Good morning West Alabama. It is Friday June 28, 2024.

The summer vacation season swings into full throttle today as many West Alabama residents head out of town for the 4th of July Holiday next week. Because Independence Day is in the middle of the week, a lot of people are taking off the entire week.

A large number are taking to the highways, but many are flying out of Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International today and tomorrow. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) expects to screen more than 3,000,000 people today alone.

ALEA Troopers will be out in force in an effort to make sure motorists reach and return from the holiday destination safely on the state's roadways. AAA projects a record 60.6 million people will travel by car over Independence Day week – that’s an additional 2.8 million travelers compared to last year.

Not surprisingly for the firecracker 4th, it will be hot and humid.  Nothing unusual for Independence Day week in the south.


The Forecast:

A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 1pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 91. Light southeast wind becoming south 5 to 10 mph in the morning. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before 10pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 73. South wind around 5 mph.
Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after 1pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 92. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
Saturday Night
A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Cloudy, then gradually becoming partly cloudy, with a low around 75. Southwest wind around 5 mph becoming calm.
Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after 1pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 94. Calm wind becoming northwest around 5 mph in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 70%.
Sunday Night
A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before 1am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 73.
Next Week

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Topping the News:

Alabama Democrats are expressing anxiety over the halting performance of President Biden during last night’s presidential debate in Atlanta. Meanwhile, the state’s Republican dominated leadership is questioning Biden’s competency based on last night’s debate. U-S Senator Tommy Tuberville questions whether the president has the ability to react to fast moving issues, "We need a president who can think clearly and react quickly to all the threats faced by the United States of America," he told reporters last night.
Post debate polling by CBS reveals only 14% of Americans have high confidence in President Biden’s leadership. 36% have similar confidence in Trump.

Vance authorities continue to search for 27-year-old Kamden Jean-Elisabeth Phillips, who has been missing since June 22nd. She may be living with a condition that could impair her judgment.


A new Miss Alabama will be selected tomorrow night. The pageant began Wednesday night at Samford’s Wright Center in Birmingham and concludes tomorrow night at 7 with the finals.

Representing West Alabama are Miss Tuscaloosa is Sydnee Cantley, Miss University of Alabama Marissa Luna and Anna Elisabeth Jones is Miss Walker County.

The pageant winner represents the state in the Miss American Pageant.


The U.S. Surgeon General's declaration that gun violence is a public health issue and is now a national crisis is resonating with West Alabama law enforcement.

"It does seem that we have seen an uptick in young teens under the age of 16, particularly being involved in gun crime. We have made quite a few murder cases in the last 2 to 3 years where the suspects have been under the age some as young as 14 years old," Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit Captain Jack Kennedy told news partner ABC 3340.

Kennedy said he can't attribute what the uptick is caused by but regardless of the public notice the Tuscaloosa Violent crimes unit considers each case a crisis.


Celebration on the River returns to the Mercedes-Benz Amphitheater next Thursday night.  The event will run from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. It begins with children's activities, continues with entertainment and ends with the traditional fireworks display at 9:00pm.


Law enforcement vehicles put a lot of miles on their odometers. Because of that they suffer a lot of wear and tear leading to mechanical issues. That has led the Pickens County Sheriff's Office to purchase six new Ford Explorers, replacing almost the entire fleet of vehicles.

The new Explorers are expected to be on the road in the next couple of weeks.


Funeral services are set for 11:00 this morning at Magnolia Chapel North in Northport for legendary radio personality Jim Kell. Family visitation is at 10:00am. The 86-year-old died Wednesday in hospice care.

Kell made a name for himself as a WSGN "Good Guy" disc jockey in the early 1960s during the peak of Top 40 rock and roll radio. He also managed WAAY in Huntsville, returned to Birmingham in advertising and ended his long career in Tuscaloosa running K&L Advertising and helping Townsquare Media grow into an on air and online presence.


Topping Sports News:

Only four SEC players were drafted among the 58 players in rounds 1 and 2 of the NBA Draft. Three players, from Kentucky, one from Tennessee. They are:

Houston Rockets #3 pick Reed Sheppard (Kentucky)

San Antonio #8 pick Rob Dillingham (Kentucky) — Traded to Timberwolves

LA Lakers #17 pick Dalton Knecht (Tennessee)

Orlando Magic #47 pick Antonio Reeves (Kentucky) — Traded to Pelicans


Questions are being raised among many Southeastern Conference fans about Texas joining the league. Foremost in their minds in the millions of dollars the Longhorns program have at hand to throw at players and outspend other SEC school.

UT is blamed for the demise of the Southwest Athletic Conference and its follow-on Big 12. Officials. Critics call the Longhorns a bully. That has led current SEC fans to wonder if UT will attempt the same once they are in the SEC officially on Monday.


Have a wonderful and safe weekend.

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