|DHHR announces treatment beds will be funded with drug company settlementsCharleston News / 15 min. ago more|
CHARLESTON, W.Va . - The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources announced Monday it will use $22 million from settlements with drug distributors to combat West Virginia's drug epidemic.
|Little Green Men Days Festival Celebrates Great EclipseCharleston News / 6 h. 45 min. ago more|
"I thought it was interesting. The temperature dropped a good 10-15 degrees. It was like at night, you could see stars," adds Haven Harrington, Marley's father.
|Charleston council approves replacing Oakwood fire station - Charleston Gazette-Mail (subscription)Google News / 8 h. 48 min. ago more|
Charleston Gazette-Mail (subscription)Charleston council approves replacing Oakwood fire stationCharleston Gazette-Mail (subscription)West Virginia Demolition tears down the city fire station on Oakwood Road in 2016. Charleston City Council approved a measure Monday night to pay $1.1 million to Ohio-based Wolf Creek Contracting Company to build a new fire station at the same location.
|Charleston council approves replacing Oakwood fire stationWVGazetteMail.com / 8 h. 53 min. ago more|
By Ryan Quinn Charleston City Council approved Monday paying about $1.1 million to replace a fire station that was located just off Corridor G before structural issues forced the relocation of the firefighters there. Council members, in a voice vote, awarded the construction contract to Wolf Creek Contracting Company, the lowest of four bidders, according to documents provided at Monday's meeting. Charleston Fire Chief Scott Shaffer said the station will serve the Corridor G, Fort Hill, Southridge and downtown areas. Robert Sutler, assistant fire chief over operations, said it'll be on the same lot as the now-demolished former station, at 822 Oakwood Road, off Corridor G near Fruth Pharmacy. The city demolished the old station, which stood for more than 75 years, in July 2016. "We're excited to get the station back up there in the neighborhood," Shaffer said. He said it's a safety need. Shaffer said the station was effectively vacated a little more than a year ago. It moved into the Charleston Fire Department Training Center at 115 Lee St. W. He said the training center basically "consists of a couple of classrooms." Counting the training center, he said the city has eight fire stations. Lombardi Development Company had the next lowest bid, at $1,271,600, compared to Wolf Creek's $1,097,000. West Virginia- and Ohio-based Wolf Creek also said it could finish the base work in 180 days, compared to the 240 to 270 days the other bidders proposed. City Manager David Molgaard said he would like to think there will be an engine company occupying the station within 220 days, following some work on the upstairs living quarters. He said the station also can house an ambulance company. He said he didn't know the extent of the structural issues with the former station. He said there were cracks in the foundation and issues with the floor. "We actually had some scaffolding and were shoring it up in the basement until such time as our city engineer no longer felt it was appropriate to keep our firetrucks there because of structural issues," Molgaard said. He said the floor could have possibly collapsed. "We actually spent quite a bit of time looking for an alternate site, simply because the existing site is very constrained, and we thought we had identified a couple but after further investigation we determined that at the end of the day this was the best site," Molgaard said. He said there's a possibility that the city will purchase property next door "at some future time, which will allow us to have a little bit of room for expansion," mostly parking. Also Monday, council:n Recognized Gary Taylor, who's retiring as the public works director next week after 46 years of service with the city in various roles. n Set trick-or-treat hours for 6-8 p.m. Oct. 31. Reach Ryan Quinn at firstname.lastname@example.org, facebook.com/ryanedwinquinn, 304-348-1254 or follow @RyanEQuinn on Twitter.
|Dunbar council taps Bill Cunningham for mayorWVGazetteMail.com / 9 h. 35 min. ago more|
By Jake Jarvis Dunbar City Council members narrowly selected Bill Cunningham to be the city's new mayor on Monday night. Community members packed into council chambers to see who of the 10 applicants council members selected. Cunningham, who currently is a member of the council, won with four votes from the eight-member council. "I have a love for this city, even though I was raised in St. Albans," Cunningham said. "I have to say it, because this was the last place I wanted to come to until I got here." Cunningham, the city's former building inspector and a current city volunteer, previously told the Gazette-Mail he supports the Shawnee Park sports complex and wants the city to repurpose some of its land to give people a reason to want to come to Dunbar while they're in the area visiting the sports complex. Cunningham's election came after council members nominated three people to be elected. The two other people who council members nominated were Mike Scipio and Craig Hudson, both of whom already are members of the council. Three members voted for Scipio - Harold Craigo, Connie Thompson and himself. Hudson won only one vote - he voted for himself. "Those nine others will be the first ones on my list to be called on to step up and come in and get involved in my administration," Cunningham said. "They all had good ideas. They showed things of interest for the city, and I think those are the key people to go to. From that cadre of people, you can build an army of people." The city's now-former mayor, Terry Greenlee, stepped down from his post to take on a leadership role with the state Alcohol Beverage Control Administration. He started at the ABCA earlier this month, and council members quickly kicked off the hunt for his replacement. Greenlee, who is a Democrat, was first elected in 2013 and then was re-elected in the city's June election. His resignation was effective Aug. 5, and since then, Councilman Steve Arnott has filled in as the city's interim mayor. Cunningham said that he would need to take the oath of office sometime before Sept. 5 because the city's charter only allows for an interim mayor to be in office for 30 days. The seven other people who applied to be mayor were: Lanny R. Coberly Sr., the pastor of a Dunbar church; Mark Halburn, the operator of a Putnam County news website; former councilman Dana K. Hayes; Virginia Nesselrotte, a Verizon retiree, private art teacher and former candidate for city council; Sierra Sovine, a former candidate for city council; Lisa M. Wilkinson; and former mayor Jack Yeager. Reach Jake Jarvis at email@example.com, Facebook.com/newsroomjake, 304-348-7939 or @NewsroomJake on Twitter.
|West Virginians view historic solar eclipseCharleston News / 11 h. 9 min. ago more|
INSTITUTE, W.Va. - The rare sighting of a solar eclipse Monday left many in the Charleston area astounded at what they saw.
