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Goodwin reflects on first year into office

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Almost a year into office, Charleston Mayor Amy Goodwin says she loves being the top official in West Virginia’s capital city.

“We’ve had some really great successes in this first 11 months and we’ve really had some really great challenges, but we’re really looking forward in setting the tone,” she said on “580 Live” last week.

“It’s really hard, I think — from what I’ve learned as a new mayor — is you can’t just look at the next year and what we’re going to be doing next year.”

Goodwin recognized some of her administration’s work may not make an impact until after she leaves office but this happens to all elected officials.

“I think a lot of the time you want to see that instant gratification. I know I do,” she said. “I think (it’s about) really trying to be patient and understanding that slow and steady is the way to go.”

Goodwin will give a state of the city address on Jan. 6, one day shy of the one-year mark into her tenure as mayor.

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Kanawha commission to consider cost-of-living adjustment

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Kanawha County Commission will consider a cost-of-living adjustment for full-time employees at its Dec. 19 meeting.

The adjustment will result in a 1.6% pay increase.

“Despite the fiscal challenges faced by local governments in West Virginia, Kanawha County’s finances are in excellent shape,” Kanawha County Commissioner Ben Salango said. “Managing the largest County in the state takes a team effort and I want to recognize the hard work of Commissioner Carper, Commissioner Shores, and our staff.”

The commission’s meeting next week begins at 5 p.m.

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Man wanted in connection with West Side shooting arrested on outstanding warrants

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Charleston police arrested a man on Thursday on outstanding warrants.

The person, 24-year-old Terrance Rajar Bonner, was also wanted in connection with the Dec. 5 shooting death of Laurina Blake.

Blake was shot and killed in the 100 block of Lovell Drive on the city’s West Side.

Bonner had three outstanding magistrate court warrants: wanton endangerment with a firearm, prohibited person in possession of a firearm and domestic battery. Police wanted him for questioning in connection with the shooting.

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Former correctional officer sentenced to 46 months after trying to smuggle meth into jail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A former correctional officer will spend less than four years in prison after being found guilty of possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute.

John Edward Roach II, 47, worked at the South Central Regional Jail. In April, an inmate paid him $2,000 to bring methamphetamine into the jail.

An undercover agent met Roach and gave him four ounces of methamphetamine. Roach was quickly arrested before the drug could get inside the jail.

Roach’s sentence is 46 months behind bars.

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Multi-vehicle wreck results in person hospitalized

KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. — A road in the Quincy area was closed Thursday afternoon following a multi-vehicle crash involving a coal truck.

The incident happened in the 2700 block of East Dupont Avenue before 7 p.m.

Two pickup trucks, a Jeep and a coal truck were involved in the wreck.

At least one person was taken to the hospital.

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Charleston residents take part in annual Christmas parade

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Charleston residents lined the streets of downtown Thursday evening for the city’s annual Christmas parade.

City officials, local groups and businesses were part of this year’s event, which for the first time in recent history took place on a weekday.

But for Debbie Starks, who has been watching the Christmas parade with her family for 40 years, the change had little impact.

“We always sit right here on Capitol Street. All the family,” she said. “We make it a family affair.”

Starks used to bring her children to the parade; now a grandmother, she said the event is more special.

“The kids just enjoy it,” she said.

Sofia Wandling, a fifth-grade student at Overbrook Elementary School, said having the parade during the week made it more fun.

“Because we don’t have to go to bed early,” she said laughing.

Wandling watched the parade with her classmate, Ella Tice, who said the excitement for Christmas is building.

“On Christmas morning, you just wake up and there’s presents everywhere,” she said.

City officials said the number of participants doubled from last year.

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Kanawha-Charleston health board looking to ban vaping in public places

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Kanawha-Charleston Board of Health is moving forward with a proposal that would ban the use of electronic cigarettes and similar devices in public places.

The board on Thursday agreed to open a public comment period on the proposal, which would treat e-cigarettes like cigarettes and similar tobacco products under the county’s Clean Indoor Air Act. If the proposal is enacted, vaping would be prohibited in places such as restaurants, retail stores and most businesses.

