It is Thursday February 22, 2024.

Spring can't be too far away. Major League Baseball opens Spring Training today with a game between the LA Dodgers and San Diego Padres. Atlanta opens the spring season Saturday against Tampa Bay.

High temperatures across West Alabama through at least the middle of next week will make it feel like spring. With flowers already blooming highs will range from the upper 60s to near 80 degrees during that period of time.

Of course, when it warms up like that this time of the year you have to be wary of severe weather potential and that will be the case next Wednesday. Strong to severe thunderstorms will be possible but the best chances will most likely be north and west of the Tuscaloosa area.

Less than a tenth of an inch of rain is possible later today but more significant rainfall is expected next Wednesday. But that is not all bad, we need to keep getting rain from time to time to keep from slipping back into drought conditions.

The drought is gone but parts of the Tennessee Valey of North Alabama and a spot in south central Alabama remain under abnormally dry conditions according to the current U.S. Drought Monitor.

The Forecast:

Today: A 20 percent chance of showers after 3pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 75. South wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.

Tonight: Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. Low around 55. South wind 10 to 15 mph becoming northwest after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

Friday: Partly sunny, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 68. Northwest wind 10 to 15 mph.

Friday Night: Clear, with a low around 44. Northwest wind 5 to 10 mph.

Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 66. Northwest wind 5 to 15 mph.

Saturday Night: Clear, with a low around 38.

Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 71.

Sunday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 50.

Next Week: Sunny Monday and Tuesday with clouds building back into the area Tuesday night. That will lead to rain and possible strong thunderstorms on Wednesday. Highs over the period will range from upper 60s to near 80 degrees.


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Topping the News:

Alabama football fans are in an uproar. Now former University of Alabama Football play-by-play voice Eli Gold has been unceremoniously dumped by the UA Athletics Department after 35 years in the Broadcast booth.

Gold told the 95.3 The Bear Steve and DC Morning Show today that he had an inkling that something was up. He fought through cancer to get back on air last season but told Steve and DC it was not his decision to broadcast only home games and the Iron Bowl in Auburn. He said that move "blindsided him".

Gold also described his relationship with UA Athletics Director Greg Byrne as rocky prior to the termination announcement. Gold said, "Some of it was probably my fault and some his."

Chris Stewart who does Bama Basketball and Baseball play-by-play and filled in for Gold on the road has been named Eli's replacement.

Gold told the morning show that he will announce tomorrow that he will become the play-by-play voice for a pro team and possible another college team next season.


 

Longtime radio voice of Alabama Football Eli Gold has been pushed out of the broadcast booth after 35 years. The move by the UA Athletics Department has angered thousands of Alabama fans who are voicing the concerns on a Change.org petition to bring Eli back.

More than 3,000 signatures have been posted with hundreds more being added by the hour along with numerous statements of support for Eli.

Susan Loller wrote, "Eli Gold is the voice of Alabama football, he fought hard to come back to a job he loves, and you thank him by firing him, SHAME ON YOU!! Bring him back!!"

Christ McCarthy's post summed up the feeling of many Tide fans, "I am a graduate of U of A. I will not support the university anymore in any way if Eli is not reinstated. He has been so loyal to Alabama football. He is so good at his job. People love him. We turn the tv sound down to listen to him. The University was so very wrong in letting him go."


 

Reform Police Officer Dana Elmore remains on paid administrative leave while ALEA investigates her multiple tazing arrest of handcuffed Micah Washington in December.  Washington and friend Jacorien Henry were both booked on resisting arrest and drug charges. But all charges have been dropped against Henry and layer Leroy Maxwell expects the same for Washington.


 

Police in Tuscaloosa have arrested a fourth man in connection to a deadly robbery outside a local apartment complex last month. The shooting at Landmark Apartments left Demarkus "Shrek" Hall dead.

The Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit told media they have arrested Cadarious Williams, age 29, for Felony Murder.

Williams is being held without bond pending Aniah’s Law.


 

Daniel E. Lewis is the subject of a manhunt in Marengo County. Lewis is wanted for attempted murder and is considered armed and dangerous. He was last seen in the Dixons Mills area in February.


 

It’s Higher Education Day at the state house in Montgomery. Representative from UA and college and universities across the state are taking their annual trip to the capital to remind state leaders of the significance of higher ed in Alabama. The event begins at 10:30 with college bands, flags, mascots and students.

SGA leaders from the various schools will have lunch with Gov. Ivey.


 

Family farms are disappearing. In Alabama there was an 8% drop in the number between 2017 to 2022 according to Alabama Farmers Federation. That is slightly higher than national decreases.

Neal Hargle of the Tuscaloosa County Extension Office told news partner ABC3340 he has seen the number of row crops drop from 20 to just 13 in the last decade plus. He says young people are not following family tradition. He blames urbanization, inflation, weather and hard work for the loss of farms.


 

The full Alabama House will take up a bill that requires a child to exhibit readiness before first grade. Although kindergarten is not required in Alabama, children entering the 1st grade would be required to pass a test proving their competency.

Democrat Rep. Pebblin Warren told reporters students who have not been in kindergarten start out 1st grade already behind. Similar legislation has failed the last two years.



 

Topping Sports:

It was like an NBA game broke out at Coleman last night. Nobody played defense but the #13 Tide came from behind to force OT and eventually win it, beating #24 Florida 98-93.

The Tide travels to 17th ranked Kentucky for an afternoon game Saturday.


 

Have a happy Thursday!