48-hour wait for abortion closer to being Ala. law
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The Alabama Legislature is getting closer to extending the waiting period for an abortion in the state.
The Senate Health Committee voted 7-1 Wednesday to approve a bill that extends the waiting time from 24 hours to 48 hours after a woman receives information from an abortion clinic about the procedure and associated risks. Republicans senators cast the yes votes, and Democratic Sen. Billy Beasley cast the lone nay vote.
The bill by Republican Rep. Ed Henry passed the House earlier and now goes to the Senate for a final vote. Henry and committee Chairman Greg Reed say they believe the bill has the support to pass.
The Senate Health Committee will meet next week to consider three other bills passed by the House to place restrictions on abortions.
Committee approves budget without teacher bonus
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - A House committee has approved an education budget aimed at giving teachers more money for their health insurance instead of a raise or bonus.
The House Ways and Means - Education Committee voted 10-4 for the budget Wednesday morning.
The spending plan strips away a one-time 1 percent bonus for public education employees approved by the Alabama Senate.
House Minority Leader Craig Ford called the budget a travesty. He said teachers have gone years without raises while being asked to pay more for health insurance and retirement benefits. Gov. Robert Bentley is seeking a 2 percent raise.
Chairman Rep. Bill Poole, R-Tuscaloosa, said lawmakers want to put more money into insurance to try to avoid large premium increases for employees.
Alabama committee approves Common Core 'opt out'
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - An Alabama Senate Committee voted to allow local school systems to opt out of the Common Core curriculum standards, but the legislation still faces a bleak future.
Bill sponsor Sen. Scott Beason said local school systems should have the choice to decide what is best for their students. The Senate Education Committee voted 4-2 Wednesday morning to approve the bill
However, Senate President Del Marsh said he did not think the bill had the support to get through an inevitable filibuster on the Senate floor. Marsh is a co-sponsor of the bill.
Sen. Vivian Figures, who voted against the bill, had urged committee members to let school members do their jobs without legislative interference.
The opt out legislation was tried after Common Core repeal efforts fell flat.
Judge says no attorney general testimony for now
FORT PAYNE, Ala. (AP) - A judge in Fort Payne has stymied an attempt by former state Senate leader Lowell Barron to have the state attorney general testify at his trial next month on campaign finance charges.
Dekalb County Circuit Judge Randall Cole issued an order Wednesday that conditionally stops the subpoena Barron's lawyers had issued for Attorney General Luther Strange. Barron's attorneys wanted to question the attorney general about how he used his campaign funds.
The judge says there is no compelling need for the state prosecutor to testify if the evidence can be obtained from other sources. He said the subpoena is blocked as long as state prosecutors won't object to Barron's lawyers offering the attorney general's campaign finance reports as evidence if the judge determines they are relevant to the case.
2 teens accused of robbing classmate at gunpoint
SELMA, Ala. (AP) - Police say two Selma High School students accused of robbing a classmate at gunpoint are each being held on $60,000 bond.
Investigators say a 15-year-old boy told them he was picked up by two 17-year-old classmates Saturday morning and was told they were going to buy new shoes from a local store.
Police say the teen was instead driven to another location where one of the two older boys held a gun to the back of his head and demanded money.
Investigators say the teen jumped from the vehicle and suffered a minor injury. Authorities say one of the suspects was arrested at school Monday afternoon and the other was arrested at home.
The teens have been charged with robbery. The Associated Press typically doesn't identify juvenile crime suspects.
CRIME VICTIMS MINISTRY BURGLARIZED
Burglars target nonprofit that helps crime victims
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - An Alabama nonprofit devoted to helping crime victims has found itself the victim of a burglary.
Montgomery-based Neighbors in Christ replaces locks and windows at the homes of burglary victims and has a ministry of helping crime victims and their families.
WAKA-TV reports that someone burglarized the group's warehouse, stealing copper and leaving thousands of dollars in damage.
The suspects ruptured a water line and stole copper from the attic and outside air conditioning units. Water from the busted line soaked boxes on the floor that held donated toys, caused damage to walls and ruined carpeted floors.
The Montgomery Advertiser reports that Neighbors in Christ primarily serves Montgomery County, but also assists victims in Autauga, Elmore and Lowndes counties on an as-needed basis.
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