As of 5pm on Sunday February 14, 2021 Governor Kay Ivey issued a State Of Emergency for 28 Alabama counties as a precaution for freezing temperatures forcast for now through Tuesday. Those Couties are:

Bibb, Blount, Choctaw, Colbert, Cullman, DeKalb, Fayette, Franklin, Greene, Hale, Jackson, Jefferson, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Marengo, Marion, Marshall, Morgan, Perry, Pickens,
Shelby, Sumter, Tuscaloosa, Walker, and Winston. The full proclamation is below.




WHEREAS the Alabama Emergency Management Act of 1955, as amended, confers upon the Governor the power to proclaim a state of emergency when there exists certain conditions of disaster or of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property within the State caused by natural or man-made disasters, Ala. Code§§ 31-9-3 and 31-9- 8 (1975);

WHEREAS the National Weather Service is forecasting that certain counties in the western and northwestern parts of Alabama may be severely affected by ice, snow, sleet, freezing rain, and/ or severe weather, as well as extreme and prolonged freezing temperatures, beginning on February 14, 2021;

WHEREAS this winter storm system could cause significant damage to public and private property and poses a danger to the health and safety of the people of Alabama, including, potentially, property damage, personal injury, and loss of life;

WHEREAS disruption of essential utility systems could occur and may continue to occur, causing extreme peril to the citizens in the State;

WHEREAS, due to the outbreak of the 2019 novel coronavirus known as COVID- 19, a state public health emergency is currently in effect that has strained state and local resources and has required extraordinary measures to prevent the spread and mitigate the consequences of COVID-19;

WHEREAS those extraordinary measures include a series of emergency proclamations issued by me, as Governor of Alabama, in connection with the state public health emergency I proclaimed on March 13, 2020, as well as the Order of the State Health Officer Suspending Certain Public Gatherings Due to Risk of Infection by COVID-19 and various local government orders related to COVID-19 (collectively “the COVID-19 Orders”); and

WHEREAS this winter storm event, coupled with the COVID-19 public health emergency, poses extraordinary conditions of disaster and of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property within the State, and it is anticipated-that these conditions, by reason of their magnitude, are, or are likely to be, beyond the control of the services, personnel, equipment, and facilities of any single county, city and county, or city, and will require combined forces to combat, see Ala. Code§ 31-9-3;

NOW THEREFORE, I, Kay Ivey, Governor of the State of Alabama, pursuant to section 8 of the Alabama Emergency Management Act of 1955, as amended, Ala. Code

§ 31-9-8 (1975), do hereby proclaim that a state of emergency exists as of 5:00 p.m. CDT on Sunday, February 14, 2021 in the following counties: Bibb, Blount, Choctaw, Colbert, Cullman, DeKalb, Fayette, Franklin, Greene, Hale, Jackson, Jefferson, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Marengo, Marion, Marshall, Morgan, Perry, Pickens, Shelby, Sumter, Tuscaloosa, Walker, and Winston. I hereby direct the activation of the

Emergency Operations Plan (EOP), and all appropriate annexes. The Alabama Emergency Management Agency State Operations Center, as well as all Alabama Emergency Management Agency Divisions, shall be placed on alert and/or activated.

FURTHER, I hereby proclaim and direct the following:

  1. Applicability of COVID-19 Orders

Because this storm event will occur during the State’s response to the COVID-19- related public health emergency, I find that it would further promote the safety and protection of the people of Alabama to clarify the applicability of the COVID-19 Orders as they relate to this storm event. To that end:

  1. Any provision of the COVID-19 Orders is suspended to the extent that its application or enforcement would endanger any person affected by this storm event or impede the ability of any individuals, governmental entities, organizations, or businesses responding to this storm event to preserve human life, to prevent or mitigate human suffering, or to protect or repair critical infrastructure as defined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency.

B.    Except as provided in this section, nothing in this proclamation shall be construed to modify, alter, or amend any provision of the COVID-19 Orders, which shall remain in full force and effect according to their terms.

