Breaking Local News
Drivers beware...The West Virginia State Police is increasing patrols on U.S. 119 in four counties. The targeted enforcement, called Operation 119, began Friday and will continue through Dec. 31. State police say troopers in Boone, Lincoln, Logan and Mingo counties will patrol the highway during the morning and evening rush hours looking for aggressive driving and speeding violations, along with distracted drivers.
West Virginia State Fire Marshal Anthony Wayne Carrico will be leaving his post at the end of the year. The West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety say Carrico has accepted a position as a corrections program manager at the Division of Corrections. Carrico had been acting state fire marshal since April 2013 and permanently took the post in October. The Boone County native joined the Fire Marshal's Office in 1992 after graduating from West Virginia University.
The Putnam County Public Service District will pay a $10,230 fine to settle water pollution violations that occurred during construction activity. The civil penalty is part of a consent order issued by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection. According to the order, the PSD also must submit a plan to achieve compliance with the water pollution control permit it received for the project. Violations discovered by DEP during an April inspection included creating sediment deposits on the bottom of a tributary of Rockstep Run and creating an open dump. The order says the violations occurred during land disturbance activity in Scott Depot.
About 750 Alpha Natural Resources workers at West Virginia coal mines will keep their jobs, despite layoff warnings this summer. In a news release Monday, Alpha said operations will continue at eight mines in Logan, Mingo, Boone and Raleigh counties. In July, Alpha warned 1,100 West Virginia workers at 11 mines of anticipated layoffs because of weak domestic and international markets and federal regulations. Eight mines extended layoff notices in September. Two mines were idled, resulting in 193 layoffs. One mine kept operating without a layoff warning. Alpha officials credited Monday's announcement to cost-cutting measures and sales improvements in some areas. Officials also warned of a more volatile coal market.
Freedom Industries president, Gary Southern, is facing federal charges filed Monday, related to the chemical spill in January. Southern has been charged federally with bankruptcy fraud, making a false oath in a bankruptcy case and wire fraud in connection with the investigation and bankruptcy proceedings following the spill. WCHS TV reports the documents filed in federal court claim Southern made false statements under oath to attempt to protect personal assets that total more than $7.7 million.
A rollover accident Saturday night killed a 15-year old girl and another was hospitalized. Charleston Police say Nikole Josephine Booth died from injuries when she lost control of the SUV she was driving on I-64 near the Oakwood Bridge in Charleston. She was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected. A 16-year-old passenger was also in the vehicle, and was taken to CAMC with non-life threatening injuries. Police believe speed was a contributing factor in the crash.
West Virginia University's board will take two more weeks to decide whether to retain exclusive rights to purchase Mountain State University's campus in Beckley. The board delayed its decision until Dec. 22 at a meeting Friday in Morgantown. The university says the board will continue its analysis of academic possibilities and economic factors associated with the deal. Mountain State closed after it lost its accreditations in 2012 and the University of Charleston took over Mountain State's campuses in Beckley and Martinsburg so students could complete their degrees.
Republican lawmakers have chosen a new West Virginia Senate president and House of Delegates speaker. The West Virginia Republican Party says Mercer County Sen. Bill Cole was named as Senate president and lieutenant governor during a caucus of GOP senators on Sunday. House Republicans named Kanawha County Delegate Tim Armstead as House speaker during their caucus.In January, Republicans will hold majorities in both the House and the Senate for the first time in eight decades following the November general election. Armstead previously served as House minority leader.
West Virginia State Police say five people were killed in a multiple-vehicle crash on Interstate 77 near Ripley over the weekend. The crash occurred when an SUV heading north - apparently toward Wheeling and the State football championship game - went out of control, sped through a cable median and into the southbound lanes. The SUV was broadsided by a southbound pickup truck and caught fire. Powers says all five victims were in the SUV. They are identified as: 46-year old Vivian Easton...15-year old Devon Easton Badger, 48-year old Walter Taylor, 14-year old Tahj Claiborne and 50-year old Wallace Worrell.
More now on a story from earlier in the week...A Cross Lanes woman has been charged with stealing Christmas packages and a wreath in an incident that was captured on surveillance video. 63-year-old Deborah R. Davis was arraigned this week on attempted burglary and petit larceny charges after police said she took items from the front porch of a home in Cross Lanes on Sunday. The homeowner posted the surveillance video on his Facebook page on Tuesday. Kanawha County Sheriff's Office spokesman Cpl. Brian Humphreys says Davis came forward Wednesday and told police she was the person in the video. Davis is being held in the South Central Regional Jail.