Breaking Local News
West Virginia Surface Mine Board is deciding whether to revoke a permit for a surface mining operation located near Kanawha State Forest. Testimony ended Wednesday in a hearing over the Keystone Industries KD No. 2 mine permit issued by the state Department of Environmental Protection. The Charleston Gazette reports that the board is expected to take a month or more to rule on the case. Keystone Industries was issued a state permit to mine on more than 400 acres. As a condition of the permit, Keystone agreed not to use state forest roads for access, coal hauling or other mine-related activity. Several environmental groups have opposed the mining operation.
It's almost time for football....the 17th Annual Paint the Capital City Green event happened last night and about 500 Thundering Herd fans headed to the Embassy Suites in downtown Charleston for the big pep rally. The night was the largest indoor pep rally for Thundering Herd alumni and fans, all wearing the kelly green.
Know that there are extra patrols on the roads this weekend as part of the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign. Charleston police held a sobriety checkpoint earlier this week, and in general there is a greater effort happening to pull over drunk drivers or those under the influence of drugs. The increased enforcement effort runs through Labor Day.
Parents went to a Local School Improvement Council meeting Thursday evening at Capital High School, and one of the subjects that they thought might come up was an addiction treatment facility that's planned near the school. The Kanawha County school board voted this week to donate 50 acres of school property across the road from Capital High for the treatment center. A time for questions and comments wasn't officially on the agenda so most of the time was spent on other subjects. But the Gazette reports some parents talked about it casually and expressed opposition at Thursday night's meeting. Others said they weren't too concerned about it. The T-Center would be a project of the nonprofit Kanawha Valley Fellowship Home.
Yeager Airport filed a motion this week to dismiss claims in the lawsuit filed against them after the January 9th chemical spill. Plaintiffs said the airport's now-complete runway project contributed to the spill, and said Yeager did not safeguard against stormwater runoff, which let water flow to Freedom Industries and erode a tank's foundation. Yeager's motion said it generally cannot be sued as a government agency. Eastman Chemical made one spilled chemicals, and said plaintiffs didn't allege life-threatening conditions from contaminated water exposure. Its motion said plaintiffs did not provide proof it broke environmental laws. A decision is pending.
A South Charleston hospital is being sued by a nurse who says she was required to get a flu shot despite being allergic to the vaccine. Susan Dean's lawsuit says a new policy at Thomas Memorial Hospital required her to prove her allergy, even though she had a reaction to a flu shot administered by another Thomas nurse 15 years ago. To keep her job, the lawsuit says Dean underwent allergy testing last October and had a reaction. Since then, she has been hospitalized several times and is unable to work. The Charleston Gazette says Dean filed the lawsuit last week in Kanawha County Circuit Court. Hospital spokeswoman Paige Johnson tells the newspaper that the hospital carefully considers exemptions and makes provisions for individual situations.
Democratic women are teaming up to raise campaign cash in key states that will help decide the Senate majority. Incumbent senators and hopefuls formed the Blue Senate 2014 joint fundraising committee on Aug. 13. The candidates involved are Sen. Kay Hagan in North Carolina, Sen. Mary Landrieu in Louisiana, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire, Natalie Tennant in West Virginia and Michelle Nunn in Georgia. In 2012, President Barack Obama lost four of the women's five states, including West Virginia. Republicans need to pick up six Senate seats to take the majority from Democrats.
More arrests now in a Foodland robbery. Charleston police say a juvenile has been taken into custody. That person was the lookout while the robbery was going on. Police are still looking for Alisyn Proctor and Telisa McCauley, whom police say acted as getaway drivers and were promised $3,000 if they followed through. 18-year olds John Proctor III and Ricky Patterson have already been arrested, along with one other juvenile. Proctor is accused of shooting the store's clerk, Shawna Sampson in the chest then stealing money from the cash drawer. He used to work at the store. Anyone with information on where Alisyn Proctor and Telisa McCauley might be are urged to contact Charleston police.
Charges have been dropped against the son of a West Virginia Supreme Court Justice. 27-year old Edward Gardner was arrested two weeks ago after initial reports said his sister, Lindsay Gardner, was found beaten and bloody in a ditch in Kanawha City. The Kanawha County Prosecutor's Office issued a statement Wednesday saying that wasn't true, and that there was a disagreement but Lindsay fell and struck her head, and wasn't beaten by her brother. Their mother is Supreme Court Justice Margaret Workman.
A federal report says West Virginia public health officials weren't trained to respond to a January chemical spill along the Elk River. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the state Bureau for Public Health had no epidemiologists trained specifically to deal with chemical or natural disasters. Instead, those who focus on infectious diseases led the bureau's response to the spill Jan. 9 spill at Freedom Industries. The report says the bureau's epidemiologists received training to chemical exposure assessment in late March, and says an epidemiologist who is focused in this area could rapidly coordinate a response in the event of an environmental disaster. State epidemiologist Dr. Loretta Haddy said Tuesday the bureau is reviewing the report.