WVAS Local News

Alabama Unemployment Rate Drops in July

Aug 18, 2017

 Alabama's unemployment rate has fallen to 4.5 percent. A news release from the state says the jobless rate dipped one-tenth of a percent in July from June. That puts the current rate well below the unemployment rate of one year ago, when it was 5.8 percent. Alabama's jobless rate remains worse than the national rate, which has fallen to a 16-year low of 4.3 percent. But a statement from Gov. Kay Ivey says there are fewer unemployed people in Alabama than there have been in a decade. The July rate represents about 96,251 unemployed persons in Alabama, down from 100,187 in June.

The city of Birmingham and its mayor are being sued by Alabama's attorney general for obscuring a Confederate monument in a downtown park. Steve Marshall, in a statement, said "The city of Birmingham does not have the right to violate a new law protecting such markers and leaves my office with no choice but to file suit." Legislators passed a law earlier this year prohibiting the removal of historical structures including rebel memorials. Birmingham Mayor William Bell had ordered the city's 52-foot-tall Confederate obelisk in Linn Park Memorial covered with wooden panels.

Hyles Files: Not Listening

Aug 16, 2017

Strange and Moore Headed to September Runoff

Aug 16, 2017

Sen. Luther Strange and former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore are headed to a Republican primary runoff to fill the U.S. Senate seat previously held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The two men, who represent different factions within the Alabama Republican Party, will face off in a Sept. 26 runoff. Strange was appointed to the Senate seat in February by then governor Robert Bentley. He was unable to escape a runoff despite being buoyed by an endorsement by President Donald Trump. Moore harnessed his support among evangelical voters to secure a spot in the runoff.

Polls have opened across Alabama as voters cast ballots in party primary elections for the U.S. Senate seat previously held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Republican Sen. Luther Strange, who was appointed to fill the post temporarily, is seeking to fight off challengers that include former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore and U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks. President Donald Trump has endorsed Strange and recorded automatic phone calls on his behalf. Brooks has criticized Strange's backing by a super political action committee tied to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

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NPR's music critic Ann powers takes us on a historical journey in her new book, illustrating America's fascination with sex and rhythms and how these two passions often combine to create unforgettable moments.

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At least seven people were wounded by a man with a knife who went on a stabbing rampage in the northern Russian city of Surgut.

No one was killed in the attack in the central Siberian city, but four people were in serious condition, according to state-run Tass news agency, which cited a regional health official.

Islamic State says the man — shot dead by police — was a "soldier" of the extremist group. However, Russian authorities say psychiatric information on the assailant is being sought, suggesting they believe the claim by ISIS may be opportunistic.

President Trump will skip the annual Kennedy Center Honors this year to allow the "artists to celebrate without any political distraction," the White House said Saturday.

Three of the five artists set to be honored had either expressed a specific intent to boycott the traditional White House reception before the event or were said to be considering it.

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