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Church & Community Events

Upcoming 2020 holiday deadlines: Thanksgiving Edition deadline is Friday, Nov. 20 at 8 a.m. MvT will be closed for the Thanksgiving Holidays and has to go to press early, so don’t be late this week! Santa Letter deadline is Friday, Dec. 4. Christmas and New Year’s editions deadline are Friday, Dec. 18 by 8 a.m. We will be closed for the Christmas and New Years holidays and will re-open Monday, Jan. 3. We have to go to press early since the printing company will be closed for the holidays.

Hale County Animal Shelter
Pet of the Week
Lulu is a 2-3 year old, female Staffordshire Terrier/Boxer mix who is very reserved and submissive. Lulu has a rather severe underbite but it doesn’t impact her ability to eat and drink, does okay with other dogs that are calm and laid back, and will be fearful of younger, high energy dogs. Lulu is not cat friendly but she is very laid back and would do best in a home with no children/ limited excitement and noise. This sweet girl is available now and the shelter is open Sat. 10 a.m-2 p.m and Mon. 10 a.m-12 p.m. Submitted by Bryanne Oaks

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
Success By 6 of United Way of West Alabama is proud to provide Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library books FREE to children ages birth to 5 years old in Greene, Hale, Marengo, Pickens, Sumter, and Tuscaloosa counties. Once a month, your child will receive a new book by mail. You only need to do two things: register your child and pledge to read the books to him/her. Please, climb on board Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library! Since UWWA launched the Dolly Parton Imagination Library: 13,467 children have participated in the program in Greene, Hale, Marengo, Pickens, Sumter, and Tuscaloosa Counties. 10,427 children have “graduated” from the program. 443,856 books have been delivered to children in West Alabama. Sign up at https://imaginationlibrary.com/check-availability/


Shelton State Community College Drive Through Nursing Pinning Ceremony
Shelton State Community College will host a drive through nursing pinning ceremony for the summer 2020 nursing class. The ceremony will be Thursday, August 13, 2020, at 6 p.m. in the front of the College’s Martin Campus. The pinning ceremony is restricted to the pinning candidate and those accompanying them in a single vehicle. Members of the media are invited and are asked to arrive on campus no later than 5:30 p.m. Shelton State Community College continues to monitor the COVID-19/Coronavirus outbreak, and the health and safety of students, faculty, staff, and community members remain the College’s top priority. Please be advised that all campus visitors must submit to a temperature check prior to building entry and that a facial covering is required. For more information, contact mediacom@sheltonstate.edu.


Alabama Farmers Apply For
Coronavirus Relief Funds By Aug. 28
Alabama farmers whose operations have been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic are actively receiving relief through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). Applications are due Aug. 28 at farmers.gov/cfap. Alabama Farmers Federation National Affairs Director Mitt Walker said it is important the farming community submits applications by the deadline. CFAP will provide up to $16 billion in direct payments to farmers experiencing unprecedented losses. Following the release of CFAP’s original application in May, USDA posted amendments to the list of eligible commodities, as well as funding category expansion and payment rate adjustments. Access the full list of eligible commodities and payment rates at farmers.gov/cfap. USDA service centers are committed to helping farmers and ranchers while taking appropriate safety measures. Alabama service centers are open by phone appointment only. FSA is working with producers by phone and email, along with online tools, to process CFAP applications. Learn more at farmers.gov/coronavirus. See more on AlfaFarmers.org.

Pillars of West Alabama moved to 2021
Due to the on-going concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board of the Community Foundation of West Alabama has postponed the 2020 Pillars of West Alabama event until 2021. The class listed below will be recognized as the 2021 Pillars of West Alabama. More details will be announced at a later date.


