Breaking Local News
Putnam Family Court Judge William Watkins is off of the bench right now. The Charleston Gazette reports his departure was somewhat unexpected, and he won't be back until January 2. Watkins said he normally takes off this time of year around the holidays. Deloris Nibert, a former Mason County family court judge, was appointed by the state Supreme Court last week to cover Watkins' domestic violence caseload until the beginning of next year. Still pending against Watkins, are seven ethics violations alleging that he failed to enter domestic violence orders into the state's tracking system, delayed rulings, and screamed and cursed people in his courtroom. The state Judicial Hearing Board has recommended that Watkins be suspended until the end of his term in 2016.
Papa John's pizza stores throughout West Virginia will donate some of the proceeds Tuesday to support the families of two State Police troopers who were killed in the line of duty this summer. Cpl. Marshall Bailey and Trooper Eric Workman both died as a result of the shooting August 28th near the near the Wallback exit of Interstate 79 after they had pulled over a man for speeding. All Papa John's pizza stores in the state are participating in Tuesday's fundraiser and will donate 20 percent of their proceeds.
Johnny Rutherford ran unopposed and was elected Kanawha County Sheriff in November. On Thursday, Kanawha County Commissioners agreed unanimously to hire outgoing Sheriff Mike Rutherford, Johnny's brother as chief deputy. Johnny Rutherford served as chief deputy under Mike Rutherford during his time as Sheriff. Johnny Rutherfordhas been working as executive director of the Kanawha County Metro 911 Center since August.
West Virginia's Board of Education has its monthly meetings this week, and the subject of replacing Jorea Marple as state schools superintendent is up for discussion. The agenda allows for the immediate hiring of a new superintendent, or the board could opt to conduct a nationwide search, narrow it down, and interview a select group. The state board may also address the allegations that the state's open meetings law was violated when the board voted to fire Marple last month. The parents who filed that Supreme Court case claim Marple was fired because she was opposed to certain contracts being awarded. Board President Wade Linger announced Tuesday that he's seeking an independent review of contracts in the wake of that allegation
A mechanic died in May after falling three stories at the Liberty Processing Plant in Boone County, and now safety citations have been issued. The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration cited Independence Coal Company, a subsidiary of Alpha Natural Resources. Dolin was preparing to use a torch to remove a steal beam above the third floor at the Liberty plant, and was using a ladder extension without its base. MSHA cited the company for improper use of the ladder, failing to provide safe access to the beam and failing to require Dolin to wear a safety belt and line. There's no word yet on a possible appeal.
If kids accumulate enough absences at school, the parent can be held accountable, and Circuit Judge Duke Bloom has not been lenient. You may remember earlier this year, Bloom ordered several parents to jail in truancy cases. A Charleston woman has been sentenced to probation and community service after her 11-year old son missed 21 days of school since August. The Charleston Daily Mail reports that Brenda Wright pleaded guilty to first-offense truancy and was sentenced to 90 days of probation and five days of community service, plus court costs. Seven parents were ordered to appear before a Kanawha County Circuit Court judge to answer truancy charges but four did not show up. Warrants were issued for their arrests.
A water main break Wednesday near the frontier building in the 1500-block of MacCorkle Avenue in Charleston sent water shooting into the air, and was visible across the Kanawha River. Work crews were replacing light posts nearby when they hit the pipe. West Virginia American Water customers were not affected, but those crews were called out to fix the water main.
Committee assignments are being handed out for members of Congress, and U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin announced Wednesday he will be on the Senate Banking Committee. He already has assignments on energy, armed services and aging.
A man arrested for robbing a Barboursville Bank works for a car dealership in Kanawha County. The Fifth Third Bank branch along U.S. 60 in Barboursville was robbed Wednesday afternoon around 2:30, and by Wednesday evening deputies had arrested 22-year oldJonathan Tyler Deaton of Barboursville. WSAZ TV reports he works in sales at a car dealership in Kanawha County. He's been charged with robbery. The Huntington Violent Crimes Task Force, Kanawha County Sheriff's Department, the St. Albans Police Department, and the FBI worked together to capture Deaton.
The American Red Cross has set up shelter for the families affected by the explosion. Aldersgate United Methodist Church In Sissonville hosted several people overnight. At least four homes were destroyed in the blast, and others damaged. Some families sought shelter because they were without electricity. The Red Cross will stay at the church today as well.