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Dr. Rahul Gupta had been the health officer over both Kanawha and Putnam County, but he is taking a job with the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources in a matter of weeks. The Putnam County Board of Health decided Tuesday night to stop looking for an administrator, at least temporarliy. The board voted to table the search until a replacement for the outgoing Kanawha County executive health officer is found, and WCHS TV reports the Putnam health board will part ways with Kanawha County's at some point. The Putnam County Board of Health will meet again on February 5.
West Virginians are urged to be on the lookout for fake job postings and other online employment scams during the holiday season. Attorney General Patrick Morrisey's office says the holiday season is ripe for these scams because many people take on additional jobs. In a common "secret shopper" scam, people are told to deposit a check they're mailed and use it to buy something at a designated store. You could also be asked to pay for training that never takes place or provide personal and financial information.
Kanawha County Sheriff's deputies are investigating a stabbing at an apartment complex on Dalewood Drive in Cross Lanes that happened Monday morning. Cpl B-D Humphreys says the stabbing happened in the parking lot of Westchester Village Apartments. The victim, Shawna Kelly, said her boyfriend cut her with a knife during an argument. Her boyfriend is 34-year old James Joseph Bradshaw, Jr. of Charleston. Kelly said she was arguing with Bradshaw because he had a stolen motorcycle in the back of her husband’s gray Chevrolet Astro van. Deputies are still looking for the 1992 silver or gray Chevrolet Astro van with West Virginia license plate: 1KM500. A warrant has been issued for Bradshaw charging him with malicious wounding. Anyone with information should call 911. Anonymous tips can go to the website at www.kanawhasheriff.us/law-enforcement/tips.
The head of the Kanawha County Parks and Recreation Commission is seeking to change the name of Coonskin Park in Charleston. Retired state Adj. Gen. Allen Tackett wants to change the park's name because some people are offended by it. The Charleston Gazette reports the name is generally associated with a type of cap made from a raccoon skin but Tackett notes the term could be offensive to others. The commission is set to discuss the name change at a Thursday meeting. One suggestion is naming the park for Kanawha County Commissioner Hoppy Shores, who was just elected to his seventh term. Commissioner Dave Hardy says he's never once heard complaints about the name, and suggests naming the new bridge after Commissioner Shores instead.
The state is looking for gardeners who want to tend to flower beds at the Capitol Complex in Charleston next year. The program assigns specific areas to nonprofit community and civic groups that would prepare the bed and plant flowers, take care of weeds, and remove dead plants in the fall. The application deadline is Dec. 31. Applications and guidelines can be obtained by contacting Capitol Grounds Manager John Cummings at (304) 957-7151.
A state Senate panel looking to revitalize the struggling southern coalfields will meet this week in Logan County. It's the group's fourth and final listening tour stop and it's set for 6 p.m. Tuesday at Chapmanville Town Hall. The Southern Coalfields Organizing and Revitalizing the Economy initiative, or SCORE, wants to diversify southern West Virginia and is studying ways to boost the coalfields. The panel plans to make recommendations before the Jan. 14 start of the 60-day legislative session. Democratic Senate President Jeff Kessler's leads the task force that also looks at increasing tourism advertising and agribusiness and rural development.
The website Movoto ranks West Virginia high on a list, and this time it's not bad news. West Virginia is #1 on a list of states most excited about celebrating Christmas. The company used internet searches and social media to come up with the list.
A legal battle over the firing of West Virginia's school superintendent is heading to the state's highest court. A Kanawha County circuit judge last month refused to dismiss former superintendent Jorea Marple's lawsuit. The Charleston Gazette reports that the West Virginia Board of Education is appealing that ruling to the state Supreme Court. Marple sued the board and one of its members, Wade Linger, in April. She alleges defamation and violation of her due process rights when she was fired in November. In a notice of appeal, the defendants argue that Circuit Judge James Stucky wrongly rejected their claim that they are entitled to immunity because the firing was a proper exercise of governmental authority.
A state Senate panel seeking to revitalize the struggling southern coalfields has awarded a $20,000 grant to a trail project. Senate President Jeff Kessler and task force members gave the grant to the Piney Creek Trail Committee last week. The money will help build a hiking and biking trail starting from Beckley's YMCA soccer complex, heading to the Raleigh County Airport, then down Piney Creek to the New River Gorge National River.
Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is encouraging West Virginians to be careful when they get unsolicited credit card offers via email this holiday season. Morrisey says consumers may see an increase in unsolicited phone calls or emails offering new credit cards or offering to increase their credit line. He says it's important to check if they are valid before signing up and suggests researching the company making the offer, call the company directly and don't click on any emails about a problem with a credit card. Those who think they've been the victim of a fraudulent offer can contact the state Consumer Protection Division at (800) 368-8808 or visit www.ago.wv.gov .