Associated Press

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Aaron Payne / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

For Bonnie Wireman, the white plastic bag covering her kitchen faucet is a reminder that she can't drink the water.

The 81-year-old woman placed it there after forgetting several times the tap water was tainted after a coal processing chemical leaked into the area's water supply. Every time she turned on the water, she quickly stopped and cleaned her hands with peroxide - just to make sure she was safe.

West Virginia Gov. Earl Tomblin says water tests are encouraging after a chemical spill tainted the supply, but people are still being told not to drink or bath in the water.
 

C.W Sigman

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board says it will investigate a chemical spill in the Elk River that has contaminated the public water supply in nine counties.
 
     Board chairman Rafael Moure-Eraso said Saturday that the board wants to find out how a leak of such magnitude occurred, and how to prevent similar incidents in the future.
 

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Health officials in Kanawha and Putnam counties are working to reopen restaurants, daycare centers and other facilities that have closed because of a chemical spill.
 
     Dr. Rahul Gupta is health officer for the Kanawha-Charleston and Putnam County boards of health. He said Saturday that the health departments are taking applications from facilities for conditional approval to reopen.
 

Aaron Payne / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Poison Control Center has received nearly 800 calls from concerned residents since a chemical spilled in the Elk River.
 

gavel
wikimedia / Wikimedia

At least half a dozen lawsuits have been filed over a chemical spill in West Virginia that contaminated water supplies.

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has issued a state of emergency and West Virginia American Water is telling more than 100,000 customers (about 300,000 people) in Boone, Cabell, Clay, Jackson, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, Putnam, and Roane counties NOT to ingest, cook, bathe, wash or boil water.  Water in this coverage area is okayed ONLY for flushing and fire protection.

football helmet
wikimedia / mdscottis

The state Board of Education has given final approval to a rule dealing with how high schools handle sports concussions.

The board approved the rule during its monthly meeting this week in Charleston.

“This is a significant step in how we protect all of our athletes from the short- and long-term impact of concussions,” said West Virginia Board of Education President Gayle Manchin.

“Now a certified medical professional must clear student athletes before they can get back into practice or play.”

West Virginia Legislature

Democratic legislative leaders won't back Attorney General Patrick Morrisey's call for more audits of the West Virginia Legislature, state office holders and agencies.
 

A former Fairmont State University official faces up to 13 years in prison after pleading guilty to embezzlement and tax charges.
 
     Forty-five-year-old David A. Tamm of Parkersburg pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to embezzling from a state agency receiving federal funds. He also admitted falsely reporting less income than he received on his 2012 federal income tax return.
 

Department of Environmental Protection, DEP
Department of Environmental Protection

State regulators have issued a pollution violation notice to an oil and gas drilling company following a tank explosion at a Tyler County well site.
 
     The Department of Environmental Protection said Wednesday that the tank ruptured on Jan. 2 at Jay-Bee Oil & Gas' Lisby gas well pad. Fluid leaked from the tank onto grounds surrounding the well pad.
 

Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia is beginning to warm up a bit following an arctic blast that broke cold temperature records across the state.
 
     Temperatures on Wednesday morning ranged from 4 degrees in Elkins and Lewisburg to 12 degrees in Bluefield.
 

Flickr / davidwilson1949

The results of a preliminary legislative audit have found evidence of mismanagement of a $5 million revolving loan program administered by the West Virginia Department of Agriculture.

West Virginia University

West Virginia University's Board of Governors has approved a 20-member committee to search for the university's next president.

West Virginia Legislature

WV Senate President Jeff Kessler says he thinks he has the support of Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and WV House Speaker Tim Miley to create a future fund for education and other needs, despite budget woes.

Kessler says the plan would set aside a portion of the severance tax on the state's natural gas industry for the fund. But it wouldn't impose any higher tax rates or affect current government programs.

The plan could infuse more money for future teacher pay raises, infrastructure and other needs.

Flickr / davidwilson1949

The House of Delegates leadership plans to focus on government accountability and integrity during the 2014 legislative session.

House leaders unveiled a platform on Sunday that includes fraud reporting and state purchasing reforms.
 
Several measures are aimed at the Attorney General's Office. One would require all money received by the state through settlements to go into the General Revenue Fund to be appropriated by the Legislature. Another would require a case to be assigned to outside counsel if the attorney general has a conflict of interest.

