Breaking Local News
A meeting today will address making a bridge in Dunbar handicapped accessible. A public meeting is planned from 4 to 7 p.m. today at Bridgeview Elementary in South Charleston, to talk about making the Dunbar Toll Bridge more wheelchair-friendly. Officials from the West Virginia Division of Highways told WSAZ.com the estimated cost of the project is $1.1 million, and 80 percent would be federally funded and the remainder would be paid for by the state.
Armstrong Telephone Services in Lincoln County is working to fix an outage that prevents some customers from dialing 911. Those with the prefixes 778 and 855 aren't able to dial 911 and anyone in Lincoln County who would need any emergency service should call (304) 778-7927 until the problem is fixed.
West Virginia motorists will pay a little more this week during the big Thanksgiving travel period. AAA East Central says the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas in the state increased six cents over the past week to about $3.33. Even with the increase, that's still about 26 cents a gallon less than West Virginians were paying the same week a year ago. This week's prices range from $3.20 a gallon in Clarksburg to $3.46 in Martinsburg. Gasbuddy.com says prices in Charleston are averaging in the $3.30's. Nationally, gas prices average $3.29 per gallon, eight cents more than the previous week.
Charleston resident Ronald Fisher donated the 25-foot white pine as one of three natural trees that will be used for holiday displays this year at the state Capitol complex in Charleston. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin will lead a lighting ceremony Dec. 3 as part of the annual Joyful Night celebration. Fisher's tree will be used around the north fountain at the Capitol. The other two trees that will be on display are from the Fayette County farm of Al Tolliver. Tolliver also had a Christmas tree from his farm sent to the governor's mansion in 2011.
A stolen purse was reported at the Kroger store on Big Tyler Road in Cross Lanes on Thanksgiving Day. A shopper was on the lot with her groceries still in a shopping cart, and Cpl. BD Humphreys tells us as she was loading the groceries into her car a man stole her purse from the cart’s child seat. The suspect, later identified as 28-year old Richard Jason Palmer of Nitro ran off, and the victim alerted a store employee, who chased Palmer, and then two others saw what was happening and gave chase too. Palmer was eventually detained until the sheriff's office arrived. The value of items inside the victim's purse made the crime a felony, grand larceny.
The Putnam County Commission says a public-private partnership will provide funding to complete an upgrade of U.S. 35. The commission said work will begin in April 2014 to expand a 14.6-mile section of U.S. 35 in Putnam and Mason counties to four lanes. The project is estimated to cost $214 million and could be completed by April 2016. The Charleston Gazette reported that commissioners announced the project Tuesday during their meeting. A bill approved by the Legislature during this year's regular session allows private entities or contractors to front all of the money necessary to finish a project. The West Virginia Division of Highways would pay them over a given period of time.
A robbery at the 7-Eleven store on Big Tyler Road in Cross Lanes Monday is under investigation. The Kanawha County Sheriff's Office asks for anyone with information to come forward with tips. The clerk said a black male wearing a black, long-sleeve shirt, blue jeans, black shoes, and a ski mask entered the store and demanded money, brandished a handgun and left with an undisclosed amount of cash. Anyone with information about the crime or the suspect is asked to call the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office at 304-357-0169 or submit a tip on our website at www.kanawhasheriff.us. You'll remain anonymous.
A Sissonville man says he was surprised when he ordered a pizza from a local restaurant and was charged a Charleston sales tax. Charleston officials say there've been problems with other businesses outside the city limits incorrectly assessing the tax, and this man is not alone. City Council voted in March to impose a tax of a half-cent on the dollar to raise money for upgrades to the Charleston Civic Center. City Finance Director Joe Estep tells The Charleston Gazette he's gotten about a half-dozen calls about businesses incorrectly charging the tax. He thinks the problem could be with businesses that have Charleston mailing addresses but are not actually within city limits.
The city of Charleston is split on an ordinance that would eliminate the possibility of jail time for first-time prostitution offenders. Earlier this week members of the Ordinance and Rules Committee voted 6 to 2 in favor of the ordinance, which will be retroactive, meaning that anyone with pending prostitution charges that have not been finalized will also be able to avoid jail time. Lobbyist Phil Reale was arrested for soliciting a prostitute in July, and would not face jail time under the ordinance. The ordinance now goes to the city council for full voting.
If you have business to do with the Division of Motor Vehicles, you'll have to get it done today or Saturday. The state DMV will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, Nov. 28, and Friday, Nov. 29, and offices with normal Saturday hours in Martinsburg and Kanawha City, will be open for regular business hours on Saturday, Nov. 30. All DMV offices will resume normal business hours on Monday, Dec. 2