|Man pleads not guilty to federal indictment for gun, drug charges - Charleston Gazette-Mail (subscription)Google News / 12 h. 26 min. ago more|
Charleston Gazette-Mail (subscription)Man pleads not guilty to federal indictment for gun, drug chargesCharleston Gazette-Mail (subscription)Police have said the SUV may be connected to two shootings in North Charleston, near Grandview Elementary School. Neither resulted in injuries. Officers again confronted Stevenson as he neared the Kanawha River. They ordered him to stop, but instead ...
|Man pleads not guilty to federal indictment for gun, drug chargesWVGazetteMail.com / 12 h. 34 min. ago more|
By Giuseppe Sabella New details emerged at Monday's hearing for Dana Stevenson, a man believed to be connected to two area shootings and a gun recently found in the Kanawha River. Stevenson, 26, pleaded not guilty to a seven-count indictment in U.S. District Court. He is accused of possessing and selling heroin and crack cocaine in the Charleston area between December 2016 and January 2017. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives tried to arrest Stevenson in March, said Sean McNees, an ATF special agent, as he answered questions from an assistant prosecutor. McNees said he called Stevenson, who then promised to turn himself in the same day. However, investigators now believe Stevenson was in Maryland during the phone call. Charleston police caught up with Stevenson last week as he drove an SUV in Charleston. He allegedly ran from the vehicle and traveled toward Kanawha Boulevard. The SUV is registered in Ohio, McNees said, and authorities found several .40-caliber shell casings inside the vehicle. Police have said the SUV may be connected to two shootings in North Charleston, near Grandview Elementary School. Neither resulted in injuries. Officers again confronted Stevenson as he neared the Kanawha River. They ordered him to stop, but instead he allegedly threw a gun into the water, McNees said. He said the officers eventually arrested Stevenson, and a dive team then recovered a .40-caliber Glock handgun from the water. On Monday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Davis asked for Stevenson to remain under federal custody. Attorney Andy Katz said Stevenson - a lifelong Charleston resident - should be granted bond. "He literally would have no place to go," Katz said, arguing against the idea that Stevenson would leave town. Katz acknowledged the pending allegations that Stevenson sold drugs and possessed an illegal handgun. He then discounted the strength of evidence against Stevenson, arguing that he poses no real danger to the community. Counts one through six in the indictment accuse him of selling drugs in Kanawha County - twice near Stonewall Jackson Middle School. The seventh count says Stevenson possessed an illegal .40-caliber handgun. Special Agent McNees said a confidential informant bought narcotics from Stevenson on several occasions. Investigators recorded the money before each purchase. Eighty dollars in recorded money, he said, was later found during a search of Stevenson's bedroom. McNees said authorities found mail addressed to Stevenson in the room. "Also, clothing we have seen him wear before was found in that bedroom," he said. Authorities also found a handgun in the room, along with crack cocaine inside a clothing rack outside the door, McNees said. Addressing a question from Stevenson's attorney, McNees said no fingerprints were found on the gun. A 2014 conviction for wanton endangerment prohibits Stevenson from possessing a handgun. Stevenson had shot a man in the thigh and then run from police, according to a criminal complaint. His sentence effectively began in May 2014, and officials released him on parole in August 2016 At Monday's arraignment hearing, Magistrate Judge Dwane Tinsley ordered Stevenson to remain under control of the U.S. Marshals Service. "This court has been consistent in ruling that guns and drugs do not go together," Tinsley said. Stevenson's trial is scheduled for Oct. 17 at 9 a.m. in Charleston. He remained mostly silent during the hearing. As he left the courtroom, Stevenson smiled at a woman in the aisle. "I love you," he said.Reach Giuseppe Sabella at firstname.lastname@example.org, 304-348-5189 or follow @Gsabella on Twitter.
|Casto among two people dead at WV jails Monday - Charleston Gazette-Mail (subscription)Google News / 14 h. 59 min. ago more|
Charleston Gazette-Mail (subscription)Casto among two people dead at WV jails MondayCharleston Gazette-Mail (subscription)Two people died in separate incidents at state jails Monday, including a Putnam County man sentenced to life in prison for killing a woman with whom he allegedly had an affair. Authorities found Philip Casto, 35, unresponsive in his cell at Mount Olive ...Two inmate deaths reported Monday in WVHuntington Herald DispatchTwo deaths being reviewed at WV correctional facilitiesWDTVall 9 news articles »
|Tennessee company to purchase Highland HospitalWVGazetteMail.com / 15 h. 9 min. ago more|
By Erin Beck The parent company of Highland Hospital plans to sell the psychiatric hospital, Highland Health Center and Process Strategies to Meridian Behavioral Health Systems, the company announced Monday. The board of directors for HHA Inc., Highland's parent company, unanimously approved a definitive agreement to sell Highland to the Brentwood, Tennessee-based company, on Aug. 11, but the companies still must complete regulatory filings and prepare legal documents, according to Cynthia Persily, CEO. Persily said they began looking for a buyer in March 2016. The companies hope to complete the transaction by the end of September. Hospital officials pointed to "the Affordable Care Act, the expansion of managed care in West Virginia Medicaid and the downturn in West Virginia's economy." Medicaid made up 57 percent of the company's payor mix in 2015, according to background materials. "The health care industry goes the way of the economic situation of the state," Persily said. The agreement includes the sale of: Highland Hospital Association, a psychiatric hospital with 80 acute-care beds for adults, children and adolescents and a 24-bed psychiatric residential treatment facility for children and adolescents; Highland Health Center, Inc., a 16-bed residential treatment and detoxification program; and Process Strategies, an outpatient provider with integrated behavioral health care and pharmacy services. Hospital officials also said that "the companies are suffering from a 9.125 [percent] interest rate on the bond debt from construction of the new hospital facility." Highland Hospital borrowed $29 million of tax-exempt debt to build a new 73,000-square-foot hospital next to the old hospital in Kanawha City. Construction began in 2011 and the new building opened in June 2012. "Things were very different at the time when we sold those bonds in 2011," Persily said. She also said they had projected more patient diversions from state hospitals. "It's a perfect storm of a lot of things," she said. The company will be sold for the cost to pay off the bonds and accrued interest, as of the date of settlement. Persily declined to provide a copy of the 450-page agreement. "It's not public," she said. "It's proprietary. It's about 450 pages long." Persily said they plan to apply for an exemption of Certificate of Need from the state Health Care Authority. She said they should meet the requirements because they are both a behavioral health facility and a new state law allows them to apply as "financially distressed hospital." The company employs about 380 full-time workers. Under the terms of the agreement, all employees will be offered