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Education reform is a big topic in the current legislative session, and lawmakers voted on the governor's bill this week. Governor Tomblin's bill cleared the Senate Education Committee, despite rallies from teachers' unions against it. The bill now heads to the Senate Finance Committee, and if it clears that, it would go to the full Senate. After that, the House would get a chance to comb over the bill and propose any changes.
There will be more traffic and visitors in Charleston today for the West Virginia state high school boys basketball tournament. Games kicked off Wednesday at the Charleston Civic Center, and there are more quarterfinal matchups today. The semifinals are on Friday and the finals are on Saturday.
The West Virginia Supreme Court is taking a deeper look at Kanawha County Circuit Court after an inmate was mistakenly released from jail. Circuit Court Judge Carrie Webster said Sunday that she did not intend to issue an order that ultimately let Jeremy Carter out of the South Central Regional Jail. In a written statement, Webster said her order dismissed a separate motion for a psychiatric evaluation and she did not direct the charge against Carter to be dropped, nor for him to be released from jail. The Supreme Court issued an administrative order Tuesday for an official inquiry into Webster's docket.
West Virginia State Police arrested a man this week for suspected involvement in a home invasion. Troopers say Gregory Alderage tried to force his way into his next door neighbor's home Monday afternoon, and Logan City Police responded. Then Alderage ran back to his house and barricaded himself inside, and threatened the officers. After a brief standoff, Alderage was arrested and is charged with brandishing a deadly weapon. Other charges are pending.
As the Kanawha County Public Library continues to look for ways to make ends meet, WCHS TV first reported Tuesday that the board has asked the Kanawha County Commission for a levy that would produce more than $3 million. After a court decision released Kanawha County schools from contributing funds to the library, the library board has been looking at other options. We also learned this week the Kanawha County Library cancelled its West Virginia Book Festival this year, that had been scheduled for October 19th and 20th. The book sale may still go on, but other author-related events have been called off.
The man who was accidentally released from jail last week was found this week in South Charleston. Jeremy Carter was wanted for kidnapping, after trying to take a young girl at a park last October. He was in the South Central Regional Jail awaiting trial when Kanawha County Circuit Judge Carrie Webster made an error and dismissed one of the case numbers associated with Carter's case. After four days out of jail, a tip led police to a home on Riverside Drive Monday night where Carter was arrested again.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is moving ahead with his plan to bolster West Virginia's middle schools. On Monday, the governor called for a 10-month review of the state's middle grades with an executive order. The new commission will include administrators, principals, and teachers, along with Higher Education officials. The review follows up on findings by the Southern Regional Education Board that made recommendations including a greater focus on college and career readiness. The executive order is part of a push to improve public schools that also includes pending legislation.
Something that fell off the rear rack of a motorcycle on Sissonville Drive Saturday night led to a traffic stop, and the deputy learned the driver had his license revoked for eight prior DUI offenses. 57-year old Hansford Milton Corner of Sissonville was arrested for driving on a revoked license, and the motorcycle was towed away. A Kanawha County Sheriff's deputy also noted the license plate on the motorcyle was from another vehicle.
A former Kanawha County school bus driver was sentenced to prison Monday. Samuel Larry Burkhamer pleaded guilty to sexual abuse and was sentenced to five to 25 years in prisonm and 25 years of supervised release when he gets out. Burkhamer made friends with a 9-year old girl on Facebook, who was a friend of his stepdaughter, and then allegedly exhanged phone numbers with the girl and sent sexually explicit messages.
This is forest fire season, and outdoor burning is prohibited between 7am and 5pm each day as a measure of prevention. The National Weather Service issued an advisory yesterday not to burn anything outside at any time in counties including Kanawha, Putnam, Roane, and others, because of the risk of forest fires. Commercial burning is allowed in the daytime with a $125 fee for each site issued by the Division of Forestry.