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It’s a tough time for teachers around the country, as school districts announce layoffs to counter budget cuts. But one district has a very unusual way of deciding which teachers to let go.
Local news reports that 70 positions will have to be cut in Kanawha County, West Virginia, due to budget problems. How did they choose whom to axe for the 2017-2018 school year? They asked the teachers to draw numbers from a hat, and teachers aren’t happy about it.
Rebecca Rhett, a local kindergarten teacher, told local news that 34 teachers were forced to draw a number from a hat, and teachers that drew 1-24 were guaranteed their job for the next school year. “If you drew number one through 24, you get to keep your job or a job,” Rhett said. “I was already crying before I went up because I was frustrated, so when I drew the 28 I just left”.
Rhett says all of the teachers there had one thing in common, their start date with the school district. Every one of them started in August of 2016. “I looked around the room and it appeared most people were very young.” Rhett said “Probably right out of college or not too far out of college.”
The school district says the decision was based on seniority, and that that is a part of the district code.
Authorities in West Virginia say that two police officers were injured Thursday in a shootout with two suspects who were transporting the bodies of an elderly North Carolina couple.
The two Lewisburg officers pulled over an SUV around 4 p.m. Thursday on a highway outside of the city, Lt. Michael Baylous of the West Virginia State Police said in a press release. The SUV had a North Carolina license plate that showed it had been stolen. During the stop, a truck pulled over in the area.
As the officers were conducting the stop, the driver of the truck shot at them with a handgun, wounding both officers, Baylous said. One officer returned fire, wounding the suspect in the leg.
Baylous said the driver of the SUV fled the scene and hid but later turned himself in without incident. The driver of the truck also fled and was eventually taken into custody by the Greenbrier County Sheriff's Department, he said.
The suspects' identities have not yet been verified but they claim to be father and son, Baylous said.
During a search, authorities found two recently deceased bodies under a mattress in the bed of the truck, according to the news release.
State Police did not immediately identify the victims, but North Carolina's Granville County Sheriff Brindell B. Wilkins Jr. told Raleigh TV station WRAL that the bodies were those of Jerome Faulkner, 73, and his wife, Dora Faulkner, 62.
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Health officials have temporarily shut down a southern West Virginia pizza restaurant after a district manager was caught on surveillance video urinating into a sink.
Local media reported that the Mingo County health department ordered the Pizza Hut in Kermit, about 85 miles southwest of Charleston, to shut down.
Pizza Hut Corp. released a statement saying it was "embarrassed" by the manager's actions. The company says it has "zero tolerance" for violations of its operating standards. The employee was fired. His name was not released.
The video shows the manager urinating in a sink in the kitchen.
Pizza Hut says the incident occurred after business hours.
City health official Brett Vance says the restaurant is closed until it is thoroughly cleaned and there are reassurances of safeguards in place.
A Renoir painting finished in the 1800s, loaned to a museum, reported stolen in 1951, then bought at a flea market in 2010 has to be returned to the museum, a judge ruled Friday.
The story -- and the painting -- date back to 1879, when impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir painted "Paysage Bords De Seine," or "Landscape on the Banks of the Seine," which was believed to be for his mistress.
It was later purchased by the Paris art gallery Bernheim-Jeune. Then, in 1926, Herbert L. May, a Renoir collector, bought it from the Paris gallery. In 1937, May's ex-wife, Saidie May, loaned the painting to the Baltimore Museum of Art, which reported it stolen in 1951.
Fast-forward nearly 60 years to a flea market in West Virginia, where a Virginia woman was attracted to a nondescript box holding the painting, along with items like a Paul Bunyan doll and a plastic cow. She paid $7 for the box.
The woman took the painting to the Potomack Company, an Auction House in Alexandria, Virginia, to ask about its value.
A Potomack Company specialist thought it might be an original, and further investigation by the National Gallery of Art in Washington and confirmation by a Renoir expert confirmed the hunch. The painting is valued between $75,000 and $100,000.
The whereabouts of the painting during the six decades it was missing remain unknown.
It was Batman to the rescue, really, when a cat became stuck in a house fire over the weekend in West Virginia.
Batman and his partner, Captain America, were entertaining children and veterans at an American Legion event in Milton, W. Va., Saturday afternoon when a house near the event caught on fire.
At the site of billowing smoke coming from the house, Batman and Captain America took off right into the fire, knocked down a door and broke a window to get into the home. They made it just a few feet into the front room before they were forced to retreat due to the smoke, but not before Batman was able to pull a cat from the home to safety, even performing CPR on the animal to save its life.
?When that cat woke up, it immediately started swatting and hissing at me,? Batman, otherwise known as John Buckland, told The Herald-Dispatch. ?It had a giant bat in its face, so I couldn?t blame it.?
Buckland, who could not be reached today by ABCNews.com, is the founder of ?Heroes 4 Higher,? a West Virginia-based company that provides superhero characters to children?s events with a message that kids can, ?Be The Hero? to their community,? according to the company?s website.
Before taking on the role of Batman, Buckland spent nearly a decade as a firefighter in both Georgia and Iraq, the latter while working for the Department of Defense.
The house was deemed a total loss by fire officials but no one was injured in the blaze, according to the Herald-Dispatch.
?I was able to talk to the owner after she got to her house,? Buckland told the newspaper. ?She was glad we were able to rescue her cat, but she said there were two more in the house. I know it was a devastating feeling for her.?
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