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Severe thunderstorm watch affecting Alabama until 1 a.m. Monday



Severe thunderstorm watch affecting Alabama until 1 a.m. Monday

On Sunday at 6:04 p.m. the National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm watch in effect until Monday at 1 a.m. for Autauga, Bibb, Blount, Calhoun, Chambers, Cherokee, Chilton, Clay, Cleburne, Coosa, Dallas, Elmore, Etowah, Fayette, Greene, Hale, Jefferson, Lamar, Lee, Marengo, Marion, Perry, Pickens, Randolph, St. Clair, Shelby, Sumter, Talladega, Tallapoosa, Tuscaloosa, Walker and Winston counties.

Lightning on the horizon: Expert safety measures for thunderstorms

Each year, lightning strikes the United States approximately 25 million times, with the majority of these electrifying events occurring during the summer months. Unfortunately, lightning is responsible for claiming the lives of approximately 20 people annually, as reported by the weather service. The threat of lightning becomes more pronounced as thunderstorms draw nearer, peaking when the storm is directly overhead and gradually waning as it moves away.

To protect yourself during a thunderstorm, take these recommendations into consideration:

1. Lightning safety plan:

  • When venturing outdoors, it’s vital to establish a clear plan for seeking shelter in case of lightning.
  • Monitor the sky for threatening signs and listen for the sound of thunder. If thunder is audible, it’s an indication that lightning is nearby.
  • Seek shelter promptly in a safe location, preferably indoors.

2. Indoors safety measures:

  • Once you’re indoors, avoid using corded phones, electrical devices, plumbing fixtures, and stay away from windows and doors.
  • These precautions help reduce the risk of electrical surges, as lightning can follow conductive pathways.

3. Wait for the all-clear:

  • After the last lightning strike or thunderclap, wait at least 30 minutes before resuming outdoor activities.
  • It’s important to remember that lightning can strike even when a storm seems to have passed, so exercise caution.

When indoor shelter isn’t available:

If you find yourself outdoors with no access to indoor shelter during a thunderstorm, take these steps to maximize your safety:

  • Avoid open fields, hilltops, or ridge crests, as they expose you to greater lightning risk.
  • Steer clear of tall, isolated trees and other prominent objects. In wooded areas, stay close to lower stands of trees.
  • If you’re with a group, ensure individuals are spread out to prevent lightning current from transferring between people.
  • Camping in an open setting during a thunderstorm is strongly discouraged. If no alternative exists, set up camp in a valley, ravine, or other low-lying areas. Remember that a tent offers no protection against lightning.
  • Do not approach water bodies, wet objects, or metal items. Although water and metal do not attract lightning, they conduct electricity effectively and can pose significant risks.

In summary, when facing the threat of lightning, vigilance and preparedness are your best allies. By following these guidelines, you can significantly reduce the chances of lightning-related accidents and prioritize your safety.

Rainy roadways ahead: Essential safety tips for heavy rain

Rain can turn roads into hazards. Stay informed and follow these tips from the weather service to ensure safety during heavy rainfall:

Beware of rapid water flow:

  • In heavy rain, refrain from parking or walking near culverts or drainage ditches, where swift-moving water can pose a grave danger.

Maintain safe driving distances:

  • The two-second rule for following distance is your ally in heavy rain. Extend it to four seconds to ensure safe spacing in adverse conditions.

Slow down and stay cautious:

  • If it is raining and the roads are wet, slow down. Take your foot off the accelerator and let your speed drop gradually. Never use the brakes suddenly because this may cause the car to skid.

Choose your lane wisely:

  • Stick to the middle lanes to minimize the risk of hydroplaning. Outer lanes are more prone to accumulating water.

Visibility matters:

  • Enhance your visibility in heavy rain by activating your headlights. Be particularly vigilant for vehicles in blind spots, as rain-smeared windows can obscure them.

Watch out for slippery roads:

  • The first half-hour of rain is when roads are slickest due to a mix of rain, grime, and oil. Exercise heightened caution during this period.

Keep a safe distance from large vehicles:

  • Large trucks and buses can reduce your visibility with tire spray. Avoid tailgating and pass them swiftly and safely.