Non-Profit Organization Seeks Local Families to Host High School Exchange Students 
Americans are among the most generous people on planet earth. During these times of global uncertainty, more than ever America has an opportunity to demonstrate the strength of its generosity. You can play your part by hosting an international high school exchange student for the upcoming academic year and helping them experience American culture firsthand! ASSE International Student Exchange Programs (ASSE) is looking for local families to host boys and girls ages 15–18 arriving soon to attend community high schools. Students from all over the world – places like Germany, France, Italy, Portugal, Czech, and Thailand, to name a few – have been selected to participate based on strong academics and citizenship; all they need now is you! Students are equipped with pocket money for personal expenses, along with accident and illness insurance. Host families can choose their students from a wide variety of backgrounds, countries, and personal interests. International students dream of experiencing the real America as they live and attend high school within your community. Our goal is to make each and every one of those dreams come true. Show the world the best side of America by sharing your country, family, and culture with an exchange student. During this temporary period of social distancing, more than ever we need to look forward to and celebrate opportunities to show hospitality and caring to others. By generously opening your home to a young person from overseas, you can help us continue our global commitment to spreading the ideals of peace, love, and understanding. ASSE’s top concern is the health of our host families, host communities, and exchange students. Even as the U.S. and many other countries continue to live under temporary travel restrictions, we would like to reassure you that these students will not travel unless it is considered safe to do so by the U.S. and foreign agencies entrusted with public health and safety. To become a host family, or to find out how to become involved with ASSE in your community, please call Pamela at 205-467-3337 or the ASSE Southern Regional Office at 1-800-473-0696 or go to www.host.asse.com to begin your host family application. There are many students to choose from, so begin the process of welcoming your new son or daughter into your family today! ASSE International (formerly American Scandinavian Student Exchange) is a non-profit, tax-exempt, public benefit organization. ASSE is officially designated as an exchange visitor program by the United States Department of State, was founded by the Swedish National Department of Education.


Alabama Aflame
Conference
Victorious Life Church Moundville, 31 Shadowwood St., Moundville, will be on Fri., Aug. 2 at 7 p.m., Sat., Aug. 29 at 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m., Sun., Aug. 30, at 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. Worship with Joy Babb from Hueytown Church of God. Guest speakers will be: Blake Hagin (grandson of international minister Kenneth) Hagin), Tim Beck of Kings Way Church in Birmingham, and Trey Myers from Pensacola, Fla. Masks will be required and social distancing will be enforced.


Victorious Life Church 22nd Homecoming


Victorious Life Church Moundville 22nd homecoming Aug. 28-30, at 10:30 a.m.. Masks will be required and social distancing will be implemented.


Red Cross
The American Red Cross has an urgent need for blood donations to prevent another blood shortage as hospitals resume surgical procedures and patient treatments that were temporarily paused earlier this spring in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Healthy individuals who are feeling well are asked to make an appointment to donate in the weeks and months ahead by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.


Black Belt Arts
Symposium
Hosted by the Black Belt Community Foundation and made possible by the support of the Alabama State Council on the Arts, the Black Belt Arts Symposium returns for 2020 and is undaunted by the pandemic. We’ll be celebrating the rich tapestry of arts of the Alabama Black Belt and exploring the intersection of how the arts can accelerate literacy learning for our scholars. All this and more hosted in our online safe space across three separate ZOOM video conference events! Art connects. Make the connection between Art and Literacy and join us! Be sure to RSVP today by registering at https://bit.ly/BlackBeltArts

Secretary of State Launches Poll Worker Recruitment Site
In an effort to see that all 1,980 polling places in the State of Alabama are equipped with the adequate staff and supplies to see that the November 3 General Election runs safely and efficiently, Secretary of State John H. Merrill has launched a webpage to assist counties in their poll worker recruitment. Requirements to become a poll worker include: Must be a registered voter in the State of Alabama. Must be registered to vote at the precinct in which they desire to act as a poll worker. Must attend a mandatory poll worker training. There are no exceptions to this requirement. Cannot be a member of a candidate’s immediate family or the second degree of kinship, and cannot be a member of a candidate’s political committee. The application to become a poll worker can be found here and should be returned to your local county Probate Office upon completion. Alabamians 16 years of age or older who are enrolled in high school or college are able to apply to become a student poll worker intern through contacting their local Probate Judge.


