Gov. Kay Ivey has awarded nearly $50 million in grants to assist with energy bills.
The $46.6 million in grants was awarded Friday to help low-income families in Alabama with their energy bills.
The grants, which were issued to 21 community service agencies throughout the state, provide emergency funds to help low-income families heat their houses this winter.
“During the winter, many low-income families are forced to choose between staying warm in their houses or having food on their table and required prescriptions in their medicine cabinets,” Ivey said. “These grants mean that many elderly, disabled, and families with children do not have to make those choices. I am pleased to provide this assistance to help those most in need.”
The grants to assist with energy bills come after Ivey awarded grants totaling $3.1 million for programs that help low-income residents take steps to secure gainful employment and improve their quality of life.
Ivey awarded the grants, but the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is them, and the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grants.
The state is distributing the funds through its Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. The program helps eligible low-income households afford the energy required to heat their houses.
Residents apply for assistance through local community service agencies who determine eligibility based on income, family size and available resources.
ADECA administers a wide range of programs that support law enforcement, economic development, infrastructure upgrades, recreation, energy, water resources, job training and career development.
“Gov. Ivey understands the critical nature of these funds in helping qualified families heat their homes during the cold weather,” said ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell. “ADECA is pleased to join with the governor to make these funds available as we enter what are typically the coldest months of the year in our state.”
Community service agencies receiving grants:
- Community Action Partnership of Huntsville/Madison and Limestone Counties Inc. (Madison and Limestone) – $2.77 million.
- Community Action Agency of Northeast Alabama Inc. (Blount, Cherokee, DeKalb, Jackson, Marshall and St. Clair) – $3.64 million.
- Community Action Agency of Northwest Alabama Inc. (Colbert, Franklin and Lauderdale) – $1.25 million.
- Community Action Partnership of North Alabama Inc. (Cullman, Lawrence and Morgan) – $2.3 million.
- Marion-Winston Counties Community Action Committee Inc. (Marion and Winston) – $708,340
- Community Action of Etowah County Inc. (Etowah) – $1.06 million.
- Community Action Agency of Talladega, Clay, Randolph, Calhoun and Cleburne Counties (Calhoun, Clay, Cleburne, Randolph and Talladega) – $2.05 million.
- Walker County Community Action Agency Inc. (Walker) – $782,250.
- Jefferson County Committee for Economic Opportunity (Jefferson) – $4.57 million.
- Community Services Programs of West Alabama Inc. (Bibb, Choctaw, Dallas, Fayette, Greene,
- Lamar, Perry, Sumter and Tuscaloosa) – $5.45 million.
- Pickens County Community Action Committee and Community Development Corp. Inc. (Pickens) – $366,450.
- Community Action Partnership of Middle Alabama Inc. (Autauga, Chilton, Elmore and Shelby)- $2.15 million.
- Hale Empowerment and Revitalization Organization Inc. (Hale) – $430,140.
- Community Action Committee Inc. of Chambers-Tallapoosa-Coosa (Chambers, Coosa and Tallapoosa) – $1.05 million.
- Alabama Council on Human Relations Inc. (Lee) – $1.29 million.
- Macon-Russell Community Action Agency Inc. (Macon and Russell) – $1.06 million.
- Montgomery Community Action Agency (Montgomery) – $2.51 million.
- Organized Community Action Program Inc. (Bullock, Butler, Covington, Crenshaw, Dale, Lowndes and Pike) – $2.88 million.
- Southeast Alabama Community Action Partnership Inc. (Barbour, Coffee, Geneva, Henry and Houston) – $2.37 million.
- Community Action Agency of South Alabama Inc. (Baldwin, Clarke, Conecuh, Escambia, Marengo, Monroe and Wilcox) – $3.1 million.
- Mobile Community Action Inc. (Mobile and Washington) – $4.82 million.
Governor authorizes use of National Guard after violent protests in Birmingham
Gov. Kay Ivey on Monday said she supports the right for people to protest peacefully in the wake of the death of a Minneapolis man at the hands of police, but cautioned against the sort of violent protest and looting that occurred in Birmingham early Monday morning.
Ivey also authorized the Alabama National Guard to active up to 1,000 guardsmen as a “preparedness measure” but said there was no immediate need to deploy them.
In her statement, Ivey hints at outsiders from other states who seek to ratchet up the violence, but she doesn’t outright say that’s what happened in Birmingham early Monday morning, when some burned businesses, attempted to tear down one Confederate monument, tore down another and attacked several reporters. There has been no publicized evidence that the violence was caused by people from outside Alabama, however.
“Like so many others throughout the country and around the world, I, too, was shocked and angered by the tragic actions that led to the senseless death of George Floyd last week in Minneapolis. It is a death that should have never happened, and it is a tragedy for which that too many people, especially African Americans, are all too familiar,” Ivey said in a statement. “Regretfully, the natural anger and frustration of Mr. Floyd’s death has now spread to our state and what started out as peaceful protests in some of our cities yesterday afternoon turned ugly last night.”
