WVAS Local

Marshals Warn of Jury Duty Scam

Apr 26, 2017

   The U-S Marshals Service for the Middle District of Alabama has issued a reminder about an ongoing jury-duty phone scam. People are warned to be vigilant against scammers posing as a U-S Marshal, Deputy Marshal or other law enforcement officials. The scheme basically involves someone posing as a law enforcement representative calling people to advise that they have missed federal jury duty. The scammer then says arrest can be avoided by paying a fine immediately. At that point information is provided on how the fine can be paid.

Alabama Beginning to Dry Out Again

Apr 25, 2017

   Last fall a major drought affected much of Alabama for several months before enough rain fell to alleviate the dry conditions. Unfortunately the state seems to be on a path to parched acreage once again. According to the most recent U-S Drought Monitor, more than 93 percent of the state is considered abnormally dry. Of that percentage, almost 43 percent is classified as being in moderate drought. So far, only 2.6 percent meets the criteria for severe drought. The monitor also estimates that Alabama has received about half the rain it normally does over the last 30 days.

Crime victims are calling for personal information such as addresses and telephone numbers to be removed from Alabama's court records website. They say that information should remain private in order to keep them safe from their perpetrators. A review of Alacourt.com by The Associated Press found the full names, home addresses, telephone numbers and other information of rape victims as well as children who have been molested.

Officer-Involved Shooting in Macon County

Apr 20, 2017

An officer was involved in a shooting in Macon County yesterday. A release from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency indicates that a Macon County Sheriff’s Department official fired a weapon at a suspect on U-S Highway 80 near Tuskegee. It happened not far from the Brownsville Community. The circumstances of the shooting were not given. Authorities say the suspect was taken to Columbus Medical Center with gunshot wounds, but the extent of those injuries wasn’t disclosed. The State Bureau of Investigation is handling the case.

 Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore lost his effort to regain his job today as the Alabama Supreme Court upheld his suspension for urging defiance of the federal courts' landmark rulings allowing gays and lesbians to marry. Moore's fate was in the hands of specially appointed judges who were selected at random after his colleagues on the state's highest court recused themselves, and these judges upheld both the findings that Moore violated judicial ethics with his actions and his suspension for the remainder of his term.

   The recent Facebook murder victim, Robert Godwin, has an Alabama State University connection. Godwin’s cousin Waynetta Callen attends ASU as a theater major. She attended a vigil in his honor today at the university. Several students and faculty gave remarks. Godwin was murdered on Easter Sunday and a video of the crime was placed on Facebook by the alleged shooter. Godwin will be laid to rest Friday in Ohio. 

The first of three engagement forums was held last night for parents and teachers to ask questions regarding the state intervention of Montgomery Public Schools. State Department of Education officials were on hand to detail how the intervention will work, including State Schools Superintendent Michael Sentance. Sentance says it will take several years to return the system to a desired level of academic performance. In all, 27 schools within the system are being taken over by the state, while the rest remain under the supervision of the Montgomery Public School System.

Woman Arrested in Sunday Night Murder

Apr 17, 2017

   Montgomery police have made an arrest in a Sunday night homicide. According to a release, police say 19 year old Caleb Royal was shot while in the 4-thousand block of Amesbury Drive. Royal was taken to Baptist Medical Center South where he was later pronounced dead. Detectives have charged 26 year old Latoya Sanders of Montgomery with murder in connection with the shooting. The incident reportedly stemmed from an argument the victim had earlier in the day with a third individual known to both parties.

Federal prosecutors say a man used Alabama's publicly accessible online court records to steal the identities of dozens of people, highlighting the system's vulnerability to identity thieves. Brian Colby Alexander is accused of obtaining names, birth dates and Social Security numbers of about 43 people from Alacourt.com, the state's website for trial court records. People's Social Security numbers are listed in numerous publicly accessible court records in Alabama's system. Even former Alabama Gov.

Kay Ivey Becomes the State's Second Female Governor

Apr 11, 2017

With the resignation of Robert Bentley, Lt. Governor Kay Ivey was sworn-in as the next governor of Alabama. She becomes the state’s second female governor and the first to rise through the political ranks on her own. Ivey was already the first Republican woman elected lieutenant governor of Alabama and the first Republican to hold that office for two straight terms. Alabama's first female governor was Lurleen Wallace, wife of four-term Gov. George C. Wallace. She ran as a surrogate for her still-powerful husband in 1966 when he couldn't seek re-election because of term limits.