North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

October 21, 2013

NJN/am for Monday, October 21

By Robert Carter
North Jefferson News

— It must be Monday again...

Weather: Almost frosty. In fact, some of the valleys in Blount County may have gotten a little frost this morning. But for the rest of us there will be fog throughout the area, dense in some spots, until about 8 a.m. Once the fog burs off we'll have sunny skies with highs in the middle 70s, and tonight will see clouds coming in with a low around 50. Cloudy on Tuesday, with a slight chance of rain and a high around 70.

Bring in lots of pizza and Red Bull. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the the Department of Health and Human Services is about to stage what it calls a “tech surge” – a roundabout way of saying that they are bringing in some help to fix, the linchpin of the Affordable Health Care Act (also known as ObamaCare) that is supposes to allow users to shop for health insurance through so-called exchanges. The website has been beset with problems ever since it launched on Oct.1, with very few people actually able to sign up for the newly-approved health insurance packages. Numerous reports have said that programmers looking at the underlying code for the site say that cos is poorly written, and bogging down under high traffic. An HHS blog post says that the department is “committed to doing better.”

Better call Jethro Gibbs. The San Diego Union-Tribune is reporting that two Navy officers – a commander and a high-ranking agent in the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) have been arrested on charges that they supplied classified information on movement of ships in the Pacific Fleet to a contractor, so that the contractor could win contracts to service the ships while in port. In addition, The Washington Post reports that a navy ship captain was relieved of command as part of the investigation.

Sports: Helloooooo, Jaboo. Two standout performances from Saturday's college football action made for some interesting results in the first BCS Championship rankings of the season, release Sunday. As expected, Alabama is ranked first, but the surprise comes right below the Tide: Florida State, led by redshirt freshman quarterback phenom Jameis “Jaboo” Winston. The Hueytown native solidified his spot in the Heisman Trophy race when his fifth-ranked Seminoles demolished No. 3 Clemson 51-14 in ABC's national Saturday-night game. The other big game came from the resurgent Auburn Tigers, who defeated No. 7 Texas A&M and Heisman winner Johnny Manziel 45-41 at College Station. That effort put the Tigers in the 11th spot on the BCS rankings. The rest of the top five: Oregon at 3, Ohio State at 4 and Missouri – yes, new SEC member Mizzou – in the five spot... NFL: As Luck would have it. Indianapolis fans welcomed former Colts quarterback Peyton Manning back to the Hoosier State on Sunday night, then sent him and his Denver Broncos teammates back to Colorado with their first loss of the season. Andrew Luck, Manning's replacement in Indy, threw three touchdown passes and ran for another score in the 39-33 win. Elsewhere, Atlanta broke its three-game losing string with a 31-23 win over Tampa Bay, while Tennessee simply couldn't get anything going in their 31-17 loss in Nashville to San Francisco... NASCAR: No Big One. The wreck that drivers dread and fans await never materialized at Talladega on Sunday. The closest thing to it was a wreck on the back stretch that brought out an early yellow flag on the final lap to give Jamie McMurray the victory, his first since 2010. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Was second. Jimmie Johnson took over the points lead in the Chase for the Sprint Cup from Matt Kenseth.