Breaking Local News
Freedom Industries is heading back to bankruptcy court for a hearing this Friday. The company wants to hire experts and environmental consultants to assess the circumstances surrounding the January 9th spill, and wants to expedite the hearing before evidence is removed or destroyed. The company is under a state order to dismantle storage tanks in Charleston. Under the Department of Environmental Protection order, Freedom has to start removing tanks by March 15. The company also is looking to hire more lawyers and a financial adviser. After filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last month, Freedom was approved to borrow up to $4 million.
The Department of Environmental Protection said Wednesday that it has modified an order that stopped work at Patriot Coal's Kanawha Eagle prep plant in Winifrede after last week's slurry spill. The change from an imminent harm cessation order to a notice of violation will allow the plant to conduct new tests on control measures. The DEP issued the order after 108,000 gallons of coal slurry spilled from a pipeline into Fields Creek on Feb. 11. Control measures installed by Kanawha Eagle since the spill include remote cameras along the slurry line and two external flow meters that are designed to alert company officials of problems.
Federal health experts say they'll talk with West Virginia officials about what lab studies are needed on little-known chemicals that spilled into a water system last month. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spokeswoman Bernadette Burden said Wednesday the CDC will reach out to the state about possibly conducting more studies. Scientists worked with limited animal research when they quickly crafted a chemical standard used to lift the water-use ban a month ago. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin sent the CDC a letter Tuesday requesting more toxicology studies from it. He also asked the CDC to analyze health charts from patients admitted with symptoms that could have resulted from chemical contact.
Dunbar Police Department went to a house on West Virginia Avenue in Dunbar to serve a protective order on a resident last night and ended up with a shooting investigation. The Kanawha County Sheriff's office says there was a struggle, and the man who lived there produced a gun and was shot in the torso. He was taken to a Charleston area hospital. The Kanawha Bureau of Investigation was asked to handle the investigation. Detectives from that unit are gathering evidence and taking statements.
Grandview Elementary in Charleston released early on Monday after there were reports of an odor in the water, and tests were conducted to make sure the water was okay to use. The tests came back at non-detect levels, meaning there ar no traces of MCHM according to standards set by the US Centers for Disease Control and the state of West Virginia. Tests for Sharon Dawes Elementary and Alum Creek Elementary also came back at non-detect levels.
Snowshoe Mountain is adding a weekend in April for skiing and snowboarding.
The resort said Monday that it has received nearly 30 inches of snow in the last seven days. Snowshoe said it will temporarily close on March 30, its original closure date. It will reopen on April 5 and April 6. Snowshoe is offering an unlimited pass for skiing and snowboarding that's valid for March, the April weekend and all of the 2014-2015 ski season.
Something else has spilled into the river. West Virginia environmental regulators say a tractor-trailer crash on Interstate 77 last weekend caused diesel fuel to drain into the Kanawha River. The Department of Environmental Protection says 30 to 50 gallons of diesel fuel spilled onto Interstate 77 and into a storm drain. The truck driver was killed in the crash Saturday near an exit leading to West Virginia's Capitol. The sheen was spotted on the river Monday, and an environmental group has been hired to help with cleanup and containment.
A legislative committee has cleared stiffer conflict-of-interest standards for West Virginia's attorney general. The House Judiciary Committee voted 13-7 in favor of a bill that would prohibit the attorney general from overseeing cases involving any company that donated money to his election campaign or from which the attorney previously benefited. The bill came after it was revealed that Republican Attorney General Patrick Morrisey had ties to two pharmaceutical companies his office was suing. Morrisey recused himself, and two other state agencies are now overseeing the case. Morrisey inherited the cases from the previous attorney general. A Morrisey spokeswoman called the bill "partisan politics" by House Democrats.
West Virginia State University President Emeritus Dr. Hazo W. Carter Jr. has passed away. WVSU released a statement last night saying Dr. Carter was a strong advocate of quality education and believed in the talents and abilities of our faculty and staff to provide West Virginia State students with the very best. Dr. Carter was married to the late Judge Phyllis H. Carter and is survived by their daughter Angela.
A bill that would create a private flood insurance option has been introduced in the West Virginia Senate. The sponsor is Sen. Rocky Fitzsimmons, who said federal law changes in 2012 under the Bigger-Waters Flood insurance Reform Act have caused significant increases in premiums for West Virginia. The bill introduced Monday would also allow a greater option of flood insurance plans. Senate Bill 621 has been referred to the committee on Banking and Insurance.