Breaking Local News
The company that is accused of overstepping its bounds by cutting down healthy trees at Coonskin Park during storm cleanup, is about to face a civil lawsuit. Kanawha County Commissioners say Dave Bowen and his company Russell Trucking were authorized to cut down about 8 percent of the 330 trees they took during cleanup after the 2012 derecho. At a Parks meeting on Thursday, commissioners said they will seek money for total costs of damage through a civil lawsuit.
The Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office STOP team got a tip this week that someone might be manufacturing methamphetamine in a wooded area along Quincy Hollow Road. Deputies found a white man leaving the woods behind a home on Quincy Hollow Road, and identified him as 34-year old Alton Douglas Mullins of Quincy. Then a methamphetamine shake and bake lab was found in the woods, plus the finished product. Mullins has been arraigned on a felony count of operating a clandestine laboratory.
A pedestrian fatality in October has Charleston city leaders talking about safety at pedestrian crossings. At a meeting this week the city's Strong Neighborhoods Task Force talked about the issue, in particluar Greenbrier Street, where the pedestrian died last month. The Daily Mail reports the city may look at improving existing crosswalks with more visible markings and adding crosswalks where none exist. In cases where it's a state road, the state will have to approve the work.
West Virginia's annual Joyful Night celebration is set for Dec. 5. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced that the holiday event at the State Capitol Complex is free and open to the public. Activities begin at the North Plaza with music by two high school bands. Tomblin and first lady Joanne Jaeger Tomblin will then light a tree donated by Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Fisher of Charleston, followed by a performance by a children's chorus. Then it's on to the South Plaza, for music by another high school band, a tribute to first responders and military members, and another tree lighting.
A survey of West Virginia mines shows 4 percent of underground equipment have detectors that automatically shuts down mobile machinery when people get too close. The Charleston Gazette says the state Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training conducted the survey in August and found that 74 pieces of the 1800 pieces of equipment checked had proximity detection systems that can prevent miners from being crushed or pinned. State mine safety director Eugene White says he expects the number to increase as mine operators anticipate a federal rule requiring such proximity devices to be implemented. The survey also says blind-spot cameras have been installed on 86 pieces of underground equipment.
The state Department of Environmental Protection has recognized four West Virginia communities for efforts to beautify and clean up their towns, including Fayetteville. The Make It Shine Program gave Fayetteville the grand prize and the city will receive $500 to apply toward additional projects. The DEP says the Fayette County community was recognized for efforts that included hosting an annual Earth Day celebration, conducting environmental education on recycling and anti-littering in schools; and the enactment of an ordinance aimed at reducing dilapidated housing.
West Virginia State Police are looking for the public's help finding a man accused of sex trafficking minors from Maryland into West Virginia. Police say 22-year old William Quandre Waters of Baltimore has been indicted by a federal grand jury, and has known ties to a group distributing heroin there. Waters had been in the Berkeley County area for the past few weeks, and goes by several nicknames including Brew, Drew, Andrew and Sam. He is described as a black male, about 5 foot 10 inches tall and about 160 pounds. Anyone with information on Waters whereabouts should call the West Virginia State Police.
Two people are facing drug charges after an active meth lab was found at a motel, according to St. Albans Police. 29-year old Mylissa Jennings Messer, originally of Hurricane, and 31-year old Jason M. Racer of St. Albans, both were charged with attempting to operate a clandestine meth lab and conspiracy. Meanwhile the room at the El Rancho Motel has been condemned, along with a room next door.
Snowshoe Mountain Resort is getting set to open for the season. The resort plans to open three lefts and ten trails, or possibly more, the day before Thanksgiving. Season passes are available, as well as same-day lift tickets for the November 27th opening.
A proposal to combine two elementary schools in Putnam and Mason counties has been shelved. The plan would have combined Leon Elementary in Mason County with Buffalo Elementary in Putnam County. The Charleston Gazette reports both county school boards and their superintendents had gotten together at a Putnam County board meeting last month. But Putnam County schools Superintendent Chuck Hatfield says Mason County officials decided against moving ahead with the joint school, which would have cost an estimated $13 million.