Alabama Governor Kay Ivey invited a special guest to meet with her in the governor’s office on Friday: fourth grade student Cate McGriff, known for her impeccable impersonation of the governor.
The discussion was described as “wide-ranging and productive.” The governor and McGriff covered everything from school to their love of dogs.
Ivey asked McGriff what her favorite subject in school is, the governor’s office said. McGriff replied that it was math. She also told the governor that she wanted to attend Auburn University just like Ivey did.
Ivey asked Cate what she wanted to be when she grows up after she attends Auburn. McGriff said that she wants to be an engineer.
Ivey advised her to keep working hard on her math.
Ivey shared that when she was a young intern for Gov. Lurleen Wallace, the only other woman to serve as governor in Alabama history, she had the opportunity to sit behind the governor’s desk. Ivey then asked Cate if she wanted to sit behind the desk, and they recreated the governor’s own photo behind Gov. Lurleen Wallace’s desk.
Cate and Ivey both were wearing their red “power suits” and Auburn face masks.
McGriff was joined by her parents and two siblings, Claire and Sam.
The McGriff family frequently tune in to the governor’s regular COVID press conferences. Cate also was given the chance to stand behind the lectern in the Old House Chamber.
Governors frequently meet with very important people including presidents, CEOs, congressmen, senators, scientists, university presidents, state legislators, county commissioners, economic developers and fourth graders.
Governor issues statement urging school systems to return for in-person learning
The governor urged local school districts to resume in-person instruction.
Gov. Kay Ivey on Tuesday issued the following statement, urging schools to resume in-person instruction.
“Due to COVID-19, 2020 has been an extremely challenging year for everyone, especially for our parents, teachers and students. I’m extremely grateful for the flexibility everyone has shown as they have adapted to virtual instruction,” Ivey said. “However, virtual and remote instruction are stop-gap measures to prevent our students from regressing academically during the pandemic. These practices cannot — and should not — become a permanent part of instructional delivery system in 2021. As we are learning more about COVID-19, we are seeing more and more clear evidence pointing out that our students are safe in the classroom with strong health protocols in place.”
“There are nearly 9,800 fewer students enrolled statewide in this academic year and a five percent reduction in students on the kindergarten level,” Ivey said. “This will not only result in a critical learning loss for our students today but will also likely lead to an equally negative impact on the readiness of our workforce in years to come.”
Additionally, it could have an equally important economic loss that affects funding for classrooms and teacher units, according to the governor.
“As we begin the holiday season and contemplate a return to a normalcy in 2021, I strongly urge our education leadership on both the state and local levels to return to in-person instruction as soon as possible,” she said. “My Administration will work with Dr. Mackey, all of our local superintendents and the Legislature to ensure that our kids are back in the classroom in 2021. Our employers, our families, our communities, Alabama’s taxpayers, and most importantly, our students, deserve nothing less.”
Governor orders flags lowered in honor of former Rep. Alvin Holmes
Ivey’s directive calls for flags to be lowered on Sunday when Holmes is to be buried.
Gov. Kay Ivey on Tuesday ordered the flags at the State Capitol and in State House District 78 to be lowered to half-staff in honor of former State Rep. Alvin Holmes, a tireless advocate for the Black community who served in the House for 44 years.
Holmes, 81, died Saturday. Ivey’s directive calls for flags to be lowered on Sunday when Holmes is to be buried and remain lowered until sunset that day.
“A native of Montgomery, Rep. Holmes served the people of Alabama in the House of Representatives for 44 years,” Ivey wrote in her directive. “As the longest-serving representative in our state’s history, it is only fitting that we pay homage to his decades of dedicated service. Anyone that had the privilege of working with or hearing Rep. Holmes address the legislature, knows that he was passionate about his work and cared deeply about improving our state, specifically in matters regarding civil rights. His unique approach to conveying the importance of causes he supported garnered much respect from his colleagues and is something the people of our state will not soon forget. I offer my sincere condolences and prayers to his family, friends and constituents of his beloved community.”
A caravan honoring Holmes took place in Montgomery on Monday.
State Rep. Chris England, D-Tuscaloosa, the chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party, released a statement mourning Holmes’s passing.
“Representative Alvin Holmes was a great Democrat and a fighter,” England said. “He stood on the frontlines of the fight for civil rights and was willing to sacrifice everything in his fight for justice for all. He not only had a long and distinguished career as a civil rights leader, but also as a member of the Legislature, serving his constituents faithfully and dutifully for 44 years. Alabama has lost a giant, whose wit, intelligence, fearlessness, selfless determination, and leadership will be sorely missed. My prayers are with his friends, family, and colleagues.”
Governor announces 3rd year of record Alabama foster care adoptions
In the 2020 fiscal year, there were 814 foster care adoptions, which is an all-time record for the state.
