Breaking Local News
The West Virginia State trooper that had been in the hospital since New Year's Eve has been released from the hospital, according to reports from WBOY TV and MSNBC. Sgt. Aaron Nichols was injured while off duty, trying to apprehend a shoplifter at the Goody's Department Store in St. Albans. Nichols approached Jennifer Garretson in the parking lot and she struck him with her car. He was taken to CAMC with a serious head injury, and at times was on a ventilator. There's no timetable for Nichols' return to work as a state trooper.
A new Charleston Elementary school has yet to be named, and you still have time to offer your suggestions. The new school in Edgewood will be named this spring, and in the meantime the Kanawha County Board of Education is accepting recommendations. Submit your suggestion through a link on the main page of the Kanawha County Schools website by February 15th. There's also a community meeting coming up January 28th at Stonewall Jackson Middle School where parents can provide input.
The gas pipeline explosion in Sissonville in December changed the lives of several families when it destroyed their homes. NiSource Inc. is helping residents affected by that pipeline explosion buy new homes or repair homes that were damaged. NiSource is still working with some families, so the total amount spent isn't known yet. The explosion burned across Interstate 77 and destroyed four homes and damaged several others, but there were no serious injuries. In the interim period while the families are finding new homes, NiSource is also paying the hotel bills.
One man is dead and a woman was flown to Charleston Area Medical Center for treatment after an accident in Nicholas County Tuesday. A news release from the Nicholas County Sheriff's Department says 25-year old Tony Allen Lough of Craigsville was killed in the accident along Route 20 in Allingdale. 65-year old Patricia Doverspike of Richwood was flown to CAMC. The sheriff's department said Lough's car crossed into the opposite lane of traffic and struck a truck driven by Doverspike. Police are still investigating.
A Logan County-based ambulance crew was hurt Tuesday when their vehicle rolled over. The ambulance went over an embankment about 5:40 p.m. Tuesday on Hollywood Branch Road, just south of Madison. West Virginia State Police say two EMT's and a patient were taken to Logan Regional Hospital.
Relief is on the way for those struggling to pay utility bills this winter. The Department of Health and Human Resources has started accpeting applications for assistance through the Low Income Energy Assistance Program. Eligibile households are determined by using a number of factors including income, type of heating payment and total heating costs. The Southwestern Community Action Council is hosting an application seminar today in Huntington. The application period is open through February.
You can find more application information online at www.wvinroads.org
Changes are coming to your license plate. West Virginia is switching to flat license plates that are digitally printed rather than embossed. Division of Motor Vehicles officials said the new plates are cheaper to produce and should be more legible than the current plate. The digitally printed plates are also more environmentally friendly because they don't have to be painted.
Retired DMV commissioner Joe Miller told the Charleston Daily Mail that the move is expected to save the state at least $600,000 a year. And you'll just be relying on the decal for the expiration month instead of the current number or first letter system. The color of the decal will correspond with the year the plates expire.
If you got the notice in the mail saying your property taxes are going up this year, you're not alone. County tax records show Kanawha County property taxes have been rising steadily for the past several years and more than 24-thousand homeowners in the county, along with 3500 businesses have been notified of increases over ten percent this year. State officials told the Charleston Gazette that property in West Virginia has been undervalued for several years and county assessors have been pushed to reasses values all over the state to bring values up. Assessed values can be appealed.
The man who led police on a high speed chase early Monday and that ended up with one injured deputy, is facing criminal charges. Jeremy Hudson was arraigned Monday night after being take to the hospital himself to be checked out. The officer suffered just minor injuries and is epected to be fine. Hudson is accused of fleeing after South Charleston police tried to pull him over, then took police on a chase along Route 60 through Kanawha County, and into Putnam County. The pursuit finally ended near Winfield before dawn Monday. Two South Charleston police cruisers suffered minor damage.
Two people who died have been identified after a Nicholas County house fire Monday. 57-year old Delbert Cutlip and 62-year old James Bud Freeman died when their house caught fire along Route 55. WSAZ TV reports Freeman's wife was able to make it out safely, and family members think he died trying to save Cutlip, who was bedridden. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.