North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

March 12, 2013

NJN/am for Tuesday, March 12

By Robert Carter
North Jefferson News

— Hello, Tuesday…

Weather: In a pattern. We’ll have clear skies with highs in the upper 50s and lows in the middle 30s. It is a pattern that will continue for the next three days, then we’ll warm up for the weekend.

A blizzard for the ages. It was 20 years ago today that the Birmingham area was hit with perhaps its worst winter storm ever. The metro area received a foot and a half of snow, with drifts as high as six feet in some outlying areas. The storm brought central Alabama to a halt, and snow was recorded all the way to the Gulf Coast. A total of 16 people died in the state as a direct result of the storm.

The process begins. The conclave of cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church officially begins today, as they gather in the Sistine Chapel to select a new pope. The cardinals will lock themselves into the chapel and away from the outside world. A two-thirds majority vote is required, with the ballots being burned after each vote. White smoke from the burning ballots coming from the chapel chimney indicates a new pontiff has been selected; black smoke indicates there was not a sufficient number.

Sports: The winner was the rain. All local baseball and softball games, including the Jefferson County Schools Baseball Tournament championship, were rained out on Monday. The game between Gardendale and Pinson Valley will now be played Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Birmingham-Southern College... College basketball: The first teams have made it into the field of 68 for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, better known as March Madness. Davidson, James Madison, Iona and Western Kentucky won their conference championships on Monday and received automatic berths to the tournament.