WVAS Local

Hubbard's Trial Begins This Week

May 23, 2016

The speaker of Alabama's House goes on trial this week facing a barrage of ethics charges. House Speaker Mike Hubbard faces 23 felony ethics charges stemming from accusations that he used his posts as speaker and state GOP party chairman to steer business to his companies. Hubbard has maintained his innocence. Opening statements are expected Tuesday.

Freedom Rides 55th Anniversary

May 20, 2016

This weekend marks the 55th anniversary of the Freedom Rides that led to the end of segregation in interstate travel in the U.S.  On May 20, 1961 a group of Freedom Riders were beaten by a mob as they exited a bus in Montgomery.  That bus station is now a museum chronicling the events of the Freedom Rides.  Museum director Dorothy Walker says most people don't realize how young most of the riders were.  A special ceremony is being held at the museum today.  WVAS News will be in attendance.  

Pell City Girl Collapes at School

May 20, 2016

Authorities say a 12-year-old girl has died after collapsing at a school in Pell City.  Pell City police spokesman Don Newtwon tells Al.com the girl was participating in field day activities at Williams Intermediate School when she collapsed.  Chief Greg Turley says the girl had been playing tug-of-war when she fell to the ground.  Newton says nurses began CPR and officials called 911, but the girl was later pronounced dead.  The girl's cause of death is unclear.  

Staff Signs Non-disclosure Agreements

May 20, 2016

Governor Robert Bentley took time at an event in Montgomery Thursday to answer several questions revolving around a sexually charged scandal stemming from his relationship with a former top advisor.  The governor has faced allegations of a cover-up, with many of his staff being asked to sign non-disclosure agreements.  Bentley says that wasn't a policy he instituted.  The governor denied accusations that he used disposable cell phones as a means to hide his alleged relationship with Rebecca Mason.  Both parties have claimed there was no physical affair.  

Corrections Officer Faces Felony Ethics Charge

May 18, 2016

An Alabama corrections officer is facing a felony ethics charge after officials say he accepted money from undercover officers in exchange for promoting illegal contraband inside a state prison.  Court records show 30-year-old Rayshawn Blackmon was arrested last week.  Authorities say Blackmon unknowingly made contact with undercover officers after a Kilby Correctional Facility inmate told him to pick up $1,000 from a friend.  According to court records, Blackmon was arrested at a Montgomery Wal-Mart, where he had arranged to meet the undercover officers to pick up the money.  

MPD Fallen Officers Honored at Memorial Service

May 18, 2016

The Montgomery Police Department honored the names of 28 fallen officers at its annual Memorial Day Service.  Family and friends were asked to stand as the names of their loved ones were read aloud.  Guest speakers included Mayor Todd Strange, Public Safety Director Murphy and MPD Police Chief Ernest Finley.  

Jury Selection Set for Hubbard's Ethics Trial

May 18, 2016

A jury has been set in the ethics trial of Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard following a three-day selection process.  The jury of 12 with four alternates, is made up of nine men and seven women.  Four of the men and three of the women are white, while five of the men and four of the women are black.  Hubbard was indicted in October 2014 on 23 felony ethics charges.  After a lengthy legal battle by the defense to have the case dismissed, the trial is scheduled to start next week.  

Locked Out: Education, Jobs & Justice Report

May 17, 2016

African-Americans are doing about the same as they have in previous years at the nation rises out of the Great Recession, and much better than they did when the National Urban League issued its first "State of Black America" report 40 years ago.  The National Urban League's newest report, called "Locked Out: Education, Jobs & Justice," looks at how blacks and Hispanics are faring today and how they were doing in 1976.  The National Urban League has been issuing its annual study each year since then.

ALDOT Prepares for Hurricane Season

May 17, 2016

The Alabama Department of Transportation is getting ready for the beginning of hurricane season.  Workers will conduct a drill to practice reversing the traffic flow on Interstate 65 in south Alabama on Wednesday.  Traffic won't be affected, and drivers will stay in their normal lanes.  But workers will do a dress rehearsal of the actions needed to make the southbound lanes flow northward.  That's what could happen if a coastal evacuation is needed because of a hurricane threat.  The drill will be conducted on I-65 between Mobile and Montgomery.  Hurricane season begins June first.  

Toddler Beating Death Charges

May 17, 2016

A mother and her boyfriend have pleaded not guilty to capital murder charges in the beating death of the woman's 3-year-old daughter.  Birmingham authorities report that Misty Lynn Wright and Johnathan Wayne Talley appeared in court Monday to enter their pleas and set separate trial dates.  Talley's trial is set to begin Oct. 31st.  Wright's trial is set for Nov. 14.  Both are being held without bond.  The capital charges for Jettie Adams' death were announced in August.  Police say the child suffered severe injuries that are consistent with repeated blows to the head, chest and abdomen.