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Work continues after the January 9th chemical spill. The Environmental Protection Agency plans to keep working on detecting the spilled chemical in air and creating a corresponding safety standard for inhaling it. It's the first time federal officials will factor in precautions for more than just consuming the water. State environmental regulators could use the new air monitoring method in a variety of settings: at the Freedom Industries spill site during cleanup; for odor complaints at homes or businesses near MCHM facilities; or at coal prep plants that use the coal-cleaning agent, according to a DEP spokesperson.
A federal judge has found another West Virginia mining operation in violation of the state's water quality standard for selenium. The court ruling comes in a lawsuit filed by several environmental groups against CONSOL Energy's Peg Fork Surface Mine. The judge ruled that discharges from the mine exceeded the state's selenium standard and said the plaintiffs' claims for civil penalties and injunctive relief will be resolved in the litigation's second phase.
A Jackson County man faces federal charges of illegally capturing and selling about 300 wild turtles. Thomas Pepin of Ravenswood is charged in an indictment with two counts of unlawful transport and sale of wildlife. Pepin is accused of capturing the turtles from sites near his home between July 2012 and September 2013 and selling them to customers in other states. Thirteen were sold to an undercover federal officer in Pennsylvania.
This is not an exagerration....A West Virginia fisherman has reeled in a state record blue catfish. The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources says the fish was caught by Austin Hoffman of Milton on April 26 along the Ohio River. Officials say the fish measured 47.75 inches and weighed 52.95 pounds. The previous record was a 43.9-inch, 44.5-pound blue catfish caught by Mark A. Foster.
A former State Supreme Court Justice has died. Elliot "Spike " Maynard was elected to the state Supreme Court in 1996, and passed away Thursday evening at the age of 71. Maynard ran for a congress in 2010 the 3rd District against Nick Rahall, and lost the election.
When you see construction workers, slow down. That's the message from West Virginia officials kicking of a campaign aimed at promoting work zone safety. The state Division of Highways launched the campaign Wednesday in Charleston, after more than 450 crashes in West Virginia work zones last year along with two fatalities. As the weather warms up, crews will be working on the state's roadways and bridges. The campaign encourages drivers to be aware of crews, slow down in work zones and not to be distracted while driving. Police also will be enforcing speed limits in work zones.
The West Virginia Supreme Court says a Kanawha County woman convicted in a truancy case can't be both fined and ordered to perform community service. The court says a Kanawha County judge also erred when he placed Beth Bennett on 90 days' probation. The High Court says there are two sentencing alternatives for first-offense truancy. They are a fine, or requiring the adult to accompany the child to school. The judge fined Bennett $50. The court says the fine wasn't suspended, so there's no basis for probation or community service. Bennett pleaded guilty in April 2013 after her child had five unexcused absences from school, and she'll be resentenced.
Recent violence led to a march Wednesday to call for an end to the shooting. The "Guns Down, Hands Up to Pray” march was organized by the mother of Tymel McKinney, the teenager who was shot to death while he was sitting on his front porch last week. Three people have been arrested in connection with his death and are awaiting more court dates. The march started at First Baptist Church on Shrewsbury Street on the East End and ended up at Haddad Riverfront Park for a rally.
Early voting is underway, ahead of the West Virginia primary. Kanawha County Clerk Vera McCormick says early voting will be available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Friday; from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 3, and Saturday, May 10. You can vote at the Voter Registration Office at the corner of Court and Quarrier streets. Early voting runs until May 10.
The West Virginia School Building Authority has awarded more than $43 million for construction projects in seven counties. The grants approved Monday include more than $12 million for a new elementary school in Gilmer County. Mingo, Monongalia and Wayne counties each received more than $8 million for school projects, but the Wayne County grant is contingent on voters approving a bond. If the bond is approved on May 13, the county will receive another $10 million grant next year to put toward new schools and renovations.