1WILLIAMSBURG — Law enforcement officials say a hunting dispute resulted in two people being shot and killed.

According to the West Virginia State Police, 33-year-old Jeremiah Thomas and 34-year-old Jennifer Thomas allegedly got into an argument on Friday afternoon over a hunting lease with Randy Barnhart and 45-year-old Terri Storer in Williamsburg, West Virginia. Police say Jeremiah Thomas and Jennifer Thomas were fatally shot during the argument.

Law enforcement officials are investigating the situation but no arrests have been made.

The Greenbrier County Sheriff’s Department, Nicholas County Sheriff’s Department, and State Police responded.

 

West Virginia wants suit against foster system tossed

2CHARLESTON — West Virginia wants a judge to dismiss a federal lawsuit alleging the state’s overwhelmed foster care system has failed to protect children.

The state filed a motion to dismiss the class-action case brought by nonprofit advocacy groups and a law firm on behalf of a dozen children last week.

Department of Health and Human Resources Secretary Bill Crouch says the state has made and continues to make substantive changes to its system.

West Virginia’s foster ranks have swelled to about 7,000 children as the state grapples with the opioid crisis.

The lawsuit describes stories of alleged neglect and harm done to foster children in DHHR’s care. Marcia Lowry, executive director of the nonprofit A Better Childhood, says the state isn’t doing enough to deal with problems in its foster system.

High speed chase ends when man runs out of gas

3CHARLESTON — Authorities say a man who led officers on a long, high-speed chase through West Virginia was caught after he ran out of gas.

The Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office says 28-year-old Joshua Allen Harris is facing fleeing and stolen vehicle charges after the pursuit.

A news release from the sheriff’s office says Harris was driving erratically on an interstate near Burning Springs then took off when a deputy tried to pull him over. He reached speeds of 125 mph as he led officials on a chase through four West Virginia counties before running out of gas near Jane Lew.

A Kanawha County court clerk says Harris doesn’t have an attorney yet.

 

Catholic diocese seeks $792K from disgraced bishop

4WHEELING — West Virginia’s Roman Catholic diocese wants a former bishop to pay it more than three-quarters of a million dollars after a series of alleged sexual and financial scandals.

Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston Bishop Mark E. Brennan detailed a ``plan of amends’’ presented to former Bishop Michael J. Bransfield at the request of Pope Francis last week. It calls for Bransfield to pay the church $792,638 in financial restitution and apologize to those he’s accused of sexually harassing and intimidating.

A church investigation earlier this year found sexual misconduct allegations against Bransfield to be credible and determined that he misused diocese funds on personal vacations, alcohol and luxury goods.

Bransfield resigned last year and has previously denied wrongdoing. A voicemail left on a number listed for Bransfield in public records wasn’t returned.

 

Christmas trees

chosen for Capitol complex

5CHARLESTON — West Virginia has picked two massive trees from Mount Hope to be this year’s Capitol Christmas decorations.

State officials said the nearly 30-feet-tall (9-meters-tall) trees were donated by the owners of Absher Christmas Tree Farm on behalf of the West Virginia Tree Growers Association.

The Canaan Fir and Norway Spruce trees were planted nearly 30 years ago. They’ll be in place for the state’s free Joyful Night Celebration on Dec. 10.

A video posted by the state administration department shows one of the trees being hoisted into place at the Capitol complex.

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