The proposal comes amid increased scrutiny over vaping; according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been more than 2,400 cases of hospitalization and 52 deaths related to vaping. State Sen. Bob Beach, D-Monongalia, wants the state to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes, writing a request to Gov. Jim Justice in November.

“Initially, when vaping became more popular, it was used as a means to deliver nicotine but supposed to be safer than cigarettes,” said Dr. Sherri Young, the executive director and health officer of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department. “What we’re finding over the past year is that there have been so many illnesses related to this, that is has become a public health crisis.”

Under the proposal, if someone is caught vaping in a place where prohibited, they will be asked to stop. County sanitary officials will additionally check if restaurants are removing patrons who vape as well as have signs asking people to not to vape in their businesses.

The public has until Jan. 16 to submit written comments to the board on the proposal. The body will hold a meeting that day to vote on the policy, and the public will be allowed to make comments before the vote.

Comments can be sent to the Kanawha-Charleston Board of Health, P.O. Box 927, Charleston, W.Va. 25323; or emailed to kanawhalhd@wv.gov.

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Globetrotters’ deep connection with West Virginia being celebrated

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — There are deep West Virginia roots with the popular Harlem Globetrotters basketball team.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — There are deep West Virginia roots with the popular Harlem Globetrotters basketball team.

The basketball team’s theme music, “Sweet Georgia Brown,” known around the world for its sweet beat and whistling, was written by a West Virginia native and member of the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame.

The music was celebrated at the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame “Museum at the Mall” on Thursday with special guests Harlem Globetrotter’s Sweet Lu II and America’s Got Talent winner Landau Eugene Murphy Jr.

West Virginia Music Hall of Fame (WVMHoF) Executive Director Michael Lipton said that the state connection with the Globetrotters may not be known to many but discoveries by citizens are why he does what he does.

“That is one of the reasons why I started the Hall of Fame. It’s one of the most fun things to do,” Lipton told MetroNews.

One of the fun West Virginia music facts is that Jack Rollins from Mineral County wrote Frosty the Snowman, which is known all over the world.”

The Globetrotters adopted the song written by 2008 WVMHoF inductee Maceo Pinkard, a Bluefield native, in 1952. Pinkard, who died in 1962, was also inducted into the National Academy of Popular Music and Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1984.

Maceo Pinkard

“Sweet Georgia Brown” is one of the most recorded songs of all time. According to the WVMHoF, a shortlists of artists to cover the song are the Beatles, the Grateful Dead, Jimmy Smith, Nancy Sinatra, Ray Charles, Doc Watson, Sarah Vaughan, Django Reinhardt, Benny Goodman, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Chet Atkins, Charlie Parker, Glenn Miller, Bob Wills, Mel Torme, and Harry Connick.

The Carpenter Ants played “Sweet Georgia Brown,” on Thursday while Murphy Jr. joined in with whistling, and Sweet Lou II showed off his basketball skills.

Sweet Lou II, the son of legendary Globetrotter Sweet Lou Dunbar, is in the Kanawha Valley promoting the team’s Jan. 11 show in Charleston. The show is part of the team’s “Pushing the Limits Tour.”

“On the 11th, there is going to be a lot of high flying dunks, a lot of crowd interaction. It’s our “Pushing the Limits Tour” so we are going to be pushing the limits by attempting a few world records at each game.”

The basketball team’s theme music, “Sweet Georgia Brown,” known around the world for its sweet beat and whistling, was written by a West Virginia native and member of the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame.

The music was celebrated at the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame “Museum at the Mall” on Thursday with special guests Harlem Globetrotter’s Sweet Lu II and America’s Got Talent winner Landau Eugene Murphy Jr.

West Virginia Music Hall of Fame (WVMHoF) Executive Director Michael Lipton said that the state connection with the Globetrotters may not be known to many but discoveries by citizens are why he does what he does.

