Breaking Local News
West Virginia is expanding its tourism funding in hopes of offsetting negative publicity from the January chemical spill in the Elk River that spurred a water-use ban for days. A $1.2 million cash infusion was announced last week that will more than double the Division of Tourism's spring advertising campaign budget. The Charleston Gazette reports that the additional funding will allow the ad campaign to expand to new markets and to run more frequently.
The Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office continues its crackdown against drunk driving. The sheriff's office, in conjunction with the Governor’s Highway Safety Program will be conducting a high visibility sobriety checkpoint tonight from 9:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. on WV Rt. 817 near Saint Albans. This is one of several planned checkpoints and targeted patrols throughout the year, and the sheriff's office says it has a zero tolerance policy against drunk driving.
A female bald eagle that nested in the New River Gorge has died from injuries suffered last month when she was hit by a train and later by a vehicle. Three Rivers Avian Center executive director Wendy Perrone says the eagle, named Streaky, was euthanized Monday after she failed to regain the use of her legs and her liver shut down. Perrone tells the Charleston Gazette that Streaky couldn't eat, drink or respond favorably to injections of fluids in recent days. The eagle collided with the windshield of a passenger train locomotive in the gorge on March 7. She later was hit by a vehicle. Streaky and her mate, Whitey, had nested in the gorge since 2010.
An arrest was made this week after an armed robbery in Logan. 29-year old Justin Harvey is facing charges after police say he went to the Little General at the Fountain Place Shopping Center Wednesday night about 9 p.m. and used a toy gun to try to coerce money from the clerk. He made away with about six hundred dollars, but police caught up to him. Detectives are investigating to see whether he was involved in other hold-ups at the same gas station.
Theatre West Virginia is preparing to return for its 54th season following a shutdown caused by financial problems. The Register-Herald reports that Theatre West Virginia has scheduled 17 performances of "Hatfields and McCoys" this season, beginning July 11, at Cliffside Amphitheatre at Grandview Park. Theatre West Virginia ceased operations in September 2013. This year, the Legislature allocated $125,000 for the theater. Organizers hope to raise another $325,000. Theatre West Virginia was founded in 1955.
An accident Thursday on on U. S. Route 60 near the Putnam County line, west of Saint Albans is under investigation. A 2000 Ford Ranger was traveling east on Route 60 and went off the road, then into incoming traffic, then into an embankment and it overturned. The driver, 42-year old Melinda Fox had to be extricated and taken to CAMC General for treatment. Her husband, 52-year old Timothy Fox, was trapped in the wreckage and pronounced dead at the scene. Both were from Black Betsy in Putnam County. Cpl. B. D. Humphreys says speed was a contributing factor, and the accident is still under investigation.
A racial slur spray-painted inside the West Virginia State University Capital Center Theater is being investigated by federal authorities. The Charleston Gazette reports that police received a report of the graffiti over the weekend. They forwarded the case to the FBI for investigation as a possible hate crime. West Virginia State is a historically black university. It acquired the downtown Charleston theater in the 1990s and it has classrooms inside now and serves as the venue for student performances and the West Virginia International Film Festival. Theater employees had the graffiti covered on Monday.
Gas prices in West Virginia went up a nickel a gallon since last week. AAA East Central reports that the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded is $3.66 this week. That's 2 cents cheaper than the national average. Motorists across West Virginia are finding a wide range of pump prices. They range from a low of $3.61 in Morgantown to a high of $3.73 in Martinsburg. Charleston drivers are paying $3.69 on average, according to Gasbuddy.com.
Two West Virginia-based Boy Scouts of America councils are planning to merge. Members of the Huntington-based Tri-State Area Council and the Charleston-based Buckskin Council will vote on whether to approve the merger on May 29. The Herald-Dispatch reports the Huntington Council's fundraising has declined and the merger will provide scouts with more opportunities, and more resources will be available for camp improvements and maintenance. The new council would begin operations July 1, if the merger is approved by the councils' members and the national organization.
More arrests at the Charleston Transit Mall. Four people were arrested last night after the 4th raid in 4 weeks as part of a crackdown by Charleston Police. Some have been arrested for active warrants, and other charges include trespassing and simple possession. About 40 people have been arrested in all.