Breaking Local News
About 250 leaders from communities across West Virginia are meeting in Bridgeport this week. The West Virginia Municipal League will hold its annual conference Tuesday through Friday at the Bridgeport Conference Center. The Exponent Telegram reports the conference will include sessions on home rule, ethics and open government, strategic planning, leadership and marketing, and meetings for city managers, clerks and attorneys.
If you're headed to WVU, you might not be staying on campus. A delay in completing a new housing complex has forced about 600 West Virginia University students to find a new place to live before classes begin later this month. The University Place apartment complex in Sunnyside is a partnership between West Virginia University and a private owner, and it isn't ready for the fall semester. All of the students affected by the delay have found temporary housing elsewhere, and there's now new move-in date set for students to move into the 10-story tower but workers are there around the clock to try to get it ready.
Thousands of agencies, businesses and people are trying to squeeze millions of dollars out of the bankrupt Freedome Industries after the chemical spill in January. Case claims agent James Lane says Freedom Industries can expect about 5,000 groups to request money in bankruptcy claims over the spill. The total sought has topped $170 million and is growing. Aug. 1 was the claims filing deadline, though Lane is still tallying numbers. The state of West Virginia is seeking $1.8 million. Mardi Gras Casino & Resort wants $16 million. West Virginia American Water wants any damages from related lawsuits to be covered, in addition to $1.1 million for filters it changed.
West Virginia is getting over $26 million in federal funding for housing assistance and economic development. Sens. Joe Manchin and Jay Rockefeller and Rep. Nick Rahall announced the funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Friday, and the funds are aimed at developing sustainable communities and expanding economic opportunities for West Virginia families by improving neighborhood facilities and services. It also will provide critical housing assistance. In addition to state programs, funding was awarded to several cities including Charleston.
West Virginia State Police stopped an SUV over the weekend that had defective equipment, and ended up finding drugs inside the vehicle. An Ohio couple was arrested on Route 119 near Alum Creek in Lincoln County, after a trooper smelled marijuana, and after a search, found several bags ready to sell. Mushrooms and pills were also discovered, and troopers say there were aslo four children inside, only three of which had car seats. 27-year-old Rebehka Cate and 24-year-old Gary Bland are facing drug charges and a charge of child neglect creating the risk of injury.
Kanawha County students head back to class on Monday, so parents are down to the last few days to make sure kids are up to date on their shots. Vaccines are required for students entering seventh and 12th grades and the Kanawha Charleston Health Department is holding clinics to help. You'll just need your child's shot record and insurance information, and you can go the clinic today, Monday, or Tuesday.
State Republican Del. Suzette Raines said in a statement released by her attorney that she's dropping out of the Kanawha-based District 35 race. She said in the statement that it's "been a great privilege serving the 35th in the Legislature, and I will continue my term, but the reasons I am unable to withstand the ugly political battle being waged against me by the Democratic Party are deeply personal reasons that I don't wish to discuss." I have to choose my well-being over politics." The state Democratic Executive Committee filed a complaint asking that she be removed from the ballot over problems with her address, and finance reports and disclosures.
Consumer spending in West Virginia is higher than it was before the Great Recession but is lagging behind the nation in spending growth. Figures released Thursday by the federal government for the first time show that West Virginia's per capita consumer spending in 2012 grew 3.2 percent over the previous year. The nation as a whole grew by 3.3 percent in spending during that time. On average, each West Virginian spent $30,642 on consumer goods and services in 2012. Per capita spending nationwide was $35,498.
A Delbarton man at the center of an alleged kickback scheme at an Arch Coal mine in southern West Virginia appeared in court yesterday. David Runyon pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Charleston and faces up to 25 years in prison and $500,000 in fines if convicted of extortion and tax evasion. Federal prosecutors say companies had to pay kickbacks to Arch employees for business at the Mountain Laurel mining complex in Logan County. Several others have already pleaded guilty.
A coalition of environmental groups plans to rally tonight at the state capitol building. The demonstration will be to oppose an environmental permit for mountaintop removal next to the Kanawha State Forest, and will be collecting signatures for petitions asking Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to rescind the permit that would allow for mountaintop removal. After gathering signatures tonight, the group plans to present to the governor on Friday.