Tag: Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
Alabama Criminal Court of Appeals Place 2
Alabama Criminal Court of Appeals Place 2
Alabama added 314 new cases of COVID-19 and 20 deaths from the disease in Friday’s daily updated by the state Department of Public Health.
There have been 530,325 cases of the coronavirus in the state since the pandemic began in March 2020. The state averaged 343 new cases a day over the past week, compared to averages of 349 last Friday and 295 a day one month ago.
ADPH has recocrded 10,966 deaths from the coronavirus.
MONTGOMERY — Alabama could reach herd immunity from COVID-19 by mid-summer, the state’s top doctor told lawmakers on Wednesday. But it could take longer if the vaccination rate continues to decrease.
State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said around 70% of the state, or 3.5 million Alabamians, will need to either be fully vaccinated or have antibodies from previous infections in order for the state to reach a level of immunity that will stop significant spread of the disease.
“If we reach herd immunity, what we’ll see is a dramatic decrease in cases, but it’s unlikely that it will ever completely disappear,” Harris said.
The daily number of vaccinations has been steadily decreasing since the beginning of April, which Harris said could be attributed to several factors, chief among them being vaccine hesitancy. He said that has been evident in the African-American community as will as in white communities, especially in rural areas.
Gov. Kay Ivey today extended the current coronavirus public health order, which now will be in effect until May 31.
However, the current order, called “Safer Apart,” includes no restrictions on activities of businesses or consumers. Rather, it encourages individuals, employers, and businesses and institutions to follow CDC-recommended public safety practices, such as social distancing and wearing of masks.
The only regulations still in place apply to institutions such as senior citizen centers, nursing homes and hospitals, along with an order that infected people must self-quarantine. Read more.
CEO Mike Warren said he thought he could fix Medicaid, but he was naive. Read more.
Jefferson County commissioners learned Tuesday that Wheless Partners will be hired to conduct a nationwide search to replace County Manager Tony Petelos, who announced his retirement recently. Read more.
Birmingham will receive just more than $5 million to combat homelessness from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s American Rescue Plan Act, it was announced Thursday. The funding is intended to help cities create affordable and supportive housing and services for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Read more.
Mayor Randall Woodfin on Tuesday announced the pardons of more than 15,000 Birmingham residents convicted of marijuana possession, declaring that “one small mistake should not define an entire lifetime.”
The pardons — which were announced April 20, an unofficial holiday celebrating cannabis — covers residents with closed marijuana possession cases in the Birmingham Municipal Court between 1990 and 2020.
The pardons are part of Woodfin’s Pardons for Progress program, launched in November 2019, which was meant to remove employment barriers for people who had been convicted of misdemeanor marijuana possession. Read more.
Major banks have backed off of financing two of the three proposed new prisons in Alabama, leaving opponents of Gov. Kay Ivey’s plan to lease the prisons from private groups hopeful that any deals related to the third site, in Brierfield, also would hit a snag.
Bloomberg News reported Monday that the sudden about-face by Barclays and Keybanc took financial traders by surprise.
The prisons in Escambia and Elmore counties are slated to be built by CoreCivic, a prison company that has contracted with the state of Alabama to build the two prisons and lease them to the state for 30 years. The third site, proposed for Brierfield in Bibb County, is to be built and owned by a consortium headed by BL Harbert. Read more.
Came across an academic article saying public officials no longer have private lives off limits from prying media and opposing political campaigns — to the detriment of public service. It was published in 1998.
Imagine how things are now with heightened divisive politics, partisan news media, uncontrolled social media and a never-ending list of politicians whose horrifying activities in their private lives demand public scrutiny.
The question of when the private lives of politicians deserve public exposure is a perpetual one for the press. It has arisen lately with the cases of U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz (OK, actually zero question here) and Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill, who admitted last week to marital infidelity. Read more.
Even during a pandemic, you can find 90-year-old Fred Gray Sr. at his law office in Tuskegee. He’s been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
“He’s still working every day,” Fred Gray Jr. said. “It is not because he has to, but it’s because it’s that fire in his belly and it’s because he still wants to help people.”
