Breaking Local News

Murder Suspect Indicted in Ohio

A man accused of killing a West Virginia teenageris facing new charges. 36-year old Ernest Roach of Racine, OH waived extradition during a hearing this week in Kanawha County Circuit Court. The next day, Wedesday, Roach was indicted on one count of murder, two counts of compelling prostitution, two counts of tampering with evidence and one count of gross abuse of a corpse, in Meigs County, Ohio. That according to a news release from the Meigs County Prosecutors Office. The body of 16-year-old Erika Brown of Cross Lanes was found along the banks of the Ohio River in Meigs County, Ohio, earlier this month. She had been reported missing on Aug. 10. Police say Roach met Brown on the Internet.

Police Ask For Help Identifying Body

Dunbar Police and the Kanawha Bureau of Investigation are still looking into the case of the abandoned body found last week in an abandoned building near 19th Street and Myers Avenue in . An autopsy was performed at the West Virginia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, but there's no ID yet since the body was so badly decomposed. Cpl B-D Humphreys says foul play isn't suspected, but it hasn't been ruled out either. If anyone can help identify who it might be, you can submit tips to Dunbar police or the Kanawha County Sheriff's office. At this point officers think it was a woman about 5'7" tall, slim or medium build, and possibly with dark colored hair. They're not sure how old she was, and had likely been dead for several weeks before her body was found September 19th, and it's possible she was homeless.

Suspect Caught in Bank Robbery

Charleston police took a woman into custody after a masked robber held up the Fifth Third Bank on MacCorkle Avenue Southeast Wednesday afternoon. The robber demanded money and left in a blue Nissan Altima and the woman was arrested a few hours later. This is the third time the Fifth Third Bank has been robbed ini two years.

Work Begins On South Charleston Wells

South Charleston has hired a Spencer company to drill three wells that will provide natural gas to the city. Mayor Frank Mullens tells the Charleston Daily Mail that the city plans to use the gas to heat large facilities like the South Charleston Community Center. Reserve Oil & Gas will use conventional techniques to drill the wells, and not hydraulic fracturing and the city will get royalties, along with some free gas and a 15 percent discount on additional gas that it buys through the company. Reserve Oil & Gas also has an agreement with Mountaineer Gas to supply gas from the wells to businesses along Corridor G. Site work is underway on the first well.

FestivALL Events Announced

FestivALL is coming up quickly, and is expected to draw big crowds again this year. The festivities start in October, but yesterday Charleston Mayor Danny Jones and Mountain Stage Producer Larry Groce announced some of the events. This year there will be a production of Shakespeare's Hamlet, and a performance of Romeo and Juliet by the Charleston Ballet. Not to mention the pumpkin carving contest and the always popular Carriage Trail Leaf Walk. FestivALL runs from October 24th through 26th, and gets started on the 24th with local restaurants showing off their wares with Taste of Fall. For more, go to

Concerns Raised About Abandoned Buildings in Dunbar

After a badly decomposed body was found in Dunbar, concerns are being raised about abandoned properties there. Sometimes there are unmowed lawns and other eyesores. There are some working to have abandoned properties torn down, and in other cases the city is taking landlords to court. Dunbar Police are waiting on autopsy and toxicology results for the body that was discovered on Myers Avenue last week.

Debate Continues Over Ballot Slot

Kanawha County Republicans have filed a challenge with the West Virginia Supreme Court to fill an empty House of Delegates ballot slot. Marie Sprouse-McDavid and the Kanawha County Republican Executive Committee filed the challenge Monday. It targets Secretary of State Natalie Tennant and state Election Commission members. Last month, the Election Commission denied Republicans' request to fill a 35th District ballot vacancy left by GOP Del. Suzette Raines' withdrawal last month. Sprouse-McDavid would run instead. Raines said she needed time to heal after her mother's death in March and the end of her engagement. She's completing her term. A legal complaint by state Democrats alleged Raines doesn't live where she claims. It said she didn't file or sign certain paperwork. Commissioners said Raines' extenuating circumstances didn't suffice under election law.

Children's Chorus Expands

The Appalachian Children's Chorus has launched a new group in Putnam County and plans to establish two more in Kanawha and Raleigh County. The Putnam County choir held its first practice last week. Appalachian Children's Chorus founding and artistic director Selina Midkiff tells The Charleston Gazette says that the nonprofit plans to start a group in Raleigh County in January. Midkiff says the Charleston-based chorus also hopes to form a new Kanawha County group for special needs students. The chorus's other groups are in Kanawha, Mason and Logan counties.

Hearing Continues Over Plants' Job Status

Testimony got going Monday at a hearing over a petition that was filed to remove Kanawha County Prosecutor Mark Plants from office. The hearing is expected to continue today and could wrap up this afternoon. Between 10 and 20 witnesses will testify by the time it's all done. The Kanawha County Commission filed the petition and cited irreparable financial harm for having to pay special prosecutors while Plants' case is pending. Plants has been charged with domestic battery and violating a protective order. After the testimony wraps up, the three judge panel will make a recommendation this fall to the Supreme Court, and they'll make a decision about Plants' job status.

Woman Identified as ATV Accident Victim

The person who was killed in an ATV accident over the weekend in Mason County has been identified. The Sheriff's Office says 70-year old Juanita Sue Wilson, 70 of Frazier's Bottom, was driving the all terrain vehcile and was hit by a vehicle on Aston Upland Road Saturday morning. She died at the scene, and the accident is still under investigation.

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