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Law enforcement agencies across the country are teaming up for the seventh National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day this weekend. It runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at more than 130 locations across West Virginia, including the state Capitol in Charleston. Officers will collect unused medication and safely dispose of it, to keep it out of the wrong hands and also protect the environment. Prescription drug abuse is a widespread problem in West Virginia and nationally.
The wife of a local mayor has been arrested. Norma Fields, the wife of Pratt Mayor Gary Fields was arrested last night after being accused of violating a protection order. Court documents show Fields went to the Pratt Municipal Building and confronted a city employee who had an order of protection filed against her. She was taken to the South Central Regional Jail.
An apartment fire that broke out after a one-pot meth lab exploded has charges attached to it now. The blaze started around 9am Monday morning in the 5800 block of Starling Drive in Rand. Maria Young was found collapsed in the yard of the 4-unit building and was treated for smoke inhalation. Greg Young also lived inside the apartment that caught fire. Investigators spent time Monday testing the building and treating it for contamination. Charges are pending.
Investigators were on the scene much of the day Monday after a house fire in Logan County killed two children under the age of 8. The fire was reported around 5am and the duplex was fully engulfed by the time firefighters got there. The parent made it out, but was unable to go back for the children. The duplex is on Canton Lane in Logan. No word yet what caused the fire.
Governor Earl Ray Tomblin held a video teleconference Monday from Zurich, Switzerland, and said his European Investment mission is turning up some prospects. The governor said he has met with 23 prospects that might offer some investment potential in West Virginia. He also attended a luncheon with a Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce that might turn out to be productive. The governor's journey to Europe includes meetings in Spain, France, Germany and Italy to strengthen trade relationships and promote West Virginia.
The coyotes aren't going anywhere. A state wildlife official says little can be done to control coyotes that have sprung up in urban areas. Division of Natural Resources wildlife chief Curtis Taylor tells the Charleston Daily Mail that coyotes thrive in urban areas. They increase their reproductive rate if a lot are killed. He says the best thing residents can do is avoid the animals. Pets should be kept inside from dusk to dawn, when coyotes are most active. Debbie Cobb of Charleston cares for a colony of feral cats in her neighborhood. She says two have been killed in recent weeks, and she suspects coyotes are the culprits.
The Charleston City Council on Monday night made some changes to the way elections will be carried out from now on in the city. The move combines city elections with county and state, which the city hopes will save money and increase voter turnout. Taxpayers pay up to an extra $100,000 per election currently, with the city on its own election cycle. The new ordinance will sync up the elections by 2018.
West Virginia's state park system is getting a closer look by state lawmakers. As they get set for the 2014 legislative session, lawmakers are looking at funding options for the upkeep of a network of 35 parks, seven forests, five wildlife management areas and two rail trails that attracted more than 6.6 million visits last year. West Virginia is one of just a few states that doesn't charge an entry fee, and some hope to keep that going. There is a fee for staying overnight at lodges and campsites. The review by lawmakers includes discussions about finding a revenue source for repair and maintenance work.
There are plans in Beckley to tear down a feed and hardware store that is on the National Register of Historic Places, and a McDonalds will go up in its place. The Charleston Gazette reports the owner decided to accept an offer to sell and move on. That means the Beckley Feed and Hardware building was built in 1935 will be torn down, and plans have already been approved by the Beckley Code Enforcement department. The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001, which was the first year it was eligible.
As expected, thousands turned out for Bridge Day over the weekend. The event featured hundreds of BASE jumpers on the New River Gorge Bridge in Fayette County, and thousands of spectators turned out to watch them take the 876-foot plunge. It was an economic boost for many Fayette County businesses, especially those on Route 19 up to the bridge. That was the 34th year for the Bridge Day festival, and featured competitors from several countries and all but ten states in the US.