Home Life Stadium supper, dance zones, rethinking oysters: News from around our 50 states

Stadium supper, dance zones, rethinking oysters: News from around our 50 states

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Alabama

Tuscaloosa: Students across the three-campus University of Alabama System will return to in-person instruction for the fall semester with no limits on class size in Birmingham, Huntsville or Tuscaloosa to guard against COVID-19, officials said Monday. The system, which has held classes in multiple formats since the pandemic began a year ago, said in a statement that current models show it should be safe to resume traditional teaching after the summer break. Millions more should have been vaccinated against the disease by then. Dr. Selwyn Vickers, the medical dean at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and chair of the system’s pandemic task force, said leaders will continue trying to make decisions based on data and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the state health agency. “If safety concerns arise, we can adjust our plan; the safety of the 110,000 students, faculty and staff of the UA System remains our top priority as it has since our task force began its work one year ago when COVID-19 began to emerge,” he said.

Alaska

Locals watch as workers unload fish into crates on a public dock in Cordova, Alaska.

Juneau: The federal government has approved the state’s plan to give its fishing industry almost $50 million in pandemic relief. The decision came after two major revisions to the plan and more than 200 public comments from every industry sector, CoastAlaska reports. Commercial applicants will be required to provide evidence that the coronavirus pandemic caused them to lose at least 35% of revenue in 2020. Applications will be accepted until May, and payments could begin as early as June, according to CoastAlaska. Alaska Department of Fish and Game Deputy Commissioner Rachel Baker said the final plan excludes commercial permit holders who fish in Alaska but live in other states that received coronavirus relief. “Non-Alaska resident commercial harvesters who fish up here but live in a state that received a CARES Act allocation must apply to their state of residence,” Baker said. More than $17 million will be earmarked for commercial fishermen. Roughly $13 million will go to sport and charter guides, and about $500,000 will go to aquaculture businesses. About $2 million will go to rural households that had pandemic-induced problems accessing subsistence fisheries, with extra funds also available for households below the federal poverty line.

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