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Local News – WCHS Network | News • Sports • Business | Charleston, WV


Chesapeake’s Winifrede Station will be torn down

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Aug. 28 flood was not kind to many in eastern Kanawha County, including the Chesapeake Volunteer Fire Department and their Winifrede station.

The flood had caused significant damage to the fire station, forcing firefighters to work from the main Chesapeake station.

Chesapeake VFD Chief Jeremy Hamilton told the commission that the Winifrede station will need to come down sooner rather than later.

“The structural engineer came out and deemed it a total loss,” Hamilton said to the Kanawha County Commission Thursday.

Hamilton said they are able to maintain their operations, however, from here on out, they will need to save a lot of money.

“The scope of what needs done up there, to break all the issues, will take years upon years of saving,” said Chief Hamilton.

The commission wants the demo to happen quickly too. A bid has been given out to Rodney Loftis and Sons in the amount of $10,000.

Commissioner Lane Wheeler said after seeing pictures of the building, he agrees that emergency order should be used to tear down the building.

“That corner is washed out and it just takes a cornerstone to bring down the entire building,” Wheeler said. “We need to get this torn down and cleaned up as soon as possible.

Commissioners did not say when demolition of the Winifrede station would begin.

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

Boone Memorial Hospital receives additional funding to construct its new wellness center

DANVILLE, W.Va. — More funding has come for a new, state-of-the-art medical clinic that’s developing in Boone County, which will better serve the health needs for residents of Boone, Lincoln, Logan, and Kanawha counties.

Boone Memorial Hospital’s General Council and Chief External Affairs Officer Ray Harrell told MetroNews that in addition to the $14.3 million investment from USDA Rural Development to get the new Boone Memorial wellness center off the ground, an additional $3 million is coming from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services.

This was recently announced by U.S Senator Shelley Moore Capito, a ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee who helped secure the funds. Harrell said as the project has been in the works for several years now, it’s just the additional funds they needed to further help make the new clinic a reality.

“We could not be more grateful to our congressional delegation and congress for including this congressionally-directed spending to our health and wellness center project,” Harrell said.

Capito had this to say in a statement regarding the additional $3 million investment towards the clinic:

“I am thrilled to see the resources I advocated for head to Boone Memorial Hospital to help them deliver better and more efficient care to West Virginians. Helping our rural residents get access to quality health care is crucial and the new drive-through options will assist elderly patients and those with mobility issues seek treatment without the hassle.”

“These new additions will also open up more hospital space for patients who need beds. I am proud to have secured this funding through my role on the Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee and I am committed to delivering resources that continue to support our rural health care providers,” Capito said.

The new wellness center, which will be located at the former Magic Mart store off of Route 119 in Danville, is expected to provide primary and specialty care, as well as reduce preventable hospital stays.

Harrell said the funds will help cover the relocation costs of the current clinic, as well as renovation and equipment costs.

He said the new clinic will be beneficial in increasing the accessibility and equity of healthcare throughout the community and region.

“In rural communities like ours, healthcare access has always been an issue,” said Harrell. “We’re working to hopefully alleviate some of that issue by creating this health and wellness center that will serve multiple functions.”

Not only will the project come complete with a general clinic space, but a pharmacy, an education and fitness center, restaurant, and a drive-through clinic, which Harrell said will be the first of such drive-through clinics in the country.

He said the multi-faceted facility will be a gamechanger in not only reducing hospital visits now but bolstering people’s health for the future.

“We really hope this will serve as a place where residents can come for both their healthcare treatment needs and to work on certain wellness initiatives,” said Harrell.

Harrell said currently the hospital council is working to finalize some details to get an advertisement out for a contractor bid to construct the project, which they hope to get out within the next couple of months.

He said while it’s subject to change, they hope the wellness center to be complete by the spring/ summer of 2025.

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

Police fatally shoot wanted man

CROSS LANES, W.Va. — A wanted man was shot and killed by Kanawha County sheriff’s deputies Saturday evening.

