Good Thursday morning to you...

Weather: A bit warmer. Sunny skies are on tap for today, with a high in the upper 40s.. Lows tonight will fall to the upper 20s. Friday will see clouds start to appear, with a chance of showers late; highs will reach the upper 50s and lows in the lower 40s.

Beason gun bill draws fire. A bill introduced by State Sen. Scott Beason (R-Gardendale) that would allow gun owners to carry loaded handguns in vehicles without a concealed-carry permit has the support of gun-rights groups, but some in law enforcement aren't on Beason's side. The law currently allows the weapon to be carried, but it must be unloaded, locked and out of reach. But the Associated Press reports that the executive director of the state's sheriffs' association opposes the bill, saying that anyone carrying a loaded weapon down the road needs a background check. The measure was originally part of the gun bill passed in last year's legislative session, but did not make it through to the final compromise bill.

Governor vetoes religious-rights bill. Republican Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona broke away from state lawmakers in her own party, when she announced Wednesday night that she had vetoed a bill that would allow business owners to refuse service to gays because owners objected to them on religious grounds. The bill drew sharp criticism from across the nation, even from former GOP presidential nominees Sen. John McCain and Gov. Mitt Romney.

Sports: Strikeouts a-plenty. We got the report on this game a little late, but it's too impressive to pass up. Tuesday's softball game between rivals Gardendale and Mortimer Jordan featured a combined 33 strikeouts – 16 by the Rockets' Cris Gant and 17 for Bailey Murphy of the Blue Devils. The game was scoreless through the regulation seven innings, with Murphy working on a no-hitter. But in the top of the eighth, the Devils' fielders gave up three errors to the first four batters, allowing the first run of the game to score for Gardendale; Caroline Burns then drove home Kaylee Jury with the Rocket's first and only base hit. Gant then held off the Devils in the bottom of the eighth to clinch the 2-0 win. Gant allowed four hits, three of them to Jordan lead-off hitter Shelby Maze. It was the first loss of the season for Jordan, after they beat Hoover and Hueytown last weekend; it was Gardendale's season opener. The Rockets host Pinson Valley this afternoon.


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