Breaking Local News
The poverty rate in West Virginia continues to climb as a new report out Thursday shows slightly more West Virginians fell below the poverty line last year than the year before. The U.S. Census Bureau report shows the state's poverty rate was 18.6 percent in 2011, up from 18.1 percent the year before. West Virginia ranks as the second-poorest state in the nation, according to an assessment of the census data by 24 /7 Wall Street. The state's median household income in 2011 was $38,482 -- lower than every state except Mississippi's $36,919.
No premium increase this year for State employees and others with health coverage through the Public Employees Insurance Agency. but that doesn't mean no one will feel a pinch- co-pays, deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses could go up for some state and public school workers under the proposed PEIA 2013-14 financial plan unveiled Thursday. PEIA will hold public hearings about possible plan changes in six West Virginia counties in November. The agency's Finance Board will vote on next year's plan on Dec. 6, and the changes will take effect July 1.
Animals with distemper are showing up across the state - the most recent is in Beckley.The Division of Natural Resources says to avoid contact with raccoons and gray foxes in the Raleigh County area that show signs of infection. The signs include unusual friendliness, unprovoked aggression, disorientation, or paralysis. Back in May, the Cabell Wayne Animal Control Shelter in Huntington had to euthanize several dogs due to a distemper outbreak
A national nod for a local university. 'US News and World Report' has given high honors to the University of Charleston. The school is number 14 out of 119 of the top regional colleges in the south. "Regional College" are schools that focus on undergraduate degrees, but grant fewer than half their degrees in liberal arts. The University of Charleston is home to more than 1,400 students from more than 30 countries and 31 states.
Help is coming to four West Virginia counties affected by the summer's derecho. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved individual assistance after originally denying the request. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin appealed, asking for individual assistance for Kanawha, Nicholas, Raleigh and Fayette counties. FEMA announced Wednesday it had approved individual assistance for those counties. Forty two percent of the homes destroyed by the derecho in West Virginia were in those four counties.
A couple was arrested in the Hamden area on meth related charges. Word from the Vinton County Sheriff's Office - 53 year old Robert Wellman and 38 year old Carmen Cartoe were charged with possession and manufacturing of methamphetamine. Both were arrested Tuesday at a home along Zion Road. Police found Meth and drug-making paraphernalia inside the home. Items also were removed from a vehicle in the driveway that appear to have been used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine.
Gas prices are still climbing in West Virginia. Word from triple A - the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline rose three point seven cents in the last week to almost $3.94. That's sitting about 34 cents higher than prices in the state a year ago and higher than the national average which is $3.80
It's slowing down but the the number of U.S. cases of West Nile virus rose by 19 percent last week marking this year as the worst for outbreaks since 2003. Just over three thousand cases have been reported to federal health officials. Earlier in the month cases were jumping by more than 30 percent in one week so things are slowing.
School is back in session and germs are having a field day - Parents at of students at Peyton Elementary School are finding that out first hand. Second graders at the school are all getting doses of antibiotics to ward off the symptoms of whooping cough.
The Cabell-Huntington Health Department visited the school Tuesday to hand out the medicine. Word from the department - a second-grader has been exposed and treated, but that student's diagnosis is still not confirmed. Just to be safe, that student's classmates are getting medication.
A former tipster is in trouble - word from police Samuel L Ranson, whose statement led police to arrest Shawn Lester in connection to one of the 2003 sniper-style shootings was arrested Tuesday for allegedly pawning stolen items. A tip came in Monday that Ranson, of Charleston, had stolen a digital camera and binoculars and resold them at Keller's Survival & Pawn in Charleston and that he was going to try to steal some items on Tuesday. Police followed Ranson and picked him up after he allegedly stole various items from different stores.