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CURRENT STORIES


Canoe accident claims third life

Third individual

dies as a result

of canoe accident

All three victims of a canoeing accident that took place Sunday on the West Fork River have died, officials said Tuesday.

Terry Joseph, 41, died Monday night at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, said Bill Case, a hospital spokesperson.

Search teams recovered the body of 11-year-old Michelle Joseph, daughter of Terry Joseph, on Monday afternoon.

The third victim, Emi Okada, a Japanese exchange student who attended Robert C. Byrd High School, died Sunday night at United Hospital Center after she was pulled from the river following the accident.

John Elko, chief of the West Milford Volunteer Fire Department, said the three were reportedly paddling a full-sized canoe near the Highland Dam Sunday when the canoe tipped over.

Emergency crews responded to the scene around 1:45 p.m. The accident remains under investigation by the Harrison County Sheriff's Department.

Police order

more road spikes

WHEELING (AP) -- State Police have ordered 50 more sets of the Roadspike, a retractable device created to stop fleeing motorists by flattening their tires.

Altogether, law enforcement agencies in West Virginia are using 275 sets of RoadSpikes, and other departments around the country are following their lead, said John Wiater, with PMG Inc. of Wheeling.

The Pittsburgh Police Department also has ordered 200 sets for deployment throughout the city, Wiater said Tuesday.

RoadSpikes are gaining popularity as the number of deaths and injuries stemming from high-speed chases grows, Wiater said. Nationwide, many police agencies have revised their pursuit policies or ended the practice altogether.

RoadSpikes, which sell for about $450 apiece, are now used in 48 states and 12 countries.

Officers issue at least 175 tickets during crackdown

CHARLESTON (AP) -- Police bagged at least 175 motorists during the first day of a safety campaign on Interstate 64.

State Police, county and city law enforcement agencies patrolled a stretch of interstate between Charleston and the Kentucky state line looking for drivers who were speeding or driving unsafely.

The campaign started just before rush hour Monday and will last for three weeks. It is aimed at combatting the number of accidents on the 60-mile stretch of highway.

Last year, there were six fatalities in Cabell County and two in Kanawha County. This year, there have been four fatalities on I-64, all in Putnam County.

State Police spokesman Trooper Scott Mayo said he pulled over motorists from Florida, Alabama, Kentucky and Ohio.

"I spoke with a couple officers toward the end, and it was our perception that a lot of the people we were stopping were out-of-staters that may not have heard about the blitz," Mayo said.

One driver told Mayo he was aware of the crackdown, but didn't believe police would be so strict.

Drivers are normally given a 9 mph cushion on the speed limit, but Mayo said the cushion was being "thrown out the window" during the campaign.

Police targeted such offenses as speeding, improper lane changing and following too closely. In Cabell and Wayne counties, 138 motorists were cited for speeding alone. The number of citations issued in Kanawha and Putnam counties was not available.

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