National Weather Service

 

 

Temperatures across West Virginia could fall to their lowest levels in 18 years Monday night.

Below-zero temperatures are forecast around the state. Greg Guillot with the National Weather Service in Charleston says most of the state is expected to see the coldest temperatures since February 1996.

The weather service has issued for wind chill warnings for most of the state, effective Monday evening. Some areas could see wind chills of minus 30 degrees or lower.

eandi.org

A national moving company says West Virginia ranks high when it comes to people moving out of state.

The ranking is contained in the annual "Migration Study" compiled by United Van Lines. The study is based on the St. Louis moving company's business in the U.S.

The Daily Mail reports that the state ranked the fourth highest in the "high outbound" category. That involves residents who moved out of state.

New Jersey had the highest percentage off outbound moves last year. It was followed by Illinois and New York.

The stakes were high and the vote was close as Boeing production workers agreed to concede some benefits in order to secure assembly of the new 777X airplane for the Puget Sound region.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Boeing hailed Friday's vote, which proponents said solidifies the aerospace giant's presence in the Seattle area.

"Tonight, Washington state secured its future as the aerospace capital of the world," Inslee declared.

  A state official says a glitch in the federal health insurance marketplace has affected about 18,000 West Virginians trying to sign up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

Glen McCoy

KIMBALL, W.Va. (AP) — Hazardous material crews are cleaning up following a trail derailment.

Officials say at least 16 cars of the Norfolk Southern train derailed around 8:30 a.m. Friday in an area of McDowell County along U.S. Route 52. No evacuations were ordered and there were no injuries.

The train has five locomotives and 111 cars and is about 7,000 feet long. It was headed from Bellevue, Ohio to Linwood, N.C.

State emergency officials say booms are in place to prevent the tar leaking from a ruptured tanker car from going any farther down into Elkhorn Creek.

Charleston is on the verge of recording its lowest number of murders in two decades.

The Daily Mail reports that with less than a week left, the city has recorded just one murder in 2013. That's down from 10 last year.

Rick Haye, Marshall University Communications

West Virginia officials have launched a new online system to help improve reporting by local health departments.

Jessica Lilly

The state is providing a useful way for West Virginians to dispose of their Christmas trees.

The Department of Environmental Protection will collect trees and sink them in four West Virginia lakes to provide fish habitat. The Register-Herald reports that the department's ninth annual Christmas tree recycling event is set for Jan. 4 at the Capitol Market in downtown Charleston.

West Virginia Raptor Rehabilitation Center

The most prominent resident of a bird rehabilitation center in Fairmont has died.

Susan Sterner / whitehouse.gov

The Moorefield man who threatened the White House has been sentenced to 10 months in prison.

Federal prosecutors say 46-year-old Patrick S. Crites was remanded to the custody of U.S. marshals last week after being sentenced in U.S. District Court in Elkins.

Crites was charged with transmitting threatening communications in interstate commerce in November 2012.

The State Journal reports that Crites admitted to sending a threatening email to the White House.

region1workforcewestvirginia.org

Nearly 7,000 West Virginians who receive long-term federal unemployment benefits will be cut off at the end of the week.
 
     Without an extension, federal funding for the benefits will run out on Dec. 28. The benefits are available for people unemployed for at least 26 weeks.
 
     David Watson with Workforce West Virginia tells the Charleston Daily Mail that more than 1,300 recipients of federal jobless benefits live in Charleston. Huntington and Beckley each report more than 500 recipients.
 

Drug Enforcement Agency

West Virginia lawmakers are taking another look at the state's reimbursements to property owners for cleaning up methamphetamine labs.
 
     Under a 2007 law, the reimbursements are made through the Crime Victims Compensation Fund.
 

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

The unemployment rate fell in 41 of West Virginia's 55 counties in November.
 
     WorkForce West Virginia said Friday that unemployment rose in 13 counties and was unchanged in one.
 

Nyttend / wikimedia Commons

West Liberty University is getting a $24,760 grant from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection to continue its recycling efforts.
 

The school says the award will allow its voluntary recycling program to grow from its infancy into a full-fledged, mandatory program.

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