It's Wednesday, and Gardendale marks an historic event...
Weather: Really cold. We are in for a couple of cold days, with freeze warnings continuing tonight. Today will be sunny with a high in the lower 50s, with lows tonight in the upper 20s. It will be slightly warmer on Thursday.
Going separate ways. Gardendale voters decided Tuesday to put in place an additional 5-mill ad valorem property tax, which sets in motion the process to break the city's schools away from the Jefferson County Schools system and form a new city system. The referendum passed fairly easily, with 57.7 percent of the roughly 3,500 voters favoring the new tax and 42.3 opposing. The vote will be canvassed and certified at Monday's meeting of the city council.
So now what? With the tax approved by voters, the council is now free to pass a resolution that officially informs JefCoEd that they city wants to break way, Mayor Othell Phillips said Tuesday. After that, the council will take applications for the new board of education, and will select 10 applicants to go through a training session. From those 10, five will then be chosen to serve on the board with the other five on a citizens' advisory council. The board will then choose a new superintendent, who will then start negotiations with the country system on a separation agreement. If everything progresses smoothly, Phillips said the new board hopes to begin operating the local schools in the 2015-16 year.
Sports: Bonus basketball. Pinson Valley struggled mightily with free throws and 3-point shooting, but still managed to keep pace with a strong Clay-Chalkville boys' squad and take Tuesday's season opener into overtime. But the Cougars went on an 8-0 run in the last minute of the extra period, as they escaped with a 65-59 win over the Indians. Zach Jackson led Pinson with 22 points, while Kerry Griffith had 18 rebounds and 15 points... Baseball: “Ted” to go bye-bye. Atlanta officials announced that when the Braves depart for a new stadium in Cobb County in 2017, Turner Field will be torn down and replaced with a large middle-class housing development. The park, which began life as Olympic Stadium for the 1996 Summer Games, is named for former Braves owner and cable-TV mogul Ted Turner. The team's new home will be built near the interchange of I-75 and I-285 near Smyrna and Marietta.