North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

February 7, 2013

NJN/am for Thursday, February 7

By Robert Carter
North Jefferson News

— It’s Thursday, and it’s a bit moist…

Weather: Rain returns. Wet weather entered to the state in the overnight hours, but it will clear out late tonight. Highs today will be near 60, with lows tonight in the upper 40s. There may be some scattered showers on Friday.

Beason enters gun-control fray. State Sen. Scott Beason, R-Gardendale, has filed a bill in the upcoming legislative session that he says would “clarify” current law concerning open-carry of firearms. Beason said in television interviews that some counties and cities had tried to change the meaning of the current state law, circumventing the original intent of legislators. The bill is one of several filed, largely in response to calls for tighter gun controls by the Obama Administration in the wake of the school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut.

Confirmation vote postponed. President Obama’s nominee for secretary of defense is running into opposition in the Senate. The hearing for former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., by the Armed Services Committee has been delayed while several financial issues are investigated. Hagel is balking at turning over information to the committee about certain corporations he has links to.

Sports: Do the hat dance. It’s a National Signing Day tradition — some prized recruit holds off on his choice of where to play his college football until the last minute, then pulls out a baseball cap from his chosen school before TV cameras. This time it was Pinson Valley linebacker Zach Cunningham’s turn, and the hat he pulled out belonged to Vanderbilt. Cunningham chose the Commodores over Tennessee, Auburn and Oregon on Wednesday afternoon. Other local recruits had their minds made up already, including Fultondale quarterback/safety ArDarius Stewart. He signed his papers for Alabama before the entire FHS student body and a live-streamed video audience on the Internet. Other signees: Earnest Robinson of Pinson, to Auburn; Jordan Howard of Gardendale, to UAB; Jesse Blackburn, also of Gardendale, to Murray State (Ky.); Corey Ward and Steven Ballard of Hayden, both to NAIA program Faulkner University of Montgomery; Jeffrey Blair of Pinson, also to Faulkner; and Ryan Tallmage of Gardendale and Trent Dodson of Hayden, who will both go to Division III Birmingham-Southern on academic scholarships and will play for the Panthers… Prep basketball: Area tournaments get underway in earnest tonight, with Gardendale hosting their Class 6A tourney. They take on Huffman at 6:30 p.m. Hayden hosts their 5A affair; they play Curry at 7:30, right after Mortimer Jordan plays Walker. Elsewhere, Pinson Valley plays Springville at 5:30 at Center Point, Corner plays Dora at 7 at Carbon Hill, Locust Fork takes on Fairview at 7:30 at Oneonta, and Fultondale plays Holy Family Cristo Rey at 7:30 at Altamont School.