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Shooting confirmed at boys’ basketball game in Bluefield

BLUEFIELD, WV (WOAY) – Mercer County Schools are confirming that a shooting took place at a boy’s high school basketball game in Bluefield tonight.

It happened in the parking lot of the Brush Fork Armory after the boys’ basketball game between Bluefield High and Summers County.

Superintendent Edward Toman said in a statement that the incident was not connected to the game, but instead committed by a group of people who “brought their issues to a facility and youth event that should always be safe for all.”

He said the school is heartbroken and outraged, and thanked law enforcement.

“We greatly appreciate our local law enforcement, first responders and administration in their immediate response and willingness to provide help. I am confident justice will be served on the individuals who invoked fear and harm in our community. Please know we will do everything in our power to keep our students, staff, families and fans safe and incidents of this manner will not be tolerated.”

Newswatch has received no official confirmation of injuries. We will keep you updated as we learn more.

West Virginia high school football championships moved to Charleston

CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) – The West Virginia High School Football Championships are leaving Wheeling and coming to Charleston for the next three years.

The championships were held in Wheeling for the last 30 years.

The WVSSAC received four bids from Bluefield, Charleston, Huntington/Morgantown, and Wheeling. In the end, the organization went with Charleston.

The games will be played at Laidley Field.

The agreement between the WVSSAC, Kanawha County Schools, the Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the City of Charleston runs for three years, with the option to add a fourth year if all parties agree.

“We are excited with the offer extended by the Charleston community to host the football championships at Laidley Field,” C. David Price, the WVSSAC executive director, said. “The local organizing group is committed to the student and fan experience as well as the financial success of the event.”

Next season is also the first year for football in the state to be divided into four categories.

Beckley Police Searching Missing Teen Girl

(BECKLEY, WOAY TV) – The Beckley Police Department is looking for the public’s assistance in the search for a teen.

18-year-old Alexis Wickline was last seen Thursday, February 1st around 9 am leaving Woodrow Wilson High School.

She is 5’7”, 110 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes. She was last seen in a black hoodie and black leggings with a white stripe down both sides.

If you have any information on her whereabouts please, contact the Beckley Police Department at 304-256-1720.

Moore Capito Has Resigned

West Virginia Delegate Moore Capito (R-WV) has officially announced his campaign to serve as the next Governor of West Virginia.

Moore Capito has resigned from the West Virginia House of Delegates to focus solely on the race for governor.

Capito represented the 55th district, encompassing Kanawha County.

He made the announcement in Governor Justice’s weekly briefing, saying that it was an honor to be a delegate.

He said that he thinks West Virginians want continued progress and a conservative leader at the helm of the state.

Recent polling by WMOV radio and American Pulse shows Capito trailing Attorney General Patrick Morrisey by fewer than 8 points.

The next closest candidate is Secretary of State Mac Warner, who has captured 14% of the vote in that poll.

Chris Miller earned 10% of the vote, while 23% of people remain undecided.

Latest Update On Explosion At US-Canadian Border

Newswatch has new details about the car explosion that happened on a bridge crossing the US-Canadian border.

Investigators are now saying that the incident began and ended on the American side of the border.

Governor Kathy Hochul is now saying that there is no sign of a terrorist attack.

Details are still emerging on the event, but it happened on the Rainbow Bridge in Niagra Falls. The car exploded at a checkpoint on the American side.

Here’s what we know:

Two people are dead, both were in the car. The border patrol agent in the booth suffered injuries but was saved by the concrete booth.

Now we are learning that the incident began and ended on the American side of the border. Sources are saying a car sped into a border checkpoint and hit a concrete wall.

Earlier this evening, New York Governor Kathy Hochul gave a press conference, saying that the person behind the wheel of that car was a local New Yorker and that the public does not need to worry about an ongoing terrorist attack.

Armed fugitive on the loose in Greenbrier County

Travis Devonte Fernatt

GREENBRIER COUNTY, WV (WOAY)- The Greenbrier County Sheriff’s office is looking for an armed fugitive who allegedly shot at deputies and fled during a traffic stop.

