Breaking Local News
The state Supreme Court has upheld a judge's approval of Monsanto's massive settlement with thousands of West Virginia residents. In a 4-1 decision Friday, the court affirmed a January ruling approving the class-action settlement of a lawsuit alleging that the Nitro community was contaminated with dioxin from the former Monsanto chemical plant. The plaintiffs said Monsanto polluted their community by burning waste from production of the defoliant Agent Orange. Under the $93 million settlement, thousands of Nitro-area residents will be eligible for medical monitoring and property cleanups.
An excess school levy in Wayne County will continue. Voters decided Saturday to continue the levy that will provide text books, along with materials and benefits for teachers. Voter turnout was about three times higher than five years ago, when voters first said yes to the levy.
Two parents in St. Albans are facing child neglect charges after a meth bust. West Virginia State Police found four children between the ages of 4 and 13 living in filth in a home in the 200 block of Fifth Street East. Child Protective Services was called out, and Nathan and Misty McNely were arrested.
The city of Logan has been given a waiver to use federal funds to help with damage from March 2012 storms that led to flooding, mudslides and landslides. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and Rep. Nick Rahall said the waiver was granted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and will it help the city buy and demolish five residential properties on Pine Street and permanently close the roadway because of damage. The waiver also includes permitting the city to pave seven city-owned streets.
The company that is accused of overstepping its bounds by cutting down healthy trees at Coonskin Park during storm cleanup, is about to face a civil lawsuit. Kanawha County Commissioners say Dave Bowen and his company Russell Trucking were authorized to cut down about 8 percent of the 330 trees they took during cleanup after the 2012 derecho. At a Parks meeting on Thursday, commissioners said they will seek money for total costs of damage through a civil lawsuit.
The Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office STOP team got a tip this week that someone might be manufacturing methamphetamine in a wooded area along Quincy Hollow Road. Deputies found a white man leaving the woods behind a home on Quincy Hollow Road, and identified him as 34-year old Alton Douglas Mullins of Quincy. Then a methamphetamine shake and bake lab was found in the woods, plus the finished product. Mullins has been arraigned on a felony count of operating a clandestine laboratory.
A pedestrian fatality in October has Charleston city leaders talking about safety at pedestrian crossings. At a meeting this week the city's Strong Neighborhoods Task Force talked about the issue, in particluar Greenbrier Street, where the pedestrian died last month. The Daily Mail reports the city may look at improving existing crosswalks with more visible markings and adding crosswalks where none exist. In cases where it's a state road, the state will have to approve the work.
West Virginia's annual Joyful Night celebration is set for Dec. 5. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced that the holiday event at the State Capitol Complex is free and open to the public. Activities begin at the North Plaza with music by two high school bands. Tomblin and first lady Joanne Jaeger Tomblin will then light a tree donated by Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Fisher of Charleston, followed by a performance by a children's chorus. Then it's on to the South Plaza, for music by another high school band, a tribute to first responders and military members, and another tree lighting.
A survey of West Virginia mines shows 4 percent of underground equipment have detectors that automatically shuts down mobile machinery when people get too close. The Charleston Gazette says the state Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training conducted the survey in August and found that 74 pieces of the 1800 pieces of equipment checked had proximity detection systems that can prevent miners from being crushed or pinned. State mine safety director Eugene White says he expects the number to increase as mine operators anticipate a federal rule requiring such proximity devices to be implemented. The survey also says blind-spot cameras have been installed on 86 pieces of underground equipment.
The state Department of Environmental Protection has recognized four West Virginia communities for efforts to beautify and clean up their towns, including Fayetteville. The Make It Shine Program gave Fayetteville the grand prize and the city will receive $500 to apply toward additional projects. The DEP says the Fayette County community was recognized for efforts that included hosting an annual Earth Day celebration, conducting environmental education on recycling and anti-littering in schools; and the enactment of an ordinance aimed at reducing dilapidated housing.