Breaking Local News

Summer 2014 Burglary Case Solved

There's been an arrest that dates back to August 26, 2014. The Kanawha County Sheriff’s office says it happened on Tangle Wood Road in Cross Lanes, and a neighbor spotted an open window on the back of her house and called 911. Jewelry had been stolen and deputies were able to get fingerprint evidence, which was sent to the West Virginia State Police Lab. When the print was compared to databases a match was found. The neighbor, 32-year old Mekell Hodges was arrested Monday and charged with burglary.

Retirees Rallly Today at the Capital

Representatives for retired state workers are in Charleston today to get the attention of state lawmakers. Ernie "Spud" Terry is the President of The Coalition of Retired Public Employees, and he says there are some key issues that retirees are interested in, but he's annoyed that certain segments of public retirees play by different sets of rules sometimes. At the top of the retirees list of things they would like to see addresssed, is an increase this year in the tax exemption on their pensions. As it stands now, only $2,000 is exempt from taxes, and then, even that exemption disappears when they turn 65. According to Terry, other groups have a higher threshold or in some cases, even a full exemption. The group is also looking for a cost of living adjustment or pension increase. A rally is planned for today at the capitol.

Beckley' Pastor's Death Under Investigation

More now on a Beckley murder case...Beckley police are investigating the slaying of a pastor in his home. Investigators believe 68-year-old Ronald Browning was killed Saturday afternoon. Detectives think Browning was physically attacked with a weapon but there are very few details. The state medical examiner's office will conduct an autopsy, and then more will be known about how Browning died. Police have identified a suspect, and right now the slaying appears to be random. Browning was pastor of Cool Ridge Community Church.

UC Pharmacy School Has Probation Lifted

The University of Charleston's School of Pharmacy is no longer on probation. The university says the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education's Board of Directors lifted the probation last week. The board restored the pharmacy program's full accreditation. The council had placed the pharmacy school on a two-year probationary status in July 2014. The council said the school was noncompliant with a standard requiring that an accredited school be headed by a dean, collaborate with the larger university, and be autonomous. University of Charleston President Edwin Welch says in a news release that the pharmacy school has upgraded policies, strengthened institutional relationships and added seven faculty and administrative members.

Utility Bills Rise Across the State

If your electric bill went up last year you weren't alone. In fact, anew study released by the West Virginia Public Service Commission says utility rates rose more than 3 percent last year. The study released Friday through the commission's consumer advocate division looked at rates charged to West Virginia residents for electricity, water and telephone services. The Charleston Gazette reports that average utility costs for all West Virginians rose from $280.62 a month in 2013 to $290.22 a month in 2014. Utility bills ranged from a low of $254 a month in Morgantown to $325 a month in Bluefield last year.

Westside Shooting Under Investigation

Charleston police are investigating a West Side shooting that happened early Sunday, and they're asking for the public's help in tracking down information and a suspect. There were bullet holes and shell casings in the apartment building in the 1200 block of Stuart Street after the shooting around 4am Sunday. A juvenile who was inside the apartment at the time has been uncooperative, according to WCHS TV, and police are asking for help. Anyone with information can make an anonymous tip.

Voters Approve Levies in Two Cities

Excess levies will continue in St. Albans and South Charleston after voters voiced their opinion over the weekend. In South Charleston, a whopping 95 percent of voters approved a levy that will continue to raise money for city services like police, fire, recreation, library and public works. It was almost unanimous in St. Albans over the weekend too. 97 percent of voters there approved a levy that’s been around since the 1950s, and supports the fire department.

Blankenship Wants Charges Dismissed

A former coal company executive is seeking the dismissal of charges stemming from a 2010 mine explosion that killed 29 workers in West Virginia. Former Massey Energy chief executive officer Don Blankenship also wants U.S. District Judge Irene Berger disqualified from hearing his case. The Charleston Gazette reports that Blankenship's lawyers filed a dozen motions to dismiss on Friday, along with the disqualification motion and other documents. Blankenship is charged with conspiring to violate safety and health standards at the Upper Big Branch Mine in Raleigh County. He also is charged with lying to federal financial regulators about safety measures in the deadly explosion. Blankenship's trial is set for April 20.

Democrats Pick New Leader

The West Virginia Democratic Party has picked Belinda Biafore as its chair. Biafore replaces Larry Puccio who resigned as chairman last month to run U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin's political action committee. Biafore has served as vice chair of the party since 2004 and has been a workforce in the organization for over thirty years.

Screenings This Weekend for Film Shot Locally

A public screening will be held for a film that was shot in southern West Virginia. The screening of "Little Accidents" will take place at the Marquee Cinemas in Beckley tonight.
The film stars Elizabeth Banks and premiered at last year's Sundance Film Festival, about a small mining town devastated by a fatal accident, and three people who are drawn together after a teenage boy goes missing. Most of the filming took place in Raleigh County. Other scenes were done in Greenbrier, Kanawha and Wyoming counties. Private screenings also are planned in Beckley tonight and in Charleston on Saturday.

Syndicate content