W.Va. school bus argument leads to fatal shooting

BLUEFIELD — West Virginia State Police say a Bluefield woman has been charged in the fatal shooting of another woman after their children argued on a school bus.

State Police spokesman Sgt. Michael Baylous says 42-year-old Judith Kowaleski is accused of shooting 42-year-old Elizabeth Slagle of Bluefield with a handgun last Thursday night. Slagle’s body was found along a road in Brush Fork.

Baylous says the women’s children had been involved in an argument earlier on a school bus.

A Mercer County Circuit Court clerk says Kowaleski was arraigned on a first-degree murder charge last Friday. The clerk had no immediate information on what jail Kowaleski was taken to or whether the defendant had an attorney.



Monument to honor military: A new monument in Parkersburg will honor local military personnel who were killed in Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Construction on the Fallen Soldier Memorial is expected to be completed this summer. A dedication is planned Aug. 3.

More than 200 people attended a groundbreaking ceremony last Saturday at City Park.

Supporters who worked on the project include Tracy Kendall, whose son Nicholas H. Null was killed in Afghanistan in 2011. She said during the ceremony that the monument symbolizes healing, honor and leaving a legacy of what military members died for.



WVU, drone makers share technology during visit: A pair of hobbyists who build and pilot unmanned aerial drones talked about the technology and helped with some research work during a visit to Morgantown.

West Virginia University’s Natural Resource Analysis Center hosted the founders of the Roswell Flight Test Crew on Monday.

Drones have thermal sensors, cameras, and video transmitters. That makes them a privacy concern to some people.

But they could help researchers map and measure West Virginia’s natural resources.

Researcher Paul Kinder said the drone makers learned from WVU about Geographic Information Systems and advanced mapping techniques during the visit.

Afterward, they deployed a drone to collect thermal imaging data and video for a mapping project at WVU, and for a wildlife census along Upper Shavers Fork River in Randolph and Pocahontas counties.



Man fatally shocked by power line: Authorities say a West Virginia logger died after coming into direct contact with a power line.

Mingo County officials say 27-year-old Elbert Allen Hinkle of Beech Creek was shocked in a non-work-related accident near Newtown while taking his lunch break last week.

Hinkle was near the C&A Lumber job site when he was killed.

No other details on the accident were available.



Apprentice hunting license available online: The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources says a license that allows people to try hunting without completing a hunter education course is now available online.

Officials say the West Virginia Apprentice Hunting and Trapping License can be purchased online by those who have not previously held a hunting license.

Director Frank Jezioro says hunter safety education can be a hurdle for novice hunters.

The agency believes after they get a taste of the experience, they’ll complete hunter safety courses and become lifetime hunters.

Hunters may buy up to three apprentice licenses within five consecutive years. Apprentice license holders must be supervised by a licensed hunter at least 18 years old.



Plane lands without wheels down: No injuries were reported after a small airplane landed at Yeager Airport with its landing gear up.

Media outlets reported that the twin-engine Piper Navajo was landing at the Charleston airport when the accident occurred around 11 a.m. last Thursday.

Airport spokesman Brian Belcher said the pilot didn’t signal any kind of emergency before the plane landed.

The plane is registered to Air Photographics Inc. of Martinsburg.

The runway was closed while crews removed the plane. Several other flights were delayed.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the incident.



“BUCKWILD” star found dead: Shain Gandee lived for the outdoors, often going on muddy, off-road thrill rides in the hills near his West Virginia home. A recent late-night escapade ended in tragedy for the MTV reality show cast member and two others.

The popular “BUCKWILD” cast member was found dead Monday inside a sport utility vehicle belonging to his family that was found partially submerged in a deep mud pit about a mile from his home near Sissonville, authorities said. Also inside were the bodies of his uncle and another man.

Kanawha County Sheriff’s Cpl. B.D. Humphreys said the red-and-white 1984 Ford Bronco’s muffler was below the surface and that mud covered the passenger side. No foul play is suspected.

Authorities said the cause of the deaths was still under investigation and they refused to speculate on what happened. If the muffler was submerged and the engine kept running, it’s possible the cabin of the vehicle could have filled with fatal carbon monoxide from the exhaust.

Meanwhile, a cast member from the show is back behind bars in West Virginia.

A judge ordered 24-year-old Salwa Amin back to Central Regional Jail last Wednesday after violating the terms of her previous release.

Amin was charged last month with two counts of drug possession with intent to deliver and initially jailed on $200,000 bond. Defense attorney Michael Callaghan got that reduced to $100,000. She’s now being held without bond.

Callaghan didn’t immediately return messages last Wednesday, but a jail official said a warrant shows Amin violated the release conditions by failing to appear in court.



Arts festival canceled: This year’s edition of Huntington’s four-decade-old Dogwood Arts and Crafts Festival has been canceled.

The festival was held at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena.

Arena manager Brian Sipe said that the festival’s cancellation was due to a lack of interest from vendors.

Sipe said the arena plans to reinvent the festival and hold it next year.

The festival was scheduled for the last weekend in April. This would have been its 43rd year.



New photo book explores Appalachia: A book with more than 120 colorful images is the first in a new Central Appalachian Natural History series coming from West Virginia University Press.

WVU Press says Stephen Stevenson’s “A Natural History of the Central Appalachians” is a concise and accessible approach to the biology and ecology of the region’s ridges, valleys and plateaus.

The book focuses on western and southwestern Virginia, eastern and central West Virginia, western Maryland, and a portion of south-central and southwestern Pennsylvania.

The newly published book also explores how human activity is affecting and could affect the region.

Stephenson was a biology professor at Fairmont State University for 27 years and is now a research professor at the University of Arkansas.


— Compiled by Robert Smith with information from the Associated Press

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