positions, Persily said. Currently, Persily and other employees report to a nonprofit board made up of local people. Assuming the sale goes through, they will report to the CEO of the Tennessee-based company, who does not live here. "But it will be managed by those of us who do," Persily said. She said the company also plans to create an advisory board that will be made up of local people. Meridian is considering making use of the currently unused fourth floor of the new hospital, as well as space near Process Strategies for outpatient eating disorder treatment, Persily said. Persily said "there is a world of possibilities out there." "The changes are related to growth," she said. Highland announced in August 2016 that Acadia had signed a letter of intent to purchase the company. Persily said in November 2016 that it was no longer "the right deal at the right time." "When you sign a letter of intent, that's kind of the engagement," she said. "The definitive agreement is the marriage certificate. The settlement is the wedding." Highland Hospital typically operates at about 75 percent capacity, according to Persily. Highland Health Center operates at about 90 percent occupancy, and Process Strategies has a waiting list, she said. According to the company's website, "Meridian Behavioral Health Systems is a fully integrated behavioral health company formed in 2012 by experienced hospital operators and healthcare investors to assist communities with the current general shortage of psychiatric and behavioral health beds in the United States." Highland-Clarksburg Hospital Inc., is not included in the sale. It is a stand-alone corporation and not an affiliate of Highland, a news release states. Reach Erin Beck at email@example.com, 304-348-5163, Facebook.com/erinbeckwv, or follow @erinbeckwv on Twitter.
|Why BRCTC - Sis gem to area, WVCharleston News / 20 h. 11 min. ago more|
The U.S. is currently faced with a significant skills gap - the difference between the set of skills employers seek versus that available from workers looking for a job. The National Federation of Independent Business found that in the first quarter of 2017, 45 percent of small businesses reported they were unable to find qualified applicants to fill job openings.
|Partly blinded by a solar eclipse decades ago, friends warn of dangers - Charleston Gazette-Mail (subscription)Google News / 22 h. 8 min. ago more|
Charleston Gazette-Mail (subscription)Partly blinded by a solar eclipse decades ago, friends warn of dangersCharleston Gazette-Mail (subscription)... moment for WV students. 3. Black Lives Matter rally at WV Capitol promotes equality. 4. Tennessee company to purchase Highland Hospital. 5. Ex-DOH engineer, Putnam contractor avoid jail time in kickback scheme · Upcoming Events Around Charleston ...and more »
|Contractors to handle tree removal on stretch of W.Va. TurnpikeCharleston News / 1 d. 2 h. 39 min. ago more|
CHARLESTON, W.Va . - As the West Virginia Turnpike gains in age, the highway is starting to experience problems maintenance crews have never had to deal with.
|Demonstrators gather at state Capitol for Black Lives Matter rallyCharleston News / 1 d. 7 h. 6 min. ago more|
According to the West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, around 400 people attended the Black Lives Matter rally. CHARLESTON, W.Va .
|WVU football hot on the trail of juco recruits - Charleston Gazette-Mail (subscription)Google News / 1 d. 8 h. 22 min. ago more|
WVU football hot on the trail of juco recruitsCharleston Gazette-Mail (subscription)During the month of August, college football recruiting entered a dead period. Yet the West Virginia University coaching staff was still making a plan. With a solid class of 15 high school recruits already in place, West Virginia would turn at least ...and more »
|Black Lives Matter rally at WV Capitol promotes equality - Charleston Gazette-Mail (subscription)Google News / 1 d. 11 h. 21 min. ago more|
Charleston Gazette-Mail (subscription)Black Lives Matter rally at WV Capitol promotes equalityCharleston Gazette-Mail (subscription)Belafonte Biesemeyer, daughter of singer-songwriter and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte, was one of a handful of speakers at a Black Lives Matter rally in Charleston on Sunday. Students from West Virginia State University, along with community ...Black Lives Matter rally promotes equality, remains peacefulWSAZ-TVall 13 news articles »
|Black Lives Matter rally at WV Capitol promotes equalityWVGazetteMail.com / 1 d. 11 h. 31 min. ago more|
By Carlee Lammers Adrienne Belafonte Biesemeyer said she wants one thing to be clear about the Black Lives Matter movement: It doesn't mean just black lives matter. "The phrase Black Lives Matter means we matter also," she told a crowd of 400 people on the West Virginia Capitol grounds on Sunday. "Not we matter exclusively, but also." Belafonte Biesemeyer, daughter of singer-songwriter and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte, was one of a handful of speakers at a Black Lives Matter rally in Charleston on Sunday. Students from West Virginia State University, along with community and faith leaders, spoke at the event. Belafonte Biesemeyer, who lives in West Virginia, said the movement boils down to fighting for racial equality. For her, the Black Lives Matter movement is about coming together as a community and tearing down barriers that have been in place long before her time. "All lives do matter. I truly believe that. But how many white parents have to give their children instructions on, 'When driving in a car and you're stopped by the police, this is what you have to do?'" she said. "If you don't know what the instructions are, they're this: If you're stopped by a policeman, the first thing you do is turn on the dome light - even in the daytime. You make sure that your cellphone is beside you and that both hands are on the steering wheel. If the officer asks you for your license and your insurance card, you say to him, 'I understand you want me to give you my license and insurance card,' you repeat it back in a very calm and adult manner. Not with attitude. And then you inform the officer 'my license is in my wallet and my insurance is in my glove box. Do I have permission to access what you have requested?' If you have the chance to have your phone running, then you probably should. And that's a shame. But for young persons of color ... these are the instructions we have to give. And it's a sin and it's a shame." Hundreds of people gathered in the heat on the Capitol grounds for the rally, many carrying handmade signs or wearing shirts denouncing racism and crying out for racial equality. The peaceful rally was originally planned to be held at West Virginia State University later this week, but organizers moved it to the Capitol grounds after the incidents in Charlottesville, Virginia earlier this month. The Charlottesville turmoil swelled during a 'Unite the Right" rally on Aug. 12, organized by white supremacists to oppose the city's plan to remove a memorial to Confederate general Robert E. Lee. A man drove his car into a crowd of people protesting the white supremacists, killing one person and injuring 19 others, police said. The man was later charged with second-degree murder. "White supremacy is a threat to us all," said Takeiya Smith, a student at WVSU and one of the organizers of Sunday's rally at the Capitol. "White supremacy does not care, it is evil and it is after power." The group also took a moment to recognize the lives young black people who have been killed in the community. Rather than a moment of silence, Smith lead the crowd to say "I love you" in unison to honor their