Breaking Local News
Two schools in Charleston have full-time resource officers, but in the wake of the disturbing shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, Charleston police are increasing patrols near city schools. There is no threat and no reason for alarm, but police will be spending more time patrolling near schools, and may do walk-throughs throughout the rest of this week.
The only daily American Red Cross blood donation center in the area is closing. The Red Cross plans to close the center in Charleston on Dec. 31st, meaning donors in the Kanawha Valley will have to go to either a one-day local blood drive or travel to other blood donation centers in the state. The closure is meant to reduce costs and increase efficiency for the Red Cross, and will mean the loss of a job for 45 workers in the Kanawha Valley. Huntington, Morgantown, Parkersburg and Wheeling will still operate daily blood donation centers.
In the wake of the shooting at Connecticut's Sandy Hook Elementary, US Sen. Joe Manchin says it's time for an honest look at gun policy. Manchin is an avid hunter and lifelong member of the National Rifle Association, and says it's time for all sides in the gun policy debate to talk honestly and openly about reasonable restrictions on guns. The massacre that killed twenty first grade students and six adults has some Democrats calling for a ban on military-style assault weapons and a look at how the nation deals with individuals suffering from serious mental illness. Manchin said. "Anybody that's a proud gun owner, a proud member of the NRA, they're also proud parents, they're proud grandparents. They understand this has changed where we go from here."
Hundreds of Constellium aluminum plant workers who went on strike for nearly seven weeks earlier this year will receive unemployment compensation benefits. The Monday ruling by the Labor Dispute Tribunal went in favor of extending benefits because there was not a work stoppage at the plant during the strike. The strike coveresd much of August and September, and then union members ratified a five-year contract. The Associated Press reports that the company could appeal the panel's decision, which would send it to the Kanawha Circuit Court.
Two people were stabbed over the weekend in downtown Charleston. It happened early Saturday morning, just before 3am. Dispatchers sent Charleston Police to a stabbing in the 200 block of Capitol Street. Both stabbing victims were taken to Charleston Area Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries. The investigation continues.
Officers are investigating after a Fayette County woman was stabbed Friday. Police say it happeend in Lookout, and 37-year-old Misty Dawn Dixon was arguing with her sister, Angel Orndorff, when Dixon pulled a knife from her purse and stabbed her sister in the stomach. Dixon fled at first, but then turned herself in. She was arrested for malicious wounding. Orndorff was taken to Charleston Area Medical Center.
Putnam Family Court Judge William Watkins is off of the bench right now. The Charleston Gazette reports his departure was somewhat unexpected, and he won't be back until January 2. Watkins said he normally takes off this time of year around the holidays. Deloris Nibert, a former Mason County family court judge, was appointed by the state Supreme Court last week to cover Watkins' domestic violence caseload until the beginning of next year. Still pending against Watkins, are seven ethics violations alleging that he failed to enter domestic violence orders into the state's tracking system, delayed rulings, and screamed and cursed people in his courtroom. The state Judicial Hearing Board has recommended that Watkins be suspended until the end of his term in 2016.
Papa John's pizza stores throughout West Virginia will donate some of the proceeds Tuesday to support the families of two State Police troopers who were killed in the line of duty this summer. Cpl. Marshall Bailey and Trooper Eric Workman both died as a result of the shooting August 28th near the near the Wallback exit of Interstate 79 after they had pulled over a man for speeding. All Papa John's pizza stores in the state are participating in Tuesday's fundraiser and will donate 20 percent of their proceeds.
Johnny Rutherford ran unopposed and was elected Kanawha County Sheriff in November. On Thursday, Kanawha County Commissioners agreed unanimously to hire outgoing Sheriff Mike Rutherford, Johnny's brother as chief deputy. Johnny Rutherford served as chief deputy under Mike Rutherford during his time as Sheriff. Johnny Rutherfordhas been working as executive director of the Kanawha County Metro 911 Center since August.
West Virginia's Board of Education has its monthly meetings this week, and the subject of replacing Jorea Marple as state schools superintendent is up for discussion. The agenda allows for the immediate hiring of a new superintendent, or the board could opt to conduct a nationwide search, narrow it down, and interview a select group. The state board may also address the allegations that the state's open meetings law was violated when the board voted to fire Marple last month. The parents who filed that Supreme Court case claim Marple was fired because she was opposed to certain contracts being awarded. Board President Wade Linger announced Tuesday that he's seeking an independent review of contracts in the wake of that allegation