News

Book Stuff
WVUA 23

 

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Three spots in Alabama are being added to the nation's honor roll of historic locations. 

The state says The Alabama Book Store in Tuscaloosa is joining the National Register of Historic Places. The shop has been located near the University of Alabama campus since 1942.

facebook.com/universityofalabama

 

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — The president of the University of Alabama says  there us an “unacceptable rise” in COVID-19 cases on campus that could derail plans to continue in-person classes. 

President Stuart Bell, in a message to students, said they all must work together to limit the spread of the virus. Bell wrote that violations of health and safety protocols, both on and off campus, are subject to harsh disciplinary action, up to and including suspension from the university.

American Humane Association

The 2020 Hero Dog Awards seek to find and recognize dogs who help people in many important ways. Dogs are nominated in one of seven categories: Service Dogs, Shelter Dogs, Law Enforcement/ Arson Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Military Dogs, Guide/Hearing Dogs, Search and Rescue Dogs.

A Guide Dog is trained to lead, follow commands, ignore distractions, and even disobey a command that would put its human partner in danger. The human also must be trained on how to handle the dog and how to be a good leader of the team. A Hearing Dog is specially trained to alert its deaf owner to sounds we all take for granted. Unlike a Guide Dog that must be of a certain body size in order to lead a person, a Hearing Dog can be large or small, pure-bred or mixed breed. Many are shelter animals who are determined to have the intelligence and temperament to serve as a Hearing Dog. It is a perfect blending of needs - deaf individuals have the opportunity to live an independent life, and dogs who may literally die for lack of homes are given a purpose and owners that will love and care for them. Guide dogs and hearing dogs are living examples of the trust bond between human and animal.

In the world of Search and Rescue operations, dogs have a very special place.  Their keen sense of smell, excellent night vision, extremely sensitive hearing and endurance have made them crucial in efforts to locate people or animals who are missing or trapped.  They can truly be life savers!  Human Remains Detection dogs help locate bodies and may be instrumental in solving crimes or bringing closure for family members.

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facebook.com/universityofalabama

 

The University of Alabama is tightening the reins in an attempt at keeping the campus coronavirus-free and students in in-person classes.

“Tide Together now more than ever, we are seeing the harsh consequences at other universities which have been forced to close abruptly because safety protocols were not followed,” said UA President Stuart R. Bell. “The eyes of the nation are following us closely and I am confident we will meet and exceed our status as frontrunners.”

 

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama’s unemployment rate rose slightly in July as the state continues to feel the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Alabama Department of Labor reported Friday that the state’s preliminary July unemployment rate is 7.9%, up from June’s rate of 7.6%. The number represents 176,637 unemployed people. By comparison, the rate was under 3% last July before the pandemic. 

Thorsby High School
Associated Press

 

THORSBY, Ala. (AP) — High school football is returning to Alabama in a test of whether players can crash into each other, fans can scream and bands can play without worsening the coronavirus pandemic. 

Nearly two dozens games kick off statewide Thursday night, and dozens more are scheduled for Friday.

GuideSafe app
WVUA 23

 

Alabamians can now download a mobile app that informs users of potential exposure of COVID-19.

Alabama is one of the first states in the U.S. to launch the GuideSafe Notification App to the general public. University of Alabama Birmingham Chief Information Officer Dr. Curtis Carver said this app is an easy-to-use tool that will help control the spread of the virus.

Alabama Power / Wikipedia

 

Alabama Power is offering a payment plan for customers struggling financially and/or medically amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new payment plan option allows customers to pay their past-due energy bill in installments alongside their current energy bill. Alabama Power has not disconnected or charged late fees to any customer affected by COVID-19, and is extending the disconnect suspension to Sept. 28, when standard business operations resume.

Looking ahead to fall, Alabama Power customers will receive a $25 credit on October bills, due to lower fuel expenses.

 

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Auburn University said a number of students are quarantined after COVID-19 cases were reported in a campus residence hall and a fraternity house. 

Spokesman Preston Sparks said Wednesday that the university is aware of multiple students who have tested positive for COVID-19. He did not say how many students are quarantined. The school did not name the fraternity or dorm.

Aliceville federal prison
bop.gov

 

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — A judge sentenced a former federal corrections officer to 42 months in prison for sexual assault of two prisoners and lying to investigators. The U.S. attorney in Birmingham announced the sentence in a news release Wednesday. 

COVID-19 coronavirus face mask
Pixabay

 

This week, the University of Alabama is making triple sure students have all the face masks they'll ever need.

While on-campus students have already been provided two face masks at move-in, the university is giving away masks at various locations across campus this week.

Students can pick up masks at:

Pixabay

 

A Black member of the Harlem Globetrotters is speaking out about an incident earlier this year where fruits, including a banana, were thrown at him by white news broadcasters as he was performing basketball tricks on an Alabama news show. 

Maxwell Pearce discussed the matter Saturday on social media. His posts came a day after WBRC-TV aired a show that featured an interview with Pearce about the January incident on Good Day Alabama.

 

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A former Alabama school administrator accused of defrauding a district of more than $300,000 has pleaded guilty to a federal charge. 

A plea agreement made public Tuesday shows Walter James III pleaded guilty to wire fraud. The 49-year-old was formerly an assistant principal at Jefferson Davis High School in Montgomery.

 

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama is seeking to provide out-of-work people with an additional $300 per week in unemployment assistance through a plan announced by President Donald Trump. 

The Alabama Department of Labor made the announcement Tuesday in a news release.

acnatta / Flickr

 

Alabama will allow about 20% capacity for games at Bryant-Denny Stadium this season.

The university released its plans for dealing with COVID-19 at games, noting seating will be set up to allow social distancing.

