10 People, Including 9 Children, Are Killed in Alabama Crash

A sheriff said the crash was the worst he’s responded to in more than 30 years in law enforcement.

#alabama, #alabama-sheriffs-youth-ranch, #deaths-fatalities, #traffic-accidents-and-safety


John M. Patterson, Segregationist Alabama Governor, Dies at 99

He welcomed the Klan and refused to integrate schools, forging a path that would be followed by Gov. George C. Wallace.

#alabama, #civil-rights-movement-1954-68, #deaths-obituaries, #john-m-patterson, #ku-klux-klan, #national-assn-for-the-advancement-of-colored-people, #segregation-and-desegregation, #wallace-george-c


Former Astronaut Pleads Guilty in Crash That Killed 2 Young Girls

James Halsell Jr., a veteran of five space shuttle missions, was sentenced to four years in prison and 10 years’ probation.

#accidents-and-safety, #alabama, #halsell-james-jr, #huntsville-ala, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #national-aeronautics-and-space-administration, #traffic-accidents-and-safety, #tuscaloosa-ala


How Mazda Rode Out the Pandemic While Rivals Slipped

Its sales climbed, and it racked up awards for safety and more.

#alabama, #automobile-safety-features-and-defects, #automobiles, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #mazda-motor-corp, #small-cars-compact-subcompact-and-microcars, #toyota-motor-corp


Alabama Lifts Its Ban on Yoga in Schools

For the first time in three decades, yoga can be taught, but the law will still bar teachers from using Sanskrit names for poses.

#alabama, #children-and-childhood, #conservatism-us-politics, #education-k-12, #freedom-of-religion, #gray-jeremy-1985, #ivey-kay, #language-and-languages, #law-and-legislation, #religion-state-relations, #state-legislatures, #yoga


Three Inmates Killed in Less Than a Week in Alabama Prisons

The Justice Department filed a lawsuit against the state last year, charging that its Department of Corrections did not provide adequate protections for inmates.

#alabama, #corrections-department-ala, #deaths-fatalities, #justice-department, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #prisons-and-prisoners


From Colombia to U.S., Police Violence Pushes Protests Into Mass Movements

In Colombia, and many other countries, security forces’ attacks on protesters have led to nationwide reckonings with injustice.

#alabama, #black-lives-matter-movement, #bogota-colombia, #brown-michael-1996-2014, #chile, #demonstrations-protests-and-riots, #ferguson-mo, #george-floyd-protests-2020, #human-rights-and-human-rights-violations, #pinochet-ugarte-augusto, #police-brutality-misconduct-and-shootings


James Williams, Gay Activist in India, Dies at 35

An American, he hoped to improve the representation of gay people in Indian media in the manner of “Will & Grace.” He died of Covid-19.

#alabama, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #deaths-obituaries, #homosexuality-and-bisexuality, #india, #williams-james-1985-2021


Severe Weather Expected in South for Third Straight Day

At least two people have been killed, and forecasters said more tornadoes could come on Tuesday.

#alabama, #arkansas, #georgia, #national-weather-service, #southern-states-us, #texas, #tornadoes, #traffic-accidents-and-safety, #weather, #wind


Damage Reported as Tornadoes Tear Across the South

The National Weather Service planned to survey damage in four Mississippi counties on Monday. Tornadoes were also reported in Georgia, Kentucky and South Carolina.

#alabama, #atlanta-ga, #georgia, #kentucky, #mississippi, #national-weather-service, #tennessee, #tornadoes, #weather


A ‘more honest’ stock market

Hello friends, and welcome back to Week in Review!

Last week, I talked about Clubhouse’s slowing user growth. Well, this week news broke that they had been in talks with Twitter for a $4 billion acquisition, so it looks like they’re still pretty desirable. This week, I’m talking about a story I published a couple days ago that highlights pretty much everything that’s wild about the alternative asset world right now.

