Breaking Local News
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.
About 1800 people in Charleston lost power Monday night becuase of a problem with a breaker. The Appalachian Power customers experienced an outage because of the bad breaker at a Loudendale substation, the worst of it around 9:20 p.m. Crews have been working on repairing the breaker or switching customers to another source of power.
Hundreds of state troopers, other law enforcement officers and the public have already honored and paid respects to one fallen trooper. A memorial service honoring state trooper Marshall Lee Bailey was held Sunday at the Charleston Civic Center. Funeral services for Eric Workman who died Friday afternoon are scheduled for Wednesday at 2:00 P-M at the Charleston Civic Center. Both Workman and Bailey were shot by a gunman in Wallback a week ago. Flowers and flags, wreaths and candles have popped up at the crime scene as a makeshift memorial to honor the officers. The memorial is near the Wallback exit of Interstate 79 in Roane County.
Is there more to the story of Shawn Lester? Last week, Lester received the maximum prison sentence for his role in the sniper style killings in 2003. Lester pleaded guilty in late July to second-degree murder in the death of Jeanie Patton, but charges were dropped related to the deaths of Gary Carrier Jr., and Okey Meadows Jr. as part of a plea agreement. The Gazette reports a source close to the investigation says Lester is also a suspect in a Kentucky homicide. 33-year old Timothy Wayne Sigman was friends with Lester and lived with him around the time of the 2003 killings. His remains were found under the front porch of a home in Willard, KY. Police wonder whether Sigman had knowledge of the sniper killings. The investigation continues.
This is national preparedness month, and local agencies are helping with disaster prep. In Kanawha County, a Sustainable Families Preparedness Fair is scheduled for Sept. 18. The Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, the Charleston Fire Department, the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department and other agencies will all be there with tips on what to do if disaster leaves you without power, food and other essentials. The preparedness fair will be at the Habitat for Humanity's Homeowner Education & Community Center on 815 Court St. in Charleston from 9 to 3 that day. It's the kind of thing you hope you never need, but as we learned with the June 29 storms, it never hurts to be prepared.
Charleston police are still investigating a mysterious death. A man's body was found Saturday near Magic Island, and police say he wasn't shot or beaten. Somehow the man ended up coming off the Interstate 64 bridge near Magic Island, and landed on the ground north of Kanawha Boulevard between the east and westbound lanes of the interstate. The man is described as a black man in his 20s. Detectives are working to figure out what sent him off the bridge.
We've mentioned before that West Virginia seems to be lacking when it comes to broadband internet access. A Federal Communications Commission study released last month showed that 46 percent of West Virginia residents do not have access to broadband Internet service. A panel discussion during the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce's Business Summit just before the holiday weekend addressed it. Leaders there said the lack of infrastructure presents a problem. It's hard to get high speed access where the wires don't currently exist, and in some cases there is a monopoly with only one provider. Capital and competition are two things that will get the focus as leaders try to increase broadband access.
Charleston Area Medical Center's Women and Children's Hospital has launched something new aimed at preventing child abuse. To increase awareness about shaken baby syndrome, hospital leaders want people to knit, crochet or loom purple newborn caps. Those involved should use the color purple, which has become a symbol for the campaign. The caps must be at least 50 percent purple. You can find out more at www.clickforbabies.org.
The Old Taft elementary school site on Bigley Avenue could become home to a convenience store. The Municipal Planning Commission will take up the zoning requests Wednesday, and if it's approved the former school would be torn down along with four nearby homes and an adjacent Methodist Church that's no longer in use.