It is Wednesday January 31, 2024. Where did January go? Is it me or does this month seem to have flown by? I still don't have all my Christmas decorations stored away yet. (They are boxed, just not shelved).

Perhaps it is how eventful the month has been with severe weather followed by extreme sub-freezing temperatures and then rainy days that helped the month seem quick.

We begin February tomorrow and Friday is Ground Hog Day. Odds are good that "Birmingham Bill" the Birmingham Zoo's weather forecasting groundhog will see his shadow and predict six more weeks of winter. That would match long-range computer models that indicate we may have another round of wintry cold in a couple of weeks. But don't spread that because it is still too far out to be specific about any forecast.

We can be certain that the forecast for the rest of the work week in West Alabama is about as good as you can hope for in mid-winter, sunny days and mostly clear nights.

The Forecast:

Today: Sunny, with a high near 56. North wind 5 to 10 mph.

Tonight: Clear, with a low around 31. North wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening.

Thursday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 62. Calm wind.

Thursday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 38. Calm wind becoming south around 5 mph.

Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 66. Calm wind becoming south around 5 mph.

Friday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 41.

The Weekend: During the day Saturday will be mostly sunny with a high near 67. Rain moves in during the early hours of Sunday morning and will hang around through the day Monday. Highs will remain in the upper 50s Sunday and Monday with lows in the lower to mid 40s.  About an inch of rain over this period should help knock out the drought.


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Topping the News:

Kentuck's move from Northport to Tuscaloosa looks to already be paying off, literally. During yesterday’s meeting, the Tuscaloosa City Council Finance Committee added $80,000 to funding for the Kentuck Arts Festival which has been moved from Northport to Tuscaloosa. The full council will vote on the increase at next week’s meeting.


 

Name Image and Likeness was created to allow athletes to get compensation for their use and it has created chaos in college athletics. Now a bill submitted by Opelika State Rep. Jeremy Gray, in the coming legislative delegation would make it legal for high school athletes to receive NIL deals this coming October. The Alabama High School Athletics Association has refused to comment on the legislation, but numerous coaches fear it will destroy high school sports if passed.


 

February 13th has been set for a public hearing to discuss revoking CRU Lounge's business license. The hearing is the result of 28-year-old Rashad Little being allegedly shot by 35-year-old Aaron Dewayne Hill, a bouncer at hookah lounge.

Hill is charged with murder and is being held without bond.

Videos shared on social media show several uniformed security guards beating Little for more than two minutes before he was dragged outside, where Hill is accused of fatally shooting him.

The lounge's liquor license was granted this summer despite trepidation from TPD Chief Brent Blankley, who worried its location would be a draw for criminal activity.


 

Alabama has some of the strongest minimum sentencing standard for violent youth crime in the nation, but Attorney General Steve Marshall is backing efforts in the coming legislative session to do more to reduce violent youth. While in Tuscaloosa yesterday Marshall told news partner ABC 3340 the judicial system itself is partly responsible because it doesn't provide direction for troubled youth.


 

Alabama Power (APCO) has responded to customer complaints about much higher-than-normal bills. They are reminding customers about significantly elevated power consumption so far this winter due to colder than normal temperatures. But APCO spokesperson Anthony Cook tells news partner ABC3340 that customers who believe there is an error in their bill should contact the company. Cook advises to lower thermostats to reduce power usage.


 

The wife of retiring West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin was injured in a traffic crash in Homewood. It happened during the pursuit of a felony suspect by Homewood Police busted through an intersection and collided with the car in which Gayle Manchin was a passenger. She was transported to UAB. Alabama Senator Katie Britt issued a statement say she is praying for a speedy recovery.


 

Nobody has yet to be able to track down a source for a bad order that wafted over portions of Northport yesterday. Persons along McFarland Blvd. and residents in Northwood Lake, Northside, Clear Creek, downtown and other areas posted to social media their smelling the foul aroma.

"The Northport Police Department has received complaints of strong odors from areas across the city," NPD posted on social media. "We have yet to determine an exact cause of the odor or an exact location. We will continue to investigate the complaints and will update as soon as we have new information."



 

In Sports:

The Coaches Poll 22nd ranked and AP 24th ranked Alabama Men’s basketball Team faces a strong Georgia team on the road tonight. The Bulldogs are 11-and-1 at home this season. Tip is 5:30 on the Crimson Tide Sports Network and SEC Network on TV.


 

Former Alabama and current PGA Tour star Justin Thomas is being quoted in Golf Monthly saying he doesn’t feel the LIV circuit’s recent recruitment has lived up to expectations.

Speaking to the media ahead of that tournament, he said: “At least from what, you know, what Greg [Norman] said, they haven't gotten anything close to what he's kind of said. It sounded like they were going to sign 10 or 15 people this however many months and haven't.”


 

The University of Tennessee and the State's Attorney General have launched an aggressive attack on the NCAA after Sports Illustrated revealed the school is under investigation for Name, Image and Likeness violations in multiple sports.

Tennessee AG Jonathan Skrmetti and the AG from Virginia have filed an anti-trust suit against the college athletics governing body. The legal complaint states, "The NCAA has started enforcing rules that unfairly restrict how athletes can commercially use their name, image, and likeness (better known as “NIL”) at a critical juncture in the recruiting calendar. These anticompetitive restrictions violate the Sherman Act, harm the States and the welfare of their athletes, and should be declared unlawful and enjoined."

UT System Chancellor Donde Plowman wrote a strong letter to the NCAA saying, “It is intellectually dishonest for the NCAA enforcement staff to pursue infractions cases as if student-athletes have no NIL rights and as if institutions all have been functioning post-Alston with a clear and unchanging set of rules and willfully violating them,” 

The New York Times reported Tuesday the part of investigation centers around the use of a private jet by Quarterback Nico Iamaleava.


Enjoy the seasonable weather!!

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