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West Virginia isn't rock bottom, but it's close, according to a new report. West Virginia ranked fourth-worst when 24/7 Wall St. rated states on quality of life. Arkansas, Alabama, and Mississippi fare worse than West Virginia. The report puts equal weight on nine factors that contribute to well-being. West Virginia had the worst score in the US for health, a high poverty rate, low voter turnout and with an undesirable homicide rate.
West Virginia’s own Bill Withers is on the list of nominees that has a shot at getting into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It’s Withers’ first nomination into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He's from Slab Fork, near Beckley, and if he gets in, he will be the fourth West Virginian to do it. The final nominees will be announced in December, and you can vote now in a special fan voting section at http://rockhall.com/voting/2015-rock-hall-nominees-fan-vote/. One of Withers' biggest hits was "Lean On Me."
Several flights from Charleston to Orlando have been cancelled, leaving passengers wondering how they're going to get there. People Express had a contract with Vision Air for 3 airplanes, but Vision Air only gave the company two planes. WCHS TV reports one of those planes had engine trouble, and the other is not working after a truck bumped into it. Refunds are on the way for those that had flights booked on People Express, and that could take 5 or 6 business days. Flights should resume in November.
County clerks in West Virginia are being told to accept marriage applications from same-sex couples. The move Thursday comes after Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said his office would no longer fight a court challenge to the state's ban on same-sex marriages. Gay couples will use existing marriage license forms until the forms can be updated.
Charleston Police are increasing their presence on the West Side. At a meeting yesterday by the Charleston Urban Renewal board, a request was approved to give $100,000 to a program called "Project West Invest." A news release said it's a program that aims to increase home ownership, revitalize neighborhoods, and reduce crime on the West Side. The Charleston police department would like to have ten officers buy homes on the west side and live there for a minimum of ten years, with police cruisers parked in their driveways as a reminder that they're there. The money alloted would help the officers buy the homes and add some renovations. There is also $100,000 coming from the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation for the project.
Kanawha County Sheriff's deputies are looking for 46-year old Daryl A. Smith of Stover Road near Dunbar, after he was reported missing by his family. Smith was last heard from last Wednesday on Oct.1st. Deputies say Smith is six feet tall and weighs 210 pounds. He has medium brown skin, brown eyes and a shaved head. Anyone with tips should call 304-357-0169, or go to www.kanawhasheriff.us.
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.