Breaking Local News
The Charleston-Kanawha Housing Authority has a proposal on the table for a seven-building, 28-unit housing complex along Washington Street West. That's near two existing public housing projects, and some worry the new project would only segragate a portion of the population that struggles financially and close it off to some extent. The agency may apply for tax credits by the end of July, and construction could be finished by the end of 2013. It's before the West Side City Council now.
A Charleston man is in the hospital after a small plane crash in Ohio. 51-year old Charles W. Stevens of Charleston was a passenger in the small plane that went down in Holmes County with engine trouble. The plane crash landed in a field. Stevens is said to be in serious condition in intensive care at the hospital. 60-year old Floyd Pierson of Milton was the pilot, and is also in serious condition. The plane was apparently on its way to Charleston when it went down.
A Putnam County family law judge is the subject of a youtube video that surfaced this week. Judge William Watkins is seen screaming and yelling at preacher Arthur Hage and threatened him with jail. Hage was in court for a divorce hearing that involved the sale of their home. Watkins accused Hage of leaking a picture of his home to a blogger. Hage denies knowing the blogger. Judge Watkins has recused himself from the case, and Hage says he wants Watkins removed from the bench.
Hiram Lewis can still practice law. The former US Senate and Attorney General candidate is accused of shooting Stephen Bogart earlier this month, and while Lewis works his way through his own court case, the State Supreme Court has withdrawn their petition to suspend Lewis' law license. Lewis says Bogart was breaking into his home at the time of the shooting. Bogart says he lived there. At this point, Lewis can still practice law, but the Office of Disciplinary Counsel continues their investigation.
A member of the Hurricane City Council faces accusations that he solicited a minor. 31-year old Scott Cunningham was arrested Wednesday and charged with two felony counts of soliciting a minor via computer. Reports say sexually explicit text messages were sent to a 13-year old girl whom he was acquanited with. Cunningham resigned from the city council shortly after his arrest, and is free on bond.vvCunningham was elected to Hurricane City Council in June 2011 as a member of the Citizens Party.
The National Weather Service says not to expect any break in the heat this weekend. Kanawha County Emergency Management sends the reminder to avoid strenuous activity in the heat and make sure you drink lots of water. If you start feeling even a little bit bad, get out of the heat right away.
A lawsuit has been filed against Charleston government leaders and two newspapers in Kanawha County over the 2011 city election. The lawsuit was filed in US District court by former mayoral candidate Janet Thompson, claiming the election was unfair. She contends the machine that was supposed to add up and confirm the ballots was not used, which made the outcome unofficial. The suit also says she's suffered humilation and emotional distress, aggravation, inconvenience, and has lost her belief and trust in democray. Numerous local leaders are named in the suit, includig Kanawha County Commissioners Kent Carper, Dave Harper, and Hoppy Shores. It also names the county commission on the whole, plus the county clerk's office and the city of Charleston.
West Virginia was recognized this week for getting more students into the Advanced Placement Program. State education officials received the 2012 AP Beacon Award this week in Charleston. An effort that started two years ago seems to be paying off, getting more students involved in the classes the will give them a boost in college with a targeted focus on low income and minority students. Nine percent of students in West Virginia were part of Advanced Placement classes ten years ago, and last year the rate had surpassed twenty percent.
Water and sewer upgrades are coming to Putnam County with the help of federal money. The USDA Rural Development approved a $600,000 loan for Putnam County Public Service District. A news release from the water supplier says it has more than nine thousand customers, and the funds will be used to give them new service lines and in some cases upgrade to touch read meters. Two water storage tanks will be upgraded and another new one will be built. This in addition to the $1.5 million loan that is coming to Putnam County from the USDA Rural Development.
Prelimary court proceedings are underway for Shawn Lester, who's accused of shooting three people in 2003. Prosecutors argued yesterday that new evidence places Lester at the scene of the crime when three people were gunned down with a rifle at Campbells Creek Speedway. These are the pretrial motions being hear now, with the trial set for July. Lester is accused of shooting sniper-style, and killing Gary Carrier, Jeanie Patton, and Okey Meadows.