WVAS Local News

Jul 30, 2013

Montgomery Police have made an arrest in connection with Monday's shooting death of a 32-year-old man.  Authorities said Earnest Belser died from multiple gunshot wounds the victim was found in a motel room on Norman Bridge Road just after 5 p.m. Monday.  Arrested was 26-year-old Amendo Smith of Montgomery.  He turned himself into police detectives early Tuesday morning.  Amendo was charged with capital murder and was placed in the county jail under no bond.  Montgomery police said Monday's fatal shooting stemmed from an ongoing feud over a drug debt of $20 dollars.  Belser's death is the city's 33rd murder of 2013. 

Gun Law

Beginning Thursday, Alabamians with gun permits to carry concealed pistols may keep them locked in their vehicles while at work even if their employer opposed it in the past.  That's part of Alabama's new Gun Law.  The gun bill's sponsor, State Senator Scott Beason of Jefferson County said he doesn't expect much difference than what people are doing already.  An opponent of the new law, Democrat Barbara Boyd of Anniston said she's concerned it may lead to more incidents like the Trayvon Martin shooting. 

New Prison

The new federal prison in west Alabama will house female inmates  mostly from Northeastern and mid-Atlantic states.  Al.com reports the Federal Bureau of Prisons plans to begin relocating female convicts house in Danbury, Connecticut to the federal lockup in Aliceville.  The prison, located in Pickens County, has 1,800 beds.  The facility will begin receiving female inmates as early as next month. 

Black Belt

An ongoing effort to designate the Alabama Black Belt as a National Heritage Area will be considered this week in Congress.  The legislation is sponsored by Republican Senator Richard Shelby and Democratic Representative Terri Sewell.  If approved the designation would formally recognize the area as culturally and historically significant and worthy of preservation and protection.  Dr. Tina Jones is the Executive Director of the Center for the Study of the Black Belt at the University of West Alabama.  She says the soil for which the region is named is a principle factor in the state's bid.  The legislation is one of several bills set to be considered tomorrow by a Senate subcommittee.  If granted, this would be the second National Heritage Area in Alabama, with the Muscle Shoals region being the first.