WVAS Local

Annual Bridge Crossing Celebration Underway

Mar 4, 2016

Events commemorating the historic bridge crossing in Selma have already begun this week.  This year marks the 51st anniversary of the event.  An organizer of the Jubilee, State Senator Hank Sanders says this year's bridge crossing may not draw the same crowds as last year's mammoth undertaking, but it holds the same meaning.  A mass meeting was held Thursday night at the Tabernacle Baptist Church.  Events continue today through Sunday.  

Tornadoes Damage Several Homes in Birmingham

Mar 3, 2016

Forecasters say a tornado that severely damaged homes and trees in a Birmingham suburb has been determined as an EF2, with winds of between 120 and 125 mph.  National Weather Service meteorologist Jason Holmes reports that survey teams are still evaluating damage in the McCalla area where the tornado struck Tuesday.  Damage was concentrated in southern Jefferson and northern Shelby counties.  Authorities have said four people suffered minor injuries in the tornado.  Twelve homes sustained major damage.  

House Approves Proposed Education Budget

Mar 3, 2016

The proposed Education budget was approved by a House committee Wednesday.  The chairman of the House Ways and Means Education Committee Bill Poole says his budget includes 4 percent raises for K-12 school employees making less than $75,000 a year and a 2 percent raises for those making more than that.  His budget differs from the proposed spending plan offered by Governor Robert Bentley.  The committee gave unanimous approval to the $6.3 billion spending plan for 2017, putting in line to be considered in the House next week.  

Lawmakers Consider Driver's License Bill

Mar 3, 2016

Alabama lawmakers are considering a bill that would require the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency to open driver's license offices in every county at least two days a week.  The Decatur Daily reports that the Senate General Fund committee on Wednesday said the bill still needed some revisions, but gave it a favorable report and sent it on to the full Senate.  Sen. Hank Sanders, a Democrat from Selma, says driver's licenses are crucial not only for driving, but for identification purposes.  ALEA estimates that expanding days of operation in many counties will cost up to $1.35 million a year.

MPD Officer Arrested in Deadly Shooting

Mar 3, 2016

A Montgomery police officer was arrested Wednesday and charged with murder in the death of Gregory Gunn.  Montgomery County District Attorney Daryl Bailey made the announcement.  Gunn was shot to death a week ago during an altercation with officer Aaron Smith as he was walking home in the Mobile Heights community.  Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange urged residents to let the investigation take its course.  Officer Smith has reportedly already posted a $150,000 bond.

Alabama's Last Dry County Goes Wet

Mar 2, 2016

Residents in the Clay County cities of Ashland and Lineville voted Tuesday to legalize alcohol sales.  Alcohol sales will still be illegal outside the cities.  But the vote means alcohol can now be sold legally in at least part of each of Alabama's 67 counties.  Opponents argued against legalizing alcohol sales on moral and public-safety grounds.  But supporters say the move will held stimulate business.  Bootleggers have operated in Clay County for years, and possession of small amounts of alcohol in the county has been legal.

The Alabama Senate Tuesday debated legislation that would prohibit the removal of historical monuments from public property without lawmakers' prior approval.  The legislation doesn't specify Confederate monuments but comes after civil rights activists' push to remove markers across the South.  Birmingham is considering the removal of a Confederate statue in a downtown park.  Republican Sen. Gerald Allen of Tuscaloosa , the bill's sponsor, says he hopes it will avoid "decisions made in haste."  Democratic Sen.

Clinton and Trump Win Big in Alabama Primary

Mar 2, 2016

Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton steamrolled to wins Tuesday in Alabama as GOP voters lashed out at Washington insiders and Clinton capitalized on her overwhelming support among African-American voters.  Alabama voters turned out in droves to make their picks for president on Super Tuesday in the biggest single-day delegate haul of the nomination contests.  Clinton and Trump had campaigned vigorously in the state heading into Super Tuesday.  

2016 Primary Results

Mar 2, 2016

Most of the incumbents did very well in Alabama Tuesday, U.S. Senator Richard Shelby had no trouble fending off four Republican challengers, he faces Democratic opposition in November.  Other Republican Congressional incumbents fared equally as well, Martha Roby, Mike Rogers, Bradley Byrne and Robert Aderholt all brushed aside their primary competition.  

Man Charged in 2014 Fatal Accident

Mar 1, 2016

An Alabama man has been charged with murder in a 2014 car crash that killed another motorist.  Al.com reports 54-year-old Edward Michael Sexton of McCalla was arrested Monday after a Tuscaloosa County grand jury indicted him in the death of 61-year-old Samuel Hedgemon.  The indictment charging Sexton with murder says he was intoxicated and driving at a recklessly high speed when he smashed into a vehicle driven by Hedgemon on Dec. 23, 2014.  Sexton told police he was trying to avoid another vehicle when he lost control.