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10:14 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Veterans Crisis Center Coming to Clarksburg

Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center
Credit U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs / http://www.clarksburg.va.gov/

The long delays for veterans seeking medical care at VA hospitals have prompted The American Legion to plan a short-term crisis center in Clarksburg.

The veterans' organization will open a "crisis command center" at the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center on Aug. 5 and 6. A town hall meeting is set for Aug. 4 at American Legion Post 31 in Shinnston.

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Water Safety
9:32 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Secondary Intake Proposal Calls for Mountaintop Lake in Charleston

Credit Foo Conner / Flickr

  Two men have submitted a proposal calling for a mountaintop lake in Charleston that would serve as a backup drinking water source.

The proposal by Fred Stottlemyer and Joe Mullins seeks construction of an earthen dam to create an 800 million-gallon lake at Coonskin Park.

Stottlemyer is former public service district general manager. Mullins was an urban planner in the governor's office in the 1960s.

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Chemical Spill
9:22 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Freedom Industries Pays $11,000 Fine For January Spill

Credit Aaron Payne / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

  A company that spilled chemicals into West Virginia's largest water supply has paid an $11,000 fine for a pair of violations.

The Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined Freedom Industries $7,000 earlier this month for keeping storage tanks containing crude MCHM behind a diked wall that was not liquid tight.

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West Virginia Morning
8:00 am
Tue July 29, 2014

4th Circuit Court Strikes Down Gay Marriage Ban in Va., U.S. EPA Begins Nationwide Hearings

What does the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling about Virginia's gay marriage ban mean for West Virginia? The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency begins a week of public hearings about it's Clean Power Plan and business owners in Huntington think about what to do next after a large fire Sunday in a building downtown. 

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Rallies planned
9:39 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Groups Prep for EPA Clean Power Plan Hearing

Credit www.mine-engineer.com

Given the political climate around the EPA’s proposal, it seems unlikely that state lawmakers would have a policy without coal. Still, the United Mine Workers of America says workers and their families should be concerned about this new regulation. Groups from West Virginia and across Appalachia are gearing up to show support and protest of the EPA’s proposed rule.

Groups like the United Mine Workers of America and Coal River Mt. Watch are traveling to Pittsburgh later this week.

As it stands, the EPA rule would let states come up with their own energy policy on how to decrease carbon dioxide emissions. Given the political climate, some environmentalists worry it will be business as usual for the coal industry leaving little room for renewable energy. After all, lawmakers in states like West Virginia and Kentucky aggressively and consistently favor coal in speech and policy.

Listen to hear more from Phil Smith with UMWA and Vernon Haltom with Coal River Mountain Watch.

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Public Education
4:56 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Randolph County Searching for Solution to Crumbling School

Harman School
Credit Randolph County Board of Education

The Randolph County Board of Education has called a special meeting for Tuesday evening to address structural problems with the Harman School. The facility suffered a roof collapse over the July 4th weekend. 

A plaster ceiling caved into a classroom, bringing with it two tons of debris.  A post-collapse inspection of the school, built in the 1950s, determined it is not safe for use.

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Huntington Fire
4:48 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Huntington Regroups After Downtown Fire

Credit Clark Davis

The city of Huntington regrouped Monday as business owners and residents of the Morris Building tried to figure out what’s next after a Sunday morning fire.

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Reverses recent decline
4:13 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Overall Mining Deaths Up First Half of 2014

Mining deaths across the country are up compared to this time last year.
Credit AllVoices.com

Twenty-two miners were killed in accidents in the mining industry during the first half of 2014, including 8 coal miners, according to a summary by the U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration.

 

That's compared to 18 miners who were killed in the first half of 2013.

In the second quarter of this year alone, 14 miners died – five in coal mining and nine in metal and nonmetal mining.

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Settlement Reached
2:49 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

W.Va.'s Attorney General Announces a $950k Settlement with 3 Financial Groups

Credit West Virginia Attorney General's Office

West Virginia's attorney general has reached a $950,000 settlement with three companies over allegations of antitrust law violations.

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced the deal Monday. GE Funding Capital Market Services, Trinity Plus Funding Co., and Trinity Funding Co. were among 22 financial companies sued in 2009 by previous Attorney General Darrell McGraw.
 

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Same Sex Marriage
1:59 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

How Will The 4th Circuit Court's Gay Marriage Decision Affect West Virginia?

The U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va.
Credit Sean McCormick

In a historic move, a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

The decision was celebrated by pro-LGBT advocates in other states in the circuit, including West Virginia, but even they say it will take time before the decision impacts gay couples in the state.