If you’re reading this on the TechCrunch site, you can get this in your inbox from the newsletter page, and follow my tweets @lucasmtny.

The big thing

If you successfully avoided all mentions of NFTs until now, I congratulate you, because it certainly does seem like the broader NFT market is seeing some major pullback after a very frothy February and March. You’ll still be seeing plenty of late-to-the-game C-list celebrities debuting NFT art in the coming weeks, but a more sober pullback in prices will probably give some of the NFT platforms that are serious about longevity a better chance to focus on the future and find out how they truly matter.

I spent the last couple weeks, chatting with a bunch of people in one particular community — one of the oldest active NFT communities on the web called CryptoPunks. It’s a platform with 10,000 unique 24×24 pixel portraits and they trade at truly wild prices.

This picture sold for a $1.05 million.

I talked to a dozen or so people (including the guy who sold that one ^^) that had spent between tens of thousands and millions of dollars on these pixelated portraits, my goal being to tap into the psyche of what the hell is happening here. The takeaway is that these folks don’t see these assets as any more non-sensical than what’s going on in more traditional “old world” markets like public stock exchanges.

A telling quote from my reporting:

“Obviously this is a very speculative market… but it’s almost more honest than the stock market,” user Max Orgeldinger tells TechCrunch. “Kudos to Elon Musk — and I’m a big Tesla fan — but there are no fundamentals that support that stock price. It’s the same when you look at GameStop. With the whole NFT community, it’s almost more honest because nobody’s getting tricked into thinking there’s some very complicated math that no one can figure out. This is just people making up prices and if you want to pay it, that’s the price and if you don’t want to pay it, that’s not the price.”

Shortly after I published my piece, Christie’s announced that they were auctioning off nine of the CryptoPunks in an auction likely to fetch at least $10 million at current prices. The market surged in the aftermath and many millions worth of volume quickly moved through the marketplace minting more NFT millionaires.

Is this all just absolutely nuts? Sure.

Is it also a poignant picture of where alternative asset investing is at in 2021? You bet.

Read the full thing.

an illustration of a cardboard ballot box with an Amazon smile on the front

Other things

Here are the TechCrunch news stories that especially caught my eye this week:

Amazon workers vote down union organization attempt
Amazon is breathing a sigh of relief after workers at their Bessemer, Alabama warehouse opted out of joining a union, lending a crushing defeat to labor activists who hoped that the high-profile moment would lead more Amazon workers to organize. The vote has been challenged, but the margin of victory seems fairly decisive.

Supreme court sides with Google in Oracle case
If any singular event impacted the web the most this week, it was the Supreme Court siding with Google in a very controversial lawsuit by Oracle that could’ve fundamentally shifted the future of software development.

Coinbase is making waves
The Coinbase direct listing is just around the corner and they’re showing off some of their financials. Turns out crypto has been kind of hot lately and they’re raking in the dough, with revenue of $1.8 billion this past quarter.

Apple share more about the future of user tracking
Apple is about to upend the ad-tracking market and they published some more details on what exactly their App Tracking Transparency feature is going to look like. Hint: more user control.

Consumers are spending lots of time in apps
A new report from mobile analytics firm App Annie suggests that we’re dumping more of our time into smartphone apps, with the average users spending 4.2 hours a day doing so, a 30 percent increase over two years.

Sonos perfects the bluetooth speaker
I’m a bit of an audio lover, which made my colleague Darrell’s review of the new Sonos Roam bluetooth speaker a must-read for me. He’s pretty psyched about it, even though it comes in at the higher-end of pricing for these devices, still I’m looking forward to hearing one with my own ears.


Image Credits: Nigel Sussman

Extra things

Some of my favorite reads from our Extra Crunch subscription service this week:
The StockX EC-1
“StockX is a unique company at the nexus of two radical transitions that isn’t just redefining markets, but our culture as well. E-commerce upended markets, diminishing the physical experience by intermediating and aggregating buyers and sellers through digital platforms. At the same time, the internet created rapid new communication channels, allowing euphoria and desire to ricochet across society in a matter of seconds. In a world of plenty, some things are rare, and the hype around that rarity has never been greater. Together, these two trends demanded a stock market of hype, an opportunity that StockX has aggressively pursued.”

