Breaking Local News
A man from Hollywood, CA has been indicted in Charleston after an extortion attempt. 25-year old Vivek Shah was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury, stemming from an incident where he's accused of sending a prominent West Virginian a letter threatening to kill his relatives if he didn’t wire money to an offshore bank account. Investigators say Shah targeted five wealthy people in all, but in this case Christopher Cline of Beckley was the victim. He owns Foresight Reserves. If Shah is convicted on all counts, he faces up to 40 years in prison.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the June death of a worker at the AC and S Inc. chemical plant in Nitro. The Nitro city council talked more about the incident this week, and learned a man inhaled dangerous gases on the job June 25th and died several days later. The worker was sandblasting at the time and had a breathing mask on, so OSHA is trying to determine whether something malfunctioned with the mask or if there was some other medical emergency that led to his collapse. Any citations would come from OSHA within the next six months.
For some students, heading back to school not only means a brand new year, it means a brand new school. As students at Buffalo High School headed back to class in Putnam County, they got to enjoy a brand new building. The new high school includes upgrades like a bigger gym, new auditorium, and larger classrooms. The new school building replaces one that was about fifty years old.
Police continue to investigate a murder-suicide in Hurricane. It happened Wednesday night around 10pm at a home along Kelly's Cove, and police say 41-year old Christopher Kinder stabbed his girlfriend, then shot himself. 33-year-old Katherine "Kate" Taylor died. The couple had 1-year old daughter, who was home at the time, who is now with another relative. There are reports that police had responded to domestic violence calls at the home in the past.
Charleston City Manager David Molgaard wants to attract young professionals to downtown Charleston, and urges businesses to recruit them. At a luncheon this week with the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation, Mogaard outlined a plan that would have businesses subsidizing rents, which are often too high for some young executives. The subsidy could acrue as a loan, and eventually help the employee buy a house in Charleston. Details of the plan are still being worked out. With several new restaurants and shops popping up this year, plus events like the Live on the Levee concert series and SportsFEST, the focus on downtown Charleston continues.
Grant money will help fight crime in Charleston. The city is getting a $476,000 federal grant to be put toward neighborhood crime-fighting efforts. U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin helped launch an initiative in February aimed at cracking down on drugs and crime on the city's west side, and made the announcement about the grant funding this week.
As we reported this week, Kanawha County has its first human case of the West Nile Virus, and that has increased talk about prevention and mosquito control. Insect repellant is key anytime you're outside, and if there is any standing water around your home it should be removed, since mosquitos like to congregate there. A Kanawha County man in his forties is being treated for the West Nile Virus now. If you have concerns, know that the environmental health department will come out and collect water samples to be tested.
Century Aluminum rejects the counter-proposal to its electricity rate request. The company reiterated in a filing with the Public Service Commission that the rate change is necessary to reopen the Ravenswood smelter and to offset struggles due to aluminum prices.. Century's aluminum plant has been closed since 2009. So what's next? Century is waiting for the PSC to make a decision on the rate request, and that could come on September 9th.
United Steelworkers continue to strike, and as the process continues their supporters are rallying around them. A food drive was organized to benefit the striking workers of the Constellium plant in Ravenswood, and the nonperishable donations were dropped off last night. The strike is affecting more than 700 United Steelworkers members, who went on strike Aug. 5 after contract talks broke down.
A jury has convicted a man for breaking into the Fairdale Post office in the fall of 2011. 31-year old Timothy Taylor of Raleigh County has been convicted after being accused of breaking into the post office along with Benjamin J. Webb of Beckley. Webb reportedly used a sledgehammer to smash a glass door and steal nine packages of bath salts addressed him. He pleaded guilty in May to burglary-related charges. Both Webb and Taylor face up to five years in prison and $250,000 fines. Taylor's sentencing is set for Jan. 10 of next year. Webb is scheduled to be sentenced next Thursday.