Breaking Local News

Accidents Are Numerous Because Of Icy Roads

The Kanawha County Sheriff's Office says from midnight to 5am Monday there were 41 accidents reported. Of those, 14 involved injuries.. At the beginning of the storm on Sunday, there were fewer accidents that there had been with other storms, but deputies attribute the lower totals to fewer travelers on the roads, heeding the advice of transportation officials.

Plans Move Ahead to Renovate the Civic Center

Civic Center renovations were a big topic of discussion at Monday night's city council meeting in Charleston. The firm O'Dell Associates was hired for design consulting services, which means they'll help the city council find the construction company that will perform the renovation work. $50 million has been budgeted for the project.

Emergency Command Center Is Assessing the Storm

Representatives from the West Virginia State Police, the American Red Cross, the National Guard, and other agencies have set up a space beneath the Capitol to stay updated on the weatehr. The Emergency Operations Center opened Sunday, and they'll decide about road closures and possible shelters with the snow this morning.

Sudafed Bill Faces Opposition

The pharmaceutical industry is mounting a media blitz against a West Virginia bill requiring prescriptions for cold medicines. The Consumer Healthcare Products Association argues customers would face higher costs and have less purchasing freedom. The group paid for Internet and radio ads and a study. The pseudoephedrine bill passed the Senate, but has a tough road in the House of Delegates. It has until March 8 to pass the Judiciary Committee and the House. Judiciary Chairman Tim Manchin said there is opposition to the bill on his panel.

Monday's Storm Rough on Travelers

With the storm that continues this morning, the National Weather Service says ice accumulations of 0.25 to 0.5 inches and 4 to 8 inches of snow are expected. A Winter Storm Warning has been issued for the entire state. Snow accumulations are a concern today, mainly because the ice came first and that's coating the roads underneath the snow. The National Weather Service says parts of the Eastern Panhandle could see up to a foot of snow. Up to six to eight inches of snow is expected in other parts of the state. Appalachian Power says it's moving crews into areas of the state that are expected to be hit the hardest.

Concerns Linger Over Water Quality

Sen. Jay Rockefeller is still skeptical about safety of drinking water for 300,000 Charleston-area residents. At an appearance Friday in Charleston, Rockefeller said he would not drink tap water when he is visiting the capital city, according to the Charleston Daily Mail. Health officials said the water was safe to use more than a month ago, but Governor Tomblin kept the emergency declaration in force partially because of lingering odor from some taps and showers. The emergency declaration has since been lifted.

Lamakers Continue to Consider Meth Bill

A West Virginia legislative chairman says many of his committee members are leaning against making a cold medicine used to cook meth available by prescription only. House of Delegates Judiciary Committee Chairman Tim Manchin says a bill to make pseudoephedrine prescription only will come up Monday or Tuesday. Manchin said there's a fair amount of opposition in his committee. The proposal excludes certain drugs deemed tamper-resistant. Manchin said other options exist if the committee won't pass that version. One would further limit how much pseudoephedrine someone can buy annually. The Senate approved the proposal Feb. 18, and there's one week left in the legislative session.

Kanawha County Has Contested Race for State Senate

West Virginia's May 13 primary slate is official and will have several contested races on the federal level. Thirteen of the 17 state Senate races are uncontested in both parties. Contested primary races include Kanawha County Republicans Lance Wheeler and Tom Takubo. Nine delegates, including six Democrats, aren't seeking another House term, and three of those are running for other offices. Kanawha County Democrat Doug Skaff is going for a state Senate seat and Kanawha County Democrat Meshea Poore is seeking Capito's congressional seat.

Hops Growers Wanted For State Project

Growers are being sought to participate in a three-year research project to determine the viability of hop production in West Virginia. The project will be conducted by the West Virginia State University Extension Service. Extension agent Brad Cochran says in a news release that researchers want to determine the best varieties of hops to grow in West Virginia. The goal is to foster commercial production of hops and to support the state's brewing industry. Up to six growers will be selected to participate in the project. Applications must be submitted by March 20 and you can see them online at www.wvstateu.edu/extension.

Ballot Positions Set for Several Races

West Virginia's May 13 primary slate is official and will have several contested races on the federal level. Seven-term 2nd District Rep. Shelley Moore Capito will face two other candidates in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring Democrat Jay Rockefeller, while Tennant is running on the Democratic side and will have two opponents. Challenging Capito in the Republican primary are Larry Butcher, of Washington, in Wood County, and Matthew Dodrill, of Parkersburg. Tennant will be opposed by Williamstown Democrat David Wamsley and Buckhannon's Dennis Melton. Seven Republicans and two Democrats are seeking Capito's congressional seat.

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