WVAS Local

 A group of black lawmakers will speak out against Donald Trump's pick for attorney general, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, in the second day of Senate confirmation hearings. They include New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, who will take the rare step of testifying against a current Senate colleague. Booker's scheduled testimony underscores Democratic unease with the Alabama Republican, who was rejected for a federal judgeship by the Senate Judiciary Committee three decades ago amid accusations of racial impropriety.

Winter Storm Bearing Down on South

Jan 6, 2017

   Parts of the South are bracing for a winter storm that is targeting the deep south and eastern United States today. A winter storm warning covers eastern Alabama through north Georgia, including Atlanta, and into the Carolinas and part of Virginia. Alabama Governor Robert Bentley issued a state of emergency that will open its emergency operations center this morning and put 300 Alabama National Guard soldiers at the ready to help if needed.

Members of the Montgomery County Board of Education held a work session discussing the potential intervention by the Alabama Department of Education.  No votes were taken at the meeting; instead the a legal advisor presented an overview of the 2013 Intervention Act, discussed changes to the law and answered board members.  A meeting with the state superintendent is scheduled for January 9, 2017.  A leader with Montgomery's school system tells the Montgomery Advertiser that officials there have been told the state is taking control.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says a former state representative, who pleaded guilty to bribing a lobbyist, will no longer work at a state liquor store. Bentley said he told his chief of staff Wednesday to advise the ABC Board that former Rep. Terry Spicer will not be employed. Bentley did not elaborate. Spicer pleaded guilty in 2011 to taking cash and a ski vacation from a lobbyist. The Dothan Eagle reported that Spicer had taken a sales job with the agency.

The National Weather Service says a tornado did not directly kill four people who died Monday in southeast Alabama.  A survey team concludes a tree that crashed through a mobile home near Rehobeth in Houston County, killing four, fell by straight-line winds.  The team concludes winds of 85 mph were related to a nearby tornado, though.  That twister touched down in Geneva County and ended 8 miles later in Houston County, creating a 500-yard-wide damage path.  A second tornado hit Bullock County.  

Authorities have reported a sixth death as the result of strong storms that swept through the South: a woman in Georgia. Albany, Georgia, Fire Chief Ron Rowe said Tuesday that he did not have any details about exactly how the woman was killed. Her identity has not been released. Rowe says the approximately 1-mile-wide "violent" storm happened about 11 p.m. Monday, 30 minutes or so after a tornado warning was issued for the area.

Four people were killed in a mobile home in Rehobeth, Alabama during the storms. A Florida man died in the flooding. 

Members of the NAACP held multiple protests throughout the state against the nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions for the U.S. Attorney General.  In Montgomery, a group gathered outside the city's downtown Federal Courthouse Building. Reverend Rayford Mack, president of the Metro Montgomery Chapter of the NAACP pointed to Sessions' track record on voting rights and race as reasons behind the objection.  Other protests were held in Huntsville, Birmingham, Dothan and Mobile.   

Former Alabama Governor Albert Brewer Dies

Jan 3, 2017

Former Alabama Gov. Albert Brewer has died at the age of 88. Brewer reshaped public education during a fill-in term and then championed constitutional reform as the elder statesman of state politics. Gov. Robert Bentley in a Monday statement about Brewer's death said the state had lost a great leader. Wayne Flynt, a Southern history expert at Auburn University called Brewer "the only governor we had who ever came close to being a 'New South' governor." He assumed the office of governor when Governor Lurleen Wallace died in 1968. Brewer was Lt. Governor at the time. 

Authorities say they found 167 pounds of cocaine, worth an estimated $2.2 million in a hidden compartment of a tractor trailer during a traffic stop in western Alabama.  A local news agency reports the truck was pulled over Dec. 22nd on Interstate 20/59 in Greene County.  An official says the seizure, made by the 17th Judicial Drug Task Force, is the largest in the agency's history.  Authorities said the semi driver was arrested on a charge of cocaine trafficking.  

Arrest Made in November Murder

Dec 16, 2016

   An arrest has been made in a homicide that occurred in November. Montgomery police have charged 23 year old Devin Robinson with capital murder in the death of 27 year old Roderick Bell. Bell was found shot to death in the 41-hundred block of Fitzpatrick Boulevard back on November 17th. He reportedly turned himself in to police. He is being held in the Montgomery County Detention Facility under no bond.