Breaking Local News

Warrant Issued for Man Who Illegally Cut Trees at Coonskin Park

An arrest warrant is out for the man at the center of the Coonskin Park tree controversy. Dvid Bowen of Charleston owned and operated Russell Trucking and was hired a year ago to remove trees at the park that were damaged by derecho winds several months prior to that. He's accused of cutting down healthy trees and selling the lumber for more than $100,000. The arrest warrant charges Bowen with several things including wrongful injuries to timber, removal, injury to or destruction of property, and obtaining money, property and services by false pretenses. reports Bowen is out of town and deputies will arrest him when he returns.

Missing Beckley Woman Declared Dead

Raleigh County officials have declared a woman who vanished in 1993 as dead.
The Register-Herald reports that the County Commission signed a petition on Tuesday that presumes the death of Angela Cherice Gwinn Stephens. Commission president Dave Tolliver says West Virginia State Police have exhausted leads in the search for Stephens. Stephens was last seen on the morning of Oct. 1, 1993. The newspaper says Stephens' husband told police that she dropped him off at his job in Beckley but didn't return to pick him up.

Gas Prices Edge Up

West Virginia gasoline prices have risen 3 cents per gallon in the past week. AAA East Central says the average price for a gallon of regular is at $3.77. That's 12 cents more than a year ago and the highest since prices hit $3.68 a gallon last July. Prices range from $3.73 in Charleston to $3.83 in Wheeling. Nationally, gas prices average $3.67 per gallon, down 3 cents from a week ago.

Tournism Grant Money Comes to the State

The West Virginia Tourism Commission is awarding $710,000 in tourism advertising grants, including assistance for The Greenbrier resort's professional golf tournament. After investing $150,000, The Greenbrier Classic will receive $100,000 in grants to support a broadcast ad campaign for the July golf tournament. Two other initiatives will also receive $100,000. Adventures on the Gorge's campaign will focus on getting more youth involved in outdoor activities, while promoting longer multisport packages. Fayette-Mercer-Raleigh County Winter Coalition's ad push seeks to bring more multiday visitors in for winter activities. Both are investing $150,000 to secure the matching grants.

West Side Homes May Be Torn Down

Charleston has applied for a $575,000 grant to demolish some boarded up West Side homes. reports competition for the grant is fierce, with only 15 grants total awarded nationally each year. Police say the abandoned houses are a hot spot for crime, and neighbors call them an eyesore.

Historic Charleston Home Needs Fixing

The owners of a home in Charleston's South Hills have three weeks to come up with a plan to repair damage to the home, or face $2500 in fines. Building inspectors visited the Top-O-Rock home on Goddard Road Monday after getting complaints, and the Daily Mail reports the inspectors ended up issued 5 citations to the homeowners for things like broken glass and graffiti. If the issues aren't corrected in 21 days, the city could take the homeowners to court. The home was built in 1968 by late architect Henry Elden, who lived there until his death in 2009. The home is four thousand square feet, and has been featured on HGTV and by Parade Magazine.

New Recycling Ordinance Approved

The Charleston City Council this week approved a new ordinance which is expected to make it easier to recycle. The new "single stream" ordinance means you don't have to separate items to be recylcled, and the goal is to get more people doing it. Keep separating items until June 1st, and after that you'll be able to put several recyclable items in the same container.

Government-Based Job Fair Today at the Culture Center

If you'd like to work for the government, here's your shot. The third annual State Government Career Fair is happening today at the state Culture Center in Charleston. The event is sponsored by the state Division of Personnel and WorkForce West Virginia. It provides information to job seekers on full-time state government employment opportunities and benefits. Job seekers are encouraged to bring their resumes. More than 15 state agencies are participating. Information also will be distributed to college students for government internships.

Car Hits Riverside Front Porch

There were only minor injuries Tuesday after a car hit a house. The Kanawha County Sheriff's office responded to the wreck at 2471 East DuPont Ave in the Riverside area and learned that 56-year old Rhonda Livesay of Boomer was traveling west on US 60/East DuPont Ave when she fell asleep. Her 2014 Chevrolet Malibu ran off of the road and over the embankment and hit the porch of a house. Livesay was transported to CAMC General Division for treatment of minor injuries and there was no one inside the house at the time of the accident. It's still under investigation, and no citations have been issued.

Dunbar Votes To Apply For Home Rule

Charleston was one of the original cities to test Home Rule when it was a pilot program, and more cities are applying now that the program has been expanded. The city of Dunbar just voted to apply this week. Home rule gives cities more control over over how city leaders do business, and flexiility in generating revenue. There will be a public forum to talk about it, as part of the next Dunbar City Council meeting.

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