lives. There was a heavy police presence at the rally, but a spokesman with the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety said there were no arrests on Capitol grounds Sunday. Before the rally, a small group gathered at the statue of Confederate general Stonewall Jackson on the other side of the Capitol grounds. Last weekend, a group of more than 100 people who attended a vigil for Charlottesville at the statue called for its removal. Members of the group around the statue Sunday said they were unarmed, they did not plan to cause any violence and that they care about equality. Rather, they said they view the statue as an important part of history. After hearing some had called for the statue's removal, Rachel See of Hardy County said she wanted to come to Charleston to speak in support of preserving the statue. "I wanted to put a face to not wanting to see this happen," she said. "It's a real problem. It's a misunderstanding of actual factual history. I'm not a racist person." Other unarmed groups, dressed in militia-like attire, were also present. Leaders from the group Three Percent Republic, a group based in Clarksburg, said the group came to "celebrate the First Amendment" and to "keep the area safe to make sure nobody gets hurt." Members of the West Virginia Council of Churches gathered around the bell on the Capitol grounds before the rally to pray for peace. Local clergy members said they planned to act as peacemakers if necessary during the rally. Staff writer Jake Jarvis contributed to this report. Reach Carlee Lammers at firstname.lastname@example.org, 304-348-1230 or follow @carleelammers on Twitter.
|Breathing new life into old West Virginia mine siteCharleston News / 1 d. 13 h. 51 min. ago more|
"That's what it all used to look like before it was reclaimed," Aaron Smith, of Charleston, said as he pointed to the mountainside.
|Former councilman Slater discusses drug, alcohol addictionWVGazetteMail.com / 1 d. 17 h. 59 min. ago more|
By Ali Schmitz Bernard Slater has a family portrait inside the front cover of his 12-step book. Slater, 33, a former Charleston city councilman who resigned in April, has been a patient at Recovery Point, a substance and alcohol abuse treatment center, in Huntington. Every time he opens the book, he stares at the image taken in a photobooth with his children. He said it reminds him of what he's working for - freedom from a longtime addiction to opiates and alcohol. Slater had his first sips of beer by the time he was in kindergarten, he said. He tried cocaine for the first time when he was 14. A few months later he started taking pain pills after a football injury. He'd steal prescription medications from family members during his sophomore year of high school, and would buy beer for parties using a fake ID. He continued to use drugs and alcohol for years. Right before he ran for city council in 2015, he went to Texas for a faith-based drug treatment program, where he was encouraged to pray away his problems. He began his campaign for city council shortly after, which didn't come without controversy. People talked about a series of DUI arrests, a felony burglary charge, and several domestic violence charges related to his ex-wife. Slater brushed off the criticisms, telling the Charleston Gazette in March of that year his past would help him handle situations with constituents through experience. "I can relate to almost everyone who lives here because of the situations that have happened in my life," Slater wrote. "I am not ashamed of my past. Everyone has one and mine was not pretty, but my future will be bright." He was elected a few months later, beating out now-councilman Pat Jones by only two votes in the Democratic primary. But now Slater regrets running. He said his addictions to drugs and alcohol pushed him to pursue the office. "We've [addicts] got a thinking problem. We're self-centered, and we're selfish," Slater said. "We've got an issue with ego." He planned to start fighting for his North Charleston ward, encouraged to solve issues with dilapidated properties and improve infrastructure. Slater said he felt like he didn't belong on council, but he said his ego prevented him for resigning. It didn't matter if Jones or fellow council members criticized him - his narcissism kept him in office, he said. "I thought, 'What the heck am I doing?'" Slater said. "This is not me." Two months after he was sworn in, city police confiscated his cellphone as part of an investigation into a fatal overdose. Officers said they found text messages from Slater to a man charged with felony murder after a woman had a fatal heroin overdose on Charleston's West Side. In those messages, Slater allegedly asked the man, Steven Coleman, who is his cousin, to provide him with prescription pills and offered to falsely testify he witnessed the overdose. Coleman, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and a drug charge. At the time, city officials said they had no plans to try to remove Slater from office. Charleston Mayor Danny Jones said then the councilman already had "marginalized" himself enough. A Recovery Point staffer reached out to him during the investigation, encouraging him to enter the program. He brushed it off, blocking her on Facebook. Slater said his life fully spiraled out of control earlier this year when he started using methamphetamines. His friends and family stopped speaking with him. He was arrested for digging through residents' garbage in February. His ex-wife filed another domestic violence protection order in the same month. The mayor called for resignation in a council meeting after receiving dozens of complaints about Slater's behavior. "It's just time to go. It's time to get the hell out," Danny Jones said during the March meeting about Slater. "He's not here, but I wish he was, because I'd say it to his face." At the time, Slater said, he was hiding, trying to figure out what he wanted to do with his life. He entered Recovery Point on March 21. Only his family knew that he had entered the facility. He said he was ashamed, unsure if he would complete the program. "My life is so unmanageable that at 33 years old I have to come here to learn how to live again," Slater said. He's now taking classes to teach him how to problem-solve and going through a 12-step program. Instead of sitting in city council he's helping plan Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. He's grown close to the group of men who live with him in the Huntington facility. Slater hid his politician past for weeks, but now they jokingly refer to him as "The Governor." He's blending in now instead of standing out. He's trying to eliminate the resentments he developed against city leaders, because he knows they were "troubles of his own making." He plans to make public apologies to city council and the city's residents in a public statement within the next few weeks. He doesn't know what's next - he tries not to plan too far in advance. But unlike his last stint in a rehabilitation program, he feels like this time his future is actually bright. There's still a nagging voice in the back of his head. "I can't stay in this bubble forever; this is a safe place for me," Slater said. "What if I get out and people are using drugs around me again? I can't tell if I'll ever get high again." There is one thing he's sure of - when he does graduate from the program he won't head back to North Charleston, a place he refers to as the slums of the city. "There's no way I can go back to the environment I lived in before," Slater said. "I think I'm going to stay in Huntington." Reach Ali Schmitz at email@example.com, 304-348-4843 or follow @SchmitzMedia on Twitter.
