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The Kanawha County Sheriff's office is still investigating a Friday death in Malden. When EMS arrived, 31-year old Jeffrey Cook was lying on his back and two people were performing CPR. Paramedics took over, but Cook couldn't be revived. The brother, 28-year old Jason Alan Cook became beligerent during that time, according to the sheriff's office, and pushed a deputy backwards. He was eventually handcuffed and taken to South Central Regional Jail. The cause of death remains under investigation, but does not appear to be suspicious.
There's no open burning right now in West Virginia. Governor Earl Ray Tomblin issued the burn ban Friday, saying a combination of dry conditions, scarce water supplies, and emergency personnel focusing on the recovery effort all went into the decision. The ban will continue until West Virginia's state of emergency is lifted.
A looter has been arrested after taking copper and aluminum wire from a storm ravaged area. Boone County Deputies arrested 22-year-old Robert Graham Powers, of Seth, after finding stolen wire at his home. Damaging a public utility is a felony that can lead to one to three years in prison and up to a $5000 fine. Deputies reported finding several hundred pounds of copper and aluminum wire at Powers' home. Workers from Appalachian Power confirmed it belongs to them.
More than 220,000 in West Virginia are still without power, and that's including the 20,000 or so that lost power after the latest round of storms Thursday. More than 40,000 in Kanawha County are still in the dark, with the estimate to have power restored still Sunday, July 8. It will be tomorrow before the power is back on for over 4000 in Logan County. Lincoln County still has more than 4000 in the dark too. The power should come back on today in Putnam County. AEP has the latest outage information on their website.
West Virginia is getting money that will go toward healthcare. The state gets more than $7 million in federal funds for health care and public health preparedness, which is part of a $971 million package awarded this week by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to all states. About a third of West Virginia's share will go to the Hospital Preparedness Program for health care systems. The rest supports preparedness of state and local public health systems
Much of the damage from last Friday's storms is still being assessed as folks wait for the power to come back on. Damage to schools has sort of been under the radar since school is out for the summer, but we do know shingles were torn off some school roofs, and any food that was stored in freezers has rotted. One school in Harrison County suffered serious damage to its roof, but it looks like for the most part schools in Kanawha, Putnam, Logan, and surrounding counties have been spared. Wind did take the roof off the concession stand at the Nitro High football field.
Charleston's Yeager Airport is getting money for runway improvements. U.S. Senaotrs Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin announced $3.6 million in grant funds this week, which came from the Federal Aviation Administration's Airport Improvement Program. The program makes money available for weather observation stations, environmental studies, and airfield lighting, in addition to runway improvements.
A fire at a home on Walnut Street on Charleston's west side early yesterday gutted the home, and firefighters don't yet know exactly what caused the blaze. No one was home at the time of the fire, and investigators have said there was no power to the house at the time. The investigation continues.
The power outages have led to massive amounts of spoiled food across the area, and drop off locations have been set up now to help people get rid of it. The Kanawha County Commission is working with the Solid Waste Authority to set up dumpsters from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Friday. These should be used or spoiled food only. You can find the dumpsters now at Clendenin Park and Ride, the Cabin Creek cleanup site behind the Go-Mart, Aldersgate United Methodist Church parking lot, and Elkview Middle School. In St. Albans, spoiled food can go to the 8th Street Municipal Building, and in Nitro they'll have a receptacle set up at the Library parking lot across from the Nitro Pool.
When last week's storm hit, many West Virginia Red Cross volunteers were out of the area helping with other emergencies, like the Colorado wildfires. It's taken a massive effort to get the West Virginia recovery effort organized, and the Red Cross can still use more volunteers.