Top Headlines: Magic City plans for vacant mall, Alabama tops 10,000 Covid cases

Magic City wants to turn vacant mall into shipping facility
Birmingham city officials are planning to renovate a shuttered mall into a shipping and logistics facility. City Councilor Hunter Williams told that the city’s vacant Century Plaza Mall has been a “major point of concern” for people in Birmingham since it closed in 2009. Williams said transforming the empty 750,000-square-foot plaza into a shipping facility will bring hundreds of jobs to the city. The Birmingham City Council has yet to approve rezoning for the property. Officials did not reveal the company that will use the proposed facility. – AP

Retail Association says businesses grateful to be open again
Restaurants, gyms, and salons re-opened their doors Monday. The Alabama Retail Association says these businesses are beyond grateful to be able to open, even if at limited capacity, and prove they can do it safely. “Business operates on hope,” said Nancy Dennis of the Alabama Retail Association. “This is their livelihood, this is their lives.” – WBRC

Alabama tops 10,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases
It took 59 days, just shy of two months, for Alabama to reach 10,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19. The milestone happened Monday, the same day Gov. Kay Ivey’s order to loosen restrictions on gatherings and business re-openings took effect. In those 59 days, the Alabama Department of Public Health reports there have been approximately 130,000 tests given to determine if residents have the respiratory illness. – WSFA

JC Penney will file for bankruptcy, close 200 stores, reports say
Iconic retailer JC Penney is preparing to file for bankruptcy, a move that could come as soon as next week, according to Reuters. As part of its restructuring, the chain will close about 200 of its 850 locations. The retailer has 15 locations in Alabama. It opened its first store in Wyoming in 1902. The company has some 85,000 employees. –

Some restaurants holding off on inside dining for now
Some business owners aren’t ready to reopen their doors, even though the state now allows them to. The dining room at El Barrio, for example, will remain empty for now. “I don’t know how we could keep people six feet apart,” said owner Neville Baay. “I don’t know how I could keep my staff six feet away from other people.” Baay says he’ll stick to curbside sales at both of his restaurants- El Barrio and Paramount, both in downtown Birmingham. – ABC3340

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Philanthropist Lewis Manderson dies at 94
Lewis Manderson, the benefactor who gave tens of thousands of dollars to support recovery efforts in his hometown of Cordova, died May 5 at 94. The Faye and Lewis Manderson Fund was established at the Walker Area Community Foundation in 2011 after Manderson pledged $100,000 a year for five years to assist with rebuilding efforts in Cordova. Manderson, who turned his billboard company, Creative Displays, into the fourth largest in the world, was better known as a philanthropist in his longtime home of Tuscaloosa and in Atlanta, where he relocated in the 1980s. – Daily Mountain Eagle

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