Good Thursday morning, and batten down the hatches…
Weather: Stormy morning. A strong cold front is moving through the area this morning, and is expected to bring strong and possibly severe storms to metro Birmingham through the lunch hour. Heavy rains and strong winds are expected, but the possibility of tornadoes is low. Highs will start out today in the middle 60s, but temperatures will plummet through the day to reach the upper 20s tonight. Friday will be sunny but windy, with highs struggling to reach 50.
The end is near, or not. Tomorrow is the day that the ancient Mayan calendar runs out, which has led some people to believe that the world will end on Dec. 21. That’s not likely, say countless theologians and scientists, especially since the Mayan civilization itself died out around 900 A.D. This isn’t the first time someone has predicted the end of the world — in 1966, a NASA scientist gained fame with his 88 reasons why the world would end (or the Rapture would take place) around the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah.
Miss Universe is... Miss USA, Olivia Culpo, a student at Boston University. Culpo defeated 88 other contestants from around the world in the pageant, held at Planet Hollywood Casino in Las Vegas. It’s the first time that Miss USA has won the title since 1997, much to the relief of pageant owner Donald Trump.
Sports: Hornet boys ranked. Locust Fork’s girls basketball team has been ranked 10th in the ASWA Class 4A basketball rankings since the first poll of the season. Now the girls are joined by the boys, who are ranked 10th in the latest standings released this morning. The Hornet boys play in the Corner Christmas Tournament, which gets under way this afternoon at 3:30. Hanceville plays West Blocton in the opener, Marion County takes on Mortimer Jordan at 5, Locust Fork goes against Hayden at 6:30, and the hosts play Vinemont in the nightcap at 8. Semifinals in winners’ and consolation brackets begin at 3:30 Friday, and the final games the same time Saturday… College basketball: No basket-brawl this year for the Queen City’s historic hoops rivalry. The Skyline Chili Crosstown Classic, played this year at a neutral site, was won 60-45 by Cincinnati over Xavier. Last year’s game, played in the Bearcats’ home arena, ended in a bench-clearing brawl that resulted in suspensions and plenty of negative publicity for the two schools.