Breaking Local News
The Kanawha County Drug Court held its graduation Thursday afternoon in the Old County Courthouse and Judge Jennifer Bailey was part of the event. Since taking their first Drug Court Client in July 2009, the Kanawha County Sheriff's office says the Drug Court has graduated thirty-eight clients, and the graduates have a relapse into criminal behavior just 13.16% of the time, far below the National Average. And the sheriff's office adds they've had five drug-free babies born since they started taking Drug Court clients, and they've saved over $2 million in jail costs.
The ski industry in West Virginia can generate millions of dollars with more than 800,000 ski visits each year. Governor Earl Ray Tomblin got involved in the effort to promote the ski industry on Thursday when he proclaimed January "Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month" in West Virginia. Snowshoe Mountain Resort got an early start to the season because of Superstorm Sandy and the 28 inches of snow she dropped. Other resorts waited longer to open up. Winterplace, Timberline and Canaan Valley opened around Christmas.
A horse owner is facing animal cruelty charges. 16 dead horses were found last Saturday on Tory Morgan's property, and 20 other horses were taken away and quarantined because they were malnourished. Morgan has been charged with 36 counts of animal cruelty. They are all misdemeanors. Donations are still being accepted at the Roane County animal shelter for the horses.
The West Virginia Ethics Commission has postponed a hearing on ethics allegations against Beckley Mayor Emmett Pugh. The hearing was set for this coming Monday Jan. 28 in Beckley. Pugh tells The Register-Herald that the commission postponed the hearing because it has to find a replacement for deputy counsel Martin J. Wright, who left the commission to take a job in the state Attorney General's Office. The commission filed civil charges last March over allegations that Pugh received financial benefits for companies that received city contracts. The mayor denies the allegations. No new hearing date has been set.
A US Senate Commerce Committee hearing next week will cover the Sissonville gas pipeline explosion that happened Decmeber 11. A Sissonville woman whose home was damaged by the explosion will testify at the field hearing. U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller released the witness list for the hearing on Wednesday, and says Sue Bonham will testify first at the Jan. 28 hearing in Charleston. Other witnesses include National Transportation Safety Board chairwoman Deborah Hersman and NiSource Gas Transmission and Storage executive president Jimmy Staton.
Earlier this week we reported that Pratt residents were asked to conserve water, and that's still the case after low water levels were measure in the town's water tank Wednesday. Mayor Gary Fields says the town continues to battle water issues, and anytime the Kanawha River is low, the town battles issues with its pump. Now with the low water levels in the tank, conservation becomes key. Operators have been pumping water to try to refill the tank. Several spots around Pratt have reported low water pressure over the past couple of days.
Sissonville residents gathered Wednesday night at Aldersgate United Methodist Church to talk about issues including Second Amendment rights and gun control, plus the national gas pipeline explosion that occurred in December. A few of the victims of the pipeline explosion attended to talk about their experience and how they're moving on. The meeting was organized by state delegates and senators who represent Sissonville.
The 2013 West Virginia International Auto Show is coming to the Charleston Civic Center this Friday through Sunday. It will be a non-selling environment where you'll be able to see the latest vehicles, and even sit behind the wheels, inspect engines, and take a ride in some vehicles from Ford. A news release says the highly anticipated models that will be there include the Chevrolet Spark, Dodge Dart, Ford C-MAX, Lincoln MKZ, and Toyota Prius. Electric vehicles like the Chevrolet Volt, Nissan LEAF and Toyota Prius Plug-In will be featured too. Show hours are Friday, Jan. 25, and Saturday, Jan. 26, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 27, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Civic Center.
The West Virginia State trooper that had been in the hospital since New Year's Eve has been released from the hospital, according to reports from WBOY TV and MSNBC. Sgt. Aaron Nichols was injured while off duty, trying to apprehend a shoplifter at the Goody's Department Store in St. Albans. Nichols approached Jennifer Garretson in the parking lot and she struck him with her car. He was taken to CAMC with a serious head injury, and at times was on a ventilator. There's no timetable for Nichols' return to work as a state trooper.
A new Charleston Elementary school has yet to be named, and you still have time to offer your suggestions. The new school in Edgewood will be named this spring, and in the meantime the Kanawha County Board of Education is accepting recommendations. Submit your suggestion through a link on the main page of the Kanawha County Schools website by February 15th. There's also a community meeting coming up January 28th at Stonewall Jackson Middle School where parents can provide input.