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West Virginians with losses from the June 29 windstorms have about a week left to apply for federal assistance. FEMA spokesman Frank Blake tells us the registration deadline is Dec. 19th. Those who suffered losses between June 29 and July 8 and are residents of counties including Boone, Fayette, Kanawha, Lincoln, and Nicholas should apply with FEMA online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov . FEMA grants may help qualified applicants with things like home repair and medical assistance.
A judge has tacked on six years to Shawn Lester's 40-year sentence because of a robbery and murder plot that happened a few days before he was arrested in connection to the 2003 sniper-style killings that haunted the area. U.S. District Judge John T. Copenhaver on Monday noted that Lester is a man the public needed to be protected from, and sentenced Lester to six years in prison on federal gun possession charges. He's already serving the 40-year maximum for his role in the murder of Jeanie Patton, one of three people shot and killed outside of a Kanawha County convenience store in 2003.
Millions of dollars in unclaimed property is waiting to be claimed again this year. The state averages several million dollars in unclaimed property each year and makes and effort to return it. You just might have some holiday cash waiting. To see if you have any unclaimed property, you can visit the treasurer's site at www.wvsto.com.
Charleston police say two men took about $30,000 worth of jewelry from homesin Kanawha and Lincoln counties this year, and they were selling the items in pawn shops. 26-year old Cody Dylan Fuller, was arrested Thursday night and charged with transferring and receiving stolen property. A warrant was also issued for 26-year old Joshua Paul Caudill. The owner of Charleston Cash 4 Gold is being investigated now for failing to report stolen items, and other individuals that sold items there are also being investigated. Anyone with information on Caudill's whereabouts is asked to call Charleston Police Department's Criminal Investigation Division.
The newly released Lundberg Survey says gas prices have dropped 46 cents a gallon of the past two months. And over the past three weeks, gas prices have dropped a dime to a national average of $3.38 per gallon. The national average is still 8 cents higher than a year ago, but prices could continue to fall and may reach an average below 2011 in the coming days. Drivers in New York are paying the most at $3.85 per gallon, and Memphis, Tennessee has the cheapest gas at $3.04. Charleston is somewhere in the middle, in the $3.40s, according to gasbuddy.com.
The downtown Christmas parade went off without a hitch Saturday. Spectators lined up on Court Street near the Charleston Town Center Mall as Santa passed by. Among the winners in the parade, - Girl Scout Troop #8371 won first place in the nonprofit group for their float in the parade float competition sponsored by the Charleston Town Center. Elk Valley Shamrocks 4-H Club took home second place and the Salvation Army Kettle Drive was named honorable mention. For commercial floats, C&H Taxi and Captain Cab won first place. The Mardi Gras Casino and Resort was second, and Goldman and Associates was named honorable mention.
West Virginia State Police say a victim was abducted at knife point from Witcher Creek early Saturday, then beaten, cut, and abandoned on a Kanawha County mountain by a known drug dealer and his girlfriend. State Police say 44-year old Joey Keith Jeffrey allegedly kidnapped the victim and forced her into a black Dodge truck where his girlfriend, 37-year old Cindy Leanne Creathers was waiting. All three people are from Witcher Creek and know each other, according to detectives. The victim is in her 20s, but her name has not been released. After being beaten and cut, somehow the victim managed to walk off the mountain and find help. Police arrested Jeffrey and Creathers at the Knight's Inn in Kanawha City.
Two Charleston Police officers are on paid administrative leave over a drunk driving incident. Steven "Matt" Webb was arrested Sunday morning. He was the driver when Huntington police pulled over the vehicle. Sgt. Michael Pridemore was the passenger, and was not arrested but is also on paid administrative leave. The Charleston Gazette reports Charleston police will conduct an internal investigation.
A new study shows West Virginia is a good place to retire. Expect more efforts to entice people to retire here, as a result of the study. In fact that's a top strategy recommended by the West Virginia Ten Year Tourism Plan. The studay says key factor includes West Virginia's affordable cost of living. The study also says West Virginia can capitalize on the trend of travelers taking more trips that are shorter.
An area theater is out of debt and is starting to raise money for the 2013 season. Theatre West Virginia in Beckley closed its doors nearly a year ago amid financial troubles, and it was announced this week that the debt has been erased. General Manager Gayle Bowling told the Register-Herald that the theater has secured a line of credit to pay expenses until it receives $265,000 in state funding. But another $80,000 is needed to cover expenses beyond the state funding. The annual membership campaign starts in February, and the theater is seeking grants in the meantime.