Good morning West Alabama. It is Monday July 1, 2024.

It is Independence Day week, and the roadway, skyways and waterways are busy this week. The exodus began Friday according to Triple-A Alabama and will continue through Sunday.

Triple-A is predicting more than 70-million people will travel for the 4th this year, that would be a 5% increase over last year and 8% above 2022.

It was obvious during morning rush hour this morning that traffic was considerably lighter, so it does look like many people are taking advantage of the mid-week holiday to get away.

Triple-A Alabama's Clay Ingram believes the ever-increasing travel figures are a result of people still shaking off the doldrums of the pandemic.

Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International is advising flyers to get to the airport early. All flights were on time this morning except the 9:30 American Airlines flight to Charlotte that is delayed.

The good news is rain chance, which return Wednesday are only in the 20% to 30% range so the likelihood is you will be able to get those 4th of July fireworks in Thursday night.

READ MORE: Alabama’s July Weather, Temp, and Rain Predictions

The Forecast: 

Sunny, with a high near 93. North wind 5 to 10 mph.
Mostly clear, with a low around 70. North wind 5 to 10 mph becoming light in the evening.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 95. Southeast wind 5 to 10 mph.
Tuesday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 76. Southeast wind around 5 mph.
A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 94. Southeast wind around 5 mph.
Wednesday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 75.

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Topping the News:

The Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit continues to investigate the area’s 17th homicide of the year early Saturday morning. When officers arrived in the 2000 block of Stardust Drive in Hillcrest, they found two men had been shot. A 23-year-old male was in stable condition and 51-year-old Reggie Coverson was dead.

Investigators say Coverson shot the younger man and then was shot in self-defense by a 36-year-old male. No arrests have been made but the case will be presented to a grand jury.

Read More: 1 Shot and Killed in Tuscaloosa County Early Saturday Morning 

A 47-year-old man is still in critical condition after being struck by a vehicle in a downtown Tuscaloosa crosswalk Friday night. The incident happened at the intersection of University Boulevard and 23rd Avenue around 11:30 p.m.

20-year-old college baseball player Ayden Payne is recovering from surgery on his spine after hitting his head when he jumped into a swimming pool. He remains hospitalized in Huntsville.

Jayden’s Jasper High School Baseball coach Patrick Ware told news partner ABC3340 the youth a fighter and he is praying for a full recovery.

Payne’s plans to play baseball for Texas A&M Texarkana are on hold due to his paralysis.

The Tuscaloosa Public Library closes today for renovations. A new roof and new LED lighting are among the projects at the main branch on Warner Parkway. The book drop will remain open, but the main branch will be closed until July 10th.

Despite the rain of the last few days, West Alabama from Tuscaloosa and Pickens Counties northward are abnormally dry according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor. That has prompted the state to advise those cooking outside for the 4th or burning rubbish, to keep tight control on any outdoor fires.

Miss University of Alabama Marissa Luna, a sophomore from Birmingham, was the third runner-up for Miss Alabama over the weekend. Miss Hoover, Abbie Stockard was the winner and will represent Alabama in the Miss America pageant later this year.

Go Build Alabama launched the Go Build Alabama job board. It is designed to simplify the job search process for career seekers and construction employers across the state. Job opportunities from craft/field positions to administrative and sales roles are available. It’s a free resource with a user-friendly experience, allowing workers to create a profile, customize search filters to find jobs that match specific preferences, and apply to multiple positions.

You can create a job candidate profile here.

The death of an inmate in the Walker County Jail might have been avoided in April if new medical monitoring equipment had been installed then. 11 medical devices have been installed in the booking cells to monitor heart and respiratory rates. Staff is notified by an alarm if rates become dangerous.

Staff will now be trained on how to operate the new equipment.

Topping Sports News:

Texas and Oklahoma are now officially members of the Southeastern Conference. Each school is hosting large campus celebrations. The SEC now has 16 schools.

According to Hayes Fawcett of On3 Sports, Alabama has earned a commitment from five-star cornerback Dijon Lee.

Read More: Alabama Earns First 5-Star Commitment of 2025

Have a magnificent Monday!!