Breaking Local News

Storms Possible Today

Another round of thunderstorms could be on the way. The National Weather Service issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch until 9pm today for counties including Boone, Braxton, Calhoun, Clay, Fayette, Kanawha, Nicholas and Roane. The best chance for severe weather seems to be along I-77 and to the east, according to meteorologists.

Kanawha County Magistrate Is Fined Over Petition

The West Virginia Supreme Court has approved a fine against a Kanawha County magistrate. Wade Harshbarger admitted to mishandling a domestic violence petition, and sanctions were recommended by the Judicial Investigation Commission. In additions to public censure, Harshbarger faces a $2,000 fine and costs of $3,790 for the investigation. The Charleston Gazette says the judicial investigation commission had accused Harshbarger of not following proper procedures and not giving it a full and fair review, and discussing the petition with police officers who weren't involved in the case. Kanawha County Prosecutor Mark Plants' ex-wife, Allison Plants, petitioned for a domestic violence protective order against him on Feb. 26.

Cash Reward Offered in Robbery Case

Charleston police looking for a robbery suspect after the Foodland gas station on Spring Street was held up Monday evening. A man wearing a blue hat pulled a revolver style pistol from his pants after walking into the gas station, according to a news release from the Charleston Police Department. He gave the clerk a Go-Mart shopping bag and demanded that he put the whole cash drawer in the bag. The cashier complied, and the suspect left the store with the cash drawer. Spring Street Foodland is offering a cash reward for anyone willing to identify the suspect. If you have information, call Charleston Police.

Controvery Continues Over a Nicholas County Hire

A three-judge panel in Nicholas County will let the Supreme Court decide on a case involving county commissioners. The panel delayed a decision Tuesday on whether the Nicholas County Commission acted illegally when it hired a county administrator. The Supreme Court is on track to weigh in on the county commissioners’ appeal of a circuit judge’s decision. The circuit judge ruled that the commission’s hiring of the administrator was improper. More than two hundred people signed a petition in opposition of the county commissioners hiring the administrator, claiming there was an open meetings law violation and because the hiring changed the form of government. The petition asked too that the commissioners be removed from office.

State Lawmakers Meet At Interims Next Week

West Virginia lawmakers will study 76 wide-ranging topics in committee meetings that lead up to their annual legislative session in January. This year's interim committee topics include a study on the craft beer business, possible commuter rail service and a possible tax break for coal producers selling to in-state buyers who increase their purchases. They will also delve into contamination issues with water supplies and feasibility of toughening campaign finance disclosure requirements. The Legislature's committees meet next Monday through Wednesday.

Son Accused of Stabbing Father

A caller near Saint Albans on Monday told 911 dispatchers that he'd been stabbed in the chest. The Kanawha County Sheriff's office identifies the victim as Edward McDuffie, and said he was hurt by his 22-year old son, Matthew McDuffie. According to the criminal complaint on file at Kanawha County Magistrate Court, Edward McDuffie, his wife Priscilla, and their son Matthew were consuming alcoholic beverages and an argument began between Matthew and Priscilla, and things escalated to the physical confrontation.

Storms Knock Out Power

American Electric Power crews worked through the night to restore power to thousands of customers who lost it with last night's storms. High winds up to 60 mph knocked down power lines and trees, and some roads were blocked. There were no confirmed reports of tornadoes. At one point last night, American Electric Power reported more than 3600 in Kanawha County without power.

Summer Lunch Program Launches This Week

A federal program that provides free meals to lower-income children during the summer will kick off in West Virginia tomorrow. The Summer Food Service Program provides funds to county school boards and other nonprofit organizations to provide meals to children 18 years and under. Feeding sites include schools, churches, pools, parks, housing complexes and summer camps. The West Virginia Department of Education's Office of Child Nutrition sponsors the program. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and other officials will launch this summer's feeding program on Wednesday at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center in Charleston.

Area School District Auctions Buses

Wayne County is auctioning off a handful of its county vehicles and a dozen buses as it gets some brand new buses from the state. The three Ford Taurus and 12 buses are being auctioned off online here. The auction is happening online at www.publicsurplus.com, and it's live for three weeks. Money raised goes to the Wayne County Board of Education for other school projects like equipment upgrades. The state has allocated some money for school bus replacement, and Wayne County is looking into buying 8 buses, with each carrying between 77 and 90 students.

Broadband Council Is Dissolving

West Virginia's Broadband Deployment Council plans to disband at the end of year. The council is charged with expanding high-speed Internet in the state. The Legislature denied the council's request this year for another $5 million to provide grants for broadband projects. Without more funding, the council's chairman, Dan O'Hanlon, tells the Charleston Gazette that there's nothing left to do except report on past grants. O'Hanlon says the council has about $800,000 in leftover funds. The money will be spent on project audits and reports.

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