Breaking Local News
Vivek Shah of West Hollywood, California is accused of threatening to kill relatives if a West Virginia coal executive didn't pay $13 million. He'll be arraigned early next week in Beckley, after being indicted last month on extortion charges. Shah is accused of threatening to kill relatives of Christopher Cline, who owns Foresight Reserves, if Cline didn't pay. Cline is the only one who has been named so far, but court documents show other millionaires were also targeted. Those victims aren't likely to be identified.
The man who fell to his death from a bridge io Interstate 64 has been identified. Charleston police say 26-year old Marrion Phillips of Ripley, appeared to be attempting to cross the interstate from the westbound to the eastbound lanes and accidentally fell through the 4-foot gap separating both bridges. His body was found north of Kanawha Blvd. near Magic Island. Phillips was a Navy veteran who leaves behind a wife and two children, and had just returned from being deployed overseas.
Hundreds in downtown Logan stopped to remember Kanawha County Deputy Greg Eplin Tuesday. Corporal Eplin died Friday after battling colon cancer for more than a year, and his fellow deputies got together at several points along the way to raise money for his treatments. The funeral was held Tuesday at Honaker funeral home in Logan, and streets were blocked off so police, emergency personell, and family and friends could attend the funeral. Corporal Eplin was 46 years old.
Students and faculty are morning the loss of a West Virginia teacher. A seventh-grade science teacher in Ritchie County was allegedly shot and killed, along with her husband and daughter, by a male juvenile on Labor Day. The shooting happened at a home in Dodgeridge County, and so far no motive has been released. The suspect is in police custody. The victims are believed to be Dixie L. Spencer, her husband Frederick Spencer, and their young daughter
The Democratic National Convention is underway, but there are some West Virginia Democrats absent. Third District Congressman Nick Rahall, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin and Governor Earl Ray Tomblin aren't there, but U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller is scheduled to be in Charlotte. The convention continues today, and President Barack Obama is expected to accept the Democratic nomination for President Thursday. The Republican National Convention happened last week, and Mitt Romney accepted the Republican nomination for President.
About 1800 people in Charleston lost power Monday night becuase of a problem with a breaker. The Appalachian Power customers experienced an outage because of the bad breaker at a Loudendale substation, the worst of it around 9:20 p.m. Crews have been working on repairing the breaker or switching customers to another source of power.
Hundreds of state troopers, other law enforcement officers and the public have already honored and paid respects to one fallen trooper. A memorial service honoring state trooper Marshall Lee Bailey was held Sunday at the Charleston Civic Center. Funeral services for Eric Workman who died Friday afternoon are scheduled for Wednesday at 2:00 P-M at the Charleston Civic Center. Both Workman and Bailey were shot by a gunman in Wallback a week ago. Flowers and flags, wreaths and candles have popped up at the crime scene as a makeshift memorial to honor the officers. The memorial is near the Wallback exit of Interstate 79 in Roane County.
Is there more to the story of Shawn Lester? Last week, Lester received the maximum prison sentence for his role in the sniper style killings in 2003. Lester pleaded guilty in late July to second-degree murder in the death of Jeanie Patton, but charges were dropped related to the deaths of Gary Carrier Jr., and Okey Meadows Jr. as part of a plea agreement. The Gazette reports a source close to the investigation says Lester is also a suspect in a Kentucky homicide. 33-year old Timothy Wayne Sigman was friends with Lester and lived with him around the time of the 2003 killings. His remains were found under the front porch of a home in Willard, KY. Police wonder whether Sigman had knowledge of the sniper killings. The investigation continues.
This is national preparedness month, and local agencies are helping with disaster prep. In Kanawha County, a Sustainable Families Preparedness Fair is scheduled for Sept. 18. The Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, the Charleston Fire Department, the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department and other agencies will all be there with tips on what to do if disaster leaves you without power, food and other essentials. The preparedness fair will be at the Habitat for Humanity's Homeowner Education & Community Center on 815 Court St. in Charleston from 9 to 3 that day. It's the kind of thing you hope you never need, but as we learned with the June 29 storms, it never hurts to be prepared.
Charleston police are still investigating a mysterious death. A man's body was found Saturday near Magic Island, and police say he wasn't shot or beaten. Somehow the man ended up coming off the Interstate 64 bridge near Magic Island, and landed on the ground north of Kanawha Boulevard between the east and westbound lanes of the interstate. The man is described as a black man in his 20s. Detectives are working to figure out what sent him off the bridge.