Melanie Hogan

News Reporter I

Melanie cut her teeth as a work study student working in the areas of news reporting and announcing.  After graduating from Alabama State University, she also worked as a production assistant at the local NBC affiliate, WSFA-TV.  Her professional achievements include News Reporter of the year in 2010 and 2011 by the Alabama Broadcasters Association.  She is a member of Sigma Delta Chi, the Society of Professional Journalists and says her goal is to continually grow as a dynamic journalist. 

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Governor Robert Bentley proposed lottery seems to be moving toward final passage in the Alabama Legislature.  But not without some push back, Senator Quinton Ross from Montgomery says at issue are some of the gaps in the proposed bill.  Among issues with the bill, Democrats are pushing for protection for existing gaming centers.  Legislators could give final approval to the bill Friday.  

The Alabama House of Representatives has narrowly approved Governor Robert Bentley's proposed state lottery.  Thursday night, Representatives voted 64-35 for the bill after 10 hours of contentious debate.  Bentley is seeking the first statewide vote on a lottery since 1999.  He proposed a lottery as a method of providing funds to the state's Medicaid program. Senator Vivian Figures said earlier this week, aside from the lottery issue, her bill would have generated funds for the state's Medicaid program.

The lottery legislation is being debated in the Alabama House of Representatives Thursday. A number of lawmakers are voicing their concern about the measure. The vote could determine if a proposed state lottery goes before voters later this year or if the bill dies in the special session. Alabama would become the 45th state with a lottery if lawmakers and voters approve the idea.

The Montgomery chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers will be hosting its annual Engineering Day also known as "E-Day" this Saturday, August 27th at Oak Park in Montgomery.  The free event will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Pavilion number Four south of the Planetarium.  The event is aimed at increasing minority students participation in exploring careers in science, technology, engineering and math.  Students from Kindergarten through 12th grade are invited to a number of activities including making slime, launching water bottle rockets and testing hoop gliders.

Lottery legislation is heading to a critical vote in the Alabama House of Representatives.  Thursday's vote could determine if a proposed state lottery goes before voters later this year or if the bill dies in the special session.  Secretary of State John Merrill held a press conference Wednesday shedding light on the debate over whether there was still time to get the measure on the November ballot.  Merrill said he is seeking the opinion of the state attorney general.  

An inmate who escaped from a Montgomery facility is back behind bars today.  A local news outlet reports, the Alabama Department of Corrections says 46-year-old Paul Powell fled around 2:45 a.m. Monday and was recaptured in Dothan without incident.  Powell is serving 20 years in prison for property theft; he now faces charges for escape.  

Media outlets report Senator Dick Brewbaker recently resigned from the Senate Republican Caucus.  Al.com reports Brewbakers' resignation was in protest over efforts to expand gambling and over cloture of Republicans by Republican leadership.  Brewbaker says it's not personal but a protest of leadership violating its own rules.  Brewbaker says he does not plan to seek re-election to the Senate in 2018.  

Officials with the Alabama Department of Corrections are searching for an escaped inmate.  Officials say the inmate, 46-year-old Edward Paul Powell, fled from the Red Eagle Work Center around 2:20 a.m.  Powell is described as 5'11'' weighing around 249 pounds with brown eyes and black hair.  Authorities say Powell is serving a 22-year sentence for theft of property.  The public is asked to call local law enforcement, the Red Eagle Work Center or the ADOC with the whereabouts of Powell.  

The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office and The U.S. Army's Partnership for Youth Success or PAYs' program signed an agreement Friday to help provide job interviews for veterans and soldiers preparing to exit the military.  WVAS News spoke with local U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Keyes Metcalf who says the program began in 2000.  Montgomery County Sheriff Derrick Cunningham says he is excited about the opportunity to interview and possibly hire veterans.  During the ceremony, twelve high school and college students took the Oath of Enlistment and were introduced as future U.S. soldiers.  

A local media news outlet is reporting a fatal shooting that occurred late Thursday night in Montgomery.  Montgomery Police say officers responded to the 3400 block of Gilmer Court of a subject shot, there they found an adult male suffering from a life-threatening injury. The man was later pronounced dead at the scene.  Police are continuing to investigate the incident, no arrests have been made.  

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