Tuscaloosa City Schools are dismissing students early today to conduct professional development training for teachers. High schools and the Tuscaloosa Magnet Schools will dismiss at 11:30, followed by middle schools at noon and elementary schools at 12:30. Parents are encouraged to check with their principals for extended day details.

Alabama House Minority Leader Craig Ford is calling for the Legislature to use its election-year session to approve a state lottery, which he says could create as much as $250 million annually for schools.

Today, President Obama spoke at the memorial service for former South African president Nelson Mandela, where Obama said this is a time for self reflection.

The Crimson Tide will face Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl on January 2 in New Orleans.

AJ McCarron has been named a finalist for the Heisman.

Former Jim 'N Nick's server Davis Marlowe Leavelle has pleaded guilty to stealing credit card information from customers last year. A sentencing hearing is set for April.

Two Aliceville women were struck by a car while crossing Alabama Highway 216 Sunday night. Seventy-nine-year-old Rhoda Clark died from her injuries, and the other pedestrian was seriously injured. The accident investigation is ongoing.

Today, Governor Bentley is expected to sign an executive order to create a commission that will study ways to improve services for Alabama's active military, its veterans, and military families.

The U.S. Senate has joined the House in voting to renew an expiring ban on plastic firearms that can evade airport detection machines.

Another round of snow is in the forecast for the mid-Atlantic region, where travel warnings have already been issued.