Good Thursday morning…
Weather: The S-word. Today will be mostly sunny, but highs will struggle to reach 50, with lows tonight around freezing. Friday will start out the same way, but rain will move in after lunchtime, then turn to snow showers overnight and continue through Saturday morning. Too early to make a forecast about accumulation, but it likely won’t be much.
Finis. The papal reign of Benedict XVI comes to an end today, as he becomes the first pontiff to resign from office in nearly six centuries. Pope Benedict, 85, celebrated his last public audience in St. Peter’s Square on Thursday. The conclave of cardinals will gather at The Vatican
To stand forever. Rosa Parks was immortalized Thursday, as a full-size statue of the woman who refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus was unveiled in Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol. Parks is the first black woman to be so honored in the hall. President Obama and members of the Alabama Congressional delegation, as well as many of Mrs. Parks’ relatives, were in attendance.
Last chance. The sequestration of the federal budget will take effect tomorrow, unless Obama and Republican Congressional leaders come to some sort of compromise, which appears unlikely. The two sides are scheduled to meet — but not until Friday.
Sports: Split decision. Gardendale and Oak Grove split their baseball doubleheader Wednesday, with the Tigers taking the opener 3-2 and the Rockets winning the nightcap 11-1 in six innings. It was a big day for Bryce Jay, who hit a run-scoring triple in the first game, and three doubles with three RBIs in the second. Carter Burns struck out nine in 4-2/3 innings for the win in the closing game… College football: The four Crimson Tide players arrested for robbery and credit-card fraud a few weeks ago have been kicked off the team and out of school, the university announced Thursday. D.J. Pettway, Tyler Hayes, Eddie Williams and Brent Calloway went before a judicial review and “are no longer enrolled at UA,” according to a statement by the school.