Heart Problem Linked to Teen's Death

May 27, 2016

A coroner says a 13-year-old who collapsed at her school's field day died of a heart problem.  St. Clair County Coroner Dennis Russell says natural causes are to blame for the death of Maddison Wentworth of Pell City.  The sixth grader was playing tug-of-war with other students during field day at Williams Intermediate School when she collapsed on May 19th.  School nurses and paramedics tried to revive the girl, but she was later pronounced dead at a hospital.  

First Week of Ethics Trial Wraps Up

May 27, 2016

The first week of the felony ethics trial of Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard wraps up today.  Prosecutors expect to call as many as nine witnesses on this day.  The testimony is expected to relate to Hubbard's consulting contract with a gas utility in southeast Alabama.  Yesterday State Medicaid officials said they opposed Medicaid language temporarily inserted in the 2013 budget that could have benefited a client of House Speaker Mike Hubbard.

Deadly Traffic Accident in Autauga County

May 27, 2016

One man was killed in a traffic accident in Autauga County yesterday.  State Troopers say the single-vehicle wreck happened on County Road 83, about two miles east of Burnsville.  They say a tractor trailer rig left the roadway and overturned, killing the driver.  He's been identified as 41-year-old Chuckie Wayne Smith of Randolph.  Troopers report that Smith was not using a seat belt and was partially ejected.  The crash apparently occurred just before 1 p.m.  Authorities have not said what caused the driver to lose control of the vehicle.  

Memorial Day Weekend Events

May 27, 2016

The Memorial Day Weekend will be marked by several events in the river region.  First off, the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System will host its Memorial Day program at 11 o'clock today at the Perry Hill Road campus.  At that same time, the city of Montgomery is unveiling a monument to the Korean War.  The new monument is being dedicated at the World War II park downtown at the corner of Washington and Lee streets.  Maxwell Air Force Base is holding two events.  Saturday a carpool will depart the 42nd Air Base Wing headquarters for the Alabama National Cemetery in Montevallo.

The speaker of Alabama's House goes on trial this week facing a barrage of ethics charges. House Speaker Mike Hubbard faces 23 felony ethics charges stemming from accusations that he used his posts as speaker and state GOP party chairman to steer business to his companies. Hubbard has maintained his innocence. Opening statements are expected Tuesday.

Freedom Rides 55th Anniversary

May 20, 2016

This weekend marks the 55th anniversary of the Freedom Rides that led to the end of segregation in interstate travel in the U.S.  On May 20, 1961 a group of Freedom Riders were beaten by a mob as they exited a bus in Montgomery.  That bus station is now a museum chronicling the events of the Freedom Rides.  Museum director Dorothy Walker says most people don't realize how young most of the riders were.  A special ceremony is being held at the museum today.  WVAS News will be in attendance.  

Pell City Girl Collapes at School

May 20, 2016

Authorities say a 12-year-old girl has died after collapsing at a school in Pell City.  Pell City police spokesman Don Newtwon tells the girl was participating in field day activities at Williams Intermediate School when she collapsed.  Chief Greg Turley says the girl had been playing tug-of-war when she fell to the ground.  Newton says nurses began CPR and officials called 911, but the girl was later pronounced dead.  The girl's cause of death is unclear.  

Staff Signs Non-disclosure Agreements

May 20, 2016

Governor Robert Bentley took time at an event in Montgomery Thursday to answer several questions revolving around a sexually charged scandal stemming from his relationship with a former top advisor.  The governor has faced allegations of a cover-up, with many of his staff being asked to sign non-disclosure agreements.  Bentley says that wasn't a policy he instituted.  The governor denied accusations that he used disposable cell phones as a means to hide his alleged relationship with Rebecca Mason.  Both parties have claimed there was no physical affair.  

The Nina Simone Documentary is coming to Montgomery!

May 19, 2016

WVAS presents the “Amazing” Nina Simone, a documentary film from writer and director Jeff Lieberman. Coming for one night only at the Capri Theater located at 1045 East Fairview avenue in Montgomery, this event will be held on June 11th.  Join WVAS for a reception beginning at 3 pm; showtime is 4 pm.  This documentary tells the story of the singer, songwriter, pianist and activist through over 50 exclusive and intimate interviews with the people who knew and loved Nina Simone.

Corrections Officer Faces Felony Ethics Charge

May 18, 2016

An Alabama corrections officer is facing a felony ethics charge after officials say he accepted money from undercover officers in exchange for promoting illegal contraband inside a state prison.  Court records show 30-year-old Rayshawn Blackmon was arrested last week.  Authorities say Blackmon unknowingly made contact with undercover officers after a Kilby Correctional Facility inmate told him to pick up $1,000 from a friend.  According to court records, Blackmon was arrested at a Montgomery Wal-Mart, where he had arranged to meet the undercover officers to pick up the money.