WVAS Local News

Mar 4, 2013

Republicans and Democrats are casting blame on each other for the automatic, across-the-board federal spending cuts that kicked in on Friday.  They've pledged to retroactively undo the cuts, but neither party is saying how and when that process would start to take shape.  Republicans insist on no new taxes and Democrats refuse to talk about any bargain without them. 

Freedom Riders

A Georgia congressman says he was moved to tears when the police officer in Montgomery apologized for officers failing to act during an attack on Freedom Riders more than 50 years ago.  Kevin Murphy John Lewis presented with the badge off his uniform during a program at First Baptist Church on Saturday.  Lewis, an Alabama native, is one of the original Freedom Riders.  He and other members of Congress were in Montgomery for the 13th Congressional Civil Rights Pilgrimage to Alabama.  Lewis and Murphy spoke Saturday about the day in 1961 when a white mob beat Freedom Riders.  Chief Murphy said an apology should have been issued a long time ago.   

Move Over Alabama

Alabama drivers would have to move over for garbage trucks, as they currently do for emergency vehicles, under legislation being considered in the Legislature.  A bill by Republican Rep. Mac McCutcheon of Capshaw called "Move Over Alabama" is expected to be considered by a House Committee Wednesday. 

Abortion Clinics

A state Senate committee is scheduled to vote this week on a bill that would establish tighter regulations for abortion clinics.  The Senate Health Committee heard public comments on the bill last week and set a vote for Wednesday.  The bill has already cleared the House.  Under the legislation, doctors who perform abortions would be required to have admitting privileges at local hospitals.  The bill would also require clinics to make major building modifications.  Opponents says that may cause clinics to close. 

Liquor License Granted

The VictoryLand casino in Shorter has won its bid for an expanded liquor license.  The Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board says it could not conclude that specific gaming and machines at VictoryLand are illegal.  The panel says that question would be up to the courts to decide.  Attorney General Luther Strange believes the ABC decision is moot following a state Supreme Court ruling that the machines don't resemble the game of bingo.  Strange's office seized more than 1,600 machines last month in a raid that closed VictoryLand.  A casino attorney said the ABC decision bolstered what a local judge and the Court of Criminal Appeals had already ruled, that the machines were in fact legal.