Top Headlines: Jobless claims decline with reopening, JC Penney locations closing

Jobless claims decline in Alabama as economy reopens
New unemployment claims declined by nearly 25% in Alabama over a week as state businesses continued reopening during the pandemic, statistics showed Thursday. More than 550,000 people in all have filed for jobless benefits since state-ordered shutdowns began in March to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, and a report by the state Labor Department showed thousands are still losing jobs because of the pandemic. – AP

Alabama movie theaters may be closer to reopening
Alabama’s theaters may be closer to reopening this month, following announcements from some of the nation’s cinema companies. At the same time, the country’s largest chain says the way forward following the coronavirus shutdown may be rocky. Theaters shuttered back in March nationally as the coronavirus lockdown went into effect. Theater chains said they planned to stay closed until new product began circulating out of Hollywood. –

JC Penney lists four stores that will close permanently in Alabama
JC Penney on Thursday revealed its initial list of proposed stores to be closed permanently as the company tries to stabilize its finances under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. In Alabama, the company said it would close stores in Florence, Cox Creek Parkway; Andalusia, River Falls Street; Scottsboro, South Broad; and Spanish Fort, Town Center Ave. – USA Today

$1.7 million awarded for Alabama road and bridge projects
The Alabama Department of Transportation and the governor’s office Thursday announced that $1.7 million in funding is being awarded to cities and counties for local road and bridge projects. Sumter County is to receive $250,000 of that money for a bridge replacement on Watson Road. The county is putting up $86,145 toward the project. This award cycle sees six projects added to the 31 projects announced earlier this year, bringing the total amount awarded so far through the Annual Grant Program to $8.7 million. It is anticipated that all projects will be under contract by the end of the calendar year, after bids are taken. – WTOK

New brewery, tacos, coffee shop opening in downtown Huntsville
The trippy paintings appeared in the windows maybe 15 months ago. Up there, on the second floor at 109 North Side Square. Various imagery involving hands and heads. A two-headed cat. Saturn. Far out, Peter Max-type stuff. Soon, curious locals will finally get a chance to see what’s been going on inside at 109 North Side. The address has many past lives, including the disco Club Rush and restaurant/lounge Jazz Factory. –

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