Breaking Local News
The jobless rate continues to improve. West Virginia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell two-tenths of a percentage point to 7.3 percent in November. WorkForce West Virginia says the number of jobless residents fell by 1,500 to 58,700, but total employment also dropped by 900. There was a job gain in the service-providing sector, but that was offset by the loss of 1,200 jobs in the goods-producing sector.
The usual spot for the governor's inauguration party won't host it this year. The Charleston Civic Center has been the spot for the inauguration party for more than three decades, but this time around the event will be at the Clay Center. The governor's inauguration committee selected the venue, but Tomblin spokeswoman Amy Schuler-Goodwin says the decision ultimately came down to the governor and first lady Joanne Jaeger Tomblin and she's not sure why one place was chosen over the other. The inauguration party is set for January 14th.
There are big problems at the Kanawha-Charleston Animal Shelter. Two animals have come down with the contagious disease distemper, and the facility is closed for at least three weeks, according to the agency's facebook page. The Charleston Gazette reports the disease also means about 80 dogs will be euthanized. There will be an emergency board meeting this morning at the shelter to come up with alternatives to euthanasia.
Another West Virginia Senatory is speaking out about gun violence. A day after Sen. Joe Manchin said it was time for an honest conversation about gun restrictions, U.S. Sen, Jay Rockefeller issued a statement calling on Congress to immediately act to protect children and families from gun violence. In the statement, Sen. Rockefeller said making sure children and families are safe each and every day should be our top priority. About the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings, he said, "Friday’s unspeakable actions are another stark wakeup call that we must do more. This is not the time for soft words and empty promises, but a call for strong action.
In the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy, Senator Joe Manchin has come out in favor of gun control legislation, and has at the very least opened the door for conversations about it. Manchin is an avid hunter and lifelong member of the National Rifle Association, and says it's time for all sides in the gun policy debate to talk honestly and openly about reasonable restrictions on guns. Because of that stance, a pro-Second Amendment group is planning a protest this Saturday morning at Manchin's Charleston office.
Dick's Sporting Goods says it will stop selling certain semi-automatic rifles at its stores across the country, and at the store closest to Newtown, Connecticut, Dicks says it is removing all guns from its store. The national media has reported that the gunman tried to buy a gun from Dick's in the city of Danbury about 12 miles away from Newtown. Investigators have yet to verify that and Dick's says based on its records, that no guns were sold to the gunman. There's no word if Dick's Sporting Goods will stop selling the semi-automatice rifles permanently, or if this is a temporary plan.
The Kanawha County Recycling Center has signed a new 5-year lease. The center on Slack Street closed in March because of structural problems, and Tuesday the Solid Waste Authority approved a lease with West Virginia Recycling that will allow the company to take over the center and pay the Solid Waste Authority $5.50 for every ton of recycling that is processed there. The takeover brings with it renovation plans for the Slack Street facilty and some new equipment. The current employees at the Slack Street center can apply for jobs with West Virginia Recycling.
Two schools in Charleston have full-time resource officers, but in the wake of the disturbing shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, Charleston police are increasing patrols near city schools. There is no threat and no reason for alarm, but police will be spending more time patrolling near schools, and may do walk-throughs throughout the rest of this week.
The only daily American Red Cross blood donation center in the area is closing. The Red Cross plans to close the center in Charleston on Dec. 31st, meaning donors in the Kanawha Valley will have to go to either a one-day local blood drive or travel to other blood donation centers in the state. The closure is meant to reduce costs and increase efficiency for the Red Cross, and will mean the loss of a job for 45 workers in the Kanawha Valley. Huntington, Morgantown, Parkersburg and Wheeling will still operate daily blood donation centers.
In the wake of the shooting at Connecticut's Sandy Hook Elementary, US Sen. Joe Manchin says it's time for an honest look at gun policy. Manchin is an avid hunter and lifelong member of the National Rifle Association, and says it's time for all sides in the gun policy debate to talk honestly and openly about reasonable restrictions on guns. The massacre that killed twenty first grade students and six adults has some Democrats calling for a ban on military-style assault weapons and a look at how the nation deals with individuals suffering from serious mental illness. Manchin said. "Anybody that's a proud gun owner, a proud member of the NRA, they're also proud parents, they're proud grandparents. They understand this has changed where we go from here."