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In-state tuition is increasing at least 6 percent at five West Virginia higher education institutions. The Higher Education Policy Commission approved tuition increases for the 2013-2014 academic year at Bluefield State College and West Virginia, West Virginia State, Fairmont State and Shepherd universities. The increases approved Tuesday ranges from 6 percent at WVU to 9 percent at West Virginia State. Tuition also is going up at other state schools. But those increases are less than 5 percent. The commission's approval is required if tuition increases exceed 5 percent. All state colleges and universities are facing a 9 percent cut in state funding for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
Do you pay your bills online? The state says the amount of revenue it's receiving electronically continues to go up. State Treasurer John Perdue says the state's e-government program has collected $330 million so far this fiscal year, passing last year's mark of $319 million. Final fiscal 2013 totals will be available in July. The program has been growing annually since taking in $175 million in 2009. As it has since the program's beginning, West Virginia University led all payees with nearly $114 million in e-government transactions as students log onto the school's website and use a credit or debit card to pay tuition and fees.
West Virginia State police were serving a warrant Wednesday morning in Clay County when they encountered a man who pointed a gun at them. State Police spokesman Sgt. Michael Baylous says officers entered Richard Dale Kohler's house to serve the warrant around 6am, and after no one answered they forced their way in. Once inside, the man was pointing a gun at the special response team and members of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Troopers fired several shots, and the man was killed. State police say this is part of a larger drug investigation and there is more than one suspect.
Appalachian Power has announced plans to spend $337 million on a project to upgrade electrical transmission lines across the state. That would include rebuilding about 52 miles of lines already up and in use, and upgrading substations. Much of the work planned is right here in the Kanawha Valley, namely between Appalachian's John Amos Plant near St. Albans and a substation near Cabin Creek. with a key loop in the Cross Lanes area and another in the Kanawha City area. Additional work will be done to facilities that feed off the backbone transmission line that runs from Poca to Cabin Creek.
After meth was found inside a hotel room, five rooms have been condemned in Nitro. An anonymous tip led police to the Economy Inn, and meth was cooking in one of the rooms and two people were arrested. The surrounding rooms didn't pass inspection, and five of them were shuttered. They'll be able to open again after they're professionally cleaned and disinfected.
Kanawha County Sheriff’s Deputies are still investigating after responding to an apartment in Cross Lanes last Friday, on Becca Drive, near Dalewood Drive. The initial call was about a domestic disturbance, and a man ran as they arrived and has yet to be located. During a safety check the deputies saw marijuana and baggies on a kitchen table. After a search warrant, marijuana and more than 3000 dollars in cash was found. Neighbors had discovered two other baggies and brought the to the deputies, and those tested positive for heroin, with an estimated street $40,400. 23-year old Ayric Mack Thomas of Detroit, Michigan has a warrant out for his arrest. He's described as a black male, 6’1”, 160 lbs. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Thomas is asked to call 304-357-0169, or submit a tip on the sheriff's website at www.kanawhasheriff.us. You can remain anonymous.
Schools in the Appalachian Power service area are sharing more than $53,000 in grant money. The robotics grant supports pre-kindergarten through 12th grade education. There's also a teacher vision grant program that gives between a hundred and five hundred to teachers. Among the Robotics grant recipients - Charleston Catholic High School; Lincoln County Gifted Program; Logan Middle School; Logan High School; Man High School; Man Middle School; and Winfield High School. Teacher vision grant recipients included Buffalo Elementary School; George Washington Elementary; George Washington High School; Hurricane High School; Poca Middle School; and Winfield Middle School.
A drug bust Tuesday in Fayette County led to the arrest of brothers. The Fayette County Sheriff's office says it had help from several agencies, including state police and a drug task force, and search warrants were executed simultaneously. 55-year old David Thomspon and 53-year old Ronald Thompson were arrested, after police received several recent reports that the two were involved in selling crack cocaine. David Thompson has a previous conviction on federal drug charges. Ronald Thompson has a felony charge of malicious wounding on his record. Both are facing new charges of possession of crack cocaine with intent to deliver and being felons in possession of firearms.
South Charleston City Council recently passed an urban deer-hunting ordinance upon the recommendation of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. There will be application and permit process along with training classes, and after considering other options, it's expected to be the most effective way to control the urban deer population. Once the final rules and regulations are set, hunting should be set to begin in early September.
As part of FestivALL this week, Charleston City Council’s Strong Neighborhoods Task Force has implemented a third phase of the Peer to Pier Murals. This phase focuses on the connection between the West Side and downtown along Virginia Street with 10 foot murals wrapped around the 12 piers beneath I-64 at this intersection. The art will be on display all week. And The Big Catch - A FestivALL Catfish Scavenger Hunt offers daily prizes. You can look for the fish around town, and get clues online. The contest ends Sunday at 6pm.