WVAS Local

NTS Board Investigates Helicopter Crash

Mar 28, 2016

A National Transportation Safety Board spokesman says poor weather will be one area of focus for federal investigators trying to determine what caused a medical helicopter to crash in southeast Alabama, killing all four people aboard.  The chopper crashed in the pre-dawn hours Saturday in the Goodman, Alabama area after picking up a patient from the scene of a highway crash.  The spokesman said Monday that is was foggy at the time of the crash, and investigators will gather more information about weather conditions the helicopter may have encountered.

Tuskegee Family Prepares to Bury Two Sisters

Mar 28, 2016

A Tuskegee family is preparing to bury two sisters killed in Macon County car accident.  36-year-old Michelle Smith and 26-year-old Kyla Yarbrough were among the five people killed in the two-vehicle accident on U.S. 80 in Macon County on March 19th.  The Booker T. Washington High School class of 1997 has set up a GoFundMe account to help life some of the financial burden off the family as they plan the two funerals.  The funeral for the two sisters is scheduled for Tuesday at the Tuskegee University Chapel at 11 a.m.  

Judge Delays Hubbard's Ethics Trial

Mar 28, 2016

A judge has postponed House Speaker Mike Hubbard's ethics trial that had been scheduled to start next month.  Lee County Circuit Judge Jacob Walker on Monday agreed to delay the trial while a prosecutor recovers from knee surgery.  The attorney general's office last week asked for a short postponement of the March 29th pretrial conference and April 11 trial.  Walker says he will issue an order later setting the new trial date.  

Lagoon Park Trail Opens in Montgomery

Mar 28, 2016

Community leaders, military members, sponsors and elected officials gathered Monday to officially open the Lagoon Park Trail in Montgomery.  Organizers say volunteers including members from the Maxwell Gunter Air Force Base donated more than 6,000 hours of work.  The new trail boasts walking and biking trails and areas for campsites.  Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange says the project is the epitome of a public-private partnership.  A portion of the trail is named in honor of Senior Airman William Hunter Kirkpatrick Hunter who worked on the trail but died unexpectedly in November.  

Marshall Funeral To Be Held at Montgomery Church

Mar 28, 2016

Former Montgomery County Sheriff D.T. Marshall will be laid to rest Monday.  His funeral is being held at Frazer Memorial United Methodist Church at 3 p.m.  Burial will follow the funeral service at the Forest Hills Cemetery in Snowdoun.  Marshall served 16 years as Montgomery County's Sheriff before retiring from the job in 2013.  He died last week after battling cancer for more than a year.  He was 65.  

State AG Commissioner Looks Forward to Cuba Trade

Mar 23, 2016

State agriculture officials are hopeful that President Barack Obama's visit to Cuba will improve trade relations with the island nation.  Alabama Agriculture Commissioner John McMillan agrees with the President's decision to meet with the Cuban leader.  Alabama has been trading with Cuba for over a decade since Congress passed a law allowing the sale of humanitarian and agricultural products in 2000.  Currently Alabama exports mostly poultry and timber.  McMillian says Cubans are ready for a more open trade relationship.  

Final Budget Approval Possible in the Legislature

Mar 23, 2016

State Senators delayed voting on a General Fund budget yesterday, but could give final approval during today's session.  The proposed budget allots $15 million in additional funding to Medicaid, but Governor Robert Bentley has promised a veto unless another $85 million is designated to the program.  Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh doesn't believe that will happen.  Marsh said he expects senators will send the budget to Bentley today after voting to go along with House changes.  He believes there are enough votes to override a veto from the governor.  

Governor Terminates Collier After Internal Review

Mar 23, 2016

Governor Robert Bentley has fired Alabama Law Enforcement Secretary Spencer Collier after an internal review suggested a possible misuse of state funds.  Collier had already been placed on medical leave in February.  Stan Stabler has been named the new ALEA secretary.  A statement on the investigation indicates that the agency's integrity unit found multiple concerns during the internal review.  But no details are given.  Results of the investigation have been turned over the State Attorney General's Office.

Medicinal Marijuana Bill

Mar 22, 2016

An Alabama legislator wants to decriminalize the possession of medicinal marijuana oil in a bid to help families dealing with serious epilepsy and other medical conditions.  The House Judiciary Committee heard public testimony last week on a bill put forward by State Rep. Mike Ball which would allow legal access to cannabidiol, or CBD oil.  The legislation is a follow-up to a 2014 law which established a CBD oil study at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.  The 2014 bill intended to allow wide access to the study, but federal regulations led to restrictive qualifications in the study.

Tallassee Missing Teen Seen in Montgomery

Mar 22, 2016

Police in Tallassee are looking for a missing teenager.  A missing child alert has been issued for 14-year old Kiara Nicole Neal, who was last seen on South Panama Street in Montgomery on March 10th.  Authorities say Willie Joe Thomas III has been arrested in connection with her disappearance.  He reportedly picked her up from Tallassee High School March 9th.  A classmate is said to have communicated with Kiara Thursday on social media.  The nature of that exchange is what led to the missing child alert being issued.

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