Breaking Local News

Vote Delayed for New Science Standards

Public comments have been rolling in over new K-12 science standards, and since it will take awhile to process the high volume of comments, a vote that had been scheduled for this week by the West Virginia Board of Education has been delayed. A spokesperson said the department has received around 7,000 and each one has to be read and logged. So, the Charleston Gazette reports the expected vote will be pushed back until next month. The new science standards deal with whether or not greenhouse gas emissions are driving global warming.

Jones Wins Republican Mayoral Primary

Mayor Danny Jones won Saturday's Republican Primary, and now Jones will face off against Democratic primary winner Paul Monroe. The general election is coming up May 16th.

Big Breakfast Fundraiser Scheduled for Tuesday

It'll cost $100,000 a person for breakfast at a fundraiser for a conservative group that has boosted Republicans. That's likely one of the highest-priced — if not the highest-priced — political fundraising event ever in West Virginia. An invitation obtained by The Associated Press says the Go West Virginia Inc. breakfast will be Tuesday in Charleston. It says donors won't be publicly disclosed. The politically active nonprofit bought advertisements bashing Democrats last election. It held a $25,000-a-plate fundraiser in January.

Local Woman Still Missing

The Kanawha County Sheriff's Office is still investigating a missing person from the Jefferson and Saint Albans areas. 33-year old Francis Ann Wartenburg was last seen on Sunday, February 22, 2015. In a photo released by the sheriff's office she's seen with short brown hair and brown eyes. Anytime a person is missing for that length of time there is cause for concern, and the sheriff's office says they have received some tips, but have not yet located Wartenburg. If you have information please call 304-357-0169. Information can also be submitted at www.kanawhasheriff.us/law-enforcement/tips.

Snow is Good for Ski Resorts

The four major ski resorts -- Canaan Valley, Snowshoe Mountain, Timberline and Winterplace -- all picked up a half-foot or more of snow on Thursday. West Virginia Ski Areas Association spokesman Joe Stevens says it's a boost to late-season skiing in what's already been a strong year. Stevens says the timing of the storm was good for the industry. Highway crews will be able to plow interstates and other roads leading to the resorts before skiers arrive for the weekend. He says Thursdays are considered light check-in days at the resorts. If the storm had arrived on today, many skiers would have had travel problems since many come from out of state.

Gun Rights Advocates Testify in Favor of Permit Repeal

Gun rights supporters turned out at the Capitol despite the weather Thursday, to support a bill that would allow anyone in West Virginia, age 18 and older, to carry a concealed weapon without a permit. The Charleston Gazette reported members of the West Virginia Citizen’s Defense League filled the House chamber to speak at a public hearing on a bill that would repeal the state’s concealed weapons permit requirement. If the bill should pass, permits would no longer be required, but the process would stay in place for reciprocity agreements to carry in other states. Members of the West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence spoke against the bill. The House Judiciary Committee plans to consider the bill today or sometime this weekend.

Workers Plan Saturday Rally

A rally is planned for Saturday at the state Capitol as part of the Mountaineer Workers Rising event. It's planned for Saturday at noon, and workers will urge lawmakers to pass bills that are favorable to workers. Some have been vocal that the state legislature has an anti-worker agenda, and the Charleston Gazette reports thousands are expected Saturday to voice opinions. A union president from South Charleston will be one of the featured speakers, along with leaders from the AFL-CIO, United Mine Workers, and American Federation of Teachers. The rally is planned for the Kanawha River side of the state Capitol.

Rain and Heavy Snow Lead to Problems

Flood warnings were abundant yesterday as heavy rains moved through West Virginia before giving way to significant snowfall today. Schools in at least 18 counties sent students home early due to high water and other storm-related issues Wednesday. State transportation officials say a rock slide closed one lane of southbound Interstate 77 near the Jackson-Wood county line. After flooding concerns yesterday it's the snow today. Up to 10 inches of snow was forecast by the time it's all finished today. Governor Earl Ray Tomblin issed a State of Emergency that will be in effect as long as needed.

Water Quality Volunteers Needed

A water monitoring project developed by Trout Unlimited is seeking volunteers to monitor West Virginia streams. The West Virginia and Virginia Water Quality Monitoring project says the volunteers are being recruited amid concerns about increased shale gas development and its potential impact on water quality. The program trains volunteers find and report potential pollution, and volunteers also collect baseline data in watersheds with the potential to see shale gas development in the future. To date the monitoring program has trained 170 volunteers. The next training for interested volunteers will be on March 14 in Elkins.

Call 304-637-7201 to learn more.

Welfare Drug Testing Bill Stalls

A push to drug test some welfare recipients is dead in the West Virginia Legislature. On Wednesday, Republican bill sponsor Del. Patrick Lane confirmed the bill was done for the session. The House voted to table the bill Tuesday. Yesterday was the final day to pass bills out of at least one chamber. The Senate version of the welfare drug testing bill hasn't passed, either. In the West Virginia bills, drug testing would have been based on reasonable suspicion. The National Conference of State Legislatures says at least 12 states have passed laws requiring drug testing for public assistance. West Virginia's 60-day legislative session by the way, concludes March 14.

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