News

Medical Timeout
12:13 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Could a Checklist Save Your Child-Athlete's Life?

Medical professionals in Beckley conduct a 'medical timeout' before a football game.
Credit www.medicaltimeout.com

Last year, state legislators passed a bill requiring the Secondary School Activities Commission to draft rules aimed at preventing youth concussions. The legislation came as the national spotlight was shed on long term head injuries NFL players were suffering.

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More Water Woes
12:07 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Shepherdstown on Boil Water Notice

Shepherdstown, W.Va., city hall.
Credit Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Updated Jan. 31, 2014: As of 8:45 a.m. today the Shepherdstown, W.Va., boil water advisory has been lifted.

Shepherdstown has joined the ranks of West Virginia communities experiencing water problems this winter.

The town has issued a boil water notice for the next two days due to a water main break that occurred Wednesday.

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Water Quality
11:45 am
Thu January 30, 2014

W.Va. PSC Orders Water Company to Continue Quality Reports

State utility regulators have ordered West Virginia American Water to continue providing quarterly reports on the quality of its service.
 
     The Public Service Commission's order says the information will allow it to monitor whether the company's response to a Jan. 9 chemical spill has any lasting impact on its distribution infrastructure in the Kanawha Valley.
 

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Education
11:43 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Harrison Board Names Mark Manchin as Schools Chief

Credit School Building Authority of West Virginia

West Virginia School Building Authority executive director Mark Manchin has been named schools superintendent in Harrison County.
 
 The Harrison County Board of Education approved a three-year contract for Manchin on Wednesday. He will begin his new job on July 1.
 

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Snow Days
11:42 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Students Getting Less Classroom Time This Year

A W.Va. highway department plow clears a road. Winter weather has caused counties to close schools more than usual this year.
Credit Submitted Photo / WVDOT

Several days this past month all 55 counties have had to close their schools because of weather and water problems, and in some cases that means they won’t be able to meet the goal of giving 180 days of classroom instruction.

West Virginia State School Superintendent Jim Phares was previously superintendent in Randolph County so dealing with winter weather to him is the norm. But for many counties this is an unusual school year.

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West Virginia Morning
11:26 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Is Formaldehyde in Charleston's Water?, Snow Days Pile Up, & More

Reactions to reports of formaldehyde in Charleston's water come after Dr. Scott Simonton of Marshall University and the Environmental Quality Board found the chemical in Vandalia Grill's water, the House rejects a resolution that would allow active-duty personnel to vote in the legislature, and researchers from Downstream Strategies raise more questions about this months chemical spill. Also, many county school systems struggle to make 180 days of classroom education.

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Chemical Leak
8:00 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Found Formaldehyde Begs Basic Questions, Expert Says

Marc Glass is a principal researcher in charge of evaluation and remediation of environmental contamination in soil and water for the environmental consulting firm Downstream Strategies. He’s been testing water samples for private residents affected by the Elk River chemical spill. While his results haven’t turned up any traces of formaldehyde, it is something they’ve been testing for.

How long did the Freedom tank leak?

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The Legislature Today
7:05 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Reports of Formaldehyde, House Rejects a Legislative Absentee Resolution, & Innovation Day

Legislators, state public health officials, and West Virginia American Water react to reports of formaldehyde found in the water of a Charleston business, the House rejects a resolution that would have allowed those absent while serving in the military to vote in the legislature, and Anne Barth og TechConnect and  Marjorie Darrah of eTouchSciences discuss how the legislature can help spur economic innovation.

Subscribe to the podcast for daily downloads of the program.

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House of Delegates
6:23 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Delegates Reject H.R. 6, Allowing Absent Members on Active Duty to Vote

Delegate Richard Iaquina argues against H.R. 6, allowing participation in House proceedings and voting by electronic teleconferencing by members not physically present due to serving on active duty.
Credit Aaron Payne

The House currently has one member that cannot participate in voting or House activities due to military service. Delegate Joshua Nelson has been absent for the second session of the 81st Legislature while on active duty.

House Resolution 6 would allow participation for Nelson and future members not physically present while serving in the military in House proceedings and voting by electronic teleconferencing.

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Water Crisis
5:59 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

State Health Officials, Water Company Say Reports of Formaldehyde Are 'Misleading', 'Unfounded'

Credit Foo Conner / Flickr

Officials from the Bureau for Public Health and West Virginia American Water released separate statements regarding Dr. Scott Simonton's testimony Wednesday to Joint Legislative Oversight Commission on State Water Resources, calling his remarks on the discovery of formaldehyde in the water of a Charleston restaurant "unfounded", "misleading", and "irresponsible."

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Senate
4:25 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Senate Calls for Loan Program to Aid Small Businesses

The West Virginia Senate
Credit Martin Valent / WV Legislative Photography

The House’s bill to aide small businesses during states of emergency saw significant changes in the Senate Wednesday, giving lawmakers more control of the aide program.