New On-Line System Available for Consumers to Report Unsolicited Seed Packages from China
The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI) continues to collect reports from citizens who received unsolicited packages from China containing seeds. ADAI has established an on-line reporting system for Alabama residents who received suspicious seeds they did not order. Please visit www.agi.alabama.gov/reportseeds and provide the requested information. At the end of the on-line form, consumers will be given directions on how to store the seeds properly until contacted by ADAI.
Currently there is not any evidence indicating this is something other than a “brushing scam” where people receive unsolicited items from a seller who then posts false customer reviews to boost sales.
ADAI is currently collecting seed packages from recipients and is testing their contents for unknown compounds, noxious weed seed, and invasive species. This testing will determine if they contain anything that could negatively impact U.S. agriculture or the environment.
Please remember to hold onto the seeds and packaging, including the mailing label, until someone from ADAI contacts you with further instructions. DO NOT open the packaging or plant the seeds.
For more information, contact ADAI’s Ag Compliance section at 334-240-7304.


ProjectEARN Scholarship
The University of West Alabama Division of Nursing is helping students in their goals to become registered nurses through a new scholarship program called ProjectEARN (Educating Alabama Rural Nurses). Providing 50 scholarships per semester for five years, Nursing faculty believe this Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)-supported initiative will give students more financial freedom that allows them to cut back or even eliminate hours worked that could be spent focused on curriculum and clinicals. See the story at https://www.uwa.edu/news/EARNscholarshipgrant for more details on eligibility and requirements.

Mt. Hebron Homecoming
The annual homecoming at Mt. Hebron Baptist Church, Co. Rd. 34, Akron, has been cancelled due to coronavirus.


Statewide Online Driver License Renewal Extension
Governor Kay Ivey on Tuesday announced Alabama driver license holders will now be allowed to renew online a second time during a 12-year period. Until now, driver license holders were limited to one online renewal every eight years. As part of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s commitment to public safety and in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the agency’s Driver License Division has temporarily expanded its online renewal process at www.alea.gov. Customers who renewed their Alabama driver licenses using ALEA’s online system prior to the pandemic may now renew a second time during the next four years. Since COVID-19 began to affect Alabama citizens, ALEA has continuously examined and modified its Driver License Division operations to ensure the health and safety of both its customers and employees. Temporarily adjusting the online renewal process is but one example of the agency’s commitment to providing quality service during COVID-19.

Alabama Historical Commission 2021 Grant Program
The Alabama Historical Commission, the State Historic Preservation Office, has opened its 2021 Grant Program with funds appropriated by the Alabama Legislature. Historic sites meeting the eligibility can submit applications now through Aug. 21, 2020. AHC will administer a $ $1,075,000 Grant Program with funds appropriated by the Alabama Legislature in the 2021 Fiscal Year (October 1, 2020 – September 30, 2021), for improvements as well as educational programming at historic sites in Alabama. Grants will be awarded to public or non-profit entities who own and operate historic sites in Alabama, reflect an education-based mission, concentrate on educational programming, and reflect the geographical diversity of the state. Grants will not be awarded to any entity receiving funding directly or indirectly from the Education Trust Fund or the General Fund. Grants will also not be awarded to any private or for-profit business or organization. Amounts will not exceed $30,000 for any one entity. Preference will be given to properties built before 1840 that are listed in or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, historic school structures, and properties built before 1943 that are listed in or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. The Alabama Historical Commission’s 2020 Grant Program was very successful – more than $2 million dollars were requested from the $900,000 appropriated funds. Grant Application Guidelines are available on the AHC website. Applicants must complete an official 2021 Historic Sites Grant application available on the AHC website at bit.ly/AHCGrants21. Applications must be hand-delivered or mailed to Renee Fuller, Contracts and Grants, Alabama Historical Commission, by Aug. 21, 2020. Faxed or emailed applications will not be accepted. AHC will announce the grant awards in October 2020. All grant guidelines and details about eligibility can be found on the AHC website. To learn more about the Alabama Historical Commission, please visit www.ahc.alabama.gov.
SSCC Virtual Info Session for Parents of Incoming Students
Shelton State Community College will host a virtual information session for parents of incoming students on Thursday, July 30 at 6:00 p.m. The College’s Virtual Parent Chat 2020 will be hosted on Zoom. Virtual Parent Chat 2020 will include a variety of helpful topics including admission, financial aid, and updated methods of instruction. The discussion will close with a question/answer session in hopes of alleviating any anxiety being experienced ahead of the fall semester. To register for the event, visit Virtual Parent Chat 2020. Participants will be contacted by email 24-48 hours prior to the event with additional information. For additional information, contact the Office of Recruiting at recruiting@sheltonstate.edu.

