Breaking Local News
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.
Many from the tourism industry are part of an event that continues today at the Charleston Civic Center. The Travel-South Showcase has attracted convention and visitors bureaus from around the state, along with journalists from travel magazines and other travel-related companies from surrounding states. The economic impact of the convention could be as much as a million dollars for the area. It runs through Tuesday at the Civic Center.
The West Virginia Senate unanimously passed a bill to conserve and invest a portion of oil and gas revenues to use for future infrastructure and economic development. The Future Fund Bill sets aside 25 percent of the severance tax revenues collected from private oil and gas companies above a $175 million benchmark. The fund would collect interest for six years before being used for economic development projects, building infrastructure and increasing teacher salaries. The bill is headed to the House for a vote.
A Sissonville stabbing is under investigation. The injuries to 2 men appear to be non-life threatening, and the Kanawha County Sheriff's office says the men stabbed each other with the same knife. Tracy Stalnaker and Trevor Goins got into a fight about 11 p.m. last night at the Pocatalico Apartments on Teresa Lane in Sissonville, and charges could be filed as the investigation continues.
A St. Albans woman is missing and the Kanawha County Sheriff's office is asking for help finding her. 59-year old Eva Linda Woods was last seen walking outside her home on West Main in St. Albans Friday afternoon. Anyone with information is asked to call 304-357-0169 or submit an anonymous tip through www.kanawhasheriff.us. A search warrant was executed at her home on Sunday.
The Kanawha County school board approved the new calendar for the 2014-2015 academic year. Students will start school on Aug. 11 this fall, and the last day will be May 27th. That end date of course is dependent upon the weather to some degree. If the area has another winter like this one, it's possible the school year could be extended to include snow make-up days.
Earlier this week Snowshoe announced it would extend its ski season and open up on the first weekend of April after closing March 30th as planned. Canaan Valley has also announced it will extend the season because of the abundance of snow. West Virginia State Parks district administrator Paul Redford said Thursday that Canaan has received more than 130 inches of snow this winter, and the resort will extend its season to March 23rd. That applies to downhill slopes, beginners ski area, tubing park and ice skating area.
The Department of Environmental Protection was called out Thursday night to investigate an MCHM spill. It was small, and WSAZ.com reports less than ten gallons of MCHM spilled into a contained area in a dkye wall on Thursday afternoon at American Chemical Services in Marmet. The DEP is confident the chemical did not leak into the water. But some Marmet residents noticed the licorice smell and called to report it.
Freedom Industries is heading back to bankruptcy court for a hearing this Friday. The company wants to hire experts and environmental consultants to assess the circumstances surrounding the January 9th spill, and wants to expedite the hearing before evidence is removed or destroyed. The company is under a state order to dismantle storage tanks in Charleston. Under the Department of Environmental Protection order, Freedom has to start removing tanks by March 15. The company also is looking to hire more lawyers and a financial adviser. After filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last month, Freedom was approved to borrow up to $4 million.
The Department of Environmental Protection said Wednesday that it has modified an order that stopped work at Patriot Coal's Kanawha Eagle prep plant in Winifrede after last week's slurry spill. The change from an imminent harm cessation order to a notice of violation will allow the plant to conduct new tests on control measures. The DEP issued the order after 108,000 gallons of coal slurry spilled from a pipeline into Fields Creek on Feb. 11. Control measures installed by Kanawha Eagle since the spill include remote cameras along the slurry line and two external flow meters that are designed to alert company officials of problems.