Breaking Local News
Charleston City Council members approved a contract last week that will allow for repairs to Overbrook Road. A section of the road near Hickory Road has been closed for over two months after the collapse of a retaining wall. Thaxton Construction of Sissonville was the low bidder and will make the repairs that will run just shy of $200,000. The contract says the project has to be finished by May 31st, and during that time the road will be remain completely closed, even to residents.
A new controversial reality show premiered Thursday night on MTV as scheduled. The show "Buckwild" follows seven friends and tapes their antics in Sissonville and south Charleston. The show has garnered criticism from officials statewide who worry about West Virginia's image as a result of the show. Senator Joe Manchin had asked the makers of the show to cancel it, and said it's not a true representation of the mountain state. The new Buckwild show replaces MTV's hit show Jersey Shore.
South Charleston held a City Council meeting on Thursday night and passed a new ordinance that rezones multi-family lots. Residents have raised concerns about parking and overcrowding, and the passage of the ordinance is meant to increase the size of the lots to attack those problems.
A Putnam County Family Court judge accused of delaying rulings and screaming at litigants won't see a delay in the disciplinary proceedings against him. The Associated Press reports that the state Supreme Court denied Family Court Judge William Watkins' request on Thursday, after Watkins' lawyer filed a motion asking the court to delay the proceedings. The defense says Watkins has filed for disability and plans to retire. The state Judicial Investigation Commission recommends Watkins be suspended without pay until his term ends on Dec. 31, 2016. The justices will hear Watkins' case Feb. 5.
A Kanawha County Sheriff's deputy was called to K-Mart on Saturday afternoon around 2:30p for the shoplifting call, and learned that 22-year old Sean Bland of Elkview had stolen some electronics. A Loss Prevention Officer tried to stop him, but Bland jumped into a car and left the scene. Deputy B.K. Howery drove to Bland's home and arrested him there, and the Sheriff's office says the deputy was also able to recover a stolen cell phone charger. Deputy Howery also learned Bland was wanted on four (4) felony charges, two charges of Fraudulent Use of an Access Device and two counts of Computer Fraud. Bland was taken to the South Central Regional Jail.
Meteorologists have been analyzing the data from 2012, and found that in some West Virginia Cities, the year was among the warmest on record. The National Weather Service said average temperatures last year in Beckley, Clarksburg and Elkins were the second-warmest on record. Beckley's average temperature, 54.5 degrees, is the highest since the record 55.6 degrees in 1931.
A judge has been asked to delay the sentencing for a former Upper Big Branch Mine superintendent who pleaded guilty to plotting to get around safety rules in Raleigh County. Former mine superintendent Gary May pleaded guilty and is cooperating in the ongoing investigation into the explosion that killed 29 Massey Energy Co. miners in 2010. But May wants the sentencing delayed so he'll have a fair chance at a lesser sentence - a benefit for his cooperation with the government. May's sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 17.
As James Phares is sworn in as the newstate schools superintendent, lawyers for fired superintendent Jorea Marple have notified the state Department of Education of a pending lawsuit. The state Board of Education abruptly voted to fire Marple in November, and her lawyers say her termination was illegal. The letter provides the 30-day advance notice required by law before a state agency can be sued in most instances. Two Boone County parents earlier petitioned the Supreme Court to challenge the firing. That filing alleges the board violated the state open meetings law. That case is pending.
An off-duty state trooper ended up in the intensive care unit at the hospital after being hit by a car Monday. A West Virginia state trooper is showing signs of improvement after being hit by a car in St. Albans, and the woman who hit him has yet to be found. The off duty trooper was trying to apprehend a suspected shoplifter in the parking lot near the Goody's at the St. Albans Mall, and investigators say 34-year old Jennifer Garretson hit the officer and then left the scene. She would have faced a citation for shoplifting, but now she's now facing much more serious charges.
An investigation is underway after a security guard was robbed at gunpoint on New Year's Eve. It happened early Monday morning in downtown Charleston, and Charleston police say the security guard that works for the DHHR was making his rounds about 3:15 a.m. at the Capitol Street parking garage when two men approached. One of them was armed, and they got away with about $200. So far there have been no arrests.