Breaking Local News

Services Today for Former Gov. Arch Moore

Expect a lot of traffic and activity around the Culture Center for the funeral of former Governor Arch Moore. The public memorial service takes place today from 9:30 to 11:30am at the Culture Center, and there will be a visitation tonight at Grisell's Funeral Home in Moundsville from 5:30 to 7:30pm. Another funeral service is set for tomorrow in Moundsville. Former Governor Moore is the father of US Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, and passed away January 7th. He served three terms as governor in West Virginia -- from 1969 to 1977 and from 1985 to 1989. He is the only governor to be elected to three terms.

Energy Law Is a Focus for State Lawmakers

The Republican-led Legislature wants to repeal state renewable energy standards that a power company official said could be met at no additional cost. A House of Delegates committee unanimously passed the Alternative and Renewable Energy Portfolio repeal Thursday. A Senate committee discussed it without voting. The portfolio requires generating 25 percent of electricity with renewable or alternative power sources by 2025. More efficient coal-burning technologies would qualify.

Thousands Sign Up for Health Insurance

More than 26,000 West Virginians have signed up for the health insurance marketplace under the program's second open enrollment. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says 26,236 people signed up ahead of the deadline Thursday for coverage starting Feb. 1.
For those who missed the deadline, an open enrollment period will extend until Feb. 15. If that deadline is missed, the earliest coverage for those seeking coverage would be 2016.

Safety Problems A Concern At Oak Hill Middle School

The state Board of Education is being urged to take immediate action to fix safety problems at an Oak Hill middle school. Several Fayette County residents addressed the board Wednesday at a meeting in Charleston. Fayette County Republican Delegate Tom Fast reminded the school board that it took control of the county school system in 2010, so it was up to the board to act quickly. Fayette County school officials closed Collins Middle School's main building on Monday, a month after a building housing the school's gym and a school-based health clinic was closed. Seventh- and eighth-graders are being moved to other schools. A third building housing fifth- and sixth-graders will remain open. Collins Middle School was built in 1950.

Suit Dismissed Against St. Albans Business Owner

A judge has dismissed a lawsuit that accused a St. Albans body shop owner of illegally installing junkyard parts on new vehicles. Greg Chandler tells the Charleston Daily Mail that he feels vindicated by the ruling. Former Attorney General Darrell McGraw filed the lawsuit in 2011 against Greg Chandler's Frame & Body and Liberty Mutual Insurance, alleging that Liberty's policy to use reconditioned, remanufactured or used parts for vehicle repairs violated state law. Kanawha County Circuit Court Judge Charles King dismissed the lawsuit on Monday.

Power Company Line To Add New Capacity

Appalachian Power is planning to upgrade a roughly 21-mile power line in Virginia and West Virginia. The company says that if approved by regulators in both states, it will upgrade the South Bluefield-Wythe transmission power line from a 69 kilovolt line to a 138 kilovolt line, and will likely cost between $70 million to $90 million. The original line was built in 1917. The Roanoke Times reports that most of the West Virginia work will be in Mercer County and won't start until 2016. They'll complete the project in 2018.

City National Bank Parts Ways With Insurance Division

City National Bank has sold its insurance operations to a Virginia company. City National's parent, City Holding Company, says in a news release that the sale of CityInsurance to The Hilb Group in Richmond, Virginia, was effective Jan. 1. The insurance group will continue to operate from City National's offices in the Charleston area and a branch in Beckley.

Application Period Opens Soon for Heating Assistance

Starting Jan. 26, the state will begin accepting applications for the low income energy assistance program. West Virginia Health and Human Resources secretary Karen L. Bowling says the application window will end Feb. 6. Eligibility for heating assistance benefits is based on income and household size, among other factors. Income must be at or below 130 percent of the federal poverty guideline for the household size. For a household of four, for example, allowable income tops off at about $2,500. Applications can be obtained at local Health and Human Resources offices, community action centers and senior centers.

Alpha CEO Leaves For Another Job

Alpha Natural Resources Inc. says president Paul Vining is resigning to become CEO of another coal-related company. Alpha said Tuesday that Vining is leaving the company effective Jan. 31. He'll become CEO of an affiliate of Cline Group that will be focused on acquiring and operating coal mines outside the U.S. Alpha says chief commercial officer Brian Sullivan and mining operations executive Keith Hainer will take on expanded responsibilities after Vining leaves.The company operates 60 affiliated coal mines throughout Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Wyoming.

Lawsuits Against Dug Companies Continue

A Boone County judge has denied a request to dismiss the state's lawsuit against a dozen drug distribution companies. Circuit Court Judge William Thompson ruled that the Department of Health and Human Resources and the Department of Military Affairs can sue the companies, but asked the agencies to add details to the lawsuit about how each company broke the law, according to the Charleston Gazette. Former Attorney General Darrell McGraw filed the lawsuit in 2012 and alleges that the companies failed to report suspicious prescription drug orders and didn't establish monitoring programs to stop the proliferation of drug sales.

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