The sheriff’s office is looking for Travis Devonte Fernatt, a 25-year-old Black man from Crichton, West Virginia. He is 5’9″ tall, around 175 pounds, and wearing a dark blue hoodie with black pants.

According to the Greenbrier County Sheriff, he is armed and dangerous. Do not approach him, and call the Greenbrier Sheriff’s Office or 911 if you have any information.

The sheriff’s office can be reached at 681-318-3493 or 304-392-6320.

It all started Saturday night at around 11:15 p.m. According to a press release, Deputy S.H. Peacock tried to pull over a pickup truck on Russellville Rd. The truck then fled the scene, and the passenger, Fernatt, began shooting at the police cars.

The chase ended in the Bellburn area, where the driver was caught and arrested by Deputy Peacock and Deputy H. Rodriguez.

Fernatt got away on foot.

Newswatch will keep you updated as we learn more.

Reporting by Serena Davanzo and Micah Leith

Richwood Fire Department looking for old pictures

The Richwood Fire Department needs the public’s help.

The fire department is working on a project, and it needs photos of several previous fire chiefs who served from 1901 to 1946.

The department needs pictures of Chief A.A. Williams, Chief J. H. Watson, Chief J. H. Watson, Chief G. M. Cramer, Chief A. B. Campbell, and Chief Lee Reese.

The department also needs any old photos of the firehouse, equipment, and members.

You can drop the photos off at the station or message the department on Facebook.

Two officers on administrative leave after shooting in Beckley

A man is dead and another is injured after an officer-involved shooting in Beckley last night at the 100 Block of Klaus Street.

One officer was hit by a car during the incident and suffered minor injuries.

According to the Beckley police department, two officers have been placed on administrative leave as the West Virginia State Police and Beckley Police Department Professional Standards Unit investigate.

Newswatch will keep you updated as this story progresses.

New details released after double murder-suicide in Mount Hope

The Fayette County Sheriff’s Department has released new information about a double murder-suicide at 366 Legends Highway in the Mount Hope Area last night.

According to Fayette County Sheriff Mike Fridley, deputies responded to a call for a shooting with the suspect still on the scene and threatening to shoot themselves or police.

After gaining entry to the home, deputies found three people dead from gunshot wounds.

Authorities believe that Jesse Dech killed James Shrader and Henry Schrader after gaining access to their home. Dech then allegedly committed suicide.

After searching Dech’s home, deputies found materials for building a pressure bomb.

The shooting is still under investigation.

Weather Update: Flooding Hits Mercer, Tazewell Counties

Oak Hill, WV (WOAY-TV): Persistent heavy rain has triggered flash flooding in Bluefield (Mercer County), McDowell and Tazewell County. Flash flooding is expected through at least 3 p.m. today.

Braden Petry’s latest forecast:

Braden’s Memorial Day Forecast – YouTube

Here are the details and timeline:

  • 2.5-3.5″ of rain has triggered flooding in Mercer, Tazewell and McDowell County.
  • Bluestone River at Falls Mills has reached 10.37 feet, exceeding the previous record crest of 8.6 feet during the 1996 flooding in January. Major flooding will occur this afternoon as the river likely reaches 11 feet.
  • Rain will taper to isolated showers this afternoon and end between 7-9 p.m.
  • Rain is expected for the remainder of the region through the afternoon before ending. Isolated flash flooding could occur, best chance south of I-64 and I-77.

 

US declares public health emergency over monkeypox outbreak

Microscopic view of the monkeypox virus

Washington, DC (A.P.)- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has declared the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency to strengthen the federal response to the virus, which has infected over 6,600 Americans. There have been no reported deaths due to monkeypox in the U.S. However, according to The Associated Press, several countries that have not historically reported monkeypox cases, including Brazil and Spain, have confirmed deaths due to the virus.

Monkeypox symptoms include swollen lymph nodes, fever, headache, fatigue, and muscle aches. The rash can be painful, causing lesions that look like pimples or blisters on several parts of the body.

