West Alabama Friday Briefing
Friday, August 11, 2023, is transitioning from a stormy start that left 13,000 people without power across North Alabama early this morning (300 in Fayette County) to a hot and humid end to the work week.
A Heat Advisory is in effect from 11:00 this morning until 9:00 tonight. A Heat Index of 105 degrees or higher is in the forecast.
Another round of strong to severe thunderstorms is possible today. A Marginal (1 in 5) Risk for damaging winds, heavy rain and lightning is in effect from noon through 7:00pm.
The good news is rain chances drop to 40% tomorrow and 20% on Sunday.
The Weekend Forecast:
Nothing was more damaged by the pandemic than the tourism industry. But Tuscaloosa is rebounding nicely with a 20% increase in revenues last year that helps the community pay for infrastructure improvements and fund various programs. Last fiscal year, Tuscaloosa collected almost $11 million in lodging tax revenue thanks to concerts, special events and Bama football.
A "gofundme" account has been set up on the internet fund raising website to fight the potential sale of the Northport Park and Community Center. A group of Northport residents have fought the sale since it was first presented by the Northport City Council several weeks ago.
The post on the website states, "Funds raised will go to the Parsons Firm, a local law office that is actively exploring legal actions to save the park, community center, and playground."
Sandra Barnidge is listed on the website as the organizer of the account.
The West Alabama Black Belt Counties of Greene, Hale and Perry are three of eight counties in Alabama with too few banks according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). All these counties have one major strike against them their populations are too small to allow for banking competition. Uniontown in Perry County recently saw their only bank close because of the lack of business. The FDIC says the lack of banks damages these counties economic viability.
Amid a takeover by the State Board of Education, the financially plagued Sumter County Schools has delayed classes until Monday. State Superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey told a state board meeting, the 1st priority is to transition the system away from no longer available federal pandemic funds that were used to hire teachers the system can no longer afford. Former Perry County superintendent John Heard has been appointed by the state as Chief Administrative officer to oversee the school system as it struggles to resolve its financial and administrative issues.
"Bama Rush" weekend begins tomorrow for 19 University of Alabama sororities seeking new members. Rush includes events each day through the coming week and concludes Sunday week with Bid Day where invited new members run through Sorority Row to meet their new sisters. Question is, will there be hidden microphones and Tik Tok documentary cameras that created such turmoil last year?
A report by callers that an aircraft was on fire above Bibb County around 8:00 last night turned out to be a case of mistaken identity. FAA personnel say callers most like saw a meteor with a long fire tail racing across the sky.
You may have noticed large, yellow cranes lifting large metal pieces near the Tuscaloosa Amp this week. They are part of the project to construct a 172-foot pedestrian bridge across Warner Parkway.
The 200-foot-long span is part of the ongoing Riverfront improvement project that will include the Saban Center, redoing Warner Parkway and lengthening the Riverwalk.
The Alabama Football Team conducts their first full-scale scrimmage tomorrow at Bryant-Denny Stadium. According to Head Coach Nick Saban, this week's scrimmage isn't about working on scheming a game plan, but instead fundamentals.
The scrimmage is not open to the public or media.
The Atlanta Braves lost 7-5 to Pittsburgh yesterday, ending their 2-game winning streak. Atlanta is scoring enough runs but the starting pitching, the best in MLB before the All-Star break has been among the worst the second half of the season.
The Toomer's Corner trees at Auburn can now be rolled after big Tiger victories. Auburn officials had asked fans to hold off rolling them so two new trees that were planted six years ago could establish themselves.
The original Auburn Oaks planted between 1937 and 1939 were removed from the corner in April 2013 after being poisoned in 2010 by an angry Alabama fan.
Have a great and blessed weekend!!