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West Virginia Department of Education has released the results of standardized test scores. Every public school in the state is designated as a SUCCESS, TRANSITION, FOCUS, SUPPORT or PRIORITY school. At Alum Creek Elementary, students fell below the Met Index Target, and failed to reach at least 50 percent o targets in math and reading, and it received the Support designation. Kenna Elementary reached the Met Index Target and landed in the Success category. Cross Lanes Elementary was also in the Success category. Lakewood Elementary is in the Transition category along with Clendenin Elementary. More schools' scores and in depth analysis is available on the state Dept. of Education website.
As the state's home rule pilot program expands, there are four Kanawha County cities that plan to apply. The Daily Mail reports St. Albans, Nitro, Dunbar and South Charleston have all expressed interest. The home rule program gives cities more control over ordinances and taxes, and could help with a number of things, including cleaning up old, dilapidated buildings and making the permitting system easier. The state Legislature expanded the pilot program this year to allow up to 20 cities to participate. The program already includes Charleston, Huntington, Wheeling and Bridgeport.
In less than a week, a new book will be out that highlights the history of Putnam County. Several local contributors offered old photographs and personal accounts for the book, which will be released September 9th. The Charleston Gazette talked with Sam Sentelle, a former Putnam County Schools superintendent, who said the Kanawha River used to be the only pathway to get to Charleston, and now it's a barrier. Three bridges have gone up to get over it. Proceeds from the book will go toward Rivers to Ridges, which works on preservation projects like restoring Hometown Park, which was damaged during last year's derecho storm.
A Putnam County special needs teacher's aide has been charged with raping a former student. David Gibson was a teacher's aide at Hurricane High School, and the 21-year-old victim told investigators that she went to stay at Gibson's home for a week and that's when he tried to have sex with her. WCHS TV reports Gibson got her drunk and had sex with her, which is considered rape. Gibson is currently in the Western Regional Jail.
Toyota is expanding in Putnam County and adding about 80 new jobs. The company confirms it's going to increase its 6-speed automatic transmission assembly and machining capacity by 20,000 per month in 2015 at the Buffalo Plant. It's a $102 million investment for the company, and a $90 million boost to the plant in Buffalo, which employs 1,300 people.
A Hurricane man is behind bars on drug-related charges, and it turns out he's the brother of Marshall football coach Doc Holliday. Michael Holliday had been sought on charges including operating or attempting to operate a clandestine drug lab; exposure of children to meth manufacturing; and for having meth-making materials. Drug officers investigated after getting information that Holliday was cooking meth at his home on Hurricane Creek Road. He turned himself in to authorities on Monday afternoon and was arraigned Monday night.
The Fayette County Sheriff's Office thinks four suspects passed counterfeit bills over the weekend. Reports of the fake bills came Saturday at the Spotlight nightclub in Oak Hill, where two women said four men were handing out money to "all of the pretty girls" in the bar, according to a release from the Fayette County Sheriff's Office. The bills the men were passing out were $50 and $100's, and the men paid for drinks at the bar using $20 bills. Deputies are looking for four young black males, possibly visiting from North Carolina and staying at the Pine Knoll Apartments in Oak Hill. Anyone with information should contact the Fayette County sheriff's office.
An area landmark has its national recognition. The New River Gorge Bridge near Fayetteville has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. The bridge opened in 1977, and was the longest steel arch bridge in the world when it opened. It's still the longest single-span steel arch bridge in the United States, and it's the third highest bridge in the nation at almost 900 feet.
The Kanawha/Charleston animal shelter is making an effort to find homes for as many pets as possible. The shelter is running at capacity and hasn't had room for more animals lately. At the same time, the Charleston Gazette reports Humane officers brought in 17 dogs from one Charleston home on Wednesday, which put further strain on the shelter. To try to place as many animals as possible, adoption fees are being reduced. The shelter is also looking for foster homes.
You'll have the chance to view a little bit of history this weekend. Yesterday a World War II ship that was at D-Day on June 6, 1944, docked in Charleston. The nonprofit group, USS LST Memorial, says the LST 325 is a 328-foot-long landing ship tank that docked at Haddad Riverfront Park and opens for tours today between 9 and 5. The ship was built in Philadelphia by the U.S. Navy Shipyard and saw its first action in October 1942. It made more than 40 trips from England to Normandy in support of U.S. troops.
Tickets are $10 for adults; $5 for ages 6-17; and free for ages 5 and under. Family tickets (two adults and two children) can be obtained for $20. School groups can tour the ship for $3 per student, with one chaperone admitted for free per 10 students.