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.)
Sports: So very close. Fultondale football standout ArDarius Stewart just missed out on winning the Mr. Football award as the state’s best prep player. The prep sports committee of the Alabama Sports Writers Association instead gave the award to quarterback Jeremy Johnson of Carver-Montgomery, who won the balloting by two points — the smallest margin in the 31-year history of the award. Stewart was selected as Class 2A Back of the Year for the second straight season, and Pinson Valley linebacker Zach Cunningham was picked as 5A Lineman of the Year. He, Stewart and Johnson were also named to the ASWA Super 12 team of the state’s top players. The awards were handed out Wednesday in Montgomery… Prep basketball: Barring cancellations for snow, Corner is scheduled to travel to arch-rival Hayden tonight, while Mortimer Jordan heads for Arab… College football: Details are still emerging about a very strange hoax which Notre Dame says was perpetrated on linebacker Manti T’eo. The school says that the story of his girlfriend dying of leukemia was not true, and they claim T’eo was the victim of the hoax of what he termed as an online relationship. The investigation is continuing.