WVAS Local

Authorities say parts of Alabama continue to weather an extreme drought.  The U.S. Drought Monitor, a weekly report tracking drought conditions nationwide, show the worst of Alabama's drought in the state's northeast corner.  The most serious situation extreme drought conditions continued in nearly all of Jackson County and large parts of Madison and Dekalb counties.  

Jurors in Alabama have convicted a middle school teacher on child pornography charges.  Eighth-grade science teacher Jeremiah Hunter was convicted in Mobile after just 10 minutes of deliberations.  Prosecutors claimed the one-time teacher of the year at Hankins Middle School sexted with multiple boys.  Hunter claimed he was only investigating suspicions that students were sending nude photos to each other.  

The Alabama Department of Labor says the state's unemployment rate was six percent last month.  That's the same as the jobless rate from May, and it remains well above the national unemployment rate of 4.9 percent.  

Students in the Alabama State University ASPIRE program are pitching in to help fight hunger at the Montgomery Area Food Bank.  Thursday middle and high school students had an opportunity to sort ration food bags, wash produce and repackage food for needy families.  Program Director Cynthia Handy says Thursday's effort falls right in line with the summer program.  This is the fourth year students helped out at the food bank.  To learn more about the ASPIRE program visit alasu.edu. 

Horseshoes will be pitched in earnest starting next week in Montgomery.  That's when the World Horseshoe Pitching Championship gets started at the Multiplex at Cramton Bowl where more than 50 courts and 118 pits have been assembled for the event. Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange says the economic impact could be significant.  The competitors are coming from 44 different states as well as Canada and Switzerland.  The event is free and the public is encouraged to attend.  

Police say a southeast Alabama man accused of threatening to kill police officers in a Facebook post has been charged.  Troy police Chief Randall Barr said 20-year-old Javon Keontre Pryor threatened to kill several Troy police officers in a July 8th post.  Court records state Pryor nominated officers' names as targets and referenced the recent officer killings in Texas in the post.  

A member of the court considering judicial ethics charges against Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is stepping aside from the case.  Opelika attorney John Denson filed a notice recusing himself.  Denson writes he shouldn't be involved since he was part of the court when it unanimously decided to remove Moore from office in 2003.  Eight other members remain on the court to consider whether Moore should be ousted again for an order he issued about same-sex marriage.  

The American Red Cross in Alabama is advising the public to be careful during the heat wave.  In Montgomery, Disaster Program Manger Towanna Robins suggests wearing loose-fitting clothing, she says more tips can be found on the organization's website.  

Some of the world’s best horseshoe pitchers are coming to Montgomery next week to compete in that sport’s championship. Nearly one-thousand pitchers in all will square off at the Multiplex at Cramton Bowl from July 25 through August 6th.  44 different states will be represented as well as Canada and Switzerland. City officials say the championship should result in a 1-point-5 million dollar economic impact for Montgomery. The event is free and the public is encouraged to attend. 

A former Montgomery police chief died over the weekend.  Family members of John Wilson say the retired police chief died Saturday morning while in another state.  Wilson led the Montgomery police department from 1986 to 2004.  No other details of his death are available at this time.