Breaking Local News
Taking over Mountain State University seems to have had an impact on the University of Charleston. The school announced recently it has its highest enrollment in almost three decades. There are about 1,300 students are taking classes at the main campus, plus the new satellite campuses known now as UC Beckley and UC-Martinsburg. There are also about 500 students taking classes online. School officials said they hope to see enrollment at the school's new Beckley campus double over the next year or so.
Former state schools superintendent Jorea Marple has begun receiving retirement benefits from the state. The Charleston Daily Mail reports Marple and her husband, former state attorney general Darrell McGraw, applied for benefits for their years of public service, and together will receive more than $180,000 a year in pensions. The newspaper obtained the figures from the Consolidated Public Retirement Board through a Freedom of Information Act request. Marple's salary as superintendent was $167,000 a year. No lawsuit has been filed yet, but Marple's attorneys told the state Board of Education that she plans to sue over her firing. A letter sent to the board in late December provided the 30-day advance notice required by law before a state agency or official can be sued.
Your favorite Charleston restaurant will have a new color-coded system for food inspections. The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department unveiled its new rating system on Friday that swaps the old grading system for new colors and words like "fair" and "excellent. And restaurants have to post their rating near the front entrance so the public can see it walking in. And starting Thursday, the ratings will be posted online. It may take a year for all of the restaurants in Charleston to be inspected.
Randolph County gets the spotlight in March and will be recognized by the state legislature. The Elkins Randolph County Chamber of Commerce and Development Authority will team up for the first ever Randolph County Day at the West Virginia Legislature in Charleston. It's set for Thursday, March 7th, and will bring businesses owners and leaders together to talk about the attraction Randolph County has when it comes to moving there and setting up a business. Special guests on March 7th will include Governor Earl Ray Tomblin.
There's a workshop coming up for those needing help filling out paperwork for federal student aid. The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission will hold its fourth annual College Goal Sunday event on Feb. 10 at 23 locations across the state. Financial aid experts will help students and families fill out the forms, and they may offer ideas for resources that you don't yet know about. Anyone planning to attend college next fall can participate. More information on the workshops and locations is available through the College Foundation of West Virginia website at www.cfwv.com.b
Early on January 27th, 18-year old Kevin Clemens was stabbed multiple times outside Impulse Night Club, and over the weekend the suspect turned himself in. 26-year old Aris Hairston of Institute has been charged with malicious wounding. Police had witness accounts confirming that Clemens and Hairston had gotten into an altercation inside the club over a spilled drink. Hairston's girlfriend gave a statement to police and identified Hairston in surveillance video that was captured outside of the club, according to the criminal complaint.
Trapping season for fisher has ended as of yesterday, but other trapping seasons are still open. The Division of Natural Resources says the seasons for the red and gray fox, bobcat, coyote, otter, mink, muskrat and raccoon continue through Feb. 28. The beaver trapping season ends March 31. But during the month of March, traps for beaver can only be set in water.
Putnam County sheriff’s deputies are asking for help finding a woman who robbed the Par Mar/BP gas station in Hurricane at knifepoint Wednesday night. The sheriff's dept. says in a news release the woman entered the store, flashed a knife, and demanded money at the store at the intersection of Hospital Drive and Route 34. The woman is described as blonde, about 5'3" tall and had parts of her face painted blue at the time. She could be driving a Blue Dodge Intrepid. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Putnam County sheriff's department at 304-586-0214.
The City of Charleston Planning Department has plans to revoke the permit for Impulse Night Club. Following a stabbing outside the club last weekend and continued concerns over safety, the city notified the club owner of the intent to revoke the permit in a letter dated January 31st. The letter says a conditional use permit granted in 2007 was based on the city's zoning ordinance that sets guidelines that operations cannot be offensive, dangerous, or detrimental to public interest. The letter also makes it clear last weekend's stabbing was not the reason behind the decision to revoke the permit, but it was a contributing factor. The permit will be revoked in ten days, and Impulse Night Club has thirty days to appeal the decision.
That protest related to Patriot Coal's bankruptcy this week had an impact on a rule on methane in West Virginia mines. Three members of the state Board of Coal Mine Health and Safety were in St. Louis for the protest and missed a meeting. The State Journal reports that kept the board from reaching a quorum, and therefore a decision on a rule that could strengthen limits on methane gas levels in coal mines. Board administrator Joel Watts says the rule may have stalled even if they'd been present. Federal rules require mining equipment to shut down at methane concentrations of 2 percent or more. Proposed state regulations would cut that to 1.25 percent if the levels are sustained. There's still come debate of the definition of "sustained" too.