Breaking Local News

Hearse stolen then dumped

Who would steal a hearse? Someone swiped a hearse as funeral home workers were picking up a body from a home in Dunbar on Wednesday then drove the hearse to Charleston's West Side. Dunbar Police say Keller Funeral Home workers left the keys in the ignition, and when they came back outside the hearse was gone. It was located later along Red Oak Street on the West Side, about 10 miles from the home and nothing appeared to be missing. It was a joy ride as far as police can tell, but a crime nonetheless.

Shoflifting ring cracked

Police have infiltrated a shoplifting ring and recoverd thousands of dollars in stolen goods. Officers arrested Joseph Cook on Tuesday evening at Lowe's in the Trace Fork Shopping Center along Corridor G, and he was caught trying to conceal a drill in his pants. The tools were valued at about $300. Police think Cook was part of a larger shoplifting ring where items where stolen and sold at pawn shops. The thefts came from Lowes, Dicks Sporting Goods, Walmart, and Cabela's, mostly in South Charleston. There has been one other arrest so far.

Mine safety to be analyzed

The National Institute of Occupational Health wants to do research on the health and safety of miners, and get their input along the way. The proposal was published in the Federal Register on Monday and is available for public comment now. Because of mine disasters, new safety devices have been mandated including devuces like wireless communication systems and personal dust monitors. The federal agency wants permission to observe miners at work and distribute questionaires with the goal of increasing safety.

Homicide investigation continues

The Kanawha County sheriff's office is investigating a shooting that happened early Wednesday at 3834 Sissonville Drive. Dale Thomas Newhouse lives at the home and was outside waiting for officers when they arrived. The shooting victim, 41-year old James Bryan Shaffer of Charleston was found inside the home with a gunshot wound to the abdomen and did not survive. The Kanawha Bureau of Investigation is looking into the relationships between the parties involved and the possible motives, but they have yet to uncover what might have led to the violence. They've been interviewing relatives and witnesses. Newhouse was taken to the South Central Regional Jail on a Homicide charge.

Courts to hear case on vaccination requirements

A hearing is set for Friday in Elkins over the new state vaccination requirements. A Pickens high school student and her father sued the county school board over the mandatory immunizations, and the district filed a motion to dismiss the complaint, arguing the state Department of Health and Human Resources should have been a defendant, and lawsuits against state agencies must be filed in Kanawha County. Other motions have been filed as well, and once it's all decided the outcome could have major implications on the vaccination rules for all West Virginia students.

Mountain State sells some assests

With December 31st and the loss of accreditation approaching, Mountain State University has sold its two airplanes. Interim President Richard Sours told the Register-Herald a small single-engine airplane and a twin-engine corporate airplane were sold several weeks ago. The president's home and other assets are not for sale, and there's no current plan to sell the Martinsburg Mall, according to the interim president. The University of Charleston took over Mountain State's campuses in Beckley and Martinsburg so students can complete their degrees.

Pumpkin Drop to challenge students October 18

October 18th will be the day that students from dozens of West Virginia schools will get together for the 14th annual Capital City Pumpkin Drop in Charleston. Students will apply their best science and math skills to come up with containers that will protect a pumpkin when it's dropped from a designated height at Appalachian Power Park. Faculty and staff from Bridgemont Community and Technical College will judge, with the goal being to get kids interested in science, technology, engineering and math, and to spawn creativity.

High Court upholds WV redistricting

U.S. Supreme Court justices on Tuesday upheld West Virginia's congressional redistricting plan, which means they reversed a lower federal court ruling that struck down the plan. The high court said the West Virginia plan is fine, and that the population variations are too small to cause any constitutional concerns about the principle of one person, one vote. The high court took it a step farther and said West Virginia's works well when it comes to keeping counties intact and not pitting incumbents against each other.

Arrests made in Sky Lounge shooting

A Charleston man has been arrested in connection with Saturday's triple shooting at the Sky Lounge. The man's friend was arrested for being a felon in possession of a firearm. An argument became heated inside the bar, and after staff escorted the men outside shots were fired by someon from the street. Surveillance footage helped police identify 19-year old Braheem Jamal Griffin of Charleston, and he was arrested Tuesday afternoon. His friend, 24-year old Curtis Watkins of Charleston was also arrested. Both were carrying handguns at the time, according to police. Those shot have been treated and released at the hospital.

Memorial set to honor mining activist

The late Mining Activist Larry Gibson will be remembered at a memorial service October 14. The Keepers of the Mountains Foundation will hold the public memorial service from 2-6 p.m. at the Charleston Municipal Auditorium for Gobson, who died of a heart attack Sept. 9 at his home on Kayford Mountain in Raleigh County at the age of 66. He became well known in his opposition of strip mining after speaking out against it for years, and forming a foundation eight years ago. Gibson protected his family's 50 acres from mining and was buried there in a private service Sept. 13. The Changing of the Leaves Music Festival will be held there at 1 p.m. on Oct. 13, the day before the memorial service.

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