Breaking Local News
The West Virginia Senate has passed a bill to shoot down municipal gun control laws in cities like Charleston. The bill prohibits cities from creating ordinances to restrict selling or carrying guns and ammunition, but they could still enforce local gun ordinances in government buildings like courthouses and city halls. West Virginia cities with local gun ordinances include Charleston, Dunbar and Martinsburg. Charleston Mayor Danny Jones said he's against the legislation. He said he's concerned about citizens having the right to carry weapons to public pools, parks and other areas where children play. Bill sponsor Sen. John Unger said the bill is meant to make gun laws uniform at the state level and protect Second Amendment rights. The bill has moved to the House.
The company behind the January 9th chemical spill that led to the water crisis had a day in bankruptcy court Tuesday. At Tuesday's meeting administered by a U.S. Department of Justice official, Freedom Industries President Gary Southern and Chief Financial Officer Terry Cline answered questions on company finances from a federal trustee and a handful of attorneys representing creditors. After the hearing, Southern told reporters he's "absolutely committed" to cleaning up environmental damage and finding jobs for 51 employees as the company winds down operations. Freedom is next scheduled in court March 4, when it will ask to hire a firm to collect electronic evidence for state and federal investigations and legal proceedings.
The Boone County Sheriff's Office is looking into the death of 16-year old Christopher Nelson, who died Monday. Christopher was a Sherman High School freshman who lived in Elkview. There's a vigil tonight at Racine Park in Christopher's honor, and students will take donations for his family. .
State wildlife biologists want to move the opening day of West Virginia's deer, bear and wild boar archery seasons to the last Saturday in September. Deer and bear archery seasons currently open on the Saturday closest to Oct. 1. The boar season begins on the Saturday closest to Oct. 15. Division of Natural Resources assistant wildlife chief Paul Johansen told the Charleston Gazette that the proposed change would simplify the seasons' openings for hunters, and other hunting seasons could be better spaced out. The West Virginia Natural Resources Commission would have to approved, and could discuss the changes in early May.
More than two dozen potential candidates' names have been submitted to West Virginia University's presidential search committee. A search firm will eventually receive the names to further narrow down the list. There are currently 31 applications or nominations that have been submitted. Former president Jim Clements left for Clemson University.
The daughter of a missing woman has been arrested for her murder. The Kanawha County Sheriff's Office says 36-year old Jessica Lee Woods of St. Albans was arrested Monday for the murder of her mother, Eva Linda Woods, who was last seen Friday outside her home. Woods body was found in a shed on the property behind her house on West Main Street, near Saint Albans, in a shallow grave. After an autopsy by the medical examiner, the manner of death was ruled as a homicide. Jessica Woods was arrested Monday morning at the Days Inn Hotel in Kanawha City and charged with murder, and awaits a preliminary hearing March 3rd.
One word makes all the difference. A spokeswoman for the Centers for Disease Control says the agency is now using the word “safe” to describe the tap water that was contaminated by a Jan. 9 chemical spill. WCHS TV reports the change in verbage, but there's not change in action. The agency is not making a change in what it is recommending as far as the use of the water. They've been saying the water is appropriate to consume, to drink and bathe in since earlier this month.
Alpha Natural Resources said a federal judge has given preliminary approval to a $265 million settlement with former Massey Energy investors who said they were deliberately misled about the company's safety record. A judge hasset a hearing for June to discuss the settlement. Investors led by the Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment say the former Massey Energy Co. repeatedly lied about its record, artificially inflating stock prices between 2008 and 2010. They said shareholders had no knowledge of Massey's long history of violations until after the Upper Big Branch mine in southern West Virginia exploded in April 2010. Twenty-nine men died. Richmond-based Massey Energy was bought by Alpha Natural Resources in June 2011.
More now in the case of a missing St. Albans woman. 59-year old Eva Linda Woods was last seen walking outside her home on West Main in St. Albans Friday afternoon. A search warrant was executed at her home on Sunday, and the body of an adult female was found in an outbuilding on the property. Positive identification is pending.
A bill to create a private flood insurance option in West Virginia has passed unanimously in the Senate. Sen. Rocky Fitzsimmons said his bill provides residents with more flood insurance options and would help lower premiums in the state. He said changes under the Bigger-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 caused increases in premiums and have affected local housing markets. Under the bill, homeowners could purchase flood insurance to replace their home or simply insure the outstanding amount on their loan. The bill has been sent to the House for action.