By Robert Carter
North Jefferson News
Monday, Monday, can’t trust that day (sing along, y’all)…
Traffic: ALDOT will be removing the last support column from the former overhead electronic message sign on I-65 southbound just past Walkers Chapel Road in Fultondale. Most of the sign was dismantled after a fatal crash a few weeks ago. Tonight’s work will start at about 6:45 p.m., and one lane of traffic will be closed.
Weather: Drying out. After some loud thunderstorms moved through late last night, it will be sunny and pleasant today with highs in the middle 50s. Lows tonight will dip down to the middle 40s.
The fall guy. Skydiver Felix Baumgartner jumped out of a specially-designed capsule at an altitude of more than 128,000 feet, then fell through the upper reaches of the atmosphere to reach speeds of Mach 1.24, or 834 miles per hour — a new world record. Baumgartner free-fell more than 24 miles, then opened his parachutes at 5,000 feet and drifted safely to earth near Roswell, N.M. on Sunday. The jump was web-streamed live via YouTube and attracted more than eight million viewers, straining the site’s servers and bandwidth.
Arlen Spector dies. The former Pennsylvania senator, one of the last true moderates in that body, died Sunday from complications of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Spector was famous for giving higher-ups on both sides of the aisle fits not always adhering to the party line — and he identified with both parties during his career, starting out as a Democrat, switching to Republican, and then back to Democrat in an effort to keep his U.S. Senate seat when it looked like a challenger would beat him in the GOP primary. He later lost in the Democratic primary instead.
Sports: Tide tops BCS rankings. To the surprise of no one, Alabama sits atop the first listing of team rankings in the Bowl Championship Series. Florida comes in second, with Oregon, Kansas State and Notre Dame rounding out the top five... Bass fishing: Gardendale’s Randall Tharp had a good showing in the last FLW Outdoors Open tournament of the season, finishing in eighth place at Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Texas and picking up a check for $10,543. But the day belonged to Phil Marks of Dallas, who caught a whopping 32 pounds of bass Sunday to win the event by a shade over 16 pounds. That’s the third-biggest winning margin in FLW history; the record was set by Tharp earlier this year at Lake Okeechobee in Florida… Baseball: The Rangers have jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the American League Championship Series after blanking the Yankees 3-0 in The Bronx Sunday. On the NL side, the Cardinals took Game 1 with a 6-4 win over the Giants. Carlos Beltran and David Freese each hit two-run homers for St. Louis.