Mind your windshield wipers:

  • Overloaded wiper blades can hinder visibility. If rain severely limits your sight, pull over and wait for conditions to improve. Seek refuge at rest areas or protected spots.
  • If the roadside is your only option, pull off as far as possible, preferably past the end of a guard rail, and wait until the storm passes. Keep your headlights on and turn on emergency flashers to alert other drivers of your position.

In the face of heavy rain, these precautions can make a significant difference in ensuring your safety on the road. Remember to stay informed about weather conditions and heed guidance from local authorities for a secure journey.

Advance Local Weather Alerts is a service provided by United Robots, which uses machine learning to compile the latest data from the National Weather Service.

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Alabama coalition calls for medical cannabis access



Alabama coalition calls for medical cannabis access

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WHNT) — Medical cannabis was legalized in Alabama in 2021.

With the licensing process still in limbo, the Patients Coalition for Medical Cannabis said access to the drug is needed more than ever.

“It’s time to stop playing all the games and stop acting so befuddled about this,” said Mike Dow, the former mayor of Mobile.

The Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission is charged with awarding licenses to dispensaries. The commission faces an onslaught of lawsuits after some applicants say they did not receive a fair consideration for a license. The coalition said the lawsuits are keeping dispensaries from operating.


“The march towards getting this to sick people: It has been inevitable, it has been slow, it has been opposed every step of the way,” said former state Rep. Mike Ball.

Dr. Corey Hebert is a professor and physician from New Orleans.

“The risk of opioids are so much higher and far outweigh the benefits and medical cannabis, for the appropriate patient, is what they need,” Hebert said.

“It’s also good for our economy,” said Dr. Marshall Walker, of Mobile. “Alright, this is an agricultural product. There’s processing. There’s research. There’s testing. Many, many, many good things spring from this well.”

Amanda Taylor, of Cullman, is a patient advocate for medical cannabis. She said pharmaceuticals always have side effects, unlike cannabis.


“With seven debilitating diseases that I fight, they have horrible side effects. … versus cannabis, as you heard them say earlier, there’s nobody in the hospital because they’ve overdosed on cannabis,” Taylor said.

Will Somerville is a lawyer with Baker Donelson. He has taken legal action against the commission after his client was not awarded a license. He said the cannabis commission needs to do it job.

“Follow the law. Award the licenses to people who can do the job,” Somerville said. “That’s the fastest way to get medical cannabis to the people who need it.”

Somerville said the licensing litigation is in the hands of the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals. He expects them to issue a decision any day now.


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Time to get medical cannabis to Alabama patients, doctors say



Time to get medical cannabis to Alabama patients, doctors say

Amanda Taylor of Cullman moved out west because the medical marijuana products that doctors said could help her multiple sclerosis and other health problems were not available in Alabama.

Taylor later returned to advocate for medical cannabis in her home state. She keeps a photo from the day she joined Gov. Kay Ivey and others at a ceremony to sign the bill that made medical marijuana legal in Alabama.

But three years after that triumphant moment, Taylor and other patients who need medical marijuana still cannot get it in Alabama.

Lawsuits and other problems have kept the state from issuing the business licenses needed to make and sell the products authorized by the 2021 law.


On Wednesday, Taylor joined several doctors, a former lawmaker, and a former Alabama mayor to call for an end to the legal stalemate.

“Businessmen and politicians are bickering over spoils while we suffer,” Taylor said. “There are people who are sick, suffering, and dying, and no one cares about the patients. It is time for these lawsuits to stop.”

The Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission, set up to regulate the fully intrastate industry, first tried to issue licenses a year ago, but lawsuits and problems with the AMCC’s procedures have kept products from becoming available.

The AMCC has issued licenses to cultivators, processors, transporters, and a state testing lab. But licenses for integrated companies and dispensaries remain on hold, blocked by lawsuits pending in the Montgomery County Circuit Court and the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals.

AMCC officials had said they hoped products would be available this year, but the litigation makes that uncertain.


A group called the Patients Coalition for Medical Cannabis held the event Wednesday in Montgomery and organizers said they will hold similar events in Mobile, Birmingham, Huntsville, and Dothan.