The Crimson Tide opens its home schedule against Texas A&M on Oct. 3. Southeastern Conference teams are scheduled to play only 10 league games starting on Sept. 26.

Alabama will have mobile-only ticketing and parking to allow for contactless entry for all venues.

COVID campus
AP Photo/Vasha Hunt

 

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Officials are looking for ways to improve safety during the pandemic and hopefully save college football after crowds gathered in an entertainment district near the University of Alabama over the weekend. 

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox says he's frustrated by what happened. And Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne tweeted a photo of a crowded area that said: “Who wants college sports this fall?? Obviously not these people!!"

Tuscaloosa Police Department / Twitter

 

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Authorities say an autopsy will be conducted on a man who died after being Tased by police in Tuscaloosa.  

The Tuscaloosa News reports that Kendrell Antron Watkins, 31, died Saturday morning.  

A relative called 911 Friday night to report that Watkins was “losing it” and causing property damage in the hom. Police said officers later used a Taser to subdue him after he ran naked into an intersection.  

candle vigil
Pixabay

 

PRATTVILLE, Ala. (AP) — Nineteen years have passed and there is still no answer as to who killed 11-year-old Shannon Paulk.  

A vigil is being held Sunday evening in Prattville on the nineteenth anniversary of her disappearance. Family members and supporters organized the event. They hope an arrest can be made before the twentieth anniversary of her disappearance.  

Autherine Lucy Foster degree
Zach Riggins / UA Strategic Communications

 

FAIRFIELD, Ala. (AP) — Miles College will honor the first Black student to enroll and attend the University of Alabama with an honorary degree this week. 

WIAT-TV reports Miles College President Bobbie Knight said they are honored to award Autherine Lucy Foster with a Doctor of Humane Letters from the college she graduated from in 1952.

 

PRATTVILLE, Ala. (AP) — Technology is coming to every student in one Alabama county as the new school year looms. 

Autauga County’s board of education approved the purchase of 5,000 Chromebooks for students during a recent meeting. That’s on top of the 4,200 laptops that had already been ordered. The system has about 9,200 students enrolled.

Opelika High School football
opelikaathletics.com

 

OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) — Alabama high schools are severely limiting attendance at football games this fall because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Opelika High School will cap attendance at about 30% of the stadium's normal capacity so fans can maintain proper social distancing. Gulf Shores says attendance at athletic events will be cut by 50%. Other schools are also announcing attendance reductions or still working on plans.

 

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — No charges are planned after a woman died following a visit to an Alabama abortion clinic. 

The Tuscaloosa County Violent Crimes Unit says its investigators and state medical examiners reviewed what happened at the West Alabama Women's Center in May. The investigation found no basis for criminal charges. But state medical regulators are still looking into the case. 

American Humane Association

The 2020 Hero Dog Awards seek to find and recognize dogs who help people in many important ways.  Dogs are nominated in one of seven categories:  Service Dog, Shelter Dog, Law Enforcement/Arson Dog, Therapy Dog, Military Dog, Search and Rescue Dog, Guide/Hearing Dog. 

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Interacting with an animal can be very theraputic for humans. While other animals, such as horses and cats can be great therapy animals, dogs really excel in helping humans who are going through a difficult or troubling time. A certified Therapy Dog can make a significant contribution to many treatment programs.

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Dogs began helping our military forces as early as World War I, but it wasn't until World War II that the Army established its first K-9 Corps. They serve as scouts, detection specialists for explosives, and assist on guard duty to protect US service men and women around the world. Nowadays, dogs have their own military service records and can be awarded commendations for outstanding service. It is not possible to count the number of lives military dogs have saved, sometimes at the extreme cost of their own. The Military Dog category seeks to recognize the dedication and valor of these extraordinary animals.

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cleaning products
Pixabay

During the coronavirus pandemic, many workers are without jobs, public school students are preparing for online classes, and everyone is being asked to wear masks and to social distance. This ongoing health crisis also appears to be having an impact on the environment.  

 

Kay Ivey COVID-19 presser
Associated Press

 

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama health officials are encouraged by a decline in COVID-19 cases about a month after a state mask order took effect. 

But they also cautioned that people should not abandon precautions as the state heads to Labor Day gatherings and school openings.

 

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey’s chief of staff is quarantining at home after his wife tested positive for COVID-19. 

Ivey spokeswoman Gina Maiola told reporters Friday that Ivey’s Chief of Staff Jo Bonner does not have symptoms but is in quarantine at home.

Perry County schools
perrycountyal.org

 

SELMA, Ala. (AP) — A member of the Perry County Board of Education was arrested after a woman accused him of trying to sexually assault her during a fishing outing. 

WAKA-TV reports that 66-year-old Donald Nichols was arrested at home Thursday night and charged with sexual abuse and attempted rape. Dallas County Sheriff Mike Granthum says a woman told investigators she and Nichols were out fishing when he began making sexual advances.

 

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — Mazda Toyota Manufacturing is investing an additional $830 million in its new north Alabama plant. 

Gov. Kay Ivey said Thursday that the company's investment in the new auto facility is now $2.3 billion, up from the $1.6 billion originally announced in 2018.

 

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama counties saw a large increase in coronavirus cases earlier this week because of backlogged data. 

AL.Com quotes officials from the Alabama Department of Public Health as saying that the high one or two-day increases seen in some counties were due to new testing facilities not reporting information regularly to the agency.

ArcelorMittal
Twitter

 

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama steel mill is getting a $500 million expansion that’s expected to create 200 direct jobs. 

ArcelorMittal announced the expansion plans Wednesday for it AM/NS Calvert mill in north Mobile County.  

News outlets report the company intends to add an electric arc furnace to its operations, capable of producing 1.5 million metric tons of steel slabs.

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