WVAS Local

National Security Forum in Montgomery

May 4, 2016

Almost 150 community leaders from around the U.S. have gathered at Maxwell Air Force Base this week for the 63rd Air University National Security Forum.  The three-day event is designed to provide civilians an opportunity to become more informed on international security topics.   The forum runs through Thursday at the Air War College.  

Ex-girlfriend of Captured Fugitive Arrested

May 4, 2016

The former girlfriend of a recently captured fugitive has now been placed under arrest.  U.S. Marshals say Kisha Johnson rendered aid to Raymond Pruitt while he was carrying out his multi-state crime spree last month.  In an ironic twist, she was actually the first victim of his violent tear.  Police say Pruitt stabbed and shot her and then fled in her vehicle on April 5th. Over the next two weeks Pruitt is alleged to have committed five robberies in Alabama and a robbery and murder in Florida.  U.S. Marshals now say during that time Johnson communicated with Pruitt and gave him money.

Lawmakers are continuing to disagree over how much of the state's oil spill settlement funds should go to road projects and how much to the Gulf coast.  The feud on Tuesday threatened to doom legislation doling out the settlement dollars.  A Senate budget committee was scheduled to vote Tuesday on legislation to use $191 million for coastal road projects and $450 million for state debt repayment.  However, Sen. Arthur Orr said the money was intended to compensate the entire state.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley's $800 million prison construction plan is headed to a conference committee as the clock winds down on the legislative session.  State senators voted 28-5 Tuesday night to send the bill to a conference committee.  Bentley is trying to win approval of the plan before the session ends Wednesday.  Bentley is seeking to borrow $800 million to build three new mega-prisons for men, housing up to 4,000 inmates each, and one new women's prison.  Most existing prisons would close under the plan.  The House of Representatives and Senate have both approved the concept.

Alabama Department of Corrections officials say two prisons are on lockdown after inmates began refusing assigned jobs.  A statement from the department says inmates at the William C. Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore and the Elmore Correctional Facility first refused to help staff prepare breakfast on Sunday.  It says the inmates also didn't report to assigned jobs on Monday.  The inmates reportedly haven't made any demands.  The department says both facilities are secure.  

Two Bodies Found Near Talladega Superspeedway

May 3, 2016

The bodies of two men have been found on the campgrounds of Talladega Superspeedway.  Talladega County Coroner Shaddix Murphy says the bodies of 19-year-old Joshua Doiun and 48-year-old James Cook were found Sunday in a camper.  He says both bodies have been sent to the state forensics lab to determine the cause of death.  Foul play is not suspected.  

Bentley's No Show at Hearing

May 3, 2016

As Governor Robert Bentley had indicated, he did not attend a hearing in the office of Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler yesterday.  Zeigler had issued a summons for the governor to appear before him and answer questions regarding his relationship with a former political aide.  The auditor has cited a state law that gives him the power to compel testimony under oath.  It has not been used by any previous auditor.  With Governor Bentley a no-show, Zeigler says he will proceed to the next step.  WVAS News talked with historian Richard Bailey about the case.

Small Business Week in Montgomery

May 2, 2016

Tools to aid small business owners are the focus of Small Business Week in Montgomery.  All this week activities are taking place designed to help local business owners increase and serve their customers.  Start-up small business owner Boyd Stephens will conduct several  of the workshops.  This year's theme is "Dream Big, Start Small."  For more information on Small Business Week activities in the region contact the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce.  

Lawmakers return to Montgomery on Tuesday for the final two days of the 2016 legislative session.  Legislators have a number of high-profile bills left to consider before sine die, but may noteworthy bills have already met the chopping block.  Though Gov. Robert Bentley in March said he though Alabama voters would overwhelmingly approve a state lottery if given the chance, a variety of lottery and gambling legislation failed to gain traction during the 2016 session. A proposal to raise the state's gasoline tax to pay for road and bridge construction failed to make it out of the House.

MPD Arrests Six for Contraband

May 2, 2016

The Montgomery Police Department announced six arrests on federal charges related to the attempted delivery of contraband in to the Montgomery City Jail.  The indictment resulted from an investigation conducted by the United States Marshals Service.  U.S. Marshal Danta Gordon says cell phones have become popular in jails.  This case was investigated by the United Sates Marshals Service and the Montgomery Police Department.  Assistant United States Attorney's Curtis Ivy and Rand Neely are prosecuting the case.