Dr. Corey Hebert, a pediatrician from New Orleans and medical professor at Tulane and LSU, said he has seen the how medical cannabis has helped patients in Louisiana. He gave the example of a condition called infantile spasms.

“I’ve watched a mother give their child medical cannabis and the seizures stop for the first time,” Hebert said. “And this was before this mother could get this medicine legally in Louisiana. So, she had to risk going to jail to drive to Colorado so that her child could not have seizures.”

Hebert said medical cannabis is an important treatment for PTSD and can help veterans who suffer from that condition.

Dr. Kirk Kinard, an osteopathic doctor who is president of the Pause Pain & Wellness, based in Oxford, Miss., said the company’s clinics have about 20,000 certified medical cannabis patients in Mississippi.


“We’re getting great feedback,” Kinard said. “My mission for Alabama is to bring our brand here so that you can scale up as quick as you can once everybody is through fighting over the legalities of it. It’s time for that to stop and go forward with something.”

Kinard, a member of the Mississippi State Board of Medical Licensure, said the first two years of medical cannabis in that state have shown that the products are safe. He said medical cannabis is an important option for treating chronic pain as an alternative to opioids.

“It doesn’t solve all the world’s problems,” Kinard said. “It solves a few very well, though. And the consequences of trying it and it failing are literally moving on to the next option.”

Dr. Marshall Walker of Mobile, whose practice focuses on pain management, said Alabama patients need the option of medical marijuana products like patients have in many other states.(Mike Cason/

Dr. Marshall Walker of Mobile, whose practice focuses on pain management, said his patients are eager to have the same options as those in other states.


“Cannabis is one of those things that quite frankly I need to fill the gap in pain control for people in Alabama,” Walker said. “My patients bring it up all the time. When are we going to get it, doc? When is it going to happen? Is it ever going to happen? Should I move?”

Walker said a medical cannabis product called Rick Simpson oil helped his mother, an esophageal cancer survivor, deal with the effects of radiation and chemotherapy.

“The Alabama Legislature did what we asked them to do,” Walker said. “Our elected officials delivered what we needed them to deliver. What we now need are the injunctions against us using the law that we have to go away, so we can do the good work like Dr. Kinard is doing in Mississippi and Dr. Hebert is doing in Louisiana.

“Why do our people have to suffer needlessly when on the other side of an imaginary line they don’t have to? It’s not fair to our people.”

Former state Rep. Mike Ball of Madison County, who championed the medical cannabis bill and earlier bills on CBD, and former Mobile Mayor Mike Dow also spoke at Wednesday’s event.

Former state Rep. Mike Ball

Former state Rep. Mike Ball of Madison County performs a song at Wednesday’s event advocating for the availability of medical cannabis in Alabama. Ball was the House sponsor of the bill that made medical marijuana legal in the state.(Mike Cason/

Taylor, a cosmetologist, said she asked her doctors years ago if medical cannabis could provide some relief for her multiple medical problems, which she said include MS, gastroparesis, type I diabetes, and PTSD. They told her it could but gave little hope that it would ever be available in Alabama.

“I packed up everything that I could fit in my car,” Taylor said. “And I literally became a medical refugee. And I went out west.”

Taylor, who said her weight had dropped below 90 pounds, moved first to California, then to Flagstaff, Ariz., where she landed a job in a medical marijuana dispensary. Taylor said she grew stronger from the medicine and documented the experiences of other patients that she talked to. She hiked in the mountains and recorded her thoughts in journals, and prayed about what she should do next in her life.

Taylor said God gave her a vision that she should return to Alabama and speak to the Legislature and a medical cannabis study commission that she should go door-to-door speaking to lawmakers. She said helped change some hard-core “no” votes to help pass the legislation. She keeps a framed photo of the day the bill passed the House. Ball was the House sponsor of the legislation, which was sponsored by Sen. Tim Melson, R-Florence.

Taylor said it is time to put the legislation to work for the people it was supposed to help.


“Who are these lawsuits serving?” Taylor said. “They’re not serving the patient. I’ve been suffering for three years. If it was all about me, I would have stayed in Arizona, where I had the keys to the kingdom. Literally had my own set of keys to the dispensary.”

