News

A woman who worked as an officer at the federal prison in Talladega is herself going to prison.  U.S. District Judge Scott Coogler sentenced 31-year-old Stacie Marie Gardner to one month in prison.  Federal prosecutors say the woman pleaded guilty to accepting a bribe to provide an inmate with a cellphone.  A statement from U.S Attorney Joy Vance of Birmingham says Gardner admitted taking nearly $1,500 in January 2015 in exchange for smuggling the phone to an inmate.  The judge ordered Gardner to forfeit that same amount of money to the government.

Suspended Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore has formally defended the gay marriage memo that put his judicial career in peril, saying he was merely trying to answer questions from probate judges that his fellow justices would not address.  Moore could be removed from office if the state's Court of the Judiciary decides he violated judicial ethics by urging probate judges to defy the U.S. Supreme Court.  

Clergy Pray for Montgomery Police Officers

Jul 27, 2016

Local clergy leaders held a prayer service for the Montgomery Police Department on Wednesday.  The service was held outside of MPD police headquarters on North Ripley Street and attended by members of the Montgomery police force, other law enforcement officials and community and church members.  In addition to praying for police officers and their families, there were also prayers for all law enforcement officials, businesses and Montgomery-area communities.  Organizers say they held the service to show support for the men and women who protect and serve local communities.

Governor Calls Special Session for State Lottery

Jul 27, 2016

     Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says he is calling a special legislative session for a state lottery. Bentley's office released a video this morning saying he wants lawmakers to approve legislation that would let voters decide whether to approve a constitutional amendment to allow a lottery. The Republican Bentley says the state has to find a solution to a funding crisis in Medicaid. He says lottery proceeds would go to "essential state services" that aid children, the elderly, the mentally ill and law enforcement. The announcement doesn't include a date for the special session.

Macon County Courthouse Fire Deemed Arson

Jul 27, 2016

   Investigators have determined that the fire at the historic Macon County Courthouse earlier this month was deliberately set. A Tuskegee police officer discovered the blaze in the early morning hours on July 9th. The fire caused heavy damage to the building. The Macon County Sheriff’s Office, the State Fire Marshal’s Office, Tuskegee police and fire departments and the 5th Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office are combining their efforts to find the perpetrators. 

State lawyers have asked a court to set an execution date for an inmate who unsuccessfully challenged Alabama's lethal injection method as unconstitutional.  The Alabama attorney general's office last week asked the Alabama Supreme Court to set an execution date for Thomas Arthur "as soon as possible."  The request comes after a federal judge on July 19th ruled for the state and against Arthur's claims that the state's lethal injection method was unconstitutional.  Arthur has been on death row since 1983 for the contract killing of Muscle Shoals businessman Troy Wicker in 1982.

The Democratic National Convention kicked off its first day in Philadelphia on Monday and First Lady Michelle Obama had delegates at the convention on their feet.  Birmingham District 60 Representative Juandalynn Givan spoke with WVAS News about the convention's atmosphere.  Tuesday night Clinton's husband, former President Bill Clinton will take the stage along with "Mothers of the Movement" a group of black women who have seen their children killed in high-profile incidents involving law enforcement.

General Mills is expanding a flour recall issued over a possible link to an E.coli outbreak after four new illnesses were reported.  The recall announced Monday covers several varieties of Gold Medal and Signature Kitchens flour produced on certain dates through February 10th.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said flour produced at a General Mills plant in Kansas City, Missouri, is a likely source of the outbreak, which so far has sickened 46 people in 21 states.

A Hiring Our Heros job fair is going on today at Garrett Coliseum.  The annual career fair is organized by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation for veterans, service members and their spouses.  The fair is located in the coliseum complex's Teague Arena until 1:30 p.m.  It's a chance for veterans to meet with dozens of local and regional employers.  A workshop to help participants build their resumes and hone their interview skills led off the event.  

A shooting in a vehicle yesterday morning led to an accident on Interstate 85 in Lee County.  Authorities say a woman was shot in the head as she rode in a car with several others.  The suspect apparently jumped from the moving vehicle and fled into nearby woods.  An 18 wheeler somehow struck the vehicle during the incident.  Traffic on the interstate in the Auburn-Opelika area was stymied for hours.  Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones says the unidentified woman died from her injuries.  Police eventually captured the man who fled the scene in a Valley convenience store.

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