Red Cross
The American Red Cross has an urgent need for blood donations to prevent another blood shortage as hospitals resume surgical procedures and patient treatments that were temporarily paused earlier this spring in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Healthy individuals who are feeling well are asked to make an appointment to donate in the weeks and months ahead by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device. Greensboro: 8/1 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Greensboro Baptist Church, 908 Main St.


Black Belt Arts
Symposium
Hosted by the Black Belt Community Foundation and made possible by the support of the Alabama State Council on the Arts, the Black Belt Arts Symposium returns for 2020 and is undaunted by the pandemic. We’ll be celebrating the rich tapestry of arts of the Alabama Black Belt and exploring the intersection of how the arts can accelerate literacy learning for our scholars. All this and more hosted in our online safe space across three separate ZOOM video conference events! Art connects. Make the connection between Art and Literacy and join us! Be sure to RSVP today by registering at https://bit.ly/BlackBeltArts
Area Agency on Aging of West Alabama SenioRx
SenioRx is a program offered through the Area Agency on Aging of West Alabama that could help save you money on your prescription drugs, and it’s not just for seniors! The SenioRx Program helps you apply for patient assistance programs offered by pharmaceutical companies to receive your prescriptions at a free or reduced price. To qualify you must be an Alabama resident and meet one set of the following requirements: 1. If you are 55+, have a chronic medical condition, and have no prescription drug coverage. 2. If you have a disability at any age and have been deemed disabled by Social Security, or have applied for disability and are waiting on a decision, or have a doctor’s declaration of disability. 3. If you have Medicare and reach the Medicare Part D coverage gap each year. Contact your local Area Agency on Aging at 205-333-2990 to speak with someone in the Aging and Disability Resource Center for more information.

New resource to stop stigma: “Stop Judging, Start Healing” To extend the missions of the Alabama Department of Mental Health and Public Health of ending stigma in Alabama, a new resource is now offered as part of the ongoing Stop Judging, Start Healing campaign. The addition of an extensive informational PowerPoint to the website brings awareness and exposure to ending the stigmas of opioid use disorder (OUD), HIV, viral Hepatitis, substance use disorder (SUD) or mental illness (MI). The PowerPoint is also designed to give supporting information to enhance the healing process for the people experiencing stigma, as well as to the people who support them.
As described in the PowerPoint, the anti-stigma campaign Stop Judging, Start Healing was created to educate and bring awareness to create a state of mind where people with opioid use disorder, HIV, viral Hepatitis, substance use disorder or mental illness are valued and treated with dignity and where stigma, accompanying attitudes, discrimination, and other barriers to treatment and recovery are eliminated.
In a state of growth and understanding, it is vital that we highlight what stigma is, why it delays the healing process, and how it affects our loved ones. Once this understanding happens, we can truly create and sustain a safe environment for treatment and recovery.
In the Language Matters section of the PowerPoint, we list the quote “Words are important. If you want to care for something you call it a ‘flower’; if you want to kill something, you call it a weed” -Don Coyhis. Join us in the fight to understand stigma, utilize helpful language, and make a difference in the lives of the people around us. Join us in ending stigma in Alabama now.
The PowerPoint may be download at https://stopjudging.org/resources/#ppt. Please share and utilize the information for the purposes of education. If you have any questions or for more information on the Stop Judging, Start Healing campaign and the programs that support this work, please visit www.mh.alabama.gov, email publicinformation.dmh@mh.alabama.gov or call 334-242-3417.

We’re looking for your Central West Alabama ghost stories. Know of a ghost story in Sumter, Hale, Tuscaloosa, Marengo, or Pickens County, or had a spooky experience yourself? Email us at scrjmedia@yahoo.com or times@mound.net and we’ll put it on www.recordjournal.net and www.moundvilletimes.net for Halloween. Please let us know the town you are from, the town or area your story occurred and if you would like to use your name or be anonymous. PLEASE DO NOT SEND ANYTHING TO FACEBOOK!

