News Minute: Here is the latest Alabama news from The Associated - - The News for South Mississippi

News Minute: Here is the latest Alabama news from The Associated Press at 9:40 p.m. CST

FAIRFIELD, Ala. (AP) - Authorities have upgraded the charges against an Alabama mother jailed since December in connection with the death of her infant son. reports the aggravated child abuse charge against 31-year-old Ratunda Smith, of Fairfield, was dismissed last week and a new charge of murder filed. Smith is being held on $60,000 bond. Smith's four other children _ ages 7 and under _were taken into protective custody.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Gov. Kay Ivey says the inability of Congress to fund the federal government, will not have an impact on state services. Ivey joined Alabama's Congressional Republicans to criticize Senate Democrats for the government shutdown, which took effect after the Senate rejected a continuing resolution to keep the federal government operating last Friday. reports Ivey said in a statement Saturday state government will continue as usual, despite the inaction of liberal politicians in Washington.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey is clashing with some lawmakers over a proposal to significantly alter the position of lieutenant governor. Republican Sen. Gerald Dial of Lineville is proposing legislation that would strip the lieutenant governor of any legislative duties so the person no longer presides over the Alabama Senate. Ivey spoke out against the idea in her State of the State.

DOTHAN, Ala. (AP) - A $23 million funding proposal could expand pre-K programs in Alabama. The Dothan Eagle reports that Gov. Kay Ivey is planning boost pre-K spending in the upcoming legislative session to possibly help the program reach rapid expansion. The proposal could be the largest single-year increase since it was created.

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