North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

June 14, 2013

NJN/am for Friday, June 14

By Robert Carter
North Jefferson News

— It’s Friday, headed for a nice weekend…

Weather: Improving. Our area largely missed the narrow line of storms that swept through Alabama on Thursday, and today we’ll have sunny skies and a little cooler temps. Highs today will stay in the middle 80s, and tonight’s lows will go down to the middle 60s. More of the same on Saturday; rain returns Sunday afternoon.

Thornton guilty on all counts. Curtis Thornton of Warrior was convicted in Jefferson Circuit Court Thursday of four counts of second-degree arson and two lesser charges. A jury of nine women and three men agreed with prosecutors that the former Birmingham Police officer set fire to homes in the Dana Road neighborhood where he lived, as well as to houses in Ensley while on patrol. Each of the arson counts carries a possible prison sentence of as much as 20 years; Thornton will be sentenced in July.

Fatal crash in Pinson. A two-vehicle wreck Thursday afternoon claimed the life of one person and seriously injured two others. The victims, who have not yet been identified, were hurt when their vehicles collided at the intersection of Pinson Valley Parkway and Sweeney Hollow Road just before 2 p.m.

Locust Fork man sentenced for sex crimes. Wade Andrew Underwood Jr., 64, pleaded guilty to four counts of first-degree sodomy, two counts of first-degree rape and four counts of sexual abuse of a child under 12 years of age. Underwood was sentenced Thursday to a total of 160 years in prison, according to District Attorney Pamela Casey. He was originally indicted on one count of sodomy in January of last year, but an investigation found three more victims since that time.

Sports: Unfinished business. Thanks to two separate weather delays, first-round play at the U.S. Open golf tournament at Merion Golf Club near Philadelphia was not completed by most golfers. Among those who did finish the round was Phil Mickelson, who apparently suffered no ill effects from a red-eye cross-country flight after seeing his daughter graduate from eighth grade Wednesday night. “Lefty” shot a 3-under-par 67 and is the leader in the clubhouse. Luke Donald is at 6-under after 13 holes, while Tiger Woods is at 2-over through 10 and Masters champion Adam Scott is 2-under, playing in the same threesome with Woods and Rory McIlroy. Play resumes at 7:30 Central Time today… NBA: The Miami Heat’s Big Three got their game back on Thursday night, as they defeated the San Antonio Spurs 109-93 to tie the NBA Finals series at two games each. LeBron James scored 33 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, Dwayne Wade added 22, Chris Bosh scored 20 and Ray Allen came off the bench for 14. Tim Duncan paced the Spurs with 20. Game 5 is Sunday night in San Antonio, with Game 6 back in Miami on Tuesday.