Breaking Local News
State leaders and lawmakers have been finding interesting ways to pay tribute to the state during it's 150th birthday celebration this week. U.S. Sens. Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin issued a U.S. Senate resolution in commemoration of the state’s sesquicentennial on June 20, 1863. The resolution covers the early days of development, to the landscape and geography, to important inventions, to mountain music and of course..the pepperoni rolls. With th resolution, the US Senate observes the 150th birthday and celebrates West Virginia's heritage.
A man accused of stealing thousands of dollars from taxpayers has been arrested. 56-year old David Phillip Smith works with the West Virginia Division of National Resources, after investigators say he used a state-issued credit card to by a $25,000 man-life vehicle and spent another $2500 to have it shipped to West Virginia from Minnesota. The criminal complaint says investigators said Smith tried to sell the equipment to undercover officers in Kanawha City for $21,000. He was arrested at that point and now faces a felony embezzlement charge.
A lake in Nitro will be allowed to have boats for the first time. Residents actually asked for it, and went all the way to the state legislature for the okay to put boats on Ridenour Lake. With the approval now, boats will be allowed on the lake for a fee, and only small boats like kayaks, canoes, and small john boats will be allowed. WCHS TV reports the mayor anticipates everything will be ready by July 1, just in time for the big 4th of July holiday.
Two streets around the West Virginia Capitol Complex are being closed for the state's sesquicentennial celebration. The Department of Transportation said a section of Kanawha Boulevard and a section of California Avenue will be closed at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. The streets will reopen Sunday morning. Kanawha Boulevard will be closed between Greenbrier Street and Michigan Avenue. California Avenue will be closed between the boulevard and Washington Street East. The sesquicentennial celebration at the Capitol Complex includes concerts, three nights of fireworks and a 3-D movie that will be projected onto Capitol's steps and columns. Thursday is the 150th anniversary of West Virginia becoming a state.
About the birthday cake...There's an 8-foot long, 4 1/2 foot wide replica of the State Capitol decorated with nearly 900 pounds of icing. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said more than 15,000 pieces of the cake will be served at the Capitol this week during the birthday celebration. The structure underlying the cake, which measures 3 feet tall, was built by a father-and-son team of Culture Center employees, David and Darren Husband. The detailed icing and baking, which 240 hours to put together, was done by Sara Lane of Cross Lanes.
Residents in Roane County can still call the Red Cross to get help after the flooding last week. High waters damaged about a hundred homes, and the Red Cross provided a shelter for 13 affected residents through Saturday morning, according to a news release. Meals and snacks were provided beyond that to first responders and residents. For residents who still need assistance, call the American Red Cross Mid-Ohio Valley Chapter at 304-485-7311.
A man in his mid 50's who drowned Monday in Logan County has been identified. 49-year old Malcolm Meade was swimming with a woman near the Water Street Bridge when he hit his head on something in the water. An 14-year old who was in the area at the time somehow pulled Meade to shore and performed CPR, but he died at the hospital later on. Police are investigating whether alcohol was a factor.
There are many ways to celebrate West Virginia's Sesquicentennial this week. There's a ceremony Thursday on the State Capitol steps at 1:50pm, and the U.S. Postal Service unveils the West Virginia 150th birthday stamp. That will be followed at 4pm by The Civil War - the Broadway musical performance by the Charleston Light Opera Guild at the Culture Center Theater. Thursday evening at 7:30pm there is an Outdoor concert planned with the WV Symphony Orchestra & the Appalachian Children’s Chorus on the State Capitol steps. And then finally on Thursday, expect 150 in 3-D: A Century and a Half of WV Pride 3-D spectacular projected directly on the state Capitol State Capitol steps at 10 p.m. That will be followed by fireworks.
Eight employees of the West Virginia Attorney General's Office have been fired as part of a restructuring of the office. The Charleston Gazette reported that state personnel records show the firings include two assistant attorneys general and two employees in the office's Consumer Protection Division. A spokeswoman for Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, Beth Ryan, said she can't comment on personnel issues. Morrisey, a Republican, defeated five-term Democrat incumbent Darrell McGraw in the November 2012 general election. He announced after the election that he would restructure the office.
Just ahead of a community meeting in Rand to address the recent home invasions, a suspect turned himself in. Tevin Christopher “Smook” Williams turned in himself to the Nashville Police in Tennessee Monday on the outstanding warrant issued in Kanawha County for armed robbery that was issued after the investigation of a home invasion style robbery in the 5300 block of Elaine Drive in Rand. The Kanawha Bureau of Investigation is exploring possible connections to other recent home invasion style robberies in the Rand community over the last several weeks. Williams will be extradicted back to Kanawha County. A meeting was held last night at the Rand Community Center that aimed to help residents prevent robberies.