WVAS Local

Fatal Accidents in Alabama on the Increase

Sep 15, 2016

   Fatalities have increased at an alarming rate on Alabama’s highways so far this year. Officials with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency believe the reduced presence of state troopers on the roadways could be a major factor. Public Information Officer Sgt. Steve Jarrett says troopers have investigated 456 traffic deaths as of this week in the state…compared to 349 fatalities to this point in 2015.  Keep in mind, state troopers only investigate fatal wrecks that occur on rural roads and interstates, not those within city limits. Sgt.

Alabama State University theatre students received a special visit from screen star, Samuel Smith Wednesday.  Smith has earned a long list of successes in stage, film and television.  Smith said he wanted to return to campus Wednesday to impart valuable advice students can apply in the entertainment industry.  Smith is mostly notably known for his appearance in Cadillac Records, The Sopranos and Law and Order: Criminal Intent.  

   A Montgomery Police Officer has been charged with Domestic Violence and placed on administrative leave.     A statement from the police department says that 35 year old Clarence Doniver was placed in the Montgomery City Jail on Sunday. An internal investigation is underway. Doniver has been on the police force since 2012.

Scores of vehicles are lining the roadways leading to the VictoryLand Casino in Macon County.  The gaming facility opened its doors Tuesday after being closed for three years.  The casino was closed in 2013 when the State Attorney General’s Office last conducted a raid there.  VictoryLand owner Milton McGregor says he’s resuming operations because Macon County’s sheriff and district attorney say the machines are legal.  

Victoryland to Reopen Today

Sep 13, 2016

   It’s been three years since the Victoryland gaming center opened its doors for business. Owner Milton McGregor announced last month that he would reopen the casino today with some 200 employees and around 500 electronic bingo machines.  McGregor has reportedly said the machines are like those at Indian gaming facilities in the state and have been certified by the sheriff to comply with local gaming laws.  Victoryland was shut down after raids by the state’s attorney general’s office in 2013.

   According to a release from the City of Montgomery, the Chief of Operations for the Montgomery Police Department has been placed on administrative leave. The action is being taken pending the outcome of an internal investigation to be performed by Montgomery’s office of City Investigations. The release states that information was uncovered during a larger operation by a police department partner agency that led to the measure. Chief Simmons was hired by the department in 1994. He was assigned to the Chief of Operations position earlier this year and remains an employee of MPD.

News agencies are reporting a 17-year-old is charged in connection with the double shooting that killed his father, a former Alabama mayor and left his mother with serious injuries.  Local media report Sheriff Bill Franklin says 17-year-old Jesse Madison Holton is charged in the deadly shooting of his father 37-year-old Mike Holton, the former mayor of Eclectic.  Officials say deputies were called Sunday to the home to find it “trashed” after the teenager held a party.  Authorities say after deputies left Jesse Holton allegedly shot both parents.  Officials say the father Mike Holton was pr

Three Indicted in Montgomery Club Shooting

Sep 9, 2016

Three suspects have been indicted in a Montgomery club shooting that left three people dead and others injured in 2013. A grand jury indicted 28-year-old Darius Thomas and 27-year-old Jason McWilliams last month on reckless murder and assault charges in the December 2013 shooting inside the Centennial Hill Bar and Grill where Montgomery rapper Glenn "Doe B" Thomas, Kimberle Johnson and Timnarius Hamilton were killed. The indictments come almost three years after Darius Thomas and McWilliams were initially arrested.

The Alabama Board of Education has approved a $198,000 per year contract for the state's new superintendent of education.  The board approved the contract for former Massachusetts education secretary Michael Sentance.  

After years of serving on the Montgomery Police force, former Police Capt. Christy Thornton became the new director of the Montgomery City/County's new Emergency Management Agency Wednesday.  Thornton says she laid down her badge and gun to serve the community in a different capacity.  Thornton replaces retired EMA Director Calvin Brown.