Associated Press

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Wikipedia

A trio of coins is stirring some interest in the West Virginia treasurer's office online auction of unclaimed property.

The U.S. Liberty coin set has attracted five bids in less than 24 hours, which Treasurer John Perdue says is an unusual amount of activity.

The set includes a dollar coin, a $5 gold piece and a half dollar. The bidding was approaching $500 on Thursday for the coins, which were minted in the 1800s.

Flickr / davidwilson1949

The West Virginia Ethics Commission is redoing its December meeting because of a mistake that resulted in an open meetings violation.
 
     The commission has scheduled a special meeting for Jan. 21 to revisit all the items on December's agenda.
 

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is filing subpoenas over reported price hikes on water amid a ban on running water.
 
     Morrisey said his office received more than 150 calls and documented 74 reports of people selling water or other goods at higher prices. The office will follow up with letters and subpoenas.
 

Freedom Industries
Aaron Payne / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The company whose spill contaminated the water supply for 300,000 West Virginians has been cited for violations at a second facility where it's storing chemicals.

Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Tom Aluise says inspectors found five violations Monday at a Nitro site, known as Poca Blending, LLC, where Freedom Industries moved its coal-cleaning chemicals after Thursday's spill.

flag
wikimedia

The first day that candidates could file for elective office in West Virginia drew one candidate for the U.S. Senate and four for the U.S. House.

Williamstown Democrat David Wamsley filed with the West Virginia Secretary of State's office yesterday for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by the retiring Sen. Jay Rockefeller.

 
 Filing for the 3rd District U.S. House seat held by 19-term Democrat Nick Rahall are Republican Cabell County Sen. Evan Jenkins and retired Army officer Richard Ojeda II, a Democrat from Logan County.

U.S. Department of Labor Mine Safety and Health Administration
U.S. Department of Labor Mine Safety and Health Administration logo

The federal mine safety agency says it has finished implementing the 100 regulatory and administrative changes it recommended after West Virginia's Upper Big Branch mine disaster.

The changes stem from a March 2012 internal report examining the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration's actions leading up to April 2010 explosion that killed 29 miners. The agency says all recommendations in the report were implemented by Dec. 31.

International Water Management Institute

 

The chemical that spilled into a major West Virginia river last week forced about 300,000 people in Charleston and surrounding areas not to use their tap water over several days for drinking, cooking, bathing or washing clothes or anything else. Having to use bottled for many daily tasks has no doubt been an inconvenience, and a handful of West Virginians have been treated for mild, flu-like symptoms after being exposed to the chemical in the water.

 

Scott Finn / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Updated: January 14, 2014 at 10:30 a.m.

From West Virginia American Water's Facebook page:

As West Virginia American Water proceeds with the lifting of Do Not Use, we will refer to the localities being lifted as "areas." Yesterday, we used the term "zones" to describe the four primary locations close to the Kanawha Valley treatment plant where we were able to lift the ban and ensure that the transition did not disrupt our production and distribution system.

The areas where we are lifting the Do Not Use orders are based on pressure zones, and the order of the lift announcements are determined by where acceptable test results obtained from samples have been confirmed. If you have any questions when a new Do Not Use lift is issued, please refer to the map listed under “Do Not Use Water” section of our website at www.westvirginiaamwater.com.

Updated: January 13, 2014 at 9:52 p.m.

Zone Four in North Charleston has been cleared for the flushing process to begin as of 9 p.m. If you have questions about whether your home or business has been approved for the flush process, see West Virginia American Water's interactive map:

http://www.amwater.com/about-us/news.html

Also, the water company announced the fourth  zone will end Monday's flushing process for  the day. More zones will be approved for flushing Tuesday.

From West Virginia American Water's Facebook page:

"After lifting the "do not use" order for 26,000 customers today, the system needs time to settle so our operators can measure how it is reacting to the flushing activity. Therefore, we will not lift any additional zones tonight. We will provide updates on the next lift zone early Tuesday morning. Thank you for your continued patience and cooperation."

Updated: January 13, 2014 at 7:14 p.m.

Zone 3, containing most of South Charleston, has now been cleared to start flushing systems within their homes and cleaning appliances. Make sure you are checking the West Virginia American Water interactive map to make sure your zone's advisory has been lifted before beginning the flushing process. The map can be found at the link below. 

http://www.amwater.com/about-us/news.html

 Updated: January 13, 2014 at 5:49 p.m.