|Capito criticizes Trump, says he should unite the countryCharleston News / 1 d. 18 h. 19 min. ago more|
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.V., heads to a caucus meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who is struggling with senators like Capito who are opposed or wavering on the Republican health care bill, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, June 27, 2017. In a bruising setback, Senate Republican leaders decided to delay a vote on their prized health care bill until after the July 4 recess, forced to retreat by a GOP rebellion that left them lacking enough votes to even begin debating the legislation.
|Plenty of work awaits West Virginia Medical Cannabis Advisory BoardCharleston News / 2 d. 5 h. 16 min. ago more|
The West Virginia Medical Cannabis Advisory Board has a lot to accomplish in its first year in order to start issuing medical cannabis cards to West Virginians by July 2019.
|PHOTOS: Girls Night Out in CharlestonWVGazetteMail.com / 2 d. 10 h. 9 min. ago more|
The annual YWCA fundraiser "Girls Night Out" took place at the Culture Center Saturday in Charleston. This year's theme was "boho chic."
|PHOTOS: Girls Night Out in Charleston - Charleston Gazette-Mail (subscription)Google News / 2 d. 10 h. 10 min. ago more|
Charleston Gazette-Mail (subscription)PHOTOS: Girls Night Out in CharlestonCharleston Gazette-Mail (subscription)A dancer with St. Albans studio moves along the promenade during “Girls Night Out” at the Culture Center in Charleston Saturday. ... The annual YWCA fundraiser “Girls Night Out” took place at the Culture Center Saturday in Charleston. This year's theme ...
|Charleston Correctional Center says inmate wanted after escaping facility FridayWVGazetteMail.com / 2 d. 10 h. 21 min. ago more|
By Staff reports A Charleston Correctional Center inmate's whereabouts are unknown after escaping from the facility Friday, according to a West Virginia Division of Corrections wanted poster. A warrant for arrest for felony escape has been issued for Joseph S. Larch, 34, who was originally arrested on charges of grand larceny and burglary in Fayette County, the poster says. Larch is a white man that is 6 feet 1 inch tall and weighs roughly 177 pounds, the poster says. He has strawberry blonde hair, green eyes and small scars on his left forearm, right hand and left wrist, according to the poster. Larch also has several tattoos, such as a teardrop on his face and others featuring skulls and flames, the poster says. He was last seen in the area of the Charleston Correctional Center wearing blue jeans, a green t-shirt and brown boots, the poster says. Those with information on Larch's whereabouts are asked to call the Charleston Correctional Center at 304-340-6921.
|WV school districts responding differently to solar eclipse - Charleston Gazette-Mail (subscription)Google News / 2 d. 12 h. 42 min. ago more|
Charleston Gazette-Mail (subscription)WV school districts responding differently to solar eclipseCharleston Gazette-Mail (subscription)While the Kanawha and Putnam county school systems are planning regular schedules Monday — including dismissing elementary schoolers, loading them onto buses and taking them home during a partial solar eclipse that can still damage unprotected ...