School Events

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
Success By 6 of United Way of West Alabama is proud to provide Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library books FREE to children ages birth to 5 years old in Greene, Hale, Marengo, Pickens, Sumter, and Tuscaloosa counties. Once a month, your child will receive a new book by mail. You only need to do two things: register your child and pledge to read the books to him/her. Please, climb on board Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library! Since UWWA launched the Dolly Parton Imagination Library: 13,467 children have participated in the program in Greene, Hale, Marengo, Pickens, Sumter, and Tuscaloosa Counties. 10,427 children have “graduated” from the program. 443,856 books have been delivered to children in West Alabama. Sign up at https://imaginationlibrary.com/check-availability/

Shelton State Community College Drive Through Nursing Pinning Ceremony
Shelton State Community College will host a drive through nursing pinning ceremony for the summer 2020 nursing class. The ceremony will be Thursday, August 13, 2020, at 6 p.m. in the front of the College’s Martin Campus. The pinning ceremony is restricted to the pinning candidate and those accompanying them in a single vehicle. Members of the media are invited and are asked to arrive on campus no later than 5:30 p.m. Shelton State Community College continues to monitor the COVID-19/Coronavirus outbreak, and the health and safety of students, faculty, staff, and community members remain the College’s top priority. Please be advised that all campus visitors must submit to a temperature check prior to building entry and that a facial covering is required. For more information, contact mediacom@sheltonstate.edu.


Non-Profit Organization Seeks Local Families to Host High School Exchange Students 
Americans are among the most generous people on planet earth. During these times of global uncertainty, more than ever America has an opportunity to demonstrate the strength of its generosity. You can play your part by hosting an international high school exchange student for the upcoming academic year and helping them experience American culture firsthand! ASSE International Student Exchange Programs (ASSE) is looking for local families to host boys and girls ages 15–18 arriving soon to attend community high schools. Students from all over the world – places like Germany, France, Italy, Portugal, Czech, and Thailand, to name a few – have been selected to participate based on strong academics and citizenship; all they need now is you! Students are equipped with pocket money for personal expenses, along with accident and illness insurance. Host families can choose their students from a wide variety of backgrounds, countries, and personal interests. International students dream of experiencing the real America as they live and attend high school within your community. Our goal is to make each and every one of those dreams come true. Show the world the best side of America by sharing your country, family, and culture with an exchange student. During this temporary period of social distancing, more than ever we need to look forward to and celebrate opportunities to show hospitality and caring to others. By generously opening your home to a young person from overseas, you can help us continue our global commitment to spreading the ideals of peace, love, and understanding. ASSE’s top concern is the health of our host families, host communities, and exchange students. Even as the U.S. and many other countries continue to live under temporary travel restrictions, we would like to reassure you that these students will not travel unless it is considered safe to do so by the U.S. and foreign agencies entrusted with public health and safety. To become a host family, or to find out how to become involved with ASSE in your community, please call Pamela at 205-467-3337 or the ASSE Southern Regional Office at 1-800-473-0696 or go to www.host.asse.com to begin your host family application. There are many students to choose from, so begin the process of welcoming your new son or daughter into your family today! ASSE International (formerly American Scandinavian Student Exchange) is a non-profit, tax-exempt, public benefit organization. ASSE is officially designated as an exchange visitor program by the United States Department of State, was founded by the Swedish National Department of Education.

SSCC Second Virtual Info Session for Parents
Due to an overwhelming response to the first session, Shelton State Community College will host a second virtual information session for parents of incoming students on Tues., Aug. 11 at 6 p.m. The College’s Virtual Parent Chat 2020 will be hosted on Zoom. Virtual Parent Chat 2020 will include a variety of helpful topics including admission, financial aid, and updated methods of instruction. The discussion will close with a question/answer session in hopes of alleviating any anxiety being experienced ahead of the fall semester. To register for the event, visit Virtual Parent Chat 2020. Participants will be contacted by email 24-48 hours prior to the event with additional information. For additional information, contact the Office of Recruiting at recruiting@sheltonstate.edu.

