It’s Monday, and it’s chilly…
Weather: Brrrr. That cold front that came through the metro area sent temperature plunging, and temperatures will stay cool today with a 30 percent chance of rain. Skies will clear in the afternoon and temps will warm to the middle 60s. It’ll be clear tonight with lows in the middle 40s. A warming trend begins Tuesday.
Hey! The bank’s closed! That’s because today is when we celebrate Columbus Day, a federal holiday. Post offices and city halls are closed, too. Schools are in session, though.
Debate bump kicks in. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, fresh off his consensus victory in Wednesday night’s debate with President Barack Obama, has taken the lead in The Rasmussen daily tracking poll. Romney was preferred by 49 percent of approximately 1,500 likely voters polled over a three-day rolling period, while Obama has 47 percent — a flip-flop of pre-debate polling. The Gallup poll, which uses as seven-day rolling average (and therefore more than half were polled before the debate), has Obama up 49-46, a one-percent drop for the president.
Longtime pastor retires. Rev. John A. Loper, the longtime pastor of Garywood Assembly of God in Hueytown and a popular voice on local Christian radio for many years, announced his retirement Sunday. He will officially step down on Feb. 11, 34 years to the day that he came to the Hueytown church. During his tenure, the church grew from about 300 attendees to more than 1,100, though it has fallen to less than half that in recent years. Loper’s “Garywood Alive” radio spots were a fixture on WDJC radio for a quarter century.
Sports: The Big One was a little late. But the big wreck that Talladega Superspeedway is famous (or infamous) for finally came on the final lap of the Good Sam 500, collecting 24 cars between truns 3 and 4. The wreck let Matt Kenseth sprint to the checkered flag, ahead of Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch. Brad Keselowski was seventh, and now leads the Chase for the Cup standings by 14 points over Jimmie Johnson… Bass fishing: Gerald Swindle struggled on the final day of the Bassmaster Southern Open No. 3 on Smith Lake, dropping from fifth to seventh place, still good enough for a $5,960 paycheck. Hank Cherry edged out Cullman’s Craig Daniel by a single ounce to win. Locals fared well, as four of the top seven finishers were from Blount, Cullman or Marshall counties… Speaking of locals, Chris Hollis and Brad Hall won the Fishers of Men Tournament Trail event on Neely Henry Lake. The pair reeled in 27.51 pounds over two days, and won a Skeeter bass boat and Yamaha outboard motor valued at $32,000. [Disclosure: Hollis is the boyfriend of NJN general manager Danielle Pelkey.]