Charleston patrolman a 1-man sobriety checkpoint
CHARLESTON (AP) —New Year’s revelers who foolishly drink and drive run the risk of meeting patrolman Brian Lightner.
He’s made more than 200 drunken driving arrests in 2011 and he’s nabbed more people for DUI this year than any other single officer in the state.
In fact, records kept by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety show that he has made more arrests than some entire agencies, according to the Charleston Gazette.
“If you’re impaired, my job is to take you off the streets,” he said. “That’s what I do.
“Every officer has their special niche. Some go after drugs; others robberies. My specialty is DUIs.”
Lightner’s arrest records bear that out. He has made more drunken driving arrests than the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department, the Martinsburg Police Department and the Charles Town Police Department. Each department has recorded less than 200 drunken driving arrests this year, though some arrests may not have been recorded yet.
Lightner’s DUI arrests represent about one-fourth of the entire Charleston Police Department’s arrests for impaired driving. He said it’s “scary” how many people get behind the wheel after drinking.
Ski operators seek snow
CHARLESTON (AP) —The winter’s warm start has West Virginia ski operators wishing for snow.
The traditional holiday rush to the slopes has been slowed by the absence of snow and colder temperatures.
At Canaan Valley Resort and Conference Center, spokeswoman Lisa Ratliff said the slopes have seen only a couple measurable snowfalls in the last month or so.
Last year at this time , she said, all of the resort’s trails were open at this time, but no so this year.
Joe Stevens of the West Virginia Ski Areas Association said milder weather in population centers like Charleston and Huntington keeps skiers and snowboarders at home.
Tom Blanzy of Timberline said he’s remaining optimistic about the rest of the season. He points to colder temperatures expected next week.
Auxiliary closes in on goal
HUNTINGTON (AP) —The Cabell Huntington Hospital Foundation is only $1 million short of its $12 million fundraising goal for its Children’s Hospital project.
The effort has received a big assist in that directon from the Cabell Huntington Auxiliary, which has presented its eighth $100,000 check to the foundation.
The auxiliary has pledged $1 million to the project and already has raised 80 percent of that 10-year commitment made in 2007.
The auxiliary has raised the money through raffle sales, proceeds from its volunteer-supported gift shop and other fundraisers.
The Children’s Hospital project will reconstruct its Pediatrics Unit and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. The project also involves the building of a new entrance designed for young patients.
WVU painting back from bayou
MORGANTOWN (AP) — A painting that has been in the possession of West Virginia University for more than 60 years is back in Morgantown after a short stay in Louisiana.
The Rockwell Kent painting went South as part of a wager between WVU and Louisiana State University on a football game played between the two teams this season. LSU won, so the painting was on loan at LSU’s Museum of Art from Oct. 31 until this month.
The painting is called “To Make Dream Homes Come True” and it depicts a giant figure holding a piece of coal that sheds light on a future housing development.
West Virginia received the painting in 1947. It was among 10 commissioned by the Bituminous Coal Institute from Kent, a noted artist at the time.
Program looks at glass-making
CHARLESTON (AP) — The West Virginia State Museum has scheduled a January program on the rich history of glass production in the Virginias.
The program will reflect on the antebellum years when hundreds of glass factories operated in West Virginia, as well as western Virginia. Glass producers were attracted to the states because of their abundant supply of silica, limestone and natural gas.
The museum’s collection of glass objects includes a number of pieces from a wide range of factories and craftsmen. Some of the familiar glass-producing names include Fenton Art Glass and Blenko Glass Co.
The Jan. 12 program will be led by the museum’s chief curator, James R. Mitchell. The museum is located in Charleston.
New wildlife calendars available
SOUTH CHARLESTON (AP) — The clock is ticking on 2011 and the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources has 2012 wildlife calendars to help plan the new year.
The cover of the wall calendar features a painting of a pair of wood ducks by artist Adam Grimm. It is among 12 images that include a ruffed grouse in flight, a red-shouldered hawk, a cardinal and a black-capped chickadee.
The other wildlife depictions include a black bear, raccoon, skunk, a rainbow trout and a black crappie.
The calendar also includes wildlife features, including one on how to determine a fish’s age.
The calendars are priced at $10 each. They’re available at DNR district offices, newsstands and food stores.