Breaking Local News
A state official says many of West Virginia's aging watershed dams don't meet current design standards and need repairs. West Virginia Conservation Agency executive director Brian Farkas says his agency doesn't have the resources to address the issue. There are 170 watershed dams in the state. Farkas says about 100 of them don't meet current design standards. Farkas says no state dams are in danger of failing, but engineers need to review the dams to determine repair costs.
Charleson may lose some of its well-known signs over zoning regulations. At issue are signs outside the Firestone Tire store on Washington Street, Budget Tapes & Records on MacCorkle Avenue and Fountain Hobby store on Washington Street. Those have been up for nearly a half century, and are in need of restoration, but the business owners don't want to lose them. Store owners are expected to argue their case at a zoning meeting this morning. Even if they take the signs down to be restored, current zoning laws says the signs cannot go back up without a variance from the board of zoning appeals.
Charleston Area Medical Center is getting a new HealthNet helicopter. The board agreed Wednesday to make the $3.5 million purchase to replace a 13-year-old aircraft. With the new chopper the idea is to improve capabilities with new technologies, and even to fly in bad weather. HealthNet is a joint operation of CAMC, WVU Healthcare and Cabell Huntington Hospital, and the Charleston Gazette reports the three combined will make a decision on what to do with the old helicopter. It's possible it could be sold, or used as a backup. CAMC is also refinancing the debt on its other helicopter to take advantage of low interest rates.
Five people are recovering today after an accident involving a car and a KRT bus in Dunbar on Wednesday. It was early afternoon when the accident happened at the intersection of Dunbar Avenue and 10th Street. The injuries aren't believed to life-threatening, but paramedics took five bus passengers to CAMC General Hospital with injures. Dunbar police are investigating.
Antero Resources said one of the five workers burned in a July 7 explosion at a drilling operation in Doddridge County has died. Vice President Al Schopp said Tommy Paxton worked for one of the three subcontractors at the site near New Milton in Doddridge County, but he wouldn't say which one. The Allegheny County Medical Examiner's office said Paxton died Tuesday in the burn unit of West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh. He was 45-years old and from Walton. The site is still idle while an investigation is conducted.
Middle schools seem to get the worst of it when it comes to bullying, with about half of the bullying taking place there. According to a new state report, 26 percent of bullying cases occur in high schools and 18 percent in elementary schools. The Department of Education report is based on data from the 2011-2012, the most recent available. It said schools reported more than 6,300 cases during the period in which students were disciplined for bullying, harassment and intimidation. The majority, in fact seventy-three percent of the students who were disciplined, were boys. The Charleston Gazette said state Schools Superintendent Jim Phares presented the report Tuesday to a legislative interim committee. He told lawmakers that the Department of Education is conducting professional development and special programs to address the problem.
Several Solid Waste Authorities in the area are getting grants from the Solid Waste Management Board. That includes 12-thousand dollars for Boone County, 6-thousand for Jackson County, more than 14-thousand for Kanawha County, and almost 13-thousand for Lincoln County. The funds are expected to go for tires and fuel in many cases, and in Kanawha County for educational materials and conference expenses.
Tuesday afternoon a taxi Driver from Huntington called Metro 911 to report being robbed. He said a passenger asked him to stop at the Eden’s Fork park-and-ride in Sissonville, near I-77, and the passenger acted as though he had a weapon although one was never seen, and left with $100.00 cash. The Kanawha County Sheriff's office says the suspect is a white male wearing blue jeans. He was not wearing a shirt, and has tattoos. He was last seen walking with a white female in a yellow shirt along Kanawha Two-Mile Road. Anyone with information may call 304-357-0169.
Kanawha County deputies are investigating a late night stabbing that happened Monday evening at a motel in Jefferson. 31-year old LaSalle Burnett had been drinking heavily, according to deputies, and was taken to a Charleston hospital. Meanwhile, 62-year old Willis McLemore of South Charleston and his daughter, 25-year old Amber McLemore of Nitro had called 911 dispatchers to report their involvement. Deputies learned Amber McLemore and Burnett have several children together. Amber McLemore said that Burnett was supposed to be looking after the children, "but instead took them to a bar where they played with a ball while he became inebriated," according to Corporal BD Humphreys. Amber McLemore told deputies that she and her father went to Burnett's apartment to pick the children up, when the two men got into an argument and that's when the stabbing happened, when Willis McElmore said he tried to defend himself. Deputies said no arrests have been made, and no one is currently pressing charges. But additional information will be taken.
West Virginia State Police officials say the agency needs more troopers, particularly minority officers. Lt. Reggie Patterson says the agency has 12 black male troopers, one black female trooper, 18 white female troopers, five Hispanic male troopers and one Hispanic female trooper. There are a total 698 troopers. State police Superintendent Col. Jay Smithers says the agency needs an additional 275 troopers. Smithers and Patterson discussed the agency's staffing needs Monday during a legislative interim meeting, and said minority recruitment is a priority. Finding and retaining talent is a challenge because of money and other issues.