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Fire officials are offering a $5000 reward for information about two suspicious fires on Charleston's West Side. One destroyed an abandoned church, and another damaged the CARES building. Investigators think both fires were set by the same person, and one could have been set to distract firefighters from the other. The state Fire Marshal's Office is taking tips, and you can call 800-233-3473.
Fifty-one public and private non-profit agencies are receiving so-called crime victim assistant grants totaling $2.2 million from the federal government. The funding announced this week supports programs such as counseling, transportation and other support services for the victims of crime, including domestic violence, abuse of the elderly and child abuse. The funds also provide financial assistance to victims as they move through the criminal justice system. Among the recipients are women in crisis programs in several counties, along with domestic violence shelters in Cabell, Wayne, Mason, Lincoln and Putnam counties.
More than $1.3 million in federal grant money is on its way to 38 agencies throughout West Virginia to support anti-crime programs. The grant funding announced by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin will assist state agencies, local governments and non-profits to help improve the functioning of the criminal justice system. Charleston will receive $50,000 for its anti-crime task force.
Testimony resumes this morning in the trial of a man accused of killing his girlfriend. Robert Frazier is accused in the 2008 fatal shooting of Kathy Smith.
He was convicted of second degree murder in 2010.However, the state supreme court overturned te conviction, because of testimonyjur
from a medical examiner who did not perform t actual autopsy. Taking the witness thus far in the second trial...state and Huntington police officers.
Also, the jury has heard a recorded interview...in which Frazier apparently confessed to the shooting. First blaming someone else, then telling
police the gun accidentally went officer as he tried take it from her.
A 5 percent increase in the high school graduation rate among males in West Virginia could save $100 million each year in crime-related costs as well as boost the state's economy, according to a national policy group. The study by the Washington, D.C.-based Alliance for Excellent Education ties the dropout rate among males with an increase in the crime rate, saying, dropouts are far more likely than high school graduates to be arrested or incarcerated. The study found that it costs over $12,000 to educate a student and $28,000 to incarcerate an inmate, and said dollars should be focused on education and keeping students engaged.
Mingo County has its new sheriff. Former chief deputy James Smith was named permanent sheriff of Mingo County MOnday, replacing two interim sheriffs who have served since Eugene Crum was fatally shot on the job in April. Sgt. Smith will take over the department today. County Commission chose him from among four candidates in a special meeting. Earlier this month, chief tax deputy Pam Dixon took over as interim sheriff after the widow of Eugene Crum resigned the post. Rosie Crum had been tapped to serve as interim sheriff just days after her husband was shot while eating lunch in his car in downtown Williamson. The suspect, Tennis Maynard, is awaiting an October trial on murder charges.
A man from Dunbar is facing charges after allegedly threatening a lawmaker. Charleston police say John Curtis Dawson has been charged with making terroristic threats after he allegedly called Dr. Leanne Skaff’s office and making threats against Del. Doug Skaff. THe criminal complaint says Dawson screamed about Skaff running for governor and said he wouldn't allow that to happen. Police said Dawson also made threats involving a gun, and mentioned the mafia.
West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant is running for Democrat Jay Rockefeller's seat in the U.S. Senate. Tennant confirmed her plans to The Associated Press Monday, a day ahead of planned announcements in Beckley, Charleston and Morgantown. Her candidacy sets up the possibility of a high-profile battle with popular seven-term Republican U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, who has also announced her intentions to run. If each candidate wins her respective primary, West Virginia voters could elect a woman senator for the first time.
The State Election Commission has certified a new voting system that could count ballots faster and more accurately. Now it's up to West Virginia's counties to decide if they want to spend the money to upgrade their voting systems. The new software features a high-speed digital scan counter that works faster than the optical-scan ballot counters now in use, according to the Secretary of State's office and it could help counties get done with their count faster on election night. It's the first time since 2005 that the State Election Commission has certified a new voting system for use in West Virginia elections.
Police in Hurricane are trying to figure out who vandalized a bunch of mailboxes. The vandalism happened Saturday night or Sunday morning in the 200 block of Hodges Creek Road. Many of the mail boxes were knocked to the ground. Anyone with information should contact Hurricane police.