North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

April 9, 2013

NJN/am for Tuesday, April 9

By Robert Carter
North Jefferson News

— It’s Tuesday, and we hope you aren’t headed for Atlanta today…

Weather: Trouble ahead. Tuesday will be gorgeous, with highs in the lower 80s and lows in the lower 60s. Wednesday will be great most of the day, but a storm system will move in that night, possibly leading to an outbreak of severe weather on Thursday. It’s too early yet to pin down just when the storms will hit, or whether tornadoes will be possible; we’ll know much more Wednesday morning.

Traffic: Today is the first day that Interstate 20 will be closed for major repairs. The eastbound lanes will be closed between the I-59 junction near the airport and the I-459 interchange near Irondale. Traffic will detour onto I-59, then south on I-459 and on to Leeds and Atlanta. The process will reverse in a few months. A similar closure was done in I-20/59 through Bessemer a year ago.

Rape investigation in Fultondale. An 18-year-old girl has reported that she was raped four years ago near a trailer park on the city’s northern edge. Fultondale Police will interview the victim today to get more details, but already they know that the incident took place in woods behind the 100 Oaks Trailer park. No word yet on a suspect. We’ll have more on this case as it develops.

Two attempted murders in Gardendale. Police have made arrests in two cases, one involving an attempted strangulation and the other a poisoning attempt. Jeffrey Lee Morgan of Gardendale is accused of trying to strangle his victim during a domestic-violence incident, while Melissa Lauren Bryant of Altoona is charged with putting an over-the-counter eye care product in the drink of a co-worker. Both were lodged in the Jefferson County Jail in lieu of bond as of Monday afternoon.

Deaths: Margaret Thatcher, the former British prime minister who stood side by side with President Ronald Reagan to bring down communism and promote the conservative movement in the 1980s. Baroness Thatcher, the “Iron Lady,” died of a stroke Monday at age 87… Annette Funicello, perhaps the best-known “Mouseketeer” on the old Mickey Mouse Club television show, and later the star of several “beach party” movies of the 1960s, died Monday at age 70. Funicello suffered from multiple sclerosis for 21 years.

Sports: Honors for Blake Byrd. The three-sport standout at Corner High was given the Ken and Betty Joy Blankenship Achievement Award, one of the top two honors for high school athletes in Alabama, at Monday’s Bryant-Jordan Scholarship Banquet. Byrd will receive $8,500 in scholarship money… Baseball: If Hayden is to advance into the Class 5A playoffs, it will have to pull a rabbit out of a hat later today, after losing to Walker 12-2 in six innings on Monday. The Wildcats need to sweep a doubleheader at the Vikings’ home field today to win the second berth from Area 12. Meanwhile, Gardendale put itself in good shape for a post-season spot after walloping Carver 23-1 and 18-1 in a Monday doubleheader. One win today in a twin-bill at Huffman will put the Rockets into the first round… College basketball: Louisville won the third NCAA men’s championship in school history, defeating Michigan 82-76 in Atlanta. The win made Rick Pitino the first coach to lead teams from two different schools to the crown, after winning with arch-rival Kentucky in 1996. Pitino was also announced as a new inductee into the Basketball Hall of Fame on Monday. Meanwhile, the Louisville women will attempt to pull off the hoops double, as they play in their title game tonight in New Orleans. Their opponent: UConn, the only team to win both men’s and women’s championships in one year… College softball: Now that the Birmingham Barons have left Hoover Metropolitan Stadium, could another NCAA championship be moving in — permanently? The Tuscaloosa News reported in its Sunday edition that city officials and the Alabama Sports Foundation are trying to lure the Women’s College World Series away from Oklahoma City. “The Met” played host to the NCAA Men’s College Cup of soccer for the last two years.