North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

August 21, 2013

NJN/am for Wednesday, August 21

By Robert Carter
North Jefferson News

— It’s Wednesday, and today we discuss a preacher running for office, and another preacher who’s just running…

Weather: The same old thing. More scattered storms are forecast for today, a 60-percent chance to be exact, with a high temperature in the upper 80s. Rain chances decrease to 30 percent tonight with a low near 70. Skies clear just a bit tomorrow and we return to temps in the 90s.

“The root of all of Alabama’s problems.” Dr. Stan Cooke railed against those who work in the building behind where he stood — the State Capitol in Montgomery — as he announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor. Cooke, who pastors Kimberly Church of God, denounced the state current leadership — including his primary opponent, incumbent Kay Ivey — as “individuals drunk with power [who] have become ‘God-father’ power-brokers.” It’s Cooke’s second race for major office; he ran against incumbent congressman Spencer Bachus in 2010.

“The Basement” leader caught. Matt Pitt, the 30-year-old preacher who started a youth ministry in the basement of a house that grew to reach thousands locally, was arrested Tuesday night near Vulcan. Pitt, who was wanted on charges of impersonating a police officer, was caught after a brief chase and struggle atop Red Mountain, after the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office had been tipped off that Pitt was headed for a television station studio. Pitt has also had his probation revoked for a similar charge last year near Calera, and faces jail time before the new charges ever go to court. He’s jailed on $15,000 bond on the new charges.

Sports: That’s better. The Birmingham Barons broke a five-game losing skid Tuesday night with a 2-1 win over the Tennessee Smokies at Regions Field. Dan Wagner’s walk-off pinch hit in the bottom of the ninth drove in Brandon Jacobs from second base to win. Meanwhile, the Mets beat the Braves 5-3, as starting pitcher Zach Wheeler shut out Atlanta in seven innings’ work. Andrelton Simmons’ bases-loaded double accounted for all of the Braves runs.