6:48pm

Thu June 19, 2014
WVAS Local

Drowning Victim Identified

Authorities in Elmore County have identified the young man who drowned in the Coosa River Wednesday.  They say 15-year-old Shalom Nowden, a 10th grader at Wetumpka High School was apparently overcome by a strong current while swimming in the Corn Creek area.  Witnesses say several other people tried to pull him to safety, but to no avail.  Authorities are calling it an accidental drowning. 

AG Seeks Reconsideration

Attorney General Luther Strange wants an appeals court to reconsider its ruling striking down Alabama's sexual misconduct law.  The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals ruled unanimously that the law is unconstitutional because of a 2003 U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning a Texas law against consensual homosexual conduct.  The attorney general's office conceded the law was not constitutional when applied to consensual sex.  The attorney general wanted the court to leave the law in place for prosecution of nonconsensual sex acts, but the court struck the entire law.  Strange says the law is an important tool to protect homosexual and heterosexual victims from nonconsensual sex, and that's why he says he will ask the court to reconsider its decision. 

Montgomery Judge

The attorney general's staff has told a Montgomery judge that he should step aside from the trial of a major ethics case because the attorney general's office is prosecuting his son on an attempted murder charge.  Circuit Judge Johnny Hardwick said during a court hearing he will seek the advice of the state Judicial Inquiry Commission about whether his continued involvement might create an appearance of bias.  Hardwick also is scheduled to preside over the ethics trial of former state education official Deanne Stone and her husband.  It involves $24 million in grants. 

Taxpayer's Rights

The IRS will be sending out a new Taxpayer Bill of Rights in the next few months to alert citizens of their various rights when dealing with the Internal Revenue Service.  Federal officials have gleaned the rights existing in the tax code and boiled  them down to a list of ten.  IRS spokesman Dan Boone said the goal was to create an easier to understand document.  A full list can be found at IRS.gov.