Breaking Local News
The Charleston City Council last night approved a new grant application that would help buy new police equipment, including mounted lights and tasers. The grant application goes to the Bureau of Justice, and would help buy the equipment for both the Charleston PD and the Kanwaha County Sheriff's Department.
A robbery and kidnapping that happened Friday is still under investigation. It happened sometime before 9am Friday at the parking lot area of the 7-11 Store at West Main Street and Coal River Road in St. Albans. The manager said he was taking the daytime deposit to the bank and when he got into his car, a man wearing a black and green ski mask confronted him with a knife and forced him to drive an isolated area along the Coal River on Strawberry Road. The robber ran off after punching the manager, and took and undisclosed amount of cash with him. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office at (304) 357-0169 or go to Kanawhasheriff.us.
West Virginia state biologists want to know if you see or hear the whip-poor-will. The Division of Natural Resources is fearful the bird with the distinctive call is on the decline. That's why they're asking residents to report any sightings of the bird through July 31. Whip-poor-wills are gray, brown and black, and you should report the sightings by email to DNR biologist Rich Bailey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The story of two young boys at a Mingo County Middle School is making national news. The boys are accused of sexual abuse, working together to restrain victims and grope other students, and one victim alleges she was raped during a class trip to Charleston. CNN reports that the Mingo County prosecutor has filed criminal charges against the boys, and this comes after West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morissey filed a request for a civil injunction. The incidents happened at Burch Middle School in Mingo County between November 2012 and May 2013.
The state Board of Education wants a lawsuit filed by former West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Jorea Marple to be dismissed. Marple was fired in November 2012. She contends in her lawsuit that she unlawfully fired and that members of the Board of Education secretly plotted to dismiss her, violating the state's open meetings law. The State Journal says attorneys for the board asked Kanawha County Circuit Judge James C. Stucky to dismiss the lawsuit, saying the panel is a state agency and immune from prosecution. They also stated that Marple was not under contract at the time of her firing.
The WV Lottery Commission on Friday said those with video lottery machines have 30 days to report any violations, or face large fines and the loss of their licenses. Fraternal organizations and all limited video lottery distributors who provide those groups with machines have to meet the deadline, according to the Charleston Gazette. This comes after a Clarksburg group is accused of setting up 23 video gaming parlors and using the identities of fraternal organizations. Fraternal organizations can have 10 machines at each location, double the maximum of five permitted in bars and clubs.
It's still under investigation, but more now on an accident that happened Wednesday near Marmet. A vehicle that crossed the center lane caused the accident on Route 61 near Turnpike Ford, between Charleston and Marmet. The Kanawha County Sheriff's Office says a Pontiac G6 was going south on Route 61 and a gray Jeep Wrangler was going north on Route 61. The two were involved in a head-on collision after the Pontiac crossed the center line. That driver was not wearing a seat belt, and was killed in the crash. He's been identified as 21-year old Alexander Neophytou of South Charleston.
A company studying the feasibility of building an ethane cracker plant in Wood County has applied for two state permits. The Appalachian Shale Cracker Enterprise LLC is seeking an air quality permit and a permit to evaluate the site of the proposed plant under the state's Voluntary Remediation Program. The Parkersburg News & Sentinel reports that permitting is another administrative step in an ongoing feasibility study of the proposal. Cracker plants crack or convert ethane into ethylene, a widely used chemical compound. Ethane is a byproduct of natural gas drilling.
West Virginia's unemployment rate inched down in April to 6 percent. The seasonally adjusted rate is down one-tenth of a percentage point from March. WorkForce West Virginia says the number of unemployed state residents fell by 100 in April to a total of 48,400 statewide. The West Virginia rate is less than the national rate of 6.3 percent. Employment gains in West Virginia were recorded in mining and logging, manufacturing, trade, transportation and utilities, professional and business services, educational and health services, leisure and hospitality and government. They were offset by declines in construction, information services and the financial sector.
More now on an accident that happened Monday along Reamer Road in Clendenin. The accident claimed the life of a Herbert Hoover High School student after the car she was in rolled into a creek. Counselors have been available this week to comfort students about the death of junior, Toni "Leeann" Spencer. There is a visitation tonight at Matics Funeral Home and the funeral is tomorrow.