Breaking Local News

Putnam County Starts New Tracking System to Protect Children

The Putnam County sheriff's office has a new opportunity to help protect children when there is suspicion of drugs. Starting with the change of the calendar on August 1, the sheriff's department started entering drug-related cases where a child's safety could be compromised into the new Drug Endangered Child Tracking System. With that, there is a formal way to share suspicions and concerns directly with child-welfare workers. Officers will enter every felony drug arrest, and child-welfare workers can log in to look for cases that may not already be on their radar.

Coal Ruling Puts Damper on AEP Plans

American Electric Power says a ruling by Virginia regulators complicates matters in its proposal to reorganize ownership of some of its coal-fired power plants in West Virginia. The Virginia State Corporation Commission recently approved ApCo's plan to acquire the remaining portion of its John Amos plant near St. Albans, but also rejected the company's effort to take over half of the Mitchell plant near Moundsville.

Putnam County Man Sentenced for DUI

A Putnam County man is headed to jail after a deadly DUI accident in 2012. Caleb Beckner received his sentence Thursday for the drunk driving accident that killed his passenger, Heather Brooks. Beckner was on parole at the time for grand larceny, and received an 18 month prison sentence for his role in the deadly crash. His parole was revoked so he will also serve two to 15 years in prison for that charge.

Charleston Shooting Under Investigation

Charleston police are investigating a shooting that happened early this morning. Metro 911 Dispatchers say it happened in the 300 block of Leon Sullivan Way and the victim suffered two leg wounds. No word yet on a suspect.

Charleston Town Center Mall Gets More Upgrades

Charleston Town Center has announced plans to give the shopping center a facelift, at least on the Court Street side. The goal is to match the rest of the renovations that took place last year. So the concrete on Court Street, from JC Penney to Five Guys Burgers and Fries, will be replaced, at a cost of about $800,000. You'll notice new landscaping, lights, and ramps too. The inside of the mall was renovated last year at a cost of about $7 million, and this new project will help it all match. The latest project should be finished by the Christmas shopping season.

Defendant Meets Judge Via Video After Outburst

The court house became a bit tense on Wednesday when an inmate refused to go to court and had to be restrained in a special chair and wheeled into the South Central Regional Jail video room. Lamont Harris then had to face the judge on TV. Harris was also removed from the courtroom in May because of a similar incident. The trial had been scheduled to start Monday, but has been moved to Sept. 21 to allow time for a psychiatric evaluation. He's facing charges related to a Dunbar shooting in 2011, and is already in jail on a federal gun charge.

Old Poca Middle School Torn Down

A demolition crew started the task Wednesday of taking down the old Poca Middle School. Once the demolition is finished in about three weeks, that space will be used as a drop-off spot for buses. The newly completed Poca Middle School is combined with the elementary school and already sits not far from the old one. The Poca Middle School was a high school when it opened in 1926, and it became a middle school in the 1970s.

American Legion Building to be Torn Down

Charleston's zoning board decided Thursday at its meeting to tear down the former American Legion building in North Charleston. It's an old white building with a brown storefront that shows its age, in the 1700 block of 7th Avenue. After it's demolished, Charleston Replacement Housing plans to build three new small apartment buildings in that spot.

Historic Signs in Charleston Are Saved

They decided to fix those historic signs. At issue at yesterday's zoning board meeting, were the signs outside the Firestone Tire store on Washington Street, Budget Tapes & Records on MacCorkle Avenue and Fountain Hobby store on Washington Street. Even if the signs were taken down to be restored, current zoning laws says the signs cannot go back up without a variance from the board of zoning appeals. At Thursday's hearing, zoning board members unanimously approved zoning variances to allow old neon signs at Fountain Hobby Shop and the downtown Firestone store to be taken down, fixed and remounted. A hearing involving the Budget Tapes and Records sign is coming up later this month.

Federal Agents Investigate Logan Arson

There may be a break in Logan County arson cases. Federal and state investigators were in Logan County Thursday executing a search warrant at a downtown building, and WCHS TV reports Federal agents, State Police and fire marshals were seen carrying several cardboard boxes out of the building on Dingess Street. The building is owned by individuals who state police think are connected to several arsons in the Logan area.

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