“While no state has a richer history than Alabama in terms of using peaceful protests to lead the country – and the world – to positive change, I agree with Alabama native, Congressman John Lewis, who this weekend said ‘rioting, looting and burning is not the way,’” Ivey continued. “Congressman Lewis marched alongside other Alabamians who would go on to become heroes of the movement. They were young, brave and determined. Many were beaten, arrested and jailed. But they all — Rosa Parks, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr. Ralph David Abernathy, Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, attorney and civil rights activist Fred Gray and others – led the fight for change in a peaceful way.”
“I will always support the right of the people of Alabama to peacefully lift your voices in anger and frustration. After all, our great country was born out of the desire to be free and the desire for freedom has repeatedly led to making positive change for the betterment of society,” Ivey said. “However, we will not allow our cities to become a target for those, especially from other states, who choose to use violence and destruction to make their point. What I saw happen last night in Birmingham was unbecoming of all those who have worked to make Birmingham the great city it is. Going forward, this cannot be tolerated. State assets are available to any local government that makes the request. We will show respect to ourselves and to each other through this process.”
A separate press release from Ivey’s office states that the authorization to activate Alabama National Guardsmen “serves as a preparedness measure, should local and state law enforcement need additional support.”
“While there is no immediate need for us to deploy our Guard, I have given authorization to Adjutant General Sheryl Gordon to be on standby, should our local and state law enforcement need additional support,” Ivey said in a statement.
“The Alabama National Guard stands ready to assist when peaceful protests become violent and dangerous to our public safety,” Ivey continues. “I will always support the right of the people of Alabama to peacefully lift your voices in anger and frustration. However, we will not allow our cities to become a target for those, especially from other states, who choose to use violence and destruction to make their point.”
Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin on Monday declared a state of emergency and announced a citywide curfew in response to the violence hours before. He said Birmingham police will be enforcing the curfew beginning Monday, but said there was no immediate need for additional assistance from the Alabama National Guard.
“I’ve been in constant contact with the governor’s chief of staff. As of now, there will be no activating the National Guard,” Woodfin told reporters during a press conference Monday.
Governor awards grants for bulletproof vests
Gov. Kay Ivey has awarded grants totaling $46,960 to help state law enforcement agencies and the University of Alabama Police Department equip officers with new bulletproof vests.
“Making sure our state’s law enforcement officers have updated protective equipment is vital to increasing officer safety,” Gov. Ivey said. “I am pleased to assist these agencies in their efforts to provide up-to-date models of protective vests.”
The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is using $27,783 to purchase new bulletproof vests for state troopers across Alabama.
Grant funds of $12,490 will enable the Alabama Department of Corrections to purchase bulletproof vests for officers in the department’s K-9 Unit.
The University of Alabama is using a $6,687 grant to purchase new bulletproof vests for university police.
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grants from funds made available by the U.S. Department of Justice. “ADECA joins Gov. Ivey in support of our state’s police and corrections officers,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. “These grants will assist these three groups in their efforts to make the jobs of our law enforcement officers safer.”
ADECA manages a wide range of programs that support law enforcement, economic development, infrastructure upgrades, recreation, energy conservation, water resources management and career development.
Opinion | Marsh hurls accusations at Gov. Ivey. Is he barking mad?
Appearing on the latest edition of Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal,” Sen. President Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston, blamed Gov. Kay Ivey for the loss of some 450,000 jobs in Alabama.
It’s an absurd accusation that any thinking Alabamian knows is a lie. But Marsh wants to hurt Ivey because she exposed him as little more than a petty, greedy-gut politico.
Still stinging from the public humiliation he suffered after Ivey revealed his “wish list” — which included taking $200 million in COVID-19 relief money to build a new State House — Marsh is leveling a cascade of recriminations against the popular governor.
However, what is astonishing is that he would spew brazen lies about Ivey during raging loss and uncertainty caused by a worldwide pandemic. This latest fiction about Ivey creating widespread economic calamity is the unseemly work of a hollow man without empathy, wisdom or decency.
This insane assertion that Ivey is somehow responsible for thousands suffering is as cravenly evil as it is politically stupid.
“The policies that have been put in place by the [Ivey] administration have 450,000 people out of work,” Marsh told show host Don Daily.
Only a fool, a nutjob or a politician would blame Ivey for losing some 450,000 jobs, but there was Marsh, on public television, showing he is perhaps all three.
In the middle of his barking-mad comments, Marsh somehow forgot to mention that he was a member of Ivey’s Executive Committee on the COVID-19 task force and helped make the very policies he now claims led to joblessness and financial ruin for many Alabamians.
Marsh is merely making it up as he goes because his fragile ego, pompous character and rank inhumanity suddenly became fully displayed for every Alabamian to see when he doubled down on building a new State House.
