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The state is looking for gardeners who want to tend to flower beds at the Capitol Complex in Charleston next year. The program assigns specific areas to nonprofit community and civic groups that would prepare the bed and plant flowers, take care of weeds, and remove dead plants in the fall. The application deadline is Dec. 31. Applications and guidelines can be obtained by contacting Capitol Grounds Manager John Cummings at (304) 957-7151.
A state Senate panel looking to revitalize the struggling southern coalfields will meet this week in Logan County. It's the group's fourth and final listening tour stop and it's set for 6 p.m. Tuesday at Chapmanville Town Hall. The Southern Coalfields Organizing and Revitalizing the Economy initiative, or SCORE, wants to diversify southern West Virginia and is studying ways to boost the coalfields. The panel plans to make recommendations before the Jan. 14 start of the 60-day legislative session. Democratic Senate President Jeff Kessler's leads the task force that also looks at increasing tourism advertising and agribusiness and rural development.
The website Movoto ranks West Virginia high on a list, and this time it's not bad news. West Virginia is #1 on a list of states most excited about celebrating Christmas. The company used internet searches and social media to come up with the list.
A legal battle over the firing of West Virginia's school superintendent is heading to the state's highest court. A Kanawha County circuit judge last month refused to dismiss former superintendent Jorea Marple's lawsuit. The Charleston Gazette reports that the West Virginia Board of Education is appealing that ruling to the state Supreme Court. Marple sued the board and one of its members, Wade Linger, in April. She alleges defamation and violation of her due process rights when she was fired in November. In a notice of appeal, the defendants argue that Circuit Judge James Stucky wrongly rejected their claim that they are entitled to immunity because the firing was a proper exercise of governmental authority.
A state Senate panel seeking to revitalize the struggling southern coalfields has awarded a $20,000 grant to a trail project. Senate President Jeff Kessler and task force members gave the grant to the Piney Creek Trail Committee last week. The money will help build a hiking and biking trail starting from Beckley's YMCA soccer complex, heading to the Raleigh County Airport, then down Piney Creek to the New River Gorge National River.
Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is encouraging West Virginians to be careful when they get unsolicited credit card offers via email this holiday season. Morrisey says consumers may see an increase in unsolicited phone calls or emails offering new credit cards or offering to increase their credit line. He says it's important to check if they are valid before signing up and suggests researching the company making the offer, call the company directly and don't click on any emails about a problem with a credit card. Those who think they've been the victim of a fraudulent offer can contact the state Consumer Protection Division at (800) 368-8808 or visit www.ago.wv.gov .
The Capitol Building Commission gave it's approval to renovation plans at the Capitol Complex Building 3. Contractor bids back in 2011 came in about $6 million over the $27 million budget so plans were scaled back, and these were the revised plans getting approval. The Charleston Gazette reports the new plans eliminated things like conference rooms with floor-to-ceiling teleconferencing screens. The plans will keep some of the historical elements of the current design. The next step is for the project to go out to bid, and there's no firm date for that yet.
Both lanes of I-64 were shut down last night in Charleston because of an accident. A tractor trailer lost control and hit a car near the Charleston Civic Center, according to dispatchers. There were no serious injuries, but the driver of the tractor trailer was taken to the hospital as a precaution.
A Putnam County woman wasn't arrested, but she was stopped and questioned after she tried to take a loaded handgun onto a flight at Yeager Airport Wednesday morning. The federal Transportation Security Administration said the woman was from Scott Depot and had a .380 caliber semi-automatic handgun loaded with seven rounds, including one in the chamber. A screener found the gun in via x-ray as the bag was passing through on the conveyor belt. The gun was confiscated, but the woman wasn't arrested. She did miss her flight to Atlanta.
A St. Albans woman got a lengthy prison sentence Wednesday after pleading guilty to killing her mother. 36-year old Jessica Lee Woods was sentenced to up to 70 years in prison for strangling her mother to death and then hiding her body in the shed of her home on West Main Street. Woods also used her mother's bank card to steal money. She told judge Duke Bloom that she killed her mother February 10th and hid the body in the shed. She admitted to telling Shawn Legg what she had done. He was her boyfriend at the time. Legg pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact and was sentenced in November to one to three years in prison.