North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

February 18, 2013

NJN/am for Monday, February 18

By Robert Carter
North Jefferson News

— Good morning, and happy Presidents’ Day…

Closings: Since it is a national holiday, all federal and state offices, post offices and banks are closed. Jefferson County Schools are in session, but Tabernacle Christian School and Blount County Schools are not.

Weather: Rain returns. It will be sunny and warmer than normal during the day with highs in the lower 60s, though it will be rather windy. Clouds move in and rain starts late in the evening, with some thunderstorms possible overnight. Lows will be in the upper 40s. Rain ends Tuesday morning, with highs in the middle 50s.

Gardendale woman killed. Jennifer Alecia Fuller, 35, died when her SUV hit the median wall on southbound Interstate 65 just south of the 41st Street/Daniel Payne Drive exit on Saturday morning. Fuller’s Ford Explorer flipped over, and she was declared dead at the scene. The wreckage caused traffic on I-65 to be backed up for hours.

Troubled country singer dies. Mindy McCready, who had her share of hits on the country charts in the 1990s and her share of personal issues since, was found dead at a home on Heber Springs, Arkansas on Sunday afternoon. The local sheriff’s office said that McCready was found in a swing on the front porch, dead of a sungle gunshot wound that they believe to be self-inflicted. McCready was best known for hits such as “Ten Thousand Angels,” but had multiple incidents involving drugs and alcohol, and had tried to commit suicide at least twice before. She had also had an affair with baseball pitcher Roger Clemens, and was once engaged to actor Dean Cain, but the two never married. McCready was 37.

Trying to buy guns or ammo? You’re not alone, according to a report in USA Today. Prices for ammunition have skyrocketed in recent weeks, and some dealers are limiting sales. A trade group says that demand is up for recreational purposes, but many dealers say that buyers are stockpiling ammo for political reasons — fears that stricter gun-control laws and regulations, some spurred by the Sandy Hook school massacre, might hinder their ability to buy guns and ammo later.

Sports: Two for the gold. Three dozen local wrestlers went to Huntsville last week in search of a state championship, but just two succeeded. Jonathan Duke of Pinson Valley won the AHSAA Class 5A 220-pound crown with a pin in just 61 seconds, while Fultondale’s Zach Cummings took the title — his second — in the Class 1A-4A 152-lb. division. Fultondale finished fourth in the 1A-4A team standings, and Pinson Valley was fifth in 5A… NASCAR: Danica Patrick made history by becoming the first female driver to win the pole position for a race at NASCAR’s top level. Patrick was the top qualifier Sunday for the Daytona 500, beating out Jeff Gordon. It’s not the first NASCAR pole Patrick has won, and it’s not the first pole for her at Daytona — she did both for last year’s Nationwide Series race. She and Gordon are automatically in The Great American Race, while everyone else has to go through the twin 150-mile qualifying races on Thursday… Women’s college basketball: Auburn center Peyton Davis, who was a standout at Mortimer Jordan, revealed over the weekend that she had undergone surgery to remove a suspicious lump in her breast. The lump was removed and diagnosed as benign, and Davis did not miss a minute of action on the court. The Tigers wore pink uniforms to raise awareness of breast cancer in Sunday’s game against arch-rival Alabama. Auburn won 70-53, ending an eight-game losing streak.