WVAS Local

Murder in North Montgomery last night

May 15, 2018

   Montgomery police have released more information regarding a fatal shooting from last night. In a statement, police say officers were flagged down by a motorist near the intersection of Chisholm Street and Lower Wetumpka Road around 7:30pm. The driver told police he was attempting to take a man with a gunshot wound to the hospital. Fire medics were called to the location and soon determined that the adult male had died from the injury. Investigators say the victim has been identified as 28 year old Jamichael Stokes of Montgomery.

   There is an election tomorrow for the Alabama District 26 Senate seat. Montgomery City Councilman David Burkette won the Democratic nomination earlier this year while candidate Darrell “DJ” Johnson is representing the Republican party in the race. The special election is being held to fill the seat left vacant when former Senator Quinton Ross left the position to take over as President of Alabama State University.

 Tuition is going up for Alabama's community and technical colleges. The Alabama Community College System on Wednesday approved a $10-a-credit-hour increase set to go into effect this fall. System officials say the increase brings the average tuition and fees at community colleges to $153 an hour and will generate about $14 million in additional tuition revenue each year. Half of the additional funding will be divided among the 25 community and technical colleges and half will be used for statewide college support.


   A Montgomery teacher brought home the award for Alabama Teacher of the Year last night. The State Department of Education bestowed the title to Zestlan Simmons, an 11th grade English instructor at Booker T. Washington Magnet High School.

She will spend the next year as an ambassador for education and for teaching. Simmons will conduct workshops to various groups. By virtue of her win, she becomes a candidate for National Teacher of the Year. Simmons had also already landed the designation of AP English teacher of the year by the National Math and Science initiative.

Gov. Kay Ivey

   The Alabama Fraternal Order of Police took time to honor law enforcement officers Friday who have died while on the job. A ceremony was held on the south lawn of the State Capitol that included remarks from Governor Kay Ivey and Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall. One officer lost his life last year in the line of duty. That was Lowndes County Sheriff’s Deputy Levi Pettway. Pettway worked as a resource officer in a Lowndes County School. He was killed in a single-vehicle accident in April of 2017.


   After a long day of interviews, the Montgomery County Board of Education selected Dr. Ann Moore as its new superintendent yesterday. The vote was 6 to 1. Dr. Moore has been the interim superintendent for Montgomery for several months now. She says she will just remove the interim label and keep working. Dr. Lesa Keith was the only board member voting against Moore. She says she believes Moore will do a good job, but she fears her salary demands may exceed what the board should pay. Contract negotiations are still to come.

Teacher Magazine

 The Montgomery County Board of Education is expected to interview the finalists for Superintendent today. The list was narrowed to four candidates earlier this week. The finalists are Doctors Robert Griffin, Angela Mangum, Ann Moore and Larry Dichiara. The public will have an opportunity to ask questions of the group from 10am until noon at the Professional Services Center on South Union Street. Board members will then interview each candidate and are expected to announce a new superintendent at the end of the meeting.

Another arrest made in Montgomery homicide

May 1, 2018

   A second man has now been arrested in the death of 28 year old Damion Clarke. Police say 30 year old Mark Robinson of Montgomery was taken into custody yesterday in connection with the homicide. Clarke was found shot to death on January 7th of this year in the 58-hundred block of Cherry Hill Road. Authorities had already arrested 25 year old Clyde Jones and charged him with capital murder. Now Robinson has been charged with murder and placed in the Montgomery County Detention Facility. His bond is 150-thousand dollars.

Equal Justice Initiative

   It is finally here, the grand opening of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice along with the Legacy Museum. Years in the making, the project is the brainstorm of Bryan Stevenson, the founder of the legal advocacy group Equal Justice Initiative. A six acre site on Caroline Street is home to 800 rectangular steel slabs, some on the ground, but most suspended from the roof of the monument. Each one representing a county where lynchings occurred, inscribed with the names of the victims.

Equal Justice Initiative

   A press conference is set for this afternoon by the Equal Justice Initiative to talk about the opening of its National Memorial for Peace and Justice later this week. The legal advocacy group in Montgomery says the combined museum and memorial will be the nation's first site to document racial inequality in America from slavery through Jim Crow to the issues of today. The site includes a memorial to the victims of 4,400 "terror lynchings" of black people in 800 U.S. counties from 1877 through 1950.