Melanie Hogan

News Reporter I

Melanie cut her teeth as a work study student working in the areas of news reporting and announcing.  After graduating from Alabama State University, she also worked as a production assistant at the local NBC affiliate, WSFA-TV.  Her professional achievements include News Reporter of the year in 2010 and 2011 by the Alabama Broadcasters Association.  She is a member of Sigma Delta Chi, the Society of Professional Journalists and says her goal is to continually grow as a dynamic journalist. 

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Johnny Williams has been named the new executive director of the Central Alabama Sports Commission.  The commission works to attract activities to Montgomery and the River Region.  Williams has held numerous positions throughout his career including the director of the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl; he says there are plans to reach out to local institutions like Alabama State University.  Williams say other plans include seeking new venues, upgrading facilities and growing community support.  

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is asking a state judicial panel to dismiss ethics charges against him, saying he never told probate judges to refuse marriage licenses to gay couples.  Moore on Tuesday filed his response to accusations that he violated judicial ethics with a 2016 administrative order, six months after the U.S. Supreme Court effectively legalized same-sex marriage.  His lawyers wrote that the order only noted correctly that a state court injunction to refuse same-sex marriage licenses had not been lifted.  Moore could face removal from office over the charges.  

In the latest Kids Count Data Book, Alabama fell to 46th in the nation, dropping for the second straight year.  The state lost ground in all four child well-being indicators, economic well-being, education, health and family and community.  Policy and Research Director for Voices for Alabama's children, Rhonda Mann says poverty in the state puts children at a disadvantage.  The news wasn't all bad.  Alabama did see a decline in the number of low birth weight babies; the proportion of children without health insurance; child and teen deaths; and alcohol and drug abuse by teens.

Officials say Alabama consumers will receive more than $6,300,000 from Apple Inc.  in a lawsuit over inflated e-book prices.  Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange said in a statement Monday that the tech giant is expected to spend about $400 million to compensate consumers across the country and Alabamians are slated to receive approximately $6,357,100.  Strange says Alabama and 32 other states prosecuted Apple for considering with five major American publishers to raise E-book prices.

Acting House Speaker Victor Gaston says he is declining a state security detail in order to save the state money.  Gaston made the announcement Monday.  Gaston said he was declining the security detail available to those in legislative leadership positions.  The Mobile Republican said that will allow law enforcement officers to dedicate their time to more important duties "than chauffeuring me between Mobile and Montgomery."  Gaston, who was elected speaker pro tem, took over the duties of House speaker earlier this month following House Speaker Mike Hubbard's conviction on ethics charges.

A 17-year-old is in critical but stable condition and a 18-year-old is charged with attempted murder after a shooting early Monday morning in Opelika.  Opelika police responded to the 1800 block of Toomer Street around 12:20 a.m. on  a call of a gunshot victim.  When they arrived they found the male victim suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.  He was taken to the East Alabama Medical Center for treatment.  He was later flown to Columbus Midtown Medical Center.

Temperatures for June have been above normal so far in central Alabama and Friday is expected to be one of the hottest days of the year, reaching the upper 90s.  Staff meteorologist for the National Weather Service Office in Birmingham, Connor Baird, says there's no unusual weather phenomenon to blame.  Baird advises residents to stay hydrated, wear bright colored clothing and refrain from staying outside for extended periods.  

A tragic accident with a toddler at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa has left many parents concerned about alligators. The cold-blood animals are a common sight in Florida ponds, lakes, lagoons and canals. Here in Alabama, wildlife experts say an alligator attack is extremely unlikely. Wildlife Biologist for the Alabama Department of Conservation, Chris Nix says people should always take precautions because the animals do not discriminate against their prey.

The president of Alabama State University announced Thursday the institution has been removed from warning status by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.  ASU President Dr. Gwendolyn Boyd broke the news live on WVAS-FM 90.7.  Dr. Boyd said the "dark cloud" that has been over ASU for the past two years has been lifted and now the university will be able to move forward with several projects including plans for two new academic programs.  Dr. Boyd says the removal represents a new day for ASU.  

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