Governor Earl Ray Tomblin

Water Ban Lifted
1:52 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

West Virginia American Water: 'Zones' Become 'Areas', More Cleared

West Virginia American Water President Jeff McIntyre announces on Monday, January 13th that the do not use order has been listed for the first of several zones and the flushing process can begin.
Credit Scott Finn / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Updated: January 14, 2014 at 10:30 a.m.

From West Virginia American Water's Facebook page:

As West Virginia American Water proceeds with the lifting of Do Not Use, we will refer to the localities being lifted as "areas." Yesterday, we used the term "zones" to describe the four primary locations close to the Kanawha Valley treatment plant where we were able to lift the ban and ensure that the transition did not disrupt our production and distribution system.

The areas where we are lifting the Do Not Use orders are based on pressure zones, and the order of the lift announcements are determined by where acceptable test results obtained from samples have been confirmed. If you have any questions when a new Do Not Use lift is issued, please refer to the map listed under “Do Not Use Water” section of our website at

Updated: January 13, 2014 at 9:52 p.m.

Zone Four in North Charleston has been cleared for the flushing process to begin as of 9 p.m. If you have questions about whether your home or business has been approved for the flush process, see West Virginia American Water's interactive map:

Also, the water company announced the fourth  zone will end Monday's flushing process for  the day. More zones will be approved for flushing Tuesday.

From West Virginia American Water's Facebook page:

"After lifting the "do not use" order for 26,000 customers today, the system needs time to settle so our operators can measure how it is reacting to the flushing activity. Therefore, we will not lift any additional zones tonight. We will provide updates on the next lift zone early Tuesday morning. Thank you for your continued patience and cooperation."

Updated: January 13, 2014 at 7:14 p.m.

Zone 3, containing most of South Charleston, has now been cleared to start flushing systems within their homes and cleaning appliances. Make sure you are checking the West Virginia American Water interactive map to make sure your zone's advisory has been lifted before beginning the flushing process. The map can be found at the link below.

 Updated: January 13, 2014 at 5:49 p.m.

Through a news release, Facebook, and Twitter, West Virginia American Water has announced the ban on the second zone has been lifted, which includes nearly all of the Kanawha City area.

Customers of the water company are urged not to begin the flushing process until their zone is approved. To find out if your zone is ready for the flushing process, refer to West Virgina American Water's interactive map on their website here:

Original Story Posted January 13, 2014 at 1:52 p.m.

A ban on tap water has been lifted in part of West Virginia that was hit by a chemical that spilled into a river and tainted the water supply.
     Gov. Earl Tomblin made the announcement at a news conference Monday, five days after about 300,000 people were told not to drink, wash or use the water in any way other than to flush their toilets.
     Officials are lifting the ban in a strict, methodical manner to help ensure the water system is not overwhelmed by excessive demand, which could cause more water quality and service issues.
     The water crisis started Thursday when the chemical used in coal processing leaked from a Freedom Industries plant into the nearby Elk River.
     It's still not clear exactly what caused a tank to start leaking the chemical.

West Virginia American Water has set up a website for customers to find out if their zone has been approved. Customers have also been told they can call a toll free number if they need assistance in identifying which zone they reside. That

The water company has also provided highly detailed step-by-step instructions for customers to refer to once their zone has been cleared for the flushing process.

Chemical Leak
10:29 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

End of Outage May Be in Sight for Water Customers, Businesses

Customers line up at the Steak Escape on Corridor G, one of the first restaurants to open after a chemical leak contaminated the water supply of nine counties.
Credit Ashton Marra

John Kaiser of Dunbar has been without water since Thursday. No dishes, no laundry, no shower just like 300,000 other West Virginians.

But Sunday, you could say, was a better day for Kaiser. Sunday one of his three Kanawha County restaurants—a Steak Escape connected to a gas station on Corridor G—was allowed to reopen.

“You had to submit a plan to the health department of how you would meet their standards,” he said. “We did that and they came out (Saturday) night, did a walk through, did an inspection and they approved us.”

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Chemical Leak
5:59 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

AUDIO: Tomblin's Sunday Briefing / Water Company to Establish Website for Clearing 'Zones'

West Virginia American Water President Jeff McIntyre addresses the media at a news briefing at the State Captiol Saturday, January 12, 2014.

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.

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Chemical Leak
12:22 am
Sun January 12, 2014

Testing Results Show Downward Trend in Water Contamination

Col. Greg Grant explains the water testing process during a press conference at the Capitol Saturday night.
Credit Ashton Marra

It’s been nearly three days since a “do not use” water advisory was issued for more than 300,000 people in the Kanawha Valley, but now officials are saying the end may be in sight.

