Breaking Local News
West Virginia's Department of Health and Human Resources is starting the new year by firing one of three officials on administrative leave. Department spokeswoman Marsha Dadisman says Assistant Secretary John Law will be dismissed Jan. 23. Law has been on administrative leave since July along with Deputy Secretary Susan Perry and general counsel Jennifer Taylor over disagreements about bids on a six-figure advertising contract. Law hasn't filed suit, but Perry and Taylor have filed separate whistleblower lawsuits. Law had been with the department since 2001.
Voters in Lincoln County will have the final over whether a new pre-kindergarten through fifth-grade school will be built. The Lincoln County Board of Education has approved several options to buy 14 acres of land for a proposed school between Duval and Midway. Voters will decide whether the school becomes reality when they head to the polls Feb. 23.
Another suspect has been arrested in connection with a New Year's Day burglary in Clendenin. In addition to furniture, appliances, and other items, a Purple Heart Medal and Bronze Medal were stolen. Those belonged to the victim's daughter, who was killed in Iraq. Billy Woods Jr. and Paulette Dickey were arrested on January 4, and now a third person - Marty Atwell has been arrested. All three have been charged with daytime burglary. Deputies believe a fourth person may be involved and are continuing the investigation. Atwell will be back in court for a preliminary hearing on January 17.
U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller has announced an upcoming hearing on pipeline safety. Rockefeller is chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee and has made pipeline safety a focus. A news release from Rockefeller's office says the hearing will be at the end of January in Charleston, and comes on the heels of the Dec. 11 transmission pipeline explosion in Sissonville that destroyed 5 homes and burned across Interstate 77. As part of the hearing Rockefeller will offer a review of the implementation of a new law that he co-sponsored, plus a review of an accountability study on pipeline safety. The Senate Commerce Committee holds the public hearing January 28th.
Kanawha County Sheriff's deputies are investigating a reported robbery that happened Sunday night at the Motel 6 in Cross Lanes. 25-year old Jacquelyn A. Thomas of Cross Lanes told deputies that she was staying at the Motel 6 with her boyfriend, Bryant Adkins, and her baby. She opened the door to a knock and a man familiar to her said after a brief time that he “hated to do this in front of the baby," then pulled out a gun and demanded valuables. He also said if they called the police, he would return and “kill them”. The male reportedly got into a maroon colored Oldsmobile Alero, possibly driven by a woman, and fled. Anyone with information that may help in the investigation is encouraged to call Deputy Adams.
Charleston City Council members approved a construction contract to fix Overbrook Road Monday night. The road has been deteriorating to the point that it's falling down a hill, and it's been closed. The newly approved construction contract will fix both Overbrook Road and nearby Lilly Drive. Construction will last about two and a half months. Lilly Drive will be open during the construction, but Overbrook Road remain closed until it's completely repaired.
Charleston City Council members approved a contract last week that will allow for repairs to Overbrook Road. A section of the road near Hickory Road has been closed for over two months after the collapse of a retaining wall. Thaxton Construction of Sissonville was the low bidder and will make the repairs that will run just shy of $200,000. The contract says the project has to be finished by May 31st, and during that time the road will be remain completely closed, even to residents.
A new controversial reality show premiered Thursday night on MTV as scheduled. The show "Buckwild" follows seven friends and tapes their antics in Sissonville and south Charleston. The show has garnered criticism from officials statewide who worry about West Virginia's image as a result of the show. Senator Joe Manchin had asked the makers of the show to cancel it, and said it's not a true representation of the mountain state. The new Buckwild show replaces MTV's hit show Jersey Shore.
South Charleston held a City Council meeting on Thursday night and passed a new ordinance that rezones multi-family lots. Residents have raised concerns about parking and overcrowding, and the passage of the ordinance is meant to increase the size of the lots to attack those problems.
A Putnam County Family Court judge accused of delaying rulings and screaming at litigants won't see a delay in the disciplinary proceedings against him. The Associated Press reports that the state Supreme Court denied Family Court Judge William Watkins' request on Thursday, after Watkins' lawyer filed a motion asking the court to delay the proceedings. The defense says Watkins has filed for disability and plans to retire. The state Judicial Investigation Commission recommends Watkins be suspended without pay until his term ends on Dec. 31, 2016. The justices will hear Watkins' case Feb. 5.