Congratulations, you made it to Friday…
Weather: A brief respite. The rain will taper off this morning, then return again tonight. Highs today will be in the upper 60s, with lows tonight in the middle 40s. Rain chances are 30 percent today and 50 percent tonight. The rain finally moves out Saturday morning with highs in the lower 60s. Sunday will be nice, with highs in the upper 60s. The rain comes back yet again Sunday night and Monday.
Bad day on the parkway. A stretch of Pinson Valley Parkway just south of Jefferson State Community College saw a fatal wreck Thursday morning, then a shooting that night. Ellen Rollins Peterson, a special-education teacher at Center Point Elementary, was killed when her SUV hot a truck turning left onto Pawnee Road. The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office believes that speed was a factor in the fatality. Then that evening around 5:30, a man was shot in the face by another person after some sort of altercation at the Dollar General store on Pinson Valley Parkway between Pawnee and Carson roads. As of 3 a.m., the suspect was still at large; the victim was hospitalized and his condition is not known.
Home-grown market is back. The Gardendale Farmers Market returns again this year, and will start earlier than before — May 23 will be the first market day. It’ll be open from 1-5 p.m. each Thursday through Sept. 26, except for the July 4 holiday, and will once again be located at the Gardendale Civic Center.
Petersen sentenced. Drew Peterson, the former Chicago-area police sergeant who was convicted of murdering his third wife, was sentenced to 38 years in prison by a Joliet, Ill. judge Thursday. Peterson, whose case was heavily covered by cable news channels and documented in a made-for-TV movie, shouted “I did not kill Kathleen!” at his sentencing. Peterson is also a suspect in the disappearance of his fourth wife.
Sports: Rockets outhit Wildcats. Gardendale jumped out to a 4-0 lead after two innings and never looked back, as they defeated visiting Hayden 6-1 in the first game of a scheduled doubleheader. Joseph Calvert drove in three runs for the Rockets; Chris Blakey walked three times and scored twice. Trent Dodson was 2-for-3 plus a hit-by-pitch for Hayden. Dalton Moore pitched five innings for his first win of the season, while Chris Whitt got the loss. The second game was called in the sixth because of lightning and rain. All other local baseball and softball games were rained out Thursday… NASCAR: Daytona 500 pole-sitter Danica Patrick played it safe in Thursday’s twin 150-mile qualifying races, staying out of trouble that might have damaged her car and forced her to the back of the starting grid for Sunday’s race. It was a chance to get the feel of the new Gen-6 race car, and fine the best racing line for Sunday. Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch finished best in the Budweiser Duels, and will start behind Patrick and Jeff Gordon.