Breaking Local News
Sen. Joe Manchin brought two other senators to West Virginia to showcase the state's energy industries. Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon and Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska were part of the two-day tour aimed a highlighting West Virginia as a diverse energy-producing state, not just a coal producer. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin was on hand to meet the group at Yeager Airport in Charleston on Saturday. One of the spots the group visited was Arch Coal's Mountain Laurel Complex in Sharples in Logan County. One of the senators on the trip could become the chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee this year.
Putnam County Commissioners have approved an increase to the fire fee. A one hundred percent increase was rejected last year, but this time a fifty percent increase was approved, and it will be the first hike in 25 years. It means beginning in January, a homeowner who pays $25 a year would pay $37.50 annually based on the square footage of the home.
The good news for Wiseman Construction of Charleston....the company was the apparent low bidder on the contract to renovate 34 restrooms, 3 women's lounges, and 9 janitors' closets at the State Capitol. The bad news....the company under-estimated what it would actually cost to finish the renovations by about $3.3 million. The bid was for $6 million and the actual cost is closer to $9.3 million. The other bidders were in that $9 to $10 million ballpark. All of the bids are being evaluated more closely.
A woman appeared before a Putnam County magistrate yesterday, accused of trying to hire a man to kill her former boss. 43-year old Gigi Lynn Hinchcliffe was allegedly upset with the former boss because he owed her $700, and she's accused of asking another man to kill him or give her the name of someone else who would carry it out. The Putnam County Sheriff's office started investigating after the alleged hitman contacted them to turn Hinchcliffe in. The case has been forwarded to a grand jury for consideration.
Two people were found passed out in a van that belonged to a mortuary early Thursday, and they've been arrested. Deputies found the van at the 7-11 on West Main in St. Albans around 2am Thursday, and it was registered to Tri-State Mortuary, who said neither Michael Parsons nor John Shaver had permission to use it. Both have been charged with joyriding, and Parons faces charges of driving on a revoked license. Shaver was charged with obstructing an officer. Both went to South Central Regional Jail.
Police got a break in a graffiti case this week and arrested three men. Two adults and a juvenile were arrested and charged with destruction of property after allegedly tagging signs and businesses in North Charleston. 20-year old Cody Ryder Pfeiffer of Charleston faces a felony destruction of property charge and could spend one to ten years behind bars if convicted. He has a preliminary hearing is set for June 22nd. 21-year old Joshua Lee Bailey is charged with misdemeanor property destruction. The juvenile's name hasn't been released.
FestivALL means fun, and street closures. The Charleston Police Department says road closures begin today, meaning Kanawha Boulevard from Court Street to Capitol Street will be closed beginning at 9 a.m. Capitol Street from Quarrier Street to Lee Street will also be cut down to one lane. Kanawha Boulevard will be closed eastbound at Clendenin Street at 9 a.m. tomorrow and will reopen Saturday night following the concert. Parking garages on Virginia Street next to City Hall and on Summers Street will have extended hours.
James Belknap will have his day in court in July. He's accused of murdering killing four people, including two young children, and then dumping their bodies in Nicholas County. He'll have his preliminary hearing July 10.
Charleston police continue to work with Crimestoppers in the Robert Snow murder investigation. Snow's body was found in the Elk River three days after he went missing in late May. Police say his hands and feet were bound together. Other than that, there have been very few details offered about the case, and few leads. Anyone with information should call the Crimestoppers 24-hour tip line, and you can remain anonymous. You can also call Charleston Police. Snow was a district manager for 7-11 stores, and Prima Marketing company officials have put together a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.
A Putnam County business is figuring out how to pay $125,000 in back taxes. Seven years ago Tasty Blend Foods was given a tax incentive aimed at growing business in the county, and because of an oversight by attorneys it has recently come to light that the company owes Putnam County six figures. The County says Tasty Blend Foods didn't do anything wrong, but a paperwork issue means they owe more than they thought. Putnam County commissioners have agreed to let Tasty Blend make annual payments of $9000 for the next 14 years to pay off the debt.