Why would this survey not be done prior to us doing the budget so we don’t have a budget amendment just 45 days into the budget?”
Commission President Jimmie Stephens moved to change the funding request, with the money coming from the commission’s contingency fund rather than the balance of the budget.
The Alabama Department of Public Health reported a big increase in the number of casses of COVID-19 and deaths from the disease on Saturday, but the agency issued a statement saying the figures included a backlog of cases from the past few weeks.
The daily dashboard showed 1,561 confirmed new cases and 42 deaths, bringing the totals to 115,284 cases and 2,059 deaths since the pandemic began in mid-March. In addition 8,462 casees and 90 deaths were listed as probably from the coronavirus.
But the department said in a statement that it began using a new laboratory and when that happens “we sometimes will receive a backlog of results, both positive and negative.”