Feb. 12, 1944, was a Saturday during a time when The Star didn’t publish on that day of the week.

Feb. 12, 1994: The “Alabama Gang,” an informal coterie of widely known NASCAR drivers, lost one of its original members yesterday when Neil Bonnett, 47, of Hueytown, lost control of his Chevrolet and hit an outside wall nearly head-on during a practice run at Daytona International Speedway. Racing fans still saddened by the deaths of Clifford Allison in August 1992 and Alan Kulwicki in April 1993 and Davey Allison in July now have yet another of their own to be mourned. Also this date: With the approach of Valentine’s Day, area florists say they’re being charged more wholesale for their roses and they’re passing some of those costs along to consumers. Weather is said to be culpable in some circumstances, including a freeze that hit the rose-growing parts of Colombia on Dec. 31. Gene Ericson, owner of Evans Flower Shop, is selling a dozen roses for $52.50 this year, a $5 increase over last year. Oxford Flower Shop sells a dozen for between $42 and $46, depending upon the brand.

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