Building the right team for a billion-dollar startup
“I would really encourage you to take some time to think about what kind of company you want to make first before you go out and start interviewing people. So that really is going to be about understanding and defining your culture. And then the second thing I’d be thinking about when you’re scaling from, you know, five people up to, you know, 50 and beyond is that managers really are the key to your success as a company. It’s hard to overstate how important managers, great managers, are to the success of your company.

So you want to raise a Series A
“More companies will raise seed rounds than Series A rounds, simply due to the fact that many startups fail, and venture only makes sense for a small fraction of businesses out there. Every check is a new cycle of convincing and proving that you, as a startup, will have venture-scale returns. Moore explained that startups looking to move to their next round need to explain to investors why now is their moment.”

Until next week,
Lucas M.

And again, if you’re reading this on the TechCrunch site, you can get this in your inbox from the newsletter page, and follow my tweets @lucasmtny.

#alabama, #amazon, #app-annie, #apple, #bessemer, #blockchain, #bluetooth, #bluetooth-speaker, #christies, #coinbase, #cryptocurrency, #e-commerce, #extra-crunch, #gamestop, #google, #operating-systems, #oracle, #real-time-web, #smartphone, #software, #software-development, #sonos, #stockx, #supreme-court, #tc, #techcrunch, #text-messaging, #twitter, #week-in-review


A Union Drive at Amazon

How a small group of workers in Alabama are taking on one of the most powerful companies in the world.

#alabama, #amazon-com-inc


How a Volunteer Army is Trying to Vaccinate Black People in the Rural South

In the face of limited transportation, patchy internet service and threadbare medical care, community leaders in Alabama and Mississippi are trying to shrink the racial disparities in vaccine access.

#alabama, #black-people, #cleveland-miss, #greenville-miss, #medicine-and-health, #mississippi, #race-and-ethnicity, #rationing-and-allocation-of-resources, #rural-areas, #southern-states-us, #tuscaloosa-ala, #vaccination-and-immunization


Getting the Vaccine Isn’t Easy for Black Americans in the Rural South

In the face of limited transportation, patchy internet service and threadbare medical care, community leaders in Alabama and Mississippi are trying to shrink the racial disparities in vaccine access.

#alabama, #black-people, #cleveland-miss, #greenville-miss, #medicine-and-health, #mississippi, #race-and-ethnicity, #rationing-and-allocation-of-resources, #rural-areas, #southern-states-us, #tuscaloosa-ala, #vaccination-and-immunization


Small Towns Grieve After Tornadoes Across Georgia and Alabama

Dozens of tornadoes tore across Alabama and Georgia beginning on Thursday, leaving at least six dead and many neighborhoods in tatters.

#alabama, #georgia, #mobile-homes-and-trailers, #national-weather-service, #newnan-ga, #ohatchee-ala, #tornadoes, #weather


Devastating Tornadoes Batter Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee

At least six people died in storms that tore through Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee.

#alabama, #coweta-county-ga, #deaths-fatalities, #disasters-and-emergencies, #georgia, #newnan-ga, #ohatchee-ala, #tennessee, #tornadoes


Republicans Fear Flawed Candidates Could Imperil Key Senate Seats

Races in Missouri and Alabama, with others to come, reflect the potential risks for a party in which loyalty to Donald Trump is the main criterion for securing nominations.

#alabama, #blunt-roy-d, #brooks-morris-jackson, #elections-senate, #greitens-eric, #mcconnell-mitch, #missouri, #republican-party, #shelby-richard-c


Eric Greitens and Mo Brooks Announce Senate Bids in Missouri and Alabama

The hard-right Republicans’ entry to the races for open Senate seats heralded fiercely contested G.O.P. primaries in the two deeply conservative states.