And so, like a guy caught with his pants down, Marsh is pointing his finger at Ivey to distract from his naked indifference toward the struggles of his fellow Alabamians.
Marsh’s plan to spend the CARES Act funds on a State House and other pet projects ignored the sufferings of hundreds of thousands of the state’s most vulnerable citizens and businesses.
Ivey wanted the nearly $1.9 billion in CARES funds to go to help those individuals, businesses and institutions affected by COVID-19. Marsh wanted it as a Senate piggybank, so, he lashes out at her rather than reflect on how he and the State Senate could do better in the future.
Anyone who blames others for their failings is a weakling, not a leader.
Marsh came to power under a scheme hatched around 2008, by then-Gov. Bob Riley. The plan was to make Mike Hubbard the speaker of the House, Marsh as pro tem and Bradley Byrne as governor. Riley would act as the shadow puppet master pulling the strings of power from behind a thin curtain of secrecy, allowing him to make untold riches without public accountability.
Byrne losing the governor’s race to the hapless State Rep. Dr. Doctor Robert Bentley was the first glitch in the plan (yes, during the 2010 campaign for governor, Bentley changed his name to Doctor Robert Julian Bentley so the title Doctor would appear next to his name on the primary ballot).
The second problem for the venture was Hubbard’s avarice, which landed him on the wrong side of the ethics laws he, Riley, Byrne and Marsh championed. Of course, the ethics laws were never meant to apply to them. They were designed to trap Democrats.
Marsh has floundered since Hubbard’s grand departure and with Riley sinking further into the background, it is now apparent that Riley was the brains, Hubbard the muscle and Marsh the errand boy, picking up bags of cash to finance the operation.
Gofers rarely rise to power without the public noticing they’re not quite up for the job, and so it is with Marsh that his office has shown the limits of his abilities.
Marsh wanted to control the COVID-19 relief money to spend on pork projects as he’d done in the past, but Ivey didn’t allow it. To be outsmarted is one thing, but to be beaten by a woman is too much for a guy like Marsh.
Ivey burned Marsh like a girl scout roasting marshmallows over a campfire.
Senator Marshmallow, anyone?
Poor Marsh, with his political career in turmoil, picked the wrong target in Ivey.
Some look at Ivey and see a kind, grandmotherly figure. Ivey is as tough as a junkyard dog, and now Marsh knows what her bite feels like.
Ivey didn’t cause massive job losses. COVID-19 did that. But Marsh got his feelings hurt, bless his heart, so he wants to take Ivey down.
Just like his scheme to commandeer the COVID-19 funds from the people didn’t work, his attack on Ivey won’t either.
People see Marsh for what he is, and it’s neither strong nor competent; it’s weak and ineffectual.
Marsh stood behind Ivey when she announced the state’s health orders wearing an American flag style mask.
He voted for her executive amendment.
And now he lies.
In times of real crisis, true leaders emerge while others of lesser abilities whine. Marsh is complaining. Ivey is leading.
And so the public watches as The Masked Marshmallow takes on Iron-jawed Ivey. It’s not tricky to see how this cage match turns out.
Marshmallow, down in three.
Alabama AG warns against nursing homes taking stimulus checks
Alabama’s top law enforcement officer on Friday warned against nursing homes intercepting federal stimulus payments to long-term care residents who are Medicaid recipients, but the state’s Nursing Home Association says it’s not aware that is happening, and it hasn’t been contacted by the Alabama Attorney General’s Office over the matter.
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall in a press release Friday said that federal stimulus checks from the CARES Act cannot be seized by nursing homes to pay for care.
“We are now beginning to receive a few reports of concern that some Alabama nursing homes may be attempting to take stimulus checks from residents who are Medicaid recipients. If this is happening, it needs to stop now,” Marshall said in a statement. “These stimulus checks are rightfully and legally the property of the residents and must be returned. Confiscation of these checks is unlawful and should be reported to my office.”
Mike Lewis, spokesman for the state Attorney General’s Office, in a message to APR on Friday said that all concerns reported to the office will be reviewed and investigated.
“There have been four such reports thus far,” Lewis said in the message.
Alabama Nursing Home Association President Brandon Farmer in a separate press release Friday said that since the federal government’s announcement of the stimulus payment, the association advised members that any stimulus payment deposited to the accounts of nursing home residents was not to be used to reimburse the facility “and is the sole property of the residents.”
“We urge Attorney General Steve Marshall to let us know if he has any reports of diversion of residents’ stimulus payments so that we may clarify any misunderstanding that may exist,” Farmer said. “At this time, we are unaware of any facility where such diversion is occurring.
Farmer said the association has encouraged Marshall to contact them any time he has a concern about nursing homes, or has information he wants to pass along to our members.
“As we have done throughout this pandemic, we stand ready to work with local, state and federal leaders to support Alabama’s nursing home residents and employees,” Farmer said.
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