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Governor Earl Ray Tombln has vetoed three more bills from the most recent legislative session. Police officers at West Virginia's Division of Natural Resources won't see a tax break based on their pensions, for one. The Legislature approved exempting their retirement benefits from income taxes this session, but the governor vetoed the measure Friday over concerns about special tax treatment for a small group. Also Friday, the governor vetoed a bill that aimed to allow additional borrowing by a courthouse renovation fund. Tomblin questioned whether the fund had sufficient revenues for such long-term debt. The other vetoed bill sought to streamline a health sciences college scholarship program while also changing oversight for the state's Center for Nursing. That violates a rule limiting a bill to one topic.
It's been ten months since the cell phone law passed that bans use while driving. Talking and texting are both against the law, and you could be pulled over and ticketed. The Charleston Gazette reports since the new law went into effect there have been 125 convictions in West Virginia. The largest number of convictions have been in Beckley Municipal Court, then Berkeley County, and Kanawha County. As the cell phone ban becomes a primary offense, meaning an officer can pull you over for that and nothing else, the number of tickets are expected to increase.
A man threatened suicide on Saturday evening and said if someone tried to stop him he would shoot them, and would even shoot law enforcement officers to force them to kill him. The man told the Veterans Affairs Crisis hotline he had taken an anti-anxiety medicine in excess. He was calling from Will's Creek Road in the Elkview area. Kanawha County Sheriff's deputies secured the area by evacuating neighbors and closing the road. When the crisis counselor told deputies the man seemed groggy and fading in and out of consciousness, the SWAT team went in and got the man before he could make good on his threats. He still had a loaded firearm next to him on the couch. He was taken to the Charleston Area Medical Center for an evaluation. No criminal charges are expected.
Today is the day to set extra trash at the curb. It's the first of many upcoming Spring Cleanup dates, meaning the City of Charleston's Refuse Department allows for special collections. There are just a few exceptions for what you can't leave at the curb - like batteries, toxic substances or paint cans containing wet paint. If your regular collection day is on Tuesday, set out the extra trash today. Wednesday customers will have the spring cleanup collections next Monday, May 13th, Thursday collection will have spring cleanup Monday May 20th, and for Friday collections the spring cleanup will be Monday June 3rd. Regular trash collection continues during that time.
Two parents in Roane County are in jail after their daughter fell out of a window. Lucas and Jamie Taylor left their 3-year-old child alone long enough for her to open an upstairs window and fall 15 feet to the ground. The Taylors have been charged with child abuse and child neglect resulting resulting in serious injury.
Charleston police have charged a man after finding materials consistent with making methamphetamine during a traffic stop. 28-year old William Haynes of Sissonville faces a charge of operating or attempting to operate a clandestine laboratory, according to the criminal complaint. The traffic stop happened in the 4000 block of Washington Street West in Dunbar early Thursday. The officer also saw a clear plastic bag containing marijuana.
The search is on for the driver who hit a KRT bus this week. It happened Wednesday morning in St. Albans on West Main when traffic was stopped because of construction. The car rear-ended the bus, and then the driver got out and pushed the car to the side of the road, when deputies say he took the license plate off and drove away. Anyone with information is asked to call the police.
If someone comes to your driveway and starts sealing cracks it could be a scam. It happened to a Boone County couple recently. A woman saw two men sealing cracks in her driveway and they told her that her husband sent them and said she would write a check for $960. She did, the men cashed the check, and about that time she found out from her husband he hadn't sent the men. By then it was too late. As the weather warms up and more people are offering services for home improvement projects, be sure to ask for credentials.
A Sissonville man entered his plea this week after being charged with murder. James "Jamie" Bryan Shaffer was killed last September, and 55-year old Dale Thomas Newhouse was arrested and charged in the case. Newhouse pleaded not guilty, and his attorney requested that he be able to post bond and move to home confinement before the trial. Judge Jennifer Bailey said no, and that means Newhouse stays in jail until his July 29th trial. There is a 911 report that says Shaffer called to report Newhouse had shot him, and was standing over him with a handgun.
The license plate reader that Kanawha County Sheriff's deputies have in their cars is constantly scanning license plates within view, and it caught a stolen vehicle yesterday as it was headed north on US 119. The vehicle was a 2007 Honda Accord stolen from Charleston on Tuesday, and three people were inside when it was pulled over. One of those was the grandson of the man the vehicle was stolen from. 24-year old Ashley Nichole Wilkinson of Cross Lanes was driving, and she was charged with felony possession of a stolen vehicle. 25-year old Anthony Ross Harmon of Charleston, the grandson of the vehicle's owner, was hit with the same felony charge. A passenger from Georgia was charged with misdemeanor joyriding.