Here's hoping you have a fine Friday...

Weather: That's better. The rain is moving out, and once some patchy fog burns off this morning we'll have clearing skies and highs in the lower 60s. Lows tonight will fall to around 40. Saturday will be sunny and warmer with highs in the lower 70s, and Sunday will have a slight chance of rain with highs in the upper 60s.

First step toward new fire station in Pinson. The Pinson City Council voted Thursday night to rezone a 2-acre tract just off Alabama 75, about a mile north of the business district. The land is being purchased by the Palmerdale Fire District for a new main station, which will be the third station for the district. The rezoning was one of several items on a busy agenda for the council; the full story is online a bit later this morning.

Beason compromises on Common Core. State Sen. Scott Beason (R-Gardendale) has introduced a new bill that would let individual school districts set their own academic standards, instead of using the national Common Core scheme adopted by the Alabama Board of Education. Beason had previously sought to kill Common Core entirely, but Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh refused to bring the bill to the floor. The compromise bill is co-sponsored by Marsh. Common Core has come under fire by conservative groups, especially Tea Party activists with whom Beason is often aligned; those opponents say that Common Core allows the federal government to exert too much control over local education.

Sports: Semifinals day for county baseball tourney. Pinson Valley hosts McAdory this afternoon in the championship-bracket semifinals of the Jefferson County Schools Baseball Tournament, with the winner moving on to the finals on Saturday afternoon. Gardendale and Corner will each host games in the fifth-place bracket.

Shameless plug. NJN Associate Editor Robert Carter will be the guest co-host on Sunday's edition of “Sports 'n' Stuff” with Bob Lochamy and Andrea Lindenberg Barber, heard from 3-5 p.m. on 97.7 FM The Peach. You can also listen live online at We're not sure Bob and Aunie realize what they're getting themselves into with Robert behind a live microphone, but they'll soon find out – and so will you if you listen in.


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