Breaking Local News
The National Transportation Safety Board said in a new report released Monday that the natural gas pipeline that ruptured in 2012 near Sissonville could have been prevented. The NTSB said the rupture was caused by external corrosion that could have been discovered by the pipeline operator, and added that it took ten minutes for the operator to realize it was a rupture, despite alerts that the pressure in the pipeline was starting to deteriorate. Three homes were destroyed and part of Interstate 77 was burned after the pipeline ruptured. More than an hour passed before the pipeline was shut down. . The NTSB issued three safety recommendations to the Columbia Gas Transmission Corporation and one to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration as a result of the report.
The Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an accident that happened on Big Tyler Road in Cross Lanes Monday morning. Depuites say a Buick SUV attempted to pass an uninvolved vehicle in a no-passing zone while driving toward Dunbar. A Ford Explorer was being driven by a 16 year old driver toward Cross Lanes, and the Buick hit the Ford head-on.
Both drivers were trapped in their vehicles until they were extricated by members of the Tyler Mountain Volunteer and Institute Volunteer Fire Departments, and taken to the hospital by Kanawha County Emergency Ambulance Authority personnel with non-life threatening, but serious, injuries. Cpl B-D Humphreys says the driver of the Buick will likely face criminal charges.
A fugitive wanted in two states spent time in the South Central Regional Jail over the weekend. 42-year old John Barta was arrested after allegedly holding a man at knifepoint for two hours in the Knights Inn in Kanawha City. The victim told police he wanted to leave, but Barta wouldn't let him and held a knife to his throat. The victim eventually got away and was able to call 911 from his cellphone. Barta is facing kidnapping charges, and parole violations out of Virginia and Indiana.
Nitro voters headed to the polls over the weekend and okayed a special levy to increase taxes for supporting several public services. The 84 percent yes vote will give about $369,000 dollars each year for the city, and the money will go toward park improvements, street maintenance and repairs, street lights, police and fire wages, and the library. It's a 4-year levy that will go into effect July 1st. Property taxes will go up by less than a hundred dollars per year on a $100,000 house.
A man convicted of fatally stabbing a Beckley dancer will spend the rest of his life in prison. A Raleigh County jury deliberated less than 40 minutes before finding 33-year old Jeremy Lambert guilty of first-degree murder. The jury recommended life without mercy, meaning Lambert has no chance for parole. Prosecutors say Lambert stabbed his girlfriend, 35-year old Cyan Maroney 23 times at her Beckley home on Oct. 2, 2011. Maroney was a dancer with the West Virginia Dance Company. Defense lawyers said Lambert suffered from post-traumatic stress order after he was deployed to Kuwait.
A St. Albans man is facing charges after allegedly stealing a purse from a couple outside a store in Charleston. Aaron Stover is accused of bumping the man out of the way and swiping the woman's purse, but police quickly caught up with him near the Patrick Street Bridge and took him into custody. He's facing robbery charges.
West Virginia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell slightly to 5.9 percent in January. WorkForce West Virginia says the number of unemployed residents fell 700 in January to 46,900. In the goods-producing sector, employment gains were seen in construction, mining and logging, while the state experienced job losses in manufacturing. In the service sector, employment gains were seen in information, financial activities, leisure and hospitalities and in other services. There were declines in trade, transportation and utilities, professional and business services, educational and health services, and government. The national unemployment rate fell to 6.6 percent in January from 6.7 percent in December.
FBI investigators looked through records Thursday at Diversified Services That's the company that transported chemicals for Freedom Industries. FBI agents took away computers, paperwork, and boxes yesterday afternoon. Freedom Industries is at the center of the investigation into the January 9th chemical spill that contaminated the Elk River. Diversified Services is the company that hauled the crude MCHM off when the Department of Environmental Protection ordered it be removed from the Charleston facility.
An Amber Alert has been issued for 11-year-old Caitlyn Virts of Dundalk, MD, and West Virginia State Police are passing along the word to be on the lookout. Police in Maryland think she's with her biological father, Timothy Virts, and they may be driving a 1999 black Dodge Durango with Maryland tags: 5AJ4458. The father has ties to McDowell County in southern West Virginia, as well as Preston County in northern West Virginia, according to West Virginia state police. Officers found the girl's mother dead in the family home around 9 a.m. Thursday morning.
The case against Jessica Woods is headed to a grand jury. Woods is accused of killing her mother, Eva Woods of St. Albans, and her body was discovered in an outbuilding on her property. Jessica was arrested at a hotel in the Kanawha City area after being interviewed by deputies. There was a preliminary hearing Thursday, and with probable cause, the case moves on to the grand jury.