Your Thursday Digest for West Alabama
Some businesses in Reform are offering showers to residents still without water from the freeze. Crews are working to repair breeches in the water system and water tanks are slowing refilling according to a post by Reform Mayor Melody Davis on her Facebook page. Davis wrote that water tanks are slowly refilling and once they reach 100% capacity, she will let residents know with a post.
The mayor has also been dealing with angry residents, saying on Facebook, "I understand that it is frustrating and a big inconvenience I get that. What I don’t understand is how all of these comments, suggestions have been nothing but crude, negative and messy (AND SOME HATEFUL)."
Davis wrote that she will block comments that are rude and are just plain attacks.
The city's aging water system has experienced ongoing problems which were exacerbated by sub-freezing temperatures that busted pipes and drained water tanks to dangerously low levels. Issues with the system pre-date Davis's tenure as mayor.
A "Boil Water" notice is still in effect in Reform, AL.
Pandemic cases continue to climb across Alabama. The new daily average of COVID-19 cases increased by 27% in the past two weeks and that trend is not expected to abate until well after New Year’s. State Hospitals Assn. Director Dr. Don Williamson tells us hospitals are handling the cases but are being forced to do it with fewer staff.
Tuscaloosa County has experienced a 13.5% increase in pandemic cases being treated in the last two weeks.
Nine inbound and 10 outbound flights for Southwest Airlines are already cancelled at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International today and one tomorrow is already off the board.
By comparison, one American Airlines flight from Dallas is delayed.
60% of cancelled flights over the holidays were from Southwest. The airline has issued two apologies.
The deadline is 4 p.m. this afternoon for companies to apply for licenses as cultivators, processors, dispensaries, transporters and testing labs for medical marijuana in Alabama. Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission Director John McMillan told us, based on experiences in other states, he expects a large number of applications to be received today. Tuscaloosa is one of 50 municipalities in Alabama to approve dispensaries so far.
McMillian expects to begin awarding licenses in June with products being available for sale in December 2023. Sales could produce as much as $200,000,000 in sales tax revenue annually.
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