Breaking Local News
Missing drugs from the Beckley Police Department's evidence room will not affect federal cases - at least for now. The Register-Herald is reporting U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin says his office is still looking into the matter. In August the drugs turned up missing and Raleigh County prosecutor Kristin Keller has said because evidence had been compromised state drug cases going back with 15 months would be dismissed. A criminal investigation is underway by the federal Drug Enforcement Agency and the police department has started an internal investigation.
Two men have been indicted by a Nicholas County grand jury on murder charges. 29-year old Jonathan Fields and 29-year old Rodney Snodgrass Jr., both of Nettie, were arrested by Nicholas County sheriff's deputies and charged with murder in the death of April Moore and Howard Delp in May 2007. Fields and Snodgrass were being held without bond at the Central Regional Jail.
And it's a story that's making national news... A West Virginia woman paid $7 for a box of items at a flea market two years ago, and it turns the box contained an original painting by the French impressionist Renoir. The painting has a Renoir plaque on the front, but of course needed the works in terms of analysis to make sure it was the real thing. No one knows how it ended up in West Virginia. It'll be auctioned off September 29 and could fetch $75,000 or more.
There will be no vote by striking workers on the latest contract offer from Constellium. The company made the offer last week after both sides met with Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin in Charleston. Constellium says it expires at midnight Saturday. A United Steelworkers representative says union workers won't have a ratification vote, although the exact reason hasn't been given. The strike is in its fifth week now and affects about 700 workers. The negotiations have focused on proposed changes to health insurance, with workers having to pick up 5 percent instead of having the benefits 100 percent paid.
A woman accused of killing her boyfriend on Charleston's west side has to stay in jail. 30-year old Stacey McCormick, 30, is charged with first-degree murder, and during a hearing Thursday her attorney asked for bond to be set at $25,000 and home confinement until the case moves ahead. Police say McCormick stabbed David Snyder in the lung at an apartment along Washington Street West in August and he died a short time later. The defense said the charge should be lowered to manslaughter. The prosecution said preliminary reports show Snyder died of a blood clot in the lung, caused by the stabbing. McCormick stays in jail until the next court date.
A police chase happened Thursday night and the suspect got away. South Charleston police responded to reports of a man in an older model Toyota Tacoma swerving all over the roadway in South Charleston around 9pm, according to Kanawha County Metro 911 dispatchers. South Charleston police tried to pull the man over on Interstate 64, but he didn't stop. The chase moved to Institute and Kanawha County Sheriff's deputies became involved, but the man kept going. Officers lost sight of him in Dunbar.
The Putnam County Board of Education is being sued. The parents of a Hurricane High student filed the suit on behalf of their son, saying he suffered a traumatic brain injury at the school after two heavy archery targets fell and hit him in 2010. He hit the ground and was knocked unconscious as he sat in the back of a classroom. Jimmy and Lorie Fitzwater claim the board of education failed to provide a safe environmnent. The Fitzwaters say their son is now significantly impaired and has suffered life-altering effects.
Police are still looking for a second murder suspect after a Monday shooting in Charleston. 40-year old Roy Chambliss was found shot to death inside his home on Picadilly Street Monday afternoon, and 20-year old Natalie Sprouse of Charleston was injured with a gunshot wound to the arm. 29-year old Daniel Little has been arrested, but police are still looking for 29-year old Jarod Washington.
Putnam county commissioners this week voted to move forward with waterline extension projects in Custer Ridge, Sigmon Fork, Painters Fork and Trace Fork. Putnam County has about $50,000 set aside so far, and could apply for a low-interest rate loan with the state Infrastructure Jobs Development Council for more. In all, it's a $2.3 million project, and some questions were raised about adding that kind of price tag onto existing debt in Putnam County.
Enrollment at Mountain State University has dropped significantly after the loss of accreditation. Interim vice president Thomas Mann says 1,080 students are enrolled in a teach-out plan now. Two years ago, the school had 9000 students. Mann told the Register-Herald that about 300 students are attending classes at the Beckley campus and 550 are online students. Others are pursuing independent studies or are in specific programs. Mountain State officially loses accreditation December 31 after a decision this summer by the Higher Learning Commission. The University of Charleston has taken over Beckley and Martinsburg campuses so students can complete their degrees.