  • All persons responding to this storm event are encouraged to remain vigilant against the spread of COVID-19 and to comply with the COVID-19 Orders to the greatest extent possible, even when excused from compliance under this section. Shelters should remain open and accessible to all individuals seeking refuge from this storm while implementing reasonable practices and procedures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among those seeking shelter.
  1. Activation of the Alabama National Guard and other state agencies

I hereby direct the Alabama National Guard to prepare to be activated on order of the Governor to respond to this winter storm event, and I direct the appropriate state agencies to exercise their statutory and regulatory authority to assist the affected communities and  entities in responding to and recovering from this event. I also direct the Alabama Emergency Management Agency to make the appropriate assessment of damages from this event and seek the necessary state and federal assistance for the affected areas.

  1. Price gouging

In accordance with sections 8-31-1 through 8-31-6 of the Code of Alabama, all persons are hereby placed on notice that it is unlawful for any person within the State of Alabama to impose unconscionable prices (i.e., to engage in “price gouging”) for the sale or rental of ,any commodity or rental facility during the period of a declared state of emergency.

  1. Propane gas

Section 9-17-109(d) of the Code of Alabama and section 530-X-2-.16(c) of the Alabama Administrative Code are hereby suspended during this state of emergency to allow any propane gas dealer operating within the State of Alabama to fill any container if necessary to mitigate the effects of the winter weather justifying this emergency proclamation.

  • Waiver of federal motor-c’arrier regulations

Pursuant to 49 CFR § 390.23, this declaration of a state of emergency facilitates a waiver of certain regulations of the U.S. Department of Transportation-Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA), including 49 C.F.R. Part 395 (Hours of Service for Drivers), as it relates to the provision of emergency-or disaster-related materials, supplies, goods, and services for this storm event. The waiver for this event shall terminate at the earliest of (1) the conclusion of the motor carrier’s or driver’s direct assistance in providing emergency relief; (2) 30 days from the initial declaration of emergency; (3) the  issuance of a  proclamation terminating this state of emergency; or (4) any other time dictated by the FMCSA’s regulations. Motor carriers that have an out-of­ service order in effect may not take advantage of the relief from regulation that this declaration provides under 49 C.F.R. § 390.23.

  • Transportation of emergency equipment, supplies, etc.

I instruct the appropriate agencies to take necessary steps and issue  the appropriate documents to expedite the movement of vehicles, or vehicles and loads, that are transporting emergency equipment, services and supplies, storm-related debris, building and construction materials, or temporary emergency buildings and their components, subject to the following rules:

  1. Documents issued under authority of this proclamation shall be subject to approval and clearance by the Alabama Department of Transportation and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency and shall cover specific designated state routes.
  • The director of the Alabama Department of Transportation, or his designee, may issue waivers for vehicles or combinations of vehicles and loads, whether these loads are divisible or non-divisible, with weights, dimensions, or combinations thereof exceeding the maximum limits specified by law.
  • Transporters are responsible to ensure that they have proper oversize signs, markings, flags, and escorts as defined in the State of Alabama’s rules and regulations.
  • Insurance requirements shall not be waived.
  • Nothing in this proclamation shall be construed to allow any vehicle to exceed the weight limits posted for bridges and like structures, nor shall anything in this proclamation be construed to relieve any vehicle, or the carrier, owner, or driver of any vehicle from compliance with any restrictions other than those specified in this proclamation, or from any statute, rule, order, or other legal requirement not specifically waived herein.
  • State government office closings

State government offices may be closed at the direction of the Governor. State agency heads will receive instructions from the Governor’s Office or the State Personnel Director if closures are authorized.

  • School closings

The local educational authorities may close any school or office based on local conditions, and any affected school system that is closed as a result and loses student days or employment days, or both, may appeal to the State Superintendent of Education for relief in fulfilling the local school calendar with respect to student days or employee days, or both, with no loss of income to employees.

  1. Actual expense reimbursement

I find that it is fair, reasonable, and appropriate that those State of Alabama employees who are required to perform disaster recovery and response services away from their home base of operations for this event be reimbursed for the actual expenses they incur  while performing  these services on  behalf  of  the  State of  Alabama. Therefore, I authorize the reimbursement of actual and necessary expenses, as prescribed by the Fiscal Policies and Procedures Manual, for state employees who have been, are being, or may be called away from their home base in response to this state of em erge ncy . All such claims for expense reimbursement must be reasonable and must be certified as such by the employee’s agency head or appointing authority. To the extent that  this order conflicts with any provision of  state law, such law is hereby suspended for the duration of this state of emergency, and this order shall control.

