WVAS Local

December 12,2008 – Next week, Governor Bob Riley is expected to officially declare proration and set out the amount of cuts that education will face. Once the Governor officially calls for proration, the move will free up about $437 million dollars from a rainy day fund to shore up the education budget.

December 11,2008 – Retiring Alabama Congressman Bud Cramer was the only member of Alabama's 7-member House delegation to vote in favor of the $14 billion dollar loan package for the auto industry. Meanwhile, Alabama Senator Richard Shelby,a ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee continues to speak against the plan.

December 10,2008 – Severe weather threatens much of Central and South Alabama today prompting the National Weather Service to issue a Tornado Watch for the following counties: Autauga, Montgomery, Elmore, Bullock, Barbour,Coosa, Lowndes, Chambers, Lee, Macon, Russell Tallapoosa, Cleburne, Randolph, and Pike counties. This Tornado Watch continues through 2 o'clock this afternoon. Following this severe weather, there is the possibility of frozen precipitation in North Alabama tomorrow.

December 9,2008 – The Montgomery County Commission is cutting its projected spending for 2009 by 10 percent and putting a hiring freeze in place. This after recording a 9 percent decline in sales tax collections for November.

Officials say no dangerous substance was found in a suspicious letter mailed to Alabama's Capitol Monday. The letter was addressed to Governor bob Riley. Similar letters were mailed around the country to five other governors.

December 8,2008 – Alabama's Senators are speaking out against the proposed government bailout of the "Big Three" U.S. automakers. Senator Richard Shelby of Tuscaloosa says even though the bailout was trimmed down from 34 billion dollars to 15 billion dollars, it's not a good plan. Shelby calls it the "bridge loan to nowhere". Senator Jeff Sessions of Mobile says it might be better for automakers to pursue Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

December 5,2008 – Governor bob Riley says he will make a decision, soon, about whether to declare proration in the state's education budget. Doing so would allow state officials to dip into a "rainy day" fund to help balance the budget. Meanwhile, state representative John Knight Chairs the House Appropriations Committee, and he is concerned about shortfalls int he general fund budget,too.

December 4,2008 – The capital murder trial of Montgomery resident Brent Springford continues today. Springford plead guilty last month in the murder of his parents, but because he faces capital murder charges, a jury must hear the case. Springford is accused of beating to death and slashing the throats of Winston and Charlotte Springford.

Montgomery, Alabama – So you decided to go shopping,while criminals are shopping for you.

December 3,2008 – Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb was the guest presenter at the Bridge Builder's Lecture Series hosted by the Alabama State University Center for Leadership and Public Policy. The event was free and open to the public.

December 3,2008 – Some of the stories making headlines this hour in the WVAS newsroom:

Governor Bob Riley, back from a meeting with President-elect Barack Obama, says he finds Obama to be engaging and genuinely concerned about how the economic downturn is impacting state governments.