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There are many ways to celebrate West Virginia's Sesquicentennial this week. There's a ceremony Thursday on the State Capitol steps at 1:50pm, and the U.S. Postal Service unveils the West Virginia 150th birthday stamp. That will be followed at 4pm by The Civil War - the Broadway musical performance by the Charleston Light Opera Guild at the Culture Center Theater. Thursday evening at 7:30pm there is an Outdoor concert planned with the WV Symphony Orchestra & the Appalachian Children’s Chorus on the State Capitol steps. And then finally on Thursday, expect 150 in 3-D: A Century and a Half of WV Pride 3-D spectacular projected directly on the state Capitol State Capitol steps at 10 p.m. That will be followed by fireworks.
Eight employees of the West Virginia Attorney General's Office have been fired as part of a restructuring of the office. The Charleston Gazette reported that state personnel records show the firings include two assistant attorneys general and two employees in the office's Consumer Protection Division. A spokeswoman for Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, Beth Ryan, said she can't comment on personnel issues. Morrisey, a Republican, defeated five-term Democrat incumbent Darrell McGraw in the November 2012 general election. He announced after the election that he would restructure the office.
Just ahead of a community meeting in Rand to address the recent home invasions, a suspect turned himself in. Tevin Christopher “Smook” Williams turned in himself to the Nashville Police in Tennessee Monday on the outstanding warrant issued in Kanawha County for armed robbery that was issued after the investigation of a home invasion style robbery in the 5300 block of Elaine Drive in Rand. The Kanawha Bureau of Investigation is exploring possible connections to other recent home invasion style robberies in the Rand community over the last several weeks. Williams will be extradicted back to Kanawha County. A meeting was held last night at the Rand Community Center that aimed to help residents prevent robberies.
A West Virginia man accused of gunning down a county sheriff has been denied bail ahead of his murder trial. Tennis Melvin Maynard sought possible release terms at a Monday court hearing. Defense lawyer Richard Weston told Circuit Judge Paul Farrell that he's seen no evidence of premeditation. The 37-year-old faces a tentative Oct. 21 trial date on murder and other charges in the April slaying of Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum. Maynard allegedly shot Crum to death in a downtown Williamson parking lot. The sheriff was eating lunch in his police cruiser. After a brief vehicle chase, authorities say Maynard pulled a gun on a pursuing deputy who then shot and wounded Maynard. Prosecutor Michael Sparks cited those allegations and how Crum was shot twice in the head.
A protest by mine workers and their supporters led to 12 arrests Monday. The United Mine Workers of America is in a dispute with St. Louis-based Patriot Coal, and there was a big protest in downtown St. Louis over health benefits for retired miners and reduced pay and benefits for current miners. Patriot says the moves are necessary for survival, but Union leaders say Patriot was set up to fail when it spun off from St. Louis-based Peabody Energy in 2007. A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge has given Patriot the go-ahead for its changes. The 12 were arrested Monday for nonviolent, civil disobedience.
There will be lots of celebrating this week in Charleston. The West Virginia Sesquicentennial Commission has released the full schedule of events for Charleston to mark the 150th anniversary of statehood, and that includes the unveiling of the 150th birthday stamp on the state capitol steps Thursday at 1:50pm. There will be live music that night and a 3-D spectacular projected onto the capitol building, along with fireworks around 10pm Thursday. Events run from Thursday to Sunday on the state capitol grounds.
An Elkview man's murder case is headed to a grand jury. 25-year old Steven Randolph is charged with murder for the death of David Lemons. The Kanawha County Sheriff's office has said Randolph saw Lemons on top of his wife and she was telling him to stop and get off, and Randolph beat and killed Lemons. The preliminary hearing was held Friday, and that sent the charges to the grand jury. If the grand jury finds there is enough evidence, Randolph will go to trial.
Rand has seen its share of crime lately, and there will be a community meeting tonight to address it. After several home invasions in the Rand area, Kanawha County sheriff's deputies named a suspect, but Tevin Christopher Williams, or Smook, remains on the run. The community meeting to talk about the crimes is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Rand Community Center tonight.
The investigation continues into a Saturday murder. 26-year old Shane Patrick Henry of Charleston died Saturday, and the Kanawha County Sheriff's office says his body was found near a dumpster along John Wesley Drive in the Mink Shoals area. He had been shot numerous times. Some neighbors reported hearing noises similar to gunshots or firecrackers in the early morning hours, cut there were no 911 calls at that point. Anyone with information should contact the Kanawha County Sheriff's office.
Call 304-357-0169 or submit anonymous tips online through our website at www.kanawhasheriff.us.
Huntington Mayor Steve Williams said it is time for his city and Charleston to start working together. Williams has invited Charleston Mayor Danny Jones, Charleston City Council and administration officials to meet with their counterparts in Huntington so they can explore ways to cooperate. Williams told The Herald-Dispatch that the cities can accomplish more working together than they have been able to do separately. Both cities are dealing with issues like growth and development, pensions and infrastructure, and Mayor Jones says he's considering the invite. Earlier this year, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget moved Lincoln and Putnam counties from the Charleston metropolitan statistical area to the Huntington-Ashland, Ky., metro area. But Charleston remains the state's largest city, followed by Huntington.