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Kanawha County Chief Circuit Judge Duke Bloom this week ruled the California-based loan company, Cash Call, must pay a $13 million civil penalty and cancel the debts that West Virginian's still owe. This comes after an investigation by the West Virginia Attorney General's office that started five years ago. Customers reportedly complained the company was charging 90 percent interest rates. Consumer protection laws here limit the rate to 18 percent. The judge ruled Cash Call used predatory lending practices and harassed those who fell behind on their payments.
Don't be alarmed on Wednesday if you see several emergency responders on the UC campus. It's a mock emergency drill that will bring local law enforcement and other agencies together to test their ability to respond to emergencies. If weaknesses or slow response times show up, it will be highlighted as an area to improve. Students at the University of Charleston and professors and staff already know about the drill. The exact time of the drill hasn't been revealed, but we do know it will be sometime after 8am. During that time, access to campus will be limited and traffic may be diverted on MacCorkle Avenue.
Charleston Police have arrested a robbery suspect on Charleston's West Side. Police say 49-year old Melvin Murray of Charleston, was arrested early Monday after being accused of punching a man and knocking him to the ground, then stealing his watch near Elm Street and Virginia Street West. The victim was walking home after visiting his cousin when he was stopped by two men. His description of the attacker helped police track him down. Murray was charged with first-degree robbery and is in the South Central Regional Jail.
A teen has been arrested for stabbing another teen. It happened in Kanawha City over the weekend, and Charleston Police say a 17-year-old got into an argument with a 16-year-old at a home on 55th Street. The 17-year-old allegedly pulled a knife and slashed the other teen on the arm. The 16-year old has been treated at CAMC General Hospital. The 17-year old is facing malicious wounding charges.
A United Mine Workers of America rally is scheduled today at Haddad Riverfront Park, and Charleston police are warning drivers about the crowd and road closures. The rally is set to begin at the park about 11:30 a.m. and then they'll march to the Robert C. Byrd Federal Courthouse. Police will shut down Virginia Street East at Clendenin Street from 1 to 3pm for the march. During that time Court Street between the Boulevard and Virginia Street will be closed, and traffic on Kanawha Blvd will be stopped for a time. Drivers along Kanawha Boulevard should also know buses and vans will be unloading in the area prior to the rally.
Volunteers are needed for the Adopt-A-Highway fall statewide cleanup. Anyone who wants to help on Sept. 29th has to register by the deadline this Friday. Sometimes community groups volunteer, and sometimes it's individuals. Either way you'll have the chance to pick up trash on almost any state-maintained road. The Adopt-A-Highway program is co-sponsored by the Department of Environmental Protection and the state Division of Highways. More than 3,400 volunteers helped spiff up more than 1,500 miles roads in West Virginia.
Neighbors confirmed hearing gunshots yesterday, and not long after that police found a man's body. The corner of Picadilly Street and Mary Street, near Interstate 77, was blocked off around 2pm yesterday afternoon so police could investigate. One man was killed and a woman was taken to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries. If anyone sees Daniel Little, who is driving a white Ford Expedition with West Virginia license plate 3RA186, notify police. Police are also seeking a second man, 29-year old Jarrod Edward Washington of Charleston. First degree murder and first degree robbery warrants have been issued for both men.
The Kanawha County Sheriff's office is still looking for an armed robbery suspect. The robbery happened on a road, and the victim says he was driving by when he was flagged down by a man in a wheelchair. Thinking he needed help, Joshua Hillman of St. Albans stopped on Coal River Road near Valley Street, outside of Saint Albans, and suddenly two other men emerged and one had a gun. Hillman told detectives he knew the man in the wheelchair by the name of “Zack," a thin white male in his 20’s. Anyone with tips should call the Kanawha County Sheriff's office, and anyone else who comes across a similar situation should report it right away.
There are 62 designated sites for the observance of Veterans Day nationwide, and Charleston is one of them. Each city hosts model community events to honor and celebrate veterans, and Governor Tomblin said in a statement it's an honor for the capital city. The Governor congratulates the city and the American Legion, which hosts the parade each year, and the veterans who have made these celebrations possible.
Putnam County Family Court judge William Watkins can keep working while his case is being considered. The state Supreme Court ruled last week that the judge can stay on the bench while a judicial panel considers the case where he's accused of yelling and swearing at those in his court. The state Judicial Investigation Commission filed a complaint against Watkins ten days ago, stemming from five separate complaints.