Breaking Local News
Five major tobacco companies are named in a case where about 700 West Virginia smokers are trying to establish that they were harmed by using tobacco. The Charleston Gazette reports it may have been the largest panel ever summoned for jury duty...there were more than eight thousand Kanawha County residents who got the jury duty notice in the mail and six jurors and two alternates were picked from that pool. The trial is underway, with closing arguments set for 1 p.m. May 13 and jurors are expected to begin deliberations May 14.
Students who will be entering 7th grade this fall will have to show proof of a Tdap booster and one dose of the meningitis immunization. And those who are about to become seniors will have to show proof of a single dose of Tdap vaccine and at least one dose of meningococcal vaccine given after the 16th birthday. To help with all of that, the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department is holding a walk-in school immunization clinic for all ages from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the health department on Lee Street in Charleston, according to a news release from the health department. They'll also be giving shots to children entering school and college in the fall of 2013. Just go to the health department’s website for more, at www.kchdwv.org.
The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department shut down the Fas Chek grocery store in Malden this week after it found 36 food and safety code violations. A meat grinder wasn't clean, and there was water spraying on meat trays, among other things. That Fas Check will be closed until it can fix all of the violations and pass an inspection.
Dozens of emergency vehicles are expected to make their way through Charleston this week....no on their way to an emergency, but to a celebration instead. The West Virginia Public Safety Expo kicks off Wednesday night with a parade of emergency vehicles. Organizer Terry Sayre says the annual event typically has at least 50 vehicles in the parade, and draws emergency responders from across the state for workshops and continuing education courses. The parade will begin at 6 p.m. Wednesday and iIt will go along Kanawha Boulevard to the Charleston Civic Center. The expo will be held through Saturday.
A truck hauling heavy equipment hit a power pole Monday and that knocked down power lines. Goff Mountain Road in the 300 block was shut down in both directions in Cross Lanes along with West Washington Street after the power lines came down. Someone inside a vehicle was able to escaped unharmed after cable lines fell on top of it, but drivers in the area faced delays for several hours, and those who live on Brick Lane and Old Goff Mountain Road had delayed access to their homes while crews worked on repairs. Then accidents on West Washington Street and 40th Street in Nitro caused additional problems. Part of Goff Mountain Road near Interstate 64 was shut down for about twelve hours, but all should be back to normal today.
Charleston City Council on Monday night gave the green light for a half-percent sales tax on some retail items, which will help fund renovations at the Charleston Civic Center. The tax will be added to items like food, gas, and cars. Mayor Danny Jones supports the renovations at the Civic Center, saying they're essential to Charleston's future.
Governor Earl Ray Tombln has vetoed three more bills from the most recent legislative session. Police officers at West Virginia's Division of Natural Resources won't see a tax break based on their pensions, for one. The Legislature approved exempting their retirement benefits from income taxes this session, but the governor vetoed the measure Friday over concerns about special tax treatment for a small group. Also Friday, the governor vetoed a bill that aimed to allow additional borrowing by a courthouse renovation fund. Tomblin questioned whether the fund had sufficient revenues for such long-term debt. The other vetoed bill sought to streamline a health sciences college scholarship program while also changing oversight for the state's Center for Nursing. That violates a rule limiting a bill to one topic.
It's been ten months since the cell phone law passed that bans use while driving. Talking and texting are both against the law, and you could be pulled over and ticketed. The Charleston Gazette reports since the new law went into effect there have been 125 convictions in West Virginia. The largest number of convictions have been in Beckley Municipal Court, then Berkeley County, and Kanawha County. As the cell phone ban becomes a primary offense, meaning an officer can pull you over for that and nothing else, the number of tickets are expected to increase.
A man threatened suicide on Saturday evening and said if someone tried to stop him he would shoot them, and would even shoot law enforcement officers to force them to kill him. The man told the Veterans Affairs Crisis hotline he had taken an anti-anxiety medicine in excess. He was calling from Will's Creek Road in the Elkview area. Kanawha County Sheriff's deputies secured the area by evacuating neighbors and closing the road. When the crisis counselor told deputies the man seemed groggy and fading in and out of consciousness, the SWAT team went in and got the man before he could make good on his threats. He still had a loaded firearm next to him on the couch. He was taken to the Charleston Area Medical Center for an evaluation. No criminal charges are expected.
Today is the day to set extra trash at the curb. It's the first of many upcoming Spring Cleanup dates, meaning the City of Charleston's Refuse Department allows for special collections. There are just a few exceptions for what you can't leave at the curb - like batteries, toxic substances or paint cans containing wet paint. If your regular collection day is on Tuesday, set out the extra trash today. Wednesday customers will have the spring cleanup collections next Monday, May 13th, Thursday collection will have spring cleanup Monday May 20th, and for Friday collections the spring cleanup will be Monday June 3rd. Regular trash collection continues during that time.