It is Monday, January 15, 2024, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. It is a day of service and a quest for unity. MLK was insistent that people put others first, a theme consistent with Christianity. One of his most famous quotes is the basis for today's activities, "Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?' and "Everybody can be great … because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love."

When you put others first it is amazing how your worries and concerns seem to lessen.

MLK Day comes as concern for severe winter conditions have gripped the north two-thirds of the state. A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY and HARD FREEZE WARNING are in effect for West Alabama. (See National Weather Service Birmingham for map outline)

A wintry mix of freezing rain and sleet are expected for tonight. That will make driving on slippery roadways, bridges and overpasses hazardous along the I20/59 corridor.

Temperatures drop into the teens tonight and remain below freezing in many areas tomorrow and drop into the single digits and teens Tuesday night.

The Forecast:

MLK Day: A slight chance of rain after noon, mixing with sleet after 3pm. Cloudy, with a high near 41. Northwest wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%. Little or no sleet accumulation expected.

Tonight: A chance of freezing rain, possibly mixing with sleet after midnight, then gradually ending. Cloudy, with a low around 18. North wind 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. Little or no sleet accumulation expected.

Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 32. North wind around 10 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.

Tuesday Night: Clear, with a low around 13. Northwest wind around 5 mph.

Wednesday: Sunny, with a high near 40. North wind around 5 mph becoming calm.

Wednesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 22.

Thursday: A 30 percent chance of rain after noon. Partly sunny, with a high near 49.

Thursday Night: Rain likely, mainly before midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 33. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Friday and into the Weekend: Mostly sunny days and clear nights. Highs in the low to mid 40s. Lows from upper teens to lower 20s.


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Winter makes an appearance in West Alabama this week. While there is some concern for freezing rain and sleet causing hazardous driving conditions, the major concern is with temperatures in the teens and single digits. These type temperatures can be life-threatening for those in substandard housing and the homeless.

Check on the elderly, keep kids and pets indoors and cover sensitive vegetation. But there are other concerns. Prolonged sub-freezing temperatures may cause pipes to burst. Bitterly cold temperatures and wind chills can result in hypothermia or frostbite. These conditions are life-threatening to those with prolonged exposure or without access to warmth.

To prevent freezing and possible bursting of water pipes they should be wrapped, drained, or allowed to drip slowly. Those that have in-ground sprinkler systems should drain them and cover above-ground pipes to protect them from freezing.

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Governor Ivey has issued a State of Emergency. 25 counties are included, they are: The counties include: Blount, Calhoun, Cherokee, Cleburne, Colbert, Cullman, DeKalb, Etowah, Fayette, Franklin, Jackson, Jefferson, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Morgan, Pickens, St. Clair, Tuscaloosa, Walker and Winston.

“We are anticipating unusually cold temperatures in Alabama this week, so I am urging everyone to be prepared, take caution traveling and stay weather aware,” Ivey said.


 

The annual Unity Day activities are underway in Tuscaloosa to commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Unity Breakfast was conducted at the Beulah Baptist Church this morning. A unity march is scheduled for noon today from Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary to the Tuscaloosa City Hall. At 4:00pm there will be a rally at First African Baptist Church downtown.



 

In Sports:

New Alabama head coach Kalen DeBoer has started to form his initial coaching staff at Alabama.

In a report earlier on Sunday, former Washington Huskies offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb was expected to join DeBoer at Alabama in 2024. The rest of the staff, particularly on the offensive side of the football, is starting to take shape.

According to Chris Low of ESPN, Washington's wide receiver coach and director of scouting are both expected to join the Crimson Tide's staff.

JaMarcus Shephard, the wide receiver coach, had some interest around the country as a potential offensive coordinator following a season where Washington produced two 1,000-yard receivers in Rome Odunze and Ja'Lynn Polk.

The director of scouting, Jarret McElwain, might sound familiar to Crimson Tide fans. His father is Jim McElwain, who was an offensive coordinator for former head coach Nick Saban from 2008 to 2011, where he helped coach Alabama to 2 national championships.

Low also reports that Crimson Tide running back coach Rob Gillespie and defensive line coach Freddie Roach will stay with Alabama.


 

The undefeated in the SEC Alabama Men's Basketball Team is still scheduled to face the tough Missouri Tigers Wednesday night at Coleman. Tip for that game is set for 6:00pm.


 

Stay warm and drive safe. Stay off the roads if possible.

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