Breaking Local News
State utility regulators are deciding how deeply they'll probe a water company's response to a January chemical spill. The Public Service Commission will decide today if it will require West Virginia American Water to produce many documents the company doesn't want to hand over. The water company says those records, including emergency response and prevention plans, are beyond the investigation's scope. Many have been requested in civil lawsuits. It says many documents are shielded from release under federal anti-terrorism laws. Others disagree, and think reviewing emergency plans is necessary to determine if WV American Water reacted appropriately after the Jan. 9 spill.
Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will campaign in West Virginia for U.S. Senate and House hopefuls. On Aug. 19, the former Massachusetts governor will attend a Charleston fundraiser and Beckley rally for Shelley Moore Capito, Alex Mooney and Evan Jenkins. Capito's campaign announced the events Monday in a news release. Congresswoman Capito faces Democratic West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant in a high-profile Senate race. Jenkins is challenging longtime Democratic Congressman Nick Rahall in the 3rd District. Mooney and Democrat Nick Casey are seeking the 2nd Congressional District seat Capito will vacate. Romney's former vice presidential nominee, Congressman Paul Ryan, campaigned for Capito in Charleston last month. Romney won all 55 counties in West Virginia in 2012 against President Barack Obama.
West Virginia State University will open the first new residence hall on its campus since 1969. A dedication ceremony will take place on Wednesday for the Judge Damon J. Keith Scholars Hall in Institute. The residence hall features two-, three- and four-bedroom suites, along with a study lounge, cafe and gaming room for students. Last year the Kanawha County Commission approved up to $30 million in bonds to pay for construction. Keith is a 1943 graduate of West Virginia State. He has served as a judge on the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals since 1977.
The suspects are wanted after damage was discovered at the Scarlet Oaks Golf Course in Putnam County. Damage estimates are into the thousands at the Poca golf course, and police think the property was destroyed late Saturday night when an ATV spun out on the grass at hole #9 and on a practice putting green. Anyone with information should call the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office.
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.