West Alabama Thursday Briefing
It is Thursday January 18, 2024, and while the Tennessee Valley area of north Alabama continues to deal with icy roads, busted pipes and closed school; the weather is moderating here in West Alabama, for at least a day.
After beginning the day in the low 20s, afternoon highs will reach into the 40s. The warmer temperatures and a day of sunshine should do away with remnants of icy patches on roads. But it won't last long.
Another Arctic airmass plunges us back into the teens and lower 20s tomorrow. A HARD FREEZE WARNING is in effect from Friday at 8:00 p.m. until noon Saturday.
Counties in the warning include Bibb, Fayette, Greene, Hale, Lamar, Perry, Pickens, Sumter, Tuscaloosa and Walker.
But let's keep our eye on the prize. Temperatures will warm into the upper 50s and lower 60s next week and the Gulf Coast could even see the 70s.
Topping the News:
Black Warrior RiverKeeper has placed a petition on the Action Network telling Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox and the City Council to stop chronic sewage spills. The petition claims the city’s sewage system chronically overflows harmful sewage and industrial wastewater into yards, roadways, creeks, and the Black Warrior River. The organization claims the city has allowed its sewer system to fall into disrepair. The city points out they are spending millions to upgrade the system.
The City of Demopolis should be out from under a "Boil Water Notice" at some point today as heavy water usage drained a water tank resulting in dangerously low water pressure. That could have been dangerous had firefighters had to battle a blaze.
The Randolph Community in Bibb County is also dealing with low water pressure and a "Boil Water Notice". The unincorporated community of some 1,600 purchases their water from the Shelby County Town of Wilton. A drained water tank there has created a chain-reaction of problems for Randolph. Wilton hopes to have the water issue repaired today.
While most schools in the region reopened this morning, the doors of Demopolis City Schools will remain closed. That is due to low water pressure caused by nearly drained water tanks. Hale County Schools delayed for 2-hours today while Greene County and Walker County Schools are doing virtual learning. Fayette and Jasper City Schools remain closed.
Residents of the Fayette County town of Oakman and the unincorporated community of Boley continue to struggle with water issues that have been ongoing since Sunday due to the winter storm.
According to Fayette County EMA the water company is providing bottled water for the some 450 impacted customers.
Tuscaloosa's DCH Regional Medical Center celebrating the re-opening of a first-class pediatrics unit.
Dr. Cynthia Walker, the head of the new and improved unit, said the hospital had a similarly designated pediatric unit once, but it was taken offline and converted to a COVID unit to serve patients of greatest need during the height of the pandemic.
Walker was joined by DCH CEO Katrina Keefer and Senior Vice President Luke Standefer, who said improving patient care across the board has been a priority for the hospital since Keefer took the reins in summer 2022.
A tuition free medical high school residential program scheduled to open in Demopolis in 2026 has received a major financial boost.
According to a release, Alabama School of Healthcare Sciences Foundation recently received a pledge of $26.4 million from Bloomberg Philanthropies – the “largest known gift to a rural education project in Alabama,”
As we previously reported, the program will work with local hospitals and colleges to offer specialized healthcare classes, on-the-job learning and an opportunity for students to earn work credentials and certifications along with their high school diploma.
Last June the U-S Supreme Court ruled the U.S. Department of Education cannot implement the Biden-Harris Administration's one-time debt relief program. But the administration has still found ways to cancel more than $48 billion in debt since then. Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville is telling reporters the president is ignoring the ruling and should pay the consequences. Student loan debt in the U-S totals more than $1.6 trillion.
The Alabama women's basketball team will welcome the No. 10 LSU Tigers to Coleman Coliseum Thursday Night. The Crimson Tide (15-4, 2-2) and the Tigers (16-2, 3-1) are set to tipoff at 8 p.m. and will air on the Crimson Tide Sports Network and the SEC Network.
Alabama men’s basketball head coach Nate Oats has been issued a public reprimand by the Southeastern Conference for making physical contact with an opposing team’s student-athlete during Alabama’s game against Missouri Tuesday night, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey announced on Wednesday.
Oats shoved Missouri player Aidan Shaw during an incident where East was in Alabama's huddle smack-talking Alabama's players.
Have a terrific Thursday and ROLL TIDE, Beat LSU!