North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

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March 15, 2013

NJN/am for Friday, March 15

It’s Friday, and spring break is here…

Weather: Gorgeous. Spring break starts off with some really nice days, with highs on Friday through Sunday in the middle to upper 70s and nighttime lows around 50. Rain moves into the area Sunday night, and we’ll start the work week Monday with showers and thunderstorms.

New pope urges return to roots. Pope Francis, the former Jorge Cardinal Bergoglio of Argentina, urged Roman Catholic cardinals to shift their focus back to the Gospel. Reuters reported that at his first mass in the same Sistine Chapel where he was elected, the new pontiff said, “We can walk all we want, we can build many things, but if we don't proclaim Jesus Christ, something is wrong. We would become a compassionate NGO [non-governmental organization] and not a Church which is the bride of Christ.”

Alabama Accountability Act is now law. Gov. Robert Bentley signed the controversial new law yesterday, after the state Supreme Court struck down a restraining order as a result of a lawsuit by the state teacher’s union. The law offers tax credits to parents of children in failing schools, as an offset to the cost of tuition in private or other public schools. The Alabama Education Association still plans legal challenges to the law.

Sports: Wildcats explode. A pitcher’s duel between two highly-regarded softball teams turned into an offensive show for Hayden on Thursday, as they scored seven runs in the sixth inning to defeat visiting fourth-ranked Mortimer Jordan 7-1. Wildcat pitched Caitlin Kirkland got the win, striking out eight Blue Devil batters. It’s the first time Hayden has beaten Jordan since — well, before anyone now associated with either team can remember. Elsewhere, Springville took advantage of 10 Pinson Valley errors, with six of them during a seven-run Tiger rally in the fourth inning, as the Indians fell 15-4 at home… Baseball: Corner scored five runs in the first three innings, and then turned back a late Curry comeback to win 5-3. Gardendale, fresh off its second straight county championship, easily handles hades Valley 12-0 in five innings.

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