North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

January 22, 2014

NJN/am for Wednesday, January 22

By Robert Carter
North Jefferson News

— Good Wednesday morning to you, and it's a day high school sports programs have been waiting for...

Weather: Brrrrrr. Temperatures won't get out of the 30s today despite sunny skies, with a high expected around 38. Tonight's low will go down to the lower 20s. Thursday will be breezy and a bit colder, with highs barely clearing the freezing mark and lows in the middle teens.

A compromise for Mt. Olive? Gardendale officials and local legislators are trying to come up with a plan that would make those who want part of Mt. Olive annexed into the city and its forthcoming school system, while keeping the rest of the unincorporated community as happy as possible. State Sen. Scott Beason said he go into details until the Legislative Reference Service says it's okay by state law, but the plan was formulated when Beason, Rep. Allen Farley, Rep. Allen Treadaway and Gardendale mayor Othell Phillips met last week in Montgomery. Phillips said they hope to know if the plan passes legal muster in a week or so.

Morris man dies after altercation. Gregory Steven Cato, 50, died after he hit his head on a dresser while he was struggling in his home with a neighbor. Sheriff's investigators said they were asked to ride along on a fire call to the house, as those who called 911 said Cato had been drinking and was belligerent. A neighbor came over to try to stop the incident, but Cato fell and was taken to UAB Hospital, where he was dead on arrival. A sheriff's spokesman says no criminal charges are expected.

Plenty of applicants for new school board. The city of Gardendale received 37 applications for spots on the board of education for the new school system that's breaking away from Jefferson County Schools. From these, five will be selected for the board and another five for an advisory panel. Mayor Phillips said interviews and training sessions will be held over the coming weeks, with selections to be made sometime in March.

Sports: Class act. The Alabama High School Athletic Association's Central Board will decide today on whether to put the state's very largest schools into their own Class 7A. Some adjustment in the current six-class system is expected, and if enacted it will have wide-ranging effects on local schools. We'll be on site in Montgomery today with the decision as soon as it comes down... Basketball: The Jefferson County Schools basketball tournaments are underway, with Mortimer Jordan taking down Oak Grove in the small-school boys' bracket, while both Gardendale and Pinson Valley suffered first-round losses in the large-school boys. On the girls' side, Gardendale scored a big upset over Center Point, the seventh-ranked team in Class 5A. And in the Blount County Tournament at Appalachian, Hayden's boys and girls both recorded big wins.