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A shooting early Saturday on Charleston's West Side is still under investigation. Police found more than 40 shell casings along Washington Street West, and they think those came from more than one single gun, and there may be several suspects. At least two people were shot, but the injuries were non-life threatening. No arrests just yet, and police are still investigating to see whether the shooting was drug related.
A Charleston man is facing drug charges for allegedly dealing crack out of his home. Stanley Bebee's lives on Charleston's east end, and officers report finding a small amount of crack cocaine in his home. Bebee is charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance.
South Charleston police also made a drug arrest over the weekend. James E. Meddings was arrested Saturday evening on MacCorkle Avenue, and police found several bags of bath salts, along with meth and prescription pain pills. Meddings has been charged with possession with intent to deliver.
Charleston Mayor Danny Jones released a statement Thursday about his son's drug arrest. 23-year-old Zac Jones was arrested earlier in the day on charges of possession with intent to deliver an ounce of cocaine. Mayor Jones said in the statement he was relieved when I found out Zac was arrested because he knows the only things that might save his life are isolation and incarceration. The mayor said Zac is a hopeless drug addict who has broken the heart and the will of everyone and anyone who has tried to help him. Zac Jones was pulled over for speeding, and the criminal complaint says 5.7 grams of cocaine were found during a search of the vehicle.
Kanawha County Sheriff's deputies were called Wednesday night to 206 Broadlawn Terrace in Pinch, and were able to catch a glimpse of people hiding materials used to make methamphetamine. After getting a search warrant, the deputies discovered what they have described as a “medium size” clandestine laboratory. Four people were arrested and charged, including the home's owner, Robert “Bob” Jarvis of Pinch. Two from Charleston were arrested - Shawn Pittman and David Moore, along with Thomas Huffman of Clendenin. Captain Sean Crosiers says Jarvis was arrested about six months ago at the same home for making methamphetamine.
Cedar Grove police arrested a man Thursday whom they think was dealing drugs near Cedar Grove Community School. Edward Spaulding's arrest came after an 18-month investigation which started with an e-mailed tip. Spaulding faces two counts of delivery of a controlled substance and one count of possession with intent to deliver within 1000 feet of a school.
Two West Virginia University researchers say efforts to get people to stop messing with cell phones in the car is having little effect. Jeffrey Coben and Motao Zhu reported their conclusions in the latest issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Coben is interim dean of the WVU School of Public Health. Research shows the number of injuries and fatalities caused by cell phone use while driving has increased by 22 percent between 2005 and 2009. They think the problem will continue to get worse, despite efforts to stop distracted driving. The researches did urge for new technology, that could perhaps disable hand-held devices when vehicles are in motion.
Charleston police have been combing over surveillance video, trying to identify members of a crowd who stood and watched a man get beaten with bricks Monday evening. Two people were arrested Wednesday morning related to the attack, and they've been charged with malicious wounding. Police say Brandon Douglass and Dana Lafond have been booked, and await more court dates. 20-year old Brandon Coltey was beaten along Laidley Street at the entrance to Transit Mall Monday around 8pm, and while he's still in the hosptial reports say he has been showing signs of recovery.
Travelers at Charleston's Yeager Airport will soon have another option. American Airlines has announced it will offer daily jet service between Charleston and DFW starting June 12th, and a news release from Yeager Airport says the route will utilize a 50-seat Bombardier CRJ-200 aircraft. Governor Earl Ray Tomblin welcomes the news and says it will provide quick and easy business trips, and help travelers experience things that make each state great. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport has grown to become American’s largest hub.
The Kanawha County school board is facing a lawsuit from three students who claimed they were victims of sexual molestation and the board didn't protect them. The students accuse their JROTC instructor, Edwin Smuda of the sexual misconduct and filed three separate lawsuits. Smuda arrived at South Charleston High School in the late 1990's, but it was much later that he was arrested on sexual abuse charges, and committed suicide after resigning from the high school. WSAZ TV reports the victims claim the school board knew or should have known about the incidents and did nothing to protect the students or investigate. The board did suspend Smuda at one point.
Here's a headline we haven't heard in awhile. Gas prices have dropped. Gasoline prices are down 6 cents on average this week in West Virginia, according to AAA East Central. The agency said motorists are paying about $3.81 per gallon now, which is within one penny of what gas prices were a year ago in the state. Prices currently range from $3.72 in Bridgeport and Clarksburg to $3.89 in Martinsburg. Gas buddy.com says Charleston is right in the middle at about $3.75. Nitro and St. Albans are slightly lower. Nationally, gas prices average $3.74.