Breaking Local News
The West Virginia Attorney General's Office has lost three top staff members to the Legislature. The Charleston Gazette reports that senior deputy attorney general Marty Wright has accepted a job as the House Judiciary Committee's head lawyer. Senior deputy attorney general Richie Heath is now chief counsel to incoming Senate President Bill Cole. Senior deputy attorney general Tracy Webb has accepted a job as head lawyer of the House Government Organization Committee. The positions came open after Republicans won control of the Legislature for the first time in more than eight decades.
The Kanawha County Sheriff's Office is investigating a shooting on Greenwood Avenue in Mink Shoals. It happened Monday, and neighbors there said a man walked to their door with multiple gunshot wounds, covered in blood. He said he and his mother had been shot next door. Cpl B-D Humphreys with the Kanawha County Sheriff's Office says the 17-year old male victim was taken to Charleston Area Medical Center for treatment to life threatening injuries. His mother was killed. A relative of the victims, Glenn Skidmore, is the suspect in the shooting and a warrant is out for his arrest. Skidmore is 40 years old, 6’3” tall, 240 pounds, and may be driving or using a white colored 2001 Chevrolet Tracker with WV license plate 6HK502. Anyone with information is asked to dial 911 or call 304-357-0169. He is considered armed and dangerous.
The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and the Division of Natural Resources are gearing up for their 10th annual Christmas tree recycling event. The event is set for Jan. 3 at the Capitol Market in downtown Charleston. Christmas trees will be used to improve fish habitats across the state, as they have in years past. To be accepted, all decorations must be removed from the trees, including ornaments, tinsel and stands.
Expect something new next year at the annual Bridge Day. Rappellers, BASE jumpers and vendors that are part of Bridge Day events will have to undergo fingerprint scans. Bridge Day Commission chair Sharon Cruikshank tells The Charleston Gazette that the scans are less intrusive than routine background checks. Fingerprints will be checked against a terrorism watch list. They won't be saved. BASE jumpers from around the world flock to the New River Gorge Bridge on the third Saturday of every October for Bridge Day. Bridge Day organizers began requiring background checks after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Traditional hunting and fishing licenses are becoming less traditional in West Virginia. The licenses used to be printed on thin cardstock with colorful stamps, but starting on Thursday those will be replaced by computer-generated electronic licenses. The Charleston Gazette reports for the past year, DNR officials have worked with JMT Technology, a Sparks, Maryland-based engineering group, to create a unified system for the licenses. Under the new system, hunters will be allowed to check animals in by making a phone call or by going online, and it will be a more streamlined way for the agency to keep track of big game kills.
Dozens of West Virginia residents have filed lawsuits against chemical company DuPont for contaminating drinking water. The lawsuits filed Friday allege that the company discharged the chemical C8 into waters surrounding its Washington Works Plant near Parkersburg. Kathy Brown is a Charleston lawyer representing the plaintiffs, and says the lawsuits stem from a 2005 class-action settlement. A science panel found links between C8 and six medical ailments including testicular and kidney cancers.
If you're planning to go out on New Year's Eve, you might want to keep this number handy, and tell your friends. The Intoxi-taxi service will be running again this year in the Charleston area for New Year’s Eve. The service gives free or discounted rides to those in Kanawha County who aren't in the best shape to drive home. The service will run from 10 p.m. Wednesday night to five a.m. Thursday.
The University of Charleston plans to build a replacement for its gymnasium. The Eddie King Gym, built in 1947, is the oldest facility on the university's campus. The university will build a new arena and learning center called The Martha Gaines and Russell Wehrle Innovation Center, named after a foundation that donated $5 million toward the project. University President Ed Welch said this week the learning center is intended to foster innovation and entrepreneurial thinking on campus. Groundbreaking is expected to take place next spring. The $15.5 million project is expected to be completed by summer 2016.
Executives charged in a January chemical spill in West Virginia are slated for court appearances. Ex-Freedom Industries officials Gary Southern, William Tis, Dennis Farrell and Charles Herzing will appear Jan. 8 at 2 p.m. in Charleston in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Dwane Tinsley. Thursday's order says Tis, Farrell and Herzing will have first appearances. Southern will have his arraignment hearing after being released last week on a $100,000 bond in federal court in Fort Myers, Florida. They are charged with failing to ensure Freedom operated the terminal that leaked in a reasonable and environmentally sound manner, related to the January 9th chemical spill. Southern also faces fraud charges related to the company's bankruptcy case.
A parade of boats fully decked out with Christmas lights will be on display this weekend. The Charleston Gazette reports about 10 boats will leave Pier 54 Marina near Dunbar at 5:30pm Saturday, and cruise up the river to Charleston. The boats will go up as far as the West Virginia State Capitol, and then turn back and dock at Haddad Riverfront Park until about 7pm.