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Deadline extended for Charleston Youth Council

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Any youth in the city of Charleston will have an extended period to apply for the new Charleston Youth Council.

Mackenzie Spencer with Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin’s office said the deadline to apply is now Friday, September, 27.

“We have been getting some stuff in, we’ve been getting some good feedback,” she told 580-WCHS. “We are just giving some people some extra time there in case someone didn’t hear about it and wanted to be a part of it.”

Goodwin announced the establishment of the Charleston Youth Council during the September 3 City Council Meeting. The initiative will engage teens in the Capital City and provide them a voice in developing public policy and community development initiatives.

Requirements to apply include living in Charleston and must be between 14 and 18 years old and a student somewhere either private or public.

To apply, visit charlestonwv.gov/youthcouncil. An applicant must download the application and get a parent or guardian signature.

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

Pulliam drops opposition to plea deal

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A Charleston man who wanted to back out of a plea deal connected with the death of a teenager has rescinded his opposition.

William Pulliam said in August he wanted out of a guilty plea, but sent a letter to Kanawha County Circuit Court on Wednesday stating he wants to go forward with the plea deal.

Pulliam could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison after entering a guilty plea of second-degree murder for the 2016 shooting death of James Means.

Pulliam is also facing a federal gun charge.

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

Kanawha County man dies after tractor incident

KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. — A Kanawha County man is dead after he lost control of his tractor Wednesday.

The incident happened on Poca Fork Road.

According to the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office, the 70-year-old man was driving the tractor. The tractor rolled down a hill and crossed a hillside. The tractor landed on the man.

His name has not been released.

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

Man fatally struck by car identified

KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. — Kanawha County authorities have identified the man killed after being struck by a pickup truck.

Harvey Slonaker II, of 53, of Alum Creek, died after being hit Wednesday morning on Childress Road.

The incident happened around 6:30 a.m. on an incline. Deputies said fog may have been a factor.

Investigators noted the driver of the vehicle remained at the scene and called 911.

An investigation is underway.

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

Squirrel causes power problems in Sissonville

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Electricity services for 1,500 Appalachian Power customers in Sissonville went out Wednesday morning after a squirrel interfered with live services.

The incident happened at the utility’s Sissonville substation.

Appalachian Power spokesman Phil Moye said problems like this become more prevalent as fall approaches.

“What happens is with animals and particularly squirrels in substations is part of their body will touch an energized piece of equipment, and another part of their body will still be on the ground,” he said. “When that happens, electricity travels through the squirrel and it causes our breaker to operate and it interrupts power.”

Services were restored after 90 minutes.

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

Meeting scheduled for Thursday on proposed improvements to Corridor G

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Division of Highways and the Federal Highway Administration will hold a public meeting Thursday on proposed improvements to Corridor G.

Thursday’s meeting will take place at the Bible Center School on Oakhurst Drive. The event goes from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The project focuses on addressing a nearly two-mile section of U.S. Route 119; the stretch of road between MacCorkle Avenue and Emerald Road constantly has traffic problems. The project is part of Gov. Jim Justice’s “Roads to Prosperity” program.

State and federal officials are seeking comment on the impact of natural and cultural resources as well as possible social and economic effects.

The West Virginia Division of Highways is also encouraging people to submit comments on the proposal. The comments can be sent to R.J. Scites, P.E.; Director, Engineering Division West Virginia Division of Highways; 1334 Smith St.; Charleston, West Virginia 25301. Comments can also be submitted at https://go.wv.gov/dotcomment.

Public comments are due by Oct. 21.

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

No end in sight for hot, dry conditions in southern West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — There does not seem to be an immediate end to the abnormally dry forecast and warm temperatures seen in southern West Virginia over the past few weeks.

A high-pressure system is continuing to bring the conditions in the mid to upper 80s through the end of the workweek.

“Much of southern West Virginia is listed as abnormally dry,” Simone Lewis, National Weather Service Charleston meteorologist told MetroNews. “There is a moderate drought across the very southern portion such as McDowell and Wyoming counties.”

The first chance of precipitation comes early next week with a cold front but Lewis said she would not expect much.

“There’s a cold front that is going to come in around Tuesday and Wednesday,” she said. “That is going to bring some participation to us but that is going to be pretty short-lived.”

The cooler mornings expected next week could help with the delay of fall foliage across the state. Fall begins on the calendar September 21 but Lewis said the conditions have affected the leaves changing colors.

“That does stress out the vegetation and I know that’s why a lot of the trees in the area are losing leaves,” Lewis said. “If you notice a lot of them are turning brown and just falling off.”