The original West Virginia Small Business Emergency Act included a laundry list of potential aide written into emergency rule by the director of the Department of Homeland Security and approved by the governor

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McDowell County
3:57 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Trial Begins for Man Accused of War Mayor's Murder

The trial of a man accused of the murder of War's mayor, Thomas Hatcher, began today in McDowell County.

The trial of a Virginia man charged with killing the mayor of War is underway in McDowell County Circuit Court.

The defendant is 28-year-old Earl Click of Grundy, Va.

Click is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 72-year-old War Mayor Thomas Hatcher.

 
City workers found Hatcher's body in his home on July 17, 2012.

 
Click's sister and co-defendant, 32-year-old Rebecca Hatcher, was acquitted of a murder charge in November. Judge Rudolph J. Murensky II declared a mistrial on a conspiracy charge. A retrial is scheduled next month.

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Water Crisis
3:16 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Ken Ward on NPR's Fresh Air: Overregulation Is 'Wildly Exaggerated'

Credit Twitter / @kenwardjr

Fresh Air recently interviewed Charleston Gazette investigative reporter Ken Ward about the Freedom Industries chemical spill. Here are the highlights:

On how the chemical leak was discovered

Some people who live in that part of town called in both to the metro 911 — the county emergency operation center — and to the state Department of Environmental Protection complaints of an odor, that they smelled some sort of a strong licorice odor in the air.

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Drugs
2:59 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Two Men Plead Guilty in Meth Trafficking Case

Credit Drug Enforcement Agency

A West Virginia resident and a Florida man have admitted their roles in a methamphetamine trafficking case.
 
     Forty-nine-year-old Howard Leon Lykins II of Charleston pleaded guilty in federal court in Charleston on Tuesday to maintaining a residence for drug purposes. Forty-four-year-old Richard Milton Hudson Riggall of Zephyrhills, Fla., entered a guilty plea to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
 

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Around The Nation
1:36 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

How Industrial Chemical Regulation Failed West Virginia

Jonathan Steele, owner of Bluegrass Kitchen, fills a jug with bottled water from a tank he installed in the back of his Charleston restaurant.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 7:55 pm

On Jan. 9, people in and around Charleston, W.Va., began showing up at hospitals: They had nausea, eye infections and some were vomiting. It was later discovered that around 10,000 gallons of toxic chemicals had leaked into the Elk River, just upstream from a water treatment plant that serves 300,000 people. Citizens were told not to drink or bathe in the water, and while some people are now using water from their taps, many still don't trust it or the information coming from public officials.

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Chemical Leak
12:26 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

West Virginia Official: People Are Inhaling Formaldehyde

Marshall University Professor and Environmental Quality Board member Dr. Scott Simonton speaks to a legislative committee on Wednesday, January 29.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

By now, you’ve probably heard of crude MCHM, the chemical that spilled into the Elk River in early January contaminating the drinking water of 300 thousand West Virginians.

And may be you’ve even heard of PPH, the second chemical contained in the leaky tank at the Freedom Industries site.

But almost three weeks after the leak, how much do we really know about these chemicals?

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12:08 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Marshall Scientist Found Formaldehyde in Charleston Water

Lead in text: 
We'll have our own story up soon but, in the meantime, we wanted to provide you this piece that just went up from The Charleston Gazette.
  • Source: Wvgazette
  • | Via: The Charleston Gazette
Marshall scientist found formaldehyde in Charleston water CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A Marshall University environmental scientist and member of the state Environmental Quality Board said today that he has found formaldehyde in local water samples and that the continued lack of data on the chemical that leaked into the Elk River is very concerning.
Health & Science
11:57 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Flu Activity Widespead in W.Va.

Credit CDC / Dr. Erskine Palmer / wikimedia Commons

Flu activity is widespread in West Virginia and a state epidemiologist says this year's season could be severe.
 
     Widespread activity means increases in flu-related outpatient visits, lab-confirmed flu cases and incidents of influenza outbreaks have been reported in at least half of the state's eight surveillance regions.
 

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Mingo Corruption
11:52 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Ex-Mingo Commissioner Sentenced to 20 Months

Credit Ashton Marra

A former Mingo County commissioner has been sentenced to more than a year in prison on a federal extortion charge.
 
     David Baisden received a 20-month sentence Wednesday in federal court in Charleston.
 
     He pleaded guilty in October to trying to buy tires for his personal vehicle at a government discount in 2009, then terminating the county's contract with Appalachian Tire when it refused to cooperate.
 

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West Virginia Morning
11:22 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Senate Passes Chemical Spill Bill, House Debates Constitutionality, & Medical Timeouts

  The Senate passes a bill to regulate storage facilities like the one involved in this month's chemical leak at Freedom Industries in hopes to prevent another contamination of water supplies, the House of Delegates debates the constitutionality of a bill from that chamber, and the West Virginia Secondary Schools Athletic Commission enacts rules to youth prevent concussions.

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