It took a team of chemists from the National Guard a full day to produce a method testing the amount of crude MCHM in the water at the contaminated treatment facility.  The chemical is used in a coal washing process and leaked into the water supply Thursday morning from a storage tank along the Elk River.

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West Virginia Morning
11:59 am
Thu January 9, 2014

The State of the State Address, Pay Raises for Teachers, Food Bank Still Needing Donations

  Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin delivers his state of the state address. Its highlights include: a pay raise for teachers and state employees, among many other issues. 

  Also, the Huntington Food Bank talks about the post holiday demands on its resources.

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Public Education
9:39 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Union Leader Says 2 Percent a Start in Teacher Pay Raise

West Virginia Education Association President Dale Lee
Credit WVEA

Governor Tomblin announced a 2 percent pay raise for teachers during his State of the State Address, but union representatives say the state needs more to keep quality teachers in the classrooms.

West Virginia Education Association President Dale Lee said he was glad to hear education is still a top priority for the governor this legislative session, but thinks more can be done for teacher pay.

“We will continue to work with the House and Senate to see if we can improve on that two percent realizing that it’s a starting point,” he said Wednesday.

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State of the State
8:39 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Tomblin Focused on Fiscal Responsibility, Education

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin issues his State of the State Address in the House Chamber. Seated behind him are Senate President Jeff Kessler and newly elected House Speaker Tim Miley.
Credit Martin Valent/WV Legislature Office of Public Information

In his fourth State of the State address, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin touted his administration's accomplishments over the past year, including multiple multi-million dollar investments made by some major international corporations in the final months of 2012.

But his main focus was moving the state forward, his goals for the upcoming legislative session, and, perhaps most importantly, his thoughts on how to accomplish those goals in an obviously tight budget year.

“Governing, like gardening, takes planning, patience and foresight,” Tomblin began.

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2014 Legislature
8:08 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Gov. Tomblin's State of the State Address: Full Text & Audio

Credit Jessica Wintz / Facebook

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin  delivered the 2014 State of the State Address Wednesday night in the House Chamber at the State Capitol.  

      Gov. Tomblin’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, are included below:


"Mr. Speaker, Mr. President, Members of the Legislature, Members of the Board of Public Works, Justices of the Supreme Court of Appeals, Members of the State Board of Education, distinguished guests, and my fellow West Virginians.

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Governor's Address
9:37 am
Wed January 8, 2014

The State of the State 2014

Governor Tomblin delivered the State of the State address Wednesday, January 8 at 7 p.m. You can watch the archived video of the address right here.

Judicial Appointments
10:41 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Panel Recommends Replacements for Two W.Va. Judges

An advisory panel is recommending two Mingo County public defenders as potential candidates to replace former Circuit Court Judge Michael Thornsbury.
     The Judicial Vacancy Advisory Commission submitted the names of Teresa McCune and Jonathan Jewel to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin on Tuesday.

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Salem Correctional Center
10:27 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Salem Facility Transitions to Adult Prison

A panoramic view of a unit in the Salem Correctional Center.
Ashton Marra

After a lawsuit criticizing the Salem Industrial Home for Youth last year, the home was ordered closed and its juvenile residents transferred to other facilities throughout the state.

But that wasn’t the end for the Harrison County location. The Division of Corrections has worked over several months to transition the facility and its counselors from one for youth to one that now focuses on the rehabilitation of adult males.

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West Virginia Morning
11:03 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Memories of Flying in WWII on this WV Morning

The children of the Appalachian Children's Cantare Chorus of Southern West Virginia perform on the north steps of the Capitol.
Credit Ashton Marra

On this WV Morning, World War II veteran William Sherman Beard of Hillsboro, West Virginia remembers flying B-24s over Europe. West Virginia University's Board of Governors is continuing its search for an interim president, and Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and First Lady Joanne Jaeger Tomblin were joined by hundreds of West Virginians at the Capitol complex to celebrate their annual holiday gathering, 'Joyful Night.'

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Holiday Celebrations
11:28 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

Governor Celebrates a 'Joyful Night'

The children of the Appalachian Children's Cantare Chorus of Southern West Virginia perform on the north steps of the Capitol.
Ashton Marra

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and First Lady Joanne Jaeger Tomblin were joined by hundreds of West Virginians at the Capitol complex to celebrate their annual holiday gathering, 'Joyful Night.'