|SportsFEST provides platform for upstart, niche sportsWVGazetteMail.com / 2 d. 13 h. 10 min. ago more|
By Max Garland The sounds of jet skis whizzing by on the Kanawha River filled the air Saturday afternoon at Magic Island, and other niche sports were eager to ride the waves and cultivate their fanbases. SportsFEST returned for its eighth year in Charleston this weekend, hosting hundreds of athletes in sports such as jet skiing, beach volleyball, disc golf, grappling and ultimate frisbee. SportsFEST's anchor is the Pro Watercross national championships, bringing around 125 jet skiers to Charleston for the last stop before its world championships in November. "It's a great venue, and the city loves the event, so it's a win-win for both of us," said AJ Handler, CEO of Pro Watercross. Handler said with SportsFEST expanding to other sports - "Smashy Ball," stand-up paddle boarding and the two-mile swim are 2017 newcomers - it garners more attention that can benefit all the featured sports outside the mainstream. Evan Young, co-owner of Appalachian Boarding Company, said closed-course stand-up paddle board races will be held Sunday morning using Pro Watercross's buoy course, a rarity in the Mountain State. "It's awesome for stand-up paddle boarding because you can really carve around the turns," Young said. "In essence, I feel a paddle board could feel like a high-performance kayak in a race like this." The race will act as a precursor to the annual "New River Gorge SUP Race" held Sept. 17, according to Young. He said he expects roughly 12 participants to give the Kanawha River race a shot. Every sport has to start somewhere. "You pop up a race like this in Florida, you'll get 50 people on a Tuesday," he said. "In West Virginia, we're getting there. We're just getting racing going around here." Sowing the seeds for an expanded paddle boarding community in West Virginia is an important mission to combat obesity and drug abuse, Young said, and the SportsFEST race can only help. "We're putting our whole hearts into it," he said. "This is promising, especially since we don't have the resources to set up this incredible buoy track, but Pro Watercross does. It's a match made in heaven." The EVP Beach Volleyball Tour, although not as entrenched in Charleston as Pro Watercross is, has had a notable presence in the past five SportsFEST events, according to Bradley Gadek, the tour's general manager of volleyball operations. The teams who finish first and second at its SportsFEST event receive a bid to compete in its championship held in Virginia. A sunny day and receptive crowd Saturday made for a strong atmosphere for the tour's competitors, Gadek said. Gadek said on a national level, beach volleyball is "growing like crazy" with the help of the Olympics and the rise of club sports. "We hope [beach volleyball] gets out to the level of football and baseball, where people are playing pickup games in their backyard and coming out and joining the tour," he said. SportsFEST also provided an opportunity for the Kanawha Valley Disc Golf Club to continue its momentum in Charleston, according to Steve Koepsel, the club's president. It held a putting competition Saturday to get people familiar with the sport. "It's a way to get attention, we can grab some people and say, 'Hey, do you know about disc golf?'" he said. SportsFEST continues Sunday featuring more competition from the EVP Beach Volleyball Tour, Pro Watercross National Championship beginning in the morning and ultimate frisbee games scheduled in the afternoon. Spectators can view all the events free of charge. Reach Max Garland at firstname.lastname@example.org, 304-348-4886 or follow @MaxGarlandTypes on Twitter.
|Kanawha magistrate facing judicial misconduct chargesWVGazetteMail.com / 2 d. 13 h. 59 min. ago more|
By Jake Zuckerman The Judicial Investigation Commission has accused a Kanawha County magistrate with 12 judicial conduct violations in a three-set, formal statement of charges. In a process similar to a criminal indictment, the commission found sufficient reason to believe Magistrate Jack Pauley signed a domestic violence protection order without required information, left his night shift early, and improperly took over another magistrate's case. The three charges are tied to two subsequent and related deaths, though as much is not stated in the complaint. A judicial hearing board will hold a public meeting regarding the charges within 120 days before filing a recommendation to the state Supreme Court regarding potential discipline. According to the statement of charges against Pauley, on Aug. 25, 2016, he signed a partially filled out domestic violence petition that lacked required information establishing "clear and convincing evidence of immediate and present danger of abuse, including any statement of facts." The complaint states Pauley relied upon his assistant to make sure the form was properly completed and signed the document without reviewing it. When filling out the ensuing emergency protective order, Pauley did not list required information such as the victim of the accused and did not require the alleged aggressor, Housein Keaton, to give up his firearms, despite indication in the petition that he owned them. According to an Aug. 26, 2016 story in this newspaper, Keaton was found dead on his porch around 2:15 a.m. that morning. Authorities said he died in a shooting. The complaint also states when the JIC began investigating the matter, Pauley - in a written letter - first incorrectly claimed the victim provided him a written statement of the facts. In a sworn statement months later, he admitted the victim never provided him such a statement. The second charge filed against Pauley accuses him of leaving his post early on a night shift. Although a magistrate is required to be on duty until midnight, the complaint states he left at roughly 11 p.m. on Aug. 25, 2016. When a Charleston Police officer brought over a criminal complaint and warrant for Keaton's arrest, arriving after Pauley left but before midnight, the officer had to leave the documents in a box outside the court. Keaton died hours later.In a sworn statement, Pauley admitted to leaving early at 11 p.m. that night as well as on other occasions without calling another magistrate to cover the shift. According to a 2013 editorial from the Charleston Daily-Mail, one of Pauley's first acts as chief magistrate was to "explore ways to reduce the hours for the magistrate court," ending the shift at 10 p.m. instead of midnight. Lastly, the commission charged Pauley with improperly acting on a case that belonged to another magistrate, in violation of administrative rules for the courts. Pauley is accused of ordering Joshua Lee Miles' release from jail, even though the case belonged to former Magistrate Julie Yeager, who called in sick. According to the filing, when the JIC interviewed him on the matter, he said he knew the case was not his, but handles other judges' cases on a regular basis. "I do it all the time," he said, as quoted in the filing. "If I didn't do it, we wouldn't get anything done." Though he made the order Aug. 12, an earlier report from this newspaper states the fax did not go through to the jail. Miles committed suicide during the early hours of April 13. Pauley can file responsive pleadings to his charges within 30 days of their July 18 issuance. Reached Saturday afternoon, Pauley declined to comment. Reach Jake Zuckerman at email@example.com, 304-348-4814 or @jake_zuckerman on Twitter.
