Breaking Local News
Few details have been released, but we do know a man was arrested last night in Charleston after being linked to a Beckley murder. Police say Alfred Pittman was arrested at Women's and Children's Hospital Thursday night as a homicide suspect in Beckley.
A St. Albans man hauled in a record-breaking catfish recently. Mark Foster broke the record for the largest blue catfish caught in West Virginia, verified by the Division of Natural Resources. Foster used cut bait to catch the 43.9-inch, 44.5-pound fish in the Ohio River, which ironically broke his own record from 2011 which was 32.28 pounds. It must have been Foster's lucky day, because on the same day that he caught the record catfish, he also landed a 52.25-inch longnose gar, which tied a record.
Many are wondering about the meningitis outbreak reported in several states, traced to steroid injections usually given to treat back pain. The steroid has been recalled, but the Bureau for Public Health says one West Virginia clinic received the suspected tainted medication. The clinic hasn't been identified, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is closely monitoring the situation. Patients who may have received the medication are being contacted. There are no reported cases of meningitis so far in West Virginia. Four people have died and at least two dozen have become sick in five other states. The drug was made by a specialty pharmacy in Massachusetts that issued a recall last week and has shut down operations.
Hurricane Middle school students were released early on Thursday because of a natural gas leak. There were no injuries because of the gas leak, but there have been reports that a utility worker was hurt after being hit by a pickup truck as he was trying to close off a road around the school. He was taken to the hospital. A utility crew was putting a new telephone pole in when they hit a gas line, according to school officials, and students were evacuated to the football field as a precaution. School was released then shortly after lunch time.
A parent at Riverside High School has filed a complaint with the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department over black mold. The parent makes the claim that black mold growing in the building is causing students respiratory problems. The Charleston Gazette reports an evaluation report shows the mold near a roof leak near the building's blue stairwell. Health officials consider that a violation of air regulations. Tests are being done on the mold now to see how risky the situation is. For now, parents of Riverside High students have taken to Facebook to talk about it.
To Institute....West Virginia State University just received a million dollar gift from a private donor. President Brian Hemphill announced the gift during the recent State of the University address, and said the money will help fund several different projects for education and athletics. $500,000 will go for a scholarship for business and science degrees. Much of the rest will help upgrade facilities at the football field and add a locker room, coaches offices and weight rooms. Fleming Hall is also expected to see some renovations soon.
Sky Lounge on Capitol Street is changing its name. The owner hopes the name change will provide a fresh start after the state Alcohol Beverage Control Administration temporarily took away the bar's liquor license after three people were shot there Sept. 22. The bar plans to reopen under the name Martini Bar, and the license has been restored, effective Wednesday. The bar hasn't officially reopened yet. That could come this weekend or Monday. Mayor Danny Jones has said he wants the bar permanently closed. Charleston's Board of Zoning Appeals will take up the issue when the board meets Oct. 11.
There are plans to remove two oak trees at the edge of St. Albans High School's Crawford Field because school officials say they're causing problems. The trees were already rotting, but the storms that hit the area this summer created hazards over U.S. 60. The trees also hang over parts of the end zone on the football field and can create a risk for the football players. These are the trees that were almost removed in 2007 to make way for bleachers and other upgrades to Crawford Field. There was a court protest then and the school board let the trees stand. There could be another protest this time. Stay tuned.
A former St. Albans elderly care provider has admitted to Medicaid fraud. 56-year old Shida Jamie is the owner of Golden Heart In Home Care, and pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges she fraudulently altered Medicaid documents in a scheme that took in $2.2 million in health-care claims. The ageny specialized in providing in-home care to elderly and disabled people under a contract with Putnam Aging, which is an authorized provider under West Virginia Medicaid. Federal investigators have said Jaimie changed transportation records, and Jamie admitted to ordering training documents be changed. Jamie faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine when she is sentenced in January.
The Kanawha County Sheriff's office is investigating an accident Tuesday night involving an ambulance. Deputies say the ambulance was turning left from US 119 north into the lot of Hardees Restaurant in Big Chimney when a white colored Buick slammed into it. The car was driven by a white woman, and hit the ambulance in the driver's door area. 26-year old Thomas Robinson of Cross Lanes was injured. 34-yera old Karrie Cunningham was also taken to CAMC General for treatment. Detectives are still looking for that white Buick, which detectives say should have heavy front end damage and fled north on US 119. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Kanawha County Sheriff's Office. Callers will remain anonymous.