Breaking Local News
More West Virginia circuit court records are expected to go digital in 2015. The West Virginia Supreme Court is implementing a pilot electronic filing project in 14 counties. The Exponent Telegram reports civil cases are being filed electronically in Marion and Jefferson counties now and court officials hope to begin e-filing all case types by the first of next year. E-filing is expected to begin in Lewis County in the spring of 2015 and in Harrison and Upshur counties by July 2015. Other counties participating are Braxton, Randolph, Berkeley, Clay, Hampshire, Lincoln, Morgan, Ohio and Wood.
Help could be on the way for the troubled Slack Street Recycling Center. As the owner of the center continues with a contract dispute and financial trouble, the recyclable material keeps piling up, and some of it is being shipped off to Raleigh County to the landfill there. The Kanawha County Commission will talk about options tomorrow, like whether to puruse grant funding, or come up with some other way to run a recycling service, which by law the county is required to have.
The Kanawha County Parks and Recreation Commission has settled a civil lawsuit related to a park logging operation after the 2012 derecho. The Charleston Daily Mail reports the commission voted recently to settle the lawsuit filed against David Russell Bowen's company, Russell Trucking. Parks Commission Attorney Chuck Bailey says the $50,000 payment to the commission is the maximum amount covered by the company's insurance policy. Earlier this year a jury cleared Bowen of charges that he illegally took hundreds of trees in Coonskin Park and cut and sold timber. Kanawha County had hired Bowen's company to remove debris after the derecho. Bowen said he had permission to cut trees in the park and did nothing wrong. The lawsuit had sought triple the estimated $144,000 value of the timber removed.
Federal prosecutors in the southern district of West Virginia collected $7.8 million in criminal and civil fines and penalties in the last fiscal year. U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said Friday the southern district's collections included nearly $2.9 million from criminal actions, $2.4 million in civil actions and $1.9 million in asset forfeiture. Goodwin says the total represents more than 1.5 times the total annual operating budget for his office. In the northern district, U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld has said collections totaled more than $13 million in criminal and civil fines.
A Raleigh County man has been sentenced to life in prison for his role in the death of a Charleston man. 26-year-old Deveron Patterson of Mabscott was sentenced Friday in Kanawha County Circuit Court for first-degree murder in the death of 28-year-old Kareem Hunter. Patterson was given mercy, meaning he could be eligible for parole after serving 15 years. Patterson had testified he helped assault Hunter, carried him and put him in the trunk of a car. Hunter's body was discovered in a shallow grave near an abandoned house near Beckley in October 2013. Co-defendant Miguel Quinones of Charleston is set for trial in February. Kelsey Marie Legg of Marmet previously was sentenced to up to eight years in prison for her role in the case.
The Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau announced this week that it's launching a market study to figure out how Charleston and Kanawha County can better benefit from tourists brought in by competitive sports. The study was funded by the CVB and city of Charleston, along with the Central West Virginia Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Kanawha County Commission. The Charleston Gazette reports if plans are finalized to finish a new sports facility, that could be done in three to five years and would make Charleston more of a destination for conventions and events.
The Boys & Girls Clubs in West Virginia are getting funding to improve the health and wellness of kids around the state. Officials say clubs around the state are getting a variety of grants from WellPoint Foundation to support the Triple Play healthy lifestyles program. Last year, the program helped nearly 1,000 youth engage in regular physical activity in West Virginia. The grants are part of a five-year, $10 million commitment from WellPoint Foundation's parent company foundation to Boys & Girls Clubs of America to promote healthy lifestyles.
The Fayette County Sheriff says a teenager was waiting for a school bus at about 6 a.m. Wednesday near the Mountaineer Mobile Home Park in Hilltop when he was hit by a vehicle that didn't stick around. The white extended-cab pickup truck that stopped briefly, then fled. The teen's injuries weren't life threatening, but he was taken to the hospital. The victim described the driver of the truck as a tall, slim black man, and the Charleston Gazette says deputies have identified him as 60-year old Lilton Knight who lives in the mobile home park. There's a warrant now for his arrest for failing to stop and render aid, also reckless driving.
In the last month, there have been several Polaris “Razor” side-by-side’s stolen from the Kanawha Valley, estimated around 20,000 a piece. Charleston Police and the Kanawha County Sheriff Office are working on the cases and have reason to believe they are connected. On each theft the suspects or suspects are hooking up to the victim’s utility trailers and getting away with both trailers and side-by-side’s. Investigators think the suspect vehicle could possibly be a white Chevy 1500 extended cab or a white Ford F-150 extended cab, around 2000- to 2004 year model. Anyone with information should contact Charleston Police or the sheriff's office.
A tree that has been on property in Pratt for many years is making its way to the Capitol. Molly Gill planted a spruce tree on her property in Pratt in 1996, and WCHS TV says after 18 years, the tree has grown to about 15 feet tall. It's too large for her property now, so it's going to the Capitol where it will be on display as the main Christmas tree on the river side of the complex. Crews worked on removing the tree yesterday, and several people from Pratt turned out to watch.