By Robert Carter
North Jefferson News
— It's Thursday, and the apocalypse has been averted yet again...
Weather: Rainy morning. We'll have showers most of the morning, but clearing and cooler in the afternoon with a high near 70 and a nighttime low around 50. Rain chances are 90 percent today. Friday will be sunny, but a bit on the cool side.
Done deal. Late Wednesday night, Congress finally put together a deal to end the partial government shutdown and avoid the looming clash with the national debt ceiling – but most of the House Republicans voted against Speaker John Boehner and the plan. The bill, which was signed into law by President Obama shortly after midnight, reopens federal agencies and allows the government to borrow more money – but it's just a temporary fix, as the funding only goes through mid-January, and the new debt limit will be reached in mid-February. Sixth District Congressman Spencer Bachus, R-Vestavia Hills, voted for the bill; he's already announced he will not run for re-election. Outgoing New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg put it bluntly: the bill is “..simply kicking the can down the road.”
Dutton's fame grows. The story of Gardendale's Molly Anne Dutton, the Auburn University homecoming royalty who was nearly aborted because her pregnancy came after her birth mother was sexually assaulted, has grown even more in the past 24 hours, particularly on the Internet. The morning cable-news show “Fox and Friends” had Dutton as a guest, while numerous websites pushed forward reports from Alabama media (including The North Jefferson News, whose web traffic tripled thanks to several national links). Many of the mentions came from sites allied with pro-life cases and other conservative-leaning media, but also liberal-aligned sites like The Huffington Post ran with the story as well.
Field trip. The Jefferson County Board of Education is scheduled to hold a special called meeting this morning, after which their current plans are to board a bus and visit schools in Fultondale. The elementary and high schools are a particular concern for the board, because of the fast-growing student population of the elementary school and the aging physical plant at the high school.
Sports: Condi! The rumors were true: Former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice is one of the members of the new committee that will determine the four teams that will play in the new college football playoff system, which starts next season. Rice's selection was criticized even before it was announced, particularly by former Auburn coach Pat Dye. Rice told USA Today, “Not everyone on the committee has played football. I'm a student of the game and I believe that I will work very, very hard.” Among the others selected: former Ole Miss great Archie Manning... Baseball: Dodgers stay alive. Los Angeles played long-ball Wednesday afternoon, as Adrian Gonzalez smashed two solo homers and Carl Crawford and A.J. Ellis added one each to lead the Dodgers to a 6-4 win over St. Louis in the National League Championship Series. The Cardinals still lead the series 3-2. Meanwhile in the American League, Jim Leyland made some changes in the Detroit batting order, and looked like a genius after the Tigers scored five runs in the second inning as part of a 7-3 victory over Boston. Austin Jackson, moved from lead-off all the way down to eighth in the order, was 2-for-2 with a pair of walks and two RBIs. The AL series is tied at 2-2... Prep football: A reminder that this week's game at Fultondale has been moved up to tonight at 7. The fifth-ranked Wildcats host winless Victory Christian.