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DeMarco Speaks to Trussville Republican Women

Brandon Moseley

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By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Alabama State Representative Paul DeMarco (R) from Homewood, spoke to the Republican Women of Trussville at their meeting and candidate forum on May 1, at the Greyson Valley Country Club.

Rep. DeMarco said, “I am always excited to be here because this is a club of workers.  One reason we have a Republican super majority is that you get out and work.”

DeMarco told the women about meeting his wife, Jacqueline. He was at a Church picnic 5 and a half years ago and one of the members told him that he should meet her grand-daughter.  That grand-daughter would become DeMarco’s wife Jacqueline.  DeMarco said that they were expecting their first child in a few weeks.

On Thursday, May 8, Paul and Jacqueline DeMarco were happy to announce the birth of Jack Anthony DeMarco.  Jack was born weighing 7.4 pounds and 21 inches long. In a written statement, Paul DeMarco said, “This is a blessing for us. We thank everyone for their prayers during this joyous time.”

Rep. DeMarco told the Republican Women of Trussville that the Republican Super-Majority has brought much needed reforms in the state of Alabama and we have got to make those same kinds of reforms in Washington D.C.  “We don’t see Alabama values in Washington D.C., we see Washington D.C. values.”  DeMarco said that if elected he would bring Alabama values to Washington, not bring Washington values to Alabama.  DeMarco said that he would continue to live in Homewood, Al.

Rep. DeMarco said that the Sixth District needs a congressman who is accessible, available, and approachable.  “Good ideas don’t come from the State capital.  They don’t come from Washington.  They come from our churches and our schools.”

Rep. DeMarco is an attorney.

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DeMarco said that when tornados struck in Kimberly, Graysville and Bessemer, he didn’t see the Federal government.  He saw in addition to our first responders, volunteers and neighbors showing the American spirit by stepping up to help their friends and neighbors.

DeMarco said that we need a realistic energy policy.  “We can’t put wind mills on top of Red Mountain.”

DeMarco said that when there was a five hour wait at the court house to get a car tag renewed, he sponsored legislation to allow you to get your car tag at your city hall.  Vestavia has already begun offering the car tags to their residents and Trussville will be getting that soon.  DeMarco said that he has talked with the mayor of Trussville about that recently.

DeMarco said, “You know me…I ask for your votes and your prayers.”

Rep. DeMarco is a two-term State representative seeking the Republican nomination for the congressional seat being vacated by Rep. Spencer Bachus (R) from Vestavia.  Congressman Bachus is retiring after 11 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Alabama Policy Institute co-founder and former President Gary Palmer, State Senator Scott Beason from Gardendale, longtime Harbert executive Will Brooke, mattress manufacturer Tom Vigneulle, Dr. Chad Mathis from Indian Springs, and attorney Robert Shattuck are all running in Alabama’s Sixth Congressional District Republican Primary.

The winner of the June 3 Republican Primary will face Democrat Avery Vise in the November general election.  Longtime incumbent Spencer Bachus (R) from Vestavia is not seeking another term.

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Health

Three firefighters, police officer in Mobile test positive for COVID-19

Eddie Burkhalter

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Three firefighters and a police officer in Mobile have tested positive for COVID-19, city officials said Tuesday.

James Barber, executive director of public safety with the city of Mobile, said during a press conference Tuesday that the four city employees tested positive.

The positives come after Mobile-based Synergy Laboratories donated 500 “test kits” and 131 asymptomatic first responders were given the 10-minute rapid blood tests on Monday.  

Barber said the four employees have been quarantined at home until swab tests confirm the virus and physicians provide further guidance.

The rapid blood tests search for antibodies in the blood, which could show a past infection, but not necessarily active infections that are still contagious.

The swab tests will confirm an active infection if one exists. It’s possible the first responders have already recovered from the virus and are no longer contagious.

“That testing continues today,” Barber said of the rapid blood testing of first responders.

Barber said he didn’t have results from Tuesday’s testing yet, but that Monday’s testing resulted in just more than 3 percent of those tested showing positive results for COVID-19. 

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There were 53 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and one death from the virus in Mobile County as of Tuesday evening, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health. 

As of Tuesday evening, there were 999 confirmed COVID-19 cases across Alabama, 13 confirmed deaths from the virus and 23 total reported deaths, some of them not yet confirmed as being caused by the virus.

