Good morning, as we remember the events of a year ago today…
Weather: Pretty nice. There’s another slight chance of a pop-up thunderstorm today, but the day should be otherwise very nice with a high in the mid 80s. Clouds move out tonight with lows in the mid 60s, and the weekend will be sunny and warm — there’s even a chance of hitting 90 on Sunday, though it’s a longshot.
Traffic: The rolling roadblocks at the Corridor X interchange construction zone are done for now, and you should have smooth sailing into downtown and southward. ALDOT will be doing striping work on I-65 around the I-459 interchange in Hoover this weekend, which will cause occasional lane closures.
A once-in-a-generation day. It was a year ago today that the state experienced a massive outbreak of deadly, long-track tornadoes that resulted in the loss of 252 lives and countless structures. Close to home, one of the worst tornadoes ended its path of destruction in Fultondale, where more than three dozen homes and several businesses were destroyed, but thankfully no loss of life. The anniversary of the outbreak will be marked by a wide variety of events across Alabama.
Farm regulations scrapped. A controversial set of regulations by the U.S. Department of Labor that would greatly restrict the kinds of work children could do on their family farms was deep-sixed Thursday evening, after a firestorm of criticism sparked by a report on the right-leaning website The Daily Caller. “The decision to withdraw this rule — including provisions to define the ‘parental exemption’ — was made in response to thousands of comments expressing concerns about the effect of the proposed rules on small family-owned farms,” read a press release by the department announcing the withdrawal. The proposal met with an outcry from farm-state senators, as well as farm advocacy groups.
Sports: Break out the bats. Corner pitcher Jordan Entrekin bashed two homers that scored four runs, but couldn’t keep Gardendale from a run barrage in the Rockets’ 9-4 victory Thursday. The Yellow Jackets suffered from defensive problems, committing four errors that led to six unearned runs. Sara Beth Williamson hit a two-run homer, and Lauren Rovi had three doubles, one short of tying the state record for one game. Gardendale is off until they host their area tournament starting Tuesday, while Corner goes to Hueytown this evening for its regular-season finale. Mortimer Jordan had its way with Center Point to close its regular season with a 15-0 victory in three innings. The two Eagle pitchers allowed just two hits, but 18 walks.... NFL Draft: Alabama had four players chosen in the first round Thursday night, one less than many experts expected. Those picked: Trent Richardson, 3rd (Cleveland, who traded up to get the pick); Mark Barron, 7th (Tampa Bay); Dre Kirkpatrick, 17th (Cincinnati); and Dont'a Hightower, 25th (New England, also trading up). Mark Upshaw did not go in the first round as expected; he will likely go early Friday night when the second round begins.