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The city of Charleston remains undecided as to whether it will reapply for the state's Municipal Home Rule Program or not. During the 2013 legislative session, lawmakers added to the bill a set of limitations regarding cities' abilities to implement gun control laws. It passed after a House-Senate compromise was reached.
A Charleston gynecologist who was criticized by a member of the House of Delegates for comments he made about abortion calls her complaints, "a poorly executed political stunt."
Delegate Nancy Guthrie, D-Kanawha, wrote a letter to the West Virginia Board of Medicine last week asking it to investigate claims made by Dr. Byron Calhoun, vice chairman of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department at West Virginia University Physicians of Charleston about a letter he wrote to West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey in June outlining his concerns about the state's abortion clinics. Calhoun claimed he commonly treats patients at Women and Children's Hospital for abortion complications and argued that tattoo parlors and veterinary hospitals are better regulated than abortion clinics. Guthrie wrote in her complaint that Calhoun possibly violated the codes of medical conduct for not reporting substandard services he allegedly observed.
The Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office is continuing its investigation into the shooting death of a ten year old female on Pentacre Road near Quick, WV, yesterday evening (December 22, 2013). When all evidence, statements, and reports are completed the sum will be given to the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney of Kanawha County for review. That office will determine whether or not to pursue criminal charges in the matter. The shooting is still viewed as an accidental event. Among the several questions posed to the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office today was one on the nature of the relationship between the involved nine year old boy and ten year old girl. They were friends and were not relatives. They were visiting the residence of a family member of the nine year old male. No additional information on the incident will be released this date. When more information is available another press release will be distributed.
The Charleston Gazette reported this week that the West Virginia Attorney General's Office and Kanawha County Clerk Vera McCormick asked a federal judge this week to dismiss a lawsuit challenging West Virginia's ban on gay marriage. New York-based gay rights group Lambda Legal filed the federal lawsuit in October on behalf of three same-sex couples and the child of one couple. The lawsuit contends West Virginia's Defense of Marriage Act unfairly discriminates against same-sex couples and their children. A motion filed by assistant attorney general Julie Ann Warren contends that the plaintiffs have no legal basis to challenge the law. A separate motion filed by McCormick's attorney says the matter should be handled by the state's legislative process.
More than 500 DUI arrests were made during a three-day campaign across six states. West Virginia State Police joined forces with Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Indiana state police agencies for a three-day DUI campaign between December 6th and 8th for the 6 State Trooper Project. Drunk drivers were the target, and during the blitz, 572 DUI arrests were made. State police plan sobriety checkpoints throughout the state and throughout the year, and plan to continue to target impaired drivers and encourage those who drink to use designated drivers.
A Charleston man faces up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty in federal court to distributing heroin. 19-year old Brandon Christopher Solomon, also known as "Fresh", admitted that he sold heroin to a police informant, and will be sentenced in March . Solomon's arrest was made as part of Charleston's Drug Market Intervention Initiative that was launched in February 2012 by U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin and Charleston Police Chief Brent Webster, in collaboration with other agencies and leaders representing several West Side community development organizations. For more, go to www.wsaz.com.
Each year the Kanawha County sheriff's office recognizes one Deputy Sheriff as the Deputy of the Year, and during a ceremony Thursday the award went to Cpl. John Ratliff, a 9 year veteran of the Kanawha Coounty Sheriff's office. Ratliff received the honor at the Kanawha County Commission meeting and says it was truly an honor to be recognized by his peers:
Supervisors of each patrol shift and subdivision of the agency nominate one person who has gone beyond the scope of duty to help others, worked after-hours to solve a case, or been looked to by coworkers for advice.
West Virginia now has nearly 750 nationally certified teachers. The Department of Education says 53 teachers received National Board Certification in 2013. That brings the state's total to 749. The department says National Board Certification means the teachers have successfully demonstrated advanced teaching knowledge, skills and practices.
Two men are headed to prison for participating in a failed theft that caused an ammonia leak in Kanawha County. U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said 36-year old Jason Hudnall of Malden received a three-and-a-half year sentence and 48-year old John Wesley Tucker of Georges Creek received a one-year sentence in U.S. District Court in Charleston. Goodwin said Tucker, Hudnall and two others attempted to steal anhydrous ammonia from a storage tank at a mine waste water treatment site in 2008. About 500 gallons leaked after they split a theft-prevention valve cover. Hudnall pleaded guilty in September to conspiracy to steal anhydrous ammonia and negligent release of anhydrous ammonia into the air. Tucker pleaded guilty in October
A gun rights group has gone to court in an attempt to stop enforcement of Charleston's gun ordinances. The West Virginia Citizens Defense League asked Kanawha Circuit Court his week to issue an injunction against the ordinances, saying Charleston isn't complying with a new state law that removed the authority to regulate guns from cities participating in West Virginia's home rule program. Charleston officials haven't decided whether to opt out of the program or modify the city's gun ordinances. The ordinances limit handgun purchases and prohibit handguns and other deadly weapons on public property. City Attorney Paul Ellis says the city will review the complaint and respond in court.