WVAS Local News

   Alabama Schools Superintendent Michael Sentance provided his response yesterday to an unflattering evaluation from the State Board of Education. Last month all but one board member gave the superintendent low marks for his job performance thus far. Sentance told the board his administration already has a string of accomplishments. Some of the achievements Sentance touted include creating the first office of school improvement, creating a strategic improvement plan and developing plans to better teacher education programs.

   Montgomery Police have arrested two people in connection with a homicide from last year. The fatal shooting happened in the 300 block of Burgwyn Road on November 12 of 2016. That’s where 31 year old Jacurtis Howard was found shot to death. Police have now charged 29 year old Raheem Brown and 20 year John Turner with capital murder in the incident. The two Montgomery men are being held in the Montgomery County Detention Facility without bond. Investigators believe Howard was shot during the course of being robbed. 

Students in the Montgomery Public School system will start a new year Thursday and the MPS Transportation Department says  they are making sure everything is in order before the first routes is taken. WVAS News Reporter Brittney Jones-Dabney spoke with MPS officials regarding bus safety. 

SCHOOL BUS SAFETY: If children ride a bus to school, they should plan to get to their bus stop early and stand back from the curb while waiting for the bus to arrive. Other safety steps include:

An Alabama woman pleaded guilty to fraud charges for portraying herself as a terminal cancer patient in a pair of online fundraising schemes. A statement from acting U.S. Attorney Robert Posey says 37-year-old Jennifer Flynn Cataldo of Shelby County entered her guilty pleas  Tuesday to one count of wire fraud and one count of bank fraud in federal court. Authorities say Cataldo agreed to repay nearly $80,000 to people verified to have given her money. Authorities say Cataldo used online fundraising drives to ask for money for medical expenses and a family trip to Disney World.

Lower voter turnout is expected in next week's U.S. Senate primary for Attorney General Jeff Sessions' old Senate seat. Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill said Monday that he is projecting that 20 percent to 25 percent of voters will go to the polls on Tuesday. Merrill said a typical primary brings turnout of 30-32 percent. The summer special election comes at a time that voters aren't accustomed to going to the polls. The seat is currently held by Republican Sen. Luther Strange who was appointed. Former Chief Justice Roy Moore, Congressman Mo Brooks and state Sen.

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MONTGOMERY, AL – Our top stories this hours from the WVAS newsroom.

Montgomery, Alabama – The Alabama Supreme Court refuses to throw out a lawsuit filed against Governor Bob Riley by the Legislature's Joint Fiscal Committee. The suit was filed back in July because Riley used a line item veto to remove language that the Legislature put into the new General Fund budget that shields some health and social service programs from budget cuts in the face of proration.

Montgomery, Alabama –
The Alabama Supreme Court refuses to throw out a lawsuit filed against Governor Bob Riley by the Legislature's Joint Fiscal Committee. The suit was filed back in July because Riley used a line item veto to remove language that the Legislature put into the new General Fund budget that shields some health and social service programs from budget cuts in the face of proration.

Montgomery, Alabama – Local Economics Professor, Dr. Kevin Deravi, says that the average citizen won't feel relief from recent cut to the key interest rate. The Federal Reserve Tuesday slashed the interest rate to 0.25 percent. Dr. Deravi tells WVAS news that it will take quite some time before the average consumer feels the cut.

December 16,2008 – State officials are beginning work to implement budget cuts. This after Governor Bob Riley announced proration of the Education budget by 12.5 percent and an across the board cut in state government spending, including a hiring freeze. The declaration of proration was the result of lagging sales tax collections.

December 15,2008 – Governor Bob Riley is expected to announce today what cuts the state must make to balance the state Education Budget. The Governor says he is also looking at ways to curb spending by non-education agencies financed but he state General Fund budget.

December 12,2008 – Next week, Governor Bob Riley is expected to officially declare proration and set out the amount of cuts that education will face. Once the Governor officially calls for proration, the move will free up about $437 million dollars from a rainy day fund to shore up the education budget.

December 11,2008 – Retiring Alabama Congressman Bud Cramer was the only member of Alabama's 7-member House delegation to vote in favor of the $14 billion dollar loan package for the auto industry. Meanwhile, Alabama Senator Richard Shelby,a ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee continues to speak against the plan.

December 10,2008 – Severe weather threatens much of Central and South Alabama today prompting the National Weather Service to issue a Tornado Watch for the following counties: Autauga, Montgomery, Elmore, Bullock, Barbour,Coosa, Lowndes, Chambers, Lee, Macon, Russell Tallapoosa, Cleburne, Randolph, and Pike counties. This Tornado Watch continues through 2 o'clock this afternoon. Following this severe weather, there is the possibility of frozen precipitation in North Alabama tomorrow.

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