Bill ups pension costs for workers
The Alabama Legislature is getting closer to making public employees pay more for their retirement benefits.
Republicans on the Senate Finance and Taxation-Education Committee pushed through a bill Wednesday that would require all of Alabama's public employees to contribute more for their pensions.
Democrats opposed the bill.
The amount would go up 2.5 percent of salary between now and Oct. 1, 2012. That would mean all education employees and most state employees would see their payments go from 5 percent of their salary to 7.5 percent.
The House passed a slightly different version earlier this month that raised contribution rates for everyone except state troopers.
Republican Sen. Arthur Orr says the increase is necessary to balance state budgets and keep the pension program sound. The legislation is backed by Gov. Robert Bentley.
Cherokee may vote on Sunday sales
The Cherokee County Commission may put Sunday alcohol sales before county voters in November.
Commissioners discussed the issue at a meeting Tuesday night.
The Georgia Legislature passed a bill this session allowing cities and counties to hold referendums to sell alcohol at stores in their jurisdictions on Sundays.
Gov. Nathan Deal has not yet signed the measure into law.
County Commission Chairman Buzz Ahrens said the board wants to gauge interest through a public hearing.
Ahrens said if the county school board holds a referendum in November as expected to renew its special purpose local option sales tax, the alcohol sales issue could be on the same ballot.
Woodstock Mayor Donnie Henriques said the Woodstock City Council will discuss the matter at its meeting Monday.
Junior Ranger Day set at state park
Little River Canyon National Preserve will celebrate National Junior Ranger Day on Saturday in conjunction with DeSoto State Park and the Little River Canyon Center.
The rangers will have programs at 10 a.m. at the DeSoto State Park Nature Center and at 1 p.m. at the Little River Canyon Center. Junior Ranger booklets may be picked up at Little River Canyon Center all day.
Attendees may earn both DeSoto State Park Junior Ranger and Little River Canyon Junior Ranger status at the programs. People are encouraged to bring water, good hiking shoes, field guide books and a snack.
Junior Rangers is a National Park Service program that provides educational activities for young people. The young people that complete the activities receive pins, buttons, patches or badges and a certificate.
For more information call the park office at 256-845-9605.