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West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant is running for Democrat Jay Rockefeller's seat in the U.S. Senate. Tennant confirmed her plans to The Associated Press Monday, a day ahead of planned announcements in Beckley, Charleston and Morgantown. Her candidacy sets up the possibility of a high-profile battle with popular seven-term Republican U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, who has also announced her intentions to run. If each candidate wins her respective primary, West Virginia voters could elect a woman senator for the first time.
The State Election Commission has certified a new voting system that could count ballots faster and more accurately. Now it's up to West Virginia's counties to decide if they want to spend the money to upgrade their voting systems. The new software features a high-speed digital scan counter that works faster than the optical-scan ballot counters now in use, according to the Secretary of State's office and it could help counties get done with their count faster on election night. It's the first time since 2005 that the State Election Commission has certified a new voting system for use in West Virginia elections.
Police in Hurricane are trying to figure out who vandalized a bunch of mailboxes. The vandalism happened Saturday night or Sunday morning in the 200 block of Hodges Creek Road. Many of the mail boxes were knocked to the ground. Anyone with information should contact Hurricane police.
West Virginia's Senate president, Jeff Kessler, is pushing to create an oil and natural gas trust fund to support core government functions decades from now. His goal is a cushion of funds long after the gas is depleted so the West Virginia economy can be better sustained. Supporters say the future health and welfare of the state is, to some extent, at stake. West Virginia consistently has ranked among the states with the lowest life expectancy while grappling with problems of obesity, education and drug abuse. Some say it's about protecting the long-term fiscal health of the state.
Two firefighters were taken to the hospital early this morning after fighting a fire in East Bank. The fire started just before 11 p.m. Sunday night in the 100 block of Williams St., according to Metro 911 dispatchers. The firefighters are expected to be okay. Others stayed on the scene to continue battling the blaze.
Charleston police arrested a woman Thursday in connection with a purse snatching, and in the process of the arrest she's accused of trying to bite an officer. Police said 52-year old Parma Jo Bobbit from Boone County allegedly used a woman's credit cards at a convenience store, and will likely face a charge for assaulting an officer trying to detain her. The victim was at the Bob Evans in Kanawha City Wednesday morning when her purse was snatched from the floor beside her chair.
West Virginia linebacker d'Vante Henry has been dismissed from the team after his arrest on a second-degree sexual assault charge. A criminal complaint said a woman told deputies she had been sexually assaulted at an apartment Sunday. Henry told an officer the sex was consensual. Henry is a junior college transfer who is now off the team.
West Virginia officials are promoting schools as a lucrative market for the state's farmers. State agriculture and education officials plan to start a statewide Farm to School initiative at a luncheon today featuring locally produced foods. Agriculture officials are working with local farmers to produce cold-weather crops and to ensure adequate meat production to meet school needs. Agriculture Commissioner Walt Helmick says farmers have an untapped market in county school systems. Those school systems spend about $100 million each year feeding students. Most of that is spent on goods produced outside West Virginia.
A Boone County man is facing charges after the sheriff's office there says they found two meth labs. 50-year old Kenneth Lee Ball has been charged with two counts of operating a clandestine laboratory. An anonymous tip led deputies to a home on Robinson Lane outside Madison Wednesday evening, and a search of the property turned up the two meth labs. The meth may have been cooked there on a regular basis. Ball could face up to ten years in prison.
Cross Lanes Elementary school janitor Bruce Stanley is facing cahrges after possibly becoming upset over a Walmart gift card. According to police, Stanley told several employees in the school cafeteria he was upset after teachers got a Walmart gift card and he didn't. WSAZ.com reports Stanley told those employees that had he actually received a gift card he’d use the money to buy materials to make a gas bomb. Stanley made his first court appearance Thursday.