Good morning, readers, this is what's happening in your county today:

Traffic:

The Cullman City Street Department will perform a sinkhole repair on Acre Ave.  NW. A patch crew will work on 4th Ave. NE, Moore Ave. NE and Walker St. SW. Also, striping will be done today on 4th St. and 3rd Ave. SE near the All Steak restaurant.

Weather:

Today: Today Rain, mainly after noon. High near 46. East wind 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80 percent.

Tonight: Rain, mainly before midnight. Low around 37. East wind 5 to 10 mph becoming light and variable in the evening. Chance of precipitation is 90 percent.

Best bets for today:

College and scholarship planning seminar: A college and scholarship planning seminar for parents of junior high school students is planned for noon to 8 p.m. today, at Holly Pond High School. Special attention will be given to help parents and students understand college and scholarship opportunities.

FAFSAs will be completed by a TRIO program representative.

Contact Karen Rowell at Holly Pond High School for the arrangements at 256-796-5169.

Relay For Life meeting: Upcoming meeting for those participating or interested in participating in the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life of Cullman County will be held at noon and 5:30 p.m. today, in the fellowship hall at First Baptist Church of Cullman. Relay For Life of Cullman County will be May 2-3 at Cullman County Fairgrounds. Info: Helen Allen at 256-709-4019 or visit www.relayforlife.org/cullmanal.

CCLC: The Cullman Community Lions Club will meet at 11:30 a.m. today at Rumors Deli, 105 1st Ave. NE, Cullman 35055. Members urged to attend. Info: Patty Miller at 256-734-0131.

Relay For Life meeting: This meeting will be at noon and 5:30 p.m. today in the fellowship hall at First Baptist Church, 501 2nd Ave. SW, Cullman 35055. Info: Helen Allen at 256-709-4019 or visit www.relayforlife.org/cullmanal.

Looking ahead:

Cemetery cleanups: Cemetery caretakers and committees may submit their briefs for this list to sallee@cullmantimes.com. Please include your name and phone number for our records.

The caretaker for Pleasant Grove Baptist Church Cemetery, 1900 County Road 1422, Cullman 35058, requests that all grave flowers be removed for groundskeeping by March 15.

Free Monster Jam tickets: Want to win free Monster Jam tickets for the March 14-15 shows? Here’s how that can happen: Just subscribe or renew your subscription to The Cullman Times from March 5 through noon March 12 and fill out an entry form to be entered for a chance to win 2 FREE Monster Jam tickets — 12 sets will be given away. No purchase necessary. Entry forms are available at the The Times’ office at 300 4th Ave. SE, Cullman 35055. One form per subscription/renewal or household. Winners will be notified by phone or email. Drawing will be held at noon Wednesday, March 12.

Egg hunts, spring flings, revivals and Lenten/Easter services: Churches and other organizations seeking to have their events published should email Editorial Assistant Sallee Chandler in the newsroom at sallee@cullmantimes.com; include full name and daytime phone number; as well as complete address of venue.

Church assistance listing: Due to a technical issue, we are currently compiling briefs for this listing, both old and new. Churches/organizations that offer food or clothing assistance, etc., (even if you were on the list previously) may send their briefs to sallee@cullmantimes.com (if you don’t have email, fax to 256-737-1006 ATTN: Sallee), along with a contact name (first and last) and phone number. Please also include first/last names with any information phone numbers in the brief.

Today’s tidbit:

Well, I just figured out that my smartphone has out-smarted me. By the time I figure out how to do something, there is always something else to figure out. No instructions, no one to call, just the phone. I wasn’t born into the digital age like my children were. I can remember going to an old five-and-dime store and using the crank phone on the wall — even at that time in that remote area, it was on its way to being a thing of the past.

We were a military family, so we once lived on a base where we had to count the rings each time our big black, heavy, round dial phone with the long, curly, black cord started to ring, just to make sure whether or not the call was for us. Nothing personal was ever discussed on those party lines, just in case someone was listening in. And no one could call out until that person finished with their call. A lot of patience and courtesy was practiced by all living on that base.

By the time I was 15, we had a princess phone in the family room and a wall model in the kitchen. None in the bedroom at that time, as my mother said, “We aren’t the Rockefellers!” In those days, no round dial, just buttons to push, which we thought was real futuristic.

Then came the phones from Sports Illustrated or Readers Digest, just for buying a subscription. They came in the shape of a football, duck or a slimline with no base (you had to be careful with this one! It was easy to hang up on a caller or redial, if you put it down on the wrong side. It also “twittered” like a bird instead of ringing). Then the phones that lit up when they rang, and a really cool one with the innards all showing.

Next came the office-style phone, with more than one line and a caller could be put on hold. And at last, the car phone with a cord. We all saw that one on Cannon with actor, William Conrad, a TV detective show where he drove a big car and had a big cordless phone to talk on. It seemed amazing, yet impossible. As a teenager, we all talked about when we could have a phone to carry with us at all times, never needing a cord to make a call. That seemed so far into the future.

And now, here we are. Phones of all sizes to be carried in our pockets, in our purses or on our belts. Just recharge and go! I may fuss about the negatives of my little phone, but am so glad and thankful to have this little marvel of science. I may not understand all things digital, but my phone has proved to be handy and necessary. I think I’ll keep it.

10 Things to Know for Today

By The Associated Press

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

1. CRIMEA PARLIAMENT SETS REFERENDUM

Local voters on March 16 will be asked whether Crimea should become part of Russia or remain part of Ukraine.

2. CIA ACCUSED OF SPYING ON SENATE

The allegations center on possible improper monitoring of the Senate Intelligence Committee and snooping on members’ computers.

3. ONE OF GADHAFI’S SONS RETURNED TO LIBYA

Al-Saadi Gadhafi, who fled as his father’s regime crumbled in 2011, had been under house arrest in Niger.

4. HOW COLLEGE BOARD IS CHANGING THE SAT TEST

Essays will be optional, there will be no penalties for wrong answers and some obscure vocabulary words will be removed.

5. GOOD NEWS FOR THE GREAT LAKES

As they melt, this winter’s abundant snow and ice will boost the lakes’ water levels, which have been below normal since the late 1990s.

6. WHERE SHIP LOADED WITH SYRIAN-MADE ROCKETS WAS HEADING

Israel, after seizing the vessel, accuses Iran of trying to send the weapons to the Gaza Strip — where Israel’s biggest cities would be well within range.

7. VICTIMS’ ADVOCATES CHIDE POPE ON DELAYS

Three months after the Vatican announced that a commission would be formed to study the best ways to protect children from abusive clerics, no action has been taken.

8. WHAT BABY’S POSSIBLE CURE MEANS FOR AIDS TREATMENT

An infant born with the AIDS virus responds well to medicine given right after birth — more confirmation that very early treatment works.

9. BUSINESSMAN BALKS AT GAMBLING BILL

After losing $500,000 on table games at a Las Vegas casino, he’s arguing that he shouldn’t have to pay because he was blackout drunk.

10. AKON: LET THERE BE LIGHT

The Grammy-nominated singer has begun an initiative aiming to bring solar-powered electricity to 1 million homes in Africa.

 

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