#alabama, #blunt-roy-d, #brooks-mo, #elections-senate, #greitens-eric, #missouri, #primaries-and-caucuses, #republican-party, #shelby-richard-c, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-politics-and-government


Alabama Could Allow Yoga in Public Schools After a 28-Year Ban

“It’s just exercise,” said Jeremy Gray, a state lawmaker whose bill is making its way through the Legislature. But some people still say the practice has no place in the classroom.

#alabama, #education-k-12, #exercise, #jeremy-gray, #law-and-legislation, #state-legislatures, #yoga


Why Is Space Command Moving Into Mo Brooks’s Backyard?

The congressman from Huntsville, Ala., was quick to claim that the 2020 election was stolen. His district continues to get special treatment.

#alabama, #brooks-morris-jackson, #colorado, #huntsville-ala, #johnson-lyndon-baines, #presidential-election-of-2020, #space-and-astronomy, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces, #united-states-politics-and-government


How Biden’s Solidarity Emboldened a Liberal Push for Power in Alabama

The president’s support for the rights of unionizing Amazon workers delighted political organizers in Alabama who are hoping to build long-term Democratic momentum in a reliably red state.

#alabama, #amazon-com-inc, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #democratic-party, #labor-and-jobs, #organized-labor, #united-states-politics-and-government, #wages-and-salaries


3 Alabama Professors on Leave After ‘Offensive’ Halloween Photos Surface

The photos were taken at a campus party at the University of South Alabama in 2014. One professor wore a Confederate uniform. Two others posed with a whip and a noose.

#alabama, #colleges-and-universities, #costumes, #discrimination, #halloween, #mobile-ala, #university-of-south-alabama


Kay Ivey, Alabama’s Republican Governor, Resists Calls to Lift Mask Order

By most measures, Gov. Kay Ivey is a predictable Southern Republican, but she has charted her own course on efforts to control the coronavirus.

#alabama, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #disease-rates, #ivey-kay, #masks


Shelia Washington Dies at 61; Helped Exonerate Scottsboro Boys

She fought for decades to get their names cleared from an egregious injustice in the Jim Crow South, and created a museum in their honor.

#alabama, #amnesties-commutations-and-pardons, #black-people, #civil-rights-movement-1954-68, #deaths-obituaries, #false-arrests-convictions-and-imprisonments, #scottsboro-boys, #scottsboro-boys-museum-and-cultural-center-scottsboro-ala, #washington-shelia-1960-2021


Sheila Washington Dies at 61; Helped Exonerate Scottsboro Boys

She fought for decades to get their names cleared from an egregious injustice in the Jim Crow South, and created a museum in their honor.

#alabama, #amnesties-commutations-and-pardons, #black-people, #civil-rights-movement-1954-68, #deaths-obituaries, #false-arrests-convictions-and-imprisonments, #scottsboro-boys, #scottsboro-boys-museum-and-cultural-center-scottsboro-ala, #washington-sheila-1960-2021


Amazon and the South’s Strong Union History

Alabama is more than its shading on the electoral map.

#alabama, #bessemer-ala, #birmingham-ala, #black-people, #labor-and-jobs, #mines-and-mining, #organized-labor, #race-and-ethnicity


The Deep South Has a Rich History of Resistance. As Amazon Is Learning.

Alabama is more than its shading on the electoral map.

#alabama, #bessemer-ala, #birmingham-ala, #black-people, #labor-and-jobs, #mines-and-mining, #organized-labor, #race-and-ethnicity


The South Is More Than Its Shading on an Electoral Map

As the Amazon unionization drive reminds us, the region is home to a rich history of resistance.

#alabama, #bessemer-ala, #birmingham-ala, #black-people, #labor-and-jobs, #mines-and-mining, #organized-labor, #race-and-ethnicity


Air Force Training Jet Crashes in Alabama, Killing 2

The T-38 was assigned to the 14th Flying Training Wing at Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi and went down in a wooded area near the Montgomery Regional Airport, officials said.

