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Hurricane is offering free smoke alarms to residents. City marking and development manager Vanessa Ervin tells the Charleston Gazette that city workers will install the alarms at no charge, but you have to apply by Feb. 13th. The alarm offer comes in the wake of a November fire in Scott Depot that killed two children, and since then the city has used a state grant to buy 400 alarms, and have taken donations of alarms in an effort led by the Boy Scouts Troop 236 at Forrest Burdette Memorial Methodist Church.
Kanawha County is one of three West Virginia counties that will share more than $835,000 in federal hazard mitigation funding. The Federal Emergency Management Agency awarded the grants to Kanawha, Greenbrier and Tucker counties. The West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management says the grant in Kanawha County will be used to acquire property in South Charleston and to elevate houses out of the floodplain in Parsons and Pulp Bottom. Funding was sought following the 2012 derecho, Hurricane Sandy and flooding in Mason and Roane counties.
The Fayette County Board of Education wants state approval to inspect all of the district's school buildings. The request comes in the wake of the Jan. 12 closure of Collins Middle School's main building because of safety concerns. A month earlier, a building housing the school's gym and a school-based health clinic was closed. Board members are sending a letter to the West Virginia Department of Education asking for approval of comprehensive structural inspections and air quality inspections. The school system has been under the state's control since 2010.
A report by the Economic Policy Institute says the average manufacturing worker makes nearly $3 more an hour than other workers in West Virginia. The report says that the average manufacturing worker makes $19.02 an hour compared with $16.31 for other workers. That's an annual wage difference of more than $5,600 a year. Manufacturing jobs make up more than 6 percent of total state employment in West Virginia. Nationally, West Virginia ranks 35th in the country by share of manufacturing jobs. In total numbers, West Virginia ranks 39th in manufacturing jobs with 48,500.
Vendors that thave less than two years of experience and are interested in farmers markets in West Virginia have the chance to be part of a training program. The program is taking applications through February 15th and you can see more at http://wvfarmers.org/new-vendor-launch.
Firefighters in Belle raised over four thousand dollars for a local girl fighting a tumor. Her family is going to travel out of state so 4-year old Harley Tucker can receive treatment, so the Belle Volunteer Fire Department held a barbecue fundraiser Saturday to help them. Harley's dad is the fire chief at the East Bank Fire Department.
After a church suffered a fire and was ruled a total loss, it has a new building to work with. Another church is loaning a vacant building to the Church of Deliverance United Holy Church after an intentional fire destroyed the place it had been. The fire was set on Martin Luther King Day, and the State Fire Marshal's Office has ruled it arson. The Charleston Gazette reports St. Albans United Methodist Church donate the vacant St. Luke United Methodist Church so the congrgation impacted by the fire would have a place to gather. The investigation continues into the fire at the Church of Deliverance, but so far there have been no arrests.
St. Albans police are trying to catch two people who used a stolen credit card at K-Mart. The purchase was denied and the white male suspect left the store, wearing a red cap at the time. The card was stolen from Kelley's Cafe in Nitro the night before and police say stolen cards from that wallet have been used in several spots around St. Albans and Nitro. Anyone that can help solve the crime should call St. Albans police, or submit a tip at www.saintalbanspolice.com.
Craft beer lovers could score samples on brewery tours or fill growlers to take home for later under a push by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin. This week lawmakers filed the craft beer bill Tomblin mentioned in his State of the State address last week, and it would let craft breweries give free samples during tours. Breweries could sell up to four growlers per day, per customer. Right now, only licensed brewpubs can sell growlers. The bill would provide some relief from fees for the craft beer industry, and brewpubs also would no longer need to provide a bond for their licenses.
The Bridge Day Commission has decided to require BASE jumpers, rappellers and vendors to undergo finger scans. The commission voted unanimously this week to require the scans, saying they're less intrusive than the festival's current background checks. Several jumpers criticized the requirement during the meeting's public comment segment saying it was insulting. Alan Lewis of Tennessee is organizing an alternative event in Twin Falls, Idaho, which he says is more friendly for jumpers. BASE stands for building, antenna, span and Earth, the fixed objects from which jumpers leap with a parachute.