Breaking Local News

Funding Denied For Putnam County Bridge; Other Options Considered

Hurricane is entertaining its options to replace a bridge at Hurricane City Park, after the Putnam County Commission denied a funding request that would have provided enough money for it. The city requested $25,000 in funding that would have likely come from tax-increment financing, which allows government entities to fund economic development projects, according to the Charleston Gazette. The agencies use the projected increase in property taxes that occurs because of the improvements to the district. In the end though, the commission said no. The bridge project would replace a single-lane bridge at the entrance of the Hurricane City Park, adjacent to Route 34. There have been concerns over the bridge's safety. The city hasn't given up, and is tossing around other ideas about how to fund it.

Gambling Revenues Up, But Impacted By Competition

Gambling at The Greenbrier gave the West Virginia Lottery's revenue a boost in July. The Charleston Gazette says the resort's table game revenue increased 148 percent to $457,715. Video lottery revenue rose 32 percent to $429,575. That helped lift the Lottery's overall revenue to $101 million, up from less than $100 million in June. July revenue though was down about 4 percent compared to July 2013. Lottery Director John Musgrave says competition from casinos in neighboring states continues to affect the state's four racetrack casinos. Racetrack table game revenues dropped by $639,000 to about $4 million.

Settlement Announced After Dupont Leak

A $1.275 million settlement has been reached after the chemical company Dupont allegedly released hazardous materials that were a threat to the Kanawha River. And one worker died after exposure to a leak of toxic gas. The EPA and the Department of Justice announced the settlement Wednesday, after the leak in May 2006 and January 2010 at the Dupont Belle location, according to a news release from the EPA. DuPont will pay the penalty and will take steps to make sure procedures are correct and comply with government regulations. DuPont estimates that it has spent more than $6 million to comply so far.

Some Lawmakers Call For Delay in Storage Tank Inspections

State House and Senate leaders want the governor to call a special session to over the above-ground storage tank law. WCHS TV reports House Speaker Tim Miley and Senate President Jeff Kessler asked Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to call the session during next month's interim meetings. They are slated for Sept. 8-10. The two lawmakers said the Jan. 1 deadline for above ground storage tank inspections in the law is unattainable.

Warrant Issued In Rand Robbery

A warrant has been issued after a Rand robbery. The Kanawha County Sheriff's office has issued the warrant for 26-year old Christopher D. Carey (A.K.A. “Snacks) of Rand. He is charged with one count of armed robbery and three counts of wanton endangerment in connection with Monday morning’s robbery in Rand, and is accused of shooting at the victim after he only handed over a small amount of cash. Anyone with information on Carey is asked to call 304-357-0169 or submit a tip at www.kanawhasheriff.us.

School Start Times Could Change

Might middle school and high school students be starting the school day later? A new report released this week said students should not be expected in class any earlier than 8:30 a.m. if teachers are to get peak mental capacity out of them. The Charleston Gazette reports 43 percent of public high schools across the country start class before 8 a.m., including most schools in West Virginia. Kanawha County high schools start around 7:30 a.m., South Charleston High School starts at 7:11 a.m. and St. Albans High starts at 7:50 a.m. Most middle schools in Kanawha County start class around 8:30 a.m. The American Academy of Pediatrics says pushing back school start times is the key to avoiding major problems associated with sleep deprivation. There is no statewide policy in West Virginia governing when school starts and ends, for now anyway.

FEMA Reimburses Several Agencies After Chemical Spill

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has reimbursed $1.4 million to local and state governments, hospitals and some non-profit groups for costs related to January's chemical spill in Charleston. The Charleston Daily Mail reports FEMA assistance has been awarded to 35 entities in Boone, Cabell, Kanawha, Lincoln and Putnam counties totaling more than $1 million. In addition, the National Guard is among six state agencies awarded more than $420,000. Another dozen requests for assistance are pending. In April, FEMA approved Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's request to allow first responders, public agencies in the nine affected counties, and certain nonprofit groups to apply for grants to recoup costs incurred in the days after the Jan. 9 spill.

Kanawha County School Employees Face Criminal Charges

Four people who worked at Riverside High School were arrested Tuesday night for allegedly stealing thousands in food and supplies from the school system, according to West Virginia State police. Chief custodian Linda Oda, custodian Tommy Osborne, cafeteria manager Debra Stump and head cook Christine Buckley have each been charged with fraudulent schemes, conspiracy and embezzlement . Investigators think they had been stealing food and cleaning supplies for several years, and that added up to thousands of dollars in a hit to taxpayers. The four were suspended from the district without pay last week.

Rand Shooting Under Investigation

The Kanawha County Sheriff's office is investigating after shots were fired early Monday in Rand. Around 3:40am a caller reported being robbed at gunpoint at the intersection of Elaine Drive and Bluefield Avenue in Rand, as he was walking to a friend’s house. He told officers a vehicle stopped near him and the suspect got out and robbed him of cash. After finding out it was a small amount, the suspect fired shots and then ran off. The sheriff's office says there is at least one person of interest in the case.

Search Expands For Missing Teen

Deputies are expanding their search for a missing teenager. 16 year old Ericka Brown was reported missing from the Cross Lanes area on the moring of August 10th when her parents woke up. She's described as 5’1” tall, and weighs about 100 pounds. She has long, sandy blonde hair. Cpl B-D Humphreys says investigators think she left the house on her own, but may have been the victim of a crime after leaving. Detectives have been scouring phone records, surveillance footage, and investigating any tips received. Areas including Wood County, WV, Athens County, OH, and the Columbus, Ohio area are special areas of focus since she was last heading that direction. Anyone with information is asked to call 304-357-0169 or submit a tip on www.kanawhasheriff.us.

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