According to authorities, the man was found at the Rodeway Motel on Goff Mountain Road in Cross Lanes. He got into his vehicle and attempted to drive away while shooting at deputies. Deputies returned fired and killed the man.

The man’s name was not immediately released. There was also no initial word on why he was wanted by police.

The sheriff’s department did release a statement Saturday night:

“To protect the integrity of this investigation, no names or further details can be released at this time as this is still very early in our investigation. Please expect a heavy police presence in the area for the next several hours and if possible, please try to avoid the area. There is currently no threat to the public at large and we will keep the public and media updated as new information becomes available.”

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

Hay truck fire stalls traffic on I-64, all lanes now open

MILTON, W.Va. — Interstate 64 westbound near Milton in Cabell County reopened Friday afternoon at around 4:30 p.m. after being closed for three hours following a hay truck fire.

A witness tells MetroNews a farm vehicle with a trailer were both burning when fire crews arrived on the scene shortly after 1:30 p.m.

There were large bales of hay on both the truck and trailer.

At one point, Putnam County emergency officials reported that traffic had backed up for eight miles.

There was also no immediate word of possible injuries.

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

Homecoming activities get underway at West Virginia State University

INSTITUTE, W.Va. — It’s that time of year again for college homecomings to start getting underway across the board, and a local campus within the Charleston community is celebrating its very own this weekend.

Annual homecoming activities kicked off at West Virginia State University Thursday with the coronation ceremony of its homecoming king and queen, among other events to get the occasion started.

WVSU President Ericke Cage discussed the rest of what’s to come throughout the weekend on WCHS Radio’s 580 LIVE Friday. He said they’ve become particularly known for doing their homecoming celebrations up right.

Ericke Cage

“Look, what makes us so special here at West Virginia State University is that when you come and become part of the WVSU community, you become a part of a family, and we really take great pride in that,” Cage said.

An ROTC Hall of Fame induction ceremony was expected to take place during the day Friday on the campus. The university’s ROTC Hall of Fame was established in 1980 to recognize the achievements of its graduates excelling in their fields of study.

This year recognized retired U.S Army Major Kimberly Stevenson, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration from WVSU in 1988 before going on to achieve many accomplishments throughout her over 21 years of military service.

This was to be followed by the Greek Unity cookout and an alumni dinner.

However, Cage said Saturday is the big day of celebrating. Activities get underway Saturday with a the homecoming parade starting at noon on the WVSU campus, in which Cage said the whole community is invited to attend.

Following the parade is the football game starting at 6 p.m. against Glenville State University. A fireworks display is set to take place immediately after the game.

Cage said throughout the day Saturday the university will also be host to a Family Fun Zone at the campus along Earl Loyd Way. It’s free and open to the public, and it will feature games and activities for kids of all ages and food from local vendors.

Cage said the homecoming events only emphasize WVSU’s significance and the impact it has on all of those who have attended throughout the years its been a part of the community.

“We are a small community where everybody knows your name, and I just marvel when I talk to our alumni when they come on campus, because they have so many fond memories that took place on this campus, and those memories are deeply embedded in our history, in our heritage,” Cage said.

West Virginia Route 25, or Fairlawn Avenue, will be closed at approximately 11:50 a.m. Saturday for 45 to 60 minutes for the parade. It will be closed from the traffic light at King Street at nearby Shawnee Park to the Interstate 64 interchange at Institute.

The parade will proceed from Shawnee Park to the WVSU campus where it will go down Campus Walk near the clock tower through the middle of the campus and finishing near the football field.

The football game will be held at Dickerson Stadium. Admission for the game is $20.

Cage encourages everyone to come out and attend the celebration.

“Homecoming is a very special time for us at the university, I invite all members of the community to come out and join in with us here in this very, very special occasion for us here at West Virginia State.”


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

Girls in Aviation Day happens Saturday at CRW

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — More than 100 girls will be in Charleston this weekend for an event at West Virginia International Yeager Airport.

