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Bentley Vetoes General Fund Budget, Moon Rock in Mobile

Governor Bentley
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley

Gov. Robert Bentley has vetoed an austere General Fund budget that included massive cuts for state agencies across the board.

Bentley says the budget approved by lawmakers last night is unworkable and would seriously hurt the people of Alabama. He vows to bring lawmakers back into special session this summer to come up with a new solution.

The budget would have cut $200 million from state agencies after lawmakers failed to agree on tax increases or any new sources of revenue.

The House of Representatives overrode Bentley's veto, but the Senate had adjourned for the session so the action was meaningless. Bentley’s veto leaves state agencies without a spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year beginning October 1.

The action came after months of unsuccessful behind-the-scenes negotiations by legislators on revenue ideas, as well as warnings by Bentley that the cuts would cause dramatic reductions in state services.

A piece of U.S. space history is on display in Mobile for the next few days at the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center.

Apollo 15 astronauts Dave Scott and Jim Irwin collected 170 pounds of moon rocks during their trip to the lunar surface in 1971.

Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center spokesman Josh Holland says that includes the 4 billion year old moon rock just inches away from us.

"It definitely has an otherworldly kind of quality to it. You can tell it's not something you would just run across in your backyard. You can see the different metals that are incorporated into the rock."

The Apollo 15 moon rock remains on display at the Exploreum until next Wednesday. It’s part of an ongoing exhibition called Beyond Earth which features artifacts from the space race.

The Superintendent of Cullman City Schools has resigned after a below-average performance review from the Alabama Association of School Boards.

Doreen Griffeth submitted her resignation yesterday during a specially called meeting with the Board of Education. The superintendent still had a year left in her contract.

Griffeth resigned in the wake of an Alabama Association of School Boards evaluation of her tenure at the district. Officials say Griffeth received middle-range scores in most categories, but her lowest was in feedback from the school board.

Cullman City School Board President Steven Sides says the board has structured a settlement to buy out the rest of Griffeth's contract. That payment will be a little more than $82,000.

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