By Robert Carter
North Jefferson News
— Good Thursday morning to you...
Weather: Cooler. With the overnight rain moving onward, skies will clear today but temperatures will drop a bit. Today's high will top out in the lower 60s, with lows tonight in the middle 30s with patchy frost likely. Friday's weather will be much the same.
Both sides now. Those for and against the vote for increasing Gardendale's property tax to fund a breakaway city school system laid out their reasons in separate stories yesterday at njeffersonnews.com, as well as in Wednesday's print edition. Chris Lucas tells about how FOCUS Gardendale, the main group promoting the system and the tax, came to be in this story, while the Jefferson County Board of Education tells what it thinks locals schools should stay as they are, and businessman Jerone Cantrell sets forth why he favors the new system buy not the added property tax, in this story. Later today at njeffersonnews.com, we'll tell ho debate over the issue has moved from barber shops and beauty salons to online social media.
“Not where we need to be.” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sibelius was on the hot seat yet again Wednesday over the struggles with the healthcare.gov website. In testimony before the Senate Finance Committee, she told Democrat lawmakers that her agency's goal is still to get the website, which is the linchpin of ObamaCare, by the en of the month. “Step number 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 is really to get the website fixed as quickly as possible,” Sebelius was quoted as saying by Politico.com. Meanwhile, the website's woes became fodder for a skit during the opening of last night's Country Music Association awards. Co-hosts Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley struggled to sign up for health care online, when they weren't getting country stars to try to feud with each other. Here's the video.
Sports: Keeping pace. We're barely into the new NBA season, but the team to beat so far is, somewhat surprisingly, the Indiana Pacers. They kept their record perfect at 5-0 last night after hammering the Chicago Bulls 97-80. Paul George led the Pacers with 21 points. It's the first time Indiana started the season off this well since 1970-71, when they were still the big dogs in the old American Basketball Association – remember the old red-white-and-blue basketballs?