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Alabama Shakespeare Festival Enter for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

House GOP says teacher raise, job tax credit in agenda, Marion tuberculosis update

Republicans in the Alabama House say a small business tax credit and a teacher pay raise are among their top priorities for the legislative session that begins Tuesday.

Republicans announced the platform, titled "Right for Alabama."

House Speaker Mike Hubbard says legislators will seek a teacher pay raise in the upcoming session, although they aren't yet specifying an amount.

Another bill would give a $1,500 tax credit to small businesses for new jobs.  One proposal would distribute grants for school wireless technology.

A tough general fund budget is expected to dominate the session.  The House GOP agenda doesn't seek new revenue but uses a "zero-based" budgeting process asking agencies to justify dollars.

Some agenda items are largely symbolic, including opposition to the president's actions on gun control.

New numbers from the Alabama Department of Public Health say eighty-five people have tested positive for latent infection of tuberculosis in the town of Marion.  That means they have the disease but are not contagious and can be treated with medicine.

Pam Barrett is the Division of Tuberculosis Control Director for the department.  She says they are seeing nine people with active TB…

“And only one of those people is currently contagious.  And that’s the new case we just found.  In just a matter of days, if not already after taking the medication, the germ count goes way down.”

Barrett says active TB cases take usually six to nine months to treat if the patient stays on track with the medication. Barrett says the Perry County Health Department will continue testing people for TB after Friday’s deadline. But only on appointment basis and they will not be paid for it.

The University of Alabama is hosting the Arts and Science Department’s fortieth annual physics and astronomy contest for high school students. The contestants from several states will compete for scholarships, awards and bragging rights.

Dr. William Keel is a Professor in the Astronomy department at The University of Alabama. He says students who want to pursue physics will have a chance to receive a four year scholarship to The University Alabama

 “We’d like some of the students who want to study physics to maybe think about coming here. The two top individual scores who applied to come here, get four year scholarships. There really is something concrete at stake for the students who are competing.”

 The event will be at the Ferguson Center on The University of Alabama campus in Tuscaloosa. Registration for the physics and astronomy contest will begin at eight o’clock Friday morning.

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