Breaking Local News
Patricia Miller is accused of stabbing her roomate to death in Charleston's East End last October, and pleaded not guilty Thursday. Miller is facing a second-degree murder charge for allegedly stabbing her roommate Victoria Summers to death with a steak knife along Nancy Street. Miller's bond was set at $35,000, and WCHS TV reports her trial is scheduled for 9 a.m. July 20.
The West Virginia Board of Education has voted to allow classroom debate on climate change. Two months after citizens bombarded the board with comments at a public hearing, the board voted 6-2 Thursday to approve the proposal. It is effective for the 2016-17 school year. In January, the board scrapped changes it made to teaching requirements for education science standards. Those changes had been suggested by board member Wade Linger. Linger had said he didn't believe it was a "foregone conclusion" that the climate is in fact changing. The board then placed the proposal with its original language intact for a 30-day public comment period. The students will be allowed to use scientific models to draw their own conclusions about climate change.
Zachary Keith Thomas of Dunbar was arrested in South Charleston this week and charged with kidnapping, robbery, and assault. This comes after an incident in Dunbar on April 6. The Kanawha County Sheriff's Office said Thomas went to his sister's house in Dunbar and demanded money, which led to an argument. During the argument Mr. Thomas bound his sister's hands and feet in the basement of the house, hurt her, brandished a gun, and continued to make demands. He left with her debit card and cell phone. She suffered minor injuries which were treated at an area hospital. Thomas is now in South Central Regional Jail with no bond.
A Charleston woman is accused of accpeting money she wasn't entitled to. Lindsay Marie Meadows said she lived on Keystone Drive and she's accused of taking money from Yeager Airport for housing and temporary relief after the major landslide. The airport made arrangements to help several people who had been displaced by the landslide, and Meadows applied and got a check for $1500 and a room at the Red Roof Inn, according to the criminal complaint. WCHS TV reports police went to the home that Meadows claimed she lived at on Keystone Drive and found that it was boarded up and falling apart, and neighbors said no one has lived in the house for years. She's facing a felony charge.
The state Board of Education has denied a request by counties to waive attendance restrictions so they can meet the mandated 180 instructional days this school year. The board rejected the requests Wednesday at a meeting in Charleston, citing state code that requires 180 separate days of education. School board President Gayle Manchin tells WCHS-TV it's important for students to receive the required amount of instructional time. The board approved a waiver process last month aimed at giving county schools flexibility in making up instructional days canceled because of weather. The policy allows counties to seek waivers to use bank time to meet the 180-day equivalent. Bank time is minutes that counties can accrue each day by exceeding the minimum state-required classroom time.
The Kroger in South Charleston is getting a major remodel, and at this point it's about 85 percent finished. WCHS TV reports the final bill on the upgrade will be about $37 million, and the renovations are long overdue. The store gets new flooring, new fixtures, new paint, new lighting and an overall freshening up. Last year, Ashton Place Kroger got an upgrade. Krogers in Kanawha City and in Russell, Kentucky are also in the middle of renovations.
The University of Charleston is moving its facilities in Beckley to a business park. The university announced this week they've signed a lease for a building at Harper Park. Classroom and office space renovations will take place in April and May. The university is moving out of Beckley facilities formerly used by Mountain State University at the end of this semester. The sale of Mountain State's Beckley campus to West Virginia University was approved earlier this year. Mountain State's accreditation was revoked in June 2012 because of leadership, organizational and integrity issues.
Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is warning about a scam in which some West Virginians' income tax returns have already been filed by someone else. Morrisey says the attorney general's consumer protection division has received numerous complaints from residents about the scam. Morrisey says scammers typically use tax-preparation software and stolen Social Security numbers to submit fake returns with the Internal Revenue Service and state tax department. Refunds are then deposited on a prepaid debit card or store gift card that can't be easily traced. He says residents who are told by the IRS or state tax department that their taxes have already been filed should call local law enforcement, the IRS tax fraud hotline at (800) 829-0433 or the consumer protection division at (800) 368-8808.
Three Freedom Industries officials are scheduled for December sentencing hearings for charges in a massive chemical spill last year. In Charleston federal court Tuesday, Judge Thomas Johnston moved June hearings to December for William Tis, Charles Herzing and Robert Reynolds. A June hearing for ex-Freedom official Michael Burdette has not been rescheduled.
The four men and the company itself have pleaded guilty to pollution charges. Federal prosecutors wrote that the four are willing to testify for the federal government in cases against fellow ex-Freedom executives Gary Southern and Dennis Farrell. Prosecutors wanted sentencing hearings after the Oct. 6 trial for Southern and Farrell. Southern and Farrell pleaded not guilty. Southern also faces bankruptcy fraud charges.
Opponents of a natural gas pipeline through Virginia are pressing Gov. Terry McAuliffe to join forces with them. They planned to deliver more than 5,000 signatures to the governor yesterday demanding that he rescind his support of the $5 billion project. McAuliffe and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, support the 550-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline. McAuliffe calls it a "game changer" that would bring deliver cheap natural gas and jobs. Dominion Resources and its partners in the pipeline are proposing to deliver natural gas from Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia to the Southeast. The pipeline would run from West Virginia to North Carolina, with much of its path through Virginia.