North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

May 21, 2013

NJN/am for Tuesday, May 21

By Robert Carter
North Jefferson News

— Good Tuesday morning…

Weather: Hot, hot, hot. Today we will see the highest temperatures of the season, with highs near 90. Nighttime lows will be in the upper 60s. Wednesday will see a 50-50 chance of scattered thunderstorms and highs in the lower 80s.

51 dead, with more feared. Just a day after tornadoes ripped through Oklahoma doing major damage, another barrage attacked the area again Monday, but worse. In particular, a tornado with a path estimated at least a mile wide, perhaps two, tore through the suburban city of Moore. Two storms and a hospital were hit hard. As of 4 a.m., the official death toll stood at 51, with 20 children among the dead, but medical examiners expect that number to rise as recovery efforts continue. Aerial views of the impact path bore strong resemblance to the path of the 2011 twister through Tuscaloosa, Pleasant Grove and Fultondale, with whole neighborhoods reduced to rubble. Moore is located just southwest of Oklahoma City, and was previously struck by an EF-5 tornado on May 3, 1999.

Beason gun bill, Accountability Act pass. The state legislature’s last day of the session saw two major bills pass. The gun bill sponsored by Sen. Scott Beason, R-Gardendale, passed both houses and is expected to be signed by Gov. Robert Bentley; the law would allow gun owners more rights to carry firearms in their vehicles at work. In other action, the legislature overrode an amendment by Bentley to the Alabama Accountability Act which would have delayed its implementation by two years. GOP lawmakers want the law to go into effect right away, allowing parents with children in failing schools to get tax credits for tuition in better schools.

Sports: Winging it.  Goalie Jimmy Howard had 39 saves and Detroit scored two goals in 31 seconds, by Gustav Nyquist and Drew Miller, as they beat Chicago 3-1 in their second-round NHL playoff series Monday. The Red Wings lead the series two games to one… NASCAR: Vegas, baby. Speedway Motorsports chairman Bruton Smith wants another race at his Las Vegas track — so much so that he told a television station that he might move a race from his Charlotte track, right in the heart of NASCAR’s home base. Smith puts the odds of a move at 70 percent.