Breaking Local News
A state commission has scheduled interviews December 16th to replace two judges. The Charleston Gazette reports, following the interviews, the Judicial Vacancy Advisory Commission will recommend candidates to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to replace former Mingo County Circuit Court Michael Thornsbury and Putnam County Family Court Judge William Watkins. Thornsbury pleaded guilty in October to conspiring to deprive a man of his constitutional rights. The West Virginia Supreme Court suspended Watkins without pay in March until the end of his term after he was accused of delaying rulings, failing to enter domestic violence orders into the state's tracking system and cursing at litigants. Watkins will retire November 30th.
A man was shot in a robbery last night around 10:30pm. It happened at a home in the 5300 block of Lens Creek Road in the Hernshaw area, according to Metro 911 dispatchers. The man was shot once in the head, but the injuries do not appear to be life threatening. There are reports that three masked men entered his home, and the investigation continues.
The University of Charleston plans to raise tuition for undergraduate students at its main campus in the fall of 2014. President Ed Welch says returning students at the school's Charleston campus will pay an additional $1,000 per year. Tuition for incoming freshmen will increase by $3,500. Welch attributes the increases to new programs, improvements to technology and increased health-care costs. He says the school is adding about $1 million to institutional financial aid to help some students with the increased tuition. University spokesman Scott Castleman says the increases won't affect UC's campuses in Beckley and Martinsburg, and tuition for online, military and graduate students will remain the same.
Frontier Communications representatives got to help ring the Nasdaq closing bell on Tuesday. The company has been named one of the top 100 military friendly employers, and joined others with the same recognition on Tuesday to ring the bell. The company was listed one of the top military friendly employers by Victory Media, and was picked from more than 5,000 companies. Criteria included the strength of military recruiting efforts, the percentage of new hires with prior military service and company policies on National Guard and Reserve service.
An escapee from the Beckley Correctional Center is still on the loose. 29-year old Michael Lee Morrison was scheduled to be picked up from Bellacino’s at 11:30 p.m. Monday and couldn't be found, according to an advisory from the West Virginia Division of Corrections. He's described as 5 feet 6 inches tall and 180 pounds, with several tattoos, including- the word “Tough” on the top of his right hand; "Love" on his left hand; and a tear drop on the left side of his face. Morrison was serving time for forging or uttering other writing. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Beckley Correctional Center at 304-256-6780.
The mother of four children who died from injuries in an Elkins fire, has also passed way. The state Fire Marshal's Office confirmed Tuesday that 34-year old Jennifer Chamberlain died at the West Penn Burn Center. Chamberlain's four children and her husband, 29-year old Alan Chamberlain died from injuries suffered in the Oct. 28 fire. Jeff Hyde, Jennifer Chamberlain's brother, was released from West Penn Burn Center in Pennsylvania on Monday. The state Fire Marshal's Office has said the fire began in a couch on a side porch, and it blocked the exits.
Kanawha County sheriff's deputies were called out yesterday to help search for a Charleston man who was hospitalized after wrecking his all-terrain vehicle on Woodrums Lane.53 year old Michael Ferrell had wrecked his ATV and was hurt and unable to move around 1 a.m. Crews searched on foot and by helicopter. Ferrell was found near some storage buildings. Ferrell was taken to CAMC General Hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening.
A Campbell Creek man went a little too far while putting his boat in the Kanawha River yesterday. Joey Hodge backed his truck into the river after launching a boat at Daniel Boone Park. The water was up to Hodge's shoulders before he rolled down the window and climbed out. A Charleston Police Department dive team searched the river for the truck before a towing crew pulled it out around 4 p.m.
The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for 25 western counties ranging from Tyler County in the north to Mingo County in the south. The advisory included most of the Kanawha Valley and the Mid-Ohio Valley, as well as much of southeastern Ohio and eastern Kentucky. The western lowlands are expected to receive the season's first accumulation of snowfall by daybreak that could make for a treacherous commute.
Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper says he voted for the county's excess levy for schools and libraries, which failed resoundingly over the weekend -- but he's not willing to give the library another chance alongside the county's public safety levy next spring. Carper told the Gazette Monday that "The idea of including that in the public safety levy, that's a no -- not with my vote. A back-to-back levy election with the same issue puts a sour taste in my mouth." The county's library system lost 40 percent of its total operating budget when the Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that the county school system no longer had to financially support it. Library supporters will reportedly try to seize another opportunity to pass a levy during next May's primary election.