Gov. Kay Ivey on Tuesday announced that for the third year in a row Alabama reported a record number of foster care adoptions. In the 2020 fiscal year, there were 814 foster care adoptions, which is an all-time record for the state. That is up from the previous year’s record of 731 adoptions.
“I am so proud that Alabama has set yet another record and placed so many children in permanent homes,” Ivey said. “I am so appreciative for the innovative work of our adoption professionals and the Department of Human Resources, during this unique time, to complete this record number of adoptions. Also, I sincerely thank our foster families, and most importantly, the forever families, for giving these children loving homes and for your sacrifice and love for our children.”
In the 2020 fiscal year, 70.5 percent of children who left foster care, went home to family members or their parent(s). While most children in the state’s foster care system do return to their families, there are still children that need adoptive families.
“This is a truly important milestone in a year that has seen many delays to finalizing adoptions, due to the pandemic. We are proud to have found permanency for these 814 children that deserve forever families,” said Alabama Department of Human Resources Commissioner Nancy Buckner. “We could not have accomplished this milestone without our vital partners in the permanency and adoption process, especially the judges and adoptive parents. However, we must be mindful that the work is not done. We have hundreds of additional children that continue to wait for his or her permanent family. Our staff and others are working hard every day to give these children that needed permanency. There are no unwanted children, just unfound families.”
Currently, there are 468 children in Alabama’s foster care system that need forever homes. Ivey also proclaimed November 2020 as National Adoption Month in the state of Alabama.
Governor awards nearly $19.4 million in block grants for Alabama communities
The CDBG funds will be used to repair dangerous roads, provide safe water, build community and senior centers, improve sewer systems and more.
More than 60 Alabama cities and counties will soon see improvements in their communities thanks to almost $19.4 million in Community Development Block Grants awarded by Gov. Kay Ivey.
The CDBG funds will be used to repair dangerous roads, provide safe water, build community and senior centers, improve sewer systems and more.
“Community Development Block Grants help raise the living standards for thousands of Alabamians who may have struggled with dangerous roads, sewage backed up in their homes or find it difficult to wash clothes because of inadequate water pressure,” Ivey said. “I am pleased to award these grants and I must commend those local elected officials who recognized those struggles and responded to address needs in their communities.”
Grants are awarded on competitive basis in several categories including small city, large city, county, community enhancement, Black Belt and planning. Some cities received planning grants in addition to other competitive grants.
In most instances, awarded governments are required to allocate some local funds to projects as a match for the grants.
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grants from funds made available by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“Many local governments, particularly this year with the COVID-19 pandemic, often struggle for funds to provide basic services for residents,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. “ADECA is pleased to join Gov. Ivey in awarding these funds from the CDBG program, which enables governments to accomplish worthwhile projects to make their communities better places to live.”
Grants awarded and projects (grouped by geographical region) include:
- Ardmore– $350,000 to replace sewer lines and ensure safe disposal of sewage.
- Colbert County – $182,876 to raise the roadbed and improve drainage to eliminate pavement flooding on Gnat Pond Road, Cassie Davis Street and Marthaler Lane.
- Courtland– $350,000 to replace aging water lines and provide safe drinking water to residents.
- Fort Payne– $450,000 to demolish and clear the abandoned Fort Payne General Hospital complex.
- Glencoe– $450,000 to replace sewer lines on East Air Depot Road, Taylor Road and Lonesome Bend Road.
- Haleyville– $450,000 to upgrade sewer, water and streets in several areas of the city.
- Holly Pond– $250,000 to construct a new senior citizen center to help meet the needs of the growing program.
- Limestone County – $301,000 to provide pavement and drainage improvements on Chapman Hollow Road south of the town of Lester. The project is designed to alleviate flooding.
- Morgan County– $250,000 to upgrade and add an addition to the Falk Senior Center.
- North Courtland– $347,300 to improve drainage along Davis Street and other parts of the town.
- Red Bay– $445,000 to improve sewer lines in the southeast part of the city.
- Sheffield– $210,000 to demolish and clear multiple dilapidated residential and commercial structures throughout the city.
- Tuscumbia– $365,000 to raze and clear 23 dilapidated structures located throughout the city.
- Vina – $348,650 to install a new boost pump at a water storage tank to improve water flow and pressure.
- Winfield– $450,000 to improve drainage and upgrade streets to alleviate flooding along Regal Street.
North Central Alabama
- Blountsville– $250,000 to repair and resurface parts of College Street, Chestnut Street, Church Street and Ratliff Street.
- Chilton County– $350,000 to pave more than four miles of county roads including County Roads 127, 128 and 201
- Cleburne County – $350,000 to extend public water services to 32 households along portions of County Roads 49, 689, 114 and 447.
- Columbiana– $450,000 to improve the city’s main sewer line to prevent sewage backup and related problems.
- Detroit– $350,000 to install new water lines and add fire hydrants to benefit more than 100 residents.
- Talladega (city)- $250,000 to demolish and clear dilapidated structures at several locations throughout the city.
