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Charleston was one of the original cities to test Home Rule when it was a pilot program, and more cities are applying now that the program has been expanded. The city of Dunbar just voted to apply this week. Home rule gives cities more control over over how city leaders do business, and flexiility in generating revenue. There will be a public forum to talk about it, as part of the next Dunbar City Council meeting.
Sentencing is coming up this summer for a Charleston man accused in a shooting case. Steven Thompson appeared in court Monday and admitted to shooting and wounding Ollie Nicholson of Detroit, MI during a robbery on the West Side last June. Prosecutors said Nicholson was shot twice when he jumped out a window to try to get away. Thompson says the gun went off during a struggle. Thompson faces 2 to 10 years in prison at the July 17th sentencing.
Heads up for horse owners. You're advised to protect your animals from two mosquito-borne diseases. Mosquitoes can carry the West Nile virus and equine encephalomyelitis. The insects breed in standing water. Commissioner of Agriculture Walt Helmick says horse owners can minimize the chance of their animals contracting these diseases by eliminating standing water sources, such as old tires and poorly draining areas. Helmick says horse owners also should ask their veterinarians about getting their animals vaccinated.
A judicial panel recommends Kanawha County magistrate Ward Harshbarger be publicly reprimanded. There are ethics allegations against Harshbarger after he rejected a domestic violence petition against Kanawha County Prosecutor Mark Plants. The Judicial Investigation Commission held a hearing Monday and Harshbarger was there for it. Plants’ ex-wife, Allison wanted a domestic violence protective order after an incident with the couple's son in February, and there are allegations Harshbarger didn't give it a fair review, and discussed the petition with police officers who weren't involved in the case. Harshbarger apologized at Monday's hearing.
Charleston Mayor Danny Jones wants Kanawha County Prosecutor Mark Plants removed from a case. WSAZ TV reports Mayor Jones said at a meeting last night before the city council meeting, that Plants doesn't like Lt. Steve Cooper, and should remove himself from the murder-for-hire case involving him. Darrell Carter was arrested last week and charged with ordering a hit on Cooper. Plants issued a statement saying it's an attempt by Danny Jones to play politics and his office is committed to seeking justice.
A victim of gang violence was laid to rest Saturday. Tymel McKinney was shot as he sat on his own porch on Charleston's West Side in April, and hundreds turned out over the weekend to pay respects to McKinnney at Abundant Life Church. Darrell DJ Carter is facing charges for McKinney's murder.
Charleston's Susan G Komen Race For the Cure Saturday drew about six thousand people. The 5K raised money for breast cancer research, and was one of many Komen events to take place across the country over the next few weeks. The money raised Saturday stays in West Virginia.
Sen. Joe Manchin says he's keeping "all options open" on whether to run again for governor in 2016 or remain in the Senate, where he has expressed frustration with partisanship and gridlock. Manchin says his time as governor was the most productive period in his life, but he hasn't felt the same way in the Senate since his election in 2010. Manchin was re-elected in 2012, and spoke on CNN's "State of the Union."
A Putnam County judge has ordered a Hurricane landfill where wastewater from a Charleston chemical spill was dumped to produce documents sought by the city of Hurricane in its investigation. Circuit Judge Phillip Stowers ruled that Hurricane has a right to protect its citizens under the state home-rule law. The Charleston Gazette reports Stowers still must decide how much power the city has in the investigation it launched last month into the Disposal Services landfill owned by Waste Management. More than 40,000 gallons of wastewater mixed with sawdust from the cleanup of the Freedom Industries site in Charleston is being stored at the landfill. The dump refused to allow Hurricane to complete its investigation. Landfill attorneys say they don't believe Hurricane had the authority for the investigative order.
A group of volunteers has been working on cleanign up Charleston's West Side. More than 150 people came out Saturday to help the West Side Neighborhood Association in the Taking Back the West Side event, and the group collected more than a hundred and seventy five bags of trash. There's a meeting coming up in Mid-May where the group could plan another clean-up event.