Breaking Local News

Falling Asleep at the Wheel Leads to Crash

An accident Friday appears to be because a man fell asleep at the wheel. It was a roll-over crash at the 19 mile marker of I-79 in Clendenin. Sgt. B-D Humphreys with the Kanawha County Sheriff's Office says Kevin Foster was traveling south and fell asleep at the wheel, and the vehicle rolled over at least three times. There were eight people, two adults and six children, inside the vehicle. The children were in car seats and properly restrained, and suffered just minor injuries. Mrs. Foster was partially ejected from the crash and sustained critical injuries. All were taken to the hospital.

Governor Vetoes Several Bills

Saying no to raw milk is just one of a wave of recent vetoes made by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin. The Democrat nixed 10 bills Wednesday, including the proposal that would have let people drink raw milk through herd-sharing agreements. Another vetoed bill would have let home-schooled students get PROMISE scholarships without a general equivalency degree. Some vetoes were based on technical errors, including an anti-human trafficking bill. Another bill would have loosened reporting of instruction plans for home-schooled students, among other requirements. He disapproved of allowing four fewer in-school instructional days annually. A push to offer four days of early childhood education, instead of the current five, was nixed. Tomblin also declined to let the state's schools for the deaf and blind be eligible for School Building Authority money.

New River Gorge Makes National Lists

The federally protected New River Gorge National River is being added to the Old Growth Forest Network. Other states that are part of the network include New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia. West Virginia will add the New River Gorge on April 15. The Endless Wall Trail in New River Gorge National River recreation area has also been named the Best National Park Hike in USA Today's Best Readers' Choice contest.

Missing Person's Case Unrelated to a Second Case

Amber Nichole Winnell was reported missing to a Kanawha County Deputy Sheriff late Wednesday after last being seen Monday afternoon in the upper Kanawha valley. Sgt B-D Humphreys says she's 28 years old, has brown hair and eyes, is 4’11” tall and weighs 190 pounds. She is from Cabin Creek and was last known to be driving a gold Dodge Stratus with West Virginia license sesquicentennial license plate number SQ047613. Anyone with information should call 304-357-0169 or submit a tip at www.kanawhasheriff.us/law-enforcement/tips. Although another adult female was reported missing to the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office at about the same time, the two cases are not linked.

Missing Person Sought

The Kanawha County Sheriff's Office is looking for a missing person. Lacy Renee West was reported missing Thursday and was last seen Monday evening in the Charleston area. Sgt B-D Humphreys says she's 22 years old, 5’4” tall, weighs 110 pounds, has hazel eyes and blonde hair. Anyone with information is asked to call 304-357-0169 or submit a tip on the website at www.kanawhasheriff.us/law-enforcement/tips. This is not suspected of being linked to another missing persons case that was reported around the same time.

Survey to Decide Whether Prosecutors in Spill Case are Conflicted

A federal judge is drafting a questionnaire to weigh whether prosecutors are conflicted in the criminal case over a massive chemical spill last year. In Charleston federal court Wednesday, Judge Thomas Johnston said he is finalizing the 19-question survey. U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin and two subordinates who also lived in the area affected by the spill will fill them out.
Former Freedom officials Gary Southern and Dennis Farrell have pleaded not guilty to pollution charges. Southern also pleaded not guilty to fraud related to Freedom's bankruptcy case. Southern and Farrell contend Goodwin's office should be recused because some of its members were impacted by the spill. Their trials are slated for Oct. 6.

Voting on Now for Girls Night Out Theme

Over a thousand women gather each year to support domestic violence victims, and plans are being made now for this year's event in August in Charleston. It's the state's largest women-only event and boosts revenue to keep the YWCA Charleston's Resolve Family Abuse program active. You can vote now on a theme for this year -- either "Welcome to the Jungle" or "Floral Fantasy." The winning theme will be announced April 23. Girls Night Out is happening August 15th at the Culture Center.

Mine is Idled

A portion of Murray Energy Corp.'s Monongalia County Mine has been temporarily idled. The company attributes the move to shipment shortfalls by railroads serving the mine. The company didn't say how many workers were affected or when the mine would resume full operations. Federal figures show the mine produced more than 3 million tons of coal in 2013 and 4.6 million tons in 2014. It employed an average of 588 workers during the fourth quarter of 2014.

Pipeline Comment Period Extended

The U.S. Forest Service is again extending the public comment period on whether portions of the Jefferson National Forest can be surveyed for a possible pipeline route. A special use permit would be required before surveying could be done in the national forest for the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline. The Forest Service's original deadline for comments was Feb. 13 and had been extended until April 2, now the deadline is April 17th. The pipeline would transport natural gas from Wetzel County, West Virginia, to another pipeline in Pittsylvania County.

Top O Rock Makes 'Buildings at Risk' List

The Creel House in St. Marys and Top O Rock in Charleston are the first properties to be listed on Preservation Alliance of West Virginia's new Buildings At Risk Register. The group says it created the register to draw attention to historical buildings at risk of demolition. Built in 1850, the Creel House served as a hotel in the late 19th century. The preservation group says the building's current owner has obtained a demolition permit. The late architect Henry T. Elden designed Top O Rock, a circular glass-and-steel hillside house built in 1968. Vandals damaged the house in 2014. The preservation group says Top O Rock made the register because of a design competition to develop plans to preserve and adapt it for a new use.

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