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A house that Kanawha County wanted to tear down ended up burning to the ground this week, and it's being investigated as arson. A fire was reported around 8:45 Thursday morning, at the home off of Rutledge Road. Neighbors reported hearing explosions, and investigators think whoever set the fire used torches and propane tanks. The house was a condemned meth house, and a nearby camper that had also been used for meth was not damaged. Anyone with tips on the fire, should call police.
Unemployment rates fell in all 55 of West Virginia's counties in September. WorkForce West Virginia says that at 11 percent, Mingo County was the only one with a jobless rate in the double digits. Counties with an unemployment rate below 5 percent included Harrison (4.9), Putnam (4.9), Preston (4.7), Jefferson (4.6), Pendleton (4.3) and Monongalia (4.1). The state's seasonally adjusted jobless rate in September was 6.6 percent.
Hospital board members got a look at the new Charleston Area Medical Center Cancer Center this week. Construction will take another six months or so, but the board got to see the progress on the building that CAMC bought nine years ago. The building will house the new David Lee Cancer Center, which is across the street right now. And the CAMC Breast Center will also move to the new building. When the new cancer center opens in early 2015, it will offer things like medical and radiation oncology, mammography rooms, and ultrasound rooms, and there will even be a shop that offers wigs and pedicures.
West Virginia's regional jails will soon offer a financial education course to help inmates avoid becoming repeat offenders. The West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority plans to begin offering the four-week Financial Peace University program in November to inmates serving sentences for misdemeanor convictions. The state Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety says the program basics such as eliminating and avoiding debt, maintaining a budget, balancing checkbooks and saving for emergencies. Officials say course will reduce the participating inmate's sentence by five days. Inmates also can seek that reduction through an existing life skills course as an alternative.
West Virginia hunters will have another option for going after wild boar starting Saturday. That's when the firearms season for wild boar opens. It runs through Nov. 1 and is restricted to Boone Logan, Raleigh and Wyoming counties. The dates were announced by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. Because of declining boar numbers, gun hunters are restricted to an October firearms season. Wild boar archery season has been underway since Sept. 27 and will run through Dec. 31.
Sen. Joe Manchin will took colleague Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island around West Virginia yesterday to learn about coal and energy resources. The two Democratic U.S. senators are looking for common ground on energy and climate change issues. On Oct. 10, Whitehouse brought Manchin to Rhode Island to learn about the effects of climate change.
New technology is helping with water-monitoring in at least one spot. The Putnam Public Service District has a new, state-of-the-art source water monitoring panel, and a news release from the district says it's been installed at its water treatment plant in Teays Valley. The special panel lets plant operators know about changes in source water that could affect water quality and alert them to contamination. Operators would even be able to shut down raw water pumps and still keep the water plant operational while they investigate the possible contamination.
About those riots in Morgantown after a West Virginia football game...Police say eight people have been arrested and more than two dozen cited. Morgantown Police Chief Ed Preston says the charges and criminal citations included underage consumption, malicious burning, destruction of property and disorderly conduct. Eight police cars belonging to several law enforcement agencies were damaged by rocks, beer bottles and construction debris thrown by rioters. A fire engine and two Morgantown fire marshal vehicles also were damaged. The university has said any student found to be involved in the incidents will face sanctions, up to and including expulsion.
U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin is making the rounds across the state to discuss energy and education. On Tuesday, Manchin spoke with students at Lincoln County High School in Hamlin about ways to improve education opportunities in West Virginia and across the nation. Today he'll travel around West Virginia with Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island to discuss fossil fuel energy production. Thursday, Manchin will deliver remarks at the installation ceremony for United Mine Workers of America officers in Morgantown. Friday, Manchin will present an American flag to the Stonewood Fire Department. Manchin also will visit seniors during lunch, meet with local officials to discuss regional, state and national issues, and deliver remarks at the Governor's annual Energy Summit and participate in the One Shot hunt.
Police say two people were injured when a school bus went over an embankment in Jackson County Tuesday morning on Middle Fork Road. Jackson County Sheriff Tony Boggs tells The Charleston Gazette that the school bus met another vehicle on a narrow portion of the road. He says the bus apparently got too close to the edge of the road and went over the embankment. The driver and a 14-year-old student were the only people on the bus at the time and were taken to a hospital as a precaution.