Breaking Local News
Kanawha County commissioners will meet next week to find a temporary and then a permanent replacement for prosecutor Mark Plants, who says he won't appeal the decision to remove him from office. The agenda for the special commission meeting on Monday, Nov. 10th shows commissioners were talk about and then vote on appointing a temporary prosecuting attorney who would serve no longer than 30 days. Commissioners will also talk about the application process for a permanent successor to Plants, and public interviews for the candidates would happen Nov. 17.
Three senior status judges will fill in for a judge suspended without pay for an inappropriate sexual affair. Friday, West Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Robin Davis recalled Judges John Henning, Thomas Steptoe and Thomas Keadle to serve in Jaymie Godwin Wilfong's place. The Supreme Court ruled Thursday to suspend Wilfong through December 2016 and make her pay $8,000 in prosecuting costs. Wilfong had a two-year affair with William Travis Carter, then director of North Central Community Corrections in Elkins.
No word yet if the students who made threats at two different schools Friday will face any charges. One threat was made in Jackson County and another in Lincoln County, and some parents chose not to send their kids to school because of them after word traveled on social media that the schools might be in danger. Ripley High School went into lockdown mode for about 45 minutes, before Ripley Police officers gave the all clear. There was also a police presence at Lincoln County High School, where a student threatened to bring a gun to school. Police are still looking into it.
A conservation group is highlighting the George Washington and Jefferson national forests in Virginia and West Virginia are places that are at risk from gas drilling activities. Trout Unlimited's new "10 Special Places" report ranks the region as fifth for its areas that are rich in fish, game and natural beauty. The report covers threats to the specific regions and offers recommendations for the best approaches that can be used to protect these areas from potential risks. The group says it would be almost impossible to develop gas without severely impacting and changing the character of the national forest.
The West Virginia Supreme Court has again ruled that the state Regional Jail Authority cannot be held liable in a lawsuit that alleged a male correctional officer raped a female inmate. The Charleston Gazette reports that justices made a similar ruling in March but agreed to reconsider its decision after outrage from state and national organizations. The court says the authority is entitled to immunity because the woman failed to provide any evidence that the officer's alleged actions occurred within the scope of his employment. A lawsuit claims the officer raped the woman 17 times while she was an inmate at the Southern Regional Jail in 2009.
The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia is getting a federal grant to expand Putnam County's Veterans Treatment Court. Officials say the $50,000 federal planning grant will allow the court to expand into a Mental Health and Veterans Treatment Court. The grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice will cover the salary and benefits for a full-time treatment court manager for the Court, which is a combination of federal resources and state resources to offer treatment over incarceration. The Putnam County program will be the second full-fledged Mental Health and Veterans Treatment Court in West Virginia.
There's a new nonstop air service between Beckley and Charlotte, North Carolina starting soon. The Raleigh County Memorial Airport and Via Airlines reached an agreement for the service which should start in December. Flights to Charlotte will leave Beckley at 6:55 a.m. and 10:20 a.m. Monday through Friday and at 6:55 on Saturday and Sunday. Return flights arrive in Beckley at 9:46 a.m. and 5:35 p.m. Monday through Friday, and at 5:35 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. It's about an hour flight. Right now the Beckley airport offers twice-daily United Express flights to and from Washington’s Dulles International Airport.
A state Department of Environmental Protection official says the installation of detectors is nearly complete at six West Virginia landfills that will accept low-level radioactive drilling waste from natural gas operations. Legislation passed earlier this year required radiation monitoring of drill cuttings sent to landfills and overturned tonnage limits for those particular landfills. The DEP then crafted emergency rules for radiation detector placement. Detectors will be in place at two landfills in Harrison County and one apiece in Brooke, Ohio, Wetzel and Wood counties. Loads of cuttings above a certain radiation level must be rejected.
Students in Morgantown have been camping out, ready for ESPN's College Gameday live broadcast tomorrow. Some students have been having other students hold their campsite while they go to class. The Mountaineer game against TCU tomorrow is sold out, and starts tomorrow at 3:30pm on ABC.
Last Sunday a grandfather, Paul Ferguson, called the Kanawha County Sheriff's Office about his runaway grandson. The grandfather was taking his grandson - 17 year old Paul Browning of Branchland, WV - to meet a transport van at the Mink Shoals park-and-ride lot. The van would take the 17 year old to a juvenile placement center, The Youth Academy, in Fairmont. But Browning went into a hotel to use the restroom, then fled through another exit. A canine sheriff' tracked Browning from the hotel to the banks of the Elk River near Mink Shoals. As of yesterday, Browning is still missing. He is 5’10” tall, approximately 160 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans. Anyone with information is asked to call 304-357-0169. No foul play is suspected.