Breaking Local News

Drug prices

Some drug benefit changes went into effect July first and now one legislator wants to know more about those changes. House Speaker Rick Thompson is concerned because he is hearing from staff members and consitiuents costs have dramatically increased. He's asking the head of the state Public Employees Insurance Agency for answers. Under the former plan, participants were charged $50 co-pays for certain brand-name prescriptions; the new plan requires them to pay 75 percent of the cost for those drugs. He's especially concerned about those with chronic conditions who may cut or stop treatment because of the costs.

Neighbors helping Neighbors

After thousands were left without electricity from recent storms, the state's food pantries took a major hit. Yesterday, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin thanked all those who helped to replenish them including, the Mountaineer Food Bank and teh Huntington Area Food Bank. During food drives this month close to 150thousand dollars and five truckloads of food has been received that has been collected during state wide food drives. Distribution will now go to other pantries across the state. .

Hot Dog for a Good Cause

So you love hot dogs? No not the kind on a bun with mustard, but with four legs and fur? Owners of the weiner dogs can watch their canines strut their stuff tomorrow for a good cause. The 8th annual West Virginia Hot Dog Festival in downtown Huntington will benefit Cabell Huntington Children's Hospital. Besides dachsunds from across the Tri state there will be plenty of entertainment, costume parade, weiner dog races and dogs..the kind on the bun with mustard.

Lincoln county elections

Time is running out for Independent and small party candidates to decide whether they want to be a part of the November ballot in Lincoln County. August 1, is when candidates must not only file the paperwork, also have enough signatures to get a place on the ballot. Those signatures must also be verified by the Lincoln County Clerks office. Speaking of the Lincoln County Clerk, Myrl Gue's term ends December 31st. He was appointed by the Lincoln County Commission when Donald Whitten resigned for his role in the 2010 absentee ballot scheme. He will be sentenced next month. Democrats still must decide who their candidate will be, Republicans have nominated Howard Isaccs and Gue will be on the November 6th ballot as an independent.

voting begins

union workers at the Constellium aluminum rolling facility in Ravenswood begin voting on a new contract today. It would mean they would begin paying 15 percent of their health-care costs. company CEO Kyle Lorentzen says each employee should see a net gain of about $15,000, including increases in wages and pension benefits, over the five years of the contract. Today, Constellium's rolling mill is the largest private employer in Jackson County. The plant has nearly 1,000 employees, 700 of whom are production and maintenance workers and members of the United Steelworkers of America. Results may be announced on Saturday. Company and union representatives have been negotiating the contract since May.

fighting obesity

the West Virginia Healthy Lifestyles Coalition is ready to get to work on fighting obesity in West virginia. Helen Matheny, chairwoman of , spoke to the Legislature's Joint Committee on Health Wednesday they want to suggest specific policy changes legislators can put in place to fight the state's obesity crisis. Established in 2005 by a legislative mandate, the coalition has thus far been a forum for individuals and organizations to share information,

.A screening of more than 135,000 state fifth-graders last year showed that one in four has high blood pressure, 26 percent have high cholesterol and 29 percent are obese, according to West Virginia University's CARDIAC screening data. West Virginia is number one in the country for diabetes, heart attacks and obesity, according to the 2011 Gallup-Healthways rankings.

She's also been asked to speak to the committee again in December after the lifestyles coalition has researched possible policy changes

A commmunity Effort

YUM! Fresh produce from a total community effort... the Wild Ramp...Huntington's nontraditional farmers market, is up and running thanks to a dedicated group of volunteers who rebuilt everything in the 600 foot space needed for the town's newest local food source. reusable shopping bags and worker aprons are repurposed from old feed sacks. More than 30thousand dollars and 2thousand volunteer hours went into making it a reality.

West Virginia Education Taken To Task

Ouch! West Virginia ranks 47th in the nation in education, according to The Annie E. Casey Foundation's annual Kids Count Data Book. With nearly four out of five eighth-grade students who are not proficient in math, West Virginia received one of the worst education rankings in the country. Nationwide, the percentage of eighth-graders who are not proficient in math decreased from 72 percent in 2005 to 66 percent in 2011, according to the report. Arizona, Mississippi, New Mexico and Nevada join West Virginia as the five states ranked weakest for education.

Moving On In Lincoln County

When Thomas Ramey submitted his letter of resignation earlier this week, he said in it he did so with "a heavy heart". Yesterday his resignation was accepted by Lincoln County. The now former commissioner submitted his resignation early so he could give Commissioners time to name his replacement. He had unti August 8th to resign from office. That's when he is expected to plead guilty in in connection with an ongoing federal investigation into election fraud during the 2010 Lincoln County Democratic primary. His replacement will be named on August first according to the two remaining commissioners who, because of redistricting, are trying to determine which district Ramey's replacement must represent. His replacement will appear on the ballot in November.


Lincoln Commissioner Resignation Accepted

Commissioners in Lincoln County are accepting the resignation of a former member of their board who's charged with being part of an effort to rig an election. Thomas Ramey handing in his resignation to the two remaining commission members who say they'll name a replacement by August first. Ramey is charged and is expected to plead guilty to being one of several county officials who tried to rig absentee ballots in the 2010 Lincoln County Republican Primary.

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