Breaking Local News

Campaign Begins To Get College Students Through School In Four Years

West Virginia higher education officials are promoting a campaign to get students through college on time. As the campaign's name suggests, the "15 to Finish" initiative encourages students to take 15 credit hours each semester. That puts a student seeking a four-year degree on track to finish his or her studies in four years. Proponents of the campaign say research shows that taking a full course load each semester improves academic performance, reduces student loan debt and increases a student's job prospects. The policy has been promoted by the Higher Education Policy Commission.

Ruling Upheld Regarding Mine Permit

A federal judge has upheld the U.S. Environmental Protection's retroactive veto of a permit for a mountaintop removal coal mine in West Virginia. The ruling this week by U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington, D.C., says the EPA's action was reasonable and supported by the record. In 2011, the EPA revoked a water pollution permit that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued four years earlier to Arch Coal for the Spruce No. 1 mine in Logan County. The EPA concluded that mining practices at the mine would cause irreparable environmental damage and threaten health. The judge had ruled earlier that the EPA overstepped its authority. A federal appeals court overturned that ruling and sent the case back to Judge Jackson, and she upheld the ruling.

Help Needed Identifying Clendenin Remains

Human remains were found in Clendenin in August, and the Kanawha County Sheriff's Office wants help identifying them. The white male was about 50 years old, and the sheriff's office says he had suffered a traumatic brain injury in recent years which may have been the result of a car or ATV crash. He had broken ribs and was also missing several teeth that probably related to the accident. If you can help identify the man, call 304-357-0169.

High Court Hears Arguments in Raines Ballot Case

The West Virginia Supreme court heard arguments Tuesday on the Suzette Raines ballot issue. She withdrew from the race citing personal issues, but democrats accused her of lying about her address and breaking campaign finance laws. The GOP is arguing that the State Election Commission blocked them from replacing former Delegate Suzette Raines on the ballot. They're trying to get Republican Candidate Marie Sprouse-McDavid on the ballot in the 35th District before November. If the court rules Sprouse-McDavid's name has to be put on the ballot, about 50-thousand ballots will have to be reprinted with taxpayers footing the bill.

Today Marks the Deadline For Storage Tank Registration

Today marks an important deadline for above-ground storage tank registrations. A new state law requires owners to register above-ground storage tanks by today Oct. 1. It's been estimated that up to 80,000 tanks could meet the law's registration requirements. Department of Environmental Protection spokeswoman Kelley Gillenwater tells The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register that about half were registered as of Monday morning.

Teen Arrested For Middle School Break-In

More now on the teen accused of breaking into a middle school on Monday. 18-year old Christopher Ian Shamblen of East Bank was arrested Tuesday for the break-in at East Bank Middle School on Monday, and charged with breaking and entering and grand larceny, both felonies. The Kanawha County Sheriff's office says a 32” flat screen television, a laptop computer, a Microsoft X-Box 360 game console, and a pair of Nike shoes were taken from the school, and all of it has been recovered. Shamblen was also charged with third degree arson for something else that happened the same morning. He allegedly taped together four rifle shells and put them next to the Express Mart convenience store on 3rd Avenue in East Bank, then lit newspaper as a makeshift fuse to attempt to ignite them.

Accused Killer of Cross Lanes Teen Enters Plea

Ernest Roach is the man accused of killing Cross Lanes teenager Ericka Brown, and he has entered his plea. Monday in Ohio Court, Roach pleaded not guilty to six charges in connection with Brown's death. Her body was discovered along the Ohio River in Meigs County, Ohio in late August, after she had been missing since August 10th. Detectives think Brown met Roach online through Craigslist. Roach's charges include murder, two counts of compelling prostitution, two counts of tampering with the evidence and one count of gross abuse of a corpse. His trial is expected to start before the end of the year.

Huntington Gets New Police Chief

Huntington has a new police chief. Joseph Ciccarelli was announced as the new leader on Monday, replacing William "Skip" Holbrook who accepted a position as the chief of police in Columbia, S.C., in March. The Huntington City Council still has to confirm Ciccarelli's appointment, and if they do he'll start his duties in one month. Ciccarelli is a former investigator for the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals and has worked for the FBI.

Fall Fire Season Starts Oct. 1

With dry conditions and the start of fall fire season, you're urged to be extra careful with anything that might cause a spark. It doesn't take much for a fire to grow out of control and spread quickly. Starting Wednesday, October 1st, fires are only permitted from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. in West Virginia. You can't burn trash at any time, but you can burn vegetation during those hours. Firefighters say you should have a water hose handy and rake back any dry brush that's around if you're planning to burn. You can face a fine if you're caught burning during restricted hours.

East Bank Middle School Burglar Is Identified by Deputies

Kanawha County Sheriff's deputies have identified a young man who broke into East Bank Middle School early Monday. Cpl B-D Humphreys says he entered the building through a kitchen vent on the roof and took computer equipment from the school. It's expected that his name will be released today, along with what charges he'll face.

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