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From Sept. 6-12, Auburn University’s COVID-19 Resource Center reported that 100 students or employees reported a positive COVID-19 test. The number reported is a decrease from the 188 positive cases during the week prior.
Auburn University received an additional $20.5 million in federal emergency student funding, according to a University email on Tuesday. The funds, sent from the U.S. Department of Education, are meant to address COVID-19-related expenses.
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After reaching a peak of 72 hospitalizations on Aug. 18, both locations of the East Alabama Medical Center have since seen a decrease to a total of 69, according to a press release from East Alabama Health. The peak of 72 is greater than peaks seen in April and July, but falls short of the 92-patient peak in January. There continues to be eight patients on ventilators.
As of Aug. 16, there were only two Intensive Care Unit beds available to COVID-19 patients in Alabama, according to an East Alabama Health press release. There were 2,631 hospitalizations across the state — the most seen since January.
The City of Auburn has named a new planning director, as Steve Foote was hired to fill the position last week according to a press release from the City. In his new role, Foote will be responsible for the City’s land use plan, zoning ordinance and subdivision regulations, according to the press release.
In hopes of getting more students vaccinated, Auburn University is starting an incentive program to give out various prizes — including a $1,000 scholarship and A-zone parking for a semester — to select fully vaccinated students and student organizations.
The Auburn Police Division is getting a technology upgrade, one that a former police chief said puts Auburn "right up there with the bigger cities."
The City Council approved a development agreement for Plainsman Lake, a proposed neighborhood connecting to the Solamere subdivision, during its Tuesday night meeting. The proposal was postponed from the previous meeting so that Solamere residents would have additional time to read it over.
The Auburn City Council approved a fee structure for the Wright Street Parking Deck during Tuesday night’s meeting. The deck will cost one dollar per hour with a $15 maximum per day.
On Thursday, 40-year-old Shawvokie Zacchaeus Williams was arrested on a felony warrant for sexual abuse of a child less than 12 years old, according to the Auburn Police Division.
The Auburn City Council approved a construction bid for the roundabout at the intersection of Wire Road and Cox Road at it’s Tuesday night meeting.
During Tuesday night’s City Council meeting, the Council approved a change to construction on Cox Road, adding a center turning lane instead of dual bike lanes. The road will be widened and restriped between Auburn Technology Park and Wire Road.
During Tuesday night’s City Council meeting, the Council approved a commercial development agreement with Buc-ee’s for a location at the northeast corner of Cox Road and Interstate 85. Buc-ee’s is a Texas-based chain of convenience stores and gas stations that currently has 40 locations throughout Texas, Alabama, Georgia and Florida.
Owners of short-term rentals, like those posted on sites like Airbnb, will now have to get a business license to continue operating in Auburn.
On April 14, Auburn Police Division arrested 58-year-old Auburn resident David Barkley Johnson, charging him with five counts of production of pornography with minors. He is currently being held at the Lee County Jail with a $125,000 bond.
East Alabama will soon see its first children’s hands-on science center with AO Discover!, a nonprofit museum that plans to house educational exhibits in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and arts.
On Friday, the Opelika Chamber of Commerce hosted Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller for his seventh annual Mayoral Address. Chamber of Commerce members and sponsors were invited to the luncheon held at The Bottling Plant event center.
The Auburn City Council decided to return to in-person meetings beginning April 6. The Council first went online on March 26, 2020.
On Wednesday, East Alabama Medical Center held an “Evening of Remembrance, Healing and Hope” to honor both those who died of COVID-19 and those who recovered. Since Lee County saw its first COVID case in March 2020, there have been over 1,600 patients in the community and 217 deaths.