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Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is urging federal officials to reconsider denying extra financial assistance after a January chemical spill. In a letter to federal emergency officials, Tomblin estimated a $61 million economic impact in the nine affected counties and a $72 million total impact. Restaurants lost profits while shuttered during the ban. The Federal Emergency Management Agency on Feb. 12 denied Tomblin's request for reimbursement for first responders, nonprofits and public agencies that assisted during the spill. FEMA said it determined additional assistance wasn't warranted because certain costs associated with response and recovery efforts weren't beyond the state and local governments' response and recovery capabilities.
The Kanawha County Sheriff's Office is investigating an accident that happened Tuesday night near Cross Lanes. Cpl B-D Humphreys says a car headed east on I-64 went onto the right shoulder, high a guardrail, and went over an embankment, and the driver was trapped inside. The female driver was extracated by rescuers and taken to the hospital, and the investigation into the cause of the crash is still under investigation. Weather was not a factor.
Three Calhoun County school employees have gone to court over the county Board of Education's decision to cancel spring break. The Charleston Gazette reports each employee filed a lawsuit Monday in Kanawha County Circuit Court against the county board and the state Board of Education. March 17-March 21 was recently changed to regular school days, and some employees already had travel plans. Like other West Virginia counties, Calhoun County has lost instructional days this winter because of harsh weather. State Superintendent of Schools Jim Phares says the change was designed to benefit students.
St. Patrick's Day is coming up Monday, and it will be a big weekend ahead of that on The East End. There are many activities planned for Saturday with the 3rd Annual East End St. Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl. There will be food, live music, and scores of people celebrating on The East End from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturday, according to information on Charleston East End Main Street’s website. There will be five East End pubs participating near the intersection of Washington Street East and Elizabeth Avenue from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. and four more pubs at the corner of Leon Sullivan Way and Lee Street from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Last year, almost 700 people registered and crawled around the streets of the East End and more are expected this year.
The West Virginia Supreme Court has rescheduled oral arguments and a moot court competition that were canceled because of a winter storm. The court had planned to hear four cases at the West Virginia University School of Law in Morgantown and judge the school's annual George C. Baker Cup competition on March 4. The events were canceled after a winter storm made road travel hazardous. The court says it will hear two of the cases on March 25 and two on March 26 in Charleston instead of Morgantown. The moot court competition also will be held in Charleston. It's set for March 26.
A 29-year old man from Hansford is charged with attempted burglary and violent crimes against the elderly after allegedly trying to break into a Kanawha County woman's home. An 81-year old woman reported someone trying to break into her home Monday, and the criminial complaint filed in Kanawha County Magistrate Court says he had a metal tire iron hidden in his clothes.
Organizers of the Taste of All Charleston festival have announced the date for their event this summer. Taste of All will happen Sunday, June 22 from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the Charleston Civic Center Grand Hall. They're celebrating FestivALL's 10the anniversary with a Chef Off featuring some of the best culinary talent in the area, and an amateur cake competition too. A news release says chain restaurants and those outside the area will have to get approval, but any Charleston restaurants can apply. FestivALL as a whole, is 10 days long with 130 events and 360 performances.
Budget woes continue, and now the Kanawha County Library Board of Directors has voted in favor of putting an excess levy on the November ballot. The school board will have to chime in, but a $3 million excess levy could be before voters this fall. An excess levy was defeated last year. The library is also requesting over $4 million in funding from the city of Charleston and the Kanawha County Commission.
Sentencing is coming up in April for a man who pleaded guilty to conspiracy in connection with a robbery at a Rite Aid in the summer of 2012. The store in South Charleston initially reported a shoplifting incident, and when a clerk noticed a bottle of liquor being stolen the clerk tried to intervene, and was assulted. Dominque Sanders said the clerk was fighting with a woman and he left the store with a bottle of liquor. He'll face one to five years in prison when he's sentenced April 30.
The National Transportation Safety Board said in a new report released Monday that the natural gas pipeline that ruptured in 2012 near Sissonville could have been prevented. The NTSB said the rupture was caused by external corrosion that could have been discovered by the pipeline operator, and added that it took ten minutes for the operator to realize it was a rupture, despite alerts that the pressure in the pipeline was starting to deteriorate. Three homes were destroyed and part of Interstate 77 was burned after the pipeline ruptured. More than an hour passed before the pipeline was shut down. . The NTSB issued three safety recommendations to the Columbia Gas Transmission Corporation and one to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration as a result of the report.