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. 

Ways to Connect

An Alabama judge has rejected a man's 'stand your ground' defense in the shooting death of an Auburn football player.  Lee County Circuit Court Judge Christopher Hughes issued an order Monday denying immunity for Markale Hart in the death of former Auburn University football player Jakell Mitchell.  Hart had testified that he only opened fire after Mitchell fired gunshots outside a party in 2014.  

Hyundai Motor Manufacturing is now mass producing the Santa Fe Sport SUV.  Tuesday, Governor Robert Bentley had a chance to officially welcome back the Sport SUV, which had not been built in Montgomery since 2010.  Governor Bentley says the return of the Santa Fe shows that Hyundai is among top industry leaders.  The Santa Fe will make the third vehicle on Montgomery's assembly line and the plant will continue to produce Sonata and Elantras.  Hyundai forecast is to produce 36,700 Santa Fes this year.  

Training sessions for local law enforcement agencies across the state are being offered by the Alabama Attorney General's Office.  The first training event was held Tuesday in Montgomery.  The Attorney General's Communications Director Mike Lewis says the sessions are intended to keep officers on the local level up to date on the latest investigative practices.  Future sessions are being planned for Mobile, Baldwin, Houston, Shelby, Walker and other counties in the coming months.  

Registration is going on now for the second session of the Summer Kids Youth College Adventure Program at Alabama State University.  SKYCAP as it's called, weaves together education and extracurricular activities for students in the 1st through the 12th grades. SKYCAP Director Olan Wesley says nearly 300 students attended the first session.  The second session begins July 11th, ASU's Continuing Education Department offers more information about the program, the number is (334) 229-4686.  

The Montgomery County District Attorney says a large backlog of drug cases is burdening the county justice system.  District Attorney Daryl Bailey tells the Montgomery Advertiser that a 1,604 case backlog means that anybody arrested for drug-related charges would currently be waiting more than two years for a trial as evidence is processed.  Bailey says the state's budget crisis and staff cuts have caused the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences to struggle with the number of cases it needs to analyze.

One man is dead following a shooting last night in Opelika.  Police say the homicide occurred in a trailer park on Hurst Street around 7 o'clock.  The victim has not been identified.  The Opelika Police Department is asking anyone with information on the incident to call them at (334) 705-5220.  No other details have been released.  Published reports indicate it is the third homicide in Opelika this year.  

A generous gift to the Montgomery Police Department is allowing eight K9 officers to be equipped with bullet and stab protective vests.  The body armor will specifically be used on the department's dual purpose dogs which are used in narcotics detection and apprehension.  A trainer in the K9 unit, Sgt. Jim Ezell says they are grateful for the donation.  The non-profit organization Vested Interests is providing the vests, which cost around a thousand dollars apiece.  

A rededication ceremony was held in Montgomery Thursday honoring 19 members of the United States Air Force killed in June 1996 in the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi, Arabia.  The Maxwell AFB-Gunter Annex hosted the event with a wreath laying ceremony and unveiling of the Khobar Towers, a new exhibit featuring personal items and military uniforms from the towers.  WVAS News spoke with one of the survivors, Roger Wilson who says his life was forever changed by the blast.  The new exhibit is on display at the USAF Enlisted Heritage Hall.   

A judge has ordered the state to return seized electronic gambling machines to Greenetrack after finding that the machines comply with state law.  Circuit Judge Houston L. Brown on Wednesday gave the state 30 days to give the casino back the 825 gambling machines seized in the 2010 raid.  While decision was a victory for Greentrack, the Alabama Supreme Court has consistently ruled that the electronic gambling machines are illegal under state law.  

Dirt Pass Progam

Jun 22, 2016

Promoters of Alabama state parks are hoping residents make donations through the new "Dirt Pass" program.  Park-goers and trail users can purchase a Dirt Pass and sport a rubber wristband that acts as a donation toward the improvement and management of the state's trail systems.  It's a way for park visitors to voluntarily fund revitalization projects.  The Dirt pass can be purchased at ten of the state's parks including Cheaha, Chewacla, DeSoto, and Wind Creek.