Breaking Local News

Changes Coming to Structure of DHHR

Changes are in the works at the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources in response to an audit that found the agency is inefficient. DHHR Secretary Karen Bowling plans to break the agency into three divisions covering human services, health services, and insurance and strategic planning. Each division would oversee several bureaus within the agency. Deputy secretaries would be appointed to lead the divisions. The plan was outlined this week at a legislative interim committee meeting. The audit by consulting firm Public Works found that the DHHR wastes millions of dollars and has a high turnover rate, and the change would help managers more efficiently deal with the day-to-day.

Shooter Sought in Rand

The Kanawha County Sheriff's office is investigating a shooting that happened last night in the 5100 block of Raven Drive in Rand. CPL BD Humphreys says the victim's condition isn't known, but he was taken to CAMC General.
Detectives believe the victim was known by his attackers. He was beaten before being shot. The attackers are described as 3-4 black males in hooded sweat shirts. They fled on foot and then in a white SUV. Anyone with information should call the 24 hour line at 304-357-0169 tonight, or the detective bureau tomorrow at 304-357-0556.

Man Pleads Not Guilty to Elkview Murder

A man accused of murder entered a not guilty plea in court Monday. Steven Michael Randolph is accused of killing David Lemons in May in Elkview, and prosecutors have claimed that Randolph fired a crossbow at Lemons and then attacked him with an ax or hammer. Randolph allegedly told police he killed Lemons when he caught him with his wife and they got into a fight. The trial date was set for March 10th, and he's being held without bond until then.

Woman Sentenced for Hitting Trooper

The woman who hit an off-duty West Virginia state trooper with car last year will spend time in jail. A Kanawha County judge sentenced Jennifer Garretson to an indeterminate 2 to 10 year sentence with credit for time served. The new sentence for malicious wounding will run concurrently to one she's already serving on unrelated forgery and uttering charges. Garretson is accused of hitting Sgt. Aaron Nichols with her vehicle on New Year's Eve, 2012. Sgt. Nichols is still dealing with the effects of the accident, including hearing loss.

Lawsuit Filed After Nicholas County Shootout

After a violent shootout Friday in Nicholas County, two families wasted no time filing a lawsuit against law enforcement officials, asking for compensation. Attorneys say the lawsuit was a last resort, and that none of the defendants named in the suit offered to clean up the bullets and damage from the gunfire. Defendants named in the suit include Nicholas County sheriff, West Virginia State Police, the Summersville and Richwood Police Departments and the Fayette County Sheriff's Department. 84-year old John Evans was killed in the gunfight at his home, and neighbors say their homes were also damaged.

Body Identified As That of Missing Putnam County Man

A body found Friday by a hunter in a wooded area of Putnam County has been positively identified as that of a man missing. The remains were identified as 23-year old Brian "Chris" Sexton, who was last seen Oct. 14. The cause of death was undetermined, pending toxicology tests. There is no evidence of physical trauma, violence or foul play, according to the State Medical Examiner's office. For more information, go to WSAZ.COM

Body of Missing Man Found in Woods in Scott Depot

An autopsy will confirm the identity today, but Putnam County deputies say a hunter found the body of Brian Sexton, who had been missing since October. The body was found Friday afternoon in the woods off of Interstate 64 in Scott Depot. Family members had asked for the public's help finding Sexton after he was last seen at a party in Scott Depot October 14th. Investigators don't suspect foul play, but local deputies along with FBI are continuing to investigate.

Michigan Man Arrested For Distributing Heroin in the Kanawha Valley

A Detroit man is facing charges after his arrest on Friday. The Kanawha County Sheriffs STOP team says it received a tip that a man from Detroit, Michigan was in the area distributing heroin. After an investigation, the man was identified as Denzell Lamarr Bunkley. Detectives got a search warrant for Bunkleys motel room, and as a result of the search several thousand dollars in cash was seized along with a quantity of Heroin. Bunkley was charged with possession with intent to deliver and was lodged at the South Central Regional Jail.

Marshalls Employee Arrested in Shoplifting Scheme

A Marshalls store employee was arrested Friday as part of an alleged shoplifting scheme. Charleston Police say Sandi Jean Maberry is the employee, and Donna Kaye Gandee was the customer caught in the scheme. Police say video footage shows Gandee and an unidentified man bringing merchandise to Maberry who would then pretend to ring up the items and place them in a bag and give the bag to Gandee and the unidentified man. Both women were arrested. They say the scheme ran from early November until Friday when they were arrested. For more information, go to WSAZ.COM

Several Accidents Reported Because of Slick Roads

Sunday morning's snow caused several accidents and caused cancellations, including many area church services. Accidents were reported along Corridor G, I-77 N near Leon Sullivan Way, DuPont Avenue near the DuPont plant and I-64 west of Institute. Two tractor trailers crashed on U.S. 35 Northbound near the I-64 interchange in Putnam County. There was also an accident just before Exit 11 heading west on I-64, among others. For more Charleston / Kanawha Valley news, go to WSAZ.COM

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