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A state Senate committee has approved an education budget that replaces Governor Robert Bentley's recommended 2 percent pay raise for school employees with a one-time bonus of 1 percent. Mobile Senator Vivian Figures accused her colleagues of ignoring the needs of public school workers. The Senate committee also voted Wednesday to cut the budget of Alabama State University by $10 million dollars and then give Bentley the authority to restore if he wants. Bentley said he had nothing to do with the ASU cut and doesn't think money should be used for leverage.
ASU and Peru
Ten Alabama State University students say their educational experiences in the rain forests of Peru is a life long lesson that will carry them through their academic pursuits. The students spent the Christmas holiday in the South American nation to learn about tropical diseases and medical issues facing indigenous tribes. The founder of the Peruvian program, Dr. Lane Rolling, said the visit was challenging and rewarding.
Authorities in Lee County have charged a 29-year-old Auburn man with multiple counts of sex-related offenses involving a child. Police in Auburn say Nathan Childers is behind bars charged with the rape, sodomy and incest of a child. Auburn Police allege that Childers engaged in inappropriate and illegal sexual contact with a female relative under the age of 12. Police were contacted on Sunday about the illicit conduct. Childers was placed in the Lee County Detention Facility under a $150,000 bond.
An Alabama senator wants to change state law so that people can carry a loaded pistol in their vehicle without a concealed carry permit. Republican Scott Beason of Gardendale said people should to have to pay for their 2nd Amendment right to carry their weapons. Current law allows people to carry their pistol in the vehicle without a permit, but the weapon has to be unloaded, locked away and out of reach. Beason said an unloaded weapon is of no use to the driver. The Senate Judiciary Committee held a public meeting Wednesday and will vote next week.