Breaking Local News
A Virginia Tech study said a chemical that spilled into 300,000 West Virginians' water supply in January stops smelling at a level 47 times stronger than other researchers found. The group that discovered the lower chemical odor level questioned the Virginia Tech team's methods. The Virginia Tech group said in a news release that it detected the chemical in the air with specialized instruments. It used a gas law to calculate the corresponding odor threshold in water. Michael McGuire of WV TAP, a state taxpayer-funded independent group, said in a news release that Virginia Tech focused on pure MCHM, instead of the "crude" version that spilled. Both groups found the chemical's licorice scent was present well below concentrations that federal officials deemed safe to consume in tap water.
Feeling healthy? Where Kanawha County landed in just a second, but first the news that Pleasants County is West Virginia's healthiest county. A report released Wednesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin researchers ranks the state's 55 counties by several health factors such as smoking, drinking, obesity, premature deaths, and other areas including education, access to health care and unemployment. Pleasants County jumped to first this year from seventh in last year's study, overtaking Monongalia County, which slipped to second. Kanawha County ranked 37th, Cabell County was listed as 42nd and Putnam County as 12th. McDowell County ranked last for the fifth straight year.
26-year old Deveron Patterson of Beckley is one of two men charged with first degree murder in the death of Kareem Hunter, and made a court appearance Wednesday to ask the judge to release him on bond while he awaits more court dates. The judge denied the bond request, and Patterson will stay in jail while the case proceeds. The first arrest in the case, Kelsey Legg, agreed to take a plea deal in exchange for cooperation with the investigation, and that's when Patterson and 36-year old Miguel Quinones of Charleston were arrested. Hunter was beaten in Legg's apartment with what investigators think was a rubber mallet, and eventuraly buried in a shallow grave near Beckley.
The West Virginia Symphony Orchestra has a new president. The orchestra says Joe Tackett will start on June 1. Tackett has been executive director of the symphony in Reading, Pa., since 2010. Tackett performed as a musician with the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra in the past. The symphony performs more than 50 concerts each year throughout the state. It's based out of the Clay Center in Charleston.
Charleston police have two people in custody after a drive-by shooting. Two men were arrested for the shooting on Red Oak Street, and detectives say it's related to another shooting early Tuesday in the city's west side. There is a person of interest in that case, but no arrests in the West Side shooting. At a Tuesday news conference police identified the person of interest as Levi Carter. No one died in the shootings, but there were at least two injured.
A West Virginia man has been arrested on charges of making violent threats against U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin and his family. U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin announced that 49-year-old Steven Anthony Major of Barboursville was arrested Friday. In a criminal complaint, FBI Special Agent Jason Bollinger says Major made multiple calls to Manchin's Washington, D.C., and Charleston offices from March 17-20. The complaint says Major identified himself in the calls and threatened Manchin and his wife and children. An FBI news release says Major faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
The Fayette County Sheriff's Office is looking for two people of interest after a fire in Oak Hill. Two women had severe burns when they were found, and one of them passed away. She's been identified as 28-year old Cheryl Ward of Oak Hill. 39-year old Jamie Castillo is still in critical condition. Arson investigators have been at the home, along with the state Fire Marshal's Office. Witnesses saw two men walking in the East Main Street Area near Gatewood Road in Oak Hill within an hour either way of midnight on Saturday night. Anyone who might have seen those men is asked to call the Fayette County Sheriff's Office. One man is described to be in his twenties, and the other in his fifties.
In response to the Governor's signing of the gun bill that will allow firearms on city-owned property like rec centers, Charleston Mayor Danny Jones has released a statement. The mayor has been opposed to the bill and now the law, and said the the statement the city expects to "proceed to Kanawha County Circuit Court to find out whether these recreation centers are, in fact, part of the Kanawha County School System." Mayor Jones says, "If we prevail, that would make carrying guns on the property a felony. If we do not prevail, We hope there will be no trouble at the recreation centers."
A month long investigation by the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office STOP Team led to the arrest of two Detroit men Sunday night. The Kanawha Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team executed dual search warrants on the suspects’ apartments in the Big Eagle Apartment Complex in Jefferson and seized a large amount of cash from both apartments as well as a loaded pistol and approximately one ounce of Heroin from one of the apartments. 29-year old Keival L. Kelley and 38-year old Steven Walker are facing charges, and the sheriff's office says they are collaborating with the United States Attorney’s Office regarding potential federal charges against Walker, due to prior felony convictions.
Freedom Industries' president Gary Southern wants to get paid for work since January as the company moves through the bankruptcy process. The Associated Press reports Southern's motion to get paid will be considered in an April hearing. Court documents show Southern's salary since joining the company full-time in January is $230,000. There are previous reports that the company plans to file an objection, and those have to be filed by 5 p.m. March 28 and replies to these objections must be filed by 5 p.m. April 4. The bankruptcy judge will then hear the issue at a 1:30 p.m. April 18th.