Breaking Local News
West Virginia State Police officials say the agency needs more troopers, particularly minority officers. Lt. Reggie Patterson says the agency has 12 black male troopers, one black female trooper, 18 white female troopers, five Hispanic male troopers and one Hispanic female trooper. There are a total 698 troopers. State police Superintendent Col. Jay Smithers says the agency needs an additional 275 troopers. Smithers and Patterson discussed the agency's staffing needs Monday during a legislative interim meeting, and said minority recruitment is a priority. Finding and retaining talent is a challenge because of money and other issues.
A Charleston worker had to be taken to the hospital Tuesday after being overcome by methamphetamine fumes while he was cutting brush. Police said the worker was in a lawn tractor, cutting brush along the road near Edgewood Country Club when his tractor apparently gouged a garbage bag full of meth materials that made him sick. The worker was transported to St. Francis Hospital, where he was being evaluated.
A man entered his plea Monday to a murder that happened 14 years ago. 41-year old Terry Clark was found dead along Route 119 outside of Walton, and it remained an unsolved mystery for many years. Daniel Turner submitted a DNA sample and it was a match. Turner had been serving time for a drug charge in Tennessee when he was indicted for Clark's murder. Prosecutors are recommending a 30-year prison sentence to run concurrently with Turner's drug sentence that expires in 2015. Sentencing is set for August 29th.
The Kanawha County Sheriff's Office is investigating a case of check fraud after it was written at a grocery store in Cross Lanes. In the days following July 12th other forged checks were identified, and the sheriff's office says the account belonged to the victim and her mother, who had passed away. Detectives are working now to identify a suspect from surveillance video from a Go-Mart in Teays Valley, but they say the forged checks stretched across several counties. Anyone with information on the identity of the suspect is asked to call Captain J. S. Bailes at 304-357-0169.
Investigators think an early morning house fire Monday on Charleston's west side was arson. The fire broke out around 4am on Stockton Street, and Charleston Firefighters say something came through a small window in the back of the home and that's what likely started the fire. The house had been boarded up by the city and was vacant at the time. Building Commissioner Tony Harmon told WSAZ.com the home was boarded up due to unsafe conditions, and the city has found people living inside of it a couple of times that weren't supposed to be there. The home will probably be torn down if the paperwork goes through. Anyone with information about the arson case should call the Arson Hotline at 800-233-FIRE (3473).
Concussions are a concern across sports, and high school and middle school coaches in West Virginia are being asked to watch out for them during the upcoming school year. The West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission is requiring head coaches for all sports to receive training on how to recognize concussions and how to deal with them. The training isn't limited to coaches. The SSAC is opening the course to anyone as part of an effort to educate school communities about concussions. SSAC executive director Gary Ray says that football is the focus of the effort. But he says concussions can occur in any sport. The SSAC also plans to collect monthly data on concussions from every school.
Someone is stealing gas from parked cars in Marmet. WSAZ.com reports one man came out of his house to find a hose coming out of his gas tank. And police say several cars were drained of fuel in the 95th Street area when drivers weren't watching. Police recommend locked caps as the best way to protect yourself. The investigation continues, but so far no suspects.
A UC athletic coach is moving on to take a different position. Mark Downey has resigned as the men's basketball coach at the University of Charleston and will move on to coach basketball at the University of West Alabama. The search for a new coach begins immediately.
Two people have entered pleas after a home invasion in Campbells Creek last year. Tonia Blount and Terry Shamblin pleaded guilty in connection with the violent home invasion, assault, and robbery of James Chapman at his home last year. After the pleas, the judge sentenced Blount to two years probation, with the condition of receiving drug treatment. Shamblin was sentenced to one to five years in prison. Their arrests came in December of last year.
Sheriff's deputies are still looking for two armed robbery suspects in Fayette County. The men are accused of robbing a Sunoco gas station early Saturday morning. The clerk told police that a white woman with short blonde hair and several tatoos on her arms, walked around in the store for a few minutes. Later, a black man with a handgun came in and demanded all the cash in the register -- threatening to kill the clerk. He's been described as perhaps having a large growth on his neck. The two may be driving a Ford Taurus. Anyone with information should call the Fayette County 911 Center or Crime Stoppers.