Tri-State News: Bear Bryant Remembered 30 Years After His Death

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) -- Former players and assistant coaches are remembering Paul "Bear" Bryant on the 30th anniversary of his death.
Bryant led the University of Alabama's football program to 323 wins and six national championships before his death on Jan. 26, 1983. The legendary coach's name has been invoked often as the Crimson Tide again won a national title this month under coach Nick Saban.
The Tuscaloosa News reports Steadman Shealy, the quarterback for Bryant's national championship team in 1979, said Bryant taught him lessons that he's used beyond the football field and have helped him be a better husband and father.
Gene Stallings, an assistant coach under Bryant, says that Bryant was successful because he was a master at motivating his players.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- Gov. Robert Bentley says it's unlikely teachers and state employees will get pay raises in this year's budgets. Any raises would have to come mostly out of the cash-strapped General Fund budget. The State Employees Association notes that rank-and-file employees haven't gotten a raise since 2008.

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- A 13-year-old boy faces charges after Orange County authorities say he pointed a laser at a sheriff's office helicopter.
A sheriff's office statement says the helicopter was struck twice with the laser Friday evening in the Orlando area. The pilot was able to see where the laser was coming from and deputies later found the boy with his parents.
Authorities say charges are being filed against the boy, who was not arrested. His parents were cooperative with deputies.
The sheriff's office statement says this is the second time this week that a laser was pointed at one of their helicopters.

HOBE SOUND, Fla. (AP) -- Visitors to a state park in Hobe Sound will see a prescribed burn this week. Wildlife officials at Atlantic Ridge Preserve State Park planned to burn almost 700 acres of pine flatwoods on Saturday. The burning mimics natural fire cycles to restore healthy forests and reduces the fuel that helps wildfires go out of control.

WAYNESBORO, Ga. (AP) -- Authorities say a 65-year-old man is dead after fire spread through an assisted living home in eastern Georgia.
Insurance and Fire Commissioner Ralph Hudgens says the blaze started at about 4:30 a.m. Saturday at the Twin Oaks Assisted Living Home in Waynesboro. One man inside the home, Charles Atkins, was killed.
Investigators say the home was destroyed but six other people inside escaped the flames without injury.
The cause hasn't been determined. But Hudgens' office says investigators are looking at the possibility that the fire was ignited by a cigarette that wasn't extinguished properly.

ATLANTA (AP) -- Police have not released a motive of a man accused of making his way through two Atlanta-area counties as if he were playing bumper cars, causing 15 wrecks and leaving a dead woman in his wake. Michael Snider of Stone Mountain was released from a hospital and taken to jail.

COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) -- A Columbus man says a neighbor's pit bull escaped its leash and chomped a hole in his 8-year-old son's earlobe. Animal control officers have quarantined the dog for 10 days. If it's free of disease, the pit bull will be returned to its owner.

ATLANTA (AP) -- Friends and family members say an Atlanta woman who writes a raw foods blog has been missing for several days after traveling to Texas. Victoria Moon Erickson was last seen Monday in Houston. Friends say her car, dog and cell phone were found Tuesday.

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- An Athens Army veteran who used a pistol to scare a burglar out of his home says he's seeing an outpouring of support from people offering to help buy him a new door. Mark Sikes was in bed Wednesday when a burglar kicked in his door. He pointed a pistol at the intruder, who fled.