Breaking Local News

Former Freedom Execs Respond to New Charges

Four former Freedom Industries executives were arraigned on a superseding indictment Thursday, stemming from the chemical spill last January. The superseding indictment contains a new charge against former Freedom President Gary Southern stemming from the company's bankruptcy and restates the original charges against him and three other former executives. Southern faces a new count of fraud by interstate commercial carrier. He, William Tis, Charles Herzing and Dennis Farrell previously were charged with violating the federal Clean Water Act. In court filings this week, Southern, Tis and Herzing pleaded not guilty to the superseding indictment and waived their rights to be present at yesterday's arraignment. Farrell pleaded not guilty at the arraignment.

Dates Announced for History Bowl

Regional competitions start next month in the sixth annual West Virginia History Bowl, which tests eighth-grade history buffs on their knowledge of West Virginia culture, geography, literature and sports. The eight regional matches are scheduled to take place from Feb. 6 to March 7, and then the winner and runner-up teams will be invited to the tournament championship at the Culture Center in Charleston on May 5.

Tech Chancellor Steps Down

The chancellor of West Virginia's community and technical college system is leaving after 11 years on the job. Chancellor James Skidmore announced Thursday he will leave his post on June 30. He was the first chancellor of the system. Skidmore sought improvements to infrastructure and the creation of two advanced technology centers during his tenure. A search committee will be formed to find a successor.

Supporters Rally to Legalize Marijuana

Those in favor of legalizing marijana gathered at the Kanawha County Courthouse Thursday to support a man who filed a petition against the governor, the attorney general and West Virginia legislatures. The man wants an investigation into why marijuana is not legal. At the very least, the medical marijuana issue is expected to be introduced in the state legislature again this session.

Questions Pop Up During Main Street Merger

East End Main Street and West Side Main Street announced last fall that they'd merge, and some East End board members raised questions about it Wednesday. Both districts would keep their board of directors at 15 members, but each district direct would be hired or fired by Charleston's Main Street executive director. The Charleston Gazette reports East End Main Street director Ric Cavender is slated to take on that position once the two organizations are combined. Forming a selection committee is one option, and the board left the action plan as subject to change as the merger process continues.

CAMC Faces Fines

State regulators have fined Charleston Area Medical Center $48,049 for hazardous waste violations at its three hospitals. A consent order says the violations include failing to keep containers closed when not adding or moving hazardous waste, failing to properly package broken lamps containing mercury and accepting and storing hazardous waste off-site without a permit. The order says the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection discovered the violations during inspections of CAMC's Memorial Hospital, General Hospital and Women and Children's Hospital in June 2014. The DEP has approved a corrective plan submitted by CAMC.

Juvenile Arrested After Capital High Sexual Assault

After an alleged sexual assault at Capital High School on Monday, police have arrested one juvenile. The juvenile has been charged with second degree sexual assault, and the investigation is continuing. Charleston police say the alleged rape happened Monday morning on school grounds, and the 17-year old boy allegedly sexually assaulted a 15-year old girl under a stairwell. There is surveillance video showing part of what happened, and police have also been conducting interviews. State law requires school administrators to notify police of any alleged sexual assaults immediately, or within 48 hours. After the Monday morning incident, the teen was arrested Tuesday night.

Study Shows Drop-Off for Greyhound Racing

A new study shows greyhound racing in West Virginia may not be a great boost for the economy. The study commissioned by the legislature says wagering has dropped 55 percent in 10 years, from $35 million in 2004 to $15.8 million in 2013. Attendance at the state's two tracks has also dropped off. The Charleston Gazette reports the Spectrum Gaming Group suggests the state eliminate greyhound racing subsidies either by allowing the host casinos to keep the revenue to improve their bottom lines which may help deal with increased competition. One more fact the study includes... 618 people are directly employed in full- and part-time positions in greyhound racing in the state, wondering about the security of the industry.

Dunbar Man Faces Drug Charges After Stash Is Found Under His Home

A Dunbar man is facing charges after police say they found a large stash of marijuana under his home. 23-year old Joe Green has been charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and violation of home confinement, after the pot was found under Green’s home in the 200 block of Young Street last week.

Kanawha County Sheriff's Office Investigates Phone Scam

The Kanawha County Sheriff's Office is investigating a phone scam. Cpl B-D Humphreys says a call came to the Oaks Tree Inn in Comfort, and the man said he was with the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office and was raising money for underprivileged children, and that he needed a place to stay. He said he would provide additional documentation, but hasn't yet. No money exchanged hands, but investigators are curious if any other people were victimized. The Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office is not conducting any fundraising efforts right now, so if you think you might have been a victim, call the sheriff's office to report it at 304-357-0169.

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