North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

March 7, 2013

NJN/am for Thursday, March 6

By Robert Carter
North Jefferson News

— Hello, Thursday…

Weather: Warming up. It will be a bit warmer than yesterday, with sunny skies and highs in the middle 50s. Lows tonight will be around freezing. Friday will be nice, with highs in the middle 60s.

Rand stands. It was a Senate filibuster done the old-fashioned way, as Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, held the floor for almost 13 hours in an effort to block the nomination of John Brennan as the new head of the Central Intelligence Agency. Paul was upset that the President Obama and his administration would not state categorically that they would not use unmanned military drones to kill United States citizens on American soil without first being charged. The filibuster dominated Twitter for most of the day, with the hashtag #StandWithRand trending from Paul’s noontime start until he ended just after midnight. Paul ended with these words: “I would go for another 12 hours to try to break [North Carolina senator] Strom Thurmond’s record, but I’ve discovered that there are some limits to filibustering and I’m going to have to go take care of one of those in a few minutes here.”

Greer hearing set. The first legal proceeding in the murder trial of Rev. Terry Greer will take place on March 21. District Court Judge Shelly Watkins set the preliminary hearing for 1:30 p.m. that day. Greer is being held without bond in the county jail, charged with the murder of his wife and attempted murder of his daughter at the Gardendale-Mt. Vernon United Methodist Church parsonage on January 10.

Failing-schools bill hits roadblock. The bill that’s now called the Alabama Accountability Act has been stalled by a Montgomery circuit judge, who entered a temporary restraining order against action on the bill by Democrats in the State Senate. Republicans are now turning to the State Supreme Court in an effort to get the order taken down. The bill, which would allow parents of children in failing schools to get tax credits for tuition in private schools, faces a lawsuit by the Alabama Education Association, which charges that GOP lawmakers violated legislative rules and state laws in putting the bill together.

Sports: Rockets, Indians advance in tournament. Gardendale and Pinson Valley move on to the semifinals of the championship bracket of the Jefferson County Schools Baseball Tournament today. The Rockets move on despite being upset by Corner 4-2 in the final pool-play game Wednesday. The Indians advance thanks to a win over Mortimer Jordan, taking advantage of defensive lapses by the Blue Devils. Pinson travels to Pleasant Grove, while Gardendale hosts Hueytown. Mortimer Jordan plays at Shades Valley in the fifth-place bracket, while Corner goes to Minor in the ninth-place bracket.