WVAS Local News

Oct 22, 2012

There are 11 constitutional amendments on the November ballot. 

None are more controversial than Amendment 4.  Supporters contend it only removes segregation-era language from the Alabama Constitution.   But, the Alabama Education Association, the New South Alliance and the Alabama Democratic Conference have argued that Amendment 4 would impact school funding and end the right to an education. 

Prescription Drugs

A new program of the National Governors Association aimed at stopping prescription drug abuse is meeting in Montgomery.  Governor Robert Bentley is co-chairman of the NGA's Prescription Drug Abuse Reduction Policy Academy, and he will address its opening session today at the Renaissance Hotel in Montgomery.  The academy is spending a year looking at how to reduce prescription drug abuse in Alabama and six other states.

Ramp Closure

The State Highway Department said workers will close the entrance ramp to Interstate 85 at Exit 16 in Waugh tonight.  Weather permitting, DOT said crews will close the exit ramp from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. to build temporary barrier rails for future widening of Interstate 85.  The project is part of the ongoing Montgomery Outer Loop roadway from I-85 to Vaughn Road.

GOP Donation

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians gave $100,000 dollars to a national Republican organization the same day that organization donated $100,000 dollars to a group helping former Governor Bob Riley fight gambling in Alabama.  The Montgomery Advertiser reported that the Republican State Leadership Committee shared the news of the contribution to Citizens for a Better Alabama with a letter addressed to Riley's son, Rob Riley.  The letter is dated the same day as the contribution, June 10th, 2010.  A tribal spokesman said the donation to the GOP group was to help with various elections.

At-Home Births

Mothers and midwives are asking Alabama officials to legalize at-home births when they are attended by certified midwives.  The Alabama Birth Coalition held a march over the weekend in Huntsville to raise awareness about the issue. Coalition President Hannah Ellis said state law now allows women to give birth at home.  But it makes it illegal for a midwife or other assistant to be present.  That law is intended to encourage women to give birth at hospitals.

ASU Mural

A new civil rights mural was unveiled Sunday afternoon at Alabama State University.  The mural highlights Montgomery's contribution to the civil rights movement.  Nationally acclaimed artist and mural designer Vincent Morgan presented and spoke about the mural during a dedication ceremony at ASU's National Center for the Study of Civil Rights and African-American Culture. 

College Debt

A study shows that 44 percent of Alabama's college graduating class of 2011 finished with debt and the average amount was more than $25,000 dollars.  Al.com reports the Alabama figure was below the national average of $26,600 dollars.  The study by the Project on Student Debt found that the most indebted Alabama students graduated from Alabama A&M.  At Auburn University, 47 percent of the graduates had debt.  At the University of Alabama, 42 percent of the graduates had debt.