Top Headlines: Birmingham facing ‘economic crisis,’ New agreement to widen Port of Mobile

Wayne Farms expands direct-to-consumer sales
Wayne Farms has expanded a go-to-market approach to sell products to customers throughout the Southeast. Tested in north Alabama and Atlanta, the direct to consumer program was developed as a response to virus crisis disruptions. — Meat + Poultry

City of Birmingham Facing ‘Economic Crisis’ Over Falling Revenue From Pandemic
Birmingham can expect an $18.3 million budgetary shortfall for the 2020 fiscal year because of the pandemic, Finance Director Lester Smith told the City Council Tuesday. And he warned that the economic impact on the city’s FY 2021 budget could be nearly four times that. — WBHM

First pitch of the Rocket City Classic at Toyota Field Wednesday
Baseball is back in north Alabama this week and it’s compliant with CDC guidelines. The first games will be played at the new home of the Rocket City Trash Pandas on June 17th through June 21st. — WHNT

Alabama and Corps of Engineers strike port-widening agreement
The State of Alabama and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers entered into a project partnership agreement Wednesday, June 17, that will deepen and widen the Port of Mobile in late 2024 or early 2025. — WPMI

As states reopen, out-of-work Americans converge en masse at unemployment offices
As states begin to reopen after the coronavirus-induced lockdowns, out-of-work Americans have made beelines for their labor departments, many of which have struggled to process a surge in unemployment claims that has overwhelmed systems — creating backlogs that have left many applicants waiting as long as three months to receive benefits…. The Alabama Labor Department continues to recommend that people use its website or hotline, but some residents said they struggled to get assistance. — NBC News

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Lawyer opens art gallery in downtown Huntsville
Divorce lawyer Leigh Daniel opened a new art gallery in downtown Huntsville….”To me, exposing people to art is healing and it’s powerful and it’s what I want to bring. I have been a divorce lawyer for 27 years and I want to bring happiness to people.” — WHNT

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