Breaking Local News
A West Virginia high-speed Internet project is being investigated by the federal government.
The Associated Press reports that the U.S. Department of Commerce's inspector general has asked state officials to turn over thousands of documents related to a fiber-optic cable network built by Frontier Communications. The $42 million project was funded with federal stimulus money. Documents sought by the government include invoices submitted by Frontier to the state and emails and files of eight former and current state officials. State officials say they're cooperating with the investigation. The inspector general also has requested records from the company.
St. Albans got a tax revenue boost from the January chemical spill as thousands of people came to the city to buy groceries and eat in restaurants. St. Albans wasn't affected by a water ban imposed after the Jan. 9 spill in Charleston. The Charleston Daily Mail says that St. Albans's business and occupation tax revenue increased by $30,000 in the third quarter of 2014, compared to the same January-to-March period in 2013, and Mayor Dick Callaway says the increase is at least partially due to the spill. The city also sold water to commercial entities at a cost of 1 cent per gallon, and provided free water to residents from other areas.
Schools across West Virginia are celebrating their cafeterias' use of locally grown fruits and vegetables. The West Virginia Department of Education says schools spent more than $1 million to buy local foods during the past two years. October is National Farm to School Month. The department is asking schools to showcase their county's Farm to School projects Oct. 13 through Oct. 17.
We know now which cities are joining Charleston in the home rule program. The West Virginia Municipal Home Rule Board announced Monday which of 22 applicants will be in the program. The 16 cities chosen include Bluefield, Buckhannon, Charles Town, Clarksburg, Dunbar, Fairmont, Martinsburg, Milton, Morgantown, Nitro, Parkersburg, Ranson, Shinnston, South Charleston, Vienna and Weirton. The Legislature created the Municipal Home Rule Pilot program in 2007. Bridgeport, Charleston, Huntington and Wheeling comprised the initial group. The program givens municipalities a larger say in how they govern by shifting power from the state to the local level.
Republican Shelley Moore Capito and Democrat Natalie Tennant are facing off in a debate for an open U.S. Senate seat tonight at the Clay Center. The debate will also air live online and on West Virginia Public Broadcasting. Capito is a seven-term congresswoman and Tennant is West Virginia's secretary of state. They are seeking retiring Sen. Jay Rockefeller's seat.
West Virginia State Police say a body found buried in a shallow grave is believed to be that of a missing Raleigh County woman. State police troopers found the body on Friday following the arrest of 60-year-old Johnnie Ray Farley. Farley is accused of killing his wife, Lynnette Denise Farley, and faces a first-degree murder charge. State police say Farley reported his wife missing last Monday. The body was found on property owned by Farley in the Egeria area near the Raleigh-Mercer county line. The body has been sent to the state medical examiner.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is providing a $700,000 grant to West Virginia to develop a protocol for assessing impacts to wetlands. The EPA says the Division of Natural Resources also will use the funding to evaluate the success of mitigating impacts to wetlands and to evaluate wetland status statewide. The DNR is among six grant recipients in five states.
Charleston police detectives are investigating a shooting that happened on the West Side over the weekend. Officers say a man was shot in the 1500 block of Madison Street around 5:00 a.m. Sunday, and he was hit multiple times. Anyone with tips should call Charleston police.
The Putnam County Veteran's Court progam has been active for about two years, and Friday Charles Tucker became the first graduate, meaning he finished everything he needed to finish in the court and the charges were cleared. The program is meant to help veterans transition back to civilian life after serving, and after having a run-in with the law. The veterans have to do community service, report to officers daily, and attend councelling for drug or mental issues.
For 55 years, the state has only elected Senate Democrats. Jay Rockefeller and the late Robert Byrd spent about three and five decades each in Washington. Republican Shelley Moore Capito and Democrat Natalie Tennant are vying for retiring Rockefeller's seat. And there are national implications, because that and other contests could sway a slim Democratic Senate majority. Either would make history as the state's first female U.S. senator.