Breaking Local News
New numbers show the city of Charleston spent more than $4 million in overtime for the 2012 fiscal year that ended June 30. or about ten percent over budget. Most of that went to the police and fire departments. Fire calls and police investigations are hard to predict, so overtime costs can be a variable when setting the budget. Even with the overtime, payroll costs came in less than budgeted for the fiscal year that just ended.
A new report aims to bring stricter laws to stop price gouging by drug companies The report says a group of "gray market" drug companies pull in hundreds of millions of dollars in profits each year by buying needed pharmaceuticals and selling them at inflated prices. Cancer patients are a particular target. A joint Congressional investigation cited the lack of government rules and regulations to control this secondary market as a problem that faces not only West Virginia, but the entire country. The study was partially commissioned by Sen. Jay Rockefeller, who said it's important lawmakers make sure prescription drugs are affordable.
The Culture Center at the State Capitol has a new exhibit. The exhibit about the history of West Virginia's oil and gas industry opened Friday and shows how West Virginia has played a crucial role in oil and gas development across the country. The exhibit covers the early days of wooden gas barrels and century-old pumps, along with antique signs and old photographs. The free exhibit is open to the public.
The man accused of killing Kathy Goble has been indicted. Charles March is accused of killing his co-worker Goble and buring her body in a shallow grave. She went missing in April 2010 and her remains were not discovered until May of 2012. March has been indicted on murder and concealment of deceased human body in connection with her death. March and Kathy Goble both worked at Kelley’s Mens Shop in Charleston. March is expected to be arraigned on the charges on August 10.
A California filmmaker was arrested over the weekend in Lincoln County on her way to film a protest Saturday. The protest happened at a Patriot Coal mine in Lincoln County, and Babette Hogan was taking pictures from the passenger seat of a vehicle on Kanawha State Forest DRive when a West Virginia State police trooper demanded her camera. She refused, and was eventually handcuffed. Hogan is working on a documentary on the environment.
Kanawha County Chief Deputy Johnny Rutherford is retiring this week to clear the way for his campaign for sheriff. Rutherford is running unopposed in the general election in November, and he's afraid his campaign might violate federal law if he's still with the sheriff's department. The West Virginia Gazette reports Rutherford recently found out about a legal opinion holding that state and local employees who oversee federal funding cannot run for public office. A sheriff candidate in another county recently dropped out of the county sheriff's race for similar reasons. Rutherford has turned in his letter of resignation and will officially retire Tuesday
Rumors that the Kanawha/Charleston Humane Association would no longer be parterning with Dog Bless were put to rest at last night's Board Meeting. They will continue to work together. Dog Bless is a nonprofit that arranges for dogs in the shelter to be sent to rescues in other states, thereby reducing the number of dogs euthanized at the shelter. Dog Bless also coordinates foster homes where the dogs can stay until a transport is arranged.
Have an idea for a trash can? Put your artistic talents to work and submit it to the FestivALL office by 11:59pm August 31st. The selected designs will be used on 12 to 15 trash cans to be placed on Kanawha Boulevard. An open house to discuss the project will be held 6 to 7 p.m. Aug. 2 at West Virginia State University's Economic Development Center at 1506 Kanawha Blvd. West. Besides watching your design be put to good use. the winning artist will also receive a thousand dollars. A selection committee made up of art administrators, representatives of the city of Charleston and its refuse department and local artists will select the design. New this year...the five finalists will be interviewed by the panel. The FestivALL website has details.
Citing an interview that aired Wednesday night with Shawn Lester on WSAZ-TV Kanawha County Circuit court Judge Duke Bloom has issued a gag order in the case yesterday. Lester who's trial is to start Monday, said in the interview he is innocent and it would make him feel better as a person to have fewer people think he is "this monster." He is facing a first degree murder charge in the fatal shootings of three people outside a convenience store in 2003. Bloom's order bars anyone associated with the case from discussing it.
Some drug benefit changes went into effect July first and now one legislator wants to know more about those changes. House Speaker Rick Thompson is concerned because he is hearing from staff members and consitiuents costs have dramatically increased. He's asking the head of the state Public Employees Insurance Agency for answers. Under the former plan, participants were charged $50 co-pays for certain brand-name prescriptions; the new plan requires them to pay 75 percent of the cost for those drugs. He's especially concerned about those with chronic conditions who may cut or stop treatment because of the costs.