North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

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March 28, 2013

NJN/am for Thursday, March 28

Hello, Thursday…

Weather: Spring, finally. After one last bit of freezing temperatures overnight, we may at last be shed of winter starting today. It will be mostly sunny with highs in middle 60s, with lows tonight around 40. Clouds move in on Friday and stick around for Easter weekend.

More help for tornado-stricken communities. The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development is releasing $110 million in additional aid for cities and counties in Alabama that were hot by the April 2011 tornadoes. The additional funds were announced by Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Vestavia Hills) and Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham). The money will come in the form of block grants, with the bulk going to Tuscaloosa. One of the reasons for the additional funding, Bachus said, was a change in the allocation formula for multi-family housing; much of the impact zone in Tuscaloosa involved apartments. Jefferson County will get about $9.1 million; no word yet on what Fultondale will receive.

A war on Easter? The actions of a school principal in Madison, Ala. have attracted nationwide attention, particularly from conservative commentators. The principal at Heritage Elementary, Dr. Lydia Davenport, banned an egg hunt tied to an academic competition because of links to Easter; she claimed concerns over celebrating a religious holiday at the school. The system’s superintendent later called the move an “over correction,” according to The Huntsville Times.

Sports: No more streaking. The Miami Heat’s historic winning streak came to an end Wednesday night, as they lost to the Chicago Bulls 101-97. The loss came after 27 straight wins, six short of the NBA record held by the Los Angeles Lakers… ASWA rankings: There’s little change in the Alabama Sports Writers Association high school baseball and softball polls this week, at least as far as local teams are concerned. In Class 5A softball, Hayden stays in fifth place and Mortimer Jordan seventh; they are both behind another team in their area, Curry, which is ranked fourth. No local baseball teams were ranked, though Mortimer Jordan and Pinson Valley were both nominated in Class 5A.

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