Breaking Local News
The National Park Service has approved a 120-acre expansion of Charleston's East End Historic District. City planners announced the park service's decision this week, and said the boundary expansion became effective Dec. 16. A 2014 consultant's survey found that more than 400 structures in the expanded area contribute to the neighborhood's historic nature. Property owners in the district's expanded area will be eligible for tax credits for rehabilitation of historic properties. The original district was created in 1978.
Newly elected U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito has been appointed one of 10 members of the Republican whip team. Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, tapped Capito for the job. Capito has also been named one of four counsels to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Defense lawyers say former Freedom Industries President Gary Southern's lawyers are asking a federal judge to dismiss a prosecution request to place Southern on home confinement with electronic monitoring. Defense lawyers say he's not a flight risk. In a motion filed Tuesday, Southern's lawyers say he will surrender his private pilot's license until the case is resolved. He's a UK citizen, but has applied for U.S. citizenship. Southern, Freedom and five other ex-Freedom officials and employees face charges for the 2014 spill that tainted 300,000 people's water for days.
With the deadline passed, state officials haven't received inspection certifications for 20,000 of 49,000 aboveground tanks. The Department of Environmental Protection says it's also figuring out what's wrong with 80 specific tanks that are still operating, but unfit for use. DEP spokeswoman Kelley Gillenwater said the agency can't formally allow a grace period for tardy tanks. The department is focusing on analyzing data and helping operators submit information, not immediately issuing violations and fines.
Agencies have another week to disclose documents regarding grant funding. It's part of a probe by GOP lawmakers to go over spending with a fine tooth comb, and they've requested that the docs be turned over by January 14th. They want the state agencies to diclose grants, budgets, contracts, mission statements, employee counts, and financial reports by the deadline, so lawmakers can analyze and get rid of waste, according to the Charelston Gazette. Agency heads will have to explain practices at legislative meetings this year.
Marshall University has established a new arts degree discipline through its College of Arts and Media. The new bachelor of arts in the arts degree will offer students the choice of majoring in art, music, theater or allied arts - a mix of the three, and with that degree students can move on to arts-related careers and interests, including arts management and administration, arts therapy and art or music history, among others. The new arts degree program will be available in the fall at Marshall.
A preliminary hearing in West Virginia for a Texas man charged in a shootout with police didn't happen yesterday. Greenbrier County prosecutor Patrick Via said Wednesday's hearing was cancelled after the county public defender's office asked to withdraw from the case. A new hearing date hasn't been set. Eric Alexander Campbell of Alvin, Texas is charged in West Virginia with attempted murder of a police officer and malicious assault of a police officer after a New Year's Day shootout. His father faces similar charges.
A former West Virginia Governor has died. Arch Moore died Wedensday evening with his family by his side, and is survived by his three children Arch A. Moore III, Lucy Moore Durbin and U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito, who was sworn into the US Senate on Tuesday. Moore served three terms as governor in West Virginia; from 1969 to 1977 and from 1985 to 1989. He is the only governor to be elected to three terms. He was 91.
Low gas prices and favorable weather added up to more holiday travelers on the West Virginia Turnpike. Parkways Authority General Manager Greg Barr says the 10-day Christmas Travel period starting Dec. 19 saw 1,067,818 toll transactions. That's up nearly 16,000 transactions from 2013. Barr told The Charleston Gazette lower gas prices influenced holiday travelers. Warmer and snow-free weather conditions also helped. Christmas Day was the least-traveled, with only about 54,000 transactions.
Something is moving into the former Cafe de Paris space located at 201 Capitol Street, and the Charleston Gazette reports it's a new restaurant, confirmed by the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department. The space has been empty since 2009 when Cafe de Paris failed to re-open after a family death. The building went back on the market in September.