10:01am

Thu July 17, 2014
WVAS Local

Montgomery Prepares for 50th Anniversary

Major changes are in the works as Montgomery city officials prepare for the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery voting rights march.  At Tuesday's City Council meeting, Mayor Todd Strange said more than a dozen dilapidated houses located on near the voting rights route will be torn down.  Around nine of the 14 dwellings are on Oak and Erskine streets near the St. Jude property.  The demolitions are slated to start within the next 90 days or sooner. 

Life in Prison

A Montgomery man likely will spend the rest of his life in a state prison.  Willie Johnson III learned his fate Wednesday after he was convicted of killing a man last year.  Montgomery County prosecutors said Johnson was sentenced to life in prison without parole in connection with the May 2013 shooting death of 24-year-old Courtney Lawery at a residence on Early Street in west Montgomery.  Authorities said the fatal shooting stemmed from a gambling dispute. 

Photo IDs

The secretary of state's office is getting ready to hit the road again to make free photo IDs for voters who don't have any other type of photo ID to show at the polls.  Secretary of State Jim Bennett says his office' mobile ID unit made 93 stops before the primary election and runoff.  The unit returns to the road July 22nd in Red Bay.  Other stops include Union Springs and Midway on August 22nd, LaFayette on September 15th and Dixons Mill on September 16th.  More stops are planned before the tour wraps up October 8th in Montgomery. 

State Tourism Awards

The USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile will be recognized as Alabama's Attraction of the Year during the Governor's Annual Conference on Tourism this weekend in Auburn.  The battleship park will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year.  Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange will received the Government Advocate award for his leadership in the redevelopment of downtown Montgomery and for preparing for the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery voting rights march next year.  The tourism conference will be held Saturday through Tuesday in Auburn.