FURTHER, to the extent a provision in this proclamation conflicts with any provision of state law, that law is hereby suspended for the duration of this state of emergency, and this proclamation shall control.

FURTHER, I declare that this proclamation, and all subsequent orders, laws, rules, or regulations issued pursuant hereto, shall remain in full force and effect for the duration of this state of emergency, except as otherwise expressly specified.

IN WITNESS, WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal to be affixed by the Secretary of State at the State Capitol in the City of Montgomery on this the 14th day of February 2021.





John H. Merrill

Secretary of State





Starting Monday February 8 2021 through Friday February 12, 2021 at Block Park in Selma each day from 8am until 5pm 1,000 Moderna Covid-19 vaccine shots will be administered to begin implementing phase 1b of the Alabama Department of Public Health’s plan which will include 65 YEARS AND OLDER and an expanded group of recipients from the frontline critical workers:

Corrections officers

Food and agriculture workers

U.S. Postal Service workers

Manufacturing workers

Grocery store workers

Public transit workers

People who work in the education sector (teachers, support staff, community college and higher education)
Childcare workers

Judiciary (including but not limited to) circuit judges, district judges and district attorneys

The additional priority groups will add over 1 million people that are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination in Alabama. While just under 2 million people will qualify to receive the vaccine, the state continues to only receive around 100,000 doses each week. DOWLOAD COVID -19FORMS TO TAKE WITH BELOW OR ABOVE



Selma residents turn out for the Saint James Hotel reopening

Tuesday January 26, 2021 residents, former and present elected officials, dignitaries and governmnent officials were on hand for the official ribbon cutting and grand opening of the Saint James Hotel.


Rhaglan Hospitality is pleased to announce the opening of The St. James Hotel at 1200 Water Avenue in historic Selma, Alabama. Sitting adjacent to the Edmund Pettus Bridge on the banks of the Alabama River, the main building of the hotel was constructed in 1836. It is the only riverfront pre-Civil War era hotel still inexistence.

Over its nearly 200-year existence, the St. James has been operated as many things from hotel to tire recapping facility. The property was most recently renovated as a hotel in the early 1990s by a group of local investors but fell on hard times and has been closed for several years. Having worked on the project for nearly five years, Rhaglan Hospitality acquired the property from the City of Selma in 2018 and began renovations, which included not only the complete renovation of all guest rooms and baths as well as common areas, but also the addition of 13 guest rooms and suites, many of which have balconies overlooking the Alabama River and the Edmund Pettus Bridge. From the porcelain lamps and original oil paintings in the guest rooms to the period antiques in the common areas to the charming brick courtyard and fountain at the center of the hotel, the St James has been redesigned to retain the beautiful historic features of the property while incorporating contemporary design elements in the lighting and some of the furnishings.

Ray Donovan, General Manager being interviewed by Randy Williams

The St James will offer breakfast, lunch and dinner via their full-service restaurant and bar, Sterling. Named after a former slave who operated the hotel in the 1800s, Benjamin Sterling Turner, Sterling will arguably provide the best dining experience in Dallas County. Guests at Sterling can begin their evening with a cocktail by the fountain in the hotel’s gas lit courtyard and then have dinner in the cozy bar area by one of the two original fireplaces or, if they prefer something more formal, in the mirror-lined main dining room.

The acquisition, renovation and additions were made possible in part with financing provided by American South Real Estate Fund, an impact fund focused on low-income community projects throughout the South, and an Opportunity Zone investment from the Woodforest CEI- Boulos Opportunity Fund, established by Woodforest National Bank® and CEI-Boulos Capital Management. In speaking about their involvement in the property from American South stated: “ASREF is a proud financial partner in this highly-catalytic project. The re-opening of the St. James Hotel will be transformative for downtown Selma – a historic keystone of our country’s struggle for Civil Rights”, explains Deborah La Franchi, Managing Partner of ASREF.

Doug Schaeffer, Executive Vice President, CRA Executive Director, Woodforest National Bank further noted with respect to their investment: “Woodforest’s investment in the St. James Hotel, through its Woodforest CEI-Boulos Opportunity Fund, will not only help revitalize Selma’s downtown, but it also provides quality jobs for Selma residents. We are proud to leverage the Opportunity Zone

program the way it was intended by investing in communities like Selma that have underutilized assets and important history that needs to be preserved.”

