Breaking Local News
A Belle woman is behind bars after being sentenced for a Kanawha County bank robbery. 37-year old Jennifer Garretson has started serving five- to 18 years in prison after sentencing Wednesday in Kanawha Circuit Court. Garretson pleaded guilty to second-degree robbery two months ago to the 2012 robbery of City National Bank in Glasgow. There was no weapon, but she confessed to passing the teller a note that said she did.
Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has plans to honor those behind the Upper Big Branch Mine Memorial. The annual Governor's Science Awards are coming up in August at the Charleston Civic Center, and the group Volunteer West Virginia says the governor will honor The Upper Big Branch Minning Memorial Group. The banquet is held as a part of Faces of Leadership, the annual state volunteerism conference. The Upper Big Branch Mining Memorial opened in 2012 and pays tribute to the miners who lost their lives in the Upper Big Branch mining disaster in 2010. The town of Whitesville donated the land for the memorial.
Today is the day that American Airlines takes its inaugural flight from Charleston to Dallas/Fort Worth. Yeager Airport will hold a special reception at the airport today at 4pm to welcome the new jet service. A news release from the airport says flights will depart from Dallas at 1:05 p.m. and arrive in Charleston at 4:30 p.m. Departures from Charleston will leave at 5 p.m. and arrive in Dallas at 6:30 p.m. It's a two and a half hour flight, but Dallas is Central time so passengers lose an hour.
State regulators plan to conduct more water tests near the Lochgelly injection well in Fayette County that pumps oil and gas drilling waste underground. The Department of Environmental Protection wants to determine whether the well is discharging waste into Wolf Creek. The Register-Herald reports that water samples taken by the Plateau Action Network and a citizen show elevated levels of chloride and other substances consistent with drilling waste. Environmental organizations and some residents say the well poses a threat to health, water resources and property values. The owner says he has operated the well legally.
A special election will be held Nov. 9 that will give voters the choice to support the Kanawha County library in a combined vote with the Kanawha County school levy. If the levy passes, the library would receive $2.9 million in the 2014-15 fiscal year, and higher amounts in following years. The library decided to cancel the West Virginia Book Festival after the state Supreme Court ruled in February that the Kanawha County school board wasn't obligated to pay the library each year. That amounted to a loss of about $3 million -- 40 percent of the library's total budget. This week, the library approved its new budget, with $1 million cut out.
Two men in Dunbar are facing charges for operating or attempting to operate a meth lab. Dunbar police arrested Johnie Mason IV and Jason Edward McClanahan last night after tips came in about suspicious activity in a camper. Police were able to make a traffic stop after learning the license plate was registered to a different vehicle.
The National Park Service plans to begin work this summer on seven new hiking and biking trails in the New River Gorge National River. The trails were proposed in the park's general management plan. The park service says in a news release that it determined the trails won't have any significant impact on the park's resources. The new trails will be located in the northern half of the gorge from McCreery to the park's northern boundary. Members of the Boy Scouts of America and other volunteers will help develop the trails.
Charleston will host a state conference aimed at promoting student health and wellness. The KidsStrong Conference will be held Tuesday at the Charleston Civic Center Little Theater. The conference's organizers are the state Department of Education, the state Department of Health and Human Resources, the West Virginia Immunization Network and Marshall University's medical school. The Department of Education says the Touchdown School Award will be presented during the conference. The award recognizes schools that encourage students to eat nutritious foods and to move at least an hour a day.
A Rand man who pleaded guilty last week to first-degree murder will spend the rest of his life behind bars. 20-year old Brent Burdette has received a life sentence in the shooting death of 21-year-old William Cordle III last July. The sentence came as part of a plea agreement that makes him eligible to apply for parole after serving 15 years, minus the 333 days he has served since his arrest. The trial had been scheduled to start Monday, but the plea deal circumvented the trial. Cordle was a server at Buffalo Wild Wings, and prosecutors say he died from a single blast from a sawed-off 20-gauge shotgun.
A lawsuit alleges a West Virginia doctor ignored a woman's wishes to stop an abortion procedure and botched the procedure by leaving the fetus' head in her uterus. The Family Policy Council of West Virginia, an evangelical Christian group, said Monday the lawsuit was filed on behalf of Itai Gravely against the Women's Health Center of West Virginia in Charleston and Dr. Rodney Stephens. The Kanawha County Circuit Court lawsuit said Gravely was given a sedative but wanted to stop the April 2012 procedure because she was in severe pain. It said Stephens ignored her instructions and had her physically restrained. The pregnancy was near the end of the first trimester. A subsequent exam at a hospital revealed the fetus' head in her uterus, the lawsuit said.