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Sen. Jay Rockefeller is still skeptical about safety of drinking water for 300,000 Charleston-area residents. At an appearance Friday in Charleston, Rockefeller said he would not drink tap water when he is visiting the capital city, according to the Charleston Daily Mail. Health officials said the water was safe to use more than a month ago, but Governor Tomblin kept the emergency declaration in force partially because of lingering odor from some taps and showers. The emergency declaration has since been lifted.
A West Virginia legislative chairman says many of his committee members are leaning against making a cold medicine used to cook meth available by prescription only. House of Delegates Judiciary Committee Chairman Tim Manchin says a bill to make pseudoephedrine prescription only will come up Monday or Tuesday. Manchin said there's a fair amount of opposition in his committee. The proposal excludes certain drugs deemed tamper-resistant. Manchin said other options exist if the committee won't pass that version. One would further limit how much pseudoephedrine someone can buy annually. The Senate approved the proposal Feb. 18, and there's one week left in the legislative session.
West Virginia's May 13 primary slate is official and will have several contested races on the federal level. Thirteen of the 17 state Senate races are uncontested in both parties. Contested primary races include Kanawha County Republicans Lance Wheeler and Tom Takubo. Nine delegates, including six Democrats, aren't seeking another House term, and three of those are running for other offices. Kanawha County Democrat Doug Skaff is going for a state Senate seat and Kanawha County Democrat Meshea Poore is seeking Capito's congressional seat.
Growers are being sought to participate in a three-year research project to determine the viability of hop production in West Virginia. The project will be conducted by the West Virginia State University Extension Service. Extension agent Brad Cochran says in a news release that researchers want to determine the best varieties of hops to grow in West Virginia. The goal is to foster commercial production of hops and to support the state's brewing industry. Up to six growers will be selected to participate in the project. Applications must be submitted by March 20 and you can see them online at www.wvstateu.edu/extension.
West Virginia's May 13 primary slate is official and will have several contested races on the federal level. Seven-term 2nd District Rep. Shelley Moore Capito will face two other candidates in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring Democrat Jay Rockefeller, while Tennant is running on the Democratic side and will have two opponents. Challenging Capito in the Republican primary are Larry Butcher, of Washington, in Wood County, and Matthew Dodrill, of Parkersburg. Tennant will be opposed by Williamstown Democrat David Wamsley and Buckhannon's Dennis Melton. Seven Republicans and two Democrats are seeking Capito's congressional seat.
Federal prosecutors are investigating the handling of evidence in a Mingo County drug case linked to a corruption probe. Mingo County Sheriff James Smith told the Charleston Daily Mail that a former deputy delivered a box of evidence to the sheriff's department this week, several hours after a circuit court judge dismissed the drug charges against George White of Delbarton. Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Ruby told the newspaper that federal prosecutors are investigating. One of White's attorneys, David Barney, and Boone County prosecutor Keith Randolph say they don't think the evidence would have had an impact on White's case. Randolph served as special prosecutor for the case.
West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's brother is facing a federal drug distribution charge. 50-year-old Carl Tomblin of Chapmanville has been charged with illegally distributing oxymorphone, a prescription painkiller, on Dec. 6, 2013, at or near Chapmanville. The governor said Wednesday in a statement that he's saddened and disappointed but he loves his brother. He says his brother needs help and must be held accountable for his actions. U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin says in a news release that the charge stems from an investigation by the U.S. 119 Task Force and the West Virginia State Police.
More now on the arrest of 32-year old Shawn Michael Legg of Saint Albans. He's been charged with Accessory After the Fact to Murder in the death of Eva Woods, whose body was found in a shed on her property near Saint Albans earlier this week. The Kanawha County Sheriff's Office says Legg was living with Eva Woods' daughter, Jessica Woods, at the house on West Main Street where the body was found. Cpl B-D Humphreys says Jessica Woods alleged she told Shawn Legg about the murder. He then disposed of an item used as a weapon against Eva Woods. The investigation continues, and anonymous tips can still be sent in, via www.kanawhasheriff.us or by calling 304-357-0169.
What to do to keep tourists coming to West Virginia in the wake of the checmical spill that impacted water supplies....that is the issue facing the state's tourism industry. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is talking with Commerce Secretary Keith Burdette and other tourism officials about developing a promotional message in the wake of the spill, according to the state Tourism Commissioner Betty Carver. Funding, a slogan, and potential markets haven't been determined yet. The campaign funding would be in addition to what the state already spends on tourism promotion.
West Virginia 4-H members will learn about community leadership and policy-making at a three-day retreat in Charleston next week. The second annual West Virginia University 4-H Civic Engagement Forum is set for March 2-4. In recognition of the Cooperative Extension Service's centennial, the theme for the forum is "The Next 100 Years are Yours." Former prisoner of war and West Virginia native Jessica Lynch will give opening remarks at the forum, which concludes with a trip to the Capitol for WVU Extension Service's Day at the Legislature.