Breaking Local News
You may notice flags at half-staff today to honor a long-serving city council woman who has passed away. Mary Jane Vanderwilt died over the weekend. She served for many years on the Charleston City Council and worked with the Beautification Committee. County commissioner, Hoppy Shores has ordered all flags at Kanawha County facilities to be lowered to half-staff.
The West Virginia attorney general has filed a lawsuit against Mingo County school officials claiming they brushed aside allegations that two male students sexually abused female classmates. The lawsuit also claims school officials interfered with a State Police investigation. The lawsuit said administrators at Burch Middle School retaliated against the girls for reporting the allegations. Defendants include the principal, vice principal, a coach and the Mingo County school board. The lawsuit alleged the abuses occurred on a school bus, at the school and on a field trip.
More now on the Top-O-Rock home in South Charleston that's about to be fined for things like graffiti and broken glass....A Facebook page created to save the historic home is collecting followers, in fact at least doubling the number of followers in the past two or three days. The Save Top-O-Rock page as started after the story came out that the home may be demolished or at least fined after being vandalized several times. The home was built in 1968 and has been featured on HGTV and by Parade Magazine. The Facebook page's founder, Jennifer Peters, says she's working on a plan to bring people to discuss ideas for the home and take action.
Heads up for drivers...The Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office and Dunbar Police Department will be conducting a high visibility sobriety checkpoint on Saturday from 6:00 p.m. to midnight on Dunbar Avenue in Dunbar. The Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office says it has a “zero” tolerance when it comes to impaired driving in Kanawha County and randomly conducts checkpoints and targeted patrols throughout the year.
An arrest warrant is out for the man at the center of the Coonskin Park tree controversy. Dvid Bowen of Charleston owned and operated Russell Trucking and was hired a year ago to remove trees at the park that were damaged by derecho winds several months prior to that. He's accused of cutting down healthy trees and selling the lumber for more than $100,000. The arrest warrant charges Bowen with several things including wrongful injuries to timber, removal, injury to or destruction of property, and obtaining money, property and services by false pretenses. WSAZ.com reports Bowen is out of town and deputies will arrest him when he returns.
Raleigh County officials have declared a woman who vanished in 1993 as dead.
The Register-Herald reports that the County Commission signed a petition on Tuesday that presumes the death of Angela Cherice Gwinn Stephens. Commission president Dave Tolliver says West Virginia State Police have exhausted leads in the search for Stephens. Stephens was last seen on the morning of Oct. 1, 1993. The newspaper says Stephens' husband told police that she dropped him off at his job in Beckley but didn't return to pick him up.
West Virginia gasoline prices have risen 3 cents per gallon in the past week. AAA East Central says the average price for a gallon of regular is at $3.77. That's 12 cents more than a year ago and the highest since prices hit $3.68 a gallon last July. Prices range from $3.73 in Charleston to $3.83 in Wheeling. Nationally, gas prices average $3.67 per gallon, down 3 cents from a week ago.
The West Virginia Tourism Commission is awarding $710,000 in tourism advertising grants, including assistance for The Greenbrier resort's professional golf tournament. After investing $150,000, The Greenbrier Classic will receive $100,000 in grants to support a broadcast ad campaign for the July golf tournament. Two other initiatives will also receive $100,000. Adventures on the Gorge's campaign will focus on getting more youth involved in outdoor activities, while promoting longer multisport packages. Fayette-Mercer-Raleigh County Winter Coalition's ad push seeks to bring more multiday visitors in for winter activities. Both are investing $150,000 to secure the matching grants.
Charleston has applied for a $575,000 grant to demolish some boarded up West Side homes. WSAZ.com reports competition for the grant is fierce, with only 15 grants total awarded nationally each year. Police say the abandoned houses are a hot spot for crime, and neighbors call them an eyesore.
The owners of a home in Charleston's South Hills have three weeks to come up with a plan to repair damage to the home, or face $2500 in fines. Building inspectors visited the Top-O-Rock home on Goddard Road Monday after getting complaints, and the Daily Mail reports the inspectors ended up issued 5 citations to the homeowners for things like broken glass and graffiti. If the issues aren't corrected in 21 days, the city could take the homeowners to court. The home was built in 1968 by late architect Henry Elden, who lived there until his death in 2009. The home is four thousand square feet, and has been featured on HGTV and by Parade Magazine.