The Sunrise News Sampler
- The Tuscaloosa Civitan Club is now accepting nominations for Tuscaloosa County Citizen of the Year, to honor those who have made significant contributions to our community. Nominees may be entered at https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B6_3Xst3CHAQZWc5ZjNDTWMxRkE/edit?usp=sharing. The deadline for submission is this Friday, March 15th.
- Governor Bentley is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the death of retired University of Alabama professor 73-year-old Kate Ragsdale, who was found dead inside her home in The Highlands neighborhood on Feb. 24.
- Yesterday, lawyers for the alabama Education Association urged Alabama Supreme Court justices to keep the Alabama Accountability Act on hold until Friday, when Montgomery Circuit Judge Charles Price will hold a hearing in their lawsuit challenging how the bill was approved, according to al.com.
- The state's legislative session opened at a rapid pace five weeks ago but has slowed by hard feelings over the passage of private school tax credits. Though Democratic opponents of the tax credits are said to be slowing down action in the House and Senate, even Republican Representative Paul DeMarco wants the bill to be sent back as it does not include language he insisted be included, according to AL.com.
- In other news, cardinals at the Vatican are celebrating a final Mass before they sequester themselves in the Sistine Chapel to begin selecting a new pope.
- In political news, House Republicans plan to release a blueprint today that attempts to show it's possible to balance the budget within 10 years by simply cutting spending.
- Meanwhile, the Congressional Budget Office reports that the government's short-term fiscal picture is improving, though it will probably rise again unless entitlement programs are fixed.
- The first federal study of school buildings in almost two decades says America's elementary and secondary schools need more than $270 billion just to get them back to their original conditions, and twice that much to bring them up to date over the next decade.