Breaking Local News
The Charleston Gazette reported this week that the West Virginia Attorney General's Office and Kanawha County Clerk Vera McCormick asked a federal judge this week to dismiss a lawsuit challenging West Virginia's ban on gay marriage. New York-based gay rights group Lambda Legal filed the federal lawsuit in October on behalf of three same-sex couples and the child of one couple. The lawsuit contends West Virginia's Defense of Marriage Act unfairly discriminates against same-sex couples and their children. A motion filed by assistant attorney general Julie Ann Warren contends that the plaintiffs have no legal basis to challenge the law. A separate motion filed by McCormick's attorney says the matter should be handled by the state's legislative process.
More than 500 DUI arrests were made during a three-day campaign across six states. West Virginia State Police joined forces with Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Indiana state police agencies for a three-day DUI campaign between December 6th and 8th for the 6 State Trooper Project. Drunk drivers were the target, and during the blitz, 572 DUI arrests were made. State police plan sobriety checkpoints throughout the state and throughout the year, and plan to continue to target impaired drivers and encourage those who drink to use designated drivers.
A Charleston man faces up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty in federal court to distributing heroin. 19-year old Brandon Christopher Solomon, also known as "Fresh", admitted that he sold heroin to a police informant, and will be sentenced in March . Solomon's arrest was made as part of Charleston's Drug Market Intervention Initiative that was launched in February 2012 by U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin and Charleston Police Chief Brent Webster, in collaboration with other agencies and leaders representing several West Side community development organizations. For more, go to www.wsaz.com.
Each year the Kanawha County sheriff's office recognizes one Deputy Sheriff as the Deputy of the Year, and during a ceremony Thursday the award went to Cpl. John Ratliff, a 9 year veteran of the Kanawha Coounty Sheriff's office. Ratliff received the honor at the Kanawha County Commission meeting and says it was truly an honor to be recognized by his peers:
Supervisors of each patrol shift and subdivision of the agency nominate one person who has gone beyond the scope of duty to help others, worked after-hours to solve a case, or been looked to by coworkers for advice.
West Virginia now has nearly 750 nationally certified teachers. The Department of Education says 53 teachers received National Board Certification in 2013. That brings the state's total to 749. The department says National Board Certification means the teachers have successfully demonstrated advanced teaching knowledge, skills and practices.
Two men are headed to prison for participating in a failed theft that caused an ammonia leak in Kanawha County. U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said 36-year old Jason Hudnall of Malden received a three-and-a-half year sentence and 48-year old John Wesley Tucker of Georges Creek received a one-year sentence in U.S. District Court in Charleston. Goodwin said Tucker, Hudnall and two others attempted to steal anhydrous ammonia from a storage tank at a mine waste water treatment site in 2008. About 500 gallons leaked after they split a theft-prevention valve cover. Hudnall pleaded guilty in September to conspiracy to steal anhydrous ammonia and negligent release of anhydrous ammonia into the air. Tucker pleaded guilty in October
A gun rights group has gone to court in an attempt to stop enforcement of Charleston's gun ordinances. The West Virginia Citizens Defense League asked Kanawha Circuit Court his week to issue an injunction against the ordinances, saying Charleston isn't complying with a new state law that removed the authority to regulate guns from cities participating in West Virginia's home rule program. Charleston officials haven't decided whether to opt out of the program or modify the city's gun ordinances. The ordinances limit handgun purchases and prohibit handguns and other deadly weapons on public property. City Attorney Paul Ellis says the city will review the complaint and respond in court.
School buses are no longer able to travel Garrison Avenue in Charleston because of weight limitations, according to Kanawha County Schools. The weight limit of five tons means buses are no long able to travel Garrison Avenue. For more news go to WSAZ.com
South Charleston Police are investigating Tuesday's bomb threat called into Walmart at the Southridge Shopping Center. The store reported getting a call about 9 a.m. from a blocked number and the person claimed to have a gun and bomb in the store. The employee called police right away, and everyone left the building. Then the bomb squad and bomb stiffing dogs canvassed the store, but didn't find any threat inside. Police are investigating the phone records, but there are no suspects. If you have any information, you're urged to call South Charleston Police, and go to WSAZ.com for more.
Many charitable organizations across the country are reporting that giving is down this year, and a Charleston group is no exception. The Salvation Army isn't sure what has caused the drop in donations, but it could have something to do with the shorter Christmas shopping season. There are six fewer days to collect donations because Thanksgiving was so late. The Salvation Army has also seen a decline in the number of group volunteers. Just contact the Salvation Army to get involved as a volunteer or donate. And for more news, go to http://wsaz.com.