Melanie Hogan

News Director

Melanie began her career as a work study student, working in the areas of news reporting, anchoring and news-gathering. After graduating from Alabama State University, she worked as a production assistant at the local NBC affiliate, WSFA-TV.  As a News Director at WVAS-FM, Melanie leads her team to produce award- winning newscasts and talk shows.  Her professional achievements includes News Reporter of the Year for a number of years and awards for talk show producer, by the Alabama Broadcasters Association and the Associated Press.  She is an active member of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce.  Her goals are to expand the reach of WVAS FM into more homes locally, regionally and nationally.  

Ways to Connect

Alabama is inching forward with a plan to build three new prisons.

The Alabama Department of Corrections will open company responses to a "request for qualifications" from firms interested in building the proposed new prisons.

A spokeswoman for Gov. Kay Ivey said the state will release the names of the companies on Monday.

Ivey in February announced a plan to build three new prisons. She said state officials will first gather proposals from companies and then decide how to proceed.

The administration is exploring the possibility of leasing the prisons.

Assembly Line Murder

Aug 5, 2019

An employee at an automobile seat factory in Alabama is charged with murder after a co-worker was shot to death on the assembly line.

News outlets report 28-year-old Angela Nichole Mayo is being held in the shooting of 27-year-old Shanina Smith.

Both women worked at Lear Corp. in Tuscaloosa County. The factory makes seats for the Mercedes-Benz plant west of Birmingham.

Sheriff officials say Smith was working on the line when she was shot to death Sunday night, adding Mayo left the factory after the shooting but later surrendered to police.

An Alabama police chief says an officer staged a shooting last month to make it look like he was under attack.

Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith said their investigation concluded "this entire event was a hoax."

Smith says Officer Keith Buchanan made a distress call early July 21 while patrolling an isolated area. Shots could be heard in the background, and an abandoned police car was found with a bullet hole. He was later found moaning on the ground.

Alabama might have to pay more than $1million to lawyers for abortion clinics after the state's unsuccessful attempt to ban a common second trimester abortion procedure.

In a court filing last week, lawyers for abortion clinics said they will seek to recoup $1 million in legal fees and nearly $24,000 in expenses. Alabama is responsible for the plaintiffs' fees after federal courts ruled the law unconstitutional.

Montgomery police say a 35-year-old Hope Hull man has died after an early morning shooting.  According to Sgt. Jarrett Williams, officers were called to the 5700 block of East Shirley Lane around 12:30 a.m. after a report that someone had been shot.  When they arrived, they found Toderick Smith who was later pronounced dead.  Williams says investigators are looking into the events that led to this fatal shooting.  No arrests have been made.  

Boating Deaths

Alabama's unemployment rate is holding steady.  State officials said the July jobless rate was 4.1 percent, mirroring June’s rate.

It is higher than the national unemployment rate of 3.9 percent; the Alabama Department of Labor says the number of people working is at a record high, citing more than 2.1 million people are now working in the state.

Shelby County has the state's lowest unemployment rate at 3.1 percent, followed by Cullman County at 3.5 percent.

Wilcox County had the highest unemployment rate at 11.2 percent. Clarke County followed at 9.1 percent.

The Alabama Board of Education has named former Superintendent Dr. Ed Richardson as interim superintendent of education.  Board members voted Richardson eight to one to lead public schools following the resignation of Superintendent Michael Sentance.  As part of Sentance's separation agreement, he will be paid his salary for the remainder of the year, about $57,000.  

Forecasters say rain from the remnants of Hurricane Harvey could reach Alabama in coming days.  The National Weather Service says isolated showers and thunderstorms could reach north Alabama by Tuesday night.  High winds and heavy rainfall are possible.  In South Alabama, forecasters say there's an elevated risk of flooding along rivers and creeks starting Tuesday as rain chances increase.  

Federal, state and local law enforcement officials announced Thursday 26 people were arrested in connection with a drug trafficking with ties to East Alabama.  Officials say the suspects are facing various charges including narcotics and money laundering.  Acting U.S. Attorney Clark Morris for the Middle District of Alabama says it is one of the largest takedowns in recent years.  She says the estimated economic impact of removing the suspects from the streets could be in the millions.  

The public is invited to the annual Jewish Food Festival; it will be held in Montgomery on Sunday.  Festival goers will be able to sample an assortment of Jewish food and shop in the "Treasure Market."  Rabbi Elliot Stevens of the Kahl Montgomery Temple Beth Or says events like the festival serve as a community outreach tool.  The free event will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Kahl Montgomery Temple Beth Or.