WVAS Local

   Alabama has improved its ranking in a new report on child well-being, but it still lags behind most of the country overall. The national assessment is compiled each year by the Annie E. Casey Foundation using 16 indicators ranging from children in poverty to teen pregnancy rate to single-parent households. Policy and Research Director at Voices for Alabama’s Children says the significant improvements for Alabama in this report came in the economic domain.

A hearing request to move a police officer’s murder trial out of Montgomery and to another city was held Tuesday morning. Alabama Judge Greg Griffin denied a motion filed by defense attorneys for Montgomery, Police Officer Aaron “Cody” Smith requesting that Griffin move his trial to a different city. 

     Alabama Governor Kay Ivey's office is hiring an outside firm to do communications and public relations work. The governor's office will use state funds to pay $46,000 to Direct Response LLC over the next six months. The contract description says the firm will do "communications and public relations support, external affairs development." The Alabama governor's office has its own press office that sends out news releases.

The Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce, City and County leaders delivered updates on the Montgomery Internet Exchange, MGMix and the tech economic development on Wednesday afternoon. Less than 18 months ago, Montgomery became home to the State’s only internet exchange and now leaders have announced an upgrade to the capacity of the Internet Exchange to handle 100 Gigabits of traffic per second. Mayor Todd Strange says the new status has a significant meaning for Montgomery.

   State and federal law enforcement agencies are conducting a joint investigation into current and past employees of the Selma Police Department after guns and other items disappeared from the department's evidence vault. Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall announced Tuesday that his office is assisting in the investigation that also involves the city police department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. The investigation comes after an evidence technician was fired for allegedly stealing guns from the evidence vault.

The City of Prattville has been selected as one of 31 cities that will receive technical assistance and grant funding to reduce childhood hunger. The office of Mayor Bill Gillespie Jr., and Parks of Recreation Department partnered with United Christian Church and the Autauga-Prattville Public Library to kick off the new initiative called CHAMPS: Cities Combating Hunger through Afterschool and Summer Meal Programs.

Woman's Body Found in Well in Elmore County

Jun 6, 2017

   The Elmore County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a murder from last week. Detectives believe 59 year old Jane Huddleston was possibly strangled to death Thursday or Friday and then dumped in a well on her property in the 79-hundred block of Highway 14. Acting on a tip, authorities say they found her body yesterday. Detectives say a man that had been living with the victim, 41 year old David Helms, has been charged with murder. As he was being booked in the Elmore County jail, Helms apparently broke an interior window of the facility trying to escape.

Alabama Parks Adding More Adventure Activities

Jun 5, 2017

 Alabama's state parks are adding more adventure activities in an attempt to lure visitors. The state is currently seeking companies that would operate floating play structures called "Tarzan boats" at three parks. They'd be located at Oak Mountain near Birmingham; Chewacla near Auburn and Lake Lurleen park near Tuscaloosa. The structures typically include slides, jumping platforms and swings. The move is the latest by the state to install adventure activities at state parks. A zip line has been added at Guntersville State Park.

Montgomery Teen Killed in Traffic Accident

Jun 1, 2017

   A Montgomery teenager lost her life in a crash on Interstate 85 late yesterday afternoon. In a release, State Troopers report that three vehicles collided just after 4pm on I-85 at the 32 mile marker near Tuskegee. A pickup truck, SUV and minivan were involved in the wreck. A 15 year old passenger of the minivan was killed. She was not wearing a seat belt according to Troopers. Her name has not been released. Two other people were also injured in the accident. No other information is available in this ongoing investigation.

   During the long Memorial Day weekend state troopers investigated four traffic fatalities in Alabama and one boating accident that left two dead. The traffic crashes happened in Baldwin, Jefferson, Tuscaloosa and Conecuh counties. Three drivers were killed and one passenger. Only one of the four was wearing a seat belt. The boating mishap occurred in Cleburne County when a man and his 3 year old son drowned. Their kayak flipped over in the Tallapoosa River. State Troopers say neither of them was wearing a personal flotation device.

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