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Economy

Freelancers, gig workers can begin filing unemployment claims

Chip Brownlee

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Stock Photo

Employees like freelancers and the self-employed can now file for an unemployment claim in Alabama, the Alabama Department of Labor said Tuesday, under the CARES Act, the coronavirus response bill passed by Congress and signed by the president last week.

The Alabama Department of Labor is encouraging employees who believe they may qualify for programs under the CARES Act to file a claim.

These employees will also need to certify weekly to continue to let the department know that they remain unemployed.

Although ADOL does not yet have technical guidance or a start date regarding the CARES Act programs, benefits may be paid retroactively from the time the employee separated from his or her job or otherwise became eligible under the federal CARES Act, not from the time the application was submitted or approved.

In Alabama, many freelancers, independent contractors and the self-employed are not typically able to file for unemployment insurance.

Last week, more than 70,000 people filed an initial jobless claim. Claims can be filed online at www.labor.alabama.gov or by calling 1-866-234-5382.

The Department of Labor is asking for patience when trying to file a claim.

ADOL says employees who may be affected include:

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  • The self-employed
  • Church employees
  • Non-profit and governmental employees
  • Independent contractors
  • Gig economy workers
  • Those who have exhausted their regular UI benefits.

These employees should also meet one of these conditions:

  • The individual has been diagnosed; or
  • A member of the individual’s household has been diagnosed; or
  • The individual is providing care to a household or family member; or
  • A child or other person for which the individual has primary caregiving responsibility is unable to attend school or another facility as a result of COVID-19; or
  • The individual is unable to reach the place of employment because of a quarantine imposed as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency; or
  • The individual is unable to reach the place of employment because the individual has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine; or
  • The individual was scheduled to start work and does not have a job as a result of COVID-19; or
  • The individual has become “the breadwinner or major support for a household because the head of the household has died as a direct result of COVID-19”; or
  • The individual has to quit their job because of COVID-19; or
  • The individual’s place of employment is closed because of COVID-19.

This list is not exhaustive.

Further details regarding the CARES Act programs will be forthcoming, the department says, including information regarding Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, which provides for an additional $600 a week in unemployment compensation benefits.

The additional $600 weekly benefit will only be available for weeks beginning March 29, 2020

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Health

Two hospital employees in Huntsville test positive for COVID-19

Chip Brownlee

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Stock Photo/Huntsville, Alabama

A physician and another employee at Crestwood Medical Center in Huntsville, Alabama, have tested positive for the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, the hospital said Tuesday.

“Crestwood Medical Center learned that 2 of our associates (one physician and one employee) have tested positive for COVID-19,” spokesperson Lori Light said in a statement Tuesday.

One is in the hospital for care while the other is at home under quarantine.

The hospital has also had two patients test positive in the Emergency Department, but neither of the patients needed inpatient care, the spokesperson said.

“Working in coordination with the health department, we are following established CDC procedures to identify and communicate directly with any potentially exposed staff and patients,” the Crestwood Medical Center spokesperson said.

Overall, there are at least 13 COVID-19 patients in Madison County, the hospital’s CEO Dr. Pam Hudson said Tuesday during a briefing.

There are 11 inpatients at Huntsville Hospital’s facilities, according to Huntsville Hospital spokesperson Susan Esslinger.

In Alabama, the number of positive cases is nearing 1,000. At least 23 deaths related to COVID-19 have been reported. The Alabama Department of Public Health has officially confirmed 13.

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Crime

Alabama inmate killed by another inmate at Ventress Correctional

Eddie Burkhalter

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via the Alabama Department of Corrections

A Birmingham man serving at Ventress Correctional Facility in Clayton was killed by another inmate, according to the Alabama Department of Corrections. 

Dennis Benson, 40, who was serving a 36-month sentence for possession of a controlled substance and receiving stolen property, died March 30 after being attacked by another inmate, ADOC said in a statement. 

“The ADOC condemns all violence in its facilities, and the fatal actions taken against Benson by another inmate are being thoroughly investigated,” the department said in a statement.

Benson’s cause of death is pending a full autopsy, and more information will be available upon the conclusion of the investigation into his death, according to the department. 

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