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Those in Clay County will have to drive 40 miles or more for groceries now that the Piggly Wiggly has closed. The store on Main Street in Clay shut its doors, and the next closest grocery stores are in Celndenin or Flatwoods, both between 40 and 50 miles away. Family Dollar, Dollar Tree and a GoMart have some food, and the Charleston Gazette says they're having trouble keeping up with demand. The Piggly Wiggly property hasn't been sold yet, according to records at the Clerk's Office.
Yeager Airport says it's suing potentially responsible parties after the March landslide along Keystone Drive. The airport blames the failure of the mechanical structure meant to retain the dirt. There are reports that Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper supports the lawsuit. The landslide took out power lines, damaged gas lines and destroyed a church in mid-March.
State and U.S. flags at all state-owned facilities will be flown at half-staff on Memorial Day. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has ordered the flags to be lowered from dawn until dusk on Monday. Tomblin also asked West Virginians in a news release to participate in a prayer for permanent peace at 11 a.m. Monday and to observe the National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m.
A Charleston woman is in trouble after allegedly texting 911 dispatchers for help when she didn't need it. Erica Smoot sent a text message to 911 dispatchers saying she’d been kidnapped and was in the trunk of a car, according to WCHS TV. The GPS coordinates of her cellphone showed she was in the area of Barlow and Twilight drives in Kanawha County, and police eventually found Smoot in a tent just off Barlow Drive, and not in any danger.
The West Virginia Supreme Court says a circuit judge wrongly dismissed more than 50 criminal counts against a former Shepherd University administrator. The court says that former Shepherd dean of student affairs Elizabeth A. Shanton can be prosecuted on the charges because they don't violate double jeopardy principles. Shanton was indicted on one fraudulent scheme count and 53 counts of fraudulent or unauthorized use of a state purchasing card. Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge David Saunders dismissed all of the purchasing card counts, saying they violated double jeopardy principles. A new trial date will be set at a June 8 hearing.
The Charleston Urban Renewal Authority is offering up some vacant houses, and a developer may buy them and restore them. The homes are near the intersection of Lewis Street and Ruffner Avenue, and the Charleston Gazette reports the Urban Renewal Authority board approved the sale of the homes this week. The Sadd brothers will buy the homes and develop them, and they've already restored four buildings in Charleston, including the former Glenwood school on the West Side, which is senior housing now. The developer has applied for credits, and the sales will finalize once those go through, likely this fall.
Charleston is hanging on as the only city in West Virginia with a population of more than 50,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Census estimates released Thursday show Charleston had 50,404 residents in 2014. That's down about 1,000 from the 2010 Census. Huntington remains the second-largest city and Morgantown is the third largest. Besides Morgantown, Fairmont and Martinsburg were the only other top 10 cities to gain residents since 2010, according to the Census estimates.
It's been two years since the death of Fredericksburg teen Samuel Herrera in a drug overdose case, and there were court dates earlier this month for one of the men indicted. The district judge quashed the indictment, saying it was “defective” and should be quashed because it was vague and does not allege that Jarreau knew that the specific drug given to Herrera was contraband and illegal, according to the Fredericksburg Standard.
Six people are facing charges for credit card fraud after their arrests in Kanawha County. The U.S. Secret Service has been in on the investigation since the fraud involves several states, and so far the six from New Jersey have each been charged with one count of credit card fraud. WCHS TV says the South Charleston Police Department is still investigating after several people used stolen credit cards at the South Charleston Target Tuesday, and more charges will likely be filed.
A federal magistrate judge says former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship can't spend Memorial Day in Las Vegas. U.S. Magistrate Judge R. Clarke VanDervort denied Blankenship's travel request this week and said the conditions of Blankenship's pre-trial release don't include traveling to Las Vegas to attend to personal matters. Blankenship's attorneys had asked the court to allow him to go home to Las Vegas for a week, including the holiday. Blankenship is charged with conspiring to violate safety standards at a former Massey coal mine in West Virginia where an explosion killed 29 men in 2010. His travel is restricted to West Virginia, Pike County in Kentucky, and Washington, D.C.