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Substance Abuse Conference Continues Today

A conference covering substance abuse problems in West Virginia continues today at the Charleston Civic Center. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin went over the state's progress in front of a large audience Tuesday, including attendees from 25 states and Canada, as part of the Inaugural West Virginia Behavioral Health Conference. Over three days, speakers are covering developmental disorders, mental health and substance abuse. Governor Tomblin says many strides have been made, but there is still more work to be done. The conference ends Thursday.

Former Clay County Sheriff Enters Plea

The former sheriff of Clay County was court Tuesday on charges he hacked his wife's work computer. Miles Slack pleaded guilty to wiretapping charges Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Charleston. A federal wiretapping conviction can carry up to five years in prison. The government says Slack secretly installed a keystroke logger on a computer in the Clay County Magistrate Court office in April, when he and his wife were still married. Prosecutors haven't commented on the motive, but the couple has divorced. The County Commission named Reva Schoonover to serve temporarily as Clay County sheriff. She's the current chief tax deputy and will serve for 30 days or less. Commissioners are currently reviewing 16 applications for the permanent post

Fire Investigators Take Tips on West Side Fires

Fire officials are offering a $5000 reward for information about two suspicious fires on Charleston's West Side. One destroyed an abandoned church, and another damaged the CARES building. Investigators think both fires were set by the same person, and one could have been set to distract firefighters from the other. The state Fire Marshal's Office is taking tips, and you can call 800-233-3473.

Several Counties Get Money to Help Domestic Violence Victims

Fifty-one public and private non-profit agencies are receiving so-called crime victim assistant grants totaling $2.2 million from the federal government. The funding announced this week supports programs such as counseling, transportation and other support services for the victims of crime, including domestic violence, abuse of the elderly and child abuse. The funds also provide financial assistance to victims as they move through the criminal justice system. Among the recipients are women in crisis programs in several counties, along with domestic violence shelters in Cabell, Wayne, Mason, Lincoln and Putnam counties.

Charleston Gets Money to Fight Crime

More than $1.3 million in federal grant money is on its way to 38 agencies throughout West Virginia to support anti-crime programs. The grant funding announced by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin will assist state agencies, local governments and non-profits to help improve the functioning of the criminal justice system. Charleston will receive $50,000 for its anti-crime task force.

Frazier Re-Trial Underway

Testimony resumes this morning in the trial of a man accused of killing his girlfriend. Robert Frazier is accused in the 2008 fatal shooting of Kathy Smith.
He was convicted of second degree murder in 2010.However, the state supreme court overturned te conviction, because of testimonyjur
from a medical examiner who did not perform t actual autopsy. Taking the witness thus far in the second trial...state and Huntington police officers.
Also, the jury has heard a recorded which Frazier apparently confessed to the shooting. First blaming someone else, then telling
police the gun accidentally went officer as he tried take it from her.

Policy Group Aims to Reduce Dropout Rates

A 5 percent increase in the high school graduation rate among males in West Virginia could save $100 million each year in crime-related costs as well as boost the state's economy, according to a national policy group. The study by the Washington, D.C.-based Alliance for Excellent Education ties the dropout rate among males with an increase in the crime rate, saying, dropouts are far more likely than high school graduates to be arrested or incarcerated. The study found that it costs over $12,000 to educate a student and $28,000 to incarcerate an inmate, and said dollars should be focused on education and keeping students engaged.

Mingo County Has Its New Sheriff

Mingo County has its new sheriff. Former chief deputy James Smith was named permanent sheriff of Mingo County MOnday, replacing two interim sheriffs who have served since Eugene Crum was fatally shot on the job in April. Sgt. Smith will take over the department today. County Commission chose him from among four candidates in a special meeting. Earlier this month, chief tax deputy Pam Dixon took over as interim sheriff after the widow of Eugene Crum resigned the post. Rosie Crum had been tapped to serve as interim sheriff just days after her husband was shot while eating lunch in his car in downtown Williamson. The suspect, Tennis Maynard, is awaiting an October trial on murder charges.

Dunbar Man Arrested for Threatening a Lawmaker

A man from Dunbar is facing charges after allegedly threatening a lawmaker. Charleston police say John Curtis Dawson has been charged with making terroristic threats after he allegedly called Dr. Leanne Skaff’s office and making threats against Del. Doug Skaff. THe criminal complaint says Dawson screamed about Skaff running for governor and said he wouldn't allow that to happen. Police said Dawson also made threats involving a gun, and mentioned the mafia.

Sec. of State Natalie Tennant to Run for US Senate

West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant is running for Democrat Jay Rockefeller's seat in the U.S. Senate. Tennant confirmed her plans to The Associated Press Monday, a day ahead of planned announcements in Beckley, Charleston and Morgantown. Her candidacy sets up the possibility of a high-profile battle with popular seven-term Republican U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, who has also announced her intentions to run. If each candidate wins her respective primary, West Virginia voters could elect a woman senator for the first time.

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