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Students this year headed back to class earlier than ever. The August 9th start date was the earliest start date in Kanawha County history, and it was done so students will finish the semester before the holiday break in December. Some wonder whether the Kanawha County school board will continue the early starts, or perhaps even move to a year-round schedule, but the Daily Mail reports the year round schedule is not in the plans. Also, a committee has been appointed to weigh options for the school calendar, and setting one will be on the agenda at a meeting later this month. The school board is expected to decide between a traditional late August start date and another early August one like this year.
South Charleston police have a man in custody that they think vandalized several vehicles over the weekend. David Williams was arrested Monday for slashing the tires of 33 vehicles from Kentucky Street to Ohio Street near Thomas Memorial Hospital, according to police. There are reports that Williams was on drugs at the time. He faces a felony destruction of property charge and also faces up to 10 years in prison, if convicted.
It was a first on Friday night for one area high school football team. The South Charleston Black Eagles always played their games off campus at Oakes Field, but now they've got a brand new field right behind the school. The team's first home game of the 2013 season was played Friday night on the new on-campus field. There are still plans in the future for a new press box and field house. And South Charleston beat St. Albans in the home opener, 75-16.
$365,000 in federal grant money has been declined by a nonprofit group. The money would have helped West Virginians sign up for health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act, but West Virginia Parent Training and Information Inc. declined the money because of what they called "unforseen circumstances" according to the Charleston Gazette. Last week, state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey directed the nonprofit group to answer 26 questions about the group's personnel and hiring practices. U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller has been critical of Morrisey, accusing him of bullying WVPTI and other groups.
The Appalachian Regional Commission is planning a fall forum in West Virginia to discuss how regional entrepreneurs are creating a new economic model for the rest of the country. The event is set for Nov. 6-7 at the Charleston Marriott Town Center. ARC says local investment and local ownership of businesses are making a noticeable difference in some of the region's core sectors, including manufacturing, health care and food production. The conference will explore ways to develop what ARC calls an "entrepreneurial ecosystem" that can provide support and growth opportunities for both new and established businesses.
An accident involving a construction worker is under investigation today. It happened in Dunbar. A worker fell about 50 feet off the Eastbound Interstate 64 bridge. South Charleston rescuers got to the man who was on his back in heavy brush underneath the bridge. They were able to rescue him within less than 20 minutes and he was taken to Charleston Area Medical Center for treatment. He was conscious at the scene, but likely had broken bones.
Authorities are investigating the death of a woman who jumped off the New Bridge Gorge Bridge. The National Park Service said the 53-year-old woman stopped her car on the bridge on Wednesday, put a step stool next to the rail and climbed to the bridge's edge. She didn't respond to several motorists who stopped and tried to talk her. The woman jumped and fell 876 feet. The park service said Thursday that it and the Fayette County Sheriff's Department are investigating.
Some are calling for it, but two Mingo County officials say they won't resign. The County's prosecutor, Michael Sparks, and County Commissioner, Greg "Hootie" Smith say they won't step down, and both say they are continuing to cooperate with a federal investigation in the county. In August, a federal grand jury charged Mingo County Circuit Court Judge Michael Thornsbury with trying to frame the husband of his secretary for several crimes. Commissioner Dave Baisden was charged in a separate case with extortion. There also is a state investigation of alleged election law violations in the county.
A woman accused of hiding bodies in a storage unit in Nicholas County will have her case sent to a grand jury. Wanda Kiser was charged in mid-August after human remains were found in a storage unit in Summersville. Detectives in Alabama think the remains are those of 105-year old Mary Cobb, and Wynona Delvecchio. The two women went missing in 2002.
Vandals have perhaps inadvertently caused latex spill into the Kanawha River. The white substance is visible in the water at Magic Island in Charleston. The latex is coming from a tank used by the contracting company, Penhall, whose tank was broken into over Labor Day weekend. Penhall is doing the work on the Fort Hill Bridge in Charleston. Most reports say there is no danger because the latex is so diluated.