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A new report came out Saturday from the West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy, and shows good paying jobs with benefits are still hard to find. The report shows 2010, just 53 percent of workers in West Virginia had employer-covered health insurance policies, down from 73 percent in 1979. Median wages, adjusted for inflation, dropped from 2010 to 2011. Today, they are $15.02 an hour, compared to the national average of $16.06 an hour. Workers between16 and 24 make up less than 15 percent of the workforce, and account for one-third of all unemployed workers.
Officers are looking for a work release inmate who has escaped. Carl Hendershot was serving a sentence in Charleston after being charged with breaking and entering and burglary in Jackson County. He was also charged with manufacturing and delivering of a controlled substance in Wood County. Hendershot is described as 6'1" 178 pounds and has several scars and tattoos. On his right forearm has a tattoo of the grim reaper. On the left, an outline of a skull. Anyone who sees him should call 911.
A Fayette County driver died Friday night after being partially ejected from his vehicle. The Fayette County Sheriff's office says 32-year old Michael Lee Bryson's vehicle struck a guardrail, his vehicle went airborne, and landed over an embankment. Bryson was apparently not wearing a seat belt and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Scammers are trying to capitalize on the deaths of two West VIrginia State police officers who died last week after a shootout in Wallback. Capt. Sean Crosier of the Kanawha County Sheriff's Department confirms they've received at least two complaints from people who got suspicious phone calls.
Crosier says no legitimate agency would be asking for a credit card number or cash over the phone. Report the suspicious incidents to police.
The Kanawha County Sheriff's office has lost a beloved officer. Cpl. Greg Eplin had been battling colon cancer for over a year, and died Friday at Logan Regional Medical Center's critical care unit. During Eplin's treatment, the Kanawha County Sheriff's Association did their best to raise money for medical treatment and travel expenses to support Eplin. Last week was a tough one for law enforcement officers, who are also mourning two fallen state police troopers after the shooting in Wallback.
The Salvation Army food pantry in Charleston is running low. The shelves are sparse with food and many families are still inquiring about help, so donations are appreciated to help the pantry stock up. The June 29 storms had a big impact on the Salvation Army and drained some of its resources. Big food drives are planned by Putnam and Kanawha County schools this fall, but the Salvation Army could use help in the meantime.
There won't be any changes to the state fire code. A proposal that would have required professional and volunteer fire companies in West Virginia to follow national safety and training rules was analyzed and considered for quite some time, and some at a public hearing last Friday strongly opposed it. Volunteer fire departments raised concerns about the costs of the plan. All the changes at once might have meant hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional costs for each department per year. The state Fire Commission hasn't scrapped the idea of change all together. They may rework the rule changes and bring them back later on.
Kanawha Deputies are still investigating an incident Wednesday evening where a St. Albans woman was shot in the neck with an air rifle. Paramedics were already at the home on Strawberry Road in Saint Albans when deputies arrived, and they were tending to 37-year old Tara Jo Turley. A fight apparently broke out between Turley and an acquaintance, Jacqueline N. McClanahan, who alleged that Turley had assaulted her with a baseball bat. Charges are pending against both women.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin recently spoke to a group of sportsmen and women and during those remarks he talked about bringing elk back to West Virginia. Reports show the last native West Virginia elk was seen 137 years ago. West Virginia has studied it, but hasn't re-introduced elk yet. Kentucky and Virginia have each added elk to their states, although some farm groups oppose it. An elk management plan would have to come before the game animals are introduced.
A St. Albans man called police early Thursday after seeing men trying to break into his car. The took of in another vehicle, but were caught a short time later. All were 18 years old - two are from St. Albans and one is from East Bank. All were arrested and charged with auto tampering, and one was also charged with driving without a license. St. Albans police say this was the second time in a week that cars had been tampered with on Ridgewood Forest Road.