The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

State News

February 24, 2013

W.Va. news briefs

Man charged after reports of assault rifle near school

A Wellsburg man is facing charges following an investigation into reports of a suspicious man carrying an assault rifle near a local school.

Follansbee City Police Chief John Schwertfeger says 38-year-old Justin Charles Nixon was charged Friday with public intoxication, obstructing an officer, brandishing a weapon and making terroristic threats.

Officials say Nixon was charged after being apprehended by police responding to the threat. Brooke County school officials locked down several area schools as a precaution.

Schwertfeger told the Steubenville Herald-Star that Nixon matches the description provided by witnesses. He also says although a weapon wasn’t found on his person, an assault rifle was found in a home on the street where he was staying.

The Brooke County Sheriff’s Department and Wellsburg Police also assisted in the investigation.


Kanawha school board freed from library funding

The West Virginia Supreme Court says the Kanawha County school board is no longer forced to allocate part of its annual budget to fund the public library.

Media outlets report the court’s decision Friday ends a decade-long legal battle against being forced to give millions each year to the library.

Justices had originally ruled in the board’s favor in 2006 but stayed the decision to give the Legislature time to re-write a state mandate that school systems help fund public libraries in their counties.

The school board went to court again and in 2011, a lower court judge ruled the state mandate was unconstitutional. That’s the decision the State Supreme Court upheld Friday.

Funding from the school board amounts to nearly 40 percent of the library’s annual budget.


Water quality monitoring grants are now available

MORGANTOWN (AP) — Watershed groups in West Virginia can apply for portions of $160,000 in funding to help develop or expand water quality monitoring.

The funding is through the West Virginia Water Research Institute at West Virginia University. It is making the funding available to groups in four regions that make up its 3 Rivers Quest program.

The regions include the Monongahela River Basin, the Upper Ohio River Basin, the Northern Allegheny River Basin and the Southern Allegheny River Basin.

Each region has been allotted up to $40,000. Grants can total up to $7,000.

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