Breaking Local News

Former Fire Chief Faces Embezzlement Charge

A grand jury in Fayette County has indicted the former chief of a volunteer fire department and his wife. Ex-Smithers fire chief Timothy M. Whittington is facing one felony count of embezzlement. His wife, Patricia A. Whittington, was indicted on one count of fraudulent schemes after the two were allegedly involved in taking department funds for personal use. The indictment says Timothy Whittington is accused of taking money from the fire department between July 2010 and September 2012. An audit showed thousands of dollars went missing from the department. Whittington resigned last year. The couple's arraignment is scheduled for May 24 in Fayette County Circuit Court.

Routine Patrol Leads to Drug Bust

Early Thursday morning in the Marmet area, two Kanawha County Sheriff's deputies pulled over an SUV, and a drug sniffing dog could smell something from the exterior. A search turned up more than two pounds of marijuana, along with 291 Oxycodone 30 mg tablets. Together the drugs have an estimated street value of over 20-thousand dollars. More than 6-thousand dollars in cash was found in the vehicle too. 27-year old Eugene J. Lobaugh of Cleveland, Ohio was arrested and charged with two counts of possession with intent to deliver controlled substances, both felonies.

Superstorm Sandy Relief is Coming

West Virginia is getting more than $1 million in federal funding to help with last fall's storm. The response to the snowstorm that Hurricane Sandy spawned last fall was costly, with more than 2 feet of snow in some areas. Seven people died and the storm knocked out electricity to more than a quarter-million customers. Congress passed a final relief package in January. U.S. Sens. Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin announced the latest award from the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Thursday. They say it will go to the Office of the Adjutant General for the costs of activating the National Guard and implementing a statewide emergency plan. It also reimburses West Virginia for search-and-rescue efforts, emergency patrols, medical support and debris clearing.

St. Albans Man Sentenced for Child Pornography

A man convicted in 1989 on sexual abuse charges is now going to prison for child pornography. 54-year old Jonathan Douglas Layne of St. Albans was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison this week, and then he'll be supervised for 20 years after his release, according to a media release from U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin. Layne pleaded guilty in January to having more than 600 inappropriate pictures and videos. Goodwin says since January 2012, twenty-two defendents have been convicted as part of an ongoing initiative to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse:

School Board Considers Raises for Principals

Kanawha County School Superintendent Ron Duerring recently got a raise of more than $7,000, and last night at a school board meeting, members considered raises for principals too. There was much discussion about the impact that might have on the budget, and also the need to recognize good work of those who haven't had raises in recent years. No final decisions were made.

Man With Samurai Sword Likely Under the Influence

A routine police patrol led to an arrest Tuesday night. Corporal B. D. Humphreys with the Kanawha County Sheriff's office tells us a deputy spotted a man walking, and that man reached around his shoulder and grabbed a 4-foot samurai sword handle that was in a sheath strapped to his back. The man later identified as 35-year old Chaten Nelson turned toward the deputy in a fighting stance and walked toward the officer, who drew a gun and ordered him to put down the sword. Eventually he did, and was arrested. Corporal Humphreys says Nelson possessed more than a sword:

He was taken to Kanawha County Magistrate Court for arraignment on charges of brandishing a deadly weapon and simple possession.

WVU Sets Date for Bidding Rights

West Virginia University is in the process of getting bids for media rights, and the school has set a date for bidders. Those who want to bid for multimedia rights to certain athletic events have until June 18 to respond to a new request for proposals. WVU announced last month it would rebid the contract after a review by the state attorney general's office found "significant errors and sloppiness" in how a previous deal was crafted. This time, the process will be led by Chief Procurement Officer Brenda Mowen. Two WVU Board of Governors members shouldn't have participated in reviewing the bids, but Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said he found "no evidence of intentional wrongdoing."

Magazine Says Charleston Among the Laziest

Men's Health Magazine ranked 100 US cities in terms of their acitivity level for men, and Charleston didn't earn stellar marks. The magazine looked at the number of hiking trails, lakes, skiing opportunities, and other outdoor activities, and found Portland, Oregon to be the most active. On the other end of the spectrum, and the laziest according to Men's Health....Charleston, West Virginia; Nashville, Tennessee; Columbia, South Carolina; Birmingham, Alabama; and Lexington, Kentucky.

Search Warrant Turns up Guns and Drugs

West Virginia State police say the investigation goes back five months, and a search warrant Wednesday turned up dozens of guns and drugs. The weapons were found throughout the home - more than a hundred shoved into every nook and cranny of a convicted felon's house, even under the home. Dorsey Junior Wooline was arrested at the home at 125 Summit Creek near Belle. Troopers think the meth was being shipped to the house from out of state. State police also recovered stolen items at the home, including computers, TVs, and tools.

Jobless Rate Shows Improvement

Good news as the economy continues to improve. West Virginia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for April was 6.6 percent, the lowest it's been in four years. WorkForce West Virginia said Tuesday that's down four-tenths of a percentage point from the previous month. County-by-county figures won't be available for another week or so.

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