North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

January 23, 2014

NJN/am for Thursday, January 23

By Robert Carter
North Jefferson News

— It's Thursday, and it's cold...

Weather: Hard freeze warning. It will be sunny and a bit breezy today, and highs will only reach the upper30s. A hard freeze warning is in effect for tonight, with lows all the way down to 12 degrees. Friday's high will struggle to make it above freezing. Make sure exposed pipes are protected for the next 36 hours, and bring pets inside this evening.

It's been two years. January 23 marks the two-year anniversary of the deadly 2011 tornado outbreak, which hit the city of Fultondale very hard. In the two years since, the city has cleaned up most of the damage, but many areas of the Glendale neighborhood still show the scars, mainly in lots where houses once stood that are now overgrown with vegetation. That neighborhood has recently been rezoned for commercial use, as Fultondale leaders try to convert it into businesses to match the surrounding areas.

Love won't keep them together. You'll see variations on that line all over the Internet today, as word spreads that the couple behind The Captain and Tenille – one of the biggest musical acts of the 1970s – are divorcing. Alabama native Toni Tenille has filed papers against her husband, “Captain” Daryl Dragon. The pair has been married for 39 years; Tenille wrote two years ago that Dragon, 71, suffered from Parkinson's disease.

Sports: And then there were seven. The Alabama High School Athletic Association has finally made a long-anticipated move to put the state's largest high schools in a separate, seventh class. The new Class 7A will consist of only 32 teams, half as many as the other six. The move was taken to help alleviate the large disparity in student-enrollment sizes between the biggest schools like Hoover, with nearly 2,000 students, and the smallest schools in the current 6A like Gardendale with around 700. The reclassifiation affects several local schools: Pinson Valley and Center Point move up from 5A to 6A, Corner and neighboring Dora gos from 4A to 5A, and Fultondale advances from 2A to 3A. Mortimer Jordan and Hayden stay in 5A, and Locust Fork remains in 4A. Tarrant drops from 3A to 2A. In other news, the AHSAA changed its football schedule, which will allow teams to play a full varsity game in the week usually reserved for jamboree games; this permits teams to schedule 10 games over 11 weeks with a bye week in the middle somewhere. It also facilitates schools near the state's borders to play teams in their adjoining state in the first week, as most nearby states start their schedule a week earlier... Boys basketball: Gardendale closed out its play in the Jefferson County Large School Tournament by edging McAdory 72-70 in a consolation-bracket game Wednesday. Four Rockets scored in double digits, led by Juan Jackson with 23 points. Much the same scenario for Pinson Valley, as they edged Hueytown 84-81 in the other consolation game. Nine players in the game hit double figures; Zach Jackson led the Indians with 23... Girls basketball: Pinson Valley ran into a buzz saw in the county's large-school tournament at Clay-Chalkville, as they were routed by No. 3 (6A) Shades Valley 46-16. Maralie McKinney led the Indians with seven points.