WVAS Local

Montgomery city and county elected officials along with community leaders held a prayer vigil Friday to show support of law enforcement including the Dallas Police Department.  The event was held at First Baptist Church on North Ripley Street in Montgomery.  Guest speakers included Mayor Todd Strange, Montgomery County Commissioner Elton Dean and Montgomery County Sheriff Derrick Cunningham.  

A prison spokesman says an Alabama corrections officer has been arrested for trying to smuggle contraband into St. Clair Correctional Facility.  A prison official said 23-year-old Deandre Price was arrested Tuesday.  He is charged with possession of a controlled substance and promoting contraband within a state correctional facility.  

It's been a deadly week on Alabama's highways.  We have already reported on eight accidents from the July Fourth weekend and then two others that occurred Tuesday.  Now, another traffic fatality is being reported by authorities, this time in Russell County.  The single vehicle crash happened Tuesday night on U.S. Highway 80 about four miles east of Phenix City.  State Troopers says 30-year-old Victoria Dawn Mcintosh of Phenix City was killed when the SUV she was driving ran off the road and overturned.

A major road improvement projects kickrd off Wednesday on West Fairview Avenue in Montgomery.  The work will stretch from I-65 to Air Base Boulevard.  Public Information Director for the city Michael Briddell says the project encompasses three phases.  The repaving portion of the project is expected to be complete by August 10th, but the installation of new signals won't begin until late fall.  The entire undertaking will cost nearly $1.4 million and is being funded by the Alabama Transportation and Improvement Program or ATRIP.  

The Montgomery Zoo will debut its latest addition today.  A young pygmy hippopotamus is going on display for the first time after its birth at the zoo in early April.  Officials say a new exhibit has been constructed in the South America Realm for the male calf and its mother.  A zoo release states that the pygmy hippo birth is significant because males are after born in captivity.  Though pygmy hippos share the same general form as the hippopotamus, they grow to approximately half the height and one quarter of the weight of their larger cousins.

Authorities say an Alabama girl died a day after she fell while trying to hang a swing in a tree.  Blount County Sheriff's Officer Operations Commander Tim Kent says 13-year-old Alexsis Payne fell Friday evening.  Kent says when she fell, the swing rope was looped around her and tightened around her abdomen, injuring her.  Payne's family called 911 when they found her.  She was taken to a local hospital and then airlifted to Children's of Alabama in Birmingham, where she died Saturday.  Kent called the girl's death a tragic accident.  

Two people were killed in accidents in Butler and Perry County over the holiday weekend.  The first happened Sunday night on Alabama Highway 61.  A car and SUV crashed into each other about a mile north of Uniontown.  State Troopers say the car's driver, Johnny Lewis of Newbern died in the wreck.  Three people in the SUV were injured.  Authorities say a preliminary investigation shows that alcohol may have been a factor in the accident.  

The famed Tuskegee Airmen have lost another member.  The family of Dr. Roscoe C. Brown Junior released a statement yesterday reporting his death over the weekend.  Capt. Brown commanded the 100th Fighter Squadron of the 332nd Fighter Group, known as the Tuskegee Airmen, during World War II.  He flew 68 long-range missions from August of 1944 to March of 1945.  Family members report that the Washington D.C. native passed away at the age of 94.  

Several black Alabama lawmakers have joined a federal lawsuit challenging state legislation that blocks Birmingham from establishing a local minimum wage.  An amended complaint filed in U.S. District Court Thursday says the Alabama Legislative Black Caucus and several individual lawmakers have joined the lawsuit as plaintiffs.  The lawsuit alleges that racial bias fueled Republican-backed legislation blocking Birmingham from setting a $10.10 per hour local minimum wage.  

Alabama officials have filed a lawsuit against Dothan over hundreds of sewage overflows that have occurred in the city in recent years.  Citing a complaint filed Thursday in Houston County Circuit Court, the Dothan Eagle reports that Attorney General Luther Strange and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management have accused the city of repeatedly violating the terms of its wastewater management permits at each of its wastewater treatment plants.  The lawsuit says there have been 248 sewage overflows reported by the city over the past five years.