Top Headlines: How long will shutdown last? How will pandemic impact economy?

It’s not much comfort to most, but at least Amazon is hiring
While many are worried about the economy, Amazon says it is working to fill all 1,500 full-time jobs at its Bessemer fulfillment center and that its timeline for opening the center within the next month remains in place. The online retailer, which is seeing a surge of business in the wake of the coronavirus containment measures, also said it expects to add more jobs to the state’s workforce. –

Alabama shutdown: How much and for how long?
Gov. Kay Ivey on Thursday issued statewide shutdowns of all beaches, child care facilities, dine-in restaurants and other services in a bid to increase social distancing as the COVID-19 epidemic continues to grow in Alabama. “Despite our best efforts, the threat of the COVID-19 virus continues to spread and, unfortunately, we have not yet reached peak impact. The decision to place regulations upon Alabamians living in Jefferson County and its surrounding counties was an effort to contain the area in which the virus has been prevalent in our state,” Ivey said in an emailed statement. – Montgomery Advertiser

Lawmakers trying to assess pandemic’s effect on economy
In February, Alabama legislators anticipated passing two of the largest budgets in state history, budgets that in real terms would bring spending on education and services to where they were before the downturn caused by the Great Recession.  The coronavirus pandemic has put that in doubt.  “I’m prepared to throw a yellow flag on anybody at this point,” said Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund chair Greg Albritton, R-Atmore, on Thursday. – Montgomery Advertiser

Alabama Power suspends disconnections during pandemic
Alabama Power said they are suspending all disconnections for customers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Alabama-based company, which serves over 1.4 million people, announced Thursday that they are temporarily stopping service disconnections due to lack of payment. – ABC3340

Mercedes plant’s operations slowing due to shortage of parts
Mercedes-Benz parent company, Daimler, might have to shut down the automaker’s factory in Tuscaloosa due to a shortage of parts, Automotive News reports citing a notice to workers at the plant. To cope, a section of the site is running on six-hour shifts, and another part is no longer doing overtime work. – Motor1

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Goodyear halts production at Gadsden plant
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has suspended manufacturing operations in North, Central and South America, which includes its Gadsden plant. The company announced the move Wednesday in response to the decline in demand resulting from the coronavirus outbreak. The closure will last through at least April 3 or until further notice. –

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