North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

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February 6, 2013

NJN/am for Wednesday, February 6

Good Wednesday morning to you, and will our first five-star recruit enter and sign in, please…

Weather: Is that a foghorn we hear? Most areas will see dense fog this morning, burning off by 9 a.m. Skies will clear, and we’ll have a pleasant afternoon with highs in the middle 60s. Nighttime lows will be around 50. We’ll see showers and maybe a stray storm on Thursday.

A pay raise for teachers? That’s what Gov. Robert Bentley is proposing during Tuesday’s State of the State address. Bentley said the economy of the state is improving, and that a 2½ percent pay hike may be possible. If it passes, it would be the first raise for teachers since 2008.

Armed and dangerous. Jimmy Lee Dykes, the man who abducted a 5-year-old autistic boy from a bus whose driver he killed, and then held the boy hostage for a week, engaged FBI agents in a firefight when they raided his reinforced bunker Monday. Dykes, who died in the raid, had apparently placed explosive devices in the bunker itself, and in the OVC pipe agents used to communicate with Dykes and the boy. Meanwhile, an autopsy will take place on Dykes’ body, which remained in the bunker as of Tuesday evening.

Sports: Sign here, please. It’s National Signing Day, or as it is known to rabid followers of the recruiting wars, Christmas. Four local schools will host scholarship signing ceremonies today, but all those signing have already made up their minds where they are going — except for Pinson Valley linebacker Zach Cunningham, who will announce his decision when he signs. Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Auburn and Oregon are his front-runners. That signing takes place at 2 p.m. Fultondale standout ArDarius Stewart inks his scholarship with the Crimson Tide at 8:15 a.m., followed by a quartet of signees at Gardendale at 8:30, then another group at Hayden at 10… Prep basketball: Hayden’s young boys’ team has made great strides late in the season, but it still wasn’t enough to upset Corner in Tuesday’s regular-season finale. The Wildcat girls did win over the Jackets, though. Post-season play begins Thursday with the first round of area tournament; locally, Gardendale and Hayden will play host.

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