WVUA 23 staff

daycare
Pixabay

 

West Alabama Works launched a database to help working parents find child care during COVID-19. 

Some West Alabama school districts moved to remote learning for the first nine weeks of school, leaving many parents scrambling for day care services and assistance.  

 

 

Tuscaloosa, Al.-Tuscaloosa city and county school system leaders agree the first few weeks of school are highlighting the successes and challenges of virtual learning.

“We’ve said all along there’s no substitute for in-class learning,” said Tuscaloosa County School System Superintendent Keri Johnson. “We can’t replicate that in-class experience when you’re at home sitting in front of your computer.”

The biggest challenge is keeping students engaged, Johnson said.

coronavirus COVID-19
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The University of Alabama has issued more than 400 conduct referrals for coronavirus violations.

Nearly 2,000 students have tested positive since classes began on Aug. 19.

Only 21 UA employees have tested positive since classed began, according to the UA System COVID-19 Dashboard.

UA President Stuart Bell sent an email to students last week that said student misconduct will not be tolerated.

 

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced Sept. 3 that negotiations are beginning for the construction of a new prison site in Bibb County.

Construction should begin early next year, Ivey announced in a news release.

BLM march
WVUA 23

 

TUSCALOOSA, AL- Last Monday, the University of Alabama football team showed support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

They marched united from the Mal Moore Athletic Complex to Foster Auditorium led by head coach Nick Saban.

Both Saban and Alabama running back Najee Harris spoke after the march.

Without delay, some people flocked to social media expressing their disapproval of Saban’s actions.

On Wednesday during a post-practice press conference, Saban was asked about those comments.

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.”

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.

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:

cw.ua.edu

 

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox today released an executive order detailing new rules for some businesses in the wake of the city’s State of Emergency order.

These new rules, effective today at 5 p.m., include:

Kentuck Festival of the Arts
WVUA 23

 

The 49th Kentuck Festival of the Arts is canceled.

Kentuck’s Board of Directors voted unanimously on canceling the festival, always held the third weekend in October, because of the ongoing COVID-19 threat.

Instead, there will be a virtual celebration, with more details coming in August.

 

Gov. Kay Ivey announced Alabamians can now renew their driver licenses online twice within 12 years.

Previously, Alabama residents could only renew online once per eight years.  However, the ongoing challenges of the pandemic made the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency change its online renewal process for the time being.

 

According to the Alabama Department of Labor’s Labor Market Information Division, the majority of online wanted ads were aimed at registered nurses, retail salespersons, and heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers.

The month of June saw 6,050 ads catering to these professions.

The Help Wanted Online data was gathered by analyzing every online job posting published in the state of Alabama.

coronavirus COVID-19
Pixabay

 

Eugene Tinker, a Sawyerville native, believes he has found the solution to concerns about spreading the coronavirus inside schools. Tinker has tinkered with a device that automatically reads body temperatures and tests for signs of the virus before someone walks inside a building. Tinker introduced this device to the County Commission July 16.

Tuscaloosa County School System
tcss.net

 

Tuscaloosa County School System Superintendent Keri Johnson released a video last week with answers for parents and students regarding the system’s reopening plans.

“Our School system serves 18,000 students,” Johnson said. “There are no perfect solutions and no one solution is perfect for everyone.”

The system is offering on-campus and off-campus options, but even the on-campus option could feature some online learning, Johnson said.

ADHP

 

Social media has been a breeding ground for coronavirus rumors.

This weekend, the Alabama Department of Public Health sent out a series of Tweets dispelling misinformation that has been circling across the internet recently.

Tanisha Pughsley
WVUA 23

 

Montgomery Police Det. Tanisha Pughsley, who was found dead on Monday, was laid to rest this Thursday. She was 27 years old.

The police department led a 10 mile caravan from the state forensics facility to Ross-Clayton Funeral Home.

More than 75 law enforcement vehicles and fire rescue units flashed their lights along the way. Motorists pulled over and slowed down on I-85 to pay their respects.

Her death was unrelated to her police work. Her ex-boyfriend, Brandon Deshawn Webster, has been charged in her death.

Pixabay

 

Alabama's stay-at-home order is expiring April 30 at 5 p.m., but the state isn't allowing businesses to throw open doors for residents just yet.

In an announcement at 11 a.m. this morning, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said the state can begin reopening, but it’s important to do so slowly and maintain current Alabama Department of Public Health guidelines.

Restaurants and hair salons are remaining closed, but retail stores can open and elective medical procedures can continue.

Rama Jama's
WVUA 23

 

An anonymous person spent $1,200 for the construction workers at Bryant-Denny Stadium to eat at Rama Jama's.

Michael Hebron, the owner of Rama Jama’s, said he received a text first from an unknown number. He later spoke with the person who said they wanted to do this for those essential workers who are on the frontlines. And, it was definitely appreciated.

Druid City Garden Project
University of Alabama

 

With some grocery stores experiencing food shortages due to the coronavirus, fresh produce is in high demand. That means community gardens like Jeremiah's Garden in Tuscaloosa are more important now than ever. Since produce is so sought after, the non-profit garden is expanding.

Jeremiah’s Garden donates much of its produce to the West Alabama Food Bank, who distributes it to those who need it most.

Big Al
WVUA 23

 

TUSCALOOSA, AL-- Even though Big Al couldn’t entertain fans in Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday, he still celebrated what would have been A-Day by spreading spirit throughout the Tuscaloosa community. 

Big Al toured several areas of Tuscaloosa to greet fans while maintaining social distancing. Alabama fans from around the country were also able to follow the festivities via social media.

Since A-Day was canceled due to the pandemic, UA's athletic minds decided that they had to do something to raise team spirit among fans.

automotiveaddicts.com

 

Mercedes-Benz donated 30,000 face masks to healthcare and public safety workers in Tuscaloosa County on Thursday. The company’s plant in Vance began producing the masks and face shields to help others combat COVID-19.

Masks will go to Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue, Northstar EMS and the Alabama Department of Public Health.

Tuscaloosa County probate judge Rob Robertson said he is appreciative of the Mercedes-Benz plant's effort to make critical PPE equipment for essential workers.

cw.ua.edu

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox has enacted a 24-hour curfew within the city of Tuscaloosa starting Sunday.

Maddox made the announcement in a news conference Thursday at 8 p.m., saying that the COVID-19 situation is rapidly worsening and the only way to help reduce the numbers of people catching the virus is enacting stricter rules.

The curfew, which begins 10 p.m. Sunday and runs through April 11, will close nonessential businesses such as night clubs, gyms, spas, hair salons and retail stores not offering essential services.

Pixabay

 

Here’s a list of which types of businesses are affected by the Alabama Department of Public Health’s closure of nonessential businesses from 5 p.m. March 28 to April 17, along with a rundown of businesses still allowed to operate.

Nonessential businesses required to close

curfew
WVUA 23

 

Tuscaloosa mayor Walt Maddox announced Wednesday that the city will be under a curfew beginning Friday and lasting through April 3.

 

The curfew will last from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., and there will be exemptions for those traveling to and from work or other essential tasks.

 

“Within a one-hour drive of city hall, one-third of the state’s coronavirus cases can be found in Jefferson County,” Maddox said. “Within Lee County, which closely mirrors Tuscaloosa County, we see some of the fastest-growing rates of COVID-19 cases in our state.”