BirminghamWatch

College Entry Testing Shows Less Than 1% Of Students Have COVID-19

Preliminary numbers from a program to test college students returning to campus indicate a low positivity rate. The program has tested about 30,000 students so far.

Birmingham Council OKs Al Fresco Dining as ‘Hail Mary’ for Restaurants

Birmingham officials approved outdoor seating for restaurants in hopes of giving them an economic boost during the pandemic.

As Nursing Homes’ Stocks Of PPE Get Too Low For Comfort, Ivey Grants Them $50 Million In COVID Aid

Federal aid for nursing homes comes as older adults comprise the largest share of COVID deaths in Alabama amid dwindling supplies.

Birmingham Gives Tax Breaks For UAB-Area Student Apartment Project, Commission Expected To Follow Suit

The company building a seven-story student housing development near UAB received permission from the city this week to forgo some property and sale taxes for the project. The county is now set to hear a similar request later this week.

Jefferson County Schools To Go Virtual-Only For First Nine Weeks; Start Sept. 1

The Jefferson County Board of Education voted Tuesday to begin the 2020-2021 school year with nine weeks of online education only and no option for traditional classroom learning.

Business Capital, Knowledge Remains Out Of Reach For Many Minority Entrepreneurs

None of the Black-owned businesses in 4th Avenue and Civil Rights commercial districts have gone out of business because of the pandemic.


BCRI Gets Emergency Funding From City Of Birmingham

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute has been closed since March because of the pandemic causing a lack of revenue. Now it's receiving $250,000 in emergency funding from the city of Birmingham.

Health Care Disparities: Being The Target Of Racism Can Make You Physically Sick, Research Shows

The American Academy of Pediatrics has found that racial discrimination against Black children and youth can affect their health.

Birmingham Council OKs Partial Transit Funding Under Protest From Hoyt

The Birmingham City Council voted Tuesday to fund the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority through the end of 2020.

Birmingham Schools Discuss Plans To Reopen Aug. 24

The Birmingham Board of Education is considering four possibilities to begin the academic school year: remote learning, a hybrid model, traditional school and a virtual school option for the first nine weeks. A final decision will be made July 31.

Jones Starts Last Leg Of Campaign With Almost 16 Times As Much Money As Tuberville

Democrat U.S. Sen. Doug Jones is heading into the November election with more cash on hand than competitor Tommy Tuberville, according to reports the candidates filed Wednesday with the Federal Elections Commission.

Health Inspectors Are Enforcing Coronavirus Rules, Can Close Jefferson County Restaurants And Bars That Do Not Comply

The Jefferson County Health Department is using food inspectors to monitor restaurant and bars’ adherence to COVID-19 orders, and they can immediately close establishments that do not comply.

Williamson: People’s Actions In The Next Two Weeks Critical To Controlling The Future Of COVID Infections

The former head of the Alabama Hospital Association says the state can slow the spread of COVID-19 if people wear masks and socially distance.

First Police Review Finds BPD Is “Doing Pretty Good,” Woodfin Says, Ends With Explicit Ban On Chokeholds

Mayor Randall Woodfin says there is still room for improvement in the Birmingham Police Department. This comes after a 30 day internal review.

Fauci Says Alabama Still Could Rein In COVID-19, Even As Cases Spread Among Young People

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says states that are seeing an outbreak of the virus should mandate masks and close bars.

‘Black At Samford’ Pushes For Changes In The University’s Culture, Treatment Of Black Students

Samford University is predominantly white. Now Black students are pushing for changes to procedures and culture to treat them more fairly and make the campus more multicultural.

Supreme Court Blocks Curbside Voting, Loosening Of ID Requirements For Absentee Ballots

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday halted plans to provide curbside voting in the July 14 primary runoff and to ease ID requirements to vote by absentee ballot.

Generation After Generation, The Need For Black Parents And Children To Have ‘The Talk’ Continues

“Many people who look like me suffer through some of the same situations and are humiliated just because of the color of their skin," said Alabama Democratic Party Chair Chris England.

Alabama Schools To Open In August, But Parents Have Home Education Option

Alabama public schools will reopen in August despite the COVID-19 pandemic, but parents will be given the option of continuing distance learning.

COVID-19 Cases Hit Record High Average For The Past Two Weeks

The 14-day moving average of COVID-19 cases has now surpassed the 700 mark.

The ‘Old Normal’ Is Making Us Sick Again, UAB Doc Says; NY-Area Bans Alabama Travelers Without A Quarantine

The number of COVID-19 cases in the state rose Wednesday by 954, one of the state’s largest daily increases since the pandemic began, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

Avondale Added As The City’s Newest Entertainment District On July 1

The Birmingham City Council voted Tuesday to approve the creation of the “Avondale Entertainment District."

Alabama’s COVID-19 Case Averages Reach New Highs

Moving averages of new COVID-19 cases have reached their highest levels since the start of the pandemic.

Polling Officials Say Alabama’s July 14 Election Won’t Mirror Georgia’s Snafus

Alabama is prepared for the July 14 primary runoffs, according to Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill.

Birmingham Conducting Review Of Police Department Procedures, Could Make Changes To Operate In Post-George Floyd World

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin says his office will conduct a comprehensive internal review of the city’s police department.

Jefferson County Curfew Is Over, Commission Says

The Jefferson County Commission voted Tuesday not to extend the order establishing a county wide curfew.

Protesters Ask Birmingham Council To ‘Defund The Police’

Protesters are asking the Birmingham City Council to defund the city's police department by reallocating $150,000 from the department's ammunition budget.

PSC Gives Thumbs-Up For Alabama Power To Increase Fossil Fuel Use, Delays Solar Request

The Alabama Public Service Commission voted this week to approve most of Alabama Power’s $1.1 billion energy expansion plan. The state's largest utility will build a new natural gas plant and buy gas from existing plants.

Mayor Lifts Birmingham’s Curfew And Protest Ban At Midnight

Birmingham’s public safety curfew and state of emergency will expire Monday night.

Birmingham Protesters Vandalize Downtown Buildings, Try to Take Down Confederate Monument

Fiery protests erupted in downtown Birmingham causing damage to several buildings and statues after a peaceful demonstration earlier Sunday.

Senator And State Health Officer Tackle Complex Slate Of Coronavirus Questions

U.S. Sen. Doug Jones and Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris reminds Alabamians that COVID-19 is not over. Instead, they say the number of confirmed cases in the state continues to rise.

Two More Weeks Of Face Coverings Required, Birmingham Council Says

The Birmingham City Council has extended the city’s face covering ordinance for two more weeks.