#airlines-and-airplanes, #airports, #alabama, #aviation-accidents-safety-and-disasters, #military-aircraft, #montgomery-ala


‘I Am Worth It’: Why Thousands of Doctors in America Can’t Get a Job

Medical schools are producing more graduates, but residency programs haven’t kept up, leaving thousands of young doctors “chronically unmatched” and deep in debt.

#alabama, #assn-of-american-medical-colleges, #barbados, #doctors, #education, #foreign-students-in-us, #hospitals, #medical-schools, #your-feed-healthcare, #your-feed-science


The Real Rosa Parks Story Is Better Than the Fairy Tale

The way we talk about her covers up uncomfortable truths about American racism.

#alabama, #black-people, #civil-rights-movement-1954-68, #claudette-colvin, #colleges-and-universities, #gray-fred, #montgomery-ala, #parks-rosa, #race-and-ethnicity, #united-states


Tornado Hits Alabama City, Wrecking Buildings

The funnel caused heavy damage in the city of Fultondale, a northern suburb of Birmingham.

#alabama, #birmingham-ala, #rescues, #tornadoes, #weather


Florida ‘Monkey Whisperer’ Is Charged With Illegal Animal Sales

Jimmy Wayne Hammonds, who runs an exotic animal ranch, illegally sold rare monkeys, prosecutors said.

#alabama, #animals, #california, #florida, #monkeys-and-apes, #nevada, #new-york-times, #south-carolina, #united-states, #wildlife-trade-and-poaching


A Ray of Hope in a Slimy Southern Cave

Residents in the South are coming together to protect their underground ecosystems.

#alabama, #caves-and-caverns, #endangered-and-extinct-species, #salamanders, #tennessee


SilviaTerra wants to bring the benefits of carbon offsets to every landowner everywhere

Zack Parisa and Max Nova, the co-founders of the carbon offset company SilviaTerra, have spent the last decade working on a way to democratize access to revenue generating carbon offsets.

As forestry credits become a big, booming business on the back of multi-billion dollar commitments from some of the world’s biggest companies to decarbonize their businesses, the kinds of technologies that the two founders have dedicated ten years of their lives to building are only going to become more valuable.

That’s why their company, already a profitable business, has raised $4.4 million in outside funding led by Union Square Ventures and Version One Ventures, along with Salesforce founder and the driving force between the 1 trillion trees initiative, Marc Benioff .

“Key to addressing the climate crisis is changing the balance in the so-called carbon cycle. At present, every year we are adding roughly 5 gigatons of carbon to the atmosphere. Since atmospheric carbon acts as a greenhouse gas this increases the energy that’s retained rather than radiated back into space which causes the earth to heat up,” writes Union Square Ventures managing partner Albert Wenger in a blog post. “There will be many ways such drawdown occurs and we will write about different approaches in the coming weeks (such as direct air capture and growing kelp in the oceans). One way that we understand well today and can act upon immediately are forests. The world’s forests today absorb a bit more than one gigatons of CO2 per year out of the atmosphere and turn it into biomass. We need to stop cutting and burning down existing forests (including preventing large scale forest fires) and we have to start planting more new trees. If we do that, the total potential for forests is around 4 to 5 gigatons per year (with some estimates as high as 9 gigatons).”

For the two founders, the new funding is the latest step in a long journey that began in the woods of Northern Alabama, where Parisa grew up.

After attending Mississippi State for forestry, Parisa went to graduate school at Yale, where he met Louisville, Kentucky native Max Nova, a computer science student who joined with Parisa to set up the company that would become SiliviaTerra.

SilviaTerra co-founders Max Nova and Zack Parisa. Image Credit: SilviaTerra

The two men developed a way to combine satellite imagery with field measurements to determine the size and species of trees in every acre of forest.

