Breaking Local News
The 2014 midterm elections proved to be a history-making night for West Virginia and the United States, and part of that history includes a freshman in college becoming the nation’s youngest state lawmaker. 18-year old Republican Saira Blair will represent a small district in West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle, about a one and a half hour-drive outside Washington, D.C. Blair defeated her Democratic opponent in the House of Delegates 59th District race, 63-year old Layne Diehl, 63 percent to 30 percent, according to The Associated Press. A third candidate, Jeff Becker, got 7 percent of the vote. Blair is a freshman at West Virginia University, and has been featured in Teen Vogue, The Huffington Post and The Wall Street Journal.
The American Red Cross in West Virginia is seeking the donation of unneeded vehicles that can sold for money to help those in need. The vehicle donation program runs from November until Dec. 31. The program seeks unwanted cars, trucks, motorcycles, tractors and other vehicles in any condition. Donations are tax deductible and the Red Cross offers free pick-up and towing. Once donated to the Red Cross, the vehicles will sold by Insurance Auto Auctions and 91 cents of every dollar from the program goes to its humanitarian mission.
A West Virginia constitutional amendment will allow the Boy Scouts of America to rent out facilities it owns at the Bechtel National Scout Reserve in Fayette County to raise money for its operations. The facilities would be used for concerts and sporting events. Up until this year, the complex was used only for scouting events and a Boy Scout Jamboree that occurs every four years. Without the amendment change, the Boy Scouts would have been on the hook for as much as $5 million in property taxes, but this keeps them tax exempt. The amendment passed with 62 percent voter approval.
Retiring U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller is donating his Senate papers to West Virginia University. Rockefeller will make the donation Saturday at the Morgantown public library's downtown branch. Rockefeller is retiring in January after 30 years in the Senate. He also served as governor, secretary of state, in the House of Delegates and as president of West Virginia Wesleyan College. Among his many contributions to the university include founding a nonprofit institute named after his mother that researches memory disorders and neurodegenerative diseases.
Union workers at Kroger stores in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia have ratified a new three-year contract. United Food & Commercial Workers Local 400 says in a news release that the contract includes wage increases and preserves workers' health and retirement benefits. Workers' health care premiums won't increase. The new contract covers 4,000 workers. It will expire on Oct. 7, 2017.
A preliminary exit polling conducted for The Associated Press and television networks shows the economy was the top issue for voters. About half of voters went that route, and health care was second most important, with about immigration and foreign policy following. Almost six in 10 voters surveyed said they thought the 2010 Affordable Care Act was too far-reaching. bout half of voters said they had a favorable view of Republicans, and half said their views were unfavorable.
Kanawha County voters said yes to the $3 million library levy that will fund library operations. The money will not be used to build new libraries or assist the Board of Education, but with the voter approval somes a tax increase of about $1.36 per month for Kanawha County residents.
For Kanwaha County Commissioner, voters picked among Republican Henry Shores, Democrat Clint Casto, and the Mountain Party's Dianna Strickland. Henry Shores has been declared the winner with 61 percent of the vote.
And about the Kanawha County Library Levy...that was the possible restoration of 2.9-million dollars in funding for the county library system after it lost operating and staffing funds last year after a state Supreme Court decision. Last year, a library levy was piggy-backed to a 24-million dollar school excess levy which failed at the polls. Kanawha County voters said yes to the library levy that will fund library operations.
Voters in Putnam County chose (Rep. Richard Witt or Dem. David Hill) for Family Court Judge. Richard Witt is the winner with 69 percent of the vote.
William Jones will become the Poca Mayor, after defeating Michael Potter.
Kanawha County Clerk Vera McCormick says early voting went well with a daily average of around a thousand people taking advantage of the opportunity. In all, about 9400 people cast ballots ahead of today's general election The polls are open today from 6:30 a-m to 7:30 p-m.
The University of Charleston is planning improvements to its School of Pharmacy to address issues raised by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. The agency placed the pharmacy school on a two-year probationary status in July after finding that the school was noncompliant with a standard requiring that an accredited school be headed by a dean, collaborate with the larger university, and be autonomous. The school was partially noncompliant in several other areas, including staffing. University of Charleston President Ed Welch tells The Charleston Gazette that most of the improvements will be implemented by January, and that includes hiring a new administrative staff member, strengthening the role of the pharmacy school's dean and other deans, and filling vacant positions. Welch says the pharmacy school remains accredited.