WVAS Local

Jan. 8,2009 – MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - State officials say traffic fatalities
on Alabama's rural roads dropped to their lowest level in 23 years
in 2008 due to stricter enforcement, new safety features on roads
and less driving by motorists due to soaring gas prices. Gov. Riley
says state troopers recorded 633 fatal accidents on rural roads in
2008. That's down 17 percent from last year.

Decatur, AL – DECATUR, Ala. (AP) - An affidavit says Decatur police Sgt. Faron
White is accused of taking about $70,000 from a safe containing
confiscated drug money before he flew off to Las Vegas after trying
to fake his own abduction.
The affidavit was filed Tuesday by Morgan County authorities in
support of the arrest warrant for Sarah Elizabeth Richardson. She
is accused of helping White stage his disappearance.
The affidavit given by Decatur Sgt. Richard Archer says
Richardson was aware that White had stolen about $70,000 and on

Decatur, Alabama – In north Alabama, Morgan County Sheriff Greg Barlett is in the county lockup for failing to adequately feed inmates.

Federal Judge U.W. Clemon ordered Bartlett's arrest after the sheriff testified Wednesday that he legally kept about 212 thousand dollars over the past three years with surplus meal money for inmates, but the sheriff testified the inmates were properly fed.

January 8,2009 – BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - A federal judge has ordered the release
of an Alabama sheriff he locked up for purposely feeding inmates
skimpy meals so he could make money off the jail kitchen.
U.S. District Judge U.W. Clemon issued a brief order Thursday
saying Morgan County Sheriff Greg Bartlett could be freed based on
promises from his lawyer, who presented the court with a plan for
improving the jailhouse meals.
The sheriff's whereabouts weren't immediately clear. But Clemon

Jan.7,2009 –
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - The new year has arrived and that
signals the start of the tax-filing season.
The Internal Revenue Service Tuesday announced new steps to help
financially strapped taxpayers meet their tax obligations.
The agency is offering to waive late penalties, negotiate new
payment plans and postpone asset seizures for delinquent taxpayers.
Taxpayers can begin filing tax returns electronically on Jan.
16.
To help explain the leniency program, the IRS has posted answers

Montgomery, Alabama – Listen now to some of the stories making headlines in the WVAS newsroom.

Montgomery, Alabama – MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Parts of Alabama are dealing with flood waters because of heavy rainfall overnight.
Flood warnings have been posted for small streams in Lawrence,
DeKalb, Jackson, Madison, Limestone, Marshall, Cullman and Morgan
counties.
Flooding is also a concern for the Black Warrior and Tombigee
rivers.
Several counties report storm damage from Tuesday's severe
weather. They include Calhoun, Shelby and St. Clair counties where
possible funnel clouds damaged structures and snapped trees.

Selma, Alabama –

Plans are underway for a town hall meeting this evening in Selma. Organizers hope to receive input from residents in the Dallas County town about the most pressing issues facing them. State Senator Hank Sanders says he hopes to hear ideas on how to best use resources during these tough economic times.

Selma's town hall meeting will be held at the Dallas County Courthouse annex in the commission chambers beginning at 6 o'clock.

Montgomery, Alabama – MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - A survey of 109 businesses by the
Alabama Retail Association finds that 57 percent saw a decrease in
sales for November and December when compared to the same two
months a year ago.
Retail Association spokeswoman Nancy Dennis says 27 percent
reported an increase and 16 percent reported sales stayed about the
same.
Dennis says increases were reported by most in the grocery,
electronic and alcoholic beverages categories. Most of those in the
clothing category reported a decline.

Montgomery, Alabama – Montgomery Police Chief Art Baylor says he is not planning to run for Mayor of Montgomery, instead, Baylor says he has been approached about a possible appointment as United States Marshall for the Middle District of Alabama. Baylor says that while he is happy with his current job, he is honored to be considered to receive an appointment by the President of the United States. Baylor has been chief of police since 2004, and he has more than 32 years of law enforcement experience.

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