WVAS Local

Sewell Requests Justice Department Investigation

Oct 5, 2015

Alabama Congresswoman Terri Sewell plans to ask the Justice Department to investigate Alabama's closure of 31 rural drivers' license offices.  The 7th District Democrat said the closing are disproportionately hitting the state's poor, rural and African-American residents.  Sewell said she is particularly appalled because Alabama requires a photo-identification to vote.  Sewell also says transportation is already a problem for many rural residents.  The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency says drivers' license renewals can still be done in all counties and online.  

Judge Orders The Return of Gambling Machines

Oct 2, 2015

A judge says Alabama must return seized gambling machines and money to VictoryLand unless it takes legal action against other bingo casinos in the state.  WSFA reported the story, saying Circuit Judge William Shashy handed down the order Friday.  The state in 2013 seized 1,615 of the slot-like machines and $260,000 in cash from VictoryLand.  VictoryLand was the largest of the casinos.  

Outer Loop

ABC To Close 15 state liquor stores

Oct 2, 2015

The Alcoholic Beverage and Control Board says it will close or consolidate 15 state liquor stores because of a budget cut. ABC Administrator Mac Gipson said in a news release that the Legislature moved $5.5 million from the ABC Board to the General Fund for the fiscal year that started Monday.  The ABC Board submitted a budget request of about $77 million for fiscal year 2016.  Gipson said that number was reducted by $3 million, which would have essentially meant level funding.  But the$5.5 million transfer was then added to the budget on the last night of the second special session.

Bentley Divorce Official

Sep 29, 2015

Governor Robert Bentley and former first lady Dianne Bentley are divorced.  Tuscaloosa Family Court Judge Philip Lisenby signed the divorce decree Tuesday, officially ending the couple's 50-year marriage.  A judge had sealed the divorce case at the request of the couple.  Lisenby unsealed the file Tuesday at their request.  

Diversity Summit 2015

Alabama's governor says he is finalizing a list that includes the closings of driver's license offices, National Guard Armories and state parks.  Robert Bentley made the comments in Birmingham Monday.  Bentley said the heads of several state agencies, including the law enforcement agency, Conservation Department and the Alabama National Guard were ordered to draw up a list of possible closures.  The state's General Fund budget that was recently approved in a special session contains budget cuts of 5.5 percent for some state agencies.

Montgomery Homicide Victim Identified

Sep 28, 2015

Montgomery Police have identified the man who was shot to death Sunday night outside a fast food restaurant.  Officers say 20-year-old Dundrell Young of Montgomery died of a gunshot wound at about 9:25 p.m. Young was shot dead in the parking lot of a Burger King in the 2200 block of East South Boulevard.  Detectives are investigating the motive and no arrests have been made.  

Sentencing Date

Government Shutdown Looming

Sep 24, 2015

Millions of people dependent on food stamp payments could see their benefits disappear in the event of a government shutdown.  Lawmakers are attempting to pass a temporary funding measure, but it's been bogged down over a Planned Parenthood provision.  Police Analyst for Alabama Arise Carol Gundlach doesn't believe many state residents are aware of the potential cutoff.  She says more 880,000 Alabamians receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program payments.  About 60 percent of SNAP recipients are children.  

Manufacture Alabama

High School Janitor Accused of Rape

Sep 23, 2015

A high school janitor in Alabama has been arrested on a rape charge after an official says he had sex with a 15-year-old student and got her pregnant.  Dallas County District Attorney Michael Jackson says 31-year-old Victor Milhouse has been charged with second-degree rape and a school employee engaging in sex with a student under the age of 19 years old.  Milhouse was arrested Tuesday.  Milhouse worked at Southside High School, and had been an employee with the school system for three years.  Milhouse is being held in the Dallas County Jail without bond.

Selma Church Shooting Victims Recovering

Sep 21, 2015

The pastor and member of the congregation that wrestled a gun away from a man police say opened fired in an Alabama church are being praised as heroes.  Selma police Lt. Curtis Muhannad says 26-year-old James Junior Minter is being held without bond in the shooting of his girlfriend, his infant son and the church pastor, Earl Carswell, who tried to intervene Sunday morning.  Minter was arrested shortly after he opened fire during a church services at Oasis Tabernacle Church in Selma.

Lawmakers Consider Cigarette Tax Hike

Sep 10, 2015

Governor Robert Bentley says the House is off to a good start on closing a $200 million projected budget shortfall after a key House committee approved a 24 cents cigarette take hike proposal.  The full House is considering that and other revenue measures that cleared a House Ways and Means committee.  

Montgomery Homicide