Breaking Local News
The American Red Cross has set up shelter for the families affected by the explosion. Aldersgate United Methodist Church In Sissonville hosted several people overnight. At least four homes were destroyed in the blast, and others damaged. Some families sought shelter because they were without electricity. The Red Cross will stay at the church today as well.
Tuesday's massive explosion in Sissonville closed Interstate 77 for a time at the Tuppers Creek exit, and at last check, southbound traffic was still being diverted because work there continues. Interstate 77 Northbound and County Road 21 have re-opened. At least four homes were destroyed after the gas line explosion.
The Kanawha County Sherriff's Office reports there was a pedestrian accident at the intersection of Finney Hollow Road and Fairlawn Avenue early Monday. A pickup truck driven by 56-year old Laura Clark of Dunbar, was turning to head east on Fairlawn Avenue from Finney Hollow Road after stopping at the intersection. Clark did not see a 14 year old girl in the road who had already begun to cross Fairlawn Avenue. The pickup wasn't going fast, but it did hit the female pedestrian. The girl was taken to the hospital with minor, non-life threatening injuries. It was raining at the time, and no citations have been issued.
The Kanawha County Sheriff's office has arrested two home invasion robbery suspects. 35-year old Terry Lee Shamblin and 26-year old Tonia Kay Blount were arrested and charged with robbery in an alleged attack on 66-year old James Chapman of the Campbell's Creek area. Chapman says he was home Sunday evening when there was a knock at the door and the two assaulted him, took his wallet, and fled. Blount was arrested at home before he was able to flee to Ohio. Shamblin was found walking along Campbells Creek Road.
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.