The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

State News

January 1, 2012

W.Va. news briefs

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.

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