WVAS Local

Series of Suspicious Fires Investigated

Feb 15, 2017

   Montgomery Fire Department investigators are looking into a series of suspicious fires that have occurred on the same street over the past several days.  A statement from the Department reports that all three of the affected houses were vacant and all are on Myles Street. Myles is located off Fairview Avenue near St. Jude.     The first fire took place Saturday on the street’s 18-hundred block. The second occurred Monday morning in the same block…and the third happened Tuesday in the 19-hundred block. No one was hurt in any of the blazes.

Summer Jobs Program is Back

Feb 14, 2017

   The city of Montgomery has opened registration for its very popular Summer Jobs Program. Now in its second year, the program offers work opportunities for young people aged 17 to 21. Participants work 20 to 30 hours per week for $9.73 an hour. Several city departments are involved in the effort, including the Montgomery Clean City Commission, Parks and Recreation, Montgomery City-County Public Library, Finance, Montgomery Fire/Rescue, Risk Management, Street maintenance, Planning and Sanitation. The jobs run from June 2nd to July 13th.

The state is taking control of Montgomery's public school system.  The state school board voted unanimously Thursday to clear the way for a state takeover.  The move means the Alabama Department of Education will intervene is as many as roughly two dozen failing schools.  Local officials will continue overseeing schools that are doing better.  The takeover is expected to last three to five years.  

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley says he will conduct interviews with candidates to be the next state attorney general.  Bentley will name a new state attorney general after appointing Luther Strange Thursday to the U.S. Senate.  The governor said he will begin interviews this week and would release names afterward.  However, the governor has already been communicating with a number of potential candidates

   Alabama Governor Robert Bentley has named state Attorney General Luther Strange to the U.S. Senate seat left empty by Jeff Sessions. He made the announcement this morning. Strange will replace Sessions, whose selection as U.S. attorney general by President Donald Trump was confirmed Wednesday. The 63 year old Strange has been the state's attorney general since 2011. Strange will serve until an election is held to fill the seat for the remainder of Sessions' term, which ends in January of 2020. Bentley has said that election will be held in the general election in 2018.

Siegelman Freed

Feb 8, 2017

Former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman has been released from a federal prison in Louisiana where he was serving a six-year sentence for bribery and obstruction of justice.  Siegelman's supporters cheered the release of the 70-year-old Democrat who for decades was a dominating figure in state politics. A spokesperson for Siegelman said the former governor's friends and family are "very excited about his release and very much look forward to seeing him."  

   Alabama’s aging and overcrowded prison system was the central focus of Governor Robert Bentley’s State of the State address last night. He urged lawmakers to pass his 800 million dollar prison construction plan that would build four new prisons while closing most of the current facilities. Bentley says the consolidation would alleviate the cost of the bond issue. Not all lawmakers are on board, worrying that the cost of the prisons will outweigh the savings.

   Former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman could be released from prison this week. So says his former aide Chip Hill. According to Hill, Siegelman was told he would be released to house arrest Wednesday from a federal prison in Louisiana.  The 70 year old Democrat is nearing the end of a 6 and a half year sentence for bribery and obstruction of justice. Siegelman was convicted of selling an appointment to a state health board in exchange for donations to his 1999 lottery campaign.

Montgomery Police have arrested three men in connection with a January murder.  17-year-old Joquan Belyue, 17-year-old Terrance Moorer and 22-year-old Errol Johnson have all been charged with the murder of Joshua Rogers.  Police say the suspects, along with the murder victim, were committing a robbery on January 9th when Rogers was fatally shot.  Police found him in the median of the 800 block of Northern Boulevard.  Another adult male was shot as well, but because of the alleged robbery, the three men are being charged with Rogers' murder.

   A sobering update from the Alabama Corrections Commissioner on the status of the state’s prison system to lawmakers yesterday. Commissioner Jeff Dunn told a joint meeting of the house and senate judiciary committees that the risk in Alabama’s crowding prisons is growing every day. He said conditions are declining as the system deals with overcrowding and understaffing. The Bentley administration is trying to build support for an $800 million prison construction bond issue.