Hello, Friday, and it’s a good time for a weekend…
Weather: Here comes the sun. Thursday’s snow came, and then went almost as quickly. Accumulations of up to six inches were reported in central Alabama, but one to two inches was the norm. Some places around Gardendale recorded 2½ inches. But the sun came out late in the day and melted much of the white stuff — which has unfortunately frozen again overnight, leaving many roads icy and treacherous. The ice will melt as afternoon highs reach 50 degrees. Tonight’s low will dip to 30. Weekend highs will be in the middle 50s, with lows in the lower 30s.
School delays: Jefferson and Blount county schools are on a two-hour delay today. Tabernacle Christian School and Gardendale Christian Academy open at 10 a.m.
Chillin’ in a big traffic jam. Thursday’s snowstorm had its greatest effect on Interstate 65 at Lacon Mountain, better known as that big long hill motorists descend north of Cullman at the Morgan County line. That stretch of highway saw greater accumulations as well as ice, causing vehicles to slip and slide all over the long hill. Southbound drivers simply couldn’t make it all the way up, and traffic jams extended for miles in both directions. ALDOT crews were still dealing with the situation well into the evening, and the Red Cross set up a shelter in Cullman for stranded motorists.
Advice icon passes. She went by the pseudonym “Abigail van Buren,” but two millions she was known as “Dear Abby,” the title of the advice column she wrote for most of the latter half of the 20th Century. Pauline Friedman Phillips died Thursday at age 94, after battling Alzheimer’s disease. Phillips was known for her pithy, snappy and occasionally salty (for their time) answers to questions from people of all walks of life. At its peak, her column attracted as many as 10,000 letters a week; her daughter, Jeanne Phillips, took the column over in 2002, and it is still syndicated to more than 1,400 newspapers. Her primary competition came from a columnist with the pen name “Ann Landers” — in real life, it was Pauline’s identical twin sister, Esther “Eppie” Lederer, who died in 2002.