Latest West Virginia news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. EDT

Latest West Virginia news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. EDT
Published: Jul. 8, 2020 at 3:23 AM EDT
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W.Va. governor sets September reopening date for schools

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice says officials are working on plans to reopen schools across the state in early September as coronavirus cases rise to record highs. The Republican governor on Wednesday said he's targeting Sept. 8 as a tentative date to reopen schools but stressed that the timing could change depending on the state’s caseload. He did not immediately detail the safety precautions schools would be required to implement. The announcement comes after health officials reported the state’s highest single-day tally of new virus infections Tuesday with 146 cases. Last weekend, the state blew past previous highs with at least 115 cases Saturday and 93 on Sunday.


Pandemic forces cancellation of West Virginia's Bridge Day

FAYETTEVILLE, W.Va. (AP) — An annual bridge-jumping event in southern West Virginia has been canceled. The Bridge Day Commission announced Wednesday that the Oct. 17 event was called off due to uncertainty about the safety of mass gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic. Hundreds of BASE jumpers flock to Fayetteville on the third Saturday of each year, the only day that it’s legal to jump off the 876-foot-high New River Gorge Bridge. Bridge Day is West Virginia’s largest single-day festival. About 100,000 people attend Bridge Day each year. The 3,030-foot-long bridge opened to traffic in October 1977.


Miller Hall elected WVa Board of Education president

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Miller Hall has been elected president of the West Virginia Board of Education. The board Wednesday unanimously voted for Hall to replace David Perry, who was elected in 2018. Hall was appointed to the board in 2017 by Gov. Jim Justice and previously was the board’s vice president. A Beckley native, Hall served as principal of Woodrow Wilson High School and later held different administrative positions in the Raleigh County Central Office. Hall says the board will remain diligent in addressing the needs of the state's most vulnerable students. The board also voted Tom Campbell as vice president.


West Virginia man pleads guilty to defrauding FEMA

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia man has pleaded guilty to defrauding the Federal Emergency Management Agency of 2016 disaster relief funds. Randall Butler of Charleston entered the plea in federal court Wednesday to one count of fraud in connection with major disaster or emergency benefits. Prosecutors say Butler lived in a Clendenin apartment at the time of the floods. FEMA was authorized to provide assistance to affected residents. Butler admitted receiving about $8,600 from FEMA for rental assistance, even though he had not been paying the rent himself. Prosecutors say the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development had submitted rental payments on his behalf.


2 men drown in northern West Virginia pond

MANNINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — Two men have drowned while swimming in a northern West Virginia pond. Marion County Sheriff Jimmy Riffle says Dalton Shuck and Charles Barber died Monday night near Mannington. Both were 23 years old and from Fairmont. Riffle says three people had gone into the pond and one began to struggle. As the other two tried to get the man to shore, one of the other swimmers also began struggling. Both victims were pronounced dead at the scene. Riffle says the deaths appear to be accidental.


Suggestions sought as district moves to rename school

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia school district that decided to remove Confederate Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson’s name from a middle school is asking the public for suggestions on a new name. WCHS-TV reports Kanawha County Schools shared a survey on its social media that is open through 9 a.m. on July 13. The Kanawha County Board of Education voted unanimously on Monday to change the name of the middle school. Jackson was born in Clarksburg in 1824. The board plans to decide on a replacement name by mid-October.