RABON PUTS FUNDING FOR START-UP RELIGIOUS COLLEGE IN GOP BUDGET: The provision first surfaced in the conference committee budget and doesn’t appear in the original House or Senate spending plans. Senate Rules Chairman Bill Rabon, R-Brunswick, represents Pender and requested the funding. Mt. Calvary is founded by Jimmy Tate, a former president of Roanoke-Chowan Community College and former Pender County commissioner. The university’s website says its goal is to “ensure the development of a well-prepared religious workforce, equipped to study, research, and enter professions with unshakable Christian principles and foundations.” Tate said the program is open to everyone, regardless of religious affiliation, and it will “let them know what the attributes of Christianity teach as it relates to leadership.” A total of 18 people signed up for the inaugural class in May, but Tate hopes to serve 200 more students by next year.