UA TO HOLD SPRING AND SUMMER COMMENCEMENT JULY 31 – AUG. 2 – The University of Alabama will hold joint spring and summer commencement exercises over three days beginning Friday, July 31, at Coleman Coliseum. Nearly 4,000 graduates are expected to receive degrees. Extensive precautions will be taken to meet health and safety standards. To limit the number of people at each event and ensure physical distancing guidelines, media are invited to two of the nine ceremonies taking place throughout the weekend, on Friday, July 31 at 1:30 p.m., and Saturday, Aug. 1, at 1:30 p.m. For health and safety reasons, please confirm attendance by noon Friday, July 31, by contacting Shane Dorrill at shane.dorrill@ua.edu.
SEVEN NAMED TO ALABAMA BUSINESS HALL OF FAME – Seven individuals will be part of the class of 2020 of the Alabama Business Hall of Fame, established in 1973 to honor those who brought lasting fame to the state through their business contributions. The inductees are: Robert Baron of Huntsville; Cecil Batchelor of Russellville; Dr. Marcus Bendickson of Huntsville; Jay Grinney of Birmingham; Lonnie Johnson of Atlanta, Georgia; Joe Ritch of Huntsville; and Stan Starnes of Birmingham. In the interest of the health and safety of inductees and guests, the induction ceremony is rescheduled to fall 2021. Details of the ceremony will be issued at a later date. For more information contact Zach Thomas, director of marketing and communications, Alabama Business Hall of Fame at rzthomas@culverhouse.ua.edu.
UA DEVELOPS NEW GRADUATE ADMISSIONS SYSTEM – Applying for graduate programs at The University of Alabama will be easier for domestic and international students thanks to a new system for managing admissions. The new application is responsive and represents a holistic reimagining of the graduate application process that focuses on web accessibility and simplicity. The new system is available for students applying for the Fall 2021 term and later. Students will be able to access their application from any device, scan documents with their phones and submit a wider range of file types, including mp4 video. The streamlined application form will include autocomplete fields and form logic, reducing time it takes to submit an application. For more information, contact Landon Waid at landon.waid@ua.edu.

Auburn University launches ‘A Healthier U’ plan for safe return to campus this fall

Auburn today released details of A Healthier U, a plan for the return of students, faculty and staff this fall that encourages individual responsibility for the health of the campus community.
“A Healthier U promotes the health of our campus while minimizing the risk of transmitting COVID-19,” said Auburn President Jay Gogue. “It’s an all-in approach for the Auburn Family that recognizes we must be unified and fully committed to new safety protocols.”
The plan, developed with input from campus leaders, supports Auburn’s goals of safely facilitating academic, student and institutional operations. The instructional plan includes four options for course delivery. Students and faculty will follow a modified academic calendar that eliminates fall break and ends instruction prior to Thanksgiving, resulting in final exams administered remotely. Health protocols include physical distancing, face covering requirements in university buildings, reduced classroom capacities and limits on large gatherings.
“A dedicated team has worked nonstop the past few months to prepare campus,” said Fred Kam, director of the Auburn University Medical Clinic. “The best Auburn experience is shared when we are together on campus, but we need everyone’s commitment and cooperation to start and finish the school year strong.”
Additional safety measures include frequent disinfection and cleaning of classrooms, dining spaces, residence halls and high-traffic areas. Dining venues are moving to contactless payment systems, 50 percent seating capacity and new entry and exit procedures.
In an effort to support personal safety efforts, students, faculty and staff will receive wellness kits containing a reusable face covering, hand sanitizer and a digital thermometer. Cleaning supply kits will also be available for students.
Auburn will introduce an app designed to provide health and wellness tracking across campus. Health screening will be enabled through Healthcheck, a feature of the STAY SAFE TOGETHER™ platform. Healthcheck is a COVID-19 assessment tool that allows individuals to report their health status, symptoms and exposure.
Students, faculty and staff are expected to view a brief educational video about campus safety measures and the role each one has in protecting the health of others. Students and employees are required to acknowledge they have viewed the video and read safety reminders prior to returning to campus or as soon as possible for those who have already returned.
Gov. Kay Ivey is making federal funds available for COVID-19 virus screening at colleges and universities in the state. Auburn officials are considering if testing will be required and will provide more information as it becomes available.
The A Healthier U plan encourages the campus community to rally around the slogan, “commitment is contagious.” Online resources, campus signage, social media posts and more provide reminders about the measures Auburn is taking to enhance safety and the simple, practical steps everyone should take to help stem the spread of COVID-19.

