North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

December 16, 2013

NJN/am for Monday, December 16

By Robert Carter
North Jefferson News

— It's Monday, and you didn't win that big Megamillions jackpot – but neither did anyone else, so you still have a chance...

Weather: Sunny. Once some patchy fog burns off, we'll have sunny skies today with highs in the middle 50s. Tonight will be clear and cold with a low around freezing. The same forecast holds for tomorrow and Wednesday.

Bessemer jail reopens. A sign that Jefferson County's fiscal crunch is easing just a bit comes later today, as Sheriff Mike Hale and his crew reopen the Bessemer Cut-Off Jail for the first time since 2009. The closure forced Hale to move 200 inmates to the main jail in Birmingham, which caused overcrowding and resulted in a federal lawsuit by inmates while the then-new Bessemer facility stood empty. The first inmates to be housed on an overnight basis will return this afternoon.

Hollywood loses two greats. Peter O'Toole, best known for his starring role in the epic motion picture “Lawrence of Arabia,” died in London on Saturday at age 81. He had been ill for some time. Also, screen legend Joan Fontaine died Sunday of natural causes at age 96. She was best known for starring roles in Alfred Hitchcock films, and won an Academy Award for “Suspicion.” She had a long-running bitter rivalry with her sister, Olivia de Haviland.

Sports: A Heisman for Famous Jameis. Hueytown native Jameis Winston, the redshirt freshman quarterback for top-ranked Florida State, won the 2013 Heisman Trophy on Saturday night. Winston had almost three times as many points as the runner-up, quarterback A.J.McCarron of Alabama; Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel was third and Auburn running back Tre Mason was sixth. Winston is the second freshman to win the coveted trophy, after Manziel did so last year, and is the first teenager ever – Winston turns 20 on Jan. 6, the day the Seminoles play Auburn in the BCS championship game. Despite his big win, though, Winston was completely omitted from 115 of the 900 ballots cast, seen largely as a result of accusations of sexual assault leveled against him by a Tallahassee woman, for which prosecutors declined to file formal charges for lack of evidence... Brown steps down: Texas coach Mack Brown ended the speculation Saturday afternoon when he announced that he would resign following the Longhorns' appearance in the Alamo Bowl. Brown, who's been at the school for 16 seasons, is the program's second-winningest coach. Brown had been under pressure to leave (or be fired) for much of this season, with Alabama's Nick Saban being a prime candidate to take the job until he signed a big contract extension late last week. Now speculation turns to another coach not far from Saban – Auburn's Gus Malzahn... Wrestling: Pinson Valley wins again. Another week, another tournament victory for the Indians, who took the title at the Charlie Bruce Duals at Fultondale on Saturday. The Tribe knocked off Muscle Shoals, Vestavia Hills and Mortimer Jordan in the championship group.