Breaking Local News
Mountaineer Gas has proposed a rate hike and customers have stated their opinion against it. Several customers showed up at a public hearing to voice their opposition to the proposal to raise the base rate. Most of a gas bill accounts for the cost of gas, but the base rate collected goes into the cost of running a business. Mountaineer Gas wants to raise that base rate by 4.9 percent and it could bring in an extra $12 million in revenue. There's been no final decision yet.
OSHA, or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has started a new program this summer that it's calling "no notice." It's an effort to reduce construction injuries and deaths, and will send OSHA representatives into the field to conduct unannounced inspections to uncover unsafe work conditions. The initiative focuses on construction sites covered by the Charleson office, which spans the entire state of West Virginia. The impromptu inspections will continue through September. There were 43 deaths in fiscal years 2011 and 2012, according to OSHA.
A Hurricane woman has a brand new home, thanks to Habitat for Humanity. By the time she moves in, Habitat for Humanity confirms she will have put in more than 250 hours of sweat equity and homeowner education classes. The home is at 2950 Montana in Hurricane, and a groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for Thursday. Mortgage payments on the no-interest loans are recycled into new or remolded houses in Kanawha and Putnam Counties.
Rupert Phillips of Logan is free on his own recognizance after an incident over the weekend where he's accused of pushing a woman to the ground. The woman received stitches at the hospital. Phillips is a Democrat seeking re-election to the House of Delegates' 24th District. He was the district's top vote getter in the primary and faces no Republican opponent in the November general election.
36-year old Debra Kay Pack of Scott Depot has been sentenced to three years probation and six months home confinement for distributing crack cocaine. Pack reportedly admitted to taking part in an undercover drug deal with members of the Huntington Violent Crime and Drug Task Force in 2010.
Last week we brought you the news that several people in Sissonville were complaining of smoke at the construction site of the new Edgewood Elementary school. Carpenter Reclamation had been burning trees to clear the site. Now the Charleston Fire Department has revoked the Sissonville company's permit to the burn trees, and the fire department has said all future requests for burn permits will be denied. A resident filed a formal complaint and cited health concerns from the smoke, and after that the permit was revoked. The company can still removed the trees, they just have to find another way to do it.
Two Beckley hotels were robbed last weekend, and two people have been arrested. 26-year old Douglas Stover and 25-year old Angela Willis were arrested Tuesday, and each faces two counts of first-degree robbery. The Comfort Inn on Harper Park Drive was robbed on Friday night, and the Baymont Inn, also on Harper Park Drive, was robbed on Saturday night. In both cases, the robbers had a weapon and fled with money.
Students in West Virginia in 7th throught 12th grade will have to have meningitis vaccines. The National Immunization Survey reported only 46 percent of students had it last year, but this fall it's the law, and students won't be allowed back in school without it.
The Charleston Work Release Center is moving to a new location on Hansford Street soon, and the Daily Mail reports the facility will have state-of-the-art security upgrades. Extra video cameras will be installed and a fence will separate the inmates from those walking by. Most of the inmates there are non-violent and are on their way out of the system, so security worries aren't usually there. But at the current center, anyone walking through the neighborhood can walk right up and and walk around the grounds. Surveillance cameras wil go up at nearby businesses at the new Hansford Street spot too. Inmates could move in by the end of the year.
Changes are coming to the drive between South Charleston and Dunbar. Work continues on the westbound Interstate 64 bridge, and crews are planning to switch the traffic pattern onto the newly finished lanes so they can work on the current travel lanes. Some relief could be coming by the 4th of July too, with crews anticipating they'll be able open a third lane in time for the busy travel weekend. Transportation officials are optomistic they'll have work completely finished on that stretch of road by the end of this year. The $93 million eastbound bridge has been open since 2010, and crews now are working on $11 million in renovations to the westbound side.