WVAS Local

Small Business Week in Montgomery

May 2, 2016

Tools to aid small business owners are the focus of Small Business Week in Montgomery.  All this week activities are taking place designed to help local business owners increase and serve their customers.  Start-up small business owner Boyd Stephens will conduct several  of the workshops.  This year's theme is "Dream Big, Start Small."  For more information on Small Business Week activities in the region contact the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce.  

Lawmakers return to Montgomery on Tuesday for the final two days of the 2016 legislative session.  Legislators have a number of high-profile bills left to consider before sine die, but may noteworthy bills have already met the chopping block.  Though Gov. Robert Bentley in March said he though Alabama voters would overwhelmingly approve a state lottery if given the chance, a variety of lottery and gambling legislation failed to gain traction during the 2016 session. A proposal to raise the state's gasoline tax to pay for road and bridge construction failed to make it out of the House.

MPD Arrests Six for Contraband

May 2, 2016

The Montgomery Police Department announced six arrests on federal charges related to the attempted delivery of contraband in to the Montgomery City Jail.  The indictment resulted from an investigation conducted by the United States Marshals Service.  U.S. Marshal Danta Gordon says cell phones have become popular in jails.  This case was investigated by the United Sates Marshals Service and the Montgomery Police Department.  Assistant United States Attorney's Curtis Ivy and Rand Neely are prosecuting the case.  

Voting on State Official Cake

Apr 29, 2016

Alabama has an official state bird, nut, fruit and even crustacean.  The state might soon have an official state cake, a lane cake.  The House of Representatives voted Thursday night to name lane cake as the official state cake.  The bill now goes to Gov. Robert Bentley for his signature.  The layered confection made with pecans, flaked coconut and sometimes a splash of bourbon is said to have been invented by a woman from Clayton.  Sen. Beasley of Clayton has been on a multi-year quest to add the dessert to the long list of state emblems.

Montgomery Homicide Investigation

Apr 29, 2016

A shooting death from Wednesday in Montgomery is now being handled as a homicide.  Police say 24-year-old Jordan Wilson of Montgomery was found with a gunshot wound in the 3200 block of Virginia Pines Lane at around 10:30 Wednesday night.  He was taken to a local hospital where he died the next day.  The circumstances surrounding the shooting remain under investigation, and no arrests have been made.  Police ask that anyone with information on this murder to call CrimeStoppers at 215-STOP, the Secret Witness line at 262-4000, or the Montgomery Police Department at 625-2831.  

Debate Continues on Prison Construction Proposal

Apr 29, 2016

The House of Representatives is in lengthy debate on Gov. Robert Bentley's $800 million prison construction proposal.  Lawmakers discussed the legislation for more than four hours Thursday.  Some lawmakers said the building project would solve safety and financial problems in the state prisons, while opposed lawmakers suggested it might compound them.  Bentley is seeking to borrow $800 to build three new mega prisons for men, that will house up to 4,000 inmates each and one new prison for women.  Most existing prisons would be closed.  Rep.

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore says a judicial ethics panel should dismiss complaints against him that were filed against him as he fought to keep gays and lesbians from marrying in the state.  Moore in January told probate judges that a state court order remained in effect telling judges to refuse marriage licenses to gay couples.  

Health Department Reports a Rise in Syphilis Cases

Apr 28, 2016

Officials with the Alabama Department of Public Health say syphilis is on the rise in the state.  According to the department there were 532 cases reported in 2015.  ADPH Sexually Transmitted Disease Director Anthony Merriweather says most of the cases involve men who have sex with men.  Merriweather says syphilis can be treated and cured.  

House Committee Approves Compromise Bill

Apr 28, 2016

The House budget committee has approved a compromise bill dividing state settlement money from the BP oil spill, using the money to pay off state debts and pay for road projects in costal counties.  The proposal would also help close most of the gap in next year's Medicaid budget.  Much of the money, nearly $450 million, would pay back money borrowed during past budget shortfalls.  An estimated $191 million would go for road projects at the coast.  Budget chairman Steve Clouse says it is a fair compromise that keeps the focus on repaying debts.

Second-Trimester Bill

Apr 27, 2016

A bill to prohibit a commonly used second-trimester abortion procedure has advanced in the Alabama Legislature.  The legislation would prohibit a procedure called dilation and evacuation, or "D&E."  The bill would allow the procedure in the event of a "serious health risk to the mother."  The bill's supporters describe the procedure as "heinous" and "barbaric."  Democratic Sen. Rodger Smitherman says he doesn't support the procedure but believes the "root" of the issue is a personal choice.  Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed a similar bill into law earlier this month.