Paige Withrow

Airport spokesperson Paige Withrow said they’re hosting their inaugural Girls in Aviation Day on Saturday as a way to promote aviation jobs.

“We just think it’s important for girls in our community to know that they can be a pilot too and they can be an air traffic controller. We just hope that they leave knowing that this is a career they can also do one day,” she said.

Girls ages 8-18 who participate will be able to chat with women who work in aviation.

“We’re going to have pilots available, maintenance technicians, air traffic controllers, TSA, just a lot of aviation-related jobs on hand for them to talk to other women that are in the field of aviation,” Withrow said.

There will also be other learning activities that involve STEM careers.

The event is free and will be co-hosted by the Marshall University Chapter of Women in Aviation at the Bill Noe Flight School.

The airport will host a Pilots to the Rescue Mission next Wednesday, Sept. 27. It was originally scheduled for Sunday but postponed because of weather impacting those traveling to Charleston.

When it does happen, Pilots to the Rescue will take place at the Capital Jet Center to support animals that are at risk of being euthanized due to overwhelming shelter numbers.

Swilled Dog, a West Virginia based distillery and cidery, will be partnering with the Kanawha-Charleston Human Association to get more dogs adopted.

“They’re going to take some animals from the Kanawha-Charleston Human Association to New Jersey to hopefully get these animals adopted,” Withrow said.

The airport’s canine, CRW Hercules, and Swilled Dog’s border collie, Lucy Pickles, will both be at Capital Jet Center to help bring the mission to life.

Withrow said it’s important to host events like these to show flyers and those who live in the Kanawha Valley they’re more than just an airport.

“When we have events like this, we’re just trying to be good community partners,” she said.

For more information, visit the airport’s website.

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

UPDATE: Victim’s name in Childress Road collision released, one SC firefighter remains hospitalized

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Fire Chief Virgil White admitted emotions were high when he heard his firefighters on the radio asking for help due to an accident. The team was enroute to back up another South Charleston Fire Department unit responding to a car wreck Thursday afternoon when they became involved in an accident.

“You never know from call to call what’s going to happen,” White said a day after the fire truck was destroyed in an accident which left one person dead and three firefighters hurt.

“Two of my firefighters have been released from the hospital, but I still have one who’s in ICU and he’s going to have to have some surgery. He’s got quite a few significant injuries,” White added.

Those were the only three on board the truck when it crashed at the intersection of Childress Road and  U.S. Route 119 around 4:30 p.m. The truck struck a passenger vehicle which was crossing the intersection.

“The fire truck was travelling north bound running lights and sirens and as they were approaching the intersection he was crossing 119 from Childress Road. The South Charleston fire truck collided with him at the intersection,” said Sgt. Josh Lester of the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department.

The driver of the vehicle, Franklin Crouch, 46, of Charleston, was treated at the scene by EMT staff and transported to CAMC where he later died. The names of the three firefighters on the truck were not released. The sheriff’s department accident reconstruction team spent most of Thursday night and Friday morning assessing and taking measurements at the scene to examine the accident for a cause.

“It will take them some time to go back and figure it out, but we do know Mr. Crouch had crossed the intersection and had made it all the way to the north bound lane, that’s when they collided,” said Lester.

White said he got the word the same time everybody else in the department got it.

“We heard them radio for help they were involved in an accident, so immediately we sent people that way,” he explained and admitted it’s a much more intense call when it’s one of your own. “It was because you don’t know what’s going on until you get there. All you get is updates from the dispatchers and you’re trying to picture in your mind what’s going on, but you really don’t know what you have until you can get on the scene and assess it.”

Both the car and the fire truck,  a 2018 model, were destroyed. White said the department already had new fire fighting apparatus on order which should arrive over the next 24 months. In the meantime, the city has a spare truck which is in service and will replace the destroyed machine.

It’s the first time a South Charleston firefighting vehicle had been involved in an accident since a call in 2009.