BAMA BUG FEST GOES ON THE WEB  The second Bama Bug Fest will live stream on Facebook and YouTube through Jul 25. Bama Bug Fest: On the Web, a collaboration by University of Alabama Museums, UA Libraries and the Tuscaloosa Public Library, will provide interactive videos, interviews with experts and storytelling for all ages every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Segments will air at 10 a.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. each day. A Q&A session with the public will be held at the conclusion of each day. For more information, contact Rebecca Johnson, UA Museums, at rljohnson8@ua.edu.

UA PARTNERS TO PROVIDE COVID-19 TESTING IN ALICEVILLE – UA’s Office for Research and Economic Development and University Medical Center are collaborating with Alabama Power to provide COVID-19 screenings in Aliceville July 14. Screenings will take place at New Wright MB Church from 9 a.m. to noon, or as long as supplies last. Attempts will be made to screen all who come, but only those meeting Alabama Department of Public Health guidelines will be tested for COVID-19. Participants don’t need health insurance to be screened. New Wright MB Church is located at 11441 Highway 14 West, Aliceville, AL, 35442. For more information, contact Bryant Welbourne, UA Strategic Communications, at bryant.welbourne@ua.edu

UA’S FLEET SERVICES TO HOLD ONLINE VEHICLE AUCTION – UA’s Fleet Services will hold its first online vehicle auction beginning July 13. A variety of vehicles will be up for grabs, including sedans, trucks and vans. Individuals can view and bid on vehicles, as well as find information about terms and conditions, on Fleet’s auction website. For more information, contact Mario Globetti at mglobetti@fa.ua.edu.

CURRENT COMMENT

UA LAW PROFESSOR: NATIVE AMERICANS WON IMPORTANT DECISION IN U.S. SUPREME COURT – Bryan Fair, the Thomas E. Skinner Professor of Law at UA, said while many Americans are unfamiliar with Federal Indian laws, the U.S. Supreme Court announced an important decision last week vindicating federal jurisdiction over major crimes committed on reservations or Indian lands in Oklahoma and rejecting claims by the state that it had the power to prosecute a sex crime defendant. Writing for the majority, Justice Neil M. Gorsuch declared that only Congress has the power to alter such jurisdiction established under the Major Crimes Act. It is not every day that tribal members win at the Supreme Court, Fair said. To interview Fair, contact him at bfair@law.ua.edu. For more information, contact Monique Fields at mfields@law.ua.edu. ​ 

UA EXPERT SAYS SUPREME COURT RULING MAY MEAN MORE FOR OKLAHOMA THAN REALIZED – The Supreme Court’s decision Thursday ruling that half of Oklahoma is Native American reservation land has multiple implications, said Dr. Allen Linken, an assistant professor of political science. Linken said the decision may open up other points such as the suggestion that Oklahoma doesn’t have sovereignty to govern the lands. To interview Linken, reach him at aelinken@ua.edu

EMOJI REVEAL WHITENESS AS DRIVER OF TECHNOLOGY – World Emoji Day is July 17, and a UA research can discuss the racial aspects of the characters that help express emotion in texts. Even though they may seem benign ways to communicate emotions in text conversations, emoji reveal technology is shaped by cultural ideologies about race, according to research by Dr. Miriam E. Sweeney, assistant professor of library and information studies who led the study. “How we interpret our technologies and how we design them are all reflective of the particular cultural context we live in,” Sweeney said. “Emoji are a lens through which we can see how gender, race and power shape all of the technological structures around us.” To interview Sweeney, contact her at mesweeney1@ua.edu