It is Thursday November 23, 2023, Thanksgiving Day. 

I hope you and your family are able to be together to celebrate the most family of all holidays. If not, I pray that a feeling of thankfulness for what we have and who we have in our lives will prevail. 

For those working today such as law enforcement, fire/rescue services, healthcare, gas station employees and retail workers; thank you for the work you do and the sacrifices you make. There have been years past when I was separated from family and friends at Thanksgiving due to work, military or just being too far away to be able to make the trip back home. It's not easy.

Some of my fondest memories are from Thanksgiving as the family gathered at my grandparents' house. We didn't have to travel over the river and through the woods. In my case, it was just down the street. But the noises, the aromas, the crisp cool air outside, watching the Macy's Parade and the conversations about the coming Iron Bowl game are fixed in my mind's eye forever.

Those sweet memories of times gone by have brought an ache to my heart periodically because most of those loved ones are no longer with us, but it also causes a smile. It also brings a feeling of happiness that I did get to experience that love and of course, oh that wonderful food.

If you have a friend or family member who you know is spending the holiday alone or at work, give them a call, let them know they are in your thoughts and heart.

This year's holiday is surrounded by chaos. a divided nation, wars and rumors of wars, hateful divisive speech and ideas as well as many leaders seemingly more interested in themselves or their party than in service to the very people that elected them.

Today is a time to shove that aside and focus on family, friends, faith and be thankful for what we have, no matter how meager or great. As my father used to say, "When you are thankful for what you have and thank the One who provides all; there is no time for sadness, anger or fear".

The Forecast:

Thanksgiving Day: Increasing clouds are expected today but remaining dry with highs in the 50s.

Tonight: A few light showers will be possible overnight south of a Carrollton to Tuscaloosa to Centreville line. Only a few hundredths or less of precipitation is possible. Lows in the 40s.

Friday: Cloudy, then decreasing clouds in the north by the afternoon. Highs in the upper 50s to mid 60s.

High School Football Friday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 36. Calm wind becoming north around 5 mph.

Saturday in West Alabama: Mostly sunny, with a high near 65. North wind around 5 mph becoming calm.

Iron Bowl Saturday in Auburn: A sunny afternoon with about 63 degrees at kickoff...dropping into the 50s by the second half. 

Saturday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 43.

Sunday: A 50 percent chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 57.

Sunday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 41.

The New Work Week: Partly sunny days with highs in the mid 50s. Lows will be in the lower 30s with partly cloudy skies. A freeze is likely for the northern half of the state Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.


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Topping the News: 

There was a tragic work-related fatality in Moundville Wednesday. 65-year-old Cornell James was working with others to move a large shipping container when it fell from an overhead crane and fatally injured him in Moundville.

The accident happened at Ballard Contractors, Inc. on Lavender Hill Road in Moundville late yesterday morning. The facility is within Moundville city limits and in Hale County. It is being investigated by Hale County authorities.


 

Just in time for "Black Friday", new store, Buff City Soap, will open between Tazikis Mediterranean restaurant and Chip Cookie Co. under Planet Fitness in Midtown tomorrow (Friday).

Buff City began a decade ago in Memphis, Tennessee. They specialize in making all-natural, plant-based soap, which is crafted without parabens, phthalates or detergents.


 

During an interview for this weekend's West Alabama on Point public affairs program by Townsquare Media Tuscaloosa, Seventh District Congresswoman Terri Sewell called a ruling by the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals "disastrous" for voting rights.

The Monday ruling found that only the U.S. Attorney General can bring an action under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.

Rep. Sewell, an attorney by trade, claimed if the lower court ruling is allowed to stand by the U.S. Supreme Court it will be the "death knell of the Voting Rights Act".


 

Alea Trooper Reginal King is warning motorist traveling over the long Thanksgiving holiday to buckle-up. He told Townsquare Media Tuscaloosa News that a little over half of the fatalities suffered on Alabama roadways so far this year resulted from drivers and/or passengers not wearing seatbelts.

King also cautioned motorists about drinking while driving, distracted driving, speeding and driving while sleepy.

Troopers are out in force through the coming weekend not just enforce traffic laws but to, "keep drivers safe", according to King.


 

Just less than 20% of Alabama's third grade students are expected to be held-back due to rules in the Alabama Literacy Act.

The rule states ff a student can’t read at grade level; they will not advance to fourth grade.

The goal of the Alabama Literacy Act is to prevent learning loss by not allowing students to move grade levels until they are ready.


Tomorrow is "Black Friday" at retailers across the state and nation. Many economic experts are predicting deep discounts to be available due to fears of a teetering economy.

"Cyber Monday", the day pushing shoppers to make retail purchases on line is this coming Monday.

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox is encouraging shoppers to shop locally because purchases online take funds away from public safety, schools and road maintenance in Tuscaloosa.



\In Sports:

Thanksgiving turkey and the tryptophan induced afternoon nap following its consumption will, as usually, compete with pro and college football today.

In the NFL: Green Bay is at much improved Detroit; Washington plays at Dallas and San Francisco is up the West Coast at Seattle.

NCAA: The main game of importance around here is the "Egg Bowl" at 6:30pm CST tonight. No. 12 ranked Ole Miss goes on the road looking for a 10th win of the season against Mississippi State in Starkvegas. Mississippi State has won three of the last five meetings in one of the most intense rivalries in college athletics.

A Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) matchup features Tuskegee making a short trip to Montgomery to take on Alabama State in the 99th Annual Turkey Day Classic. Kickoff for that contest is slated for 2:00pm CST.


 

May this be the happiest of Thanksgiving and the Christmas season be the most joyous of all.