Breaking Local News

Vote Could Come Today on Water Safety Bill

A bill strengthening chemical spill safeguards for storage facilities and public water companies is headed to the House of Delegates floor. Under the bill, most above ground tanks holding more than 1,320 gallons would face yearly inspections. About 150 public water systems would have to spell out protection plans. The committee also stripped a requirement that West Virginia American Water implement an early warning monitoring system. The company said it could have cost millions of dollars. The bill also no longer requires a long-term health monitoring program. The proposal will get a vote today on the House Floor, and then the Senate and House would need to compromise on the final bill.

Hospitals Work Together to Share Knowledge

Princeton Community Hospital is affiliating with Charleston Area Medical Center to expand and improve its services. A clinical affiliation agreement recently approved by the Princeton hospital's Board of Directors follows three years of strategic planning. Princeton Community Hospital chief operating officer Jeffrey E. Lilley tells the Bluefield Daily Telegraph that the affiliation will allow both hospitals to share knowledge and expertise. He says the affiliation is focusing on cardiology and cancer treatment. A future goal is to develop rural residency rotations at the Princeton hospital.

Man Arrested After Domestic Disturbance

A man is facing charges after getting into a fight over Chinese food Pollce say 26-year old Zachary Dawson is charged with domestic battery, child neglect creating risk of injury and obstructing an officer. A woman called police Tuesday morning to report the suspect at her house in the 2200 block of Oak Ridge Drive, and two young children were there. The suspect was eventually tracked to a house Hess Drive and arrested. The victim told officers she and Dawson began arguing over Chinese food and things escalated.

House Committee Makes Changes to Meth Bill

The House Judiciary Committee passed a bill passed the meth bill out of committee last night, but made some changes first. The Senate had passed a measure requiring prescriptions for products containing pseudoephedrine, and the House Judiciary changed the bill so that those who have been convicted of a drug related felony would have to get a prescription for those cold medicines, the rest of the public would not. An amendment was also passed that would lower the overall amount of pseudoephedrine you can buy each year. The bill now goes back to the Senate.

House Education Committee Seeks Bigger Raise for Teachers

The House Education Committee has voted to increase pay for West Virginia teachers and service personnel significantly. The amended bill increases teacher salaries $6,000 across-the-board over three years. Pay would increase $1,000 the first year, $2,000 the next, and $3,000 the third. As the bill stands, service personnel would see a $3,000 raise over three years. The bill was introduced by Delegate David Walker after he expressed concern over a proposal to give teachers a $1,500 raise. He said not including service personnel beyond the already allotted 2 percent was discriminatory. When the Senate voted on the bill last week, it granted teachers an $834 raise. Several members spoke out in opposition to the bill, calling it fiscally irresponsible. The bill will go to House Finance Committee now.

WVU Close to Hiring New President

West Virginia University's Board of Governors has acted on a recommendation that came Friday from the presidential search committee, to hire E. Gordon Gee as the university's president. The board endorsed the recommendation, which means Gee becomes the next president after serving as interim president once the decision is approved by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.

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.

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