Breaking Local News

Thomas Health CEO Set To Retire

Thomas Health System president and CEO Stephen P. Dexter is stepping down after 21 years of service. Dexter plans to retire July 31 after 21 years of service, but will remain with the health system as a senior executive through January 2017. Executive vice president and chief operation officer Dan Lauffer has been named to succeed Dexter. Thomas Health System operates Thomas Memorial Hospital in South Charleston and Saint Francis Hospital in Charleston.

Mental Evaluation Ordered For Murder Suspect

A 33-year-old Cumberland, Maryland, man accused in the killing of a West Virginia University student will undergo a psychiatric review, according to the Dominion Post. The review was ordered Tuesday after Robert Hernandez Jr.'s attorney told a judge Hernandez said he wanted to die. Hernandez' first-degree murder trial in the fatal stabbing of Devante Waites last August was to begin next week but a defense attorney said he wanted an exam to make sure Hernandez's mental state wouldn't affect his defense or whether the court could accept a plea.

Abortion Bill Is Reintroduced

A Democrat has refiled a proposal banning abortions after 20 weeks gestation in West Virginia, despite its veto last year. Fayette County Del. David Perry reintroduced the bill that Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin vetoed last time around. It bans abortions after 20 weeks, except for expectant women in medical emergencies. Tomblin said Tuesday he'll likely veto the bill again:

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A simple majority of lawmakers is needed to overturn policy bill vetoes.

AG's Office Gives Raises to Top Lawyers

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has approved raises for high-ranking staff members, after some attorneys left his office for the Legislature. Morrisey appointed Misha Tseytlin as general counsel after Dan Greear left to work for the House speaker. Tseytlin is a former deputy attorney general. The promotion comes with a $6,500 raise for Tseytlin, increasing the position's compensation to $103,000, according to a memo obtained by The Charleston Gazette. Morrisey also promoted Paul Anthony Martin to senior deputy attorney general. The former Texas lawyer was hired by Morrisey in 2013. Martin's promotion came with a $3,000 pay hike. He now makes $111,500 a year.

Settlement Reached After Homeless Man's Backpack is Tossed Off a Bridge

A homeless man who says a Charleston policeman tossed his backpack off a bridge has agreed to a settlement in exchange for agreeing not to sue the city. The Charleston Gazette reports that Andrew Joel Hunt settled for $1,500, according to an agreement. The backpack tossed into the Elk River contained a laptop and photographs of his late wife, and after tossing the backpack patrolman Brian Lightner was on paid leave. Now the Gazette reports Lightner has been "separated from employment" with the Charleston Police Department.

Stolen DOH Truck Under Investigation

The Kanawha County Sheriff's office is investigating a stolen truck, swiped from the Division of Highways office off of Pennsylvania Avenue north of Charleston. The call came in Monday morning, but deputies think it was stolen around 10:30 p.m. Sunday The truck is a white Ford F-350 with West Virginia license plate number B55105. A welder and air compressor were also stolen too, and the suspect is described as a white male, medium build, wearing a camouflage jacket at the time. Anyone with tips on the suspect or the vehicle should call 304-357-0169 or submit an anonymous tip through www.kanawhasheriff.us.

Arrest Made in Cross Lanes Stabbing

Stephen Dwayne Snead has been arrested for malicious wounding. He is accused of stabbing an ex-brother-in-law in Cross Lanes Sunday evening. The warrant was issued last night. It happened near the Dollar General store on Doc Bailey Road in Cross Lanes, according to a news release from the Kanawha County Sheriff's Office. The victim, Christopher McClanahan was stabbed several times in the abdomen and hip, and is in the hospital recovering.

Snowshoe Adds Live Music

Snowshoe ski resort is hosting a series of free weekend concerts for guests, as a way of encouraging winter travelers to head for the snow instead of th beach. Many of the acts have big followings, and will play for free through the ski seaon. March 20, Snowshow will have a Homegrown Music Festival that will feature musicians from the region.

Two Girl Scout Leaders Charged With Embezzlement

Two Parkersburg women have been indicted on charges that they used Girl Scout funds to take a trip to Florida. A Wood County grand jury indicted Denise Davis and Mary Farnworth last week on charges of embezzlement and conspiracy to commit a felony. Both are former troop leaders of the Girls Scouts of the Black Diamond Council. Council spokeswoman Jennifer Brown says Davis still works as the council's director of membership services. Special prosecutor Joshua Downey says the women allegedly used $2,400 from cookie and yard sales to take their daughters and a friend to Sea World in 2011. Downey says the money came from outreach groups. The Black Diamond Council serves most of West Virginia, along with some areas of Virginia, Ohio and Maryland.

January 14th Crimes Linked

Three arrests have been made in connection with crimes last Wednesday that turned out to be linked. First a burglary was reported on Church Road in Pinch, and surveillance video showed three white men going to the back of a house. They ransacked the house and stole several items. Later that morning a stolen vehicle was recovered in the Davis Creek area after it had been taken from Fields Drive, near Chandler Drive. A car was also stolen from a nearby garage where the man who lives there works on cars. That vehicle was later recovered after a crash, and those inside ran off. Deputies also investigated other stolen vehicle reports and were able to link the crimes together. 24-year old Allen Michael Burgess is facing charges, along with 18-year old Devin Craig Thaxton and 24-year old Harry Wayne Asbury, all of Sissonville

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