Breaking Local News
With the start of school just around the corner, kids and parents are rushing to get all the necessary vaccines in order, and that has the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department doing its best to meet the demand. Kanawha-Charleston has been covering all clinical services for the Putnam County Health Department, which folded in June after a financial crisis. School starts in Putnam County August 22nd, but the start date is only 4 days away in Charleston. The August 9th start date is the earliest in county history. There is no vaccine shortage, but there is a rush to make sure the necessary vaccination records and shots are in order.
Preservation groups want to put a stop to it, but West Virginia State University is moving ahead with campus renovations on some of its oldest buildings. A new residence hall is in the works at WVSU, but in that process, Gore and Prillerman halls would be demolished. The Charleston Gazette reports they're eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. The Preservation Alliance of West Virginia and The Kanawha Valley Historical & Preservation Society have asked the school to stop the demolition.
About 350,000 West Virginians will see a reduction in federal food assistance benefits when a temporary boost expires this fall, according to a nonprofit policy research group. The West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy said the increase to federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits expires on Oct. 31. The Charleston Gazette says that increase amounted to about $29 per month for a family of three. In West Virginia, about one-quarter of children live in families with income below the federal poverty level.
A drug bust over the weekend on Charleston's West Side...Heroin and meth were found in a police raid in the 600 block of Simms Street, and two suspects took off, but were eventually captured. 43-year old Steven Belcher has been charged with distributing, and officers also found an outstanding warrant for Belcher from Putnam County for solicitation of a minor online. 29-year old Glen Hughes has been charged with operating a mobile meth lab.
A Randolph County bridge has been named in honor of a fallen state trooper. A ceremony was scheduled Saturday for the Trooper Brian William Linn Memorial Bridge along U.S. Route 33 in Bowden. Linn was stationed in Charles Town. He was killed in November 2007 while responding to a call to assist another officer. He lost control of his cruiser while attempting to pass two vehicles on state Route 9 in Jefferson County. He was 25 years old.
The Putnam County sheriff's office has a new opportunity to help protect children when there is suspicion of drugs. Starting with the change of the calendar on August 1, the sheriff's department started entering drug-related cases where a child's safety could be compromised into the new Drug Endangered Child Tracking System. With that, there is a formal way to share suspicions and concerns directly with child-welfare workers. Officers will enter every felony drug arrest, and child-welfare workers can log in to look for cases that may not already be on their radar.
American Electric Power says a ruling by Virginia regulators complicates matters in its proposal to reorganize ownership of some of its coal-fired power plants in West Virginia. The Virginia State Corporation Commission recently approved ApCo's plan to acquire the remaining portion of its John Amos plant near St. Albans, but also rejected the company's effort to take over half of the Mitchell plant near Moundsville.
A Putnam County man is headed to jail after a deadly DUI accident in 2012. Caleb Beckner received his sentence Thursday for the drunk driving accident that killed his passenger, Heather Brooks. Beckner was on parole at the time for grand larceny, and received an 18 month prison sentence for his role in the deadly crash. His parole was revoked so he will also serve two to 15 years in prison for that charge.
Charleston police are investigating a shooting that happened early this morning. Metro 911 Dispatchers say it happened in the 300 block of Leon Sullivan Way and the victim suffered two leg wounds. No word yet on a suspect.
Charleston Town Center has announced plans to give the shopping center a facelift, at least on the Court Street side. The goal is to match the rest of the renovations that took place last year. So the concrete on Court Street, from JC Penney to Five Guys Burgers and Fries, will be replaced, at a cost of about $800,000. You'll notice new landscaping, lights, and ramps too. The inside of the mall was renovated last year at a cost of about $7 million, and this new project will help it all match. The latest project should be finished by the Christmas shopping season.