|Mission trip brings South Charleston, Haitian families togetherWVGazetteMail.com / 2 d. 17 h. 21 min. ago more|
By Lori Kersey What Jacqui Ranson experienced during a 2013 mission trip to Haiti was life-changing, and not just for her family, but for a family she met there, too. "Everything that I felt had been important to me up until that point, really it wasn't," Ranson said. Ranson, 40, a nurse practitioner, was the only medical professional in the group during that first trip to Digue Matheux, Haiti. The village's closest hospital is about 45 minutes away by vehicle, and hours away by foot. The need for medical care Ranson found there astounded her. "Literally, people would walk for hours, for miles out of the mountain to bring me babies at 6 in the morning," Ranson said. "I would wake up and have babies waiting for me." But she wasn't alone. She had help from a 19-year-old Haitian man named Marc Henry William, who was assigned to be her translator. Haitians mostly speak Creole or French. William spent long days working with Ranson as she did outreach in the village. They only separated at night when Mark Henry would go back to his village. Ranson came back to West Virginia, but she couldn't stop thinking about William. She told her husband she wanted to give the teenager a chance at a better life. "[I said] he's so smart and obviously intelligent but he needs an opportunity. He needs a chance at life because right now he has no chance at life," Ranson said. "There's no jobs. There's nowhere to work. And so, of course my husband thought I had completely lost my mind." Eight weeks later, Ranson, her husband, Mark, and their sons, Zaden and Garrett, were back in Haiti to meet William and his family. "Everyone fell in love with Marc Henry," she said. Since then, William's family and Ranson's family have melded into one. William, 23, now lives at the Ranson's South Charleston home while he attends classes at BridgeValley Community and Technical College. Getting into the United States typically isn't an easy task. Thousands of people go to the Haitian embassy everyday but are denied visas, Ranson said. The day he got his, William left his village at 4 a.m. to be one of the first people at the office in Port-au-Prince. Before getting his visa, William was quizzed on his French, Haitian Creole and English. In Haiti, only the more educated people can speak French and Creole, Ranson said. William credits his education to his mother, who made he and his siblings go to school. "If you are able to get an education in Haiti, it's really like your golden ticket to life," Ranson said. "And because of his mom, Marc Henry is able to have this opportunity, to be in America." This summer, the Ransons also have welcomed William's mother, Azulie Marie Raymond or "Madame Maxo," as she is known in her home country. Madame Maxo has been staying with the family while she gets medical care here. Madame Maxo, 49, has eight children ranging in age from 28 to 8, including William. She's also a mother figure to many others in her village. "We describe her as just the living embodiment of Mother Teresa, really, to that village," Ranson said. "When someone is sick, when a child is sick, when an adult is sick, they always know where they can go and they go to Madame Maxo." The woman typically isn't a complainer, Ranson said. She normally would get up very early in the morning and work until late at night. So when she started feeling ill enough to stop working earlier this year, Ranson knew she had to do something to help her. "So we sent her to four different places in Haiti to try to get health care and I just felt like we weren't really getting anywhere," she said. While she's been in the United States on a medical visa, Madame Maxo has been getting care from Ranson at Southern West Virginia Health Systems, and from some of Ranson's friends and colleagues. "I've had so many friends of mine who are specialists - ophthalmologists, cardiologists, gynecologists today... everybody has really stepped up to help us help her," Ranson said. "So she'll be going back once her work up is done." Madame Maxo had planned to be back in Haiti when one of her children started school in the first week of September, but she'll stay, undergo a hysterectomy and be here until she heals, Ranson said. William will graduate in December with a health care management degree from BridgeValley. His long-term goals are to go back to Haiti to help his village. "My hope is to go back and hopefully work in a hospital," he said. If money were no object, Ranson said they would like to build a hospital in the village. "[The people there] are just always sick," William said. "There's always something wrong with them. They just don't go to the hospital because they can't afford it." Last year, the Ransons started Heart of the Mountain mission, which serves the village of Digue Matheux. They also took over a school of 350 children. Through fundraising efforts and financial contributors last year, the nonprofit built seven new bathrooms with flushing toilets and sinks with running water. Before then, the school children walked to a river to use the restroom. They've also helped with improvements to Madame Maxo's house, including adding an indoor kitchen. "We told Marc Henry, we're not going to bring you here to America and then forget about your family because that's not how we are," Ranson said. Ranson said she and the mission wants to help provide the village with ways to sustain itself. She's thought about a chicken farm or a block factory, where people could make the material they use to build homes in the village. "They don't want handouts," Ranson said. "Although if I was starving, I would gladly have my hands open, and that's OK, too....Long-term goals, the overall picture: the men want to work, the women want to work, the children are taught at a very young age to work." Reach Lori Kersey at firstname.lastname@example.org, 304-348-1240 or follow @LoriKerseyWV on Twitter.
|Capito rips Trump over Charlottesville remarksCharleston News / 2 d. 20 h. 38 min. ago more|
CHARLESTON, W.Va . - It's rare for U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito to criticize the had of the Republican party, but in the wake of President Donald Trump's remarks about the violence in Charlottesville the Republican Senator from West Virginia spoke out.
|Security increased for Parkersburg races, paradeCharleston News / 3 d. 5 h. 31 min. ago more|
Recent events in the nation and the world have led local authorities to step up security for today's Parkersburg News and Sentinel Half Marathon and Homecoming parade, although there are no indications of any specific problems, Police Chief Joe Martin said. Martin said many agencies are involved in providing protection for the race, including the Wood County Sheriff's Department, FBI in Charleston, West Virginia National Guard, West Virginia Fusion Center, Wood County 911 Center, West Virginia Department of Natural Resources and the West Virginia State Police.
|Three injured in collision on Kanawha RiverWVGazetteMail.com / 3 d. 5 h. 56 min. ago more|
By Staff reports Three people were injured when a barge and a recreational boat collided Friday night on the Kanawha River near the University of Charleston. Kanawha Metro 911 dispatchers said it happened just after 9 p.m. Charleston firefighters pulled three people from the boat, which still was afloat. Dispatchers said the three did not suffer life-threatening injuries but did not have further information on their conditions. The barge was loaded with coal and was headed downstream on the river. Little information was available Friday night. The incident is under investigation.
|PHOTOS: A fence becomes a work of artWVGazetteMail.com / 3 d. 9 h. 53 min. ago more|
Charleston-based artist Jack O'Hearn is making the chain-link fence surrounding the parking lot at the Main Post Office into a work of art. Weaving slats of plastic between the links, he is creating a mountainscape featuring pointy green mountains and fluffy clouds. The mural project, sponsored by the Charleston Area Alliance, is across Leon Sullivan Way from the Clay Center.
|Thoughts on the special electionCharleston News / 3 d. 12 h. 22 min. ago more|
West Virginians will have the opportunity to vote on a road bond on Saturday, Oct. 7. If you are not already registered to vote, the deadline to register is Sept. 18. Early voting will take place from Sept.