“Where is the compassion that was promised? I see no compassion. I see greed.”

The law allows companies to make gummies, tablets, capsules, tinctures, patches, oils, and other forms of medical marijuana products. Patients who receive a medical cannabis card will be able to buy the products at licensed dispensaries.

The products can be used to treat a wide range of conditions, including chronic pain, weight loss and nausea from cancer, depression, panic disorder, epilepsy, muscle spasms caused by disease or spinal cord injuries, PTSD, and others.

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TideIllustrated – Three things to know about Alabama freshman tight end Jay Lindsey



TideIllustrated  –  Three things to know about Alabama freshman tight end Jay Lindsey

While most of Alabama’s freshmen joined the team during the early part of the year, the Crimson Tide brought in a few new reinforcements over the summer. With the opening kickoff in less than three months, Tide Illustrated will highlight each of the summer newcomers.

Next up in our series is one of Alabama’s most overlooked prospects in the 2024 class, three-star tight end Jay Lindsey.

It’s easy to skip over Lindsey’s name among Alabama’s star-studded list of signees. However, the 6-foot-5, 235-pound tight end from Butler, Alabama deserves a deeper look.

A former Mississippi State commit, Lindsey signed with the Crimson Tide as the No. 38 player in the state of Alabama and the No. 46 tight end in this year’s class. Those rankings don’t really do him justice.


Playing his high school ball at Patrician Academy, Lindsey didn’t get much of an opportunity to prove himself against top competition. Still, he dominated the Alabama Independent School Association, earning last year’s Lineman of the Year award while playing on both sides of the ball.

Despite primarily serving as a blocker, Lindsey recorded 14 receptions for 366 yards and six touchdowns to go with 491 yards and eight more scores on 36 carries over 12 games. He was even more productive as a defensive lineman, tallying 102 tackles, including 11 sacks.

Here are three things to know about Lindsey as he enters Alabama.

He’s the first person from his school to play at Alabama 

When Lindsey suits up in crimson and white this fall, he will be the first-ever Patrician Academy player to do so. The Butler native grew up rooting for the Crimson Tide and doesn’t take the honor lightly.

“All the little kids that walk around the halls here, they look up to me,” Lindsey told television station WTOK during his signing ceremony in December. “All the grown-ups tell me that. I couldn’t be any more proud.”


While Alabama rarely dips into the AISA ranks, it did well the last time it pulled a tight end from an in-state private school. Former Crimson Tide standout O.J. Howard joined the Crimson Tide from Autauga Academy as a five-star prospect in the 2013 class. He finished his four-year college career with a combined 114 receptions for 1,626 yards and seven touchdowns.

According to Lindsey’s father, Jonathan, who coached him at Patrician Academy, the freshman tight end is set to follow in Howard’s footsteps and wear No. 88 at Alabama.

He also starred on the diamond 

Lindsey plans to be a one-sport athlete at Alabama. However, he earned all-state honors in baseball and basketball in addition to his football success at the high school level.

Lindsey shined brightest on the diamond where he pitched as well as playing third base and outfield. In 2023, the right-hander earned AISA Pitcher of the Year honors, going 9-1 with a 0.356 earned-run average and 109 strikeouts over 59 innings pitched. This spring, he took home AISA Hitter of the Year honors, batting .447 with six home runs, 35 runs batted in and 19 stolen bases over 30 games.

His high school offense ran the wing-T 

As evidenced by his 857 total yards and 14 touchdowns last year, Patrician Academy found a way to get Lindsey the ball. Those numbers are even more impressive considering the Saints operated out of a wing-T offense that regularly utilized the tight end as a blocker.

While Lindsey’s athleticism comes through on tape, the most impressive part of his game is the power he generates off the line. Whether serving as an in-line tight end or defensive end, he routinely knocked back his opponent, playing through the whistle with a bit of a mean streak.

Alabama senior tight end Robbie Ouzts played in a similar run-first offense at Rock Hill High School in South Carolina. Lindsey shares a similar skill set to Ouzts (6-foot-4, 265 pounds). While he’ll likely look to add more weight in his first year with the team, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Lindsey take on the H-back and fullback roles for the Tide once Ouzts moves on.

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