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It was just practice on Tuesday, but it looked like the real thing. Police, EMS and SWAT teams took part in drills at Charleston's Yeager Airport, that helped them prepare for emergencies and practice emergency plans. Federal, state, county, and city agencies practiced the "what ifs" including hostage situations, active shooters, and threats that would require them to act quickly.
State Police said the suspect in the slaying of Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum is up and moving around at a Huntington hospital. Sgt. Michael Baylous said Monday that Tennis Melvin Maynard is improving daily and expected to survive the gunshot wound inflicted by a deputy who chased him after last Wednesday's shooting. Still no official word on a possible motive for the shooting. Maynard's father said last week his son is mentally disturbed. Maynard is charged with first-degree murder and with attempted murder for allegedly aiming a weapon at the deputy.
A woman accused of robbing a bank last fall has pleaded guilty. 37-year old Jennifer Lee Garretson of Belle appeared in Kanawha County Circuit Court Monday and entered her plea, admitting she she walked into the City National Bank in Glasgow on October 2012, told the teller in a note she had a gun, and ran off when she got the money. Garretson pleaded guilty Monday to second-degree robbery, and said she did not have a gun. Sentencing is coming up in May.
The bill before state lawmakers has stalled, and the gun debate has something to do with it. The House is considering a proposal already passed by the Senate that would continue what's been declared a successful experiment with home rule. This pilot program has Charleston and three other cities to cut red tape, reduce blight and improve their finances. The pending bill would allow additional municipalities to apply to join, but stalled after Delegate Patrick Layne of Kanawha County proposed adding language to repeal local gun control ordinances. Prior to this amendment, Layne introduced a stand alone bill repealing local gun ordinances, but the idled in the Senate.
DuPont has announced plans to take down a pipeline at the Belle Plant. The pipeline used gravity to provide water used in ammonia production at the DuPont plant. Plant Manager Jim O'Connor said the pipeline opened in 1930 and was shut down in the 1950s. It runs down a hillside outside the plant. O'Connor told the Charleston Daily Mail that the system reduced the energy cost of producing ammonia by 70 percent. DuPont now ships in ammonia to the plant from facilities on the Gulf Coast.
Charleston Police are investigating a shootout at an apartment complex in Charleston. Four suspects exchanged gunfire at the Orchard Manor complex just after 7 p.m. Monday. Two apartments were struck by stray bullets, but no one was hurt. All of the suspects have been identified.
After the death of Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum last week, the main suspect quickly became Tennis Maynard, who is still under heavy police presence in Cabell Huntington Hospital. Once Maynard is released from the hospital he'll be charged with murder for Crum's death, and attempted murder for shooting at a deputy during the police chase that followed. Mingo County Prosecuting Attorney C. Michael Sparks released a statement on possible motive for the shooting, and said right now there is no susbtantial evidence that would point to the sheriff's murder being related to his anti-drug crackdown.
A correctional officer at the U.S. Penitentiary at Hazelton was stabbed by an inmate over the weekend. A union official with the American Federation of Government Employees Council of Prisons said Officer Timothy Norris was stabbed with a homemade metal weapon on Saturday and he was taken to a hospital in Morgantown. The union president said he is expected to survive. The inmate was serving a sentence for robbery and faces a murder charge stemming from another incident.
A fire at the Kanawha State Forest over the weekend didn't threat any homes and was quickly contained by fire crews, but the brush fire did consume nearly 25 acres. The latest reports show the fire started in a man's back yard, as he was trying to burn a small pile of brush.
Boldly painted rain barrels are going up in the East End to promote upcoming rain barrel workshops. The Charleston Stormwater Management program has four workshops coming up to help you catch and collect rainwater, and the first is scheduled for April 21 at the East End Bazaar. The rainwater collection is part of an agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency to cut water pollution that ends up in rivers. Homeowners will learn how to catch the rainwater and save it for use in gardens, at the upcoming workshops.
304-926-0499, Ext. 1098.