9:47am

Wed January 8, 2014
WVAS Local

Warming Trend

Temperatures dropped to 18 degrees in Montgomery before dawn but are expected to climb above freezing later in the day.  The slow warm-up expected across Alabama today comes after two days of below-freezing temperatures in the state.  Lows early this morning ranged from 15 degrees in Birmingham; 12 degrees in Gadsden to 20 degrees in Mobile.  The National Weather Service has called for a high of 45 degrees today as part of a warming trend that includes a projected high of 65 degrees in Montgomery on Saturday. 

Montgomery City Council

The Montgomery City Council met last night and voted to revoke the business license of the Centennial Hill Bar and Grill on Highland Avenue.  The City Council acted after three people were slain and five others injured in a December 28th shooting.  Also, the bar's owner can no longer operate a business in Montgomery.  City Councilman C.C. Calhoun would unanimous approval for a proposed city law that would ban anyone younger than 21 from entering a bar, club or lounge.  Mayor Todd Strange said the ordinance would be impossible to enforce and he is considering a veto.

Wanted Man

Federal Marshals believe a Michigan man wanted on a murder charge in Detroit is hiding in the Montgomery area.  The Marshals Service is asking for help in locating 22-year-old Damian Martez Jones.  He is accused of using an AK-47 assault rifle to kill a person on October 4th.  Authorities said Jones attended elementary and high school in Montgomery.  U.S. Marshals said Jones, a black male, has been hiding in the Montgomery area for the past two months.  Tips on Jones' whereabouts could lead to a cash reward.  The CrimeStoppers number is 215-STOP. 

Deadly House Fire

Authorities say a Tallassee man has died from severe burns he received in a house fire Monday afternoon.  65-year-old Ben Fritz was critically injured when his house on Adams Street in east Tallassee went up in flames Monday afternoon.  Fritz died at UAB Medical Center in Birmingham.  The state Fire Marshal's office said the fire was caused by a space heater.  It was Tallassee's first fire fatality in 20 years. 

Voter Registration

Voting rights groups and Alabama election officials have reached an agreement to make sure people applying for social services receive voter registration material.  The NAACP and others announced the agreement Monday.  It calls for the state to proactively offer voter registration services to people when they apply for, renew or submit a change of address to the state Medicaid Agency or state Department of Human Resources.  Secretary of State Jim Bennett said the agreement avoids what could have been costly litigation.