Good Thursday morning, and the weather outside is frightful — or soon will be…
Weather: Winter storm warning in effect. The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for Jefferson and Blount counties, as well as much of the rest of the Interstate 20 corridor. We could see two to three inches of snow, perhaps four in some spots. However, the accumulations should mainly be on grassy surfaces and rooftops, as roads are still too warm (thanks to our 70-degree temperatures a few days ago) for snow to stick. Having said that, some places where snowfall rates are heavy could see some snow on roads for a time, so watch out. The snow will start after 7 a.m. in the metro area — it had reached the state line as of 5:45 this morning. Temperatures will stay in the middle to upper 30s today. Snow ends tonight with lows in the upper 20s. Sunshine returns on Friday with highs in the upper40s, melting whatever snow we get.
School delays: As of 5:45, Jefferson and Blount schools are on normal schedules. The closest delays are in Cullman and Walker counties.
Interim pastor appointed. The North Alabama Conference has chosen Dr. Bill Bostick as interim pastor at Gardendale-Mt. Vernon United Methodist Church, less than a week after pastor Dr. Terry Greer was accused of killing his wife and shooting his daughter. Bostick is a previous pastor at GMV from 1979 to 1985, according to an email sent to church members. He retired in 2006, last serving as a district superintendent, but had been in a pastoral role in Vestavia Hills until last year, the email said. Meanwhile, Greer remains hospitalized under guard at UAB.
Obama takes action on gun controls. With schoolchildren at his side, President Barack Obama signed 23 executive orders that focus on making data for background checks easier to get, as welling as appointing a permanent head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms — a post which has been filled by an interim director for several years — and action to prevent mentally-ill people from possessing guns. Obama called on Congress to enact more regulations on controlling assault weapons, something he can’t do by his own executive order. Obama’s moves met with criticism from conservative Republicans such as Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who said in a statement, “President Obama is again abusing his power by imposing his policies via executive fiat instead of allowing them to be debated in Congress.” (Rubio is a possible presidential candidate in 2016.)