Breaking Local News

Former Putnman County janitor sentenced to jail

A former Putnam County Schools janitor has been sentenced to jail. 47-year old Michael Timothy Crist was given the maximum sentence Thursday for sexually abusing a teenage family member, after a deal with prosecutors. Crist pleaded guilty in August to sexual abuse by a parent, guardian or person of trust and child abuse resulting in bodily injury. Five other charges were dropped in the plea deal. Crist was sentenced to 10 to 25 years for the sexual abuse charge and one to five years for the child abuse charge.

Metro 911 may come under Sheriff's Dept.

The Kanawha County Metro 911 Executive Board will likely vote today on a proposal to transfer oversight of the Metro 911 Center to the Kanawha County Sheriff's Department. Johnny Rutherford is the Metro 911 director, and he's leaving in January to serve as Kanawha County Sheriff after winning the November election. To transfer oversight, it's a matter of working out an intergovernmental agreement. The 911 Center is also getting a new computer dispatch system and telephone system.

Pain Clinic's seized funds are disputed

$88,000 was seized after a raid on a West Virginia pain clinic, and a doctor is saying that seizure was unjust. Dr. Katherine Hoover has petitioned the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals following a federal judge's ruling allowing prosecutors to keep the seized funds. Cash and assets were seized as part of a March 2010 raid of the Mountain Medical Care Center and related properties. The Mingo County clinic has been closed since the raid, and investigators say the pain clinic recklessly provided pain drug prescriptions to thousands of people. Hoover has not been charged. Another clinic physician, Dr. William Ryckman, pleaded guilty last December to conspiracy to misuse a Drug Enforcement Administration registration number and was sentenced to six months in prison.

November on Record as a Dry Month

After precipitation from Superstorm Sandy in late October, the National Weather Service says November was dry. In fact, November precipitation levels in several West Virginia cities are among the lowest on record for the month. Beckley received less than an inch of precipitation, in fact 0.68 inches. That's slightly above a record 0.66 inches in November 2001. Charleston received just over an inch, but the 1.05 inches of precipitation was the seventh lowest level for November. The record is 0.45 inches in 1904. The weather service says normal November precipitation is 3 to 3.5 inches.

Lawyers on Leave are Back at Work

Two lawyers who were put on leave over a contract dispute are back in the office. The Associated Press reports that attorneys Susan Perry and Jennifer Taylor had been on paid administrative leave since July when they clashed with others at the department over the awarding of a six-figure advertising contract. Perry and Taylor filed whistleblower lawsuits in October. Perry and Taylor have now been assigned to the Department of Health and Human Resources offices at the Diamond Building in downtown Charleston.

Train Victim Identified

The investigation continues after a woman was hit and killed by a train this week in Logan County. Police say 29-year-old Shannon Marie Blankenship was hit by a CSX train while crossing the tracks near Commerce Park in Chapmanville. Police told media outlets in Chapmanville that Blankenship was taken to Logan Regional Hospital, where she later died.

Nitro Votes to Accept Suit Settlement

The Nitro City Council has accepted the terms to settle a lawsuit between the city and building inspector Sandra Saunders. The vote to accept came Tuesday night after Saunders had filed a complaint with the WV Human Rights Commission alleging pay disparity and sexual harassment in 2011. The Gazette reports the pay disparity compaint was settled, but there has been no comment on the status of the sexual harassment complaint.

Fort Hill Park to Expand

Charleston City council members have accepted a plan that will allow Charleston to expand Fort Hill Park. The city council on Monday night secured about eight acres of land adjacent to Danner Meadows Park in Fort Hill that will be the future home of walking and biking trails. The land is adjacent to Dabney Drive and along Gordon Road in Fort Hill. The Lawson Hamilton estate owns the property and a previous deal fell through. The land was eventually donated.

West Virginia Bowl Game Tickets on Sale

Tickets are still available for West Virginia's bowl game. WVU is headed to New York and Yankee Stadium for the Pinstripe Bowl December 29th to face Syracuse. Pinstripe Bowl tickets priced at $90 are available at or by calling 1-800-WVU GAME. This will be West Virginia’s 11th straight bowl appearance. Kickoff is at 3:15pm on the 29th.

Nitro to Gain Jobs

More jobs will be coming to Nitro. Mardis Gras Casino and Resort has announced plans to open a buffet that will create 60 jobs. There is a career fair at the resort today that aims to fill casino and food and beverage positions. The buffet is scheduled to open in early 2013.

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