The opening of the St. James is certainly a milestone for Rhaglan and the development team but it is also important for the economic development of the City of Selma. The property will employ three full time salaried managers and provide at least 40 hourly positions ranging from bell person, valet, housekeeping, food and beverage staff and front desk staff, nearly all of whom hail from the Selma community. Rhaglan, American South and Woodforest CEI-Boulos Opportunity Fund are all proud of being able to cultivate local talent in this development and will continue to do so.

Rhaglan CEO Jim Lewis has noted, “In addition to the support of our debt and equity partners, American South and Woodforest CEI-Boulos Opportunity Fund, this project could not have gotten done without the unwavering support of the City of Selma and its citizens. We hope that they are pleased with the work we have done as we feel so privileged to be a part of this special community. At a time when our nation is so divided, it is nice to see people from all walks of life come together to produce a positive result for all. The City of Selma has a great story to tell as does the St. James. We can’t wait to share that with our guests.

Mrs. Kelly Lewis (the wife of CEO Jim Lewis) being interviewed by Randy Williams

LOCAL NEWS Selma Alabama


Selma, AL – Thursday January 28, 2021 an estimated three thousand people recieved Covid -19 Vaccinations from the Alabama Department of Public Health at Bloch Park. The recipients were 75 years and older, first reponders, health care workers, firefighters, and other workers pre cleared for the first of two Covid -19 vaccine shots.


COVID-19 vaccination eligibility expanded in Alabama to include persons ages 65 through 74 and others

MONTGOMERY – Governor Kay Ivey and the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) announced Friday starting February 8, ADPH will extend eligibility for COVID-19 vaccinations to include people 65 or older, and additional groups of frontline workers. The Vaccine Allocation Plan is available at

Frontline critical workers listed in the plan are as follows:

First responders

Corrections officers

Food and agriculture workers

U.S. Postal Service workers

Manufacturing workers

Grocery store workers

Public transit workers

People who work in the education sector (teachers, support staff, community college and higher education)
Childcare workers

Judiciary (including but not limited to) circuit judges, district judges and district attorneys

The additional priority groups will add over 1 million people that are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination in Alabama. While just under 2 million people will qualify to receive the vaccine, the state continues to only receive around 100,000 doses each week.

As of today, 148,549 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 175,326 doses of the Moderna vaccine have been given out to first responders, residents and staff of Alabama’s nursing homes and individuals 75 and older.  A total of 772,275 vaccines have been delivered to Alabama, meaning that 42 percent of what has already been delivered to the state have been administered. 

“We have all been frustrated that the supply of vaccine coming from the federal government hasn’t kept up with the demand,” Governor Ivey said. “To be blunt, we simply haven’t gotten the vaccine that we’ve been promised, and this has created a major backlog of aggravation. Today’s announcement will ensure that as more vaccine is released, we will have a plan in place to get the vaccine in people’s arms more quickly.”

Covered in this expanded group are people at high risk for work-related exposure and persons in identified age groups at risk for COVID-19 associated morbidity and mortality. These include people working or living in congregate settings including but not limited to homeless shelters and group homes.

“Alabama is expanding its guidance despite the limited vaccine in order to accelerate the vaccine uptake in our state,” Dr. Scott Harris said. “I want to reiterate that any remaining vaccines that have not been administered are either someone’s first dose and they are waiting on their appointment or they are waiting on their second dose. Any vaccine currently in the state has someone’s name on it.”

As a courtesy to others, healthier people age 65 and older and workers who fall in these groups are encouraged to consider delaying their vaccination so that more vulnerable people can access the vaccine ahead of them. 

To schedule an appointment for the free COVID-19 vaccination at a county health department, individuals may call the ADPH COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Hotline at 1-855-566-5333.  For general information about COVID-19, the COVID-19 Information Hotline number is 1-800-270-7268. The vaccine providers can be found within the Alabama COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Dashboard at

ADPH anticipates the release of a new online tool next week which will provide information about opportunities for vaccination, including drive-through clinics being scheduled throughout the state.