Gray Jr. and his dad are partners in their law firm. Gray Jr. said his dad just won’t slow down. In fact he’s currently working on behalf of the Macon County Commission to remove a confederate monument in the heart of downtown Tuskegee.
Gray Jr. said his dad’s drive and tenacity are only part of the reason he should be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.
“His IQ and his work is right up there with men like Thurgood Marshall, Oliver Hill and Wiley Branton,” he said. Read more.
WASHINGTON — Alabama’s senators split votes last week on a bill to extend the paycheck protection program as well as on several of Biden’s nominees to top positions. The House was in recess. Read more.
After a fire destroyed their last apartment in 2019, Kenneth Tyrone King and his family recently saved up enough money to rent a new place in Birmingham.
But the relief was short-lived. Bills, mostly medical, quickly began piling up at the new address.
For King, 57, this was just the latest development in a cycle of debt. He has not had health insurance for years. He lost his most-recent job at a temp agency after having emergency open heart surgery in December. He barely has enough money for the two prescriptions that he needs each month.
“I can afford one of them, but one of them, it’s like a $60 medication,” King said. “Those types of challenges, if I had affordable health care, or a health care plan, it would have at least covered some of it.”
King falls in the coverage gap. He does not qualify for Medicaid and he cannot afford to buy a private insurance plan. If Alabama expanded Medicaid, that would mean opening up eligibility to people like him and other low-income adults who make up to 138% of the federal poverty level, which equates to less than $18,000 a year for a single adult. Read more.
Samford University’s board of trustees named a new president Wednesday. Beck A. Taylor, now president of Whitworth University, will succeed Andrew Westmoreland effective July 1. Westmoreland is retiring as president, a post he has held since 2006. Taylor will be the university’s 19th president. Read more.
After multiple delays, demolition of the long-derelict Banks High School is moving forward. The Birmingham City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve the one-year extension of a loan agreement with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management to tear down the building, which has sat vacant in the city’s South East Lake neighborhood since 2007. Read more.
A proposal before the federal Office of Management and Budget would reduce the number of Metropolitan Statistical Areas in Alabama from 12 to five, a move that is not welcomed by officials of the cities losing the MSA status.
A committee of federal statistical agencies has made the proposal to OMB that would leave intact MSAs with 100,000 populations in their core cities. In Alabama, that’s Birmingham, Mobile, Montgomery, Huntsville and Tuscaloosa.
The remaining seven MSAs statewide would be reclassified as “micropolitan” statistical areas with core populations of 50,000 to 99,999. Those are Decatur, Dothan, Baldwin County, Auburn-Opelika, Florence-Muscle Shoals, Anniston-Oxford, and Gadsden.
Updated March 1, 2021 — Months ahead of the July 10 filing deadline, Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin already faces five challengers in a growing field of candidates for this year’s mayoral race. Read more.
Updated Feb. 28, 2021 — Six months before Birmingham’s municipal elections, the pool of candidates for City Council is beginning to take shape. Though official qualifying won’t be open until June 25, social media campaigns are underway for several Birmingham residents looking to claim a spot on the nine-member council. For now, some races are looking more crowded than others.
The Southern Poverty Law Center released its annual list of hate groups nationwide Feb. 1, and while the number of groups has gone down from last year, there are still 20 Alabama groups that made the cut. Altogether, the SPLC tracked 830 organizations defined as hate groups in 2020. “The number is a barometer, albeit only one, of the level of hate activity in the country,” the website says. Read more.
Vestiges of segregation still thread through the systems and processes with which we engage throughout our lives, influencing Black Alabamians in large and small ways, including economic opportunities and lifetime wealth, relationship with law enforcement, health care and even projected lifespan. BirminghamWatch has an ongoing effort to analyze how these sometimes unrecognized vestiges of segregation are playing out in people’s lives today. Read stories in The Legacy of Race series.
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