|Our misplaced faith in political MessiahsCharleston News / 3 d. 17 h. 2 min. ago more|
Opinion: Too often people are turning to political leaders for answers to all that ails them. It's a dangerous tendency that needs to change.
|As she turns 80, WV church organist keeps the music going WVGazetteMail.com / 3 d. 20 h. 48 min. ago more|
By Jennifer Gardner In her nearly 72 years as a charter member of her church, Shirley Lake has maybe missed a handful of services. "I'll give you 10, I may have missed 10 Sundays in my entire life," Lake laughed. She broke her elbow in 2009, and she's been sick once since then - that's the last time she can remember missing a day. Lake turns 80 on Saturday as the longest-tenured member of St. Timothy Lutheran Church. If she didn't show up, the congregation would take notice. Without her, the music would be lost. It would be nearly impossible for someone to walk in and fill her many roles the way she does. There might not be an organist to play through the liturgical service or someone to direct the choir and play the piano. "I have to be on top of everything during the service," Lake said. "If they say something in a spot they aren't really supposed to say something, I have to know and be ready for that." She doesn't feel 80. She displays the same commitment to her church she did as a teenager with long, copper-blond hair, singing in the choir. "That's how I met her, that's how I always see her," said church member Michele Bailey. St. Timothy's is where Lake discovered her love of music. She tagged along to her mother's choir practices when she was little - mostly because she didn't have a sitter and her father was working -- but she didn't need coloring books or toys to keep entertained. "Even then, I was able to sing alto and soprano. So, I would sing with them," she said. "When they would get to the final part of the rehearsal, the choir director would say 'Shirley, now you stop singing, because you're not going to sing with us Sunday.'" At the time, the church was in an abandoned chapel in South Charleston, rented by St. Paul's Lutheran Church to grow a congregation. The building was held together by cables and not very stable. "When a train would go by on Sunday mornings, the building would go like this," Lake said as she waved her hands back and forth. "It was sort of amusing." In the little chapel, she joined the church's first children's choir. She started taking piano lessons at age 6, and by 12 could play the opening for Sunday school. By then, the church had a new building next to Thomas Memorial to accommodate the expanding congregation -- up to about 100 people. At 18, Lake started taking organ lessons. After her father died, though, the family could no longer afford the lessons. "I just kept practicing at church and hoped to improve my playing," she said, "From there, I just kept getting busier and busier by playing at church and it's what I loved to do." When the church lost an organist, she would fill in. The Lutheran church considers music to be the word of God set to song. "I feel my role as taking what God gives us in music or in song and presenting it to the congregation whether it's a Sunday morning or Wednesday night, a funeral or a wedding, to bring the full beauty of God's word in music to them," Lake said. To prepare for a service, Lake carefully searches through music to find something fitting for the message. She practices at least twice a week, and also with the choir, and arrives at least an hour and a half before the service begins. "If God's purpose is for me to wear one hat, or two hats or three hats, then yes, I will do that," Lake said. "I'm glad to do it if that's his purpose for me and I feel like right now I am doing his purpose." As a charter member, she has seen the church through some of its hardest times. "There were times when the church was in bad shape and very easily could have gone under, but she was faithful - always here, always helping out - and doing whatever was necessary," said the Rev. Richard Mahan, who served the church from 1972 to 2012. To keep up with growing membership, the church sold its property next to Thomas Memorial in the early 2000s and built a new 26,000-square-foot facility on Lawndale Lane off Corridor G. At times, the choir has boasted more than 30 people, but right now, as the church changes pastors, the congregation faces some uncertainty. It's nothing Lake hasn't witnessed before, though. She's seen every pastor and member who has walked through St. Timothy's doors. "There's a lot of love for the people of the congregation, and not just for the people here, but for the people outside, too," Lake said. "I'd love to see it continue to grow with the same kind of friendly, loving, Christian people." The thought of leaving or finding a new church has never crossed her mind. "I keep saying that I think I should pass out on the organ bench and land on the keys and they'll say 'Shirley hit a wrong note again," she laughed. She believes people will always remember her for her dependability. "I believe by people looking up there and seeing her on that bench Sunday after Sunday after Sunday, when she's sick, when she's tired, no matter what it is, she's there, they think, 'if she can make that commitment, then I can make that commitment,'" Mahan said. Reach Jennifer Gardner at email@example.com, 304-348-5102 or follow @jenncgardner on Twitter.
|Trial rescheduled in Charleston murder caseCharleston News / 4 d. 16 h. ago more|
A new trial date has been scheduled for a man accused of killing a 15 year old boy in Charleston last year. William Pulliam, 62, was scheduled to go trial next Monday, but on Thursday his attorney asked for and was granted a continuance.
|Eclipse will be partial in WV, but still spectacular - Charleston Gazette-Mail (subscription)Google News / 4 d. 20 h. 37 min. ago more|
Charleston Gazette-Mail (subscription)Eclipse will be partial in WV, but still spectacularCharleston Gazette-Mail (subscription)Across West Virginia, the eclipse will last roughly three hours, from about 1 to 4 p.m., and will be seen only partially in the state, as the moon's shape covers up about 85 to 90 percent of the sun's disc. In Charleston, the moon will start nicking ...Reputable Vendors of Solar Filters & Viewers | Solar Eclipse Across America - August 21, 2017Solar Eclipse Across America - American Astronomical SocietyHow to View the 2017 Solar Eclipse SafelyNASA/JPL Edu Newsall 5,005 news articles »
|Police arrest fugitive in Charleston, recover gun from Kanawha River - Charleston Gazette-Mail (subscription)Google News / 6 d. 15 h. 42 min. ago more|
Charleston Gazette-Mail (subscription)Police arrest fugitive in Charleston, recover gun from Kanawha RiverCharleston Gazette-Mail (subscription)A fugitive is in federal custody after an encounter with Charleston police on Monday. Dana Stevenson, 26, is facing charges related to the alleged sale of drugs in Kanawha County, along with the possession of an illegal firearm, according to court records.