Breaking Local News
The West Virginia State Rail Authority is holding public meetings so people can learn about the state's rail plan. Those meetings will happen at the Williamson Fire Station on Jan. 8 and at Ripley City Hall on Jan. 9. These are two of eight meetings statewide to talk about the plan, where you can learn about the rail plan, ask questions and express opinions. Those views will be considered in the development of the plan.
Wednesday morning Kanawha County Sheriff's deputies were called to a burglary on Kanawha Boulevard East, and deputies think the male and female suspects made several trips into the home while the victim had barricaded herself inside. Finally, when the victim was able to get to the phone and call police, a deputy was there within six minutes. The Kanawha Bureau of Investigation executed a search warrant on a room at the Budget Host Inn just outside of Charleston where the suspects were staying. Thomas Hager Jr has been charged with Nighttime Burglary and Assault During the Commission of a Felony. Charges are forthcoming for the female suspect. Detectives think property recovered from the room may be from thefts both in and outside of Kanawha County.
Because of the Christmas holiday Tuesday, garbage collection in Charleston will be off by a day this week. New Year's Day will also fall on a Tuesday, so the city waste refuse department is adjusting its schedule for both weeks. If your trash collection is scheduled for today, plan for it to be collected on Friday, and Friday collection will be on Saturday. The same schedule will happen next week. If you have trash pickup normally on Tuesdays, it will be picked up on Wednesday of next week, and so on.
Charleston Police had been looking for a murder suspect since the end of October, and he turned himself in on Christmas Day by walking up to a police officer and pointing out that he was wanted for murder. 24-year old Richard Hillard was arrested Tuesday for the murder of David Booker, who was found shot on Milton Street on the East End in October. Arrest warrants were issued in late November for Hilliard, and there are past court records showing Hilliard has had run-ins with police for drugs, assault and credit card fraud. So far the signs in this investigation point to the idea that Booker's murder was drug-related. Hilliard was arraigned before a Kanawha County magistrate and he is being held without bond in the South Central Regional Jail.
The Logan County Sheriff's Department is searching for a shooting suspect, and they say the man is armed and dangerous. 18-year-old Matthew Brumfield is being sought after a Christmas day shooting. Deputies say Brumfield has the letters MAC tattooed on his right forearm and was last seen on a red fourwheeler going down the railroad tracks towards the Peach Creek area of Logan County. If you have any information on call Logan 911 immediately.
Now that Christmas is over and you might be thinking about taking down the tree, the US Army Corps of Engineers says they have a use for it. Donating the tree to Jennings Randolph Lake will help fish in the lake near Elk Garden and help improve the shoreline. Park ranger Tom Craig says trees help build nursery habitat for juvenile fish and are beneficial to aquatic insects that most species feed on. A trailer will be set up at the West Virginia Overlook gate about 2 miles from the park entrance off W.Va. 46 beginning January 2nd and trees will be accepted from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Jan. 31. Just be sure to remove decorations.
US Senator Joe Manchin is a lifelong member of the National Rifle Association and well-known gun supporter. After the Newtown, CT shootings the senator was one of the first to come out ask for stricter controls on assault weapons. At a protest Saturday at Manchin's Charleston office, the pro gun group called Citizens Defense League gathered to protest Sen. Manchin's changed stance on guns. Manchin defended his stance last week.
Mountain State University is officially losing accreditation. The school had appealed to regain its accreditation, but that was denied last week by the appeals panel of the Higher Learning Commission. Beckley's Register Herald reports that's the final word and there will be no more appeals. The Higher Learning Commission's decision to remove Mountain State's accreditation came in June, adn the the commission approved the University of Charleston's expansion to Mountain State's facilities in Beckley and Martinsburg. In effect, the recent denial of Mountain State's appeal completes the UC takeover. There are still lawsuits pending by former students who say the loss of accreditation renders their degrees worthless.
Being sick at Christmas is not exactly what most families have in mind. Public health officials in West Virginia say flu activity is up 63 percent since last week. The Intelligencer reports that positive tests for influenza at hospitals statewide and the state laboratory topped off at 165 for the week ending Dec. 15. Public health officials are urging West Virginia residents to get a flu shot this season. During the holidays travel is up and there are family gatherings, and both provide opportunities for the flu virus to spread. Flu season typcially runs through February or March.
Charleston police say after an argument between a boyfriend and girlfriend the man broke in using a grill's propane tank. 40-year old Johnny Chandler of Charleston is accused of stealing his girlfriend purse and she locked him out of the house. The criminal complaint shows he broke his way in using the propane tank from the grill, and once inside he choked and assaulted the victim. She was eventually able to get away after spraying Chandler with mace. He was taken to the South Central Regional Jail on burglary charges.