The Southern Poverty Law Center has filed a federal lawsuit against a private probation company accused of targeting poor Clanton residents and threatening them with jail time for failing to pay fines. The lawsuit accused Judicial Correction Services and a local manager of racketeering and extorting probationers for monthly payments. Clanton resident Roxanne Reynolds said she was among those targeted by JCS. The Southern Poverty Law Center says some probationers were ordered to pay $140 monthly fines of which $40 was given to JCS. The company has declined comment.
The Alabama House has passed a bill that gives ministers, judges and others the right to refuse performing marriage ceremonies. The legislation passed on a 69 to 25 vote following nearly four hours of debate. Opponents of the bill claim it is unnecessary, since judges and clergy members already have the right to refuse to conduct wedding ceremonies. The bill's sponsor, Republican Representative Jim Hill of Moody maintains that it clarifies already existing law. Still other critics label the measure as discriminator against gay couples. It now moves to the Senate for consideration.
The week long march from Selma to Montgomery along U.S. Highway 80 is winding down. About 130 people are re-enacting the 1965 Voting Rights march that began last Sunday in the west Alabama city. Brenda Davenport with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference says marchers expected to arrive in Montgomery late Friday morning. Davenport said the SCLC will host a gospel concert this evening at 7 p.m. at Macedonia Church at 3070 Selma Highway in Montgomery.
Montgomery police have made an arrest in the early Wednesday morning death of 44-year-old Robert Nelson. Montgomery Police say 41-year-old John Cain of Montgomery was arrested and charged with one count of murder. He is being held in the Montgomery County Detention Facility on $75,000 bond. Police say Nelson was fatally shot during an argument that took place in the 900 block of West South Boulevard. Montgomery Police responded to the report of a shooting at around 4:30 a.m. Nelson was pronounced dead at the scene. His body was found in the parking lot near Waffle House.
Republicans in the state Senate and House have approved legislation they consider to be a top priority in this year's session. Last night, the Alabama Senate, on a 22-12 vote, approved a charter school bill over the objections of some Democrats. Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh dismissed critics who wanted to remove a provision that would let charter schools hire non-certified teachers. In the Alabama House, a jobs incentives package pushed by Governor Robert Bentley was approved Tuesday.
The old Montgomery Mall will now be called "One Center." The announcement was made Tuesday by city, county and community leaders. Montgomery County Commissioner Dan Harris says the name is an excellent way of revitalizing the area. Steven Patrick with Blue Ridge Capital says the 250,000 square feet inside the building is available for numerous businesses.
Some 75 people are making the historic trek from Selma to Montgomery this week. The group plans to walk about ten miles each day to reach the State Capitol this Friday where a rally is planned. Erica Fox, WJAB's News and Public Affairs Director is on the trail and tells WVAS, the marchers come from all walks of life. This past weekend, about 80,000 people attended festivities and events in Selma for the 50th Anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery March.
A week long march from Selma to Montgomery begins today along U.S. 80 as part of the 50th Anniversary commemoration of "Bloody Sunday." Selma Police and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency estimate that between 70-80 thousand people were in Selma Saturday and Sunday. Alabama Congresswoman Terri Sewell, whose district includes Selma, says the city's battle for civil rights is no different from other turbulent periods in history. The commemorations in Selma attracted a who's who list of public officials and celebrities, including author and radio host Michael Eric Dyson.
Authorities say a wanted Montgomery man is in police custody Thursday. According to a statement from CrimeStoppers of Central Alabama, 28-year-old Juan Daniels was apprehended Thursday by U.S. Marshals. Daniel had been on the run since he was named a primary suspect in the death of 6-year-old Aiden Howard. The first grader was critically injured February 12th when a sport utility vehicle crashed through an apartment building at the Plaza at Centennial Hill complex off Highland Avenue.
Tax reform, more money for prisons, expanding Pre-Kindergarten, business development, revamping Medicaid and strengthening protection for victims of domestic violence are among the issues singled out Tuesday night by Governor Robert Bentley. It was the governor's fifth State of the State address.