Breaking Local News
Charleston City Manager David Molgaard wants to attract young professionals to downtown Charleston, and urges businesses to recruit them. At a luncheon this week with the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation, Mogaard outlined a plan that would have businesses subsidizing rents, which are often too high for some young executives. The subsidy could acrue as a loan, and eventually help the employee buy a house in Charleston. Details of the plan are still being worked out. With several new restaurants and shops popping up this year, plus events like the Live on the Levee concert series and SportsFEST, the focus on downtown Charleston continues.
Grant money will help fight crime in Charleston. The city is getting a $476,000 federal grant to be put toward neighborhood crime-fighting efforts. U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin helped launch an initiative in February aimed at cracking down on drugs and crime on the city's west side, and made the announcement about the grant funding this week.
As we reported this week, Kanawha County has its first human case of the West Nile Virus, and that has increased talk about prevention and mosquito control. Insect repellant is key anytime you're outside, and if there is any standing water around your home it should be removed, since mosquitos like to congregate there. A Kanawha County man in his forties is being treated for the West Nile Virus now. If you have concerns, know that the environmental health department will come out and collect water samples to be tested.
Century Aluminum rejects the counter-proposal to its electricity rate request. The company reiterated in a filing with the Public Service Commission that the rate change is necessary to reopen the Ravenswood smelter and to offset struggles due to aluminum prices.. Century's aluminum plant has been closed since 2009. So what's next? Century is waiting for the PSC to make a decision on the rate request, and that could come on September 9th.
United Steelworkers continue to strike, and as the process continues their supporters are rallying around them. A food drive was organized to benefit the striking workers of the Constellium plant in Ravenswood, and the nonperishable donations were dropped off last night. The strike is affecting more than 700 United Steelworkers members, who went on strike Aug. 5 after contract talks broke down.
A jury has convicted a man for breaking into the Fairdale Post office in the fall of 2011. 31-year old Timothy Taylor of Raleigh County has been convicted after being accused of breaking into the post office along with Benjamin J. Webb of Beckley. Webb reportedly used a sledgehammer to smash a glass door and steal nine packages of bath salts addressed him. He pleaded guilty in May to burglary-related charges. Both Webb and Taylor face up to five years in prison and $250,000 fines. Taylor's sentencing is set for Jan. 10 of next year. Webb is scheduled to be sentenced next Thursday.
A man has been sentenced in a mortgage fraud scheme. Mark Greenlee of Charleston is a former real estate appraiser who pleaded guilty a year ago to preparing a false appraisal. Investigators found it was a multimillion dollar mortgage fraud scheme in the Stonegate subdivision in Hurricane. Greenlee was sentenced this week to six months in federal prison for aiding and abetting wire fraud connected to a mortgage scheme, according to the US Attorney's office.
On Tuesday, the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office S.T.O.P. team and the Kanawha Bureau of Investigation served a search warrant on a suspected meth lab operation, and two men were arrested. The meth lab was in a mobile home at 3332 East Dupont Avenue in Shrewsbury, and during the search some of the finished product was discovered, along with materials used to make meth. 38-year old Jody Lee Dawson, and 47-year old Edward Lee Dawson were arrested, and released on a $25,000.00 P.R. bond.
The Kanawha County Solid Waste Authority is still trying to figure out how to get beyond a cash crunch at the recycling center. There is money in an escrow account set up after the landfill in Cross Lanes was closed in the 1990s, but the state won't release the money - a quarter of a million dollars - until 2018. Efforts now seem to be toward privatizing the county recycling program.
If you have high speed internet, you're in the minority in West Virginia. A new federal report released this week by the FCC shows West Virginia ranks number one in the US for people without high speed internet, with 46 percent without access. Things change quickly and the report is based on data from June of 2011, but it at that time West Virginia lagged behind other states with limited broadband, like South Dakota and Montana. 46 percent of those who live in West Virginia can't get broadband, and when you consider rural areas it's even worse. Sixty percent of rural residents can't get high-speed.