It is Wednesday February 21, 2024.

We will be getting a preview of spring over the next couple of weeks. The National Climate Center map shows West Alabama will have temperatures near to above normal over the next eight to 14 days.

We need to continue to get more rainfall to keep from dropping back into drought conditions and the eight to14 day outlook from the climate center reveals we will have slightly above normal precipitation in the forecast. Because of that, the climate center's seasonal outlook through May shows Alabama with no drought conditions, something that farmers have been praying for.

The forecast calls for some showers tomorrow and tomorrow night but a really nice weekend ahead.

The Forecast: 

Today: Sunny, with a high near 73. South wind 5 to 10 mph.

Tonight: Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming clear, with a low around 47. South wind 5 to 10 mph.

Thursday: A 20 percent chance of showers after noon. Partly sunny, with a high near 74. South wind 5 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph.

Thursday Night: Showers, with non-severe thunderstorms also possible after midnight. Low around 52. Southwest wind 10 to 15 mph becoming northwest after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%.

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 41.

The Weekend: Sunny days and mostly clear nights. Daytime highs in the upper 60s to lower 70s. Overnight lows in the lower to upper 40s.

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Topping the News:

Some difficult decisions are ahead for the Tuscaloosa City School System. With Cares Act funding disappearing, TCS, like systems across the country will need to find a way to keep from having to make significant cuts.

The act provided $43 million in funding but just $11 million remains and it will be gone by the next school year. Some 54 system employees are dedicated to the Cares Act money,

Superintendent Dr. Mike Daria told news partner ABC3340 how the system will determine what positions will need to be cut. He says all of the positions are vital but some more than others.

At the behest of TCS, the Tuscaloosa City Council has asked the legislature to approve a bill that would setup a vote on a property tax increase to help fund schools.

Michael Davis had an immunity court hearing today in Tuscaloosa Circuit Court in the January 2023 fatal shooting of a Birmingham mother just off the UA Strip. He has been charged with Capital Murder along with former Bama Basketball player Darius Miles in the incident that killed Jamea Harris.

The hearing to consider a motion to dismiss the case against Davis on grounds he was acting in self-defense lasted only minutes. No new evidence was presented, and no one testified. Instead, Davis's attorney filed a motion asking Judge Pruet to merely adopt the testimony and exhibits that were presented last year by Turner in the Miles case. The judge complied but issued to immediate ruling.

A 48-year-old male died yesterday afternoon when he was struck by a Norfolk-Southern freight train between the McFarland Blvd. overpass and Dr. Edward Hilliard Drive., behind DCH Regional Medical Center. The man was walking down the tracks when he was hit by a westbound train.

The Demopolis healthcare science high school proposed by Gov. Ivey in her State of the State earlier this month has hit a snag. Some lawmakers claim there are inconsistencies in the favorable feasibility study. But West Alabama legislators say the slowdown is a result of other lawmakers who want the $62 million, 400 student high school in their district instead of Demopolis.

An alleged September hazing incident has led to the arrest of one of several members of UA’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. The misdemeanor charges of harassment and criminal hazing join a civil lawsuit for the incident that reportedly took place in September.

Penalties for shooting into buildings or vehicles, whether or not they are occupied will be stiffened if a bill introduced in the Alabama House is approved. Currently in Alabama, discharging a firearm, explosive, or other weapon into any building or vehicle that is occupied, is a Class B felony. If the vehicle or building is unoccupied, it's a Class C felony. The bill proposes making both a Class A felony.

A senate bill sponsored by Bibb County State Senator April Weaver which legally defines a male, and a female is headed to floor debate in the upper chamber after being passed by committee. Weaver told reporters at the capital it is a women’s rights issue, and she has heard form a lot of concerned women.

There is a portion of the bill allowing someone to be assigned intersex designation at birth, if medically applicable. But opponents claim the bill limits the rights of transgender, intersex, and gender non-conforming people.

After being supported by the governor, being approved of by countless public polls; the Alabama Senate looks like it will again be a stumbling block for legislation allowing voters to decide on a lottery and gaming in Alabama.

Backers need 21 votes to pass the constitutional amendment but a enough of the conservative Republican senators oppose the bill at this point to keep it from passing. There are 23 meeting days left in the session to get it passed.

It kind of got buried by the controversy over the Northport University Lagoon but the Northport City Council okayed incentives for a Dunkin Donuts store at Monday night's meeting.

The store will have a capital investment of more than $975,000 and will employ 45-50 people.  It is expected to be built in Buford Plaza on McFarland Blvd. with an opening targeted for mind-June.

The student led organization UA Miracle raised more than $233 thousand for Children’s of Alabama during their 12-hour dance marathon on February 17th at the student center. The organization sponsors fundraising events throughout the school year at local restaurants and through campus theme days.

Topping Sports:

A Top 25 clash between 13th ranked Alabama and 24th ranked Florida is set for 6:00 tonight at Coleman. The Tide is tops in the nation in scoring and Gators are 9th best, so expect a shootout. It may be a bit like watching a tennis match.

You can hear the game right here on the Crimson Tide Sports Network.

The Hillcrest High Gir's Basketball Team is going dancing, in the Final Four. They eliminated Pelham 57-42 in the girls Class 6A AHSAA Central Regional final Tuesday at Birmingham's Bill Harris Arena.

The Pats will face Hazel Green at 9:00a.m. next Wednesday at Legacy Arena in Birmingham.

Read More: Hillcrest Lady Pats Final Four Bound

Alabama Baseball Pitcher, sophomore Riley Quick is expected to undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery, per a Facebook post from his mom.

Read More: Tide Sophomore Out For Year Following Tommy John Surgery

Have a wonderful Wednesday and ROLL TIDE!!

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