North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

June 26, 2013

NJN/am for Wednesday, June 26

By Robert Carter
North Jefferson News

— Hello, Wednesday...

Weather: Same song, umpteenth verse. Once again, hot with a chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Today we’ll see a 30 percent chance of rain today and 10 percent tonight, with a high in the upper 80s and a low near 73. This keeps going for the rest of the week.

Historic ruling. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned a significant portion of the Voting Rights Act on Tuesday, upholding an argument by plaintiffs from Shelby County that the federal government should not have to pre-approve every move a local or state government makes regarding voting and elections. In a 5-4 decision that fell predictably along ideological lines, the court said that the basis for determining if minorities were being improperly denied voting rights is outdated, and needs to be revised by Congress — an unlikely prospect given the divided status of that body at the moment.

The deadly summer continues. The tenth homicide in nine days was recorded in Birmingham’s west side Tuesday afternoon. Two men reportedly got into an argument at a convenience store not far from historic Rickwood Field, and one shot and killed the other. It’s the latest in a string of killings that comes after the city went more than a week and a half without a homicide.

Fine-back, Zone gone. The eventual radio home of Paul Finebaum when he returns to the airwaves in August appears to have been settled, if only by process of elimination. WJOX 94.5 FM will once again be the metro area’s sole sports-talk station, after the new owners of WZNN 97.3 FM “The Zone” (which is licensed to Gardendale) decided to pull the plug on the station. Finebaum was unceremoniously booted off his longtime home at JOX after a contract stalemate; he was later signed by ESPN to host a syndicated radio show and appear on its cable-TV networks. “The Zone” had made its intention to sign Finebaum quite public earlier this year, before the station was sold.

Sports: The NJN Softball Player of the Year is.... Caitlin Kirkland, whose steady pitching led Hayden to its first ever Class 5A state championship. Her coach, John Simmons, has been selected the NJN Softball Coach of the Year — a given, since he was also picked as coach of the year for the whole state by the Alabama Sports Writers Association. The entire North Jefferson News All-Star Team appears in today’s print edition — “available at newsstands everywhere,” as they say… College baseball: UCLA won its first-ever NCAA Men’s College World Series on Tuesday, shutting out Mississippi State 8-0 to sweep the best-of-three series.