Breaking Local News
36-year old Debra Kay Pack of Scott Depot has been sentenced to three years probation and six months home confinement for distributing crack cocaine. Pack reportedly admitted to taking part in an undercover drug deal with members of the Huntington Violent Crime and Drug Task Force in 2010.
Last week we brought you the news that several people in Sissonville were complaining of smoke at the construction site of the new Edgewood Elementary school. Carpenter Reclamation had been burning trees to clear the site. Now the Charleston Fire Department has revoked the Sissonville company's permit to the burn trees, and the fire department has said all future requests for burn permits will be denied. A resident filed a formal complaint and cited health concerns from the smoke, and after that the permit was revoked. The company can still removed the trees, they just have to find another way to do it.
Two Beckley hotels were robbed last weekend, and two people have been arrested. 26-year old Douglas Stover and 25-year old Angela Willis were arrested Tuesday, and each faces two counts of first-degree robbery. The Comfort Inn on Harper Park Drive was robbed on Friday night, and the Baymont Inn, also on Harper Park Drive, was robbed on Saturday night. In both cases, the robbers had a weapon and fled with money.
Students in West Virginia in 7th throught 12th grade will have to have meningitis vaccines. The National Immunization Survey reported only 46 percent of students had it last year, but this fall it's the law, and students won't be allowed back in school without it.
The Charleston Work Release Center is moving to a new location on Hansford Street soon, and the Daily Mail reports the facility will have state-of-the-art security upgrades. Extra video cameras will be installed and a fence will separate the inmates from those walking by. Most of the inmates there are non-violent and are on their way out of the system, so security worries aren't usually there. But at the current center, anyone walking through the neighborhood can walk right up and and walk around the grounds. Surveillance cameras wil go up at nearby businesses at the new Hansford Street spot too. Inmates could move in by the end of the year.
Changes are coming to the drive between South Charleston and Dunbar. Work continues on the westbound Interstate 64 bridge, and crews are planning to switch the traffic pattern onto the newly finished lanes so they can work on the current travel lanes. Some relief could be coming by the 4th of July too, with crews anticipating they'll be able open a third lane in time for the busy travel weekend. Transportation officials are optomistic they'll have work completely finished on that stretch of road by the end of this year. The $93 million eastbound bridge has been open since 2010, and crews now are working on $11 million in renovations to the westbound side.
Police are looking for an escaped inmate from the Beckley Correctional Center. 43-year old James Hall Jr. didn't return from work detail on Friday. He is described as a white male, 5 feet 9 inches tall, 155 pounds, with blue eyes and brown hair. He has multiple tattoos, including "MOM'' on the top left hand and a barbwire wrap on the upper left arm. Hall is serving a sentence for breaking and entering.
John Damron worked for the state Dept of Environmental Protection as a mine inspector for thirty years, and also happened to be a longtime outfielder for the Corporate Cup softball team. Damron was honored during a recent Corporate Cup tournament with special t-shirts. Damron died in April after his state-issued SUV crashed into the Kanawha River at the intersection of U.S. 119 and MacCorkle Avenue. The vehicle was located about three days later. The Kanawha Valley YMCA sponsors Corporate Cup softball, and teams continue to play through the end of the month.
Water main breaks in Beckley have a boil water advisory in effect until further notice. The pipes burst in the Dry Hill Road and Sweeeneysburg areas. Beckley Water Company issued a boil advisory for Sweeneysburg Road, starting at the intersection of Dry Hill Road and Sweeneysburg Road and extending to Pax Road and Clear Fork Road along Spruce Mountain. Also included is the lower section of Maple Fork Road up to Burn Bowyer Road. All side streets are included. The town of Pax has also asked customers of the entire water system to boil their water. That means let the water come to a rolling boil for one minute before using it.
As rural hospitals face funding cuts, some are getting a break. Rural hospitals that have 25 or fewer beds like Roane General in Spencer or Boone Memorial in Madison and 18 others, face cuts that could mean a reduction of hundreds of thousands of dollars. They'll get a reprieve under a new federal plan to pay small rural hospitals for caring for Medicare patients. The rural hospitals are on tight budgets already, and any cuts could make it difficult for them to stay afloat. Meetings that included the Governor, hosptial officials, and lawmakers this month appears to have led to an agreement, the details of which are still being ironed out.