Breaking Local News
A former Kanawha County school bus driver was sentenced to prison Monday. Samuel Larry Burkhamer pleaded guilty to sexual abuse and was sentenced to five to 25 years in prisonm and 25 years of supervised release when he gets out. Burkhamer made friends with a 9-year old girl on Facebook, who was a friend of his stepdaughter, and then allegedly exhanged phone numbers with the girl and sent sexually explicit messages.
This is forest fire season, and outdoor burning is prohibited between 7am and 5pm each day as a measure of prevention. The National Weather Service issued an advisory yesterday not to burn anything outside at any time in counties including Kanawha, Putnam, Roane, and others, because of the risk of forest fires. Commercial burning is allowed in the daytime with a $125 fee for each site issued by the Division of Forestry.
Two people were shot along Washington Street on Charleston's West End early Saturday morning, and now the shooter is behind bars, and the victim is facing charges in connection with a murder on the East End. Andre Williamson was arrested on Monday and charged with accessory after the fact in connection with an the murder of David Booker. Williamson was shot in the legs early Saturday. Late Monday night, police arrested Robert Smith for allegedly shooting Williamson apparently in retaliation for Booker's murder.
A Kanawha County Solid Waste Authority board member has resigned. A private company that took over operation of the Slack Street recycling center recently, and the Charleston Gazette reports Greg Sayre quit over related concerns. Sayre was appointed to the Solid Waste Authority by the state Department of Environmental Protection, and turned in his resignation letter Thursday. West Virginia Recycling Services now runs the Slack Street facility.
A shooting early Saturday on Charleston's West Side is still under investigation. Police found more than 40 shell casings along Washington Street West, and they think those came from more than one single gun, and there may be several suspects. At least two people were shot, but the injuries were non-life threatening. No arrests just yet, and police are still investigating to see whether the shooting was drug related.
A Charleston man is facing drug charges for allegedly dealing crack out of his home. Stanley Bebee's lives on Charleston's east end, and officers report finding a small amount of crack cocaine in his home. Bebee is charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance.
South Charleston police also made a drug arrest over the weekend. James E. Meddings was arrested Saturday evening on MacCorkle Avenue, and police found several bags of bath salts, along with meth and prescription pain pills. Meddings has been charged with possession with intent to deliver.
Charleston Mayor Danny Jones released a statement Thursday about his son's drug arrest. 23-year-old Zac Jones was arrested earlier in the day on charges of possession with intent to deliver an ounce of cocaine. Mayor Jones said in the statement he was relieved when I found out Zac was arrested because he knows the only things that might save his life are isolation and incarceration. The mayor said Zac is a hopeless drug addict who has broken the heart and the will of everyone and anyone who has tried to help him. Zac Jones was pulled over for speeding, and the criminal complaint says 5.7 grams of cocaine were found during a search of the vehicle.
Kanawha County Sheriff's deputies were called Wednesday night to 206 Broadlawn Terrace in Pinch, and were able to catch a glimpse of people hiding materials used to make methamphetamine. After getting a search warrant, the deputies discovered what they have described as a “medium size” clandestine laboratory. Four people were arrested and charged, including the home's owner, Robert “Bob” Jarvis of Pinch. Two from Charleston were arrested - Shawn Pittman and David Moore, along with Thomas Huffman of Clendenin. Captain Sean Crosiers says Jarvis was arrested about six months ago at the same home for making methamphetamine.
Cedar Grove police arrested a man Thursday whom they think was dealing drugs near Cedar Grove Community School. Edward Spaulding's arrest came after an 18-month investigation which started with an e-mailed tip. Spaulding faces two counts of delivery of a controlled substance and one count of possession with intent to deliver within 1000 feet of a school.
Two West Virginia University researchers say efforts to get people to stop messing with cell phones in the car is having little effect. Jeffrey Coben and Motao Zhu reported their conclusions in the latest issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Coben is interim dean of the WVU School of Public Health. Research shows the number of injuries and fatalities caused by cell phone use while driving has increased by 22 percent between 2005 and 2009. They think the problem will continue to get worse, despite efforts to stop distracted driving. The researches did urge for new technology, that could perhaps disable hand-held devices when vehicles are in motion.