The evening was full of musical performances, a reading of "Twas the Night Before Christmas," and the lightning of not one, but two Christmas trees.

Performances included:

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West Virginia Morning
10:03 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Gov. Tomblin Visits a Macy's Fulfillment Center, Part Two on The Fairfax Stone, & Melvin Goins

Credit Mikeroetto / wikimedia Commons

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin visits a Macy's fulfillment center in Berkeley on Cyber Monday, the second part of a story on the battle over the Fairfax Stone on the West Virginia/Maryland border, and West Virginia Music Hall of Fame inductee Melvin Goins speaks about his upbringing in the state and his career that took him elsewhere.

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Fifty Years Later
3:53 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Governor Commemorates 50th Anniversary of Kennedy Assassination

First Lady Joanne Jaeger Tomblin and Governor Earl Ray Tomblin reveal the plaque dedicated to President John F. Kennedy in the state Capitol.
Ashton Marra

Governor Tomblin and his wife Joanne honored the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy a day early by rededicating a plaque that hangs in the lower rotunda of the Capitol.

The symbol commemorates Kennedy’s speech delivered on the Capitol steps June 20, 1963, celebrating West Virginia’s 100th birthday.

On that rainy summer day, the President began his remarks by saying, “The sun doesn’t always shine in West Virginia, but the people do.”

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Economic Development
3:32 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

New Jackson County Plant to Bring 60 Jobs

Carbonyx CEO Sid Gaur and Governor Tomblin announced the company's plans to open a new facility in Jackson County at the Capitol.
Credit Ashton Marra

Governor Tomblin made his third major jobs announcement in two weeks Tuesday in Charleston. A supplier for the steel industry, the newest company locating in West Virginia will not just create jobs, but also heavily rely on coal to do it.

“Today, 60 more West Virginians will have good paying jobs and the coal industry will have a new customer,” Tomblin said.

He made the announcement surrounded by executives from Carbonyx International USA and representatives of the state Department of Commerce.

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9:12 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Holiday Event Set for Dec. 3 at State Capitol

Credit Governor's Office /

West Virginia's annual Joyful Night celebration is set for Dec. 3.
     Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced that the holiday event at the State Capitol Complex is free and open to the public.
     Activities begin at the North Plaza with music by two high school bands. Tomblin and First Lady Joanne Jaeger Tomblin will then light a tree donated by Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Fisher of Charleston, followed by a performance by a children's chorus.

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Prison Overcrowding
9:09 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Rehabilitation Programs at Regional Jails Could Save State Millions

Senator Donald Cookman questions Governor Tomblin's Deputy General Counsel Joseph Garcia during a legislative interim meeting at the Capitol.
Credit Ashton Marra

A law signed by Governor Tomblin in April is already having its intended effect of decreasing the state’s prison population. Legislators meeting this week in Charleston got an update on how Senate Bill 371, the governor’s prison reform bill, is doing.

State lawmakers are presented with projections all the time. The projected annual revenue, for example, is constantly talked about within the corridors of the Capitol because in recent years, those projections have shown major declines in funds.

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Economic Development
5:08 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Italian manufacturer bringing 250 jobs to Wayne County

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin announced Sogefi USA's plan to add 250 additional jobs at its Prichard, W.Va., plant.
Credit Ashton Marra

An Italian based automotive parts manufacturer announced plans to more than double the work force of their West Virginia location. Sogefi USA will add 250 jobs to their Wayne County plant as they create a new line of parts for General Motors vehicles.

“Today, thanks to our collaborative efforts and hard work, 250 West Virginians can look forward to good paying new jobs,” Governor Tomblin said as he made the announcement at Sogefi USA’s manufacturing plant in Wayne County Tuesday morning.

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W.Va. Turnpike
5:13 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Should the state keep tolls on the W.Va. Turnpike after 2019?

Parkways Authority Board members Bill Seaver and William Cipriani during a meeting in Charleston over the shoulder of General Manager Greg Barr.
Credit Ashton Marra

As the state moves closer to paying off its bond debt associated with the West Virginia Turnpike, lawmakers are starting to consider what to do with the roadway. The ideas being discussed in the halls of the Capitol, however, always make their way a few miles down I-77 to the state Parkways Authority’s headquarters.

A bill originally introduced during the 2013 Legislative Session is being hashed out by legislators during interim meetings. Co-sponsored by Senator Bill Cole of Mercer County, he says it helps diminish the burden on the Turnpike counties.

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