Breaking Local News
Six people are facing charges for credit card fraud after their arrests in Kanawha County. The U.S. Secret Service has been in on the investigation since the fraud involves several states, and so far the six from New Jersey have each been charged with one count of credit card fraud. WCHS TV says the South Charleston Police Department is still investigating after several people used stolen credit cards at the South Charleston Target Tuesday, and more charges will likely be filed.
A federal magistrate judge says former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship can't spend Memorial Day in Las Vegas. U.S. Magistrate Judge R. Clarke VanDervort denied Blankenship's travel request this week and said the conditions of Blankenship's pre-trial release don't include traveling to Las Vegas to attend to personal matters. Blankenship's attorneys had asked the court to allow him to go home to Las Vegas for a week, including the holiday. Blankenship is charged with conspiring to violate safety standards at a former Massey coal mine in West Virginia where an explosion killed 29 men in 2010. His travel is restricted to West Virginia, Pike County in Kentucky, and Washington, D.C.
A panel recommends increasing tolls on the West Virginia Turnpike to finance up to $1 billion in bonds for statewide highway construction and maintenance. The West Virginia Blue Ribbon Commission on Highways released its final report Wednesday. It now goes to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin. The report calls for toll increases of 10 percent to 25 percent and also recommends increasing the state motor vehicle sales tax by 1 percentage point to 6 percent and raising Division of Motor Vehicles registration and licensing fees. Those and other new revenue sources would raise $141 million annually.
A car was stolen in the wee hours of the morning last Friday, from the parking lot of the 7-Eleven in the 5100 block of Elk River Road North in Elkview, and the Kanawha County Sheriff's office has been investigating. Sgt B-D Humphreys says a silver 1992 Pontiac Bonneville sedan was left running in the parking lot and a man and woman that had been inside the store hopped in the car and fled south on US 119 toward Charleston. Anyone with inforamation on the suspects should call 304-357-0169 or submit a tip at www.kanawhasheriff.us.
A new proposal could mean a pay hike for the mayor. Charleston Mayor Danny Jones could see his pay go up $20,000 a year, to $120,000 a year. WCHS TV says if approved, it would take effect June 15, when elected officials are sworn in for the next term. The bill was referred to the city finance committee at this week's city council meeting. Jones won an historic fourth term in Saturday's election.
Many of the city's pools are getting ready to open for the summer season. The Kanawha City Rec Center Pool is getting set to open Saturday and admission is free. The North Charleston pool is also planning to open on Saturday, and will be open on Memorial Day even though it's usually not open on Mondays. Admission is also free. Kanawha County Parks and Rec will open up the Coonskin pool and the Shawnee Park pool this Saturday, and the East Bank Pool next Saturday May 30th.
Attorneys for two former executives charged in a chemical spill say their clients can't get a fair trial in West Virginia. Attorneys for former Freedom Industries officials Gary Southern and Dennis Farrell asked a federal judge this week to move their trial to a district outside the state. The defense motion says a survey found an overwhelming presumption of guilt among potential jurors. The motion also says one in six West Virginians was affected by a water crisis resulting from the January 2014 chemical spill. Southern and Farrell face pollution charges stemming from the spill. Southern also faces fraud charges stemming from the company's bankruptcy
A lawsuit could be coming after the CSX train derailment in Fayette County in February. WCHS TV says legal offices from three states met Tuesday night with victims of the train derailment and explosion, and are getting ready to file a major lawsuit against CSX Railroad and anyone else connect to the derailment. It won't cost victims anything to sign on as part of the suit, and an official filing could come soon.
Monday afternoon someone called 911 about a dead body at a home on Ferrell Road near Saint Albans. Sgt B-D Humphreys with the Kanawha County Sheriff's Office said by the time an ambulance arrived another person was found dead in the home. Both were adult males, and the cause of death has not yet been determined, and there were no traumatic injuries or signs of violence. Autopsies are pending with the medical examiner, who will determine the cause of death.
Bus inspections are increasing right now. As part of a joint effort with the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration, the Public Service Commission says its officers are increasing inspections of motorcoaches, tour buses and other commercial passenger buses. The sweep, which will continue through the end of May, looks for mechanical problems with brakes, suspension, lights, emergency exits and engine defects. Bus drivers are also inspected make sure they're compliant.