Breaking Local News
The Lincoln County school board could face heft tax penalties because of deficiencies in the county's tax assessments. Assessor Josh Brumfield told the Charleston Gazette that the county's previous administration didn't comply with a 2007 state law which requires counties to bring their tax assessments up to 90 percent of properties' market value. The law includes penalties against county school boards if assessors don't meet the 90 percent target. Brumfield said Lincoln County's assessments are at an average of about 51 percent of market value. That may mean a tax penalty of more than $875,000.
If your water bill was incorrect recently, you are not alone. About 49,000 West Virginia American Water customers' monthly bills have been adjusted to correct billing errors. The company says the errors happened with the transition to a new billing software system back in May. Adjustments are coming on the next bill. About a thousand customers will see a new charge, because a surcharge paid to local governments was inadvertently left off.
Daivd Williams was arrested Monday after weekend vandalism of cars in South Charleston, and now there has been another arrest. Police said Jocelyn Melin is charged with misdemeanor destruction of property, and they think she slashed at least a couple of the tires in a string of vandalism to 33 vehicles. The vandalism stretched from Kentucky Street to Ohio Street near Thomas Memorial Hospital. Williams has also been connected to car vandalism that occurred last week.
A Charleston man ended up at the South Central Regional Jail after being charged with malicious wounding. Charleston police say 75-year old Thomas Lewis and 55-year old Richard Brannon were drinking together at a home on Red Oak Street on Charleston's West Side Sunday, when Lewis allegedly made a disparaging remark about Brannon's family. Brannon allegedly then stabbed Lewis and hit him over the head with the base of the knife. Lewis was taken to CAMC General Hospital. Brannon is facing a charge of felony malicious wounding.
A Mingo County political action committee has been cleared of wrongdoing. An attorney for the Secretary of State's office says the PAC may have accepted improper contributions, but no state law was violated. The money may have been improperly donated, but that doesn't make it illegal for the PAC to receive it, according to the attorney. The Daily Mail reports the state is in the process of appointing a special prosecutor for the case.
Students this year headed back to class earlier than ever. The August 9th start date was the earliest start date in Kanawha County history, and it was done so students will finish the semester before the holiday break in December. Some wonder whether the Kanawha County school board will continue the early starts, or perhaps even move to a year-round schedule, but the Daily Mail reports the year round schedule is not in the plans. Also, a committee has been appointed to weigh options for the school calendar, and setting one will be on the agenda at a meeting later this month. The school board is expected to decide between a traditional late August start date and another early August one like this year.
South Charleston police have a man in custody that they think vandalized several vehicles over the weekend. David Williams was arrested Monday for slashing the tires of 33 vehicles from Kentucky Street to Ohio Street near Thomas Memorial Hospital, according to police. There are reports that Williams was on drugs at the time. He faces a felony destruction of property charge and also faces up to 10 years in prison, if convicted.
It was a first on Friday night for one area high school football team. The South Charleston Black Eagles always played their games off campus at Oakes Field, but now they've got a brand new field right behind the school. The team's first home game of the 2013 season was played Friday night on the new on-campus field. There are still plans in the future for a new press box and field house. And South Charleston beat St. Albans in the home opener, 75-16.
$365,000 in federal grant money has been declined by a nonprofit group. The money would have helped West Virginians sign up for health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act, but West Virginia Parent Training and Information Inc. declined the money because of what they called "unforseen circumstances" according to the Charleston Gazette. Last week, state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey directed the nonprofit group to answer 26 questions about the group's personnel and hiring practices. U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller has been critical of Morrisey, accusing him of bullying WVPTI and other groups.
The Appalachian Regional Commission is planning a fall forum in West Virginia to discuss how regional entrepreneurs are creating a new economic model for the rest of the country. The event is set for Nov. 6-7 at the Charleston Marriott Town Center. ARC says local investment and local ownership of businesses are making a noticeable difference in some of the region's core sectors, including manufacturing, health care and food production. The conference will explore ways to develop what ARC calls an "entrepreneurial ecosystem" that can provide support and growth opportunities for both new and established businesses.