While the first step was to create a map of every forest in the U.S. the ultimate goal for both men was to find a way to put a carbon market on equal footing with the timber industry. Instead of cutting trees for cash, potentially landowners could find out how much it would be worth to maintain their forestland. As the company notes, forest management had previously been driven by the economics of timber harvesting, with over $10 billion spent in the US each year.

The founders at SilviaTerra thought that the carbon market could be equally as large, but it’s hard for moset landowners to access. Carbon offset projects can cost as much as $200,000 to put together, which is more than the value of the smaller offset projects for landowners like Parisa’s own family and the 40 acres they own in the Alabama forests.

There had to be a better way for smaller landowners to benefit from carbon markets too, Parisa and Nova thought.

To create this carbon economy, there needed to be a single source of record for every tree in the U.S. and while SilviaTerra had the technology to make that map, they lacked the compute power, machine learning capabilities and resources to build the map.

That’s where Microsoft’s AI for Earth program came in.

Working with AI for Earth, SilviaTierra created their first product, Basemap, to process terabytes ofsatellite imagery to determine the sizes and species of trees on every acre of America’s forestland. The company also worked with the US Forestry Service to access their data, which was used in creating this holistic view of the forest assets in the U.S.

With the data from Basemap in hand, the company has created what it calls the Natural Capital Exchange. This program uses SilviaTerra’s unparalleled access to information about local forests, and the knowledge of how those forests are currently used to supply projects that actually represent land that would have been forested were it not for the offset money coming in.

Currently, many forestry projects are being passed off to offset buyers as legitimate offsets on land that would never have been forested in the first place — rendering the project meaningless and useless in any real way as an offset for carbon dioxide emissions. 

“It’s a bloodbath out there,” said Nova of the scale of the problem with fraudulent offsets in the industry. “We’re not repackaging existing forest carbon projects and try to connect the demand side with projects that already exist. Use technology to unlock a new supply of forest carbon offset.”

The first Natural Capital Exchange project was actually launched and funded by Microsoft back in 2019. In it, 20 Western Pennsylvania land owners originated forest carbon credits through the program, showing that the offsets could work for landowners with 40 acres, or, as the company said, 40,000.

Landowners involved in SilviaTerra’s pilot carbon offset program paid for by Microsoft. Image Credit: SilviaTerra

“We’re just trying to get inside every landowners annual economic planning cycle,” said Nova. “There’s a whole field of timber economics… and we’re helping answer the question of given the price of timber, given the price of carbon does it make sense to reduce your planned timber harvests?”

Ultimately, the two founders believe that they’ve found a way to pay for the total land value through the creation of data around the potential carbon offset value of these forests.

It’s more than just carbon markets, as well. The tools that SilviaTerra have created can be used for wildfire mitigation as well. “We’re at the right place at the right time with the right data and the right tools,” said Nova. “It’s about connecting that data to the decision and the economics of all this.”

The launch of the SilviaTerra exchange gives large buyers a vetted source to offset carbon. In some ways its an enterprise corollary to the work being done by startups like Wren, another Union Square Ventures investment, that focuses on offsetting the carbon footprint of everyday consumers. It’s also a competitor to companies like Pachama, which are trying to provide similar forest offsets at scale, or 3Degrees Inc. or South Pole.

Under a Biden administration there’s even more of an opportunity for these offset companies, the founders said, given discussions underway to establish a Carbon Bank. Established through the existing Commodity Credit Corp. run by the Department of Agriculture, the Carbon Bank would pay farmers and landowners across the U.S. for forestry and agricultural carbon offset projects.

“Everybody knows that there’s more value in these systems than just the product that we harvest off of it,” said Parisa. “Until we put those benefits in the same footing as the things we cut off and send to market…. As the value of these things goes up… absolutely it is going to influence these decisions and it is a cash crop… It’s a money pump from coastal America into middle America to create these things that they need.” 

