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Good afternoon and Happy Sunday!

Looks like we're in for some more severe weather today so stay safe and find shelter.

Here's your Daily News for Sunday, April 19.
1. Storms coming again 
  • High winds, hail and heavy rain pounded parts of Alabama on Sunday, as forecasters warned residents to brace for possible tornadoes and flooding later in the day.
  • It was the second Sunday in a row that the South was hit with severe weather.
  • The National Weather Service on Sunday said six Alabama counties were under a flash flood warning because of heavy rain: Bibb, Chilton, Coosa, Jefferson, Shelby and Tuscaloosa. Local media reported high winds had uprooted trees and left blankets of hail on the ground in some areas.
  • The agency said strong tornadoes were a possibility for parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama on Sunday. A swath of damaging winds and a continued tornado threat will also extend across Georgia and parts of South Carolina through Sunday night.
  • The storm threat comes a week after Easter storms pounded the Deep South.
  • Read the full report HERE.
2. 3 COVID-19 cases inside prisons; 1 death
  • The Alabama Department of Corrections on Friday reported the first three confirmed cases of COVID-19 within its prisons.
  • One of the diagnosed inmates, a 66 year old with a terminal illness, died Thursday, but an official cause of death has not yet been determined, the ADOC said in a statement on its website.
  • Dave Thomas, an inmate at St. Clair Correctional Facility, died at a local hospital less than 24 hours after testing positive for COVID-19, ADOC said in the statement.  Thomas was taken to a hospital on April 4 because of preexisting conditions. Thomas’ exact cause of death is pending an autopsy.
  • The other two confirmed cases of COVID-19 are a 52 year old also at St. Clair and a 33-year-old at Bullock Correctional Facility. The 52 year old has been transferred to a hospital for treatment, the 33 year old is being “treated and carefully monitored by his physicians,” according to ADOC.
  • ADOC said they have quarantined a group of inmates out of one dormitory at St. Clair and quarantined an entire dormitory at Bullock.
  • Read the full story from Mary Sell HERE.
A message from
The Boeing Company.
  • Only one Department of Defense program is capable of protecting an American city from a long-range ballistic missile attack – the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) program.

  • As the GMD prime contractor, Boeing engineers and experts work right here in Alabama to sustain this vital shield against an attack.

  • Some would argue that a new generation defense program is needed. While these ideas are explored for the future, it’s important to maintain the current GMD system that detects, intercepts and destroys a target aimed at our homeland.

  • Now is not the time to leave America vulnerable to threats and the GMD system is a tested platform to protect the nation 24/7.
3. P lan for reopening some businesses pitched
  • Many currently shuttered businesses in Alabama could reopen over the next few weeks under new recommendations from a task force created by Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth.
  • Some establishments like restaurants, hair salons, child care centers and small retail stores would open immediately under the plan, while others like medical services, casinos, gyms and entertainment venues would need to wait until May 1.
  • The state’s beaches would also open May 1 and youth sports could resume starting May 11, under the plan from the Small Business Emergency Task Force, which was formed by Ainsworth earlier this month.
  • The recommendations have been sent to Gov. Kay Ivey, who said she would take them into consideration when formulating next steps in Alabama’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.
  • Ivey said the reopening of the state's economy must be gradual and cautious. The peak in cases is expected this week.
  • “Consistent with what we’ve been saying all along, the president made it clear that the return to ‘normal’ won’t be a quick or simple process. We will need to see declining cases – and stronger testing – over at least 14-days – to make certain we don’t see a return in the spike up of the infection,” she said.
  • The state remains under a stay-at-home order limiting residents to only essential errands until April 30.
  • Read the full story from Todd HERE.
4. 10 years after BP spill: Oil drilled deeper; rules relaxed
  • Ten years after an oil rig explosion killed 11 workers and unleashed an environmental nightmare in the Gulf of Mexico, companies are drilling into deeper and deeper waters, where the payoffs can be huge but the risks are greater than ever.
  • Industry leaders and government officials say they’re determined to prevent a repeat of BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster. It spilled 134 million gallons of oil that fouled beaches from Louisiana to Florida, killed hundreds of thousands of marine animals and devastated the region’s tourist economy.
  • Yet safety rules adopted in the spill’s aftermath have been eased as part of President Donald Trump’s drive to boost U.S. oil production. And government data reviewed by The Associated Press shows the number of safety inspection visits has declined in recent years, although officials say checks of electronic records, safety systems and individual oil rig components have increased.
  • Despite almost $2 billion in spending by the industry on equipment to respond to an oil well blowout like BP’s, some scientists, former government officials and environmentalists say safety practices appear to be eroding. And there are worries that cleanup tactics have changed little in decades and are likely to prove as ineffective as they were in 2010.
  • Read the rest of this extensive report from the AP HERE.
5. Hammett: Utility Workers and Service Providers Continue to Power Alabama
  • Seth Hammett, the Chairman of the Energy Institute of Alabama and former Speaker of the Alabama House has a column today discussing the work utility workers and service providers are doing during the time of coronavirus.
  • Hammett says that the state can count on its utility workers to continue their hard work in bringing service and ensuring power is delivered safely to each Alabama home, hospital and businesses during this strange and difficult time.
  • Here’s an excerpt:

