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Revenue Secretary Bob Kiss said a freeze on state government hiring will remain in effect indefinitely. The mid-fiscal year freeze ordered by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin affects all non-essential state positions. Kiss says the freeze saved the state an estimated $33 million in the previous fiscal year's second half and helped the state avoid ending the fiscal year in the red. Kiss said the state began the new fiscal year Tuesday with a $3 million general revenue surplus. The surplus could grow to $40 million by the end of July due to better tax collections in June, excess money that agencies might not have spent and extra lottery funds.
Putnam County officers are looking for someone who posed as a deputy and reportedly frisked a juvenile. It happened Monday along State Route 817 near Leslie Lumber Company, according to a news release from the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department. The 13-year-old boys was walking along the road when he was approached by a man who was dressed as a police officer who told the child he was under arrest. The man frisked him, took pictures, and left. He's described as white with black hair and a small beard, 6 feet 3 inches tall and weighs about 200 pounds. He has blue eyes and a scar under his right eye. Anyone with infomation should contact the Putnam County Sheriff's Office.
The Raleigh County Commission is contributing $5,000 to a reward for information leading to convictions in seven cold-case slayings. The Register-Herald reports that commissioners voted to fund half of the $10,000 reward through Crime Stoppers and seven unsolved murders in Raleigh County. Crime Stoppers President Butch Fink says the oldest case is the fatal shooting of Cynthia Miller in 1981. The 27-year-old teacher was killed in her apartment on the evening before her wedding.
Big names in sports and entertainment were in the area Wednesday for the Pro-Am that was part of the Greenbrier Classic. “Duck Dynasty” stars Willie and Jase Robertson played with two-time Masters winner Bubba Watson. NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin, Marshall University Head Football Coach Doc Holliday, Virginia Tech Head Football Coach Frank Beamer and comedian George Lopez were among the names that were part of the tournament. The first official round of the Greenbrier Classic tees off this morning and runs through Sunday.
Back on June 4th a man was struck by a coal truck in the 2300 block of Cabin Creek Road. The Kanawha County Sheriff's Office says 53-year old Michael Gentry of Cabin Creek was near the roadway at his home when he was hit by a passing coal truck. Mr. Gentry’s left leg was caught between rear tires and dragged a quarter mile before being freed. The striking coal truck continued traveling. Cpl. B-D Humpreys says Gentry has been in critical condition and his left leg was amputated during surgery the night of the accident. The investigation continues, and anyone with information about the hit and run should call 304-357-0169 or submit a tip through www.kanawhasheriff.us.
A 92-year-old Charleston woman is recovering after a fall left her lying on a floor in her home for two days. Evelyn McClure tells WCHS-TV that her next-door neighbor and niece found her. McClure says she thought she was going to die after she fell while walking down the stairs. She says her neighbor watches out for her. But he was out of town when she fell. McClure suffered several broken bones, including her collarbone and an arm. She's recovering at a rehabilitation facility.
State officials say West Virginia closed a gap in the budget and ended the fiscal year in the black. The state started June with a $57 million gap in revenue collections. Deputy Revenue Secretary Mark Muchow and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's spokesman, Chris Stadelman, told the Charleston Daily Mail that the state ended the fiscal year on Monday with a balanced budget and additional steps weren't necessary to close the gap. Muchow also says it's the first time in recent years that no new tax laws take effect on July 1.
Beckley officials are looking to boost the city's population by annexing several residential areas. Beckley director of information technology Bill Kelly is chairman of the city's annexation committee. He tells The Register-Herald that annexing these areas bordering the city could increase Beckley's population from about 17,000 to nearly 35,000. Kelly says this would more accurately reflect the number of people who come to Beckley for services such as shopping and health care. He says an increase in population also could make the city more appealing to new businesses. The city is sending letters to a large group of property owners to educate them about annexation, including the benefits and cost.
The University of Charleston School of Pharmacy held an open house last night to highlight a new project that will offer more health services. Highland Behavior Services and UC are teaming up to offer primary care, behavioral health treatment and pharmacy services on UC’s campus.
The West Virginia Division of Public Transit is preparing to launch a new bus service between Charleston and Morgantown. The daily I-RIDE 79 service begins today and includes stops in Clendenin, Flatwoods, Weston, Clarksburg and Fairmont. One-way fares range from $3 to $15, depending upon where the passenger boards. The service also provides links to Greyhound in Charleston and Morgantown. To celebrate the new service, the Division of Public Transit is offering free rides through July 7.