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Officials with FEMA say they have a total of 2,653 claims for damages from the June 29th storms, and most of those have come from Fayette County with 610. Kanawha County has filed 567 damage claims, Nicholas 518, and Raleigh 489. Those four counties were officially declared disaster areas, and just this week Governor Tomblin asked FEMA to expand the disaster declaration to an area including twenty other surrounding counties. The highest possible damage award is $31,000 and to qualify an individual’s entire home would have to be destroyed.
Anyone who suffered storm damage June 29th may be eligible for free legal assistance. The American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division and Legal Aid of West Virginia has announced it's partnered to offer the Disaster Legal Services program. When you call, you'll be matched with an attorney that has volunteered to participate. FEMA is providing the funding for the program. Storm victims can call the program at (877) 331-4259.
Pet owners in Nitro have new limits. City leaders there are trying to cut down on large litters of cats, since complaints have come in recent months about feral cats stirring up trouble on city streets and killing birds. An ordinance has been approved in Nitro that limits the number of pets a household can have to three dogs and three cats. The includes strays that someone might just be setting out food for. The ordinance takes effect November 1, and anyone in Nitro with more pets than allowed at that point will be grandfathered in and exempt from fines. Those pet owners will have to be able to prove they owned the animals before November 1 with a veteranarian bill, or something similar. Violaters will face $50 fines for a first offense.
WorkForce West Virginia has a new initiative to help laid-of coal miners. Any coal miners laid off after March 1 who received a federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification, might be able to receive as much as $5000 for education. Under the program, miners and their familes can train for in-demand jobs outside the coal mining industry, and get help with the training costs. There are several sessions set up this week where laid-off mine workers can learn more. Informational sessions are set for 2 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College in Logan, and 2 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Bridgemont Community and Technical College in Montgomery.
Today is the last day for new voters to register to vote ahead of the Nov. 6 election. Overall, Secretary of State Natalie Tennant's office, has said more than 47,000 new voters registered across the state between January and September of this year, which is down more than 25 percent from the last presidential election year in 2008. Voter turnout is expected to be largely the same as 2008. If you're not already registered, today is the day to do it at the County Clerk's office. The state's early voting period will run from Wednesday, Oct. 24 through Saturday, Nov. 3, with voting available each day except Sunday, Oct. 28. In Kanawha County, early voting will be held at the Voter's Registration office in the Judicial Annex along Quarrier Street. Putnam County will have early voting on the second floor of the county courthouse in Winfield.
Boy Scouts and other service groups will come together next year to perform more than 350 community service projects in Southern West Virginia as part of a community service initiative. The Reaching the Summit Community Service Initiative will cover nine counties during the Boy Scouts of America's National Jamboree in July 2013 to be held in Fayette County. The Beckley Register-Herald says the volunteers will include up to 40,000 Scouts and more than 250 young adults from the Americorps/National Civilian Community Corps.
The Kanawha County Sheriff's spent much of Monday investigating after a woman's body was discovered in a wooded area in South Charleston early Monday. Detectives say the woman had been living in a tent near Myrtle Tree Lane, and was in her fifties, and apparently died of natural causes. She may have been living in the woods for a month or more.
One person is recovering today after a weekend stabbing. Charleston Police say it appears related to a domestic battery. It happend early Saturday at a home on Randolph Street on Charleston's West Side. Officers say 46-year old Jeffery Brock allegedly assaulted the mother of his children, and she picked up a knife to defend herself. Brock was taken to CAMC General Hospital with injuries, and after he left the hospital he went back to the home. Police arrested him there on charges of domestic battery and took him back to the hospital.
What's next for the Kanwaha County Public Library system? A new downtown library has been in the works for ten years now, and the library's board of directors has picked a firm to review the airchitect's plans and look over the building program. Providence Associates of Cottonwood, Arizona will do the honors. Plans call for a new 113,000-square-foot building to go up at the corner of Lee Street and Leon Sullivan Way, diagonally across from the Clay Center. With technology contstantly changing, the needs of the library are being evaluated. The proposed parking lot may also be re-situated. The money for the new library will come from a public-private partnership.
The new employment agreement takes effect today for WVU Director of Athletics Oliver Luck. According to a press release, the agreement extends his employment from 2015 to 2017. Luck’s annualized salary will be $550,000, with a maximum performance bonus capped at $150,000 per year. He will also receive retention incentives for fulfilling terms in the contract.