To reduce the exposure risk, the CDC recommends that individuals practice proper hand washing and avoid contact with people with symptoms that coincide with the virus. For more information on the monkeypox virus, visit CDC.gov.

State of Emergency extended to 8 counties due to heavy rainfall and severe flooding

Charleston, West Virginia (WOAY)- Governor Jim Justice has expanded the State of Emergency to 8 additional counties due to heavy rainfall and severe flooding.

Counties added include:

Harrison

Marion

Marshall

Monongalia

Ohio

Taylor

Tucker

Wetzel

Senator Manchin reaches agreement with Senate Majority Leader on climate and tax bill

West Virginia (WOAY)- Senator Joe Manchin has reached an agreement with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on cutting energy and health care costs, tax reform, and reducing the federal debt. Manchin and Schumer report that the Senate will vote on the legislation next week.

There are specific details about the changes made to the deal that led to the negotiation. Manchin reported the bill is “more modest” than the $3.5 trillion that was initially proposed. Additionally, the bill would help the US lower its carbon emissions by 40% by 2030 by allocating funds to climate policies.

Manchin and Schumer state the bill would pay for itself, raising $739 billion over the decade by raising the corporate minimum tax on large companies to 15%. In addition, the tax increase would strengthen the Internal Revenue Services tax enforcement and allow the government to negotiate prescription drug prices.

If passed, the legislation would be a major success for the Biden administration and the greatest pro-climate legislation passed by Congress. However, President Biden will need the support of all 50 Democratic senators and Vice President Kamala Harris for the tie-breaking vote to pass through to the Senate and House of Representatives.

 

 

 

 

BREAKING: Murder investigation underway in Summers County

FOREST HILL, WV (WOAY) – An investigation is underway in Summers County after a four-year-old girl is murdered.

On Tuesday, around 8:30 a.m., members of the Hinton Detachment and Summers County Sheriff’s Office responded to Barger Springs Rd. in the Forest Hill area.

Officers found the young victim dead on scene. Investigators determined her parents were responsible.

Rusty and Rebekah Weikle have been charged with first degree murder, child abuse resulting in death, child neglect resulting in death and conspiracy.

The investigation remains active and ongoing.

UPDATE: Suspect name released in Raleigh County police shooting

UPDATE (7/8 @ 9 p.m.) – The suspect has been identified as Matthew Scott Jones, 36, of Culpepper, VA. The investigation remains active and ongoing. 


BRADLEY, WV (WOAY) – West Virginia State Police release details about Wednesday’s police shooting in Raleigh County.

Captain R.A. Maddy says on Wednesday at approximately 9:47 a.m., initial calls reported an armed suspect fleeing from a crash scene off Dry Hill Rd. They say the suspect then stole a blue truck and fled in an unknown direction.

A short time later, the suspect was located at Big Lots near the Raleigh Mall in the stolen truck. Police say the suspect refused to stop for officers, and a pursuit ensued leading into Fayette County and back into the Bradley area of Raleigh County.

The pursuit ended when the truck became disabled off Rt. 19 in Bradley.  The suspect exited the vehicle and was engaged by law enforcement.

During a short standoff, the suspect continued to hold the handgun. Police say this resulted in gunfire from the officers, causing the suspect’s death.

The investigation remains active and ongoing.

One dead, one injured after weekend shooting at Beckley hotel

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – One person is dead and another person is injured after a shooting at a hotel in Beckley.

On Sunday, May 8 at around 3:45 p.m., Raleigh County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a shooting at Country Inn and Suites on Harper Rd.

Two gunshot victims were located on the third floor. One died at the scene, the other was transported to a local hospital for gunshot wounds. The victim’s name is being withheld at this time to ensure proper notification of family members.

The West Virginia State Police, State Police Special Response Team, and the Beckley Police Department assisted with the situation.

If you have any information, contact the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office Detective Bureau at (304) 255-9300 or Crimestoppers at (304) 255-STOP (7867).

Suspect still on the run after Raleigh County shooting

RALEIGH COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – A suspect is on the run after a shooting in Raleigh County on Thursday.

Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office deputies and WVSP troopers responded to the shooting at 117 Port Lane in the Maple Fork Rd. area.

