WVAS Local

January 9,2009 –
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Hyundai Motor Co. has cut production at
its auto assembly plant in Montgomery because of unstable economic
conditions and poor auto sales.
The Korean-based automaker said in a statement Thursday, it had
implemented a "flexible work schedule" for January.
A spokesman for Hyundai declined to elaborate.
The factory opened in 2005 and produces the Sonata sedan and the
Santa Fe SUV.

January 9,2009 – Listen to the stories making headlines from the WVAS newsroom.

Montgomery, Alabama – U.S. Labor Department is reporting a sharp increase in the number of people seeking unemployment benefits putting the national average at 7.2 percent. In Alabama, the unemployment figures for December 2008 will not be available until January 23rd. Meanwhile, November's jobless rate in the state was 6.1 percent, an increase over October.

January 8,2009 – MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - A new report shows that Alabama literacy
rates improved from 1992 to 2003 but some counties are still double
the national average illiteracy rate of 14.5 percent.
The study by the National Center for Education Statistics was
released Thursday and showed 15 percent of Alabamians lacked basic
literacy skills in 2003, an improvement from 21 percent in 1992.
The study didn't issue rankings, but 12 states had illiteracy
rates that were higher than Alabama's while 36 and the District of

Birmingham, Alabama – BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Two Birmingham-area coal-fired power plants are among the nation's top three for the amounts of arsenic deposited in onsite ash ponds and landfills, according to a new report.
A report the Environmental Integrity Project released Thursday listed the Gaston Steam Plant in Shelby County and the Gorgas Steam Plant in Walker County as ranked No. 2 and No. 3 for the amounts of arsenic deposited from 2000 to 2006.

January 8,2009 – Montgomery City Councilman Willie Cook is running for Mayor of Montgomery. Cook, who represents district six, so far, is the only city councilman announcing interest in running for the position.

Montgomery Resident John Down announced his candidacy Wednesday. Qualifying for the race begins January 13th with the special election scheduled for March 10th.

January 8,2009 – A west Alabama family is morning the loss of a woman and her infant son. The two were killed Tuesday when flood waters swept away their vehicle in the town of Reform in Pickens County.

Investigators say -27- year old Chrystal Vaughn and her 18 month old son were traveling on a rural road when a culvert burst and swept her vehicle downstream.

Drenching rains on Monday and Tuesday prompted a series of flash flood warnings in several West Alabama counties.

Jan. 8,2009 – MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - State officials say traffic fatalities
on Alabama's rural roads dropped to their lowest level in 23 years
in 2008 due to stricter enforcement, new safety features on roads
and less driving by motorists due to soaring gas prices. Gov. Riley
says state troopers recorded 633 fatal accidents on rural roads in
2008. That's down 17 percent from last year.

Decatur, AL – DECATUR, Ala. (AP) - An affidavit says Decatur police Sgt. Faron
White is accused of taking about $70,000 from a safe containing
confiscated drug money before he flew off to Las Vegas after trying
to fake his own abduction.
The affidavit was filed Tuesday by Morgan County authorities in
support of the arrest warrant for Sarah Elizabeth Richardson. She
is accused of helping White stage his disappearance.
The affidavit given by Decatur Sgt. Richard Archer says
Richardson was aware that White had stolen about $70,000 and on

Decatur, Alabama – In north Alabama, Morgan County Sheriff Greg Barlett is in the county lockup for failing to adequately feed inmates.

Federal Judge U.W. Clemon ordered Bartlett's arrest after the sheriff testified Wednesday that he legally kept about 212 thousand dollars over the past three years with surplus meal money for inmates, but the sheriff testified the inmates were properly fed.