11:35am

Mon April 21, 2014
WVAS Local

Attempted Murder Charges

Two men are facing attempted murder charges after a State Trooper was wounded in a shootout late Saturday afternoon in southeast Alabama.  The gunfire erupted after the men were stopped for a traffic violation on County Road 57 in Geneva County.  23-year-old Zachary Wood of Glenwood and 21-year-old Dillon Rafsky of Enterprise are accused of shooting at Trooper Lee Phillips who was wounded.  He was treated for non-life threatening wounds and was released from a Dothan hospital.  The two suspects also were treated for gunshot wounds and were later charged with attempted murder and taken to the Geneva County Jail.  Wood and Rafsky have also been linked to the shooting death of a farmer in Washington County, Florida. 

Unemployment Rising

Alabama's unemployment rate is rising.  The state Department of Labor says Alabama's March unemployment rate is 6.7 percent, which is three-tenths of a percent higher than the February rate.  The state Labor Commissioner, Tom Surtees, says the unemployment rate is up because of the growth in the labor force.  Wilcox County has the state's highest jobless rate at 16.4 percent, Perry County is next at 13.2 percent.  Shelby County recorded the lowest jobless rate at 4.8 percent. 

Casinos Reopen

Some of Greene County's bingo parlors have reopened following a raid by state authorities earlier this month.  Greene County Sheriff Joe Benison said the businesses can resume operations.  Attorney General Luther Strange did not have any immediate comment.  Greenetrack President Nat Winn said a rally is planned in Tuscaloosa on April 26th to bring attention to the dispute over electronic bingo. 

Truck Driver Killed

Authorities say a truck driver from Montgomery who was walking alongside a road in Macon, Georgia, was killed after two vehicles collided in the street, and one of the vehicles struck him.  The Bibb County, Georgia coroner identified the man hit Saturday afternoon as 43-year-old Kenneth Alan Craig of Montgomery. 

Siegleman's Case

A federal appeals court in Atlanta has tentatively scheduled oral arguments this summer in former Governor Don Siegelman's effort to overturn his conviction in a government corruption case.  The appellate court said arguments would be heard the week of July 28th.  A federal jury in 2006 convicted Siegelman and former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy on bribery and other charges.  The former Democratic governor is incarcerated in Louisiana and has an estimated release date of summer 2017.