Breaking Local News
West Virginia's new state schools superintendent wants the Legislature to take it easy on teachers and administrators during its upcoming session. Superintendent Jim Phares on Tuesday said it's clear that students lag behind peers in other parts of the country in some academic categories. Phares also reminded the House-Senate interim Education Committee that the state school board has largely embraced the recent audit critical of the current education system. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin plans to push several audit recommendations during the session, which starts today. Phares says teachers and principals are vital to improving student performance and should be supported.
A grandmother in Hurricane is in trouble for allegedly exposing her grandchildren to methamphetamine. The grandmother was one of three people arrested early Tuesday for allegedly dealing drugs and exposing children to the chemicals used to make meth. State police raided the trailer of Jonda Grandoni around 4am Tuesday and found meth-making materials. Court documents allege she's been a meth addict for many years and she sells it to friends. Grandoni was arrested on seven drug and meth-related charges. Two children, age 2 and 6 were in the home at the time and were released to their mother. Two others at the home also face meth charges.
Firing a loaded gun at a business parking lot has landed one man in jail. The shots were fired in the parking lot of Tire Land in South Charleston, and David Nearhoof was arrested after running from police at first. He's been charged with carrying a deadly weapon, fleeing on foot and shooting across a roadway.
A woman is facing charges after stealing a dog. 21-year old Laci Slater of Sissonville was arrested after allegedly dognapping a Yorkie from a home in Putnam County January 22nd. According to the criminal complaint, a woman told deputies that Slater and Cassandra Arthur came to her house to see her child, but when they left she witnessed them open a car door and take the dog. Deputies also have a warrant for Arthur's arrest, but they haven't been able to find her. She's been seeon on surveillance video trying to give the Yorkie away in the parking lot of the Go-mart in Kanawha City. WSAZ TV reports Arthur is an ex-daughter in-law of the victim.
West Virginia is not alone in the escalating prices at the pump. Prices have shot up in nearly every state, bringing the national average to $3.67 per gallon of regular unleaded gasoline. Prices in West Virginia have edged up 16 cents in the past week, according to Triple A. Charleston is actually on the low end and comes in under the state average, with prices at $3.63 per gallon. Prices are over $3.70 in Martinsburg. AAA said recent spikes are due to higher oil prices, refinery issues and the upcoming switch to summer-blend gasoline.
A cast member of the MTV reality show “Buckwild” is facing drug charges. 24-year old Salwa Amin was arraigned Monday via video conference after being arrested in Nicholas County late Sunday. Police acted on a tip after learning a significant amount of heroin was heading into West Virginia in a vehicle with a Michigan license plate. They followed Jason Jones to his house in Summersville, and found drugs in an outbuilding. Amin allegedly had pills in her purse, and was arrested on charges including possession and intent to distribute oxycodone. Buckwild has just been renewed for a second season on MTV, and is filmed in Charleston and Sissionville.
A Raleigh County man is facing charges for an alleged robbery, and then fleeing the scene and crashing into a deputy's vehicle. 36-year old Carlos Burnside of Beaver was arrested for robberies at the One Stop on Harper Road and the Beaver Little General Store, according to a news release from the Raleigh County Sheriff's Office. The first robbery occured shortly after a car was stolen and the two descriptions of the suspect matched. Then later Sunday night the Beaver Little General Store was robbed, and within minutes, a deputy was pursuing the suspect's vehicle as it sped off. Then the crash into a building on South Kanawha Street. Burnside could face other charges besides grand larceny and two counts of armed robbery.
A conference at the end of the month is expected to grow biotech businesses. Ohio businessman, David Scholl had a hand in growing what is now a $100 million biotech business and will speak at the third annual West Virginia Biosciences Summit. More than twenty speakers will share their strategies for success at the conference, including Chancellor Paul Hill of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission. The conference will showcase research and commercialization efforts, and discuss policies and programs to nurture the biotech industry. It's happening February 28th in Charleston.
State leaders have forecast trouble in the coming years for local school districts because of things like inflation and federal funding cuts. That could have an impact on school programs like athletics and art. A meeting of Kanawha County school officials last night talked about potential fixes, including doing away with the cap on the excess levy that voters approved in May, but that could lead to property taxes going up. There was no decision last night, and the issue will come up again at a March meeting.
Parents and students got help with financial aid forms Sunday as part of College Goal Sunday. Workshops were held at 20 different locations across the state, including an event at the Kanawha Valley and Community Technical College in South Charleston. The event was originally planned for Capital High School, but had to be moved because of technical problems. The volunteer program gives information and assistance to students and families applying for financial aid for post secondary education.
For more information, visit the College Foundation of West Virginia at www.cfwv.com.