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Historic Signs in Charleston Are Saved

They decided to fix those historic signs. At issue at yesterday's zoning board meeting, were the signs outside the Firestone Tire store on Washington Street, Budget Tapes & Records on MacCorkle Avenue and Fountain Hobby store on Washington Street. Even if the signs were taken down to be restored, current zoning laws says the signs cannot go back up without a variance from the board of zoning appeals. At Thursday's hearing, zoning board members unanimously approved zoning variances to allow old neon signs at Fountain Hobby Shop and the downtown Firestone store to be taken down, fixed and remounted. A hearing involving the Budget Tapes and Records sign is coming up later this month.

Federal Agents Investigate Logan Arson

There may be a break in Logan County arson cases. Federal and state investigators were in Logan County Thursday executing a search warrant at a downtown building, and WCHS TV reports Federal agents, State Police and fire marshals were seen carrying several cardboard boxes out of the building on Dingess Street. The building is owned by individuals who state police think are connected to several arsons in the Logan area.

Fayette County Investigators Look for More Drug Suspects

Fayette County deputies this week made a big drug bust, and are still looking for others in connection with it. Fifteen people were detained after a large amount of pills were found, along with marijuana and heroin. In addition to the Fayette County Sheriff's office, the drug task force, Oak Hill police, and US Marshals were involved in the investigation. They're still looking for at least ten people who might be connected.

Report Says Dams Need Repairs

A state official says many of West Virginia's aging watershed dams don't meet current design standards and need repairs. West Virginia Conservation Agency executive director Brian Farkas says his agency doesn't have the resources to address the issue. There are 170 watershed dams in the state. Farkas says about 100 of them don't meet current design standards. Farkas says no state dams are in danger of failing, but engineers need to review the dams to determine repair costs.

Zoning Meeting Today to Address Historic Signs

Charleson may lose some of its well-known signs over zoning regulations. At issue are signs outside the Firestone Tire store on Washington Street, Budget Tapes & Records on MacCorkle Avenue and Fountain Hobby store on Washington Street. Those have been up for nearly a half century, and are in need of restoration, but the business owners don't want to lose them. Store owners are expected to argue their case at a zoning meeting this morning. Even if they take the signs down to be restored, current zoning laws says the signs cannot go back up without a variance from the board of zoning appeals.

CAMC Will Get New Helicopter

Charleston Area Medical Center is getting a new HealthNet helicopter. The board agreed Wednesday to make the $3.5 million purchase to replace a 13-year-old aircraft. With the new chopper the idea is to improve capabilities with new technologies, and even to fly in bad weather. HealthNet is a joint operation of CAMC, WVU Healthcare and Cabell Huntington Hospital, and the Charleston Gazette reports the three combined will make a decision on what to do with the old helicopter. It's possible it could be sold, or used as a backup. CAMC is also refinancing the debt on its other helicopter to take advantage of low interest rates.

Dunbar Bus Accident Under Investigation

Five people are recovering today after an accident involving a car and a KRT bus in Dunbar on Wednesday. It was early afternoon when the accident happened at the intersection of Dunbar Avenue and 10th Street. The injuries aren't believed to life-threatening, but paramedics took five bus passengers to CAMC General Hospital with injures. Dunbar police are investigating.

Doddridge Explosion Victim Dies

Antero Resources said one of the five workers burned in a July 7 explosion at a drilling operation in Doddridge County has died. Vice President Al Schopp said Tommy Paxton worked for one of the three subcontractors at the site near New Milton in Doddridge County, but he wouldn't say which one. The Allegheny County Medical Examiner's office said Paxton died Tuesday in the burn unit of West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh. He was 45-years old and from Walton. The site is still idle while an investigation is conducted.

Middle Schools Have the Biggest Bullying Problems

Middle schools seem to get the worst of it when it comes to bullying, with about half of the bullying taking place there. According to a new state report, 26 percent of bullying cases occur in high schools and 18 percent in elementary schools. The Department of Education report is based on data from the 2011-2012, the most recent available. It said schools reported more than 6,300 cases during the period in which students were disciplined for bullying, harassment and intimidation. The majority, in fact seventy-three percent of the students who were disciplined, were boys. The Charleston Gazette said state Schools Superintendent Jim Phares presented the report Tuesday to a legislative interim committee. He told lawmakers that the Department of Education is conducting professional development and special programs to address the problem.

Solid Waste Authorities Are Awarded Grant Money

Several Solid Waste Authorities in the area are getting grants from the Solid Waste Management Board. That includes 12-thousand dollars for Boone County, 6-thousand for Jackson County, more than 14-thousand for Kanawha County, and almost 13-thousand for Lincoln County. The funds are expected to go for tires and fuel in many cases, and in Kanawha County for educational materials and conference expenses.

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