Breaking Local News
State leaders are talking tourism this week at the annual Governor's Conference on Tourism. State Tourism Director Betty Carver says there are about two hundred tourism industry leaders there, ranging from small businesses and Convention and Visitors Bureaus to bigger resorts and casinos. The goal is to connect the tourism related businesses and get them working together to offer a full slate of activities from one end of the state to the other. The conference runs through Wednesday.
West Virginia Republican Senate candidate John Raese has come under scrutiny after federal regulators say he built a private golf course without the proper permits. In the process, wetland areas were filled in, and more than 2 miles of streams were damaged as they were re-routed to create waterfalls. The Pikewood National Golf Club near Morgantown took several years to build and was rated the Best New Private Golf Course in 2009 by Golf Digest. Raese is challenging incumbent Democrat Joe Manchin for the Senate seat.
State lawmakers have been asking questions after an inmate raised allegations about improper conduct in a kitchen at Sothern Regional Jail. Corrections officer William Roy Wilson is facing charges in the case after being accused of engaging in sexual acts with at least three inmates in exchange for cigarettes. Regional jail Agency chief Joe DeLong said Monday he wants an outside independent investigator to review the case.
A woman was killed Saturday afternoon in a traffic accident on U.S. Route 60 in Fayette County. The Fayette County Sheriff's office says it happened about 2 p.m. in the Lavista area of U.S. Route 60. Two people from Kentucky are being treated at Charleston Area Medical Center, along with 50-year old Carl Cox of Edmond. A 91-year-old woman from Kentucky died in the crash. No criminal charges have been filed in connection with the accident, but it's still under investigation.
You may notice a new flashing warning sign alerting drivers of a sharp curve, after a series of semi-truck accidents on a stretch of the West Virginia Turnpike. The Parkways Authority decided to add the new sign between the Sharon and Paint Creek exits. A dozen accidents have happened ther over the past month. New pavement has been added too, so there is better grip between the tires and the road.
The United Mine Workers of America has not endorsed a presidential candidate, and it's not clear when the union will give either Mitt Romney or Barack Obama its backing. This is the first time in 40 years the miners' union has not endorsed a candidate. On Friday, the union announced it's backing Democrats in U.S. House and Senate races in 16 states. On its website, the union says neither Obama nor Romney "has yet demonstrated that he will be on the side of UMWA members and their families as president. The UMWA backed Obama in the 2008 election.
A trial continues this week in Kentucky for two former Charleston residents. 44-year old Charles "Steve" Lee was indicted by a grand jury on a murder charge eight months after he said he found his wife dead in their home. 40-year old Leslie "Crickett" Lanham Lee lived with Charles Lee in Kentucky for several years after leaving West Virginia, but had only been married to him for about a year. Leslie was stabbed to death in March 2011, and questions about where Charles Lee was at the time of the murder are getting the focus at the trial. It started last week and continues today.
Police are still investigating the robbery of a video gaming parlor in Clendenin. It happened last Wednesday at The Hot Spot on Elk River Road, and police now are looking to the public for help in solving the case. Clendenin Police have said this type of crime is out of character for Clendenin - a bold robbery in broad daylight at a busy intersection - and any witnesses who might have been in the area at the time are encouraged to come forward. Police are keeping details of thier investigation confidential, but they are looking over sureveillance video, and would like anyone with potential tips to come forward.
The Public Service Commission ruled Thursday that Century Aluminum can have its special requested electricity rate, but any risk that the company won't pay enough for its power would have to be assumed by the company, not other Appalachian Power customers. Century is reviewing the order from the PSC now, and then they'll issue a comprehensive statement about what that means for the company, and more specifically how that impacts the reopening of the Ravenswood plant. Century's Ravenswood plant closed in 2009.
Three people are facing charges in the death of a 32-year-old Beckley man. Shawn Dewayne Rucker was found lying in front of a home on 6th Street in Beckley September 26th with nine gunshot wounds, in what police determined was a home invasion. Alfred "Les" Pittman, Cornealius "Ty" Taylor and Dewayne Lane were seen in the area before and after the shooting, according to witnesses. Taylor and Pittman were arrested Thursday night. Lane turned himself in to Bluefield Police on Friday. All have been arraigned, and await further court dates.