Police log 2/22

May 22, 2004

State wants to close drivers' exam centers

KINGWOOD, W.Va. (AP) - The state Division of Motor Vehicles will close seven drivers' license testing centers June 1 as part of its plan to eventually close 34 centers statewide.

Centers in Kingwood, Follansbee, Keyser, Danville, Hamlin, Paden City and Wayne will close, agency spokeswoman Mary Jane Lopez said Friday.

If authorized, the other 27 would close as leases end, with most closing before the new fiscal year begins July 1, DMV Commissioner F. Douglas Stump said Thursday. This authorization would have to come from Stump, the governor and the secretary of transportation.

None of the DMV's 580 workers will lose their jobs because of the cuts, Stump said.

Affected residents now will have to travel no more than 25 miles to one of 21 regional offices for service, Stump said. Additional regional offices will soon open in Charles Town and Weirton. Long term, the DMV may go to online testing.

Weather service says tornado sighted

GUYS MILLS, Pa. (AP) - The National Weather Service on Friday confirmed that a small tornado touched down about 10 miles east of Meadville on Thursday evening.

There were no reports of injuries or serious property damage from the tornado, which was rated an F-0 on the Fujita scale, the least serious type of tornado with winds of no more than 74 mph, according to officials with the National Weather Service in Cleveland.

Crawford County 911 dispatchers said they received several sightings between 7:30 and 8 p.m. between Guys Mills and Blooming Valley.

The Cleveland office was still investigating reports of another possible tornado Thursday evening near Corry in Erie County. It may take until Monday to determine if that storm was a tornado, a microburst or merely some strong winds, the weather service said.

Storms knock out power to thousands

PITTSBURGH (AP) - At least 75,000 customers lost power as a fast-moving storm buffeted the western portion of the state Friday morning.

The heaviest rains moved out of the western region to the south and east, though more storms were possible later Friday.

Allen Staggers, a spokesman for Allegheny Power, said it had 41,000 customers without power at its peak, but power had been restored to all but about 16,000 Friday afternoon. Most of those customers were expected to be restored by midnight, though it would be until today for some, he said.

About 35,000 Duquesne Light customers were out at its peak, spokesman Joe Balaban said. Power was restored to 28,000 Friday afternoon and most of the remaining customers were expected to get their power back by Friday night.

Saturated ground combined with trees in full bloom and high winds caused trees to fall on wires, officials said.

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