WVAS Local

   Letters have been sent to the sheriffs and district attorneys of Macon and Lowndes counties by Governor Robert Bentley and Attorney General Luther Strange asking them to shut down illegal gambling operations.     Electronic bingo casinos have recently reopened in those counties, including the Victoryland gaming center. In the letters, Strange and Bentley write that electronic bingo is "clearly disallowed" by state law. They asked to hear the enforcement plans of local law enforcement by Sept. 30. Victoryland reopened on September 13 to overflowing crowds.

Medicaid Restores Payments to Doctors

Sep 23, 2016

   Doctors who take Medicaid patients in Alabama got some good news yesterday when Governor Robert Bentley announced that enhanced payments would be returning. The Medicaid Agency payments to doctors had been reduced because of an 85 million dollar shortfall in the agency’s budget for the new fiscal year. Thanks to a special session in which legislators passed a bill to provide additional funding to Medicaid, the primary care bump has been restored. The money comes from a bond issue supported by oil spill settlement funds.

The "State of the University" address was presented Thursday by Alabama State University President Dr. Gwendolyn Boyd.  Students, faculty, staff and community members packed the Dunn-Oliver Acadome.  During her presentation, Dr. Boyd addressed negative rumors; she also highlighted achievements by a number of students, student athletes and professors.  

Temporary Bypass on Leaking Pipeline Complete

Sep 21, 2016

Gasoline should begin flowing again today — through a temporary bypass on a critical pipeline — after a major leak in Alabama forced a shutdown. The rupture led to surging fuel prices and scattered gas shortages across the South. That's according to an official with Colonial Pipeline. Company spokesman Steve Baker tells The Associated Press that the roughly 500-foot section of pipe serving as the bypass is now complete, but that supply disruptions may continue for days.

Members of the Montgomery County Board of Education met Tuesday to make a decision about approving a contract for the interim chief school financial officer.  Recently, MPS Chief Financial Officer Pamela Wooden was terminated by the board allegedly due to errors that led to delayed paychecks for employees.  Board Chairman Melissa Snowden says Tuesday's meeting went smoothly.  The next regularly scheduled meeting will be held on September 27th.  

Creepy Clown Epidemic Comes to Montgomery

Sep 20, 2016

   Posts on social media by individuals dressed as sinister-looking clowns are being taken seriously by Montgomery authorities. Police say the statements on Facebook make physical threats against school children. Montgomery Police Chief Earnest Findley says the posts may be pranks, but it is no laughing matter. The trend of clown sightings or creepy clown social media posts has been sweeping the southeast. Troy police just took two teenagers in for questioning about a clown video. Mobile authorities are investigating threats from last week. 

A pipeline rupture in Alabama is being blamed for gas shortages across the South. Authorities say the shortage stems from the Colonial Pipeline Company closing a portion of the pipeline earlier this month.  Officials say nearly -250-thousand gallons of fuel spilled in rural Alabama.  Triple A Alabama spokesman Clay Ingram says the uptick in gasoline prices is only temporary.  Officials say the cause of the leak is being investigated. 


Colonial Pipeline Working to Bypass Leak

Sep 19, 2016

Colonial Pipeline says it is beginning construction of a temporary pipeline that will bypass a leaking section of its main gasoline pipeline in Shelby County, Alabama. Colonial said yesterday that the bypass line could be completed this week. Fuel supplies in at least five states — Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and the Carolinas — were threatened by the spill, and the U.S.

Alabama Unemployment Rate Drops Again

Sep 16, 2016

 The governor's office says Alabama's unemployment rate is down to 5.4 percent. The jobless rate announced Friday for August is three-tenths of a percent less than the July number, and it is well below the August 2015 unemployment rate of 6.1 percent. Unemployment in Alabama is still worse than average nationally, with the U.S. jobless rate at 4.9 percent. The August unemployment rate represents 116,361 people without jobs in Alabama, compared to 123,034 in July. Shelby County has the state's lowest unemployment rate at 4.2 percent.

Montgomery's Garrett Coliseum is hosting the "Homeless Veteran Stand Down" event this week.  It's sponsored by the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System; several veterans told WVAS News, they were pleased with the information provided about the resources they've been seeking.  Thursday's event ended at 2 p.m. but the event will reopen at 9 a.m. on Friday.  The annual event links veterans with numerous agencies and companies, some specializing in housing, employment, health and education.