Breaking Local News
Investigators think an early morning house fire Monday on Charleston's west side was arson. The fire broke out around 4am on Stockton Street, and Charleston Firefighters say something came through a small window in the back of the home and that's what likely started the fire. The house had been boarded up by the city and was vacant at the time. Building Commissioner Tony Harmon told WSAZ.com the home was boarded up due to unsafe conditions, and the city has found people living inside of it a couple of times that weren't supposed to be there. The home will probably be torn down if the paperwork goes through. Anyone with information about the arson case should call the Arson Hotline at 800-233-FIRE (3473).
Concussions are a concern across sports, and high school and middle school coaches in West Virginia are being asked to watch out for them during the upcoming school year. The West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission is requiring head coaches for all sports to receive training on how to recognize concussions and how to deal with them. The training isn't limited to coaches. The SSAC is opening the course to anyone as part of an effort to educate school communities about concussions. SSAC executive director Gary Ray says that football is the focus of the effort. But he says concussions can occur in any sport. The SSAC also plans to collect monthly data on concussions from every school.
Someone is stealing gas from parked cars in Marmet. WSAZ.com reports one man came out of his house to find a hose coming out of his gas tank. And police say several cars were drained of fuel in the 95th Street area when drivers weren't watching. Police recommend locked caps as the best way to protect yourself. The investigation continues, but so far no suspects.
A UC athletic coach is moving on to take a different position. Mark Downey has resigned as the men's basketball coach at the University of Charleston and will move on to coach basketball at the University of West Alabama. The search for a new coach begins immediately.
Two people have entered pleas after a home invasion in Campbells Creek last year. Tonia Blount and Terry Shamblin pleaded guilty in connection with the violent home invasion, assault, and robbery of James Chapman at his home last year. After the pleas, the judge sentenced Blount to two years probation, with the condition of receiving drug treatment. Shamblin was sentenced to one to five years in prison. Their arrests came in December of last year.
Sheriff's deputies are still looking for two armed robbery suspects in Fayette County. The men are accused of robbing a Sunoco gas station early Saturday morning. The clerk told police that a white woman with short blonde hair and several tatoos on her arms, walked around in the store for a few minutes. Later, a black man with a handgun came in and demanded all the cash in the register -- threatening to kill the clerk. He's been described as perhaps having a large growth on his neck. The two may be driving a Ford Taurus. Anyone with information should call the Fayette County 911 Center or Crime Stoppers.
During a drug deal last week in Cross Lanes, one person sold grass clippings which the customers thought was marijuana. The customers later later tracked down that person on Rocky Lane and beat him, and since he's paralyzed from the waist down he was unable to defend himself. The attackers also stole prescription pills. The Kanawha County Sheriff's Office says the suspects are 21-year old Robert Chastin McFadden of Cross Lanes, and 22-year old Joey Lee Ashworth of Scott Depot. Both have been arrested and charged with armed robbery. The sheriff's office says charges may be pursued against others involved in planning the attack.
A man wanted for questioning in North Carolina was found this week in Putnam County. 35-year old James Michael Burcham was pulled over by West Virginia State Police on Interstate 64 near the Hurricane exit, after his vehicle had been flagged by law enforcement in North Carolina. Burcham was wanted for questioning in connection to a death investigation. He'll be taken back to North Carolina.
A serious drunk driving accident in Roane County left one person dead and one severely injured early Thursday. Police have arrested the driver of the pickup truck that ran off W. Va. 36 and hit a house near Looneyville. 23-year-old Chaz Simmons of Spencer is charged with DUI causing death and DUI causing injury. Thirty-year-old Kelly Casto was killed and 38-year-old William Cottrell was severely injured, in serious condition at Charleston Area Medical Center. Police say Casto and Cottrell were asleep inside the house when the accident occurred. Simmons was treated for minor injuries and released.
Hunters can get permits now for two hunts later this year. The Division of Natural Resources says the antlerless deer hunts will be conducted at seven wildlife management areas, three state forests and in 10 counties. The hunts on public and private land will be held from Nov. 25 to Dec. 7, Dec. 19 to 21, and Dec. 28 to 31. A hunt from Oct. 24 to 26 is for private land only. A bear hunt without dogs will be offered by permit only on private land in 19 counties and will be held from Nov. 25 to Dec. 7. Applications are available on the DNR's website, at district offices and through licensed agents. The application deadline for either license is Aug. 19.