Breaking Local News
Police have charged an Elkview man with threatening to kill a Kanawha County Circuit Court judge. 29-year-old John Duncan was arrested Monday morning and charged with intimidation and retaliation against a public officer. A criminal complaint says Duncan is a defendant in an abuse and neglect case in front of Judge Jennifer Bailey. He is accused of telling a counselor on June 1 that he would kill Bailey if she terminated his parental rights. He's being held in South Central Regional Jail.
The man who drowned at Beech Fork Lake while trying to help two relatives has been identified. West Virginia State Police say hat the victim, his brother and six children were on a boat on the lake on Saturday. The brother jumped into the water to help his daughter, who was in distress. The victim then jumped into the water to help but he didn't surface. Wayne County emergency services deputy director Jim Cooper identified the victim as 43-year-old Ray Spears.
There are about 30 classroom positions being cut this fall in the Kanawha County School district, and with fewer teachers there will be slightly larger class sizes. Class sizes for sixth grade and under have a cap because of a state law, but class sizes in 7th grade and above can increase. Seventh and eighth graders will gain one student on average, up to 23 from 22 this fall, and high schoolers will have 24 in the average class instead of 23.
Bikers are in the Kanawha Valley this week for the annual biker bash. Thousands of bikers are hitting Kanawha Boulevard starting Thursday for the fourth annual Capitol City Biker Bash and that will mean Kanawha Boulevard will be closed from Capitol to Clendenin streets Wednesday night through Saturday. They'll have music and vendors, and the Live on the Levee free concert series on Friday.
The 17-year-old former Capital High School student accused of rape has told a judge his attorneys pressured him into pleading guilty. The Charleston Gazette says on Friday they boy asked Kanawha Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey to allow him to withdraw his March guilty plea to first-degree sexual abuse. The boy's new attorney Katherine Dooley says her client experienced ineffective assistance of counsel. Prosecutors dropped a more serious charge of second-degree sexual assault after the boy's plea. He is currently in a juvenile facility.
New information came to light last week in the case a dog's severed paws. The case brought national attention, and a reward was offered by the national Humane Society. Sgt. B-D Humphreys with the Kanawha County Sheriff's Office said Friday that foul play may not have been involved. Although it looked like a cutting instrument had severed the paws, CSX workers found one of the dog's paws by the railroad tracks, leading them to believe that a train possibly caused the injuries. The investigation is not closed, and anyone with information is still urged to contact the sheriff's office at www.kanawhasheriff.us with tips. The dog had to be euthanized.
The craft beer industry continues to grow. Tucker County has the second-fewest residents in West Virginia, but soon will host a quarter of the state's craft breweries as another is in the works. Last year, West Virginia and its 11 breweries only produced more craft beer than the Dakotas. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin took note and promised a craft beer bill during his State of the State speech in January. The law effective June 12 includes tiered licensing fees; lets convenience stores, bars and restaurants sell take-home growlers; and permits brewery tour samples.
State Lawmakers didn't do away with Common Core standards during the legislative session earlier this year, but some parents are still wanting them to do that. Many showed up at an interim meeting Sunday to speak as part of the group West Virginia Against Common Core, and WCHS TV says one of the main concerns discussed Sunday was the federalization of education in the state. Common Core is a federally recognized system and the speakers on Sunday said more localized approaches need to education need to be emphasized to address specific problems in specific locations. There were no final decisions on Sunday, only discussion.
Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power are set to raise rates 2 percent to cover rising fuel expenses. The two American Electric Power subsidiaries announced the settlement with the state Public Service Commission on Friday. The increase will take effect July 1 if formally approved by the PSC. A residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a moth would see an increase of $2.05. The utilities say the increase is "a dollar-for-dollar pass through expense" that does not boost their profits. They had originally asked for a 4 percent increase, but the PSC said that was too much.
A $5,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those involved in the severing of a dog's front legs this week in Jefferson. The Kanawha County Sheriff's Office says in a news release that the Humane Society of the United States announced the reward Thursday. The sheriff's office says an investigation found the injuries were caused by a cutting instrument and were not the result of an accident. The dog's legs had been severed above the knees, and his face was cut. A deputy took the dog to a veterinary hospital, where the consensus among three veterinarians was to euthanize the dog.