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It's expected that lawmakers will focus on the budgets this week in the Alabama Legislature. Each body has passed one of the spending plans. The Senate has approved the General Fund Budget. Republican Senator Arthur Orr of Decatur crafted the 1.74 billion dollar budget that funds most state agencies. He was disheartened that a pay increase for state employees couldn't be worked out. The House of Representatives still must pass the General Fund Budget. The education budget has made it through the House, but not the Senate.
An article in today's Montgomery Advertiser states the Pentagon is preparing to send furlough notices to more than 2,000 civilian employees at Maxwell Air Force Base. The paper said notification is expected to start in June. Affected DOD workers could be forced to take an unpaid day off each week from June to September. An official with the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce told the paper the furloughs could cost the River Region economy an estimated $10 to $15 million dollars. The furloughs are the result of federal budget cuts.
High School Vandalized
Vandals caused thousands of dollars in damage to classrooms, offices and the library at Calhoun High School in Lowndes County. The destruction was discovered Monday morning by the school's principal Kenneth Fair. A Lowndes County Sheriff's investigator said vandals also stole several computers and smart board equipment. No arrests were made, but Sheriff's investigators are processing fingerprints and suspects' images were captured on surveillance cameras.
Auburn University's poisoned oak trees will soon come down, brining an end to an era and a drastic change to the landscape. City crews began work this morning removing the landmark oaks, which are all but dead after being poisoned by Harvey Updyke. He is serving a jail term after pleading guilty to spiking the oaks with a powerful herbicide, and experts say they can't be saved.