The Decision:

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Energy & Environment
12:33 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

EPA Administrator Defends Clean Power Plans

U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy
Credit U.S. EPA

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is preparing to hold public hearings this week about the proposed Clean Power Plan.  The hearings are being held in Washington, Atlanta, Denver and Pittsburgh.  Each hearing last two days.

The administrations plan to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants has been sharply criticized by some West Virginia politicians, political candidates, the coal industry and others who say it will hurt West Virginia’s economy.

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Public Safety
11:49 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Water Company Giving Educational Tours After Chemical Leak

Credit Foo Conner / Flickr

A water company whose Charleston treatment plant was contaminated by a coal-cleaning agent is January is holding a public tour next week.

West Virginia American Water Co. will conduct the free "WaterFest" event Aug. 9.
 

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Contract Decision
11:10 am
Mon July 28, 2014

W.Va. Judge Lets IMG Deal with WVU Stand

Credit Swimmerguy269 / wikimedia Commons

A judge has denied a motion by West Virginia Radio Corp. to toss the media rights contract between West Virginia University and IMG College.

Monongalia County circuit judge Thomas Evans on Thursday set aside the motion for summary judgment against WVU and others.
 

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Benefit
11:07 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Art Project to Aid Huntington Children's Hospital

The Hoops Family Children's Hospital in Huntington.
Credit Hoops Family Children's Hospital

A partnership will boost Huntington's train collection substantially next year.

The city is launching an art initiative with the Hoops Family Children's Hospital and the Cabell Huntington Hospital Auxiliary.
 
The Herald-Dispatch reports artists will use their skills on 40 fiberglass train engine statues that will go on display in Huntington next year.
 
Mayor Steve Williams says after the display, the trains then will be sold at auction to benefit the children's hospital.
 

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Public Education
11:00 am
Mon July 28, 2014

W.Va. Schools Will Soon Receive A Through F Grades

Credit Cecelia Mason

The process of implementing a new performance-based system for accrediting the state's public schools will begin in September.

The Dominion Post reports the state Office of Educational Performance Audits will conduct on-site reviews in each of Monongalia County's public schools in mid-September. Schools across the state will be reviewed over the next two years.
 

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West Virginia Morning
8:25 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Remembering Charleston's Historic Block District, Garden for the Blind in Wheeling

A report about The Block, a historical district in Charleston once the heart of the city’s African-American community and more state history from Hinton in Summers County.  From Wheeling,  a report on a community garden specifically designed to be tended by the visually impaired and Marshall University's football team is expected to do well this season. 

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Block Historical District
7:41 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Speaker Gives Insight into the Heart of the Black Community

The first C.H. James Produce Company was located in downtown Charleston on Summers Street.
Credit courtesy of C.H. James III

As part of a project to resurrect some of the history of this neighborhood, the West Virginia Center for African American Art and Culture has organized a series of lectures. About 60 people attended the second of these talks last week.  

Charles James III is the fourth generation in his family to own and operate one of the oldest family-owned businesses in the United States, the James company. James said that he remembers being invited to the local country club in the late 80's. But his father in an earlier generation was not asked to join until the 80's.

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Building Fire
12:11 pm
Sun July 27, 2014

Huntington Building Catches Fire

A fire in the 6-story Morris Building in Huntington was contained early Sunday afternoon.

The Huntington Fire Department and several volunteer crews from the area battled the fire in downtown Huntington. The building houses several offices, about 10 residents and two popular restaurants on the bottom floor, Backyard Pizza and the Peddler.

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Appalachian History
6:00 am
Sun July 27, 2014

Appalachian Pride Inspires Web Site and Podcast

Dave Tabler
Credit Submitted Photo / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The Appalachian region has long been the focus of fascination and study going back to the early 1900’s when historians and musicologists traveled through the region collecting stories and songs.

But folks from outside the region have not always promoted a flattering image. And that, along with a curiosity about his own family, inspired Dave Tabler to start his web site Appalachia History.

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Transportation
2:59 pm
Sat July 26, 2014

Two Firefighters Treated After W.Va.-Va. Tunnel Blaze

Credit Google Maps

A tractor-trailer fire filled an Interstate 77 tunnel with black smoke, backed up traffic for miles and sent two West Virginia firefighters to a hospital.

The Bluefield Daily Telegraph reports that the fire in the East River Mountain Tunnel near West Virginia's border with Virginia was extinguished by 5:50 p.m. Friday, more than 2 1/2 hours after it was reported. 

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