Breaking Local News

Former Multifest Leader Sentenced to Prison

The former director of Multifest will spend nearly two years behind bars after admitting to stealing more than $300,000 while she was in charge of revenue and expenses. According to a news release from U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin, 55-year old Deborah Starks of Cross Lanes, admitted that she failed to report more than half a million dollars of income on her taxes. More than $300,000 of that unreported income was money she stole from Multifest,” according to Goodwin. The news release says Starks admitted the embezzlement happened between 2005 and 2010 through personal checks to herself and to other people. She also used cash and ATM transactions from MultiFest bank accounts. In addition to the two-year prison term, Starks was ordered to pay restitution to MultiFest and back taxes to the IRS.

Flags At Half Staff to Honor Boston Victims

Flags are at half staff again today, after the order from President Obama. Flags at the White House and all government buildings are to be flown at half-staff in honor of the Boston Marathon explosion victims, effective through sunset Saturday. The President signed the order as a "mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence" perpetrated in Boston the previous day.

Local Man Faces Prison Sentence for Child Pornography

A Kanawha County man is going to prison on child pornography charges. 42-year old Michael Lee McCormick was sentenced earlier this week in Federal Court, to two years behind bars. McCormick pleaded guilty back in November, admitting that he downloaded images and sent them to other people. Police say there were more than 600 pornographic images. This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice.

Rand Home Invasion Under Investigation

The Kanawha County Sheriff's office is seeking tips on a home invasion style robbery that happened early Monday. It happened in the 5300 block of Raven Drive in Rand, and Corporal BD Humphreys says four people were inside the home at the time. All sustained minor injuries and some said they were struck with pistols. Deputies interviewed victims and witnesses, and said three suspects - possibly two males and one female - were wearing ski masks and dark clothing, and were armed with guns. They left with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact him at the Kanawha Bureau of Investigation at 304-357-0156 or submit a tip on our agency’s website, Tips can be submitted anonymously.

Local Runners Shaken by Boston Marathon Tragedy

Local Kanawha Valley runners took part in yesterday's Boston Marathon, and all are apparently okay after the horrific explosion near the finish line just over four hours into the race. WCHS TV reports Adam Coon, the cross country coach at Sherman High School in Boone County took part in the race and finished 107th out of 27,000 runners, and had finished and was back at the hotel when the explosions happened. The Boston Marathon's website said there were 46 runners from West Virginia competing in the race.

Woman Enters Plea, Trial Set for August

A woman accused of hitting a state trooper with her vehicle last fall, entered her plea Monday. Jennifer Garretson faces a malicious wounding charge, along with petty larceny after an incident where she left a St. Albans store parking lot, and hit the officer on the way out, trying to escape after being accused of shoplifting. Garretson pleaded not guilty, and will go on trial August 5th. Garretson is still in jail on an alleged parole violation. The trooper is still recovering, and having issues after being hit.

Two Arrests at Coal Symposium

Two men who wanted to speak at a coal symposium Monday were arrested after they were denied the chance. WCHS TV reported the two men allegedly refused to leave the Charleston Marriott where the coal meeting was going on upstairs Monday, and were literally joined together with a makeshift cast and another had his hand encased in cement. The environmentalists face misdemeanor charges.

Sheriff's Office Seeks Tips on Shooting

A Saturday night shooting is under investigation today. The Kanawha County Sheriff's office was called out to Smoot Avenue, near the intersection with Carver Street, in Institute, after calls of a disturbance and shots fired in the area. A man in his fifties from Poca had been shot in the face, and deputies say he was transported to CAMC General for treatment. No motives or suspect names have been released, but the sheriff's office says it is following up on several leads in the case.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact the Sheriff's Office. Those providing information can remain anonymous. Anyone may submit a tip on the Kanawha County Sheriff's Office's website, at, or contact Detective A. Pile at 304-357-0556 during business hours.

No Raise for Magistrates

On the final day of the 2013 regular session of the State Legislature Saturday, lawmakers stayed late to address final bills and tie up loose ends. One bill that died in the House, was a measure that would have given pay raises to magistrates. Earlier Saturday, the Senate passed a version of the bill that would have increased pay for 12 magistrates and staff in 12 counties. But that bill didn't make it out of the House. It's possible Governor Tomlin could add it to a special session.

Home Rule Pilot Progam Extended

More West Virginia cities and towns will have a chance to join the home rule program after lawmakers voted Saturday to extend the pilot program for another five years. They also kept limits on gun control ordinances added by the House. Four cities taking part in the home rule experiment, including Charleston, credit the program for fee cuts, reduced blight and less red tape. Saturday's compromise bill invites up to 16 additional cities and towns to apply. But the bill also only allows participants to ban firearms from most municipal property except parking garages. Concealed weapon permit holders could have guns on city-owned property that have no government operations, such as parks or swimming pools.

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