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West Virginia State Police say two people died in separate traffic accidents in the state over the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend. A total 93 accidents occurred over the four-day weekend that began last Thursday. Seven accidents were alcohol-related. Troopers arrested 44 motorists for driving under the influence and handed out 1,198 speeding citations. Troopers also issued 245 seat belt citations and 13 child restraint citations.
U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin is stopping in sevearl places across the state to talk about job creation, small business growth and educational opportunity. The tour started Wednesday in Wheeling, and Manchin discussed investing in public-private partnerships to boost economic growth and job creation. There's a roundtable discussion planned for today with students and faculty at West Virginia State University in Dunbar. Senator Manchin wraps up the tour with events in Charleston, Hurricane and Scott Depot on Friday.
A former janitor at Kanawha County schools has been sentenced for sexual abuse. John Johnson was arrested back in April, and sentenced Wednesday to five to 25 years in prison, followed by 50 years supervised release. That's the maximum sentence allowed by law. Prosecutors argued the female victim was seven when the abuse began.
A couple from Putnam County is facing animal cruelty charges after malnourished horses were found on their property. The Putnam County Sheriff's Department arrested John Cobb and Gail Cobb on warrants for animal cruelty after a concerned citizen called about the horses on the Cobbs' property in Buffalo. The animals were seized from the property just before Thanksgiving, and deputies arrested the two on Monday.
The Kanawha County school board will talk about picking a new board member next week. Longtime board member Bill Raglin died last week, and with his term ending in May, the current board will have to decide on a replacement. State law says the school board has 45 days from the time Raglin's seat became vacant to appoint a new member. There is a special meeting planned for 11:30 a.m. Dec. 12 to discuss the process of picking a new member. The new board member may not necessarily come from that meeting. The spot should be filled by early January.
A Martinsburg motorcycle shop owner says motorcyclists should be allowed to add extra lighting to their machines to increase their visibility. Bob Cunningham is working with Delegate John Overington to make that happen. He told The Journal his campaign is inspired in part by the time he was stopped by a West Virginia police for having too many lights on his bike in violation of state law. Cunningham says he's gathered more than 1,000 signatures for a petition in support of legislation that would allow additional lighting on motorcycles. Last year, Overington introduced the bill, but it failed to emerge from the Senate before the legislative session ended.
The AARP Foundation is sponsoring an anti-fraud educational seminar this week in Charleston. The organization says more than 150 consumers from the Kanawha Valley are expected to attend its "Consumer University" Thursday. The event will feature presentations from representatives of the West Virginia Attorney General's Office, West Virginia Senior Medicare Patrol, AARP Foundation, West Virginia State Health Insurance Assistance Program and the West Virginia Bankers Association. The goal of the seminar is to reduce fraud among older West Virginians by teaching the tactics most often used by scam artists and the steps consumers can take to reduce their risk. Residents can register for the event by calling 877-926-8300 by noon today.
A new survey shows more West Virginia teenagers are staying away from tobacco. The 2013 West Virginia Youth Tobacco Survey shows about 46 percent of West Virginia high school students have never used any type of tobacco. That's up from 20.6 percent in 2000. According to the survey released Monday, the percentage of students who never smoked cigarettes increased from 25.7 percent in 2000 to 53.2 percent in 2013. The percentage of teen smokers declined from 38.5 percent to 18.6 percent during the same period. Bureau for Public Health commissioner Dr. Letitia Tierney credits the decline to outreach efforts and programs aimed at raising awareness about the dangers of nicotine.
Several brass light fixtures that were taken from the West Virginia Veterans Memorial in Charleston have been recovered. Capitol Recycling owner Randy Halstead tells the Charleston Gazette that he bought the fixtures from a woman and learned they were stolen when a Capitol Police officer came to his store with photos of them. Halstead says information that he entered about the woman in a national database helped police identify her. 32-year-old Amanda Suzanne Young of Charleston has been charged with receiving or transferring stolen goods.
A case of stolen checks is under investigation. The Kanawha County Sheriff's office says the checks were passed at the Elkview 7-Eleven store where two suspects passed one of the forged checks. One suspect is wearing a blue WVU sweatshirt with a camouflage coat in surveillance video and the other is wearing a blue coat and red hat. Both suspects are white males. They were seen in a two-tone, older model Ford F-150. Anyone with information on the identity of these men is asked to contact Detective A. Pile of the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office. Those giving tips can remain anonymous. Detective Pile can be reached at 304-357-0556. To submit a tip online, go to www.kanawhasheriff.us.