With an eye toward bridging the digital divide, The Loyalty Foundation joined forces with Jefferson County and other partners to provide computers to students in underserved communities in the region.
Fifty boxes with new computers were on display today in the County Commission chambers as the joint effort was announced. Commissioner Sheila Tyson is part of the effort, along with DC BLOX, an Atlanta-based data center provider in Birmingham’s Titusville Community. Read more.
A generation ago the mall was THE place to be. But with the rise of online shopping, many indoor malls have suffered. A documentary playing at the Sidewalk Film Festival later this month looks at one dying mall here in Alabama. It’s called “Jasper Mall” and is named for the shopping center in Walker County, northwest of Birmingham. Read more.
Every sector in Alabama’s economy is shrinking this year because of the pandemic. That’s according to Samuel Addy, senior research economist and associate dean for economic development outreach at the University of Alabama.
During a press conference Thursday, Addy joined Democrat Sen. Doug Jones to talk about Alabama’s economy, which they both agreed is in ‘survival mode.’
“All the help coming from D.C., the bills that the senator and others are working on, are not stimulus bills. They are actions and investments for survival,” Addy said. “We know that we are in a worse situation than a few months ago. We need to invest for survival because if we don’t survive, nothing matters.” Read more.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
— The Declaration of Independence
The founding fathers artfully crafted the phrasing that among the unalienable rights due all men is the pursuit of happiness. Part of that pursuit comes in one’s ability to get a job, develop a career, build wealth through an honest wage and establish a home. Many Black Americans have found that pursuit stymied by forces often beyond their control.
According to an article published by The Hamilton Project of Brookings Institute, the net worth of a typical white family was $171,000 in 2016, nearly 10 times the $17,150 net worth of a Black family.
The report said that gaps in wealth between Black and white households reveal the effects of accumulated inequality and discrimination, as well as differences in power and opportunity that can be traced back to this nation’s inception. Read more.
As Congress debates another stimulus package, many Alabama residents will now see their weekly unemployment checks drop to less than $300. Read more.
Before Tuesday’s Jefferson County Commission committee meeting, Joe Knight asked fellow commissioner Steve Ammons how he felt.
When Ammons, who had tested positive for the novel coronavirus, said he felt fine, Knight quipped, “You don’t look very good.”
Today, as Ammons again watched the commission meeting in Bessemer online from home, Knight appealed to everyone to wear a mask to slow the spread of COVID-19. Read more.
A plan to build a FedEx Ground distribution facility on Lakeshore Parkway was unveiled at the Jefferson County Commission committee meeting Tuesday. The plan, previously known as Project Fish, is for an approximately 290,000-square-foot distribution facility that will be constructed on a 46.01-acre site off Lakeshore Parkway. Bradley attorney Trey Hill said that about 70% of the site is in the corporate limits of the city of Birmingham and 30% in the city of Bessemer. Read more.
Alabama’s annual back-to-school tax-free weekend started today, with the state and many municipalities waiving sales taxes on school-related items. The sales breaks began at 12:01 a.m. Friday and run through the end of the day Sunday. See the items on the list and jurisdictions participating.
Gov. Kay Ivey’s office said this morning that the governor and State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris are closely monitoring the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the state.
“Until our next update, Gov. Ivey continues to reiterate that the threat of this virus is not behind us,” her press secretary, Gina Maiola, said in an emailed response to BirminghamWatch. She said Ivey continues to stress the need for personal responsibility during the pandemic.
“Our health care workers are doing their part. We are seeing businesses make sacrifices, and Gov. Ivey has faith in the people of Alabama to be smart as we wade through this health crisis,” Maiola added.
Alabama is among 21 states that have seen increases in their average daily coronavirus cases this week, according to data compiled by the Washington Post. Alabama, Oregon and South Carolina are among the states with the biggest increases.
Alabama reported a 92% increase in its seven-day average; Oregon was up 83.8% and South Carolina, 60.3%, according to the Post data. Read more.