Breaking Local News
State flags at the Capitol Complex Wednesday and at state facilities in Logan County were at half-staff in honor of a fire chief who died while responding to a call for assistance. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin ordered the flags to be lowered in honor of Lake Volunteer Fire Department Chief, 63-year old George Underwood. Assistant state fire marshal Jason Baltic told WCHS-TV that Underwood collapsed on April 3 as he was helping to clean out a blocked culvert. Tomblin said in a news release that Underwood had served as the fire department's chief for more than 25 years.
The Randolph County Commission and the county 911 Center have settled a wrongful death lawsuit for more than $210,000. The lawsuit alleged that the county EMS's slow response time might have contributed to 37-year-old Melanie Nicole Miller's death in 2010. Miller's mother, Wilma D. Miller of Elkins, sued the commission, the 911 Center, the county EMS and the city of Elkins in 2012, and when the ambulance didn't arrive, the family took Miller to the hospital where she died later that day. The city was later dropped from the case. The county EMS remains as a defendant. The Inter-Mountain reports that a circuit judge approved the settlement last week.
Sheriff's deputies say a young girl was shot by her brother Monday. It happened in South Charleston...a 4-year-old girl was taken into Thomas Memorial Hospital in South Charleston with a gunshot wound, and Kanawha County Sheriff's deputies think she was shot by her 5-year old brother. The girl's wound was in the arm and she is expected to be okay. The father was questioned and detained, and eventually arrested, and charged with Child Neglect resulting in Risk of Serious Bodily Injury. 23-year old John Seymour and 24-year old Tabitha Bowen, both of Cross Lanes, are facing the same charges. Child Protective Services is also involved in the investigation.
Two West Virginia corrections officials and a correctional organization are recipients of an award honoring efforts on behalf of crime victims. Corrections Commissioner Jim Rubenstein, Mount Olive Correctional Complex warden David Ballard and Correctional Industries were given the Geneva Foster Pioneer Award during a ceremony Monday in Charleston. Foster was a longtime advocate of crime victims and their survivors before she died in 2004. U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin hosted the ceremony at the Robert C. Byrd U.S. Courthouse.
Putnam County deputies have been cracking down on distracted driving, and several people were cited last weekend. The Putnam County Sheriff's department said it issued 22 citations for texting/talking on phones while driving. Don't think the crackdown is over...the sheriff's office said previously that it was focusing on the crackdown from April 4th through 13th, along Interstate 64.
State regulators have ordered West Virginia American Water Company to continue participating in a series of public-private water projects. Monday's ruling by the Public Service Commission came on a complaint filed by five public service districts and several other local agencies. The complaint alleged that West Virginia American Water improperly withdrew from partnerships to expand water service in various areas of the state. The PSC ruled that the water company has an obligation to continue participating in projects proposed by the local agencies that would extend service to new customers in areas that the company could reasonably serve. The projects must be technically feasible and the company must have a reasonable opportunity to earn a return on its investment.
Some of the worst roads around Charleston will get a little makeover. Finance committee members from the Charleston City Council voted Monday in favor of renewing the annual street pavement agreement. It's going to take a little over a million dollars to fix the potholes and cracks that have appeared because of the harsh winter. The repaving projects will start around April 21st.
West Virginia highway officials have closed a road in Logan County amid fears of a landslide. The Division of Highways says the closure involves Madison Creek Road. Just above that road, construction is underway on a new portion of West Virginia Route 10. The project's contractor has said he fears the hillside above Madison Creek Road could give way during heavy rains. The closure is in effect until further notice.
Drugs continue to be a problem in West Virginia....It's one of many states reporting a rise in heroin use as many addicts shift from more costly and harder-to-get prescription opiates to this cheaper alternative. It's a national trend, according to Kenny Burner of the state Appalachia High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. Burner said the numbers of seizures and overdoses have been steadily increasing over the past three to five years. The number of heroin-related deaths are up, and state data shows a huge increase in the number of West Virginians seeking heroin treatment.Burner says it will take community effort through prevention, enforcement and treatment to rid the state of the problems.
The operator of West Virginia's Courtesy Patrol is seeking a two-month extension of its state contract. The Courtesy Patrol is one of nine nonprofit entities overseen by the nonprofit Citizens Conservation Corps of West Virginia. The Register-Herald reports that the Beckley-based nonprofit's contract through the Division of Highways expired in July 2013 and has received three-month extensions since then. Due to an oversight, the Legislature didn't appropriate money for the roadside service for the fiscal year that begins July 1. Local lawmakers say they expect the funding to be addressed in a special session before then. Courtesy Patrol director Jennifer Douglas says the Citizens Conservation Corps of West Virginia has operated the service since it was revived in November 1998.