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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December 9,2008 – The Montgomery County Commission is cutting its projected spending for 2009 by 10 percent and putting a hiring freeze in place. This after recording a 9 percent decline in sales tax collections for November.


Officials say no dangerous substance was found in a suspicious letter mailed to Alabama's Capitol Monday. The letter was addressed to Governor bob Riley. Similar letters were mailed around the country to five other governors.

December 8,2008 – Alabama's Senators are speaking out against the proposed government bailout of the "Big Three" U.S. automakers. Senator Richard Shelby of Tuscaloosa says even though the bailout was trimmed down from 34 billion dollars to 15 billion dollars, it's not a good plan. Shelby calls it the "bridge loan to nowhere". Senator Jeff Sessions of Mobile says it might be better for automakers to pursue Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

December 5,2008 – Governor bob Riley says he will make a decision, soon, about whether to declare proration in the state's education budget. Doing so would allow state officials to dip into a "rainy day" fund to help balance the budget. Meanwhile, state representative John Knight Chairs the House Appropriations Committee, and he is concerned about shortfalls int he general fund budget,too.

December 4,2008 – The capital murder trial of Montgomery resident Brent Springford continues today. Springford plead guilty last month in the murder of his parents, but because he faces capital murder charges, a jury must hear the case. Springford is accused of beating to death and slashing the throats of Winston and Charlotte Springford.

Montgomery, Alabama – So you decided to go shopping,while criminals are shopping for you.

December 3,2008 – Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb was the guest presenter at the Bridge Builder's Lecture Series hosted by the Alabama State University Center for Leadership and Public Policy. The event was free and open to the public.

December 3,2008 – Some of the stories making headlines this hour in the WVAS newsroom:

Governor Bob Riley, back from a meeting with President-elect Barack Obama, says he finds Obama to be engaging and genuinely concerned about how the economic downturn is impacting state governments.

December 2,2008 – Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford, Montgomery businessman William Blount, and lobbyist Al LaPierre are all out on bond today after being arrested Monday on federal charges. Prosecutors allege Langford, while serving as President of the Jefferson County Commission, accepted 230,000 dollars in a series of bribes from Blount. Allegedly, some of the money was funneled thought LaPierre. Attorneys for the accused maintain their innocence.

December 1,2008 –
On this date, December1,1955, a Black Montgomery seamstress, Mrs. Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a White man. Four days later, on December 5th, the Montgomery Improvement Association was formed and elected 26 year old Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. to serve as its president and spokesman. MIA led the city on a 381 day standoff with the City of Montgomery over its segregated public bus system.

December 1,2008 – Calls by WVAS News to the Birmingham attorney representing Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford are being met with no comment. Attorney Thomas Baddley is expected to release a written statement later today concerning Mayor Langford's indictment. Langford is charged with bribery, fraud, and other federal charges in connection with multi-million dollar sewer bond deals made while Langford was president of the Jefferson County Commission.

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