Breaking Local News

Judge Asked to Reconsider Suit

Kanawha Circuit Judge Duke Bloom dismissed a lawsuit for the former Mayor of South Charleston in January, and the former mayor wants the judge to reconsider. Former South Charleston Mayor Richie Robb claims there are questionable financial practices happening under Frank Mullens current leadership, and the Charleston Gazetter reports Robb has filed two petitions asking the judge to reconsider dismissing the lawsuit. Mullens and Robb are running against each other in the city election coming up in June.

United Way Theft Under Investigation

The United Way of Central West Virginia is looking into the theft of up to $16,000 after a staff member became accused of using the agency's funds to pay personal expenses. The United Way reported it to the Charleston Police Department, and officers are investigating. WCHS TV reports the United Way made the discovery in January and an internal investigation turned up the unapproved transactions over a nine-month period. The employee has been fired, and police will decide whether charges will be filed.

Regional Jail Chief Steps Down

The head of the regional jail authority has announced he's stepping down. Joe DeLong, executive director, of the West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority, will resign effective March 31 to pursue other opportunities, according to a news release from the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety. DeLong was named acting executive director in January 2012, and became the permanent leader eight months after that. DeLong also served four terms in the state House of Delegates and served as House Majority Leader in his final term.

Warrants Issued for Three Suspected Robbers from Ohio

Investigators are looking into a robbery at the Little General BP store on Sissonville Drive off of I-77. It happened Saturday around 5pm, and the Kanawha County Sheriff's Office says three people were involved. First they attempted a purse snatching on the parking lot, but the female victim was able to get away. Then they went inside the store and brandished a sawed-off shotgun and pistol, and demanded money from the clerk. The clerk fled and called 911. The robbers then stole a wallet from someone inside the store and then took off in a dark green minivan, either a Dodge Caravan or Chrysler Town and Country with Ohio plates. They were later at another store in Jackson County, and police there think they were about to rob that one but something interrupted them. Warrants have been issued for Robert Clark, Jeffrey Caley, and Tabatha Hazel, all from Canton, OH. Anyone with information should call 304-357-0169 or submit a tip at www.kanawhasheriff.us.

Layoffs Expected for Alpha Natural Resources

Alpha Natural Resources has announced plans to idle two mines, in Mingo and Logan Counties. The company said on Friday that the plan is happening due to the weak market and federal regulations on coal, and it will idle the Superior North and Trace Fork surface mines, which means layoffs for hundreds of workers. WCHS TV reports some workers may stay on for reclamation work, and several out-of-state mines have been advertising in West Virginia, trying to get workers to relocate.

New Judge Appointed in Randolph County

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has appointed an Elkins attorney to succeed a circuit court judge who resigned after admitting having an affair with a corrections official. Tomblin announced David H. Wilmoth's appointment to the Randolph County judge post Friday. Wilmoth succeeds Jaymie Wilfong, who resigned in November.

Hurricane Voters Approve Levy

Voters in Hurricane said yes to a levy. Levy funds that help pay for two police officers, firefighters, street department employees and paving projects have been approved, and there won't be any interruption in those services.

Much of the State Lacks Proper Internet Access

The Federal Communications Commission recently updated its broadband benchmark speed, and more than half of West Virginians don't have access that meet's today's requirements. The new benchmark for downloads is 25 megabits per second, up from four megabits. The new benchmark for uploads is three megabits per second, up from 1 megabit. In a report released Friday, the FCC says nearly 56 percent of West Virginia residents don't have access to broadband service that meets the new benchmarks. In rural areas of the state, 74 percent of residents lack access. The report says 17 percent of residents nationwide lack access.

School President Faces Allegations

West Liberty University President Robin Capehart faces allegations that he violated state ethics law by using university resources to promote his film company. The allegations are contained in a complaint released this week by the West Virginia Ethics Commission, and they've scheduled an April 16 hearing. The complaint alleges that Capehart used a state purchasing card for expenses related to promoting "Doughboy," a 2011 movie produced by his company, Flyover Films. Capehart also is accused of using university computer equipment for the film's production and promotion, and of using the school's television station to promote the film. Capehart denies the allegations.

Restaurant Week Starts February 2

Local restaurants are showcasing their best next week, and a three-course meal will cost thirty bucks - that's an appetizer, entree, and dessert. There are 16 spots that will be part of Charleston Restaurant Week Feb. 2-7, including 5 Corners Café, Adelphia Sports Bar & Grille, B&D Gastropub, Black Sheep Burrito & Brews, Bluegrass Kitchen, Bridge Road Bistro, Celsius, Ichiban Pan-Asian Restaurant, Laury’s, Mi Cocina de Amor, Paterno’s at the Park, Soho’s at Capitol Market, South Hills Market & Café, Starling’s Coffee & Provisions, Tidewater Grill and Quarrier Diner. There are posters up around town, or you can go to www.facebook.com/eatlocalcwv for more.

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