Breaking Local News
Good news as the economy continues to improve. West Virginia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for April was 6.6 percent, the lowest it's been in four years. WorkForce West Virginia said Tuesday that's down four-tenths of a percentage point from the previous month. County-by-county figures won't be available for another week or so.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has announced the appointment an acting state tax commissioner. The Governor said in a news release that Mark Matkovich brings vast knowledge and experience to the state Tax Department. Matkovich will take over for Revenue Secretary Charles Lorensen, who will succeed the governor's Chief of Staff Rob Alsop when he steps down next month.
State police in Charleston have released the names of three people arrested in connection with a meth bust in Charleston on Rutledge Road Monday. 33-year old Earl Myers of Charleston faces several charges including operating or attempting to operate a meth lab, receiving or transferring stolen goods, possession and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Trooper said he was out on bond at the time of his arrest for similar charges. 30-year old Jonathan Harris of Charleston and 25-year old Tina Belcher have also been arrested and charged with conspiracy. About the stolen property found at Myers' home, officers say he told them others traded it for drugs.
Did you vote in Charleston's first People's Choice Awards? The Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau sought votes using QR codes scanned by smart phones at hotels and restaurants, and online ballots were available to those who wanted to vote with a mouse click. Here's how it all turned out: Mountain Stage is the favorite attraction, FestivALL the favorite event and Taylor Books is the favorite retail store or boutique. Other winners include Pies & Pints for favorite restaurant, Embassy Suites for favorite lodging.
With the warmer weather comes the opportunity to swim at public pools, adn the city of Charleston needs lifeguards to attend them. So far only 10 people have applied to be lifeguards at five pools, and to be fully staffed Charleston needs about 40. Not finding 40 lifeguards might mean some pools would stay closed this summer, or hours would be shortened. To apply, just go to the city of Charleston's website.
A former West Virginia sheriff will spend a year in federal prison. Robert Shirley was sentenced Monday for his role in the December 2010 beating of a robbery suspect, and the U.S. District Judge in Wheeling also ordered 18 months' probation and that Shirley pay his victim restitution totaling $1,850. The twelve month sentence is less than the 33 months recommended under federal guidelines. At Shirley's sentencing, a retired state trooper and three community leaders pleaded for leniency. Shirley apologized for his conduct. The beating of the robbery suspect occurred after a chase through the Eastern Panhandle.
Charleston City Collector Tonya Cotton is in the process of sending out letters to lobbyists, accountants, doctors and others who need a license to do business in the city. Charleston city council members passed a bill to license these types of service providers on April 15th, and it will cost $20 per year. Wheeling was the first city to charge a fee for a service provider license, and state statute allows all municipalities to do it. The fee can't go beyond $20, because that's the maximum allowed by the state. In order to be issued a license, businesses will have to be current on business and occupation taxes, fees, interest and penalties.
A Putnam County explosion has left two people injured. An explosion Monday afternoon involving more than 50 barrels continaing a substance used in welding left two men with second-degree burns. It happened at Airgas, along Route 62 in Black Betsy, near Poca. The explosions caused a fire inside the building but was put out by firefighters. Route OSHA has taken over the investigation.
The University of Charleston athletic program is seeing its share of attention right now, with the arrest of three basketball players on robbery charges. Now three UC football players have been arrested, after marijuana was mailed to a house in Charleston. A criminal complaint on file in Kanawha County Magistrate Court shows officers attempted a controlled delivery to a house on Callie Road last week, and 22-year old Markel Vaughn who lives there, accepted the package. 21-year old Reggie Dillingham, 21-year old Bryant Leighton, and 21-year old Ronald Kelly, all UC football players, were also arrested. The university says all three have been suspended from the football team.
Some fires in Summersville in Nicholas County are under investigation. Three fires in the span of a week have some neighbors on edge, after several arsons last year. An apartment fire left seven people homeless Wednesday, fire destoyed another apartment complext May 4th, and fire also broke out in a vacant building last week. All three fires are under investigation, and the cause has not benn released. Two people are awaiting trail for several fires in February 2012.