WVAS Local

Work Begins on General Fund Budget

Aug 3, 2015

The Alabama Statehouse will be buzzing with activity today as legislators in the House and Senate return to Montgomery to resume a special session following a three-week long recess.  Governor Robert Bentley wants lawmakers to fix a shortfall in the General Fund budget.  He has proposed $302 million in taxes that includes a 25 cent per pack hike in cigarette taxes.  Senate president Pro Tem Del Marsh of Anniston said Senate Republicans have developed their own plans to address the shortfall.

Inmate Search

Former Doctor Found Guilty Again

Jul 31, 2015

A former doctor has been found guilty for a second time in a murder for hire scheme.  David Nash was convicted of felony murder Thursday in the death of Ralph McNeil, who was also known as critter man because he trapped unwanted animals.  Authorities have said Nash's girlfriend was in a custody dispute with McNeil, her ex-boyfriend, which prompted the two to pay a pair of cousins about $9,000 to kill the man.  The woman has been convicted of murder.

A former Prattville police officer has been indicted on multiple felony charges, including impersonating a peace officer.  According to the Alabama Attorney General's office, the indictment issued Wednesday names 46-year-old John Wayne McDaniel Jr.  He is charged with theft, unlawful possession of a controlled substance, extortion and claiming to be a Prattville police lieutenant.  Authorities said McDaniel resigned from the police force in 2013.  The AG's office said McDaniel was originally arrested on the charges in 2013 and was released on bond.  

Tax and Budget Proposals Unveiled

Jul 30, 2015

Governor Robert Bentley has released his tax and budget proposals ahead of next week's special session on a budget shortfall.  Legislators will return to Montgomery Monday to continue a special session.  The state is facing a $200 million shortfall for the fiscal year that begins October 1st.  The governor is seeking a cigarette tax increase, raising the business privilege tax on larger businesses and he has also proposed to end the ability of taxpayers to claim a state income tax deduction for federal Social Security taxes paid.  

Gun Laws

Three MPD Officers Placed On Administrative Leave

Jul 29, 2015

Montgomery's police chief says a police officer has been arrested and two other police employees have been placed on administrative leave with pay.  Police Chief Ernest Finely told reporters Wednesday the disciplinary action was taken in connection with a domestic incident that occurred last Sunday at the home of a police officer.  Chief Finley said officer Janice Braswell was arrested and charged with misdemeanor harassment.  Braswell posted bond and was released.  The investigation is being handled by the Office of City Investigations.  

Passenger Dies

Missing Man's Remains Found in Freezer

Jul 24, 2015

Authorities in south Alabama say a missing man's remains have been found in his freezer and a person of interest has been taken into custody.  Butler County Sheriff Kenny Harden tells WSFA 39-year-old Michael Dwayne Graham was killed and his remain were put in the freezer at his mobile home in Greenville.  Investigators have said the man's car was found abandoned in the Atlanta area and the person who had been driving it was tracked to North Carolina.

Blue Bell Creameries Starts Ice Cream Trial Run

Jul 24, 2015

Blue Bell Creameries has started ice cream production trial runs in Alabama three months after a listeria scare halted all sales.  The Texas-based company said it's evaluating the enhanced production processes at its plant in Sylacauga, Alabama.  Blue Bell earlier this month notified federal and Alabama health officials of its plans for test production.  Blue Bell has not said when sales will resume.  

Body Burned

Online Driver License Renewal

Jul 23, 2015

Alabamians can now go online to renew their driver licenses.  The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Thursday unveiled the new procedure along with another initiative that will enable people to make appointments for visits to driver license examining offices across the state.  Anyone renewing their license online must have a printer to print out a temporary license.  A permanent license would be mailed out within 30 days.  Anyone renewing online will be required to pay a service fee.

Body Cameras Arrive in Montgomery

Jul 23, 2015

The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office is among the latest law enforcement agencies in Alabama to received its first shipment of body cameras.  Sheriff Derrick Cunningham has received his order of 86 body cameras for patrol deputies and correction officers.  He tells the Montgomery Advertiser that he's pleased the six-month wait is over.  Sheriff Cunningham said he researched buying the cameras well before the outcry for more transparency.

A New Report Shows Child Poverty Increasing

Jul 22, 2015

A new report on child welfare suggests that there are more U.S. children living in poverty than before the Great Recession.  The latest Kids County Data Book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation say 22 percent of American children were living in poverty in 2013 compared with 18 percent in 2008.  In Alabama, 27 percent of children now live in poverty.  Voices for Alabama's Children Director of Policy and Research Rhonda Mann say the state actually dropped from 44th in the nation to 45th in terms of overall child well-being.