Breaking Local News

FEMA Reimburses Several Agencies After Chemical Spill

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has reimbursed $1.4 million to local and state governments, hospitals and some non-profit groups for costs related to January's chemical spill in Charleston. The Charleston Daily Mail reports FEMA assistance has been awarded to 35 entities in Boone, Cabell, Kanawha, Lincoln and Putnam counties totaling more than $1 million. In addition, the National Guard is among six state agencies awarded more than $420,000. Another dozen requests for assistance are pending. In April, FEMA approved Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's request to allow first responders, public agencies in the nine affected counties, and certain nonprofit groups to apply for grants to recoup costs incurred in the days after the Jan. 9 spill.

Kanawha County School Employees Face Criminal Charges

Four people who worked at Riverside High School were arrested Tuesday night for allegedly stealing thousands in food and supplies from the school system, according to West Virginia State police. Chief custodian Linda Oda, custodian Tommy Osborne, cafeteria manager Debra Stump and head cook Christine Buckley have each been charged with fraudulent schemes, conspiracy and embezzlement . Investigators think they had been stealing food and cleaning supplies for several years, and that added up to thousands of dollars in a hit to taxpayers. The four were suspended from the district without pay last week.

Rand Shooting Under Investigation

The Kanawha County Sheriff's office is investigating after shots were fired early Monday in Rand. Around 3:40am a caller reported being robbed at gunpoint at the intersection of Elaine Drive and Bluefield Avenue in Rand, as he was walking to a friend’s house. He told officers a vehicle stopped near him and the suspect got out and robbed him of cash. After finding out it was a small amount, the suspect fired shots and then ran off. The sheriff's office says there is at least one person of interest in the case.

Search Expands For Missing Teen

Deputies are expanding their search for a missing teenager. 16 year old Ericka Brown was reported missing from the Cross Lanes area on the moring of August 10th when her parents woke up. She's described as 5’1” tall, and weighs about 100 pounds. She has long, sandy blonde hair. Cpl B-D Humphreys says investigators think she left the house on her own, but may have been the victim of a crime after leaving. Detectives have been scouring phone records, surveillance footage, and investigating any tips received. Areas including Wood County, WV, Athens County, OH, and the Columbus, Ohio area are special areas of focus since she was last heading that direction. Anyone with information is asked to call 304-357-0169 or submit a tip on

Sen. Manchin Tours to Talk Economy

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin is talking about the future of West Virginia's economy during a six-county tour this week that kicked off Monday in Buckhannon. The tour wraps up Wednesday at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs. Manchin will deliver remarks during the 2014 West Virginia Chamber's Annual Meeting and Business Summit.

WVSU Suffers Budget-Related Cutbacks

West Virginia State University has reduced its workforce and is looking at other ways to cut costs. Ten employees have been laid off and 15 vacant positions have been eliminated. West Virginia State spokeswoman Kimberly Osborne tells the Charleston Gazette that the layoffs are a response to recommendations developed at a budget summit last November. Administrators, faculty, staff and students participated in the summit. The recommendations also include reducing energy and paper record-keeping costs, combining departments to eliminate redundancies and renting campus space to outside businesses. Osborne says West Virginia State's state and federal financial support has been cut for three consecutive fiscal years.

College Tour Is Coming to High Schools

High school students can get help with planning for college during West Virginia's annual College Day Tour. The Higher Education Policy Commission says the tour will begin Sept. 9 and run through Oct. 29. The schedule is available online at . It will be in Kanawha County Schools on October 7th. Representatives from the state's colleges and universities will host informational workshops and will provide information on college planning and state-level financial aid. Military representatives also will participate in the tour. The annual event is organized by the West Virginia Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.

Man Faces Charges After Transit Mall Stabbing

A man is facing charges after a stabbing at the Charleston Transit Mall. 27-year old Jarvis Mitchell is in jail after being accused of stabbing a man and a woman with a box cutter Friday night. Mitchell is accused of stabbing the victims after approaching them and asking for a cigarette. Mitchell is charged with two counts of malicious wounding for what happened Friday night, and also faces burglary and battery charges for another incident earlier this month.

Reward Offered After Foodland Robbery

A reward has been offered now as the investigation continues into the Kanawha City Foodland robbery. There have been four arrests so far, and one woman who is said to have been promised money to be he getaway driver is still on the loose. There is a $1000 reward for the arrest of Talisa McCauley, offered by "Friends of Jeff Moore." McCauley was convicted of first degree robbery in 2010 in the beating death and robbery of Jeff Moore. Talisa McCauley and Alisyn Proctor are both wanted in relation to the Foodland robbery, and anyone with information is asked to call Charleston Police.

Study of Fish Health Planned After Jan 9th Spill

The state will survey fish life in the Elk River after the January 9th chemical spill in the Elk River. The U.S. Geological Survey's National Fish Health Laboratory in Leetown will aid the state Division of Natural Resources in the project this week. The state Division of Natural Resources says no fish kills were observed after the spill. The survey will look at possible health impacts on fish from the disaster, and they'll perform a similar fish study on the Kanawha River.

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