North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

July 12, 2013

NJN/am for Friday, July 12

By Robert Carter
North Jefferson News

— Friday, let’s get this weekend started…

Weather: Clearing. We’ll get a brief chance to dry out today, as sunny skies with no chance of rain are forecast with highs in the upper 80s. lows tonight will reach the upper 60s. Scattered showers return on Saturday and Sunday, though.

Jury to get Zimmerman case today. The six-woman panel heard closing arguments from prosecutors Thursday afternoon, and will listen to the defense this morning in the Florida trial of George Zimmerman, who is charged with second-degree murder in the death of teenager Trayvon Martin. The judge in the case will also allow the jury to convict on the lesser charge of manslaughter, which still carries a possible prison sentence of 30 years. Jurors should start their deliberations this afternoon.

Gas prices rising. You might want to fill up your car today, as USA Today reports prices are expected to jump over the next few days. In fact, already reports prices at the pump in north Jefferson County have jumped as much as 12 cents per gallon, with the lowest price this morning of $3.20.9 reported at Murphy Oil in Gardendale, next to Walmart. The political unrest in Egypt is to blame; that country exports little oil, but the troubles might affect oil shipments.

Sports: Freeman gets the nod. Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman has been added to the National League roster for next week’s MLB All-Star Game, after he won the “Final Vote” fan balloting over Yasiel Puig of Los Angeles. Freeman responded by driving home four runs with three hits Thursday night as the Braves beat Cincinnati 6-5, keeping Atlanta in first place by six games in the NL East. Meanwhile, Derek Jeter’s return to the New York Yankees’ lineup was short-lived, as he was pulled out of his first appearance in 91 games after tightness in his right thigh. He’ll undergo an MRI today.