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About 34,000 West Virginians have voted early ahead of Tuesday's primary. The figure released by the Secretary of State's office Friday reflects in-person and absentee ballots cast. The early voting period opened April 30 and ended Saturday. The light turnout could reflect a relatively small number of contested races. The lone statewide race involves the U.S. Senate, where three candidates each are running in the Democratic and Republican primaries. Seven candidates are seeking the Republican nomination in a bid to succeed 2nd District GOP Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito, who is running for the Senate seat being vacated by the retiring Jay Rockefeller. Fewer than half of the 67 House of Delegates districts and only four of 17 Senate seats up for election have contested races.
Charleston Area Medical Center is reaching out to West Virginia artists to be considered for the new cancer center The Power of Many fundraising campaign is on now, and the hospital wants the new cancer center to be a community effort, and include West Virginia artists. The art selection committee wants applications from a variety of artists who work in various media, to have artwork installed starting in the winter of 2015 at the new cancer center. Artwork for the program should evoke themes of nature and portray communities in West Virginia. Those who have fought cancer or had a personal connection with it are encouraged to participate. The deadline to apply is May 31st.
Application information can be found at http://healthcareartconsulting.com/artistsubmissioncamc.
Mother's Day has been a national holiday for 100 years, but not everyone knows it was a West Virginia native who came up with the idea for the holiday. Anna Jarvis asked Congress and President Woodrow Wilson to designate the second Sunday in May as an official U.S. holiday, which they did. Anna Jarvis was inspired to create the Mother's Day holiday in honor of her mother, Ann Jarvis. West Virginia was the first state to recognize Mother's Day as a holiday.
You may notice flags at half-staff today to honor a long-serving city council woman who has passed away. Mary Jane Vanderwilt died over the weekend. She served for many years on the Charleston City Council and worked with the Beautification Committee. County commissioner, Hoppy Shores has ordered all flags at Kanawha County facilities to be lowered to half-staff.
The West Virginia attorney general has filed a lawsuit against Mingo County school officials claiming they brushed aside allegations that two male students sexually abused female classmates. The lawsuit also claims school officials interfered with a State Police investigation. The lawsuit said administrators at Burch Middle School retaliated against the girls for reporting the allegations. Defendants include the principal, vice principal, a coach and the Mingo County school board. The lawsuit alleged the abuses occurred on a school bus, at the school and on a field trip.
More now on the Top-O-Rock home in South Charleston that's about to be fined for things like graffiti and broken glass....A Facebook page created to save the historic home is collecting followers, in fact at least doubling the number of followers in the past two or three days. The Save Top-O-Rock page as started after the story came out that the home may be demolished or at least fined after being vandalized several times. The home was built in 1968 and has been featured on HGTV and by Parade Magazine. The Facebook page's founder, Jennifer Peters, says she's working on a plan to bring people to discuss ideas for the home and take action.
Heads up for drivers...The Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office and Dunbar Police Department will be conducting a high visibility sobriety checkpoint on Saturday from 6:00 p.m. to midnight on Dunbar Avenue in Dunbar. The Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office says it has a “zero” tolerance when it comes to impaired driving in Kanawha County and randomly conducts checkpoints and targeted patrols throughout the year.
An arrest warrant is out for the man at the center of the Coonskin Park tree controversy. Dvid Bowen of Charleston owned and operated Russell Trucking and was hired a year ago to remove trees at the park that were damaged by derecho winds several months prior to that. He's accused of cutting down healthy trees and selling the lumber for more than $100,000. The arrest warrant charges Bowen with several things including wrongful injuries to timber, removal, injury to or destruction of property, and obtaining money, property and services by false pretenses. WSAZ.com reports Bowen is out of town and deputies will arrest him when he returns.
Raleigh County officials have declared a woman who vanished in 1993 as dead.
The Register-Herald reports that the County Commission signed a petition on Tuesday that presumes the death of Angela Cherice Gwinn Stephens. Commission president Dave Tolliver says West Virginia State Police have exhausted leads in the search for Stephens. Stephens was last seen on the morning of Oct. 1, 1993. The newspaper says Stephens' husband told police that she dropped him off at his job in Beckley but didn't return to pick him up.
West Virginia gasoline prices have risen 3 cents per gallon in the past week. AAA East Central says the average price for a gallon of regular is at $3.77. That's 12 cents more than a year ago and the highest since prices hit $3.68 a gallon last July. Prices range from $3.73 in Charleston to $3.83 in Wheeling. Nationally, gas prices average $3.67 per gallon, down 3 cents from a week ago.