- Woodland– $350,000 to replace water lines at several locations throughout the town to improve water quality and flow.
South Central Alabama
- Boligee – $350,000 to improve the town’s sewer lines and manhole covers to ensure no infiltration into the lines from rain and other sources.
- Brantley– $350,000 to rehabilitate or replace sewer lines and other components of its sewer system.
- Brantley– $32,000 for a planning grant to help develop a land-use plan, subdivision regulations and zoning ordinances.
- Demopolis– $450,000 to resurface portions of nine streets to include South Glover Street, McGee Street, Hilltop Circle, East Capitol Street, East Lyon Street, North Chestnut Avenue, North Cherry Avenue, North Ash Street, and North Front Avenue.
- Franklin– $32,000 for a planning grant designed to help the town develop future plans.
- Greene County -$350,000 to improve 4.5 miles of roads including Basketball Lane, Sandy Way, Smoke Lane, Brush Creek Circle, Curve Lane, Country Road Lane, Plum Lane, Star Lane and Jasmine Lane.
- Linden– $350,000 to resurface and improve drainage on Easley Street, Adams Drive, Ford Street, Brandon Avenue, Barkley Street, Lucas Street, Gardner Street and Louisville Avenue/Pool Street.
- Livingston– $450,000 to replace sewer lines in the north-central part of the city.
- Pine Hill– $350,000 to rehabilitate two sewer system lift stations.
- Phenix City– $250,000 to fund a city-wide cleanup of multiple dilapidated structures.
- Selma– $450,000 to improve drainage along LL Anderson Avenue, Arsenal Place, Alabama Avenue and Mechanic Street, and Highland Avenue.
- Selma– $40,000 for a planning grant to help the city develop a strategy to deal with dilapidated structures, housing and economic development.
- Sumter County– $250,000 to renovate the Sumter County E911 Call Center to streamline emergency operations.
- Union Springs – $450,000 to improve water, sewer and drainage along Bloomfield Street, April Street and Tye Avenue.
- Uniontown– $250,000 to demolish and clear several dilapidated buildings in the town.
- York– $350,000 to upgrade sewer lines and rehabilitate sewer mains in the Grant City community.
- Ariton – $250,000 to resurface and improve drainage along Dillard Street, Zumstein Avenue, Williams Street, Barnes Street and Claybank Street.
- Ariton– $30,000 for a planning grant to help the town develop long-range plans and goals.
- Crenshaw County– $350,000 to repave Helicon Cross Road and Rising Star Road north of Petrey.
- Cottonwood– $350,000 to replace old and damaged sewer lines and a failing lift station.
- Daleville – $292,500 to replace water lines along Culpepper Street, Wells Avenue, Ennis Street and Holman Street.
- Dozier– $250,000 to improve water pressure and improve fire protection capability in an area along Main Street.
- Eufaula– $450,000 to implement the fourth phase of its housing rehabilitation program. The program will be in the Edgewood subdivision area.
- Hartford– $350,000 to replace sewer lines and components in the vicinity of Third Avenue.
- Headland- $450,000 to rehabilitate up to 30 substandard houses in the central and north part of the city.
- Florala– $350,000 to continue to rehabilitate old and damaged sewer lines in a project that has been ongoing with CDBG funds since 2005.
- New Brockton– $314,000 to renovate and upgrade three sewer pump stations to improve sewage collection.
- Ozark– $250,000 to resurface at least a portion of nine streets including Brown Drive, Lowery Road, Julian Street, Wilson Avenue, Hall Drive, McDonald Avenue, Woodview Avenue, Brookview Drive and Parkview Drive.
- Pike County – $350,000 to resurface County Road 7749 (McLure Town Road), northeast of Troy and pave County Road 2256 south of Troy.
- Troy– $250,000 to renovate a portion of the historic Academy Street School and convert it to a community and cultural arts center.
- Beatrice– $350,000 to replace deteriorating water lines and add fire hydrants.
- Conecuh County – $350,000 to pave sections of 26 roads throughout the county.
- East Brewton– $337,000 to rehabilitate sewer lines and pumping station in the southeast part of the city.
- Elberta– $350,000 to improve drainage along Baldwin County Road 83 (Main Street) to alleviate flooding.
- Escambia County – $350,000 to replace and extend water lines and install fire hydrants in the Ridge Road community.
- Frisco City– $250,000 to resurface at least part of several streets including Harvestview Drive, Martin Luther King Jr. Street, School Street, Wiggins Avenue, and Wild Fork Road.
- Fulton– $350,000 to pave at least sections of Main Street, Eighth Street, First Street and Green Acres Road.
- Jackson– $208,000 to improve drainage on Cemetery Road including adding curbs and gutters.
- Lisman– $350,000 to resurface parts of Commerce Street, Thomas Drive, Kinnon Heights/Circle, Broad Street, Tower Street, Coleman Circle and West Second Avenue.