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If you have high speed internet, you're in the minority in West Virginia. A new federal report released this week by the FCC shows West Virginia ranks number one in the US for people without high speed internet, with 46 percent without access. Things change quickly and the report is based on data from June of 2011, but it at that time West Virginia lagged behind other states with limited broadband, like South Dakota and Montana. 46 percent of those who live in West Virginia can't get broadband, and when you consider rural areas it's even worse. Sixty percent of rural residents can't get high-speed.
Mary Anne Crickard has been president of East End Main Street for the past five years, and announced Tuesday at a meeting she's stepping down. Andy Milovich will take over. He's the executive vice president of the West Virginia Power baseball team. Crickard will stay with the group on the board of directors and will serve as chairwoman of the promotions committee.
A new skate park will be built in St. Albans sometime in the next two years. An earlier decision by the city council would have put the skateboard park in City Park, but there was a change of plans this week. The city council voted 6-5 to move the planned park to Ordinance Park. Supporters of the park still have to raise quite a bit of money to make the park happen. $70,000 to $100,000 is needed to build the park, and that includes a request of about $40,000 from the city. Now that the location has been decided, fundraising will get the focus.
The Kanawha Bureau of Investigation has arrested a woman after a stabbing early Monday. 28-year old Sarah E. Halstead of Foster, WV has been booked on charges of Malicious Wounding in connection with the stabbing of Kanawha County's Jason Eric Hall. The initial word was it might have been a home invasion, but investigators say they quickly figured out the stabbing stemmed from a domestic argument. Halstead had fled to Boone County, but she was found there and returned to the South Central Regional Jail.
West Nile concerns are growing across the country, up until now in Kanawha County, the only positive tests had been from mosquitoes in a few water pools. Now a man in his late 40s is being treated for West Nile, and he has become the county's first human case of the virus. Symptoms include a fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash.
A shooting early Tuesday morning on McCormick Street in Washington Manor left two people hospitalized. Charleston Police have identified the victims as 28-year old Darrow Dobbs, and 23-year old Kelvin Nolen both of Detroit. Dobbs was shot in the torso and Nolen was hit in the foot, according to police, and both were taken to CAMC General Hospital. Anyone with tips should call Charleston police as the investigation continues.
Students at Mountain State now have a more concrete plan to finish their educations. Mountain State will lose accreditation December 31 and the Univeristy of Charleston has taken over. This week the Higher Learning Commission approved the "teach-out" plan that will help current Mountain State students, and under the plan students who finish their credits by May can graduate under MSU's requirements with either a Mountain State or a University of Charleston degree. The University of Charleston is taking over 37 undergrad and eight graduate programs at Mountain State, and the approval allows UC to teach those programs after the accreditation is lost.
Governor Early Ray Tomlin announced a $4 million investment in Putnam County's Nippon Thermostat plant Tuesday. The effort is expected to create 30 additional jobs by 2016, which would more than double the current workforce. Earlier this summer the governor took a business trip to Japan to try to drum up more business for West Virginia, and now the Tokyo-based company expands here. Nippon Thermostat manufactures automotive thermostats for Toyota, Honda, Nissan and others. With the hiring, comes an expansion of the facility in Fraziers Bottom that shoudl be done next spring.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin traveled to Japan earlier this summer with one of the goals to attract new business to West Virginia. The governor today is expected to to make an announcement with company officials at Nippon Thermostat in Putnam County, about dozens of jobs and millions of dollars in investment. The Governor will be at the plant at noon today.
As West Nile cases increase across the US, a new warning comes from the state veteranarian. Jewell Plumley urges horse owners to get the animals vaccinated now, and then have a booster shot administered at the end of August or early part of September since most of West Virginia's cases are in the early fall. Once a horse is infected with West Nile, there's no cure. There have been no human cases of West Nile so far this year in West Virginia, but some water pools with mosquitoes have tested positive.