“It wasn’t as bad, but it was pretty significant. We had a structure fire and one of our engines crashed into a police car on the way to the scene,” he added.

According to investigators the fire truck did not roll over, but incurred heavy damage from the collision with the vehicle as well as a nearby light pole as it careened through the intersection after the impact.

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

Commission takes next step in moving along judicial building project

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Kanawha County Commission said Thursday that a committee has ranked the three architectural and engineering firms considered for the project of creating the needed space for the new magistrates and circuit judge.

The three companies in consideration for the project are McKinley Architecture and Engineering, Silling Architects, and The Thrasher Group. Interviews were conducted earlier this week.

The committee scored each one of the three companies and said Silling received the highest score. Second best was McKinley.

The five-person committee who conducted interviews with the three different architectural firms are Kanawha County Court Administrator Chris McClung, Maintenance Director Mike Moles, County Manager Jennifer Herrald, Purchasing Director Jeri Whitehead, and Chief Magistrate Traci L. Strickland.

The West Virginia Legislature voted to add three new magistrates and one new circuit judge in Kanawha County.

Additional space is planned on being added on at the Judicial Building in Charleston to create more room for the three new magistrates. Renovations are also possible for the visiting judges courtroom to supply enough room for the circuit judge that was also added in Kanawha County.

The next step for the commission is to determine the fee of services. The committee said they will discuss the fees with Silling first.

The commission will discuss the project further at their next scheduled meeting in October. Their goal is to establish a price with the selected firm so the project can begin.

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

Canterbury recognized as Principal of the Year in Kanawha County

MALDEN, W.Va. — The Kanawha County Schools Principal of the Year is Mr. Tommy Canterbury of DuPont Middle School in Malden.

Canterbury was announced as the Principal of the Year at the Kanawha County Board of Education meeting Thursday afternoon.

Superintendent of Kanawha County Schools Dr. Tom Williams said Canterbury is very much deserving of this honor.

“We are pleased to recognize Mr. Canterbury for his accomplishments and dedication to Kanawha County Schools, DuPont Middle School, their students, staff and community,” Dr. Williams said.

While speaking to the board of education and the many family members and friends who showed up to congratulate him, Canterbury said he didn’t know what was going on when he arrived for the meeting.

“They brought me down here under the guise that I was going to talk about summer school,” Canterbury joked.

Canterbury moved to Florida for a few years after graduating from college before moving back to the area and begin his teaching at East Bank High School. He then taught at Riverside in 1999 before moving on to Capital High School where he was assistant principal for six years. Canterbury has been principal of DuPont since 2012.

The DuPont Principal first gave credit to those who got him involved in education in the first place.

“Out of everyone I know, all the teachers and administrators, no one has had better mentors than me,” said Canterbury, giving credit especially to his parents, who were there to celebrate the accomplishment.

The teachers at DuPont have also helped Canterbury out along the way. Canterbury showed his appreciation to his staff at DuPont Middle School. He said without them, this achievement wouldn’t of been possible.

“You can’t be the principal of the year without the school of the year and the staff of the year,” Canterbury said.

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

Horn out as manager of Dirty Birds

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Charleston Dirty Birds have relieved Team Manager Billy Horn of his duties after two years.

Horn became Dirty Birds Manager in 2022, leading the team to 109 wins in his two years.

“Our organization has very high expectations on the field,” said Dirty Birds Owner and CEO, Andy Shea. “We appreciate the work and commitment by Billy, but this signals a step in a new direction. The search has begun for new leadership to bring this community a Championship and an organization that wins on and off the field.”

The Dirty Birds finished the 2023 season with a record of 56-70, which was good for third in the Atlantic League’s South Division.

“I’d like to thank the entire Dirty Birds organization for the past two years appointed as the team’s manager,” said Billy Horn. “Thank you to everyone from ownership, front office staff, fans, community, and most importantly, the coaches, trainer, clubby, and the players. I want to wish the entire organization nothing but the best of luck in the future.”

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