Breaking Local News

White Water Rafting Starts This Weekend

Many will be white water rafting this weekend in Fayetteville. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is opening the "tubes" of Summersville dam and that's expected to be a big draw. It's the first time in several years that the dam has been open. The Gauley river is considered among the best whitewater rivers in the state.

Hurricane and Putnam County Continue Fight Against MCHM

Hurricane and Putnam County working on strengthening their federal lawsuit against the Hurricane landfill that acceptedMCHM-contaminated wastewater mixed with sawdust several months ago. Both the county commission and the Hurricane City Council have passed ordinances within the past month that solidify the governments’ ability to declare the current presence of Crude MCHM and two other chemicals in the landfill a public nuisance, according to the Charleston Gazette. The lawsuit aims to force the Disposal Service landfill and its owner, Waste Management, to pay for removing the material.

Seat Belt Enforcement Campaign Starts Today

Make sure you're buckled up on the road. The annual Click It or Ticket campaign starts today and runs for a little more than two weeks. Law enforcement agencies including the Kanawha County Sheriff's Office will be cracking down on seat belt use, and other traffic violations. Click It or Ticket runs through Sept. 21.

New Pipeline Safety Director Announced

The Public Service Commission of West Virginia has named a new director for its Gas Pipeline Safety Division. Mary S. Friend was appointed this week, and comes from the U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration where she developed and taught courses for training federal and state pipeline inspectors. Past work includes some at West Virginia University Institute of Technology.

Football Player Suspended at WVSU

A West Virginia State football player has been suspended indefinitely, and one other is out for three games after an incident last month. The school isn't releasing many details, but said it happened at a student activities event last month, and it's still under investigation. Whatever it was, was in violation of the standards of student conduct at WVSU, according to the school.

Gas Prices Drop

Gasoline prices fell about 3 cents in West Virginia this week. AAA East Central says the average price for a gallon of regular was $3.41. That's 23 cents less per gallon compared with the same week a year ago. Prices range from about $3.27 in Parkersburg to $3.52 in Weirton. Gasbuddy.com says most of the prices at the pump in Charleston are in the upper $3.40s. Nationally, gas prices average $3.43 this week, about the same as the previous week.

Fire Safety the Focus at Schools

West Virginia officials are encouraging fire safety as students head back to school. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has proclaimed September as Campus Fire Safety Month in conjunction with the National Center for Campus Fire Safety. Tomblin says the month gives officials the opportunity to remind students of fire safety practices and ensure they have the knowledge and skills they need to protect themselves. The four common factors in deadly campus fires are: lack of fire sprinkler systems; missing or disabled smoke alarms; careless disposal of smoking materials and impaired judgment from alcohol use.

Fatal Accident The Result of Not Wearing a Seat Belt

There have been two fatal accidents on Kanawha County roads this week, and in both cases the person killed was not wearing a seat belt. On Tuesday, a husband was killed after being ejected through the back window of a vehicle his wife was driving. She was buckled in. And on Wednesday, there was an accident on I-79 South just before the Big Chimney exit near mile marker 7. The Kanwaha County Sheriff's office says the female driver was ejected and pronounced dead on the scene. She was not wearing a seatbelt. Meanwhile, Cpl. Brian Humphreys with the Kanawha County Sheriff's Office says they'll be participating in a Click-it or Ticket detail later this week:

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The effort is funded and coordinated by the Governor’s Highway Safety Program.

New Pedestrian Bridge Is Coming To the State Fairgrounds

The state plans to build a pedestrian tunnel to improve access to the State Fair of West Virginia's fairgrounds. The $2 million tunnel will run underneath southbound U.S. 219 in Fairlea. It will be located just north of an existing pedestrian bridge that links two parcels owned by the fair. State fair CEO Marlene Pierson-Jolliffe tells The Register-Herald the goal is to have the project completed by the 2015 fair. The tunnel will improve access to the fairgrounds for people with physical disabilities. The pedestrian bridge was built in 1975, before the Americans with Disabilities Act became law. Pierson-Jolliffe says the bridge is legal but a steep incline leading up to its crest can be difficult for some people to navigate.

Number Of Marijuana Arrests in WV Is High

Arrest figures show that a majority of drug arrests in West Virginia are for marijuana. A review of West Virginia drug arrests by The Charleston Gazette shows that more than half have been for marijuana since 2000. Charleston police Lt. Chad Napier says marijuana is one of the most commonly abused drugs. He says people arrested for other crimes often have marijuana in their possession. Matt Simon with the Marijuana Policy Project says West Virginia has more severe problems with other drugs, such as methamphetamine and prescription drugs. He says the Legislature should revisit penalties for marijuana and reconsider whether marijuana possession should be a crime.

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