Breaking Local News

Hurricane Landfill Deals With Aftermath of Chemical Spill

A Putnam County judge has ordered a Hurricane landfill where wastewater from a Charleston chemical spill was dumped to produce documents sought by the city of Hurricane in its investigation. Circuit Judge Phillip Stowers ruled that Hurricane has a right to protect its citizens under the state home-rule law. The Charleston Gazette reports Stowers still must decide how much power the city has in the investigation it launched last month into the Disposal Services landfill owned by Waste Management. More than 40,000 gallons of wastewater mixed with sawdust from the cleanup of the Freedom Industries site in Charleston is being stored at the landfill. The dump refused to allow Hurricane to complete its investigation. Landfill attorneys say they don't believe Hurricane had the authority for the investigative order.

West Side Cleans Up

A group of volunteers has been working on cleanign up Charleston's West Side. More than 150 people came out Saturday to help the West Side Neighborhood Association in the Taking Back the West Side event, and the group collected more than a hundred and seventy five bags of trash. There's a meeting coming up in Mid-May where the group could plan another clean-up event.

MCHM In The Air To Be Measured

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.

Mining Company Gets Water Quality Violation

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.

WV Man Accused of Illegally Selling Native Turtles

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.

New State Record Caught For Blue Catfish

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.

Former Justice Passes Away

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.

Work Zone Safety Campaign Kicks Off In Charleston

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.

High Court Weighs In On Truancy Case

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.

Charleston Rally Addresses Gun Violence

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.

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