Breaking Local News
Sen. Jay Rockefeller had a new responsibility yesterday as chair over a Washington hearing over online retailers and state sales tax laws. Rockefeller has said in the past that land-based retailers in West Virginia are at the mercy of a 6 percent to 10 percent price disadvantage when competing with online retailers who don't have to pay the tax. The senator is co-sponsoring legislation that would eliminate that disadvantage.
The US Mine Safety and Health Administration has confirmed that a miner died Tuesday at Arch Coal Inc.’s Beckley Pocahontas Mine in Raleigh County. The MSHA says 43-year old Gregory A Byers of Beckley was hurt when he was struck by a battery-powered scoop and pinned. He was taken to a hospital via amubulance where he died late Tuesday. An investigation into the circumstances surrounding the accident has begun.
Plenty of folks lined up Wednesday for free ears of corn at the state Capitol. It's become a tradition for State Agriculture Commissioner Gus Douglass, although someone new will have to take over next year as Douglass is not running for office again. He passed out dozens of ears of sweet corn cooked on the grill at the State Capitol grounds yesterday, which capped the last day of the State Capitol farmers market for this year.
Hearings have wrapped up over Century Aluminum's rates after three days of testimony. Century Aluminum wants a new structure that would protect it from the aluminum price swings of the recession, and has put out a plan where Appalachian Power customers would subsidize the company's power costs when the aluminum market is low. An attorney representing West Virginia's largest manufacturers told the state Public Service Commission the rate request is unreasonable, and asked commissioners to reject the plan. Century Aluminum says the rate increase is necessary and it would help it reopen its Ravenswood smelter. A decision is expected to be issued after August 22nd.
Shawn Lester of Charleston reached a plea deal earlier this week in the sniper-style killings of 2003, pleading guilty to second degree murder in connection with just one of the three deaths. As part of the plea deal, Lester can't be tried on the other two murders. The state is recommending a 30-year sentence, although Lester could get between 10 and 40 years.
Kanawha County Sheriff's Deputies were called to a robbery Tuesday morning at Kelly's Kafé, at 7030 MacCorkle Ave in Jefferson. The clerk said a man walked into the cafe and began verbally threatening to kill the female clerk as
he demanded money. The suspect made off with an undisclosed amount of money and got into a red small size truck and fled west on US60 toward St. Albans. Investigators describe the suspect as a white man in his twenties, about 6'3" tall with a medium build, blonde hair, and a tattoo on his left forearm.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Kanawha Bureau of
Investigation at (304) 357-0169.
A Logan County gas station has been robbed twice in one week. Police are looking for two men who held up a Rich Oil station in Cora Tuesday around 6am. The men made off with cash and cigarettes, and state police said one of the men had a knife. Two men robbed the same station July 22, but investigators don't know if the two cases are related. Anyone with information is asked to call State Police.
The Beckley Narcotics Unit this week arrested a man known to impersonate a police officer. There were actually two arrests - Deborah Price and Jeffery Morton - whom investigators arrested for the sale of oxycodone. Detectives say the two were first seen near a pharmacy on Eisenhower Drive during a drug deal, then later police found items Morton was allegedly using to impersonate a police officer. Both are being arraigned and sent to Southern Regional Jail.
Century Aluminum is seeking a power rate structure that would protect it from the wild aluminum price swings that happened in 2008 and 2009. An attorney representing West Virginia's largest manufacturers told the state Public Service Commission this week the rate request is unreasonable, and asked commissioners to reject the plan. Century Aluminum says the rate increase is necessary and it would help it reopen its Ravenswood smelter. The three-day hearing on the rate request wraps up today.
The Kanawha County Metro 911 Director is giving up her postition to move over to the Kanawha County Emergency Ambulance Authority. Carolyn Charnock will be the ambulance authority's public relations director after 14 years as director for Metro 911. During her tenure, the county 911 center expanded into a new facility on Corridor G, and the dispatch system was computerized. The Metro 911 center will have an interim director until a permanent replacement can be found. Chief Sheriff's Deputy Johnny Rutherford will act act as the interim director. Rutherford is also a candidate for Sheriff, and if he's elected he would take office in January.