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The West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles says some changes in laws will affect motorists starting this week. One new law allows DUI offenders to get on the ignition interlock program immediately if they do not request a hearing. The DMV says this will protect other motorists while expediting the offender's rehabilitation. Starting Thursday, people requesting an optional ID labeled as "For Federal Identification" will pay an additional $10 fee. Other new statutes will make changes to the upcoming electronic insurance verification process and allow motorcyclists to install certain types of auxiliary white and amber colored lights to make their bikes more visible.
Nicholas County has a murder under investigation that was reported early Tuesday in the Birch River Area. The Nicholas County Sheriff's Office says deputies found 39-year old James Lewis Frame of Birch River, lying on the ground unresponsive when they arrived on the scene, and he was late pronounced dead at the Summersville Regional Medical Center. Deputies think the suspect is 26-year old Kristopher James Love, and he was arrested yesteday without incident.
There is a date now for the closing of the the Rite Aid warehouse in Rock Branch in Putnam County. The closure was announced in April, which was a surprise to the 200 or so that work there, and a deal has been in the works to facilitate the closing. WCHS TV reports the workers are mostly happy with it. After negotiating with the union, the deal was struck to close the warehouse on November 4th, 2017. The deal includes a severance and benefits package, and 94 percent of the workers agreed to it.
Eight McDowell County employees have been laid off as the county struggles to plug a budget hole. The layoffs include Delegate Clif Moore, who is an assistant county administrator. Moore tells the Bluefield Daily Telegraph that seven employees were laid off Friday. His layoff is effect June 13 so he can continue working with county administrator Jennifer Wimmer to balance the budget. Moore says a recent decline in coal mining has hurt the county's tax revenues. Wimmer says the County Commission also is trying to collect more than $2 million in unpaid taxes. Moore says the County Commission employs about 220 people.
As we've reported, West Virginia has had it's share of lottery millionaires so far this year. Nine Powerball tickets worth at least $1 million have been sold in West Virginia this year. The latest winner stepped forward last week. In a state with a population of 1.8 million, that equates to one winning ticket for every 200,000 residents. According to the Multi-State Lottery Association, West Virginia leads the nation in per-capita ticket sales matching five of the six Powerball numbers. Only four other states have come close: New York, Florida, California, and Pennsylvania. California is the king of grand-prize winners this year, having sold two of the four Powerball tickets matching all six numbers. The others were in Florida and Missouri.
The city of Dunbar is reacting to a new state gun law. Dunbar is repealing its old gun law regulations to comply. The city of Charleston has notably taken issue with the state law, that allows those with concealed carry permits to take guns onto properties like rec centers where children might be around. The law doesn't go into effect until July 1.
South Charleston Police have a man in custody and they think that will cut down on the number of car break-ins. Several break-ins were reported in May in South Hills and South Charleston, and the investigation led detectives to Michael Bevis. He was tracked to Morgantown, and officers arrested him there on Friday. In addition to the thefts, police say he's accused of using stolen credit cards.
Frontier Communications and a union have extended their contract for another month while negotiations continue for workers in West Virginia. Frontier says a contract extension that was set to expire Saturday will now run through June 28. It's the sixth contract extension since negotiations between the company and the Communications Workers of America began last June. The contract originally was scheduled to expire last August. It covers 1,550 workers in West Virginia.
Officers are trying to figure out what made a woman jump to her death from a Fayette County bridge over the weekend. A 36-year old woman from Michigan jumped off a bridge over the New River Gorge River. Deputies with the Fayette County Sheriff's Office got a call early Saturday that a car was parked on the bridge, and one witness reported seeing the woman jump. WCHS TV reports the body was recovered by boat a short time later. The woman was from Michigan.
Anglers won't need a license to fish in West Virginia next weekend. The Division of Natural Resources is allowing free fishing June 7 and June 8 for both residents and nonresidents as part of National Fishing and Boating Week. DNR Director Frank Jezioro says people with licenses are being encouraged to introduce someone else to the fun of fishing. Among events planned around the state Saturday is a fishing derby at the Bowden State Hatchery in Randolph County.