Breaking Local News
A proposal to combine two elementary schools in Putnam and Mason counties has been shelved. The plan would have combined Leon Elementary in Mason County with Buffalo Elementary in Putnam County. The Charleston Gazette reports both county school boards and their superintendents had gotten together at a Putnam County board meeting last month. But Putnam County schools Superintendent Chuck Hatfield says Mason County officials decided against moving ahead with the joint school, which would have cost an estimated $13 million.
A Kanawha County man who caught a burglar in his home ended up detaining him until deputies arrived. Jason Stuart Beverly Jr. and a neighbor stood over the suspect lying on the road, until a deputy arrived Tuesday morning around 4am. Beverly told the deputy he was asleep on the couch when his girlfriend woke up because of a barking dog. Beverly caught up with a man ouside who had several items in his arms, and a fight ensued after a brief chase. Matthew Martin was arrested after being found to have missing credit cards and electronic equipment.
A convicted drug dealer who was a key figure in a federal corruption case in Mingo County is out of prison until a judge hears a petition in his case. A visiting judge ordered the release of George Reuben White of Delbarton after he posted bail. Former circuit judge Michael Thornsbury sentenced White in May to up to 15 years in prison. Last month Thornsbury resigned and pleaded guilty in a scheme to protect Sheriff Eugene Crum from revelations he'd bought drugs from White. Crum was killed in April in an unrelated shooting. According to the order signed by visiting Judge John Cummings, special prosecutor Keith Randolph didn't object to White's release.
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito says she tried to have her congressional pay withheld during October's partial government shutdown. But the U.S. Constitution requires members of Congress to be paid. Since she had to be paid, Capito says she donated her salary to seven charities in West Virginia. The charities received a total of more than $7,700. Capito says in a new release that these charities work to improve literacy, strengthen families, provide health care, preserve the state's history and promote the arts.
A neighborhood association on a Charleston hilltop has replaced a school bell that was stolen three years ago. A replica of the Fernbank School bell was put in place last week along Bridge Road. The Charleston Gazette says the original bell called children to and from school each day in the early 1900s. The Bridge Road Neighborhood Association had acquired the bell in 2009. It was stolen a year later. A dedication ceremony for the new bell is scheduled for Dec. 1.
A stolen vehicle investigation is underway after it was taken from Marmet on Sunday. The Buick Lucerne had OnStar installed and active, and the owner had already reported the theft to OnStar. The vehicle was found on Virginia Street in Charleston, and Onstar notified the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office soon after it was stolen. The vehicle was found abandoned, but it has been dusted for prints and released to the owner. The investigation into the theft is continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call 304-357-0169.
A former Mingo County prosecutor has pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge. Prosecutors say Michael Sparks, former commissioner David Baisden and former circuit judge Michael Thornsbury offered a lighter sentence if an alleged drug dealer fired his lawyer and hired one they preferred, in a scheme to protect former sheriff Eugene Crum. Sparks made his guilty plea in federal court in Charleston Monday. Sparks resigned in October. Crum was shot to death in April in an unrelated attack as he ate lunch in his vehicle.
Law enforcement agencies across West Virginia are enforcing seat belt laws. Police across the state just started the first of four seat belt enforcement blitzes and the campaign runs through Dec. 1. WCHS-TV reports that the West Virginia Highway Safety Office and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have provided highway safety funds to conduct three mini "Click it or Ticket" campaigns that go along with the national campaign scheduled every May. West Virginia's seat belt laws are a primary law, meaning that police can stop a driver and issue a citation simply for not wearing a seat belt. Officers also will be watching for drivers who are texting and talking on their cellphones without a hands-free device.
An investigation is underway after a man was hit and killed by a train in Marmet over the weekend. Dispatchers said it happened on the railroad tracks on 98th Street around 4:00 a.m. Sunday, and the CSX Engineer who hit him was the one who called to report it. He said the man had been sitting on the rails. He was dead by the time paramedics and police got to the scene. Police are investigating to determine why the man was sitting on the tracks.
A former Mingo County prosecutor is due in court for a plea hearing on a federal conspiracy charge. Prosecutors say Michael Sparks is expected to plead guilty today in U.S. District Court in Charleston. Sparks resigned in October after being charged in a scheme to protect former Sheriff Eugene Crum from revelations that Crum bought drugs. Crum was shot to death in April in an unrelated attack as he ate lunch in his vehicle.