#air-pollution, #alabama, #albert-wenger, #america, #articles, #artificial-intelligence, #biden-administration, #carbon-footprint, #energy, #greenhouse-gas, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #kentucky, #louisville, #machine-learning, #managing-partner, #marc-benioff, #microsoft, #pennsylvania, #salesforce, #satellite-imagery, #tc, #union-square-ventures, #united-states, #version-one-ventures, #yale


In Minority Communities, Doctors Are Changing Minds About Vaccination

Many Black and Hispanic Americans mistrust government officials, and instead have turned to physicians they have long known.

#alabama, #black-people, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #doctors, #emory-university, #hispanic-americans, #social-media, #united-states, #vaccination-and-immunization


For a Civil Rights Hero, 90, a New Battle Unfolds on His Childhood Street

Before he defended Rosa Parks and became a leading legal force, Fred Gray grew up on an avenue named for Jefferson Davis in Montgomery, Ala. Now a push is underway for a new name for the street: Mr. Gray’s.

#alabama, #black-people, #civil-rights-movement-1954-68, #confederate-states-of-america, #fines-penalties, #gray-fred-d, #montgomery-ala, #monuments-and-memorials-structures, #names-geographical, #reed-steven-l, #whites


Now Airing on the Local News in Tennessee: Ads for Georgia Candidates

Nearly $470 million is set to be spent on ads for the Georgia Senate runoff races. With the airwaves already saturated, the candidates are heading across state lines to seek any possible advantage.

#alabama, #elections-senate, #florida, #georgia, #loeffler-kelly-l, #ossoff-jon, #perdue-david-a-jr, #political-advertising, #warnock-raphael-g


Why Georgia Runoff Ads Are Running on Tennessee’s News Stations

Nearly $470 million is set to be spent on ads for the Georgia Senate runoff races. With the airwaves already saturated, the candidates are heading across state lines to seek any possible advantage.

#alabama, #elections-senate, #florida, #georgia, #loeffler-kelly-l, #ossoff-jon, #perdue-david-a-jr, #political-advertising, #warnock-raphael-g


Amazon Workers Near Vote on Joining Union at Alabama Warehouse

The election, expected early next year, will be one of the few times that employees of the e-commerce giant have had an opportunity to decide whether to join a union.

#alabama, #amazon-com-inc, #e-commerce, #labor-and-jobs, #national-labor-relations-board, #organized-labor, #retail-wholesale-and-department-store-union, #shopping-and-retail


Worker Ran Illegal Winery in Alabama Sewage Plant, Sheriff Says

The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office received a tip about an alcohol operation in a wastewater treatment plant in Rainsville, Ala. A 15-year city employee was arrested and charged.

#alabama, #crime-and-criminals, #sewers-and-sewage, #stiefel-allen-maurice, #wines


Virta Health’s behavioral diabetes treatment service is now worth over $1 billion

A new $65 million investment led by the growth capital and public investment arm of Sequoia Capital will give Virta Health, a developer of a behavioral-focused diabetes treatment, a valuation of over $1 billion.

Virta’s approach, which uses a combination of approaches to change diet and exercise to reverse the presence of type 2 diabetes and other chronic metabolic conditions, has shown clinical success and attracted 100 health care payers to endorse the company’s treatments.

“We partnered with Virta for their ability to deliver unmatched health improvement and cost savings—two clear differentiators from other offerings on the market,” said William Ashmore, CEO of the State Employees’ Insurance Board of Alabama, in a statement. “Especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s vital that we provide our members the life-changing results Virta is known for delivering, through expert, virtual care delivered right to their home.”

The company said it would use the funding to expand sales and marketing efforts for its services as well as expand its research and development into other non-pharmaceutical therapies for metabolic conditions.

The financing came from Sequoia Capital Global Equities and Caffeinated Capital and brings the company’s total funding to over $230 million and gives it a $1.1 billion valuation, according to a statement.

Alongside Sequoia Capital Global Equities, Caffeinated Capital participated in the round, which brings total funding to more than $230 million and values Virta Health at over $1.1 billion.

