Breaking Local News
A US Senate Commerce Committee hearing next week will cover the Sissonville gas pipeline explosion that happened Decmeber 11. A Sissonville woman whose home was damaged by the explosion will testify at the field hearing. U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller released the witness list for the hearing on Wednesday, and says Sue Bonham will testify first at the Jan. 28 hearing in Charleston. Other witnesses include National Transportation Safety Board chairwoman Deborah Hersman and NiSource Gas Transmission and Storage executive president Jimmy Staton.
Earlier this week we reported that Pratt residents were asked to conserve water, and that's still the case after low water levels were measure in the town's water tank Wednesday. Mayor Gary Fields says the town continues to battle water issues, and anytime the Kanawha River is low, the town battles issues with its pump. Now with the low water levels in the tank, conservation becomes key. Operators have been pumping water to try to refill the tank. Several spots around Pratt have reported low water pressure over the past couple of days.
Sissonville residents gathered Wednesday night at Aldersgate United Methodist Church to talk about issues including Second Amendment rights and gun control, plus the national gas pipeline explosion that occurred in December. A few of the victims of the pipeline explosion attended to talk about their experience and how they're moving on. The meeting was organized by state delegates and senators who represent Sissonville.
The 2013 West Virginia International Auto Show is coming to the Charleston Civic Center this Friday through Sunday. It will be a non-selling environment where you'll be able to see the latest vehicles, and even sit behind the wheels, inspect engines, and take a ride in some vehicles from Ford. A news release says the highly anticipated models that will be there include the Chevrolet Spark, Dodge Dart, Ford C-MAX, Lincoln MKZ, and Toyota Prius. Electric vehicles like the Chevrolet Volt, Nissan LEAF and Toyota Prius Plug-In will be featured too. Show hours are Friday, Jan. 25, and Saturday, Jan. 26, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 27, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Civic Center.
The West Virginia State trooper that had been in the hospital since New Year's Eve has been released from the hospital, according to reports from WBOY TV and MSNBC. Sgt. Aaron Nichols was injured while off duty, trying to apprehend a shoplifter at the Goody's Department Store in St. Albans. Nichols approached Jennifer Garretson in the parking lot and she struck him with her car. He was taken to CAMC with a serious head injury, and at times was on a ventilator. There's no timetable for Nichols' return to work as a state trooper.
A new Charleston Elementary school has yet to be named, and you still have time to offer your suggestions. The new school in Edgewood will be named this spring, and in the meantime the Kanawha County Board of Education is accepting recommendations. Submit your suggestion through a link on the main page of the Kanawha County Schools website by February 15th. There's also a community meeting coming up January 28th at Stonewall Jackson Middle School where parents can provide input.
The gas pipeline explosion in Sissonville in December changed the lives of several families when it destroyed their homes. NiSource Inc. is helping residents affected by that pipeline explosion buy new homes or repair homes that were damaged. NiSource is still working with some families, so the total amount spent isn't known yet. The explosion burned across Interstate 77 and destroyed four homes and damaged several others, but there were no serious injuries. In the interim period while the families are finding new homes, NiSource is also paying the hotel bills.
One man is dead and a woman was flown to Charleston Area Medical Center for treatment after an accident in Nicholas County Tuesday. A news release from the Nicholas County Sheriff's Department says 25-year old Tony Allen Lough of Craigsville was killed in the accident along Route 20 in Allingdale. 65-year old Patricia Doverspike of Richwood was flown to CAMC. The sheriff's department said Lough's car crossed into the opposite lane of traffic and struck a truck driven by Doverspike. Police are still investigating.
A Logan County-based ambulance crew was hurt Tuesday when their vehicle rolled over. The ambulance went over an embankment about 5:40 p.m. Tuesday on Hollywood Branch Road, just south of Madison. West Virginia State Police say two EMT's and a patient were taken to Logan Regional Hospital.
Relief is on the way for those struggling to pay utility bills this winter. The Department of Health and Human Resources has started accpeting applications for assistance through the Low Income Energy Assistance Program. Eligibile households are determined by using a number of factors including income, type of heating payment and total heating costs. The Southwestern Community Action Council is hosting an application seminar today in Huntington. The application period is open through February.
You can find more application information online at www.wvinroads.org