Breaking Local News
Retiring U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller is donating his Senate papers to West Virginia University. Rockefeller will make the donation Saturday at the Morgantown public library's downtown branch. Rockefeller is retiring in January after 30 years in the Senate. He also served as governor, secretary of state, in the House of Delegates and as president of West Virginia Wesleyan College. Among his many contributions to the university include founding a nonprofit institute named after his mother that researches memory disorders and neurodegenerative diseases.
Union workers at Kroger stores in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia have ratified a new three-year contract. United Food & Commercial Workers Local 400 says in a news release that the contract includes wage increases and preserves workers' health and retirement benefits. Workers' health care premiums won't increase. The new contract covers 4,000 workers. It will expire on Oct. 7, 2017.
A preliminary exit polling conducted for The Associated Press and television networks shows the economy was the top issue for voters. About half of voters went that route, and health care was second most important, with about immigration and foreign policy following. Almost six in 10 voters surveyed said they thought the 2010 Affordable Care Act was too far-reaching. bout half of voters said they had a favorable view of Republicans, and half said their views were unfavorable.
Kanawha County voters said yes to the $3 million library levy that will fund library operations. The money will not be used to build new libraries or assist the Board of Education, but with the voter approval somes a tax increase of about $1.36 per month for Kanawha County residents.
For Kanwaha County Commissioner, voters picked among Republican Henry Shores, Democrat Clint Casto, and the Mountain Party's Dianna Strickland. Henry Shores has been declared the winner with 61 percent of the vote.
And about the Kanawha County Library Levy...that was the possible restoration of 2.9-million dollars in funding for the county library system after it lost operating and staffing funds last year after a state Supreme Court decision. Last year, a library levy was piggy-backed to a 24-million dollar school excess levy which failed at the polls. Kanawha County voters said yes to the library levy that will fund library operations.
Voters in Putnam County chose (Rep. Richard Witt or Dem. David Hill) for Family Court Judge. Richard Witt is the winner with 69 percent of the vote.
William Jones will become the Poca Mayor, after defeating Michael Potter.
Kanawha County Clerk Vera McCormick says early voting went well with a daily average of around a thousand people taking advantage of the opportunity. In all, about 9400 people cast ballots ahead of today's general election The polls are open today from 6:30 a-m to 7:30 p-m.
The University of Charleston is planning improvements to its School of Pharmacy to address issues raised by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. The agency placed the pharmacy school on a two-year probationary status in July after finding that the school was noncompliant with a standard requiring that an accredited school be headed by a dean, collaborate with the larger university, and be autonomous. The school was partially noncompliant in several other areas, including staffing. University of Charleston President Ed Welch tells The Charleston Gazette that most of the improvements will be implemented by January, and that includes hiring a new administrative staff member, strengthening the role of the pharmacy school's dean and other deans, and filling vacant positions. Welch says the pharmacy school remains accredited.
Kanawha County commissioners will meet next week to find a temporary and then a permanent replacement for prosecutor Mark Plants, who says he won't appeal the decision to remove him from office. The agenda for the special commission meeting on Monday, Nov. 10th shows commissioners were talk about and then vote on appointing a temporary prosecuting attorney who would serve no longer than 30 days. Commissioners will also talk about the application process for a permanent successor to Plants, and public interviews for the candidates would happen Nov. 17.
Three senior status judges will fill in for a judge suspended without pay for an inappropriate sexual affair. Friday, West Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Robin Davis recalled Judges John Henning, Thomas Steptoe and Thomas Keadle to serve in Jaymie Godwin Wilfong's place. The Supreme Court ruled Thursday to suspend Wilfong through December 2016 and make her pay $8,000 in prosecuting costs. Wilfong had a two-year affair with William Travis Carter, then director of North Central Community Corrections in Elkins.
No word yet if the students who made threats at two different schools Friday will face any charges. One threat was made in Jackson County and another in Lincoln County, and some parents chose not to send their kids to school because of them after word traveled on social media that the schools might be in danger. Ripley High School went into lockdown mode for about 45 minutes, before Ripley Police officers gave the all clear. There was also a police presence at Lincoln County High School, where a student threatened to bring a gun to school. Police are still looking into it.