Breaking Local News
The fall semester is underway at Mountain State. Students headed back to campus Monday, and then many of them may become University of Charleston students. UC agreed to take over the school in January, after Mountain State loses accreditation December 31. UC will assist Mountain State during this fall semester, and will continue some Mountain State programs next spring. Students who have enough credits to graduate this fall can do so with either Mountain State or the University of Charleston on their diploma. Fifty one academic programs have been approved now by the Higher Learning Commission for the teach out plan that allows students to stay in Beckley. There are about 550 students enrolled this fall.
Police are still investigating a Dunbar break-in that happened early Sunday. A man and woman who lived at a home on Moore Avenue in Dunbar were attacked by three men and a woman who police say forced their way into the home. Cash and other items were taken, and the woman was sexually assaulted and the man beaten, according to police. Police think it's an isolated incident that the couple may have been targeted for valuables in the home. Dunbar is usually much quieter on the crime scene, and police have no reason to believe others are in danger. Dunbar police are investigating all leads now and appreciate any tips.
Two people were hurt Sunday in a traffic accident in Buckhannon, and a man was arrested for DUI afterward. The accident happened at the intersection of U.S. Route 33 and Vegan Road, and 55-year old Ronald Deuley of Ellamore is accused of pulling out in front of the car that hit him. Deuley was arrested for his third driving under the influence offense in the past 10 years, according to police. The other two men in Deuley's vehicle were injured. The driver of the other car was not hurt.
Some say new regulations proposed by the State Fire Commission would be too expensive for volunteer fire departments, and could hurt their ability to function. The proposed rules would force adoption of more than 90 standards and require stricter training and certification processes. Late last week the Charleston Civic Center hsoted a forum for concerned volunteer firefighters to speak out against the proposed changes. The state code is not something that can be ignored. Each violation is a misdemeanor crime that costs $100 per infraction per day.
If you have good photos of wildflowers, those could end up in a new state calendar. The latest "Roadsides in Bloom" calendar is being put together now, and the state departments of Environmental Protection and Transportation are sponsoring. Photos should be submitted by October 1, and then judges will pick 12 for the calendar. The grand prize winner will get the front cover.
The rules of the contest are available through the Adopt-a-Highway program.
West Virginia's most popular small game animal is the squirrel, and hunters will have the chance to target them beginning September 8. The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources announced this is the year the season is opening earlier. Mild weather conditions in September and longer days make hunting condtions prime. The daily bag limit will remain at six and the possession limit at 24. The season ends Jan. 31.
A heads up for drivers in Charleston. In South Hills this week, Louden Heights Road from the South Side Bridge to Grosscup Road will be closed. Crews will be paving the street Tuesday and Wednesday from 6:30 p.m. until 6:30 a.m. Drivers druing that time will be detoured onto Bridge Road. Ferry Street from the South Side Bridge to MacCorkle Avenue will also get new asphalt this week. Crews are scheduled to start working that section today, and it will probably take until Thursday, with most of the work done overnight. In some cases the roads will be closed, and in some cases traffic will be down to one lane. It's best to avoid those areas all together.
A Putnam County man died in a traffic accident over the weekend. Police say 36-year old Gary Alan Massey of Hurricane was headed south on WV 62 Saturday morning when he apparently went off the road and hit a utility pole and was ejected. Paramedics took him to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The Putnam County Sheriff's office is still investigating.
Because transactions have declined and business is down, the Members Choice WV Federal Credit Union will close it's branch office in the Charleston Newspapers building. The August Press Scene newsletter reminds us that the Charleston Newspapers Federal Credit Union voluntarily merged into Members Choice WV Federal Credit Union last year. The closure becomes effective September 28.
A man from Hollywood, CA has been indicted in Charleston after an extortion attempt. 25-year old Vivek Shah was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury, stemming from an incident where he's accused of sending a prominent West Virginian a letter threatening to kill his relatives if he didn’t wire money to an offshore bank account. Investigators say Shah targeted five wealthy people in all, but in this case Christopher Cline of Beckley was the victim. He owns Foresight Reserves. If Shah is convicted on all counts, he faces up to 40 years in prison.