It is Friday, January 5, 2024. The first work week of the new year is about to be in the books. It has been a mixed bag weatherwise. Cold overnights, rain starting out as brief snow flurries and warmer daytime hours. But there has been one constant - the drought.

As we told you yesterday, the current U.S. Drought Monitor still indicates that most of West Alabama remains in severe drought. Hale and Perry counties remain in moderate drought.

The dry conditions combined with a late hard freeze last March have made it difficult for farmers. The Small Business Administration even declared an SBA Disaster Declaration and has been making low interest, small business recovery loans available. The deadline to apply for one of those loans is fast approaching for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations to apply. An application must be submitted no later than January 25, 2024, by entities in Bibb, Marengo, Perry and Walker counties in West Alabama.

The Forecast:

Today: Increasing clouds with afternoon rain arriving across West Alabama by late afternoon. High temperatures in the 50s

Tonight: Showers, mainly before 3am. Low around 45. East wind 5 to 15 mph becoming west after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New precipitation amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.

Saturday: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 55. West wind 5 to 10 mph.

Saturday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 40. West wind around 5 mph.

Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 56. West wind around 5 mph becoming north in the afternoon.

Monday: A 50 percent chance of showers after noon. Partly sunny, with a high near 57.

Monday Night: Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. Low around 48. Chance of precipitation is 100%.

Tuesday: Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm before noon, then a slight chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 62. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Tuesday Night: A 20 percent chance of showers before midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 34.

Remainder of the week: Mostly sunny days and partly cloudy nights. Highs in the mid to upper 50, lows in lower 30s.


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Topping the News:

The Perry County town of Marion is handing out bottled water again today. The handout comes a week after two water pumps malfunctioned forcing the water authority to shut down the system each night.

Students at Francis Marion High School have been forced to switch to virtual learning this week due to the outage. They are scheduled to return to classrooms on Monday.

The City of Marion is working with ADEM to map out a plan get a grant to repair the pumps.


 

There are still few details available, but the Tuscaloosa Police Department reports they responded to a shooting at Creekwood Village Apartments at 12:48pm yesterday. One person was reported wound. Their condition is not known at this time.


 

24-year-old Tobias Makenzie Smith was charged with first degree theft of property after he allegedly scammed a local resident into paying $30,000 to avoid a failure to appear in court charge.

The Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office says Smith used the name of Lt. Jack Kennedy, who is actually a captain and commands the Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit.

The Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Office cautions that no law enforcement agency will ever email or call and ask for money.


 

A bill pre-filed by Birmingham Democrat house member Juandalynn Givan would create an Ebony Alert for missing people of color. She claims the current Amber Alert is inadequate because it benefits whites most. 40% of people reported missing are people of color.

Rep. Givan vows to keep filing the Ebony Alert Bill until it is passed.


 


 

In Sports:

Some Alabama fans are still agonizing over the predictable play calling in Alabama's Rose Bowl loss to Michigan Monday. Some have even gone to the length of demanding that first year Offensive Coordinator Tommy Rees be fired.

Appearing on ESPN's "Pat McAfee Show", Saban admitted the coaching staff made a mistake.

Wolverine players told media after the game they knew exactly what play the Crimson Tide was going to run that ended the overtime and gave Michigan the win.


 

Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant endured it, now Nick Saban is facing the same question. "Are you going to retire?" Several supposed national sports media figures claim the Tide's headman will hang-up the whistle this off-season.

The genesis of the question is Saban's age, 72, and the struggles Bama has had on the field the last couple of years.

During Bryant's last few years, the rumor of his retirement swirled at the end of every season. The sources in many of those cases were opponent schools attempting to use the coaches age as a recruiting tool.

Saban told Pat McAffee yesterday, “Look, I ask everybody who asks me that question, ‘Are you going to be here for four years?” he said. “Some players ask me when I’m going to retire. I look at them and say, ‘Can you guarantee me that you’re going to be here for four years? They look at me like, ‘Hell, no.’ ...

 “I just think it’s the way of the world now.”


The 2024 College Football National Championship Game is still to be played on Monday and already the first of numerous, "Way to Early" polls for the 2024 season is already out. Alabama, with returning QB Jalen Milroe, is given the nod at #1.
Bleacher Report is already predicting that half of the Top 10 at the beginning of next season will be Southeastern Conference teams (in bold type).
  1. Alabama
  2. Georgia
  3. Michigan
  4. Oregon
  5. Texas
  6. Utah
  7. Ohio State
  8.  Ole Miss
  9. Oklahoma
  10. Clemson
  11. Notre Dame
  12. Penn State
  13. Arizona
  14. Florida State
  15. LSU
  16. Washington
  17. Missouri
  18. Kansas State
  19. Oklahoma State
  20. Iowa

From UA Athletics: The Alabama women's basketball team dropped its Southeastern Conference opener to Ole Miss, 55-45, Thursday night at Coleman Coliseum.

The home defeat snapped the Crimson Tide's six-game winning streak as the Rebels claimed their third consecutive win in Tuscaloosa.


 

The Alabama Men's basketball Team opens the SEC portion of their schedule on the road tomorrow afternoon. The Tide faces Vanderbilt at 2:30pm CST from Nashville.

You can hear the game on the Crimson Tide Sports Network on 100.9 The Tide and 95.3 The Bear. The game will also be televised on the SEC Network.


Have a great weekend! 

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