Breaking Local News

State Contractor Fined for Environmental Violations

State regulators have fined a Kanawha County school contractor more than $13,000 for environmental violations. A consent order said the violations include failure to control dust, failure to protect groundwater quality and failure to operate and maintain erosion-control devices. The Department of Environmental Protection issued the fine in a settlement with Sissonville-based Carpenter Reclamation Inc. The violations occurred at the site where the company is building a $21 million elementary school for the county school system. Schools Superintendent Ron Duerring told the Charleston Gazette that the fine will be deducted from Carpenter Reclamation's payment.

Teacher's Alleged Battery on Students is Investigated

The state Department of Education is investigating complaints against a Fayette County teacher accused of hitting two kindergarten students. Police charged Kathleen Wade with two battery counts last week. She remains free on $5,000 bond. Department of Education spokeswoman Liza Cordeiro told The Register-Herald that the department is conducting an internal investigation. The findings will be referred to the state Committee on Professional Teaching Standards. ordeiro said the committee will make a recommendation on whether Wade should keep her teaching license to State Schools Superintendent Jim Phares. The alleged incidents occurred in May.

Suspicious Package is False Alarm

A suspicious package at a gas station in South Charleston brought out the bomb squad Monday evening. The package was found at the 7-11 on Chestnut Street, and the bomb squad was called out as a precaution. It turned out to be a false alarm.

Kanawha County Students Get Vaccines as School Starts Friday

With the start of school just around the corner, kids and parents are rushing to get all the necessary vaccines in order, and that has the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department doing its best to meet the demand. Kanawha-Charleston has been covering all clinical services for the Putnam County Health Department, which folded in June after a financial crisis. School starts in Putnam County August 22nd, but the start date is only 4 days away in Charleston. The August 9th start date is the earliest in county history. There is no vaccine shortage, but there is a rush to make sure the necessary vaccination records and shots are in order.

Demolition of Historic Buildings Questioned at WVSU

Preservation groups want to put a stop to it, but West Virginia State University is moving ahead with campus renovations on some of its oldest buildings. A new residence hall is in the works at WVSU, but in that process, Gore and Prillerman halls would be demolished. The Charleston Gazette reports they're eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. The Preservation Alliance of West Virginia and The Kanawha Valley Historical & Preservation Society have asked the school to stop the demolition.

SNAP Benefits Set to Expire

About 350,000 West Virginians will see a reduction in federal food assistance benefits when a temporary boost expires this fall, according to a nonprofit policy research group. The West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy said the increase to federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits expires on Oct. 31. The Charleston Gazette says that increase amounted to about $29 per month for a family of three. In West Virginia, about one-quarter of children live in families with income below the federal poverty level.

Drug Bust in Charleston Nets Two Arrests

A drug bust over the weekend on Charleston's West Side...Heroin and meth were found in a police raid in the 600 block of Simms Street, and two suspects took off, but were eventually captured. 43-year old Steven Belcher has been charged with distributing, and officers also found an outstanding warrant for Belcher from Putnam County for solicitation of a minor online. 29-year old Glen Hughes has been charged with operating a mobile meth lab.

Bridge Honors Fallen Trooper

A Randolph County bridge has been named in honor of a fallen state trooper. A ceremony was scheduled Saturday for the Trooper Brian William Linn Memorial Bridge along U.S. Route 33 in Bowden. Linn was stationed in Charles Town. He was killed in November 2007 while responding to a call to assist another officer. He lost control of his cruiser while attempting to pass two vehicles on state Route 9 in Jefferson County. He was 25 years old.

Putnam County Starts New Tracking System to Protect Children

The Putnam County sheriff's office has a new opportunity to help protect children when there is suspicion of drugs. Starting with the change of the calendar on August 1, the sheriff's department started entering drug-related cases where a child's safety could be compromised into the new Drug Endangered Child Tracking System. With that, there is a formal way to share suspicions and concerns directly with child-welfare workers. Officers will enter every felony drug arrest, and child-welfare workers can log in to look for cases that may not already be on their radar.

Coal Ruling Puts Damper on AEP Plans

American Electric Power says a ruling by Virginia regulators complicates matters in its proposal to reorganize ownership of some of its coal-fired power plants in West Virginia. The Virginia State Corporation Commission recently approved ApCo's plan to acquire the remaining portion of its John Amos plant near St. Albans, but also rejected the company's effort to take over half of the Mitchell plant near Moundsville.

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