By Robert Carter
North Jefferson News
— Hello, Tuesday...
Weather: Damp. It will be cloudy today with fog lifting before 9 a.m. and a 20 percent chance of rain after lunchtime, with highs reaching the upper 60s. There's a 40 percent chance of showers tonight with scattered fog after midnight, and lows falling to the middle 50s. Wednesday will be nearly identical to today. Looking ahead, the National Weather Service says there is a slight chance for severe thunderstorms Thursday night; we'll have more details on that tomorrow.
Out of gas. The Fultondale Gas Board has informed the city of Gardendale that it will not renew its cuurent franchise agreement that expires on April 1. During Monday night's Gardendale City Council meeting, city attorney Ken Thompson said that the board wants to do away with the rate cap of 2.5 percent above the wholesale rate that supplier Alagasco charges them, as well as a 2-percent franchise fee. Council members decided those terms were not acceptable, and voted to direct mayor Othell Phillips to seek proposals from other suppliers, including Alagasco. (That 2.5-percent cap is the center of a class-action lawsuit filed against the gas board, in which the plaintiffs charge that the board has exceeded that cap; the suit has yet to reach trial.)
Warrior rezones large tract for commercial development. The Warrior City Council agreed with its planning and zoning board's recommendation to rezone a parcel of land just east of the Dana Road interchange off I-65 to B-3 business in Monday night's meeting. The 14-acre tract is currently owned by Jimmie Trotter, who wants to sell it to a developer who would try to lure a “big box” retailer. The parcel is adjacent to Westside Baptist Church and Cooper Drive.
Sports: Play ball! The high school baseball season got under way Monday with President's Day, with Mortimer Jordan sweeping its traditional opening day doubleheader with Oak Grove; Walker McCleney was 3-for-3 in the 5-3 first-game win, then the Blue Devils routed the Tigers 10-2 in the nightcap. The Blue Devils travel to Springville for a twin-bill this afternoon. Elsewhere, Gardendale split a tri-series at Benjamin Russell, easily handling Mountain Brook while falling to the host Wildcats. Also today, Corner opens its baseball season with a doubleheader at Parrish... Softball: The Pinson Valley girls get their season off to a start this afternoon, as they host Leeds... Soccer: It's also the season opener for Fultondale, as they travel to Montevallo for a girls-boys doubleheader.