Diabetes has long been an attractive condition for startups and has been the first target that companies focused on behavior changes to influence metabolic conditions aim to address. The reason why there are so many diabetes-focused businesses is because of the prevalence of the disease in the U.S. Almost half of adults in the U.S. suffer from obesity, pre-diabetes, or type 2 diabetes and the disease kills thirty people every hour. Diabetes also doubles the risk of death from COVID-19 infections.

Beyond the risks, the costs of treatment are skyrocketing. According to data from the American Diabetes Association released in March 2018, the total costs of treating diagnosed diabetes have risen to $327 billion in 2017 from $245 billion in 2012, when the cost was last examined.

“Given the scope of the metabolic crisis in the U.S. and globally, it cannot be understated how game-changing Virta’s results and care delivery are,” said Patrick Fu, managing partner at Sequoia Capital Global Equities, in a statement. “Virta’s technology-driven, non-pharmaceutical approach has fundamentally changed how diabetes is cared for, and our collective belief in what is possible for population health improvement. This is the future of chronic disease care.”

#alabama, #caffeinated-capital, #ceo, #chronic-disease, #diabetes, #disease, #health, #managing-partner, #medicine, #obesity, #sequoia-capital, #sequoia-capital-global-equities, #tc, #united-states


Terminally Ill Man Calls to Confess to 1995 Murder, Alabama Police Say

Johnny Dwight Whited admitted that he shot Christopher Alvin Dailey in the head on April 26, 1995, in Decatur, Ala., the authorities said.

#alabama, #johnny-dwight-whited, #morgan-county-ala, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides


On a Summer Night in Selma, an Eerie Carnival Comes to Town

In this original short story, a 1950 Alabama lawn party is disrupted by night riders. Terror reigns until an altogether unearthly figure arrives.

#alabama, #black-people, #selma-ala, #travel-and-vacations


In Alabama, Poverty and the Coronavirus Are a Double Blow

Before she died of Covid-19, Pamela Rush opened her home to show the world what poverty looks like.

#alabama, #black-people, #income-inequality, #poor-peoples-campaign-coalition, #poverty, #race-and-ethnicity, #united-states


The Supreme Court’s Attack on Alabama Voters With Disabilities

The Supreme Court’s ruling to restrict access to voting last week is a reminder of the importance of disability rights laws for protecting the civil rights of all Americans.

#alabama, #civil-rights-and-liberties, #disabilities, #presidential-election-of-2020, #supreme-court-us


Supreme Court Bars Curbside Voting in Alabama

After a state election official banned the practice, a federal trial judge allowed, but did not require, counties to offer it in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

#alabama, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #decisions-and-verdicts, #elections, #presidential-election-of-2020, #sotomayor-sonia, #suits-and-litigation-civil, #supreme-court-us, #united-states-politics-and-government


How Nick Saban Made It to Alabama’s Kickoff on Saturday

Alabama’s immense resources and a newly developed Southeastern Conference policy paved the way for Saban to return to the field only days after he tested positive for the coronavirus.

#alabama, #coaches-and-managers, #colleges-and-universities, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #football-college, #saban-nick, #southeastern-conference, #tests-medical, #university-of-alabama


Nick Saban Is Being Tested for the Virus. The Runaway Train of College Football Keeps Rolling.

As games are postponed and coronavirus outbreaks spike on campuses, nothing seems capable of stopping the juggernaut, regardless of the consequences.

#alabama, #coaches-and-managers, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #football-college, #louisiana-state-university, #saban-nick, #southeastern-conference, #university-of-alabama, #university-of-florida


Tommy Tuberville’s Financial Fumbles

Mr. Tuberville, the former football coach and Alabama Senate candidate, is leading Senator Doug Jones in the polls. But his financial record raises questions.

#alabama, #elections-senate, #jones-doug-1954, #philanthropy, #tuberville-tommy, #united-states-politics-and-government