WVAS Local

Leaders Address Surge in Violence in Capital City

May 27, 2015

Montgomery Public Safety Director Chris Murphy and Police Chief Ernest Finley say the lack of communication skills and the inability resolve conflicts are in part to blame for the surge in deadly violence across the city over the Memorial Day weekend.  Montgomery Police Detectives are investigating five homicides, four shootings and one stabbing that left five males dead.  The homicides occurred between Saturday and Monday on Shenandoah Drive, East Smiley Court, Malabar Road, Lower Wetumpka Road and South Court Street.  Montgomery has recorded 15 homicides this year.  

Auburn University Employee Faces Multiple Charges

May 26, 2015

A lab technician at Auburn University has been arrested.   64-year-old Stephen Howard is accused of selling and distributing a date rape drug known as GHB.  U.S. Attorney George Beck says Howard had a license to order substances through the university.  Howard was arrested Friday;  if convicted could face up to 20 years in prison.  

Traffic Fatalities

Wave of Violence Over Memorial Day Weekend

May 26, 2015

Violence marred the Memorial Day weekend in the capital city.  Montgomery Police say five people were slain in shootings and stabbings that occurred between Saturday and Monday.  The latest homicide occurred Monday night on Lower Wetumpka Road where a male victim was pronounced dead at the scene.  No arrests were made.  Detectives are also investigating four unrelated homicides.  A man was stabbed to death Saturday night at an apartment complex on South Court Street.  Fatal shootings on Saturday and Sunday left three people dead on Shenandoah Drive, East Smiley Court and Malabar Road.

Alabama Prison Reform Legislation Becomes Law

May 22, 2015

Alabama's governor has signed legislation meant to reduce severe overcrowding in state prisons.  Legislators joined Robert Bentley at a bill signing ceremony Thursday.  Alabama prisons house nearly twice the number of inmates they were designed to hold.  Mobile state Senator Vivian Figures is a member of the prison reform task force, which crafted the legislation.

MPD To Honor 28 Fallen Police Officers

May 21, 2015

Today, the Montgomery Police Department will pay tribute to 28 fallen police officers and recognize the service of current officers at the annual Police Memorial Day Service.  Montgomery Police Chief Ernest Finley and Mayor Todd Strange will place a wreath on the Police Memorial.  An awards luncheon will be held this afternoon at the Renaissance Convention Center. 

Men Released

DEA's Operation Pillution Nets Dozens of Arrests

May 20, 2015

The Drug Enforcement Administration is raiding pain clinics, pharmacies and other locations in four southern states as part of a crackdown on prescription pain drug abuse.  A federal law enforcement official says the early morning raids in Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi are the final states of a nearly yearlong operation by the DEA's drug diversion unit.  Since last July about 140 people have been arrested, and agents expect as many as 170 more Wednesday.  

Tebow Act

Alabama Senate Considers Budget

May 20, 2015

It's the Alabama Senate's turn to consider a General Fund budget that would make deep cuts of about nine percent or more to state agencies.  The Alabama House, voting along party lines, approved the budget on a 66-36 vote Tuesday.  Democrat Patricia Todd of Birmingham was vocal about her opposition.  But the legislator who helped to write the General Fund budget, Steve Clouse, said there's a chance that additional revenue will be found.  Governor Bentley has called the budget cuts irresponsible and vows to use his veto pen and call lawmakers into a special session.  

Committee Budget Heads to Full House

May 19, 2015

Alabama's second of two budgets has made its way out of committee and will move on to the full House.  The House Ways and Means Education Committee approved the Education Trust Fund's nearly $6 billion budget for 2016.  Committee Chairman Bill Poole says he expects the budget will be debated on the House floor Thursday.  A substitute budget adopted by the House committee would increase funding for the state's school transportation program by $4.5 million.  The House version would increase funding for the state's pre-kindergarten program by $10 million.

House Black Caucus Proposes Alternative Budget

May 19, 2015

The House Black Caucus is proposing an alternative General Fund budget that would shift funding to critical state services that includes Medicaid, prisons, public health and law enforcement.  Caucus chair, Montgomery Representative John Knight, will hold a news conference today to discuss the budget proposals.  Legislators are struggling to find revenue to cover a $200 million shortfall in the General Fund.  

Train Derails

Mission: Readiness Combats Obesity Issues

May 18, 2015

Increasingly, young people in the U.S. and particularly Alabama are too overweight for military service.  To combat this reality, updated nutrition standards have been implemented in schools since 2010 to encourage healthier eating habit.   Mission: Readiness, a group of retired senior military leaders says recent efforts to back off of those standards are misguided.  Retired Master Chief Petty officer of the Navy, Jim Herdt says they are beginning to make a difference.