This is what happens after weeks of hot and dry wx with some cool mornings sprinkled in: Some yellowing/browning of foliage along with some premature turning of a few varieties of red maple. #wvwx #kywx #ohwx pic.twitter.com/v7JobPFL15

— NWS Charleston, WV (@NWSCharlestonWV) September 16, 2019

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

Yeager Airport ‘flips the switch’ on new solar panels

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The switches have been flipped and the array of over 1,700 solar panels at Yeager Airport are running.

The multi-million project officially came to an end on Wednesday as airport officials, local leaders and the community gathered on top of Parking Garage A where the panels sit for a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The 1,701 panels sitting on top of the long-term parking garage will be used to power all parking facilities at the airport. The solar panels’ power will be collected on the utility meter and then transferred to the power used on the terminal.

Mike McKechine is the President of Mountain View Solar, the company whose panels were used, and said at the ceremony that the panels will pay for themselves.

“The utility bill that you pay, provides power for the next month and month after that,” he said. “If you invest in the infrastructure that produces its own power, that monthly expense turns into an asset. That’s the quickest, easiest way to look at solar.”

$3.5 million in funding for the project came from a federal grant through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), nearly 90-percent. The other 10-percent of funding for the project came from state funding.

The project originated more than three years ago but was put on hold due to funding and other issues, according to former Yeager Airport Director Terry Sayre.

Dan Hill with Dan Hill Construction said the project was scheduled to be done earlier in the summer but they ran into issues as well with the FAA.

“Since we are at an airport and very close to the airport runway, all of these designs have to be approved by them and it takes time,” Hill told MetroNews.

“Believe it or not, they shut down the government when we were at the peak of our decision making so it delayed us a little while.”

The project will also add electric vehicle charging stations to the 2nd floor of Parking Garage A in the coming months.

The panels are expected to bring cost savings to the airport of more than $50,000 per year.

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

New Yeager Airport director named as Sayre retires

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — After more than 12 years with Yeager Airport, Terry Sayre has retired from his position as airport director.

Sayre announced his retirement on Wednesday in front of the airport’s board before the board approved Nick Keller as new airport director. Keller had previously been assistant airport director.

Terry Sayre

“I can’t say enough about the board, the people that have worked for me,” Sayre said to the media. “Everybody is super up here, I appreciate all of them. I couldn’t’ have asked for a better staff.

“Nick is a young guy and has a ton of energy, dedication, and duty. He’s an excellent manager.”

Sayre will be leaving the airport on Dec. 31 but Keller takes over the position immediately. James Mason and Dominique Ranieri will be working as assistant directors.

On July 22, 2015, Sayre was voted in as airport director from an assistant director position and has since then changed the entire complexion of the airport. He said he has been most proud of leaving the airport in a better place.

He noted major construction projects completed under his watch such as the solar project which was completed on Wednesday, the 5-end runway rebuild, the General Aviation roadway, and the deal with Marshall University for a School of Aviation.

Sayre was presented with a Distinguished West Virginian award by Gov. Jim Justice’s office in front of the board on Wednesday.

Keller, who has been an assistant director under Sayre since August 2015, said he has learned a lot from his leadership.

Nick Keller

“I have learned how to be a great leader, also how to be a mentor to others,” Keller said. “If anybody is successful in business, you need a mentor and have to have a team.”

Keller began working at Yeager Airport as an Intern and Special Assistant to the Airport Director in May 2005. He began working for the Airport full-time in May 2007 after graduating from Purdue University with a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership & Supervision.

Keller went on to earn a master’s degree from Purdue University in Aviation Management, calling the position he earned on Wednesday the perfect one for him.

He said he has some goals laid out for the future of the airport.

“Make sure the airport is financially stable but also to help the economy,” Keller said. “How can we use the airport to be an economic engine for Kanawha County and to bring more jobs in here?”

As for Sayre, who began a distinguished law enforcement career in Charleston in 1972 before getting to the airport in May 2007, he said it’s family time.

“My grandson has already had two tee-ball games in Florida. I have to go down there and check that out because I am a baseball fanatic. My son is down there with his wife too.”

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

Pedestrian killed in accident in Alum Creek area

KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. — An investigation was underway on Wednesday morning into a deadly accident involving a pedestrian in Kanawha County.

Deputies with the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department said a man was killed when a vehicle hit him on Childress Road in the area on Alum Creek.

The accident was reported around 6:40 a.m. Wednesday.

Early indications were the victim may have been in the road when he was struck.

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