Breaking Local News
The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department and the Putnam County Health Department are watching for Enterovirus. A 5-year old child from Kanawha County was recently treated and released at the hospital, and two people were diagnosed with the virus in Lincoln and Raleigh Counties. Four cases last month involved children in Greenbrier, Wood, and Wirt Counties. The EV-D68 doesn't always turn serious. In fact, some infected people have no symptoms or only mild ones. Other cases can be serious, especially for those with other respiratory conditions that already exist, like asthma. Washing hands and disinfecting surfaces helps prevent the virus.
Leaders in the health industry are taking every precaution regarding the Ebola virus. The first patient diagnosed in the US has died at a hospital in Dallas after contracting the virus in West Africa. Locally, an Ebola Task Force has been formed and they held their first meeting this week. Many people from hospitals, emergency management offices, and EMS groups got together to talk about how they would work together if an Ebola case should come up, and they would also access travel records of anyone showing symptoms, to know if they had ties to West Africa. Another meeting is planned for the task force later this month.
It's not Halloween yet, but it is time to start thinking about Christmas. The Salvation Army opend up the application period this week in several counties for its annual Angel Tree Program. Signups in Kanawha County continue through October 10th at the Salvation Army office on Tennessee Avenue in Charleston. Just stop by between 9 a.m. until noon, or from 1 p.m. until 2 p.m. You can also sign up at the Salvation Army in Logan County on Straton Street in Logan. Signups in Putnam County have already passed.
West Virginia State Police will receive $1 million in federal funding to fight meth lab production. Congressmen Nick Rahall and David McKinley and Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito announced the two-year grant this week from the U.S. Department of Justice. Rahall says in a news release that State Police will use the funds to hire and train law enforcement personnel to investigate meth production and distribution. The funds also will be used to buy equipment for meth lab cleanup and develop partnerships among various agencies to prevent the spread of methamphetamine.
A poilce cruiser was damaged in an early morning accident along I-64 in Dunbar. Two peope were hurt and had to go to a hospital, and the South Charleston police cruiser was hit as the officer was out directing traffic. The officer wasn't hurt, but the car had to be towed away. Westbound lanes were shut down for about an hour, but have since reopened.
A West Virginia high-speed Internet project is being investigated by the federal government.
The Associated Press reports that the U.S. Department of Commerce's inspector general has asked state officials to turn over thousands of documents related to a fiber-optic cable network built by Frontier Communications. The $42 million project was funded with federal stimulus money. Documents sought by the government include invoices submitted by Frontier to the state and emails and files of eight former and current state officials. State officials say they're cooperating with the investigation. The inspector general also has requested records from the company.
St. Albans got a tax revenue boost from the January chemical spill as thousands of people came to the city to buy groceries and eat in restaurants. St. Albans wasn't affected by a water ban imposed after the Jan. 9 spill in Charleston. The Charleston Daily Mail says that St. Albans's business and occupation tax revenue increased by $30,000 in the third quarter of 2014, compared to the same January-to-March period in 2013, and Mayor Dick Callaway says the increase is at least partially due to the spill. The city also sold water to commercial entities at a cost of 1 cent per gallon, and provided free water to residents from other areas.
Schools across West Virginia are celebrating their cafeterias' use of locally grown fruits and vegetables. The West Virginia Department of Education says schools spent more than $1 million to buy local foods during the past two years. October is National Farm to School Month. The department is asking schools to showcase their county's Farm to School projects Oct. 13 through Oct. 17.
We know now which cities are joining Charleston in the home rule program. The West Virginia Municipal Home Rule Board announced Monday which of 22 applicants will be in the program. The 16 cities chosen include Bluefield, Buckhannon, Charles Town, Clarksburg, Dunbar, Fairmont, Martinsburg, Milton, Morgantown, Nitro, Parkersburg, Ranson, Shinnston, South Charleston, Vienna and Weirton. The Legislature created the Municipal Home Rule Pilot program in 2007. Bridgeport, Charleston, Huntington and Wheeling comprised the initial group. The program givens municipalities a larger say in how they govern by shifting power from the state to the local level.
Republican Shelley Moore Capito and Democrat Natalie Tennant are facing off in a debate for an open U.S. Senate seat tonight at the Clay Center. The debate will also air live online and on West Virginia Public Broadcasting. Capito is a seven-term congresswoman and Tennant is West Virginia's secretary of state. They are seeking retiring Sen. Jay Rockefeller's seat.