WVAS Local News
Montgomery's homicide rate continues to climb. Police say a woman was shot to death Tuesday evening. The shooting occurred at the Paterson Court Housing area on Decatur Street. The victim's name and age were not available. Police said no arrests were made. It was the city's 30th homicide this year.
Sixth Graders Vaccination
Alabama health officials say most students entering the sixth grade this year will have to get a vaccination to protect them against whooping cough. The state health department says the Tdap vaccine will be required for students entering the sixth grade who are 11 and older. Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is highly contagious and can be fatal. There were 212 cases of whooping cough in Alabama last year. During the first six months of this year, 73 cases have been reported.
Alleged Prison Abuse
Alabama's prisons are again in the spotlight after a Montgomery-based organization released a report that alleged severe physical and sexual abuse of male prisoners by correctional officers. Equal Justice Initiative Executive Directory Bryan Stevenson cites problems at Elmore Correctional facility, Donaldson Correctional Facility and Bibb Correctional facility. Stevenson said the organization spent six months investigating allegations of inmate abuse at the three prisons. Last year, EJI issued a report alleging sexual abuse and harassment of female inmates at Julia Tutwiler Prison in Wetumpka.
Mayor Todd Strange says the city is taking a proactive approach by increasing the number of police patrols in the entertainment district downtown. The additional police presence comes after complaints surfaced that some people are taking advantaged of liberal alcohol policies. The added police patrols in entertainment districts include undercover officers and more bicycle patrol officers.
The American Red Cross needs blood donors. The agency has issued an emergency call for blood because donations were down about 10 percent in June and the first week of July, that translates into about 50,000 fewer donations. A Red Cross official in Alabama said all blood types are needed especially donors with types O negative, B negative and A negative blood. There is also an urgent need for platelet donations, a key clotting component of blood often needed by cancer patients.