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A contest is on to design the famous Charleston Top-O-Rock home. The home made headlines last year when it was vandalized, and it's been vacant or a long time. A community and economic development specialist at West Virginia State University has been working with property owners to figure out what to do with the home, and a press release from WVSU says a competition has opened up that will give teams the chance to explore plans that include historic preservation, adaptive and sustainable land reuse for public benefit, business or education innovation. The contest runs through May 8th, and you can see more at www.toporockwv.com. Awards of $2,500, $1,000 and $500 will be give to the winning teams.
State senators have backed away from repealing the Common Core educational standards. A Senate committee voted Monday to drop the repeal and study English and math standards further. In the amended bill, the state schools superintendent will suggest any changes after a comprehensive review ending in 2017. The review group would include a parent, teachers union, school administrators and a board member, lawmakers and others, and the group will hold town hall meetings. The bill prohibits using two Common Core exams after the 2016-2017 school year, unless the law is changed. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said Monday he supports maintaining the standards to measure what students learn year-to-year.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has signed a bill letting first responders, friends and family administer potentially life-saving medication to people overdosing on opioids, including heroin. The new law becomes effective in 90 days. Both chambers passed the bill without opposition. First responders, police, firefighters, people at risk of overdosing and their family, friends and caretakers can carry the treatment, and family and friends will have to take the patient to a medical facility after administering the drug.
The state Fire Marshal’s office is investigating after a fire near Clendenin killed one person on Monday. The fire broke out sometime after 9am Monday on the Left Fork of Leatherwood Road, and since the fire chief for the Clendenin Volunteer Fire Department lives nearby he was able to get there quickly. Clendenin, Frame and Pinch fire departments responded, and although the flames were quickly brought under control, one person died in the fire. That person's body was found inside as the flames were being put out. The investigation into the cause of the fire continues.
Public comments have been rolling in over new K-12 science standards, and since it will take awhile to process the high volume of comments, a vote that had been scheduled for this week by the West Virginia Board of Education has been delayed. A spokesperson said the department has received around 7,000 and each one has to be read and logged. So, the Charleston Gazette reports the expected vote will be pushed back until next month. The new science standards deal with whether or not greenhouse gas emissions are driving global warming.
Mayor Danny Jones won Saturday's Republican Primary, and now Jones will face off against Democratic primary winner Paul Monroe. The general election is coming up May 16th.
It'll cost $100,000 a person for breakfast at a fundraiser for a conservative group that has boosted Republicans. That's likely one of the highest-priced — if not the highest-priced — political fundraising event ever in West Virginia. An invitation obtained by The Associated Press says the Go West Virginia Inc. breakfast will be Tuesday in Charleston. It says donors won't be publicly disclosed. The politically active nonprofit bought advertisements bashing Democrats last election. It held a $25,000-a-plate fundraiser in January.
The Kanawha County Sheriff's Office is still investigating a missing person from the Jefferson and Saint Albans areas. 33-year old Francis Ann Wartenburg was last seen on Sunday, February 22, 2015. In a photo released by the sheriff's office she's seen with short brown hair and brown eyes. Anytime a person is missing for that length of time there is cause for concern, and the sheriff's office says they have received some tips, but have not yet located Wartenburg. If you have information please call 304-357-0169. Information can also be submitted at www.kanawhasheriff.us/law-enforcement/tips.
The four major ski resorts -- Canaan Valley, Snowshoe Mountain, Timberline and Winterplace -- all picked up a half-foot or more of snow on Thursday. West Virginia Ski Areas Association spokesman Joe Stevens says it's a boost to late-season skiing in what's already been a strong year. Stevens says the timing of the storm was good for the industry. Highway crews will be able to plow interstates and other roads leading to the resorts before skiers arrive for the weekend. He says Thursdays are considered light check-in days at the resorts. If the storm had arrived on today, many skiers would have had travel problems since many come from out of state.
Gun rights supporters turned out at the Capitol despite the weather Thursday, to support a bill that would allow anyone in West Virginia, age 18 and older, to carry a concealed weapon without a permit. The Charleston Gazette reported members of the West Virginia Citizen’s Defense League filled the House chamber to speak at a public hearing on a bill that would repeal the state’s concealed weapons permit requirement. If the bill should pass, permits would no longer be required, but the process would stay in place for reciprocity agreements to carry in other states. Members of the West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence spoke against the bill. The House Judiciary Committee plans to consider the bill today or sometime this weekend.