Breaking Local News

Fund Set Up For Payton Thomas

A ceremony Friday evening honored a young girl recently killed in a tragic accident. 10-year old Payton Thomas died late last month when a friend accidentally shot her as the two were playing. The community gathered Friday to pay tribute at Ruffner Elementary School where Payton was a third-grader. Payton's parents said they're thankful for the support of the entire community. They also said they have set up a fund to help with expenses. Anyone can donate to the Payton Thomas Memorial Fund at the United Bank along Virginia Street East in Charleston.

Winter Weather Advisory In Effect

Much of the country is in the deep freeze right now, and that record cold is impacting West Virginia. An arctic front is bringing below-zero temperatures and snow to parts of the state, and the National Weather Service says temperatures in northern West Virginia are expected to plunge to 10 to 15 degrees below zero Monday night. For the Charleston area, the National Weather Service says a winter weather advisory is in effect until 3pm today, with up to 3 inches snow accumulation, with the possibility of flash freezing tonight. NWS also issued a wind chill warning starting today at 4PM lasting till 3PM Tuesday. 15-25 MPH winds with gusts to 35 MPH are possible, creating a wind chill of -20 to -30.

Second Person Faces Charges In Shooting

Charges have been filed against a second person in connection with a shooting in downtown Charleston on New Year's Day. Police told WSAZ.com, they are charging Jamison Conrad with accessory after a malicious wounding. Police say Conrad was with Michael Underwood Wednesday morning on Virginia Street. Underwood got into a fight with John Scott, and that's when police say Underwood shot Scott. Police say Conrad is an attorney in Fayetteville. Charleston Mayor, Danny Jones is filing ethics charges against him with the West Virginia State Bar. For more, go to www.wsaz.com

United Food Operation Drive Kicks Off

West Virginia food banks are looking for some help after the holidays, and the 32nd annual United Food Operation food drive is kicking off this month. Donations have been down for many charitable organizations this year, and food banks are looking for private donations, and for sponsors to make tax deductible donations. UFO collects for food pantries and acts as a distribution center. It is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization that collects food and funds to help stock community food pantries in Kanawha and Putnam counties. Needed donations include nonperishable foods, cleaning supplies, diapers, infant formula, and baby food. For more information go to www.unitedfoodoperation.org or call 304-342-2023.

Dept. of Agriculture Audit Turned Over to US Attorney's Office

The speaker of the West Virginia House of Delegates says evidence of mismanagement under the state Department of Agriculture's previous administration has been turned over to a federal prosecutor. Democrat Tim Miley of Harrison said Thursday that a preliminary legislative audit of the department's finances before Walt Helmick became commissioner found evidence of "troubling activities and management practices," including questionable accounting methods and expense reimbursements. Helmick requested the audit, which Miley said is standard practice when a new agency head takes over. Miley and Senate President Jeff Kessler ordered the auditor to turn the findings over to the U.S. attorney's office, according to the Charleston Gazette.

WV Ranks High for ATV Deaths

A new study says West Virginia has the nation's highest rate of fatal all-terrain vehicle accidents. The Charleston Daily Mail reports that the study released this week by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety looked at rider deaths on public roads from 2007 to 2011. In that time, 1,701 riders died in crashes on public roads throughout the nation. West Virginia ranked third in the number of deaths with 96. However, its death rate of 105 per 10 million people was the country's highest. Wyoming was a distant second with 70. State Police Sgt. Michael Baylous says the popularity of outdoor activities in West Virginia may be a reason for the high rate of ATV fatalities.

Accused Arsonist Enters Plea

A man accused of stuffing clothes under the stairwell of his girlfriend's apartment and setting them on fire pleaded guilty Thursday in Federal Court. Police say in August Antonio Wade set the clothes on fire blocking his girlfriend from being able to get out of her apartment. Sentencing is set for April 2nd. For more Charleston Kanawha Valley news go to www.wsaz.com.

Tennant Gets Endorsement In Senate Campaign

Natalie Tennant has received an endorsement in her campaign for US Senate. Former West Virginia Secretary of State Helen Holt is supporting Tennant. Holt was the first woman to serve as West Virginia Secretary of State after being appointed by the governor in 1957. Holt is a Republican while Tennant is a Democrat, who was elected as West Virginia Secretary of State in 2008 and re-elected to the position in 2012. Now in her campaign for the US Senate, she's looking to fill the seat left vacant by Jay Rockefeller as he retires.

Shooting Suspect Turns Himself In

Charleston police are investigating a New Year's Day shooting, and one suspect is in custody. 30-year old Michael Underwood of Beckley turned himself in Wednesday afternoon, after a 2 a.m. shooting in the 600 block of Virginia Street. A 23-year old Charleston man was injured in the shooting between the Ramada Inn in Charleston and Recovery Sports Grill. Underwood has already been arraigned, and was taken to the South Central Regional Jail.

Fayette County Man Arrested For Kidnapping Girlfriend

A Fayette County man faces charges after allegedly kidnapping his girlfriend on Christmas Day, binding her hands and feet and dumping her at a mining site. The Register-Herald reports 36-year-old Larry Junior Nelson of Springdale turned himself in and is being held without bond on charges of domestic battery and kidnapping until he can appear in circuit court. Nelson's girlfriend told police that he hit her, tied her up and left her at a strip mine. She said she managed to free her legs and walk more than an hour through the woods on a 13 degree night for help.

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