North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

March 1, 2013

NJN/am for Friday, March 1

By Robert Carter
North Jefferson News

— It’s Friday, and we hope you like your weekends on the cold side…

Weather: The S-word is still around. A front moves in this afternoon and will start off with rain showers, but change to snow showers overnight and into Saturday morning. Highs today will be in the lower 40s with lows near 30. Snow totals will be a half inch or less, and many areas may see no accumulation at all, with no travel problems expected locally. Highs will top out at 40 on Saturday with lows in the middle 20s, and mostly cloudy skies through the day. There’s more of the same on Sunday. Rain returns on Monday.

Sequestration arrives. There was no last-minute deal between President Obama and Republicans in Congress, so the automatic cuts in the rate of increase in federal spending takes effect starting today. However, the effects will not be felt immediately — if at all, many Republicans claim — as it will take a while for federal agencies to sort out their funding issues.

Chaos on Goat Hill. The school flexibility plan proposed by the GOP in the State Senate went into a conference committee one way Thursday, and came out in quite another — and the result was shouting matches within the Senate chamber as Democrats cried foul. The revised plan essentially enacts a form of school vouchers, permitting parents of students in failing schools to get a tax credit to offset the cost of private-school tuition. The bill sailed through both the Senate and the House by 2-to-1 majorities, but not without catcalls and cursing from Democrat opponents, most of whom represented majority-black constituencies. The bill now goes to Gov. Robert Bentley for his signature.

Sports: Perfection. Garrett Suchey pitched five perfect innings for Mortimer Jordan, as they won the first game of their doubleheader with Shades Valley by a 13-0 score. Suchey struck out 10 Mounties. He also hit three doubles and drove in five runs in the nightcap, as the Blue Devils rolled 17-3. Elsewhere, Homewood pitcher Brian Downing threw a no-hitter, but still needed a run in the bottom of the seventh to beat Pinson Valley 3-2. The Indians scored twice in the top of the inning on a throwing error off an infield fly ball. And Gardendale swept Pleasant Grove in a twin-bill, 3-0 and 11-1; Bryce Jay was 4-for-4 with three RBIs in the second game… Softball: It was big-stick night for Hayden, as they mauled Minor 16-0 in three innings. Katie Parr was 3-for-3 and slammed two homers with seven RBIs, and Taylor Hodo belted a grand slam. Eleswhere, Mortimer Jordan opened its season with a 12-2 six-inning beatdown of Springville. Freshman pitcher Bailey Murphy struck out 15 Tiger batters.