North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

January 21, 2013

NJN/am for Monday, January 21

By Robert Carter
North Jefferson News

— Good Monday to you, and some folks haven’t given up on Dr. King’s dream…

Weather: Sunny today, cold tonight. The sun will be out in full force today for various Martin Luther King Day activities, but tonight will be cold with lows down to the middle 20s. Tuesday will still be sunny, but highs will barely creep into the 40s.

MLK Day: The country celebrates the birth of the slain civil rights leader today. Here in Alabama, it’s also a holiday to celebrate the birth of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Because of that, all government offices are closed, as are schools, post offices and most banks.

The second term begins. President Barack Obama was officially sworn in yesterday, as federal law requires inaugurations to take place on January 20, even if it falls on a Sunday. Both Obama and Vice President Joe Biden took their second oath of office in brief ceremonies. The ceremonial inauguration takes place today at the U.S. Capitol.

State to get out of booze biz? The Associated Press reports that State Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, will introduce a bill in the legislative session that would do away with the familiar state-run ABC stores, letting private businesses sell retail liquor instead. The state would still handle wholesale distribution of hard liquor, and would regulate where new private stores would be located. There are already several hundred private-sector liquor stores in the state, including some in Warrior; there are no ABC Stores in north Jefferson County.

Sports: Call it the Harbaugh Bowl. For the first time ever, two brothers will coach against each other in the Super Bowl. Jim Harbaugh’s San Francisco 49ers will face John Harbaugh’s Baltimore Ravens on Feb. 2 in Super Bowl XLVII in Miami. The 49ers won their way in with a big comeback at Atlanta, as they downed the Falcons 28-24. The Niners found themselves in a 17-9 hole early, thanks on part to Crimson Tide star receiver Julio Jones’ 11 catches for 182 yards and two touchdowns. But the Falcons turned the ball over late, and 49ers running back Frank Gore capitalized with two rushing TDs. Meanwhile, the Ravens upset Tom Brady and the New England Patriots 28-13, with three touchdown passes by quarterback Joe Flacco and a stingy Baltimore defense paced by linebacker Ray Lewis, who will now play his final game on the world’s biggest stage… Baseball: The game lost two of its greatest names Saturday. Stan “The Man” Musial died at age 92. Perhaps the greatest ever to don a St. Louis Cardinals uniform, Musial was fourth on all-time hits list with 3,630, split evenly between hits in road games and at home. He was one of the game’s most consistent hitters, with a career average of .331. Also passing on Saturday was former Baltimore Orioles manager Earl Weaver, whose teams lived and died by top-notch pitching and three-run homers. The combative Weaver was fond of tangling with umpires, and was ejected from at least 91 regular-season games, including eight tosses by umpire Ron Luciano — himself no wallflower. Weaver suffered a heart attack and died while on an Orioles’ fantasy cruise in the Caribbean; he was 82… Prep basketball: The Jefferson County Schools Basketball Tournaments begin today with the large-school boys at Hueytown. Gardendale faces Clay-Chalkville at 3 p.m.; it will be the fourth time the Rockets and Cougars have played each other this season. Pinson Valley takes on Shades Valley in the game before that at 1:30. The large-school girls start play Tuesday at Shades Valley, with Center Pont taking on Mortimer Jordan at 3, Gardendale vs. Pleasant Grove at 6 and Pinson Valley vs. Minor at 7:30.