Breaking Local News
Workers who've lost wages or had work hours reduced because of a chemical spill in Charleston are getting help from the United Way. The United Way of Central West Virginia has created an emergency fund to help workers whose employers closed because of a lack of clean water. The organization says in a news release that it's accepting donations for the emergency fund. The organization also will serve as a conduit for emergency assistance agencies to provide help.
Nearly 48,000 West Virginia American Water customers, or roughly half of the customers affected by the recent chemical spill have been lifted from the do not use order. That came late Tuesday after the ban was lifted for areas in Kanawha and Putnam counties, including parts of Dunbar, Nitro, Poca, Bancroft, Winfield, Buffalo and Staves Branch. The online map shows exactly the areas that can begin flushing. A temporary local 24/7 hotline has been established at 855-390-4569 for additional clarification. For more, go to www.wsaz.com.
On the heels of the chemical spill and water use ban, the Department of Environmental Protection there were no problems with fish kills and there is no impact to aquatic life, animals or plant life in the river. When it comes to future spills, the DEP says they are doing an inventory across the state on storage facilities. They are developing proposals for more proper regulations. They say their main goal is to minimize the risk of a spill. When it comes to credit, West Virginia American Water says they will give residents credit for 1000 gallons of water, and most residents use about 3000 gallons per month. For more Charleston Kanawha Valley News, go to www.wsaz.com
After nearly four days not being able to use or consume water, the first zones began the flushing process Monday as Charleston and a nine-county area started to get back to normal. Outlying areas are still being tested, but others - starting with hospitals in West Virginia American Water's Zone 1 - were able to flush systems. A virtual map has been added to the West Virginia American Water website to show customers which ones have been given the go to flush their systems. On the website, if your address is in a blue section, you can start flushing. If your area is still in a red section, it is not time to flush. When you are in a blue area, turn on the hot for 15 minutes, then turn it off. Next, you will turn on the cold water for five minutes, then turn it off. Then you would be able to turn on your outside taps for five minutes. Further directions will be listed on the Governor's and West Virginia American Water's websites. You can also find out more at www.wsaz.com.
Now...what to do with all of those empty water bottles. Charleston Mayor Danny Jones says it's best to take them to West Virginia Recycling Services on Slack Street for now. A plan is in the works to set up special collection centers around the county. Charleston Town Center has a campaign of its own going on, and has challenged its 52 teen volunteers known as the Teen Board and Junior Board, to collect as many empty water bottles in the next seven days. The Boy Scouts are also collecting empty plastic water bottles at the Buckskin Council Headquarters at Daniel Boone Park and at the Cross Lanes United Methodist Church.
The Cold Spot convenience store on Cross Lanes Drive was robbed early Monday morning, and the Kanawha County Sheriff's office says the suspect feigned having a handgun and demanded cash. He left on foot with an undisclosed amount, described as a white male wearing a red hat, a brown work jacket, and gray sweatpants. He is approximately 5’8” tall. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office at 304-357-0556 during business hours to speak with detectives. A 24-hour number is 304-357-0169. Callers may remain anonymous.
A man convicted of first degree murder last fall has been sentenced. Tremale Straughter was sentenced to prison for life without mercy by Judge Jennifer Bailey. Straughter was convicted of first degree murder last November after shooting and killing Harold Donovan “Don Don” Taylor on February 14th of last year. The Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office was there within minutes of the shooting and eventually made the arrested after Straughter was apprehended on a traffic stop by others. More than 20 shots were fired from an AK-47 toward Mr. Taylor’s car, and those shots hit Taylor, his vehicle, and two nearby homes.
There's still no timetable when the water use ban will be lifted. Once the ban is lifted, West Virginia American Water will release an interactive map to allow customers to have a clear picture of their zone. West Virginia America Water plans to launch a 24 hour hotline to help customers figure out their zone as well. So far 10 people have been admitted to the hospital with symptoms from this chemical leak. None of them are in serious or critical condition. Another 169 have been treated and released from local hospitals. The governor plans to work with the Department of Environmental Protection and lawmakers to make sure this type of emergency never happens again. For more Charleston / Kanawha Valley news, go to WSAZ.COM
The numbers have improved, the the use ban is still in effect. Once acceptable readings are found the ban will be lifted by zones, and tests collected at 7 a.m. Sunday showed 0 parts per million. Governor Earl Ray Tomblin says the results are encouraging. Hundreds of samples have been taken and sent to 10 labs in West Virignia and some have been flown to Ohio and Pennsylvania for readings. There's still no timetable when the ban will be lifted. Once the ban is lifted, West Virginia American Water will release an interactive map to allow customers to have a clear picture of their zone. Downtown Charleston will be the first zone to get the green light. Kanawha City will be the second zone followed by South Charleston. The first zone includes 25,000 West Virginia American customers. The zones were selected in this order to get four major hospitals back to full operation. For more Charleston / Kanawha Valley news, go to WSAZ.COM
Two men have been arrested in connection with a robbery that turned into a shooting Sunday morning. It happened in the 300 block of Ruffner Avenue on Charleston's east end. 27-year old Isaiah White and 25-year old Shawn Lane were arrested and charged with malicious wounding and 1st degree robbery. Police say the victim, James Stewart, allowed the men inside his home to buy drugs, when they pulled out a handgun and tried to steal the drugs. One of the suspects shot Stewart in the chest. He has since undergone surgery and is listed in serious condition. For more information, go to WSAZ.COM