WVAS Local

A generous gift to the Montgomery Police Department is allowing eight K9 officers to be equipped with bullet and stab protective vests.  The body armor will specifically be used on the department's dual purpose dogs which are used in narcotics detection and apprehension.  A trainer in the K9 unit, Sgt. Jim Ezell says they are grateful for the donation.  The non-profit organization Vested Interests is providing the vests, which cost around a thousand dollars apiece.  

A rededication ceremony was held in Montgomery Thursday honoring 19 members of the United States Air Force killed in June 1996 in the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi, Arabia.  The Maxwell AFB-Gunter Annex hosted the event with a wreath laying ceremony and unveiling of the Khobar Towers, a new exhibit featuring personal items and military uniforms from the towers.  WVAS News spoke with one of the survivors, Roger Wilson who says his life was forever changed by the blast.  The new exhibit is on display at the USAF Enlisted Heritage Hall.   

A judge has ordered the state to return seized electronic gambling machines to Greenetrack after finding that the machines comply with state law.  Circuit Judge Houston L. Brown on Wednesday gave the state 30 days to give the casino back the 825 gambling machines seized in the 2010 raid.  While decision was a victory for Greentrack, the Alabama Supreme Court has consistently ruled that the electronic gambling machines are illegal under state law.  

Dirt Pass Progam

Jun 22, 2016

Promoters of Alabama state parks are hoping residents make donations through the new "Dirt Pass" program.  Park-goers and trail users can purchase a Dirt Pass and sport a rubber wristband that acts as a donation toward the improvement and management of the state's trail systems.  It's a way for park visitors to voluntarily fund revitalization projects.  The Dirt pass can be purchased at ten of the state's parks including Cheaha, Chewacla, DeSoto, and Wind Creek.

Johnny Williams has been named the new executive director of the Central Alabama Sports Commission.  The commission works to attract activities to Montgomery and the River Region.  Williams has held numerous positions throughout his career including the director of the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl; he says there are plans to reach out to local institutions like Alabama State University.  Williams say other plans include seeking new venues, upgrading facilities and growing community support.  

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is asking a state judicial panel to dismiss ethics charges against him, saying he never told probate judges to refuse marriage licenses to gay couples.  Moore on Tuesday filed his response to accusations that he violated judicial ethics with a 2016 administrative order, six months after the U.S. Supreme Court effectively legalized same-sex marriage.  His lawyers wrote that the order only noted correctly that a state court injunction to refuse same-sex marriage licenses had not been lifted.  Moore could face removal from office over the charges.  

In the latest Kids Count Data Book, Alabama fell to 46th in the nation, dropping for the second straight year.  The state lost ground in all four child well-being indicators, economic well-being, education, health and family and community.  Policy and Research Director for Voices for Alabama's children, Rhonda Mann says poverty in the state puts children at a disadvantage.  The news wasn't all bad.  Alabama did see a decline in the number of low birth weight babies; the proportion of children without health insurance; child and teen deaths; and alcohol and drug abuse by teens.

Officials say Alabama consumers will receive more than $6,300,000 from Apple Inc.  in a lawsuit over inflated e-book prices.  Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange said in a statement Monday that the tech giant is expected to spend about $400 million to compensate consumers across the country and Alabamians are slated to receive approximately $6,357,100.  Strange says Alabama and 32 other states prosecuted Apple for considering with five major American publishers to raise E-book prices.

Acting House Speaker Victor Gaston says he is declining a state security detail in order to save the state money.  Gaston made the announcement Monday.  Gaston said he was declining the security detail available to those in legislative leadership positions.  The Mobile Republican said that will allow law enforcement officers to dedicate their time to more important duties "than chauffeuring me between Mobile and Montgomery."  Gaston, who was elected speaker pro tem, took over the duties of House speaker earlier this month following House Speaker Mike Hubbard's conviction on ethics charges.

WVAS-FM wins awards from the Associated Press

Jun 20, 2016

WVAS-FM won 5 awards in the 2016 Alabama Associated Press Media Editors (APME) contest, radio division, winning four first places - in Best Lifestyle Feature, Best Public Affairs or Documentary, Best Coverage of a Scheduled Event and Best Commentator or Editorialist. The awards were announced on Saturday, June 18 at the Birmingham Marriot. 

Here's a list of the winning entries

Best Lifestyle Feature:  First, for "Selma to Montgomery Profile," Scottie Hunter