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Area colleges are slowly getting back to normal after the chemical spill and water use ban. The University of Charleston says it plans to resume normal operations today, and residence halls just opened again last night. Orientation for new students will be held today at West Virginia State University, and the spring semester is scheduled to start next Tuesday in Institute.
The price of a gallon of gas in West Virginia has dropped by an average of a penny a gallon this week. AAA East Central says the state's average is $3.39. That's eight cents above the national average. This week's average price in the state is a nickel lower than a year ago. Across the state, prices range from a low of $3.29 a gallon in Huntington to a high of $3.55 a gallon in Martinsburg. Gasbuddy.com says gas prices in Charleston are holding steady at around $3.31 per gallon.
A man will spend time in prison for a beating that happened in downtown Charleston. Dana Lafond was in court Wednesday to be sentenced. Lafond pleaded guilty last year to unlawful wounding. Police say Dana Lafond and Brandon Douglas beat and robbed Brandon Coltey in the KRT Transit Mall in March 2013. Douglas has also entered a guilty plea. During Wednesday's hearing, Lafond was sentenced to one to five years in prison, with credit for the 10 months he's already served. For more Kanawha Valley news, go to www.wsaz.com.
Many agencies are investigating the chemical spill that led to the water use ban....U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall says a House committee will hold a hearing in Charleston in the coming weeks. The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will host the hearing to talk about the chemical used in coal processing that spilled last Thursday in the Elk River from a Freedom Industries facility in Charleston.
The “do not use” water order has been lifted for the Mount Alpha and Lower Donnally areas of Charleston, according to West Virginia American Water. This means the ban has now been lifted for about 57,000 customers. A temporary local 24/7 hotline has been established at 855-390-4569 for additional clarification, and an online map can be found on WV American Water's website. For more information, go to WSAZ.COM
Although thousands were able to get water in an orderly fashion during the water emergency, there were a few disorderly incidents. The Kanawha County Sheriff's office report one at the West Side Volunteer Fire Department on West Main Street near Saint Albans. They tell us a volunteer firefighter was struck by a passing vehicle driven by Charles Pauley of Saint Albans. The firefighter, Jonathan Boggs was directing traffic and Pauley didn't stop. Pauley hit Boggs' knee with the bumper of his vehicle. Pauley was cited for leaving the scene of a crash causing injury and reckless driving.
The Alcohol Beverage Control Administration met with the owner of Appetizer's bar in Cross Lanes this week to talk about an incident that happened in December. WSAZ.com reports the suspension was extended 10 days, and after that the restaurant will be able to sell beer and wine only. The downstairs of the establishment will remain closed. After six months, Appetizer's can file a petition to get its liquor license reinstated. The decision was made after the company came up with a plan that will improve safety, on the heels of a shooting on December 26 where dozens of shots were fired and one man was hit in the leg. No arrests have been made in the case. For more, go to www.wsaz.com.
Workers who've lost wages or had work hours reduced because of a chemical spill in Charleston are getting help from the United Way. The United Way of Central West Virginia has created an emergency fund to help workers whose employers closed because of a lack of clean water. The organization says in a news release that it's accepting donations for the emergency fund. The organization also will serve as a conduit for emergency assistance agencies to provide help.
Nearly 48,000 West Virginia American Water customers, or roughly half of the customers affected by the recent chemical spill have been lifted from the do not use order. That came late Tuesday after the ban was lifted for areas in Kanawha and Putnam counties, including parts of Dunbar, Nitro, Poca, Bancroft, Winfield, Buffalo and Staves Branch. The online map shows exactly the areas that can begin flushing. A temporary local 24/7 hotline has been established at 855-390-4569 for additional clarification. For more, go to www.wsaz.com.
On the heels of the chemical spill and water use ban, the Department of Environmental Protection there were no problems with fish kills and there is no impact to aquatic life, animals or plant life in the river. When it comes to future spills, the DEP says they are doing an inventory across the state on storage facilities. They are developing proposals for more proper regulations. They say their main goal is to minimize the risk of a spill. When it comes to credit, West Virginia American Water says they will give residents credit for 1000 gallons of water, and most residents use about 3000 gallons per month. For more Charleston Kanawha Valley News, go to www.wsaz.com