Breaking Local News
A Putnam County standoff ended peacefully, but it wasn't without some tense moments. The nine-hour standoff led to the arrest of 55-year old Ricky Reynolds, who surrendered after law officers used several tactics including tear gas to urge him out of the home. Reynolds is from Scott Depot and faces several charges including fleeing, assault on a police officer and obstructing a police officer, according to a news release from the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department. Reynolds was involved in several hit-and-run accidents Wednesday evening in the Scott Depot area, and was arrested early Thursday morning.
West Virginia environmental regulators have proposed more than $21,000 in fines for a Kanawha County plant that spilled coal slurry into a creek. The fines are for three citations issued after 108,000 gallons of slurry spilled into Fields Creek from Patriot Coal's Kanawha Eagle preparation plant on Feb. 11. Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Tom Aluise told the Charleston Daily Mail that the company is contesting about $20,000 in penalties associated with two orders issued after the spill. One stopped all work except cleanup at the plant. The other was a notice of violation stemming from discolored water entering the Kanawha River during cleanup on Feb. 19.
A conference continues in Charleston today that helps people train for emergencies and natural disasters. West Virginia State University hosted the conference yesterday and today is the final day for the gathering held by The Center for Threat Preparedness and the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources. It's drawing emergency workers including including law enforcement, EMS and social workers from across West Virginia, along with local members of the Kanawha County Ambulance Authority.
The former Mountain State University is suing the Higher Learning Commission over the loss of accreditation. The suit says the commission didn't follow its policies, rules and practices when it revoked the university's accreditation in June 2012 and says the accreditation loss forced the university to close. Without accreditation, the university was no longer eligible for state and federal funding, including student aid. The Charleston Gazette says Bridgeport attorney Jack Merinar filed the lawsuit Tuesday on behalf of three Mountain State board members. The University of Charleston took over Mountain State's Beckley and Martinsburg campuses.
A father called 911 to report that a baby hit his head Tuesday night, and by Wednesday police were investigating after the baby was found dead in his car seat. Now it has turned into a homicide investigation. The father - identified as Jeremy Smith - tried to slit his own throat, but remained alive. It happened in Kanawha City on Venable Avenue, where Smith was found inside the car the the dead infant, who was only a few weeks old, according to police. An autopsy is underway to determine the cause of death. And while Smith was taken into custody by Charleston Police, a separate investigation was happening at a crime scene in Putnam County, and he'll likely also face charges there. There's crime scene tape at a home on Shank Avenue in Hurricane as the investigations continue.
Three teenageres are facing charges after mailbox bombings Saturday on Louden Heights Road, and now there have been two more arrests. Police are working to figure out if the bombings are all related, since they occurred in about the same spot. Detectives aren't ruling out the possibility that individuals besides the ones arrested may be involved, and they may have to cast a wider net. Three juveniles were charged after the Louden Heights bombings, and the others happened on Skyline and Clark roads.
Starting June 3 and into November, local and county officials across West Virginia will have the opportunity to discuss the state's 10 regional jails. The public hearings have been in Charleston in the past, but they'll spread out across the state this time. The Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority has scheduled nine hearings to talk about jail issues. There has already been a meeting in Logan. The June 3 session will be in Beckley. Others are planned in Romney, Martinsburg, Doddridge County, South Charleston, Flatwoods, Elkins, Moundsville and Barboursville. They continue through Nov. 6.
The Division of Natural Resources is stocking more than 5,000 channel catfish in West Virginia lakes. The stocking started Tuesday and the cats will be what the division calls catchable size. The stocking is in addition to more than 34,000 fish added to 28 lakes in March. The program is intended to offer fishing opportunities at DNR wildlife management areas, state parks and municipal fishing holes. Tagged channel catfish will be stocked in eight state parks. Anglers who snag one of those fish are asked to return the tag or tag number to the Division. In return, that person will receive a free night of camping.
A book written by a Charleston storyteller has been selected as the West Virginia title for the 2014 National Book Festival in Washington. Bill Lepp's "The King of Little Things" is aimed children and young adults. The book is illustrated by David T. Wenzel. The book's selection was by the West Virginia Center for the Book. Lepp is a five-time-champion of the West Virginia Liar's Contest. The National Book Festival is scheduled for Aug. 30.
There was another anti-violence event last night in Charleston, called the Guns Down, Hands Up to Pray Prayer Walk and Information Rally. Grace Bible Church on Kanawha Blvd. hosted the event as follow-up to last month's rally where hundreds marched against violence. At last night's event there were representatives on educational and career opportunities available to at-risk youth and young adults 14 to 25 years old.