North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

December 11, 2012

NJN/am for Tuesday,December 11

By Robert Carter
North Jefferson News

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Good Tuesday morning to you, and you'd better bundle up…

Weather: Winter is back. The cold front that passed through Monday has left sharply colder temperatures, and today we will struggle to reach 50 degrees for a high. Tonight’s low will go down to the upper 20s. It will warm up a few degrees each day for the rest of the work week. No rain in sight until the weekend.

House burns in Morris. A fire Monday night gutted a house located across the street from the Morris Fire Department station, and adjacent to City Hall. The fire was discovered by firefighters as they walked out of the station’s day room. A preliminary investigation showed that an electrical problem may have started the fire, which took about an hour to strike down and required assistance from Kimberly, Warrior and Gardendale departments. No one was injured; the occupants of the house were away at the time.

The end is near for Cooper Green. The Jefferson County-owned Cooper Green Mercy Hospital will end acute care on December 31, closing the last of its remaining hospital beds and transferring overnight patients elsewhere. The decision on the date to convert the hospital into an urgent-care and outpatient facility came Monday by County Manager Tony Petelos, after county commissioners voted to shut down the hospital beds to stem a deficit running into the tens of millions of dollars. The move was protested vigorously by community activists and Birmingham politicians.

Sports: He’s back. Former Arkansas head football coach Bobby Petrino has landed back on his feet, and has a new job with Western Kentucky. The Hilltoppers hired Petrino to replace Willie Taggart, who left to take the South Florida job on Friday. According to news reports in Bowling Green, Western athletic director Todd Stewart reached out to Petrino by text message shortly after Taggart’s announcement. Petrino, of course, was fired after lying to Arkansas officials about a motorcycle crash in which he was riding with his mistress, whom he had hired for a job in the athletic department. Petrino was previously the coach just up I-65 at Louisville, site of the infamous Auburn “Jetgate” incident… High school basketball: Locust Fork’s girls team, ranked 10th in Class 4A, stayed on a roll Monday as they routed J.B. Pennington 67-34. Kasi McMillan and Selena Hart both had double-doubles. Meanwhile in boys action, Mortimer Jordan hung on down the stretch, overcoming poor free throw shooting to defeat Cullman 63-59. Mark Lewis led the Blue Devils with 20 points.