WVAS Local News

Feb 25, 2013

Organizers of Selma's annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee say Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, will participate in this weekend's events.  State Senator Hank Sanders of Selma said the Bidens will attend a unity brunch and participate in the annual crossing of the Edmund Pettus Bridge on Sunday, March 3rd.  The Bridge Crossing Jubilee celebrates the Selma to Montgomery voting rights march that led to passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. 

VictoryLand Raid

The state attorney general's office used a century-old gambling case to get a rare, but not unprecedented, search warrant to raid VictoryLand casino in Shorter last Tuesday.  Macon County Circuit Judge Tom Young initially refused to give the attorney general a search warrant.  Attorney General Luther Strange appealed to the Alabama Supreme Court.  He cited an 1899 case where a justice of the peace denied an arrest warrant based on an incorrect interpretation of the law, and the Supreme Court ordered it issued.  The state Supreme Court unsealed the records involving the search warrant after the raid was completed. 

Voting Rights Act

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hear arguments Wednesday on the Voting Rights Act, which is meant to attack persistent discrimination at the polls.  The Shelby County Commission is challenging Section 5 which attorney Frank Butch Ellis, who is representing the Alabama county, said is placing a burden on local officials across the South.  The Obama Administration and civil rights groups are defending the law. 

Largest Donation

A small college in Selma says it has received its largest financial donation ever.  Concordia College says it has received a commitment of $5 million dollars from the Marion Breen Charitable Foundation, which is based in St. Louis.  School officials say the money will go to new academic programs, capital projects, scholarships and other campus priorities.  Concordia is the nation's only historically black Lutheran college.