Breaking Local News
There's one less Starbucks in Charleston right now. The Starbucks in Charleston Town Center is closed for renovations now and won't open again until sometime next week. This is part of the overhaul happening now at Town Center mall, which started in mid-May and will bring a $7 million makeover to the interior. Demolition at center court and the debris left there has led to the closure of the coffee shop. There are no other store closings that we know of. The entire renovation project at the mall should be finished in November, before the Christmas shopping season.
Rhonda Stewart was convicted of murder two years ago in the death of her husband, Sammy Stewart, who was shot and killed at CAMC Memorial. A jury convicted Rhonda Stewart in 2009, but her attorneys filed an appeal with the Supreme Court and won. They claimed Sammy abused her for years, and that wasn't discussed in the original trial. A new trial was scheduled for October 9 this year, but her attorneys asked for a delay, waiting on forensics evidence. Stewart will be back in court next Thursday, September 13 to have a new trial date scheduled.
The Putnam Farmers' Market at Hurricane City Park plans to have a Kids Day Celebration on Saturday. All of the usual wares like fresh produce, honey, and pottery will be for sale, and this week they'll have several free activities for the kids, including inflatable jumping toys, an inflatable ball pit, face painting, cotton candy and carnival style games. It's Saturday from 9:30am to 1:30pm.
Putnam County schools learned at a meeting last night they're meeting Adequate Yearly Progress, and in fact leading the state in requirements set by the No Child Left Behind Act. Although most schools are performing well in Putnam County, three of four middle schools didn't meet the standards. The West Virginia Department of Education plans to request a flexibility waiver that would change the way AYP is measured for all schools in the state.
Expect heavy traffic around the Charleston Civic Center this afternoon with the funeral of slain state trooper Eric Michael Workman at 2pm. Trooper Marshall Lee Bailey and Workman were shot by a 22-year-old Oak Hill man last week after a traffic stop. The gunman, Luke Baber, was later killed in a shootout with another officer. Cpl. Bailey was remembered Sunday at a service at the Charleston Civic Center and Trooper Workman will be honored this afternoon.
Vivek Shah of West Hollywood, California is accused of threatening to kill relatives if a West Virginia coal executive didn't pay $13 million. He'll be arraigned early next week in Beckley, after being indicted last month on extortion charges. Shah is accused of threatening to kill relatives of Christopher Cline, who owns Foresight Reserves, if Cline didn't pay. Cline is the only one who has been named so far, but court documents show other millionaires were also targeted. Those victims aren't likely to be identified.
The man who fell to his death from a bridge io Interstate 64 has been identified. Charleston police say 26-year old Marrion Phillips of Ripley, appeared to be attempting to cross the interstate from the westbound to the eastbound lanes and accidentally fell through the 4-foot gap separating both bridges. His body was found north of Kanawha Blvd. near Magic Island. Phillips was a Navy veteran who leaves behind a wife and two children, and had just returned from being deployed overseas.
Hundreds in downtown Logan stopped to remember Kanawha County Deputy Greg Eplin Tuesday. Corporal Eplin died Friday after battling colon cancer for more than a year, and his fellow deputies got together at several points along the way to raise money for his treatments. The funeral was held Tuesday at Honaker funeral home in Logan, and streets were blocked off so police, emergency personell, and family and friends could attend the funeral. Corporal Eplin was 46 years old.
Students and faculty are morning the loss of a West Virginia teacher. A seventh-grade science teacher in Ritchie County was allegedly shot and killed, along with her husband and daughter, by a male juvenile on Labor Day. The shooting happened at a home in Dodgeridge County, and so far no motive has been released. The suspect is in police custody. The victims are believed to be Dixie L. Spencer, her husband Frederick Spencer, and their young daughter
The Democratic National Convention is underway, but there are some West Virginia Democrats absent. Third District Congressman Nick Rahall, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin and Governor Earl Ray Tomblin aren't there, but U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller is scheduled to be in Charlotte. The convention continues today, and President Barack Obama is expected to accept the Democratic nomination for President Thursday. The Republican National Convention happened last week, and Mitt Romney accepted the Republican nomination for President.