Breaking Local News
Did you vote in Charleston's first People's Choice Awards? The Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau sought votes using QR codes scanned by smart phones at hotels and restaurants, and online ballots were available to those who wanted to vote with a mouse click. Here's how it all turned out: Mountain Stage is the favorite attraction, FestivALL the favorite event and Taylor Books is the favorite retail store or boutique. Other winners include Pies & Pints for favorite restaurant, Embassy Suites for favorite lodging.
With the warmer weather comes the opportunity to swim at public pools, adn the city of Charleston needs lifeguards to attend them. So far only 10 people have applied to be lifeguards at five pools, and to be fully staffed Charleston needs about 40. Not finding 40 lifeguards might mean some pools would stay closed this summer, or hours would be shortened. To apply, just go to the city of Charleston's website.
A former West Virginia sheriff will spend a year in federal prison. Robert Shirley was sentenced Monday for his role in the December 2010 beating of a robbery suspect, and the U.S. District Judge in Wheeling also ordered 18 months' probation and that Shirley pay his victim restitution totaling $1,850. The twelve month sentence is less than the 33 months recommended under federal guidelines. At Shirley's sentencing, a retired state trooper and three community leaders pleaded for leniency. Shirley apologized for his conduct. The beating of the robbery suspect occurred after a chase through the Eastern Panhandle.
Charleston City Collector Tonya Cotton is in the process of sending out letters to lobbyists, accountants, doctors and others who need a license to do business in the city. Charleston city council members passed a bill to license these types of service providers on April 15th, and it will cost $20 per year. Wheeling was the first city to charge a fee for a service provider license, and state statute allows all municipalities to do it. The fee can't go beyond $20, because that's the maximum allowed by the state. In order to be issued a license, businesses will have to be current on business and occupation taxes, fees, interest and penalties.
A Putnam County explosion has left two people injured. An explosion Monday afternoon involving more than 50 barrels continaing a substance used in welding left two men with second-degree burns. It happened at Airgas, along Route 62 in Black Betsy, near Poca. The explosions caused a fire inside the building but was put out by firefighters. Route OSHA has taken over the investigation.
The University of Charleston athletic program is seeing its share of attention right now, with the arrest of three basketball players on robbery charges. Now three UC football players have been arrested, after marijuana was mailed to a house in Charleston. A criminal complaint on file in Kanawha County Magistrate Court shows officers attempted a controlled delivery to a house on Callie Road last week, and 22-year old Markel Vaughn who lives there, accepted the package. 21-year old Reggie Dillingham, 21-year old Bryant Leighton, and 21-year old Ronald Kelly, all UC football players, were also arrested. The university says all three have been suspended from the football team.
Some fires in Summersville in Nicholas County are under investigation. Three fires in the span of a week have some neighbors on edge, after several arsons last year. An apartment fire left seven people homeless Wednesday, fire destoyed another apartment complext May 4th, and fire also broke out in a vacant building last week. All three fires are under investigation, and the cause has not benn released. Two people are awaiting trail for several fires in February 2012.
A man is at South Central Regional Jail today after a domestic violence call along Empress Road in Elkview late Saturday night. The criminal complaint says 48-year old Gary Paybins of Elkview was visibly upset and his wife was in tears, and said the argument was over, but at one point Paybins had grabbed his wife's neck and thrown her down. At one point Paybins tried to grab a gun hidden in his pants, but troopers were able to restrain him. Paybins struggled, and police had to use pepper spray to take him into custody. Charges incude domestic assault, domestic battery, two counts of assault on a police officer, two counts of battery and obstructing.
Sen. Joe Manchin's office has announced an ambitious plan to hold 95 public meetings in one week. It's a way for the senator to connect with constituents and hear concerns, and after starting the meetings in 2011, this will be the fifth time that Manchin has held a week of "Commonsense Connections" meetings. In Kanawha County, you can attend from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 21 at the Kanawha Valley Senior Services annual picnic at Shawnee Park. In Putnam County, the meeting is planned for 2:30 to 4 p.m. May 22 at the Eleanor Public Library. In Fayette County: 5:30 to 7 p.m. May 23 at the Oak Hill Public Library. Meetings are planned for all 55 counties, and you can check the schedule at http://www.manchin.senate.gov.
Charleston Distance Run is going to help the military this year. The Wounded Warrior Project will get $1 from every registration fee at the Distance Run, which could turn into more than $1000 for the group. Last year there were about 1500 participants. The Wounded Warrior Project works with injured service members. The Distance Run is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. Aug. 31. Military members can also get a discount in registration for the run. The 15-mile run starts at the state Capitol, moves through downtown and neighborhoods, and finishes at the University of Charleston’s Laidley Field.