Good Tuesday morning to you – grab a warm coat...
Weather: Really cold. An Arctic cold front comes blowing in today, with breezy conditions at midday followed by sharply colder temperatures. The high today will struggle to get into the 50s, and temps will fall throughout the afternoon. Tonight we will see a hard freeze, with lows down to the middle 20s. It will be even colder on Wednesday with highs in the upper 40s and lows in the lower 20s.
Decision time is here. Polls opened at 7 a.m. for the a referendum on whether to raise Gardendale property taxes another five mills to finance a city school system that will break away from the Jefferson County Schools. Polls will close at 7 p.m. We'll have full coverage Tuesday here at njeffersonnews.com, as well as on our Facebook page and Twitter feed (@NorthJeffNews).
More bad news for ObamaCare. The problems for the federally-managed healthcare.gov website have been well documented. But for the 14 states plus Washington, D.C. which opted to operate their own health insurance exchanges, the enrollment numbers aren't looking much better. A report by the consulting firm Avalere Health and reported by Reuters News Service says that about 3 percent of those expected to enroll by this point have done so. Nationwide numbers are expected later this week.
Sports: Hoops time. They may still be playing football at a handful of fortunate high schools, but they aren't waiting to start playing basketball. Tabernacle Christian's boys opened play last Friday with a comeback win; tonight, play starts with local AHSAA schools as Pinson Valley hosts Clay-Chalkville (boys only) and Mortimer Jordan travels to John Carroll Catholic (girls and boys). Football has affected one hoops team, though: Gardendale's opener with Pleasant Grove on Thursday has been postponed because the Spartans are still alive in football playoffs... Minor league football: Let's go inside. Lee Ellison, the Warrior businessman who has owned, coached or played on (sometimes all at once) various minor league teams around north Jefferson County, will announce in a press conference this morning that he is forming a new indoor football team called the Alabama Outlawz. The team will be in a new league called the X-League, and will play its games at the Harris Arena next to the Birmingham Crossplex.