Breaking Local News
The Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau announced this week that it's launching a market study to figure out how Charleston and Kanawha County can better benefit from tourists brought in by competitive sports. The study was funded by the CVB and city of Charleston, along with the Central West Virginia Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Kanawha County Commission. The Charleston Gazette reports if plans are finalized to finish a new sports facility, that could be done in three to five years and would make Charleston more of a destination for conventions and events.
The Boys & Girls Clubs in West Virginia are getting funding to improve the health and wellness of kids around the state. Officials say clubs around the state are getting a variety of grants from WellPoint Foundation to support the Triple Play healthy lifestyles program. Last year, the program helped nearly 1,000 youth engage in regular physical activity in West Virginia. The grants are part of a five-year, $10 million commitment from WellPoint Foundation's parent company foundation to Boys & Girls Clubs of America to promote healthy lifestyles.
The Fayette County Sheriff says a teenager was waiting for a school bus at about 6 a.m. Wednesday near the Mountaineer Mobile Home Park in Hilltop when he was hit by a vehicle that didn't stick around. The white extended-cab pickup truck that stopped briefly, then fled. The teen's injuries weren't life threatening, but he was taken to the hospital. The victim described the driver of the truck as a tall, slim black man, and the Charleston Gazette says deputies have identified him as 60-year old Lilton Knight who lives in the mobile home park. There's a warrant now for his arrest for failing to stop and render aid, also reckless driving.
In the last month, there have been several Polaris “Razor” side-by-side’s stolen from the Kanawha Valley, estimated around 20,000 a piece. Charleston Police and the Kanawha County Sheriff Office are working on the cases and have reason to believe they are connected. On each theft the suspects or suspects are hooking up to the victim’s utility trailers and getting away with both trailers and side-by-side’s. Investigators think the suspect vehicle could possibly be a white Chevy 1500 extended cab or a white Ford F-150 extended cab, around 2000- to 2004 year model. Anyone with information should contact Charleston Police or the sheriff's office.
A tree that has been on property in Pratt for many years is making its way to the Capitol. Molly Gill planted a spruce tree on her property in Pratt in 1996, and WCHS TV says after 18 years, the tree has grown to about 15 feet tall. It's too large for her property now, so it's going to the Capitol where it will be on display as the main Christmas tree on the river side of the complex. Crews worked on removing the tree yesterday, and several people from Pratt turned out to watch.
The Putnam County Development Authority has rejected a request to buy two small areas outside an area hospital so people can continue to smoke there. Randy Hodges of CAMC Teays Valley Hospital wanted to sell the hospital's two small outdoor smoking areas to the development authority for $1 so they won't officially be part of the medical campus. The Charleston Gazette reports that the development authority unanimously denied the request this week. Hodges had acknowledged that the deal would amount to a loophole in an accreditation company's mandate that the hospital move toward being a "smoke-free campus." The accreditation company determines whether the hospital can serve Medicare and Medicaid patients.
West Virginia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell slightly to 6.5 percent in October.
WorkForce West Virginia says that rate translates to 51,900 unemployed in the state, up 2,300 from a year ago. The state's unemployment rate tops the national jobless rate, which was 5.8 percent last month. Employment gains were reported in mining and logging, construction, manufacturing, trade, transportation and utilities, financial activities, and education and health services. Declines were reported in professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, government and other services.
West Virginia University had planned to provide transportation to the funeral of a student in Buffalo, New York today, but the weather has changed that. A lake-effect storm dumped 6-feet of snow in the Buffalo area, and instead of sending a bus to the funeral the school says it will hold a memorial service for 18-year old freshman Nolan Burch at Trinity Eposcopal Church in Morgantown this morning at 10am. Burch died last Friday after police said he was found unconscious and not breathing at the Kappa Sigma fraternity house. Morgantown Police Chief Ed Preston confirmed the incident was alcohol-related. WVU has ordered a halt to all activities at its fraternities and sororities.
After Nitro was accepted into the Home Rule program in October, a possible one percent sales tax was a priority. A public hearing was held Tuesday to give residents the chance to voice an opinion about whether or not to implement one. The Nitro Council could vote now to send the one percent sales tax proposal to the Home Rule Board, which meets December 1st. If the board approves, the one percent sales tax could go into effect in Nitro next July, and there are reports it could generate a million dollars in sales tax revenue per year.
High school students across West Virginia have the chance to participate in a poetry competition that could land them a trip to the nation's capital. The "Poetry Out Loud" contest features students memorizing and reciting poetry for an audience, and helps students develop public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage. Dec. 1 is the deadline to register with the state Division of Culture and History. The competition begins at the school level, with winners advancing to the March state competition in Charleston. Winners from each state and U.S. territory compete at the national finals in Washington next April. The state champion receives $200 and a trip to the national finals. Their school also receives $500 to purchase poetry books.