WVAS Local

Legislature Crafts Impeachment Process

Apr 27, 2016

An impeachment process was carved out by the House of Representatives yesterday.  The legislation that passed on a 79 to 14 vote would have the Judiciary Committee investigate impeachment grounds if 21 legislators sign impeachment articles against a state official.  The bill could actually sideline a current effort to impeach Governor Robert Bentley.  Eleven legislators filed articles against Bentley recently, not enough to meet the requirement passed yesterday.  Rep. Mac McCutcheon says the signature will give the articles credibility.  Rep.

2011 Tornado Victims Remembered Today

Apr 27, 2016

It was five years ago today that a series of tornadoes ripped through Alabama and several other states killing hundreds of people and leaving a swath of destruction in their wake.  It was one of the deadliest outbreaks in U.S. history, with some 120 tornadoes reported.  Alabama was the hardest hit, suffering more than 250 fatalities.  To commemorate the anniversary, Governor Robert Bentley will visit Hackleburg, Alabama today, a city that was decimated by the storms.  He will check on the progress the Marion County city has made in the last five years.

Alexander City Council Fistfight

Apr 26, 2016

A heated exchange about finances at a city council meeting in Alexander City turned into a fistfight between the mayor and a council member.  The Alexander City Outlook reports that during Monday night's city council meeting, Mayor Charles Shaw and Councilman Tony Goss argued about the city's finances.  As the argument escalated into a shouting match, Councilman Bob Howard moved quickly to adjourn the meeting.  Shaw then rushed toward Goss and punched him in the side of the face.  Goss retreated and started defending himself.  Those gathered at the meeting worked to break up the fight.

Montgomery Partners with Cenergistic

Apr 26, 2016

The city of Montgomery and Mayor Todd Strange announced a partnership between energy conservation consulting company Cenergistic.  The new initiative is an effort to reduce the city's annual consumption usage on utilities.  Mayor Strange says the city expects the partnership to focus on changing habits.  Cenergistic is also working with Mobile and Baldwin County schools and met with Alabama State University.  

2016 Legislative Session Almost Over

Apr 26, 2016

The 2016 regular session of the Alabama Legislature is heading into the home stretch.  Lawmakers have five more days to decide the fate of dozens of high-profile bills.  Among those still in the mix is a gasoline tax.  The proposal would raise the state's gasoline tax to pay for road and bridge construction.  The tax would rise six cents per gallon to bring Alabama in line with neighboring states.  It would then be adjusted every four years to equal the average tax in Alabama's four border states.

Birmingham Honors Prince

Apr 22, 2016

City officials say they plan to illuminate Birmingham City Hall and surrounding city buildings in purple light as a tribute to Prince.  The city said in a statement that the lighting will begin Friday night, and that lights will remain purple for the rest of April.  The 57-year-old musician died Thursday at his home outside Minneapolis.  In Birmingham, Mayor William Bell said the lighting of city buildings "is our small way to pay tribute and say thank you for touching lives." 

Woman Charged with Raping Teenage Boy

Apr 22, 2016

A 32-year-old Tuscaloosa woman is charged with the rape of a 14-year-old boy.  The mother of the boy reported the sexual assault to Tuscaloosa police Friday, said Lt. Teena Richardson.  The department's Juvenile Division took over the investigation, and found the rape took place over a month in the 3400 block of E. University Boulevard at the victim's home.  Heather Ann Klopp is charged with second-degree rape.  She is being held in the Tuscaloosa County Jail with bond set at $30,000.  Richardson said the investigation is ongoing, and more charges could be filed.  

No Response from Governor in State Auditor's Order

Apr 22, 2016

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says he is not responding to the state auditor's order to testify before him.  Bentley issued the statement Friday, a day after State Auditor Jim Zeigler said he was ordering Bentley to appear before him to answer questions about the use of state funds and his relationship with a former staffer.  Bentley said the appropriate legal process was through the Alabama Ethics Commission where Zeigler has already filed a complaint.  The governor said he is cooperating fully with the commission.  

2016 Alabama Book Festival

Apr 22, 2016

The Alabama Book Festival takes place this weekend in Montgomery.  More than 50 authors will be on hand at Old Alabama Town for book signings, readings and workshops.  Among those is Ross Howell Jr.  His novel "Forsaken" tells the story of a Virginia teenager who was executed in 1912 for the murder of her employer.  Howell was recently a guest on the WVAS Perspectives talk show.  Hours for the book festival are Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  A full list of events and times is available at alabamabookfestival.org. 

Proposed Prison Project Clears Committee

Apr 22, 2016

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley's proposed $800 million prison construction project cleared a major hurdle Thursday, after a committee approved the bill along with a proposed $13 increase in auto title fees as a funding source.  The House Ways and Means General Fund Committee voted 7-4 for a revised bill authorizing an $800 million bond issue to build four new prisons, three regional mega-prisons for men and a new women's prison, and close most existing state facilities.  The vote came after approval of a separate bill to raise auto title fees.

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