Breaking Local News
A former Kanawha County teacher is going to prison for sexually assaulting three students. John Watt the third pleaded guilty in January to two counts of third -degree sexual assault. The assaults date back to the 1980's when Watt was a teacher at the former McKinley Junior High School in St. Albans. On Monday, Watt was sentenced to 2 to 5 years in prison for each count. Those sentences will run consecutively.
If you've been concerned about that funny licorice smell in the water,here's some news that should brighten your day. West Virginia American Water will begin changing out all of its water filters today. A lot of people are still buying bottled water for drinking and cooking. It's been three months since the initial water troubles began,with some people reporting nausea and burning eyes. Water company officials say it has taken them this long to start changing the filters because of weather problems and production volumes. However, spokesperson Laura Jordan says the goal of changing out the carbon in all 16 filters at the treatment plant demonstrates their commitment to their customers. It will take about 8 weeks to finish changing all the filters. Meanwhile, Jordan says the Kanawha Valley Plant continues to produce water that meets all drinking water standards.
Kanawha County Prosecutor Mark Plants has been released on his own recognizance, after being arraigned on a charge of domestic battery. He's accused of striking his son with a leather belt more than 10 times. The charge filed on Monday follows a complaint filed by Plants' ex-wife with the West Virginia State Police. She told police that Plants held his 11-year-old son by the arm and hit him with a belt after a dispute between the boy and his brother. After a warrant was issued for his arrest, Plants turned himself in Monday morning. After his arraignment on the misdemeanor charge, Plants told reporters that he is not guilty of any crime. He said that , just like any other person accused of a crime, he's got to sit back and let the criminal justice system run its course.
Last week Charleston police were looking for Levi Carter as a person of interest in a series of West Side shootings, and now Carter has been arrested. The investigation continues into how exactly the shootings were related - they occurred between last Sunday and Tuesday. No word yet what the exact charges are that Carter will be facing.
Dunbar Police checked up on businesses over the weekend to make sure they were compliant with tobacco and alcohol laws. Dunbar Police had received complaints that some businesses were selling to minors, so on Saturday night officers visited three businesses. WCHS TV reports one minor went after the alcohol, while the second one went for the tobacco. Police cited two stores for selling to minors. The Dunbar Convenience Mart passed the test and carded the minors properly. More stings throughout the year in Dunbar.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has vetoed a bill that would have banned abortion in West Virginia after 20 weeks. The governor said he vetoed the legislation because of constitutionality issues raised by his legal team and attorneys for the Legislature. The bill resembles a law struck down in Arizona that the U.S. Supreme Court later decided not to reconsider. Because of the legal penalties it includes, Tomblin said the medical community thought the proposal would unduly restrict the doctor-patient relationship to the detriment of the health and safety of expectant mothers.
The Kanawha County Sheriff's Office is investigating a car accident that happened Saturday night. It happened near Tyler Middle School on Washington Street West, just outside of Dunbar. Cpl. B-D Humphreys tells us an F-150 had struck a utility pole and a passenger, 37-year old Corneal Mazeal Cooper of Charleston was taken to Charleston Area Medical Center, along with the driver. Anyone with information is asked to call 304-357-0169 or submit a tip on our website at www.kanawhasheriff.us. Those providing tips can remain anonymous.
A worker at Airgas USA's former facility in Putnam County is suing the company over a 2013 explosion that he says left him permanently injured.
William Lee Parrigan's lawsuit alleges that the company exposed him to an unsafe working condition. The lawsuit claims the Winfield resident was required to "bleed out" tanks containing acetylene gas without attaching any cyclinders to a manifold system. The lawsuit says this would have prevented the release of the flammable gas into the atmosphere. The Charleston Gazette reports that the lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Putnam County Circuit Court. Airgas closed the facility last August.
The Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office is kicking off the 9th Annual “Operation Graduation Prom Alive” today. Each season for the past eight years, the Sheriff’s Office has coordinated Operation GPA in partnership with the Kanawha County Commission, Kanawha Board of Education, Kanawha County Emergency Ambulance Authority, Metro 911 and other Law Enforcement Agencies in Kanawha County. the campaign puts police officers around the county at both Prom and Graduation Ceremonies, and other patrols are set up to make sure teens aren't driving under the influence and/or illegally using alcohol, drugs or prescription medication. Kanawha County Chief Deputy Mike Rutherford says it's all about making sure the kids are safe:
These extra patrols are made possible by the Kanawha County Commission and funds from the Public Safety Levy.
A lawsuit is pending in Kanawha County Circuit Court over reward money from the 2003 sniper case. Larry Patton is the father of one of the victims and is suing the FBI and Kanawha County Sheriff's office over the $100,000 reward in the case Patton says he told investigators about Lester shortly after the shootings, and eventually he pleaded guilty to second degree murder of Patton's daughter. Gary Carrier Jr., Jeanie Patton and Okey Meadows Jr. were all killed during the sniper-style shootings. WCHS TV reports the FBI denied the reward because Lester was only convicted of one murder.