A victim was brought to Raleigh General Hospital to be treated for their injuries.

Through the course of the investigation, one person was arrested for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

The investigation is ongoing, and the suspect is still being sought by law enforcement,

If you have any information, call the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office at (304) 255-9300 of Crime Stoppers at (304) 255-STOP (7867).

BREAKING: Bluefield murder suspects located and taken into custody

BLUEFIELD, WV (WOAY) – The two suspects wanted in connection to a murder in Bluefield have been located and taken into custody.

According to Deputy U.S. Marshal Mark Waggamon, Nichole Brooks and Isis Wallace were taken into custody on Wednesday night around 9 p.m. in Dover, DE.

Brooks, 43, and Wallace, 22, are alleged to have fired multiple rounds into a car near the intersection of Rt. 460 and Cumberland Rd. in Bluefield last Wednesday.

A 13-year-old girl was discovered in the back seat with a gunshot wound to the head. She was transported to CAMC General in Charleston and later died from her injuries.

BREAKING: Fayette County juvenile identified for posting social media threats

OAK HILL, WV (WOAY) – A Fayette County juvenile has been identified for posting threats on social media concerning Oak Hill High and Oak Hill Middle Schools.
According to Sheriff Mike Fridley, the person was identified by the Detectives of the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department, with major assistance from the Oak Hill and Mount Hope Police Departments.
This matter will now be submitted to Fayette County Prosecuting Attorney Anthony Ciliberti to determine appropriate criminal charges.
If anyone has information about pending violence or threats to occur at school or knows of a potentially dangerous situation like this, they are encouraged to tell staff at the school or call local law enforcement.
If you have any information regarding this incident, contact the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department at (304) 574-3590, or through Facebook. You can also contact Crime Stoppers of West Virginia at (304) 255-STOP.

Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin announces military operation in Ukraine

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday announced a military operation in Ukraine, claiming it’s intended to protect civilians.

In a televised address, Putin said the action comes in response to threats coming from Ukraine. He added that Russia doesn’t have a goal to occupy Ukraine. Putin said the responsibility for bloodshed lies with the Ukrainian “regime.”

Putin warned other countries that any attempt to interfere with the Russian action would lead to “consequences they have never seen.”

He accused the U.S. and its allies of ignoring Russia’s demand to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO and offer Moscow security guarantees.

He said the Russian military operation aims to ensure a “demilitarization” of Ukraine. Putin said that all Ukrainian servicemen who lay down arms will be able to safely leave the zone of combat.

There was no immediate reaction from the White House to Putin’s remarks, but U.S. officials have repeatedly pledged to place overwhelming sanctions on the Russian economy and Putin allies in retaliation for a further invasion of Ukraine.

Multiple units respond to small fire at Fayetteville Walmart

FAYETTEVILLE, WV (WOAY) – A small fire breaks out at the Fayetteville Walmart.

Details are limited, but Fayette County dispatchers confirm there was a small fire.  Multiple units are on scene trying to put out the flames.

Stick with us as we work to learn further details.

Three injured after accident on Coal River Mountain Rd.

PAX, WV (WOAY) – Three people are transported to the hospital after an accident in the Pax area.
Fayette County Sheriff Mike Fridley says it happened just after 6 a.m. Saturday morning. Deputies responded to an accident on Coal River Mountain Rd., where a vehicle had gone over the side of a mountain approximately 150 ft. The driver was trapped inside his vehicle.
Rescue efforts were delayed due to road conditions, as emergency vehicles kept getting stuck.
The driver was eventually rescued and brought to medical personnel. During this rescue, a firefighter had a medical emergency episode and required medical services.
While both individuals were receiving care from Emergency Medical Services, the Deputy Sheriff on scene attempted to leave the scene when his patrol vehicle began to slide.
Fearing his vehicle was going to go over the mountain, the deputy jumped from his vehicle and subsequently got struck by the sliding vehicle.
The driver, the firefighter, and the Deputy Sheriff were transported to Raleigh General Hospital for their injuries.