“That is one of the reasons why I started the Hall of Fame. It’s one of the most fun things to do,” Lipton told MetroNews.

One of the fun West Virginia music facts is that Jack Rollins from Mineral County wrote Frosty the Snowman, which is known all over the world.”

The Globetrotters adopted the song written by 2008 WVMHoF inductee Maceo Pinkard, a Bluefield native, in 1952. Pinkard, who died in 1962, was also inducted into the National Academy of Popular Music and Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1984.

“Sweet Georgia Brown” is one of the most recorded songs of all time. According to the WVMHoF, a shortlists of artists to cover the song are the Beatles, the Grateful Dead, Jimmy Smith, Nancy Sinatra, Ray Charles, Doc Watson, Sarah Vaughan, Django Reinhardt, Benny Goodman, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Chet Atkins, Charlie Parker, Glenn Miller, Bob Wills, Mel Torme, and Harry Connick.

The Carpenter Ants played “Sweet Georgia Brown,” on Thursday while Murphy Jr. joined in with whistling, and Sweet Lou II showed off his basketball skills.

Sweet Lou II, the son of legendary Globetrotter Sweet Lou Dunbar, is in the Kanawha Valley promoting the team’s Jan. 11 show in Charleston. The show is part of the team’s “Pushing the Limits Tour.”

“On the 11th, there is going to be a lot of high flying dunks, a lot of crowd interaction. It’s our “Pushing the Limits Tour” so we are going to be pushing the limits by attempting a few world records at each game.”

Source: Local News | WCHS Network | News • Sports • Business | Charleston, WV

Violent crime victims remembered at angel tree ceremony

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Victims of violent crimes in Kanawha County were remembered by family, friends, and officials on Thursday.

An Angel Tree Lighting Ceremony took place at the Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, where family members wrote names of loved ones on paper angels and placed them on a Christmas tree.

“My office deals with violent crime on a regular basis. It’s important that the victims of these crimes, the family members who survived, that they know that my office cares about them. This is one small way that we remember their loved ones,” Chuck Miller, Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney told 580-WCHS.

Around 115 angels were placed on the tree before it was lit by Miller. Family members came up one-by-one to write a victim’s name down and place the angel while Christmas music was sung.

Cassie Patton of Clendenin, the daughter-in-law of shooting victim Jeanie Patton told 580-WCHS that the holidays are tough are her family and anyone who has lost a loved one.

“It’s really hard on all the family. Her mother has now passed so we try to keep the tradition going of her life and remembering her,” Patton said.

“Her son and I have three small children. We talk about her daily and this helps to show that we still care and we want to remember her.”

Jeanie Patton was shot and killed in 2003 as part of the Kanawha County sniper case. Cassie Patton remembered her mother-in-law on Thursday.

“She (Jeanie) was bubbly, fun and outgoing. Her main goal all the time was to make everybody laugh and she always had a smile on her face,” she told 580-WCHS.

Miller opened the ceremony with words followed by Kanawha County Circuit Judge Tera Salango. The judge spoke about losing her brother in 1993 to violent crime and how that has affected her life.

Autumn Gillispie, a student at George Washington High School, sang a somber song called Dancing in the Sky by Dani & Lizzi that brought many people to tears inside the building.

South Charleston Police Officer Andrew Gordon read a poem by Meghan Aldridge, the mother of 2015 murder victim Gavin Aldridge, who was only 2-years old.

“I’m not sure we can ever eliminate the pain they suffer from the loss of a loved one,” Miller said.

“We try to do these things to at least contribute to their closure.”

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2 Kanawha County men charged for July fire

KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. — Two Kanawha County men face charges in connection to a July house fire in Putnam County.

According to the West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office, Ryan Hensley and Jerry King, both 18, were arrested on Dec. 5 in connection with a July 2019 fire in the Poca area.

The men have been charged with first-degree arson and conspiracy. Hensley was taken to Western Regional Jail and his bail set at $25,000, while King is at South Central Regional Jail with a $50,000 bond.

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