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The grace period expires Friday for Kanawha County students, meaning vaccines need to be up to date by then or the students can be held out of school. There are new requirements for meningitis, tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis vaccines, and those should have been up to date by the time school started in mid-August, but the state granted a two-week grace period. That ends August 31. Will students actually be sent home? That would be a matter of matching up a lot of student records - as many as 25 percent of the student body - and it's not clear if the school district will act. The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department has the vaccines, as do most family physicians.
A big grant that goes to a Marshall University scientist is expected to help many. The $338,000 grant has been awarded to chemistry assistant professor Derrick Kolling and colleagues at Marshall and the University of Charleston. Kolling will use the grant money to buy equipment that will help shed more light on metal compounds. The equipment will be in Huntington, but a University of Charleston faculty member will go there to use it.
Kanawha County commissioners learned recently that the town of Pratt has $140,000 in tax liens levied against it and the town-owned water company, and as a last restort the town could be dissolved. That wouldn't get rid of the debt to the IRS...that would be collected when the town's assets were sold. Another solution besides dissolving the town may be to place it in receivership, which means someone would be appointed to oversee the finances. Kanawha County leaders will take up the subject again in September. Pratt's population is about 600.
Kanawha County Deputies helped officers in Clay County early Wednesday. The Kanawha County sheriff's office says an alarm went off at the Little General store on Clay Highway in Lizemores, and deputies arrived to find a window air conditioning unit had been removed. No suspects were there, and surveillance video only vaguely showed a male, about six feet tall with dark clothing. The man made off with a large quantity of cigarettes. Anyone with information is encouraged to call West Virginia State Police or the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office.
More now on a traffic accident that disrupted traffice for several hours Tuesday morning on Rt.94 near Hernshaw. Kanawha County deputies say 21-year old Travis Koontz of Charleston lost control, then went left of center and hit a truck owned by Walker Machinery. Speed and wet pavement are believed to be contributing factors in the crash.
Two former Lincoln County officials will spend time in federal prison. U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin says former Lincoln County Sheriff Jerry Bowman was sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison for his role in an election fraud scheme. Former Lincoln County Clerk Donald C. Whitten was sentenced to one year and six months in prison, which is the longest in recent memory in an election fraud case in the district. Both Bowman and Whitten pleaded guilty earlier this year. Earlier this month, former Lincoln County Commissioner Thomas Ramey, Jr, pleaded guilty to making a false statement to an FBI agent in connection to his role in the Lincoln County absentee voting fraud scheme, and faces up to five years in prison when he's sentenced in November.
It's illegal to text in a vehicle, even if you're stopped at a stoplight. It's okay to dial the phone to call someone while you're sitting at the light, but no texting. A state law making texting while driving a primary offense went into effect July 1. Talking on a cellphone while driving was made a secondary offense then, and beginning July 1, 2013 you'll have to have a hands free device to talk on a cell phone in the car. Police say despite the new laws in effect, they're still noticing a problem with texting while driving. Fines for first offenses are $50; for second offenses, $100; and for third and subsequent offenses, $200.
Federal prosecutors say former Lincoln County sheriff Jerry Bowman was a big help during the investigation into an election fraud scheme, and because of that he may get a break when he's sentenced for his role in it. Bowman has pleaded guilty to conspiring to influence outcomes with fraudulent absentee ballots. Bowman apparently helped prosecutors convince Lincoln County Commissioner Thomas Ramey to resign and plead guilty for his role. Bowman is scheduled to be sentenced today along with co-conspirator and ex-Lincoln County Clerk Donald Whitten.
Nitro continues to remember a beloved soccer coach. Assistant coach Dick Green died Saturday after suffering a massive heart attack at the age of 57. The Nitro girls are just a few games into the soccer season and wanted to do something to honor the late coach, so Monday night a large crowd gathered at mid field of Nitro High School's soccer field to light a candle in honor of Green. he was a coach for many years in Putnam County.
A violent and tragic incident Tuesday night at the Wallback park and ride off Interstate 79 left one State Police trooper dead. Two troopers were conducting a traffic stop near the Roane-Clay county border, when the suspect reportedly pulled out a gun and shot both officers and the driver of a wrecker. The other trooper is in critical condition. A Roane County sheriff's deputy who tracked the suspect down after he fled on foot was also injured by a bullet, but suffered non-life threatening injuries. The suspect was eventually shot and killed, and the wounded were taken to CAMC General Hospital. The investigation is underway, and more information should be released today.