BREAKING: Gov. Justice tests positive for COVID-19

Gov. Jim Justice
Gov. Jim Justice (R - WV)

CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) – Today, upon the sudden onset of symptoms Gov. Jim Justice received a positive PCR test for COVID-19. Confirmatory testing was performed by the West Virginia State Lab with an additional positive result. An additional test is being administered tonight to confirm the initial PCR results.

The Governor, who is fully vaccinated and boosted, is experiencing moderate symptoms and is isolating at home.

Upon recommendation from his physicians, the Governor will be receiving a course of monoclonal antibody treatment tonight. He is being treated by several physicians, including Dr. Clay Marsh, MD, the State COVID-19 Czar.

Everyone that the Governor has been in close contact with over the past few days is being notified. West Virginia First Lady Cathy Justice tested negative this evening.

Gov. Justice is in communication with his Chief of Staff and office staff to ensure that state government continues to operate smoothly.

The Governor’s State of the State address, scheduled for Wednesday, January 12, 2022, will be delivered by written message to the West Virginia Legislature to satisfy constitutional requirements.

The Governor will deliver an address to the West Virginia Legislature at a later date.

“While I was surprised that my test results came back positive, I’m thankful to the Lord above that I’ve been vaccinated, I’ve been boosted, and that I have an incredible support system, especially my loving family,” Gov. Justice said.

“That being said, I feel extremely unwell at this point, and I have no choice but to postpone my State of the State address to the Legislature. I woke up this morning with congestion and a cough. A little while later, I developed a headache and fever, so I decided to get tested right away. The rapid test that I took came back negative, but by the late afternoon, my symptoms were still getting much worse. My blood pressure and heart rate were extremely elevated, and I had a high fever. Finally, my PCR test results this evening confirmed I was positive. Because of all this, I began receiving my antibody treatment and I hope this will lessen these symptoms.

“For this to happen just one night before the State of the State – knowing I won’t be able to be there – saddens me. There are so many great things happening in West Virginia right now. Tomorrow, even though I won’t be there, we are going to showcase what we’ve accomplished with economic development in West Virginia. We are on a rocket ship ride and the world is finally waking up to it. But, because of this pandemic, we all must adjust and realize that our lives aren’t the same as they were a few short years ago.

“I ask everyone to continue praying for the 5,452 great West Virginians that we’ve lost. We need to keep pulling the rope together. We’re going to get through this and put an end to this terrible pandemic once and for all.

“So I apologize in every way for not being able to join you tomorrow night, and I especially apologize to all our invited guests who are having to change their plans. I’ll be back in front of you in-person before you know it. I thank everyone who has offered their thoughts and prayers and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone soon.”

Statement by Dr. Clay Marsh, MD, the State COVID-19 Czar and Vice President & Executive Dean for Health Sciences at West Virginia University:
“The Governor took the exact right course of action today. He got tested at the first sign of a COVID-19-related symptom, isolated himself, and, because he is over 65 years of age, he consulted with a doctor and was prescribed a monoclonal antibody treatment. I have full confidence that Governor Justice will recover quickly, and it’s because he chose to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and his booster shot. Without the immunity afforded by those vaccines, his outcome could be much worse. I continue to strongly encourage all West Virginians to take the COVID-19 vaccine and get boosted when it’s time to do so. Everyone is susceptible to this infection, and with cases in the U.S. and in West Virginia at all-time highs, there has never been a more important time to get yourself and your family vaccinated.”

Additional information:
Tomorrow’s 10:00 a.m. economic development announcement will be announced by press release, and the event will still be held by other officials at the same time and place as listed in the media advisory.

BREAKING: FDA authorizes Pfizer boosters for 12- to 15-year olds

NEW YORK, NY (ABC) – The Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved Pfizer boosters for 12- to 15-year-olds.

The moves comes as schools reopen after the holiday break.

In a release, the FDA said it has amended the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer vaccine to also shorten the time between the completion of primary vaccination of the Pfizer vaccine and a booster dose to at least five months, instead of six.  It also allows for a third primary series dose for certain immunocompromised children 5 through 11 years of age.

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