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.”
After 30 years of research and the screening of 300,000 compounds, a new drug has shown promise in mice and larger animals to control blood glucose in Types I and II of diabetes, UAB announced Thursday.
“Diabetes is a serious disease,” said Dr. Anath Shaler, director of UAB’s Comprehensive Diabetes Center. A Center for Disease Control report this year found 34.2 million Americans, or 1 in 10, have diabetes.
“It is a major public health problem worldwide, with the South particularly hard hit over the years,” Shaler said.
“In fact, the prevalence of diabetes in adults in Alabama is over 15%, which is really huge,” she added.
In a report released Thursday, U.S. justice officials said men confined to Alabama’s prisons are subject to excessive force at the hands of correctional officers. They said the issue is pervasive and systemic and likely violates the U.S. Constitution’s Eighth Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
In the 30-page document, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the three U.S. Attorney’s Offices for Alabama said prison staff regularly use batons, chemical spray and physical attacks to improperly and unjustly punish inmates. They said the excessive force can result in serious injury or death, citing two men who died in 2019 at the hands of correctional officers. Autopsies found both men were beaten so badly, they were left with intracranial bleeding and multiple head and body fractures.
Alabama bankers couldn’t access the federal Paycheck Protection Program application site on Monday so that small businesses hurt by the coronavirus could apply for the loans.
Alabama Bankers Association President Scott Latham said the U.S. Small Business Administration promised that its systems would be prepared for action on Monday, but they were not.
“Despite the agency’s efforts to be ready, it has failed,” Latham said in a press release.
Alabama reported 5,677 confirmed cases of COVID-19 today, with deaths increasing to 197.
Since the pandemic began, 768 people have been hospitalized with the disease in Alabama. Read more.