Breaking Local News
Charles Heinlein will head West Virginia's public school system until the state superintendent's position is permanently filled. The state Board of Education named Heinlein as superintendent this week for the short term. Heinlein will return to his current position as deputy superintendent after the board hires someone to replace Jim Phares, who will retire June 30. Heinlein will take over the job on July 1 and will be paid $165,000. He also served as a short-term superintendent after the board fired former Superintendent Jorea Marple in 2012.
An anonymous tip led to a drug arrest this week. The Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office STOP Team arrested 32-year old Jared Brent Casdorph of Pinch after executing a search warrant at his home. He was arrested for possession with intent to distribute heroin. Additional charges are being considered, as well. The Sheriff’s Office says it reviews and distributes every tip it gets, even though they don't always lead to arrests. You can call the Meth Lab Tip Line at 304-357-4693 and any tips can be submitted at www.kanawhasheriff.us.
Police have recovered a stolen state vehicle that was issued to West Virginia School Building Authority executive director Mark Manchin. The Boone County Sheriff's Department found the Ford Fusion on Tuesday at a home in the Bloomingrose area. Manchin had reported the vehicle stolen in late April from a hotel parking garage in Charleston. Boone County chief deputy Chad Barker said deputies went to the home to arrest 51-year-old David Griffy Sr. and 24-year-old Marra Altizer on unrelated petit larceny charges. Barker says police haven't determined who took the vehicle.
After a plea deal had been struck in the Mark Plants domestic battery case, it's being called into question. Under the deal, the Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney could see domestic violence charges dropped if he completes a 32-week education course. The Putnam County prosecutor says a plea deal is illegal and he's advising that he not be accepted. How it all resolves remains to be seen.
West Virginia residents can begin applying for school clothing vouchers for eligible children on July 1. The Department of Health and Human Resources say the vouchers can be used toward the purchase of school clothing, and each eligible child gets a $200 voucher. Children in foster care will automatically receive the vouchers, along with children in families who currently receive cash assistance from WV WORKS. The deadline to apply is July 31st, and the vouchers must be used by October 31st.
The wife of Pratt mayor Gary Fields is facing charges after an alleged domestic incident Monday. The criminal complaint says Norma Fields is accused of hitting her husband in the hand with her cane and broke several items around the house, including a glass mirror. She's been charged with misdemeanor domestic battery.
Kanawha County Prosecutor Mark Plants has a plea deal in the domestic battery case against him. A deal had been reached prior to Tuesday's deal, but that one was said to be illegal because domestic violence defendants can't be part of pretrial diversions The new deal struck Tuesday is referred to as pretrial monitoring, and under the deal Plants will have to go through a 32-week domestic violence education program in Putnam County. After that charges would be dropped. There will be a compliance check at the end of August. Plants is accused of domestic battery against his 11-year old son, and of violating a protective order.
Kelsey Legg was sentenced Tuesday to 5-8 years prison for her role in the murder of Kareem Hunter in 2013. Miguel Quinones and Deveron Patterson have been charged with 1st degree murder in the case. Cpl B-D Humphreys says before the hearing at least one person was removed from the courtroom for unruly behavior. After the hearing there was a fight on the sidewalk along Court Street. 36-year old Anthony Bryant of Charleston was arrested for battery after pushing down a 54 year old female victim causing a head injury. The victim is expected to be okay. 57-year old Terry Lee Phillips of Charleston was arrested for obstructing an officer.
An audit of West Virginia's casinos says each facility's financial condition is sound, despite revenue losses. An audit by a Charleston firm says the casinos' total revenue dropped by more than $140 million between the 2012 and 2013 fiscal years. It cites competition from casinos in Maryland, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races experienced the largest revenue decline, from $546 million in fiscal 2012 to about $456 million in fiscal 2013.
A federal lawsuit blames a Charleston airport runway construction project for the January 9th chemical spill. The consolidated lawsuit filed Friday in Charleston said Yeager Airport's now-complete runway extension never safeguarded against stormwater runoff. Plaintiffs say the airport let water flow downhill to the Freedom Industries site below, which eroded the foundation of the tank that spilled. The lawsuit said effects of the runway project that started in 2004 "significantly caused or contributed" to Freedom leaking coal-cleaning chemicals into the Elk River on Jan. 9. The lawsuit also targets a former and current Freedom executive, the company that produces the chemical, the water company and its parent and runway project contractors. The airport says it was never notified by Freedom that there was a problem.