Disaster recovery grant, National Signing Day and gay marriage update

Feb 4, 2015

Harrison Taylor, Tuscaloosa City Councilor for District 2

Tuscaloosa is competing with nearly 70 other communities for part of a half-billion dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

City officials and residents gathered inside the Rosedale Court Apartment complex yesterday to identify what they see as important points. Members of the recovery operations for Tuscaloosa asked people about resiliency, at-risk populations and overall impacts that could lead to the city winning part of the grant.

Tuscaloosa City Councilor Harrison Taylor says it is all about being prepared.

“Years before I was a postman and when the sirens went off, everyone kept doing their thing. After 2011, we take it very seriously in Tuscaloosa. We saw the devastation that can happen to homes, in your car, on the streets and affect everyone.”

The grant would help areas like Alberta City. That community was hit hard by the April 27 tornado in 2011. If Tuscaloosa is invited to compete in phase 2, they will begin proposing project ideas at the end of the year.

The suspense may end today for sports fans of the University of Alabama, Auburn, and colleges across the country.

Today is National Signing Day, when high school athletes officially decide who they’re playing for next school year. The final jostling and negotiating typically generates a lot of last minute buzz as the signed letters of commitment come in.

BJ Millican is the Assistant Sports Director at WVUA in Tuscaloosa. He says it is not uncommon for players to change their mind at the last minute.

“You know every school that is on these prospects are continuing to try to flip them and get them to change their mind, so it’s a constant battle even up until the last minute before they sign that form and fax it in.”

The University of Alabama is expected to have the top class in college football for the fifth year in a row. Auburn will most likely field one of the best players in the country, Byron Cowart.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused Alabama's request for a stay on the same-sex marriage order. This means that same-sex marriage will most likely be legal in Alabama on February 9th.

But state attorneys aren't giving up yet. Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange has submitted an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court asking them to put the federal order on hold.

Strange says he would prefer the gay marriage ruling put on hold until the Supreme Court addresses the issue nationally later this year.

Unless the Supreme Court extends the hold on the order, Alabama same-sex couples will be able to marry on Monday. U.S. District Judge Callie Granade, who declared Alabama's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, has refused requests to lift the stay on her order immediately.

An Alabama high school basketball game set state and tied national scoring records yesterday – but not in the way you might think.

Last night’s game between Bibb County and Brookwood ended with a final score of 2-0, after playing the full thirty two minutes of regulation.

The Alabama Secondary Schools Athletic Association says it’s the lowest scoring game in state history, and the National Federation of High Schools says it hasn’t happened since a North Carolina game in 1977.

Coaches for both teams say it was their fourth scheduled contest in a week. They each wanted to rest their players as much as possible, and it showed. Bibb County scored a layup on an offensive rebound within the first fifteen seconds of the game; for the next half hour, both teams just held the ball, sometimes for entire quarters. Brookwood tried to take a final shot at the final buzzer, but turned the ball over. Only seven shot attempts were made in last night’s game.