With many in our state working remotely, children engaging in virtual learning or caring for loved ones at home, it is imperative for the energy service they depend on to work. Additionally, it is critical that power is provided for the necessary services we are counting on to protect the safety and well-being of all Alabamians. This includes ensuring power is safely delivered to hospitals – rural and urban alike – that are providing care for those in need.”

  • Read the full column HERE.
Week in Good News
Patrick Aitken gives a voice and resources to the homeless

  • Patrick Aitken is a Montgomery man who has dedicated his time to helping the homeless in central Alabama and now during this pandemic, his work is deeply needed more than ever.
  • For the past six years, Aitken has been working to find ways to help the homeless, mainly by shedding a light on their stories and conditions through social media rather than ignoring them.
  • He’s advocated on their behalf online and in local government and has helped them get the necessary food and hygiene supplies they need for day to day survival.
  • But as the coronavirus continues to spread in the country, especially within Alabama’s most vulnerable populations, Aitkins says we can no longer afford to look away from those who need our help the most.
  • Read the rest of Aitkin’s profile from Brad Harper at the Montgomery Advertiser HERE
Headlines
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - Plan shows possible path to reopening many small businesses

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - Ivey: Return to 'normal' must be gradual

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS  - ADOC: 3 COVID-19 cases reported in prisons, 1 inmate died after diagnosis

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - Storms rattle central Alabama; forecasters warn of tornadoes

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS  - Hammett: Utility Workers and Service Providers Continue to Power Alabama

ALABAMA DAILY NEWS - 10 years after BP spill: Oil drilled deeper; rules relaxed
 
AL.COM  - ‘It doesn’t make any sense’: Alabama restaurant owners call opening in April ‘unrealistic’
 
AL.COM  - With limited Internet, rural Alabama grows more remote in pandemic
 
AL.COM  - ‘An absolute war’ breaks out as coronavirus spreads in Alabama nursing homes
 
AL.COM  - Alabama creates new National Guard unit to prevent coronavirus in state-run veterans homes
 
AL.COM  - Columnist John Archibald: Coronavirus examples: When goodness is the rule
 
AL.COM  = Contributor Lanier Isom: Domestic violence rising during virus lockdown but still hidden in our own back yards
 
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS  - In one of America’s rare undergraduate immunology programs, students are ‘preparing for the next pandemic’
 
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS  - AL-02 GOP hopeful Barry Moore: Alabama primed for return of manufacturing from China
 
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS  - AL-02 GOP candidate Jeff Coleman applauds U.S. trucking amid coronavirus outbreak — Keeping the supply chain ‘safe and intact’
 
TIMES DAILY  - Providers continuing to care for seniors during pandemic
 
TIMES DAILY  - The Times Daily: Stay-at-home order is more of a guideline
 
TUSCALOOSA NEWS  - Grads in the time of coronavirus
 
ANNISTON STAR  - Columnist Phillip Tutor: Shutting down Alabama, then and now
 
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER  - Teenager fatally shot in the middle of the afternoon Saturday
 
OPELIKA AUBURN NEWS  - Editor Troy Turner: A war hero? Yes, but so much more
 
DOTHAN EAGLE  - Pandemic reshapes life within Southeast Health walls
 
DOTHAN EAGLE  - The Dothan Eagle: Don’t forget the census
 
WASHINGTON POST  - Record government and corporate debt risks ‘tipping point’ after pandemic passes
 
WASHINGTON POST  - First, the coronavirus pandemic took their jobs. Then, it wiped out their health insurance
 
WASHINGTON POST  - Denied a diploma, April Dunn made sure other students with disabilities had options. She died of covid-19.
 
NEW YORK TIMES  - Covid-19 Is the New Civil Rights Frontier
 
NEW YORK TIMES  - Coronavirus Testing Needs to Triple Before the U.S. Can Reopen, Experts Say

NEW YORK TIMES  - Schools Transform Into ‘Relief’ Kitchens but Federal Aid Fails to Keep Up
 
NEW YORK TIMES  - The Food Chain’s Weakest Link: Slaughterhouses
 
NEW YORK TIMES  - The Economic Data Is About to Get Weird: Just when we need reliable information the most, the signals are likely to be muddled.
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