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Correctional Officers' Pay Issues Brought to Light

A new report says correctional officers employed by the Division of Corrections have the lowest entry-level salaries in the nation. The report released Monday by the Legislative Auditor's Office says the entry-level salary for correctional officers is $22,141 annually. Illinois has the highest entry-level salary, $45,103. The report also says the turnover rate among correctional officers was 37 percent in fiscal 2014. But low pay likely wasn't the only factor. A stressful working environment and long shifts also came into play. According to the report, correctional officers earning the entry-level salary would qualify for government assistance if they live in a single-income household with three or more people.

City Faces Age Discrimination Suit

A former HR director in Charleston is suing the city, claiming age discrimination. Judy King is 64 years old, and worked for the city for 20 years. She claims she was terminated over her age, and says she was still able to perform her job duties. The Charleston Gazette reports she was let go almost one year ago, and replaced with someone much younger and with less experience. The lawsuit claims the city violated the state Human Rights Act when it allegedly discriminated against King because of age.

Bullying Continues To Be a Problem in WV

Concerns about bullying aren't going away. A new study says nearly half of student bullying incidents in West Virginia's public schools occur in middle schools. The state study says 47 percent of school discipline referrals for bullying, harassment or intimidation in the current academic year have occurred in middle schools. 29 percent of such incidents occurred in high schools and 24 percent occurred in elementary schools. The Register-Herald reports nearly 3000 students were referred for disciplinary action for bullying or harassment behaviors. Seventy-five percent of these students are male.

Services Set For Former Gov. Arch A Moore Jr.

Services are scheduled this week for former Gov. Arch A. Moore Jr. Moore died on Wednesday at age 91. U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito is his daughter, and her office says a memorial service will be held at the Culture Center in Charleston at 11 a.m this Friday Jan. 16. Visitation is set from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 16 at Grisell Funeral Home in Moundsville. A funeral will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday Jan. 17 at Simpson United Methodist Church in Moundsville.

Kanawha City Fire Kills One Person

An apartment fire over the weekend in Kanawha City is under investigation. One person died in the fire in apartments above Trivillian’s Pharmacy on the corner of 35th Street and Staunton Avenue. The flames escalated in a hurry, and the West Virginia State Fire Marshal's office if investigating to see how the fire started and why it got out of control so quickly. There is another fact in the matter that investigators will consider as part of the December Trivillian's Pharmacy was charged with two counts of health care fraud and one count of misbranding drugs. It's not known yet if there is a connection between the fire and that federal indictment.

20-year old Arrested After Struggle With Deputies

A man picked up a hitchhiker Friday in Rand, and then called the Kanawha County Sheriff's office when the man refused to get out of his car. The driver went to his own home on Coal Fork Drive in Campbells Creek and went inside, and told the hitchhiker to go away, but he ended up threatening to break car windows and hit the front door, and the victim said the hitchhiker threatened him with a gun while in the car. 20-year old James P Daugherty was arrested after a struggle with a Kanawha County Sheriff's deputy, and after refusing to cooperate. The deputy found crack cocaine on Daughterty, and a fully loaded 9mm pistol in his left jacket pocket. He was taken to South Central Regional Jail. And the man who called 911 said Daugherty wasn't a hitchhiker after all, but that he had given him a ride around town to sell drugs.

Freedom Execs Plead Not Guilty

Three executives charged in a chemical spill last January in West Virginia have pleaded not guilty. Former Freedom Industries officials Dennis Farrell, William Tis and Gary Southern entered pleas Thursday in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Dwane Tinsley in Charleston. Farrell and Tis were released on $10,000 bonds. Southern posted a $100,000 bond in a Fort Myers, Fla., federal court Dec. 9 after being arrested there on a criminal complaint from an FBI affidavit. Their trials are scheduled for March 10 in Charleston. Tinsley also ordered Southern to surrender his private pilot's license. Six former Freedom officials and Freedom itself face pollution charges. Southern also faces fraud charges related to Freedom's bankruptcy case after last January's spill.

Report Suggest Freedom Industries Knew About Problems

There are reports that Freedom Industries knew about serious problems before last January's chemical spill. The Charleston Gazette reports the company new about issues with the spill-containment dikes at the company’s Elk River facility years before the leak. Freedom was aware of problems with the containment dike around the tank that leaked, and also that tanks had not been properly inspected, and needed to be replaced. This is part of a newly unsealed affidavit filed in support of an application for a search warrant federal officials sought in September to obtain records.

More East End Owners To Get Tax Credits

The National Park Service has approved a 120-acre expansion of Charleston's East End Historic District. City planners announced the park service's decision this week, and said the boundary expansion became effective Dec. 16. A 2014 consultant's survey found that more than 400 structures in the expanded area contribute to the neighborhood's historic nature. Property owners in the district's expanded area will be eligible for tax credits for rehabilitation of historic properties. The original district was created in 1978.

Capito Appointed to Whip Team

Newly elected U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito has been appointed one of 10 members of the Republican whip team. Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, tapped Capito for the job. Capito has also been named one of four counsels to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

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