North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

January 30, 2014

NJN/am for Thursday, January 30

By Robert Carter
North Jefferson News

GARDENDALE — Welcome to Thursday, and the warm-up starts today – we mean it...

Weather: Meltdown. We can finally start recovering from Tuesday's snow and ice in earnest, as high temperatures reach the lower 40s under sunny skies. Not as cold tonight, with lows in the lower 20s. Friday will be warmer still with highs in the middle 50s. We'll reach the 60s this weekend, but we'll get rain as well – not a bad thing, as we've been running short on rain lately.

The recovery begins. With the rising temperatures, ice will finally start to melt, which will give the folks driving all those abandoned cars along metro Birmingham roads a chance to get them back. There were still some stranded travelers at the Gardendale Civic Center last night, but city council president Stan Hogeland put the word out on Facebook for locals to bring chili, soup and “Southern hospitality.”

Meanwhile, some schoolchildren finally got to go home Wednesday after being stuck at their schools Tuesday night. Seventeen students spent the night at the Burkett Center for the Multi-Handicapped in Morris, while roughly 40 students stayed overnight at various Gardendale schools. A few dozen were also stuck at Kermit Johnson Elementary near Pinson, plus a handful at Pinson Valley High. Overall there were about 4,000 students, teachers and administrators in greater Birmingham that were stranded at their schools. No classes again today, but Tabernacle Christian will hold classes on Friday, which was previously scheduled as an off day for students to compete at an Alabama Christian Education Association competition which has since been called off.

Terry Greer hearing postponed. The former senior pastor at Gardendale-Mt. Vernon United Methodist Church was supposed go through a hearing Thursday to determine if he is mentally competent enough to stand trial. However, Jefferson County courts will be closed Thursday because of the snow and ice storm. Greer, who is accused of killing his wife and attempting to kill his daughter last January at the church parsonage, could be committed to a mental facility and possibly have charges dismissed, or Circuit Judge Tommy Nail could determine that Greer was competent at the time of the crimes and have him stand trial. The hearing has yet to be rescheduled.

Sports: Nada. The winter weather forced the cancellation or postponement of all local sports events on Wednesday, and there will be no high school games tonight as well. Additionally, the start of the AHSAA Indoor Track and Field Championships at the Birmingham Crossplex will be delayed by three hours on Friday and one hour Saturdaybencause of weather. In college basketball, Alabama's games at Auburn, which were scheduled for last night, will be played tonight instead. The women's game tips off at 5 p.m., with the men to follow.