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A group of cyclists are going coast to coast this summer, with more to their mission than just good health and fitness. The non-profit group is stopping along the way in different cities to build houses, working with organizations like Habitat for Humanity. There is a house under construction with the Kanawha-Putnam chapter of Habitat for Humanity in north Charleston, and they bicyclists pitched in to help build that home Saturday, while raising awareness about the need for high quality, affordable housing.
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey says federal regulators don't have authority to implement a wide-reaching scale-back on carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants. He says since coal plants are covered elsewhere in the Clean Air Act, the EPA can't further regulate them. The assertions were made Friday in a letter to the EPA Administrator. Morrisey says EPA relies on a technical error made when Congress amended the act in 1990. The rule aims to curb global warming by cutting emissions by 30 percent nationally by 2030, compared to 2005. West Virginia would have to drop emissions by 19.8 percent by 2030, compared to 2012. Morrisey says he will take any legal actions necessary against the rule.
Police caught up with a drug dealer from Detroit and arrested him. Dominique T'earl Hyman was taken into custody after a heroin bust in Putnam County. He's been charged with possession with intent to deliver heroin and also faces charges out of Detroit. The heroin was found at a home in Buffalo in Putnam County.
The independent research group WV TAP, suggests sampling water in 720 West Virginia homes for MCHM. The group sampled 10 homes in February for crude MCHM after the January 9th chemical spill. Each contained chemical traces, but the concentrations were about 675 times weaker than what federal officials call safe to drink. The researchers say sampling 720 homes would provide a good idea of whether affected households are chemical-free. It is unclear how much additional testing would cost taxpayers. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's administration is awaiting WV TAP's final report before determining next steps.
West Virginians who obtain concealed handgun permits won't have to undergo additional background checks when they buy firearms from licensed dealers. Attorney General Patrick Morrisey says the state's concealed handgun licensing process now qualifies as an alternative to the Brady Law's background check requirements. The exemption applies to permits issued on or after Wednesday. Morrisey says residents who have permits issued before Wednesday will have to contact the sheriff of the county in which they live to qualify their permits as alternatives to the federal background check requirements
Girl Scouts had quite the opportunity Thursday, to hear First Lady Joanne Jaeger Tomblin speak. The First Lady was part of a panel at the Girl Scout Volunteer Resource Center in West Charleston, joined on the panel Joyce McConnell, Dean of WVU College of Law, and Marlene Pierson-Jolliffe, CEO for the State Fair of West Virginia. All of the women spoke about things women can do to be effective leaders.
The cost of college is going up next year. West Virginia University's Board of Governors has approved an 8 percent tuition increase for in-state students. Tuition for out-of-state students will increase by 4 percent. The increases were approved at the board's meeting Thursday at Jackson's Mill in Weston. In-state students will pay $6,960 in tuition per year. Out-of-state tuition will rise to $20,424 per year. Board members also boosted need-based scholarship aid by $1.5 million and approved a $980 million budget for the next fiscal year.
The West Virginia Ethics Commission won't act yet on whether or not lawmakers can spend taxpayer dollars on mailings. Costs have gone up in the past year with increased mailings, especially from the House of Delegates, and whether than decide right now what to do about it, the ethics commissions tabled their decision, wanting to do more research first. The Ethics Commission also voted Thursday to fire its executive director, and gave no reason for her termination.
The 911 call reporting an infant's death has been released as invesigators continue to try to learn more about how the baby died. The baby was found dead two weeks ago in a car seat in Kanawha City, and officers have said there were multiple skull fractures and blood coming from his nose and ears. WCHS TV reports a hammer was discovered at the home. 27-year old Robert Jeremy Smith told officers he dropped the 5-week old boy, and the 911 call reports the same thing. Police want to know why Smith waiting over 24 hours to report the death. The investigation continues.
High water was reported in several places with Wednesday's storms. South Charleston, and St. Albans were two spots that saw too much rain to soak it all up. There are also reports of downed trees and power outages. American Electric Power said at one point there were more than 600 without power in Kanawha County, and a hundred or so in Mingo, Putnam, and Lincoln Counties.