Breaking Local News
A Randolph County man has been sentenced to up to 30 years in prison in the fatal stabbing of another person outside a high school stadium before a football game. Nineteen-year-old Thomas Chevy Vas of Dailey pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Tuesday, a day after jury selection began in Randolph County Circuit Court. A judge accepted the guilty plea and sentenced him. Vas had been charged with felony murder in the October 2012 stabbing of 17-year-old Dustin White after a stabbing outside Tygarts Valley High School's stadium about 20 minutes before a football game between Tygarts Valley and Hundred High School. Vas and White both were Tygarts Valley students.
City leaders in Dunbar will soon decide what to do about stray cats. Under a new policy proposal, stray cats in Dunbar would be spayed or neutered and returned to the streets. The Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association would do the surgery on the cats and also give them a rabies vaccination under the program. The Dunbar City Council will give the ordinance a second reading and vote at the Dec. 15 City Council meeting.
A Kanawha County cruiser on its way to another call crashed into a townhouse Sunday night on Greenbrier Street. The deputy has been identified as Sgt. Shawn Layne who was on his way to a domestic violence call on Rutledge Road when he left the roadway and crashed through a gate and garage of the townhouse. It happened at Hemingway Place and 61-year-old Sammy Lynn Gee was inside the townhouse who became trapped with the accident. The injuries were not life-threatening, but both were taken to CAMC General. The Charleston police department is investigating the accident.
Motorists will get a break on gasoline prices in West Virginia thanks to an annual tax recalculation. Beginning Jan. 1, the state's tax for conventional motor fuels will drop about a penny per gallon from 35.7 cents to 34.6 cents. Deputy revenue secretary Mark Muchow tells the Charleston Daily Mail that the decrease will save motorists more than $15 million compared to what they are paying this year. The state Tax Department is required by law to recalculate the average wholesale price of motor fuels in the state every year. Conventional motor fuels include gasoline, kerosene and diesel. The variable tax is one of the state gas tax's three components. The tax also includes a flat state rate and a flat federal tax.
Fred Joseph, chairman of the Kanawha County Republican Executive Committee, wants other candidates to campaign for mayor. Charleston Mayor Danny Jones announced last month he'll run for a 4th term and Joseph tells the Charleston Gazette he’s actively recruiting candidates to run against Jones, because of what he says has been Jones’ support of a Democratic congressional candidate and also support of the city’s user fee. Monday was the first day to file for a place on the city ballot, and the deadline is December 12th.
There's a particular statue that has been popping up across the country, and Charleston has one now too. It's a bronze statue of a man who looks to be homeless on a park bench on Washington Street in downtown Charleston, across the street from the post office. When you look closer you'll see it's a representation of Jesus, and the Charleston Gazette reports a donor gave the money to buy the sculpture. The paper also says Charleston is the fifth American city and the eighth worldwide to get one of the statues, first cast in 2012 by the Canadian sculptor Timothy Schmalz.
Several cities participating in West Virginia's home rule program are seeking approval to impose sales taxes. The tax proposals and other requests will be considered by the West Virginia Municipal Home Rule Board today during a meeting in Fairmont. The Exponent Telegram reports that Charles Town, Martinsburg, Nitro, Parkersburg, Ranson and Vienna have proposed enacting sales taxes. Wheeling wants permission to increase its existing sales tax. Wheeling is one of the four charter home rule cities. The other cities were accepted into the program in October.Board chairman Patsy Trecost says she expects the proposals will be approved, as long as the cities have taken certain steps like public hearings.
The West Virginia Division of Highways is developing a plan to improve employees' pay. Deputy Commissioner John McBrayer says the agency isn't changing its pay scale, but the Charleston Gazette reports the plan will improve the way employees move up the pay scale and will affect all of the DOH's 3,000 hourly workers, including mechanics, snow plow drivers and equipment operators. DOH spokesman Brent Walker says transportation workers haven't had opportunities for merit raises since 2007. He says the new plan will help the agency retain good workers.
A former Mingo County commissioner who pleaded guilty to extortion wants his prison sentence vacated. The Charleston Gazette reports David Baisden is asking a federal judge to throw out the 20 month prison sentence he was given in January. A court filing says he thought he would get probation instead of time in prison after he pleaded guilty. He says in the filing he doesn't believe his lawyer argued the sentencing correctly. Baisden admitted to demanding Appalachian Tire sell him tires for his personal vehicle at a discounted price only available for government vehicles. When the company refused, Baisden steered the county's contract to a different company. Baisden also agreed to pay restitution, but argues now that he shouldn't have to.
A Kanawha County cruiser on its way to another call crashed into a townhouse Sunday night on Greenbrier Street. It happened at Hemingway Place and a 61-year-old woman was inside the townhouse who became trapped with the accident. The officer was also trapped, and both had to be taken to the hospital for treatment. The Charleston police department is investigating the accident.