Through a news release, Facebook, and Twitter, West Virginia American Water has announced the ban on the second zone has been lifted, which includes nearly all of the Kanawha City area.

Customers of the water company are urged not to begin the flushing process until their zone is approved. To find out if your zone is ready for the flushing process, refer to West Virgina American Water's interactive map on their website here:
 

http://www.amwater.com/about-us/news.html

Original Story Posted January 13, 2014 at 1:52 p.m.

A ban on tap water has been lifted in part of West Virginia that was hit by a chemical that spilled into a river and tainted the water supply.
 
     Gov. Earl Tomblin made the announcement at a news conference Monday, five days after about 300,000 people were told not to drink, wash or use the water in any way other than to flush their toilets.
 
     Officials are lifting the ban in a strict, methodical manner to help ensure the water system is not overwhelmed by excessive demand, which could cause more water quality and service issues.
 
     The water crisis started Thursday when the chemical used in coal processing leaked from a Freedom Industries plant into the nearby Elk River.
 
     It's still not clear exactly what caused a tank to start leaking the chemical.
 

West Virginia American Water has set up a website for customers to find out if their zone has been approved. Customers have also been told they can call a toll free number if they need assistance in identifying which zone they reside. That

The water company has also provided highly detailed step-by-step instructions for customers to refer to once their zone has been cleared for the flushing process.

Wikimedia

Police are investigating the death of a Raleigh County man who was hit by a Norfolk Southern Railroad train.

 
 The Raleigh County Sheriff's Department reports 49-year-old Ricky Lee Gray of Eccles,WV was killed on impact.
 

The accident occurred around 12:30 Sunday afternoon near the town of Surveyor.

 
Police say the engineer attempted to warn Gray and tried to stop the train, which consisted of six locomotives.

 
 Norfolk Southern Railroad Police are assisting the sheriff's department in the investigation.

Aaron Payne / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

For Bonnie Wireman, the white plastic bag covering her kitchen faucet is a reminder that she can't drink the water.

The 81-year-old woman placed it there after forgetting several times the tap water was tainted after a coal processing chemical leaked into the area's water supply. Every time she turned on the water, she quickly stopped and cleaned her hands with peroxide - just to make sure she was safe.

West Virginia Gov. Earl Tomblin says water tests are encouraging after a chemical spill tainted the supply, but people are still being told not to drink or bath in the water.
 

C.W Sigman

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board says it will investigate a chemical spill in the Elk River that has contaminated the public water supply in nine counties.
 
     Board chairman Rafael Moure-Eraso said Saturday that the board wants to find out how a leak of such magnitude occurred, and how to prevent similar incidents in the future.
 

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Health officials in Kanawha and Putnam counties are working to reopen restaurants, daycare centers and other facilities that have closed because of a chemical spill.
 
     Dr. Rahul Gupta is health officer for the Kanawha-Charleston and Putnam County boards of health. He said Saturday that the health departments are taking applications from facilities for conditional approval to reopen.
 

Aaron Payne / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Poison Control Center has received nearly 800 calls from concerned residents since a chemical spilled in the Elk River.
 

gavel
wikimedia / Wikimedia

At least half a dozen lawsuits have been filed over a chemical spill in West Virginia that contaminated water supplies.

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has issued a state of emergency and West Virginia American Water is telling more than 100,000 customers (about 300,000 people) in Boone, Cabell, Clay, Jackson, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, Putnam, and Roane counties NOT to ingest, cook, bathe, wash or boil water.  Water in this coverage area is okayed ONLY for flushing and fire protection.

football helmet
wikimedia / mdscottis

The state Board of Education has given final approval to a rule dealing with how high schools handle sports concussions.

The board approved the rule during its monthly meeting this week in Charleston.

“This is a significant step in how we protect all of our athletes from the short- and long-term impact of concussions,” said West Virginia Board of Education President Gayle Manchin.

“Now a certified medical professional must clear student athletes before they can get back into practice or play.”

West Virginia Legislature

Democratic legislative leaders won't back Attorney General Patrick Morrisey's call for more audits of the West Virginia Legislature, state office holders and agencies.
 

A former Fairmont State University official faces up to 13 years in prison after pleading guilty to embezzlement and tax charges.
 
     Forty-five-year-old David A. Tamm of Parkersburg pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to embezzling from a state agency receiving federal funds. He also admitted falsely reporting less income than he received on his 2012 federal income tax return.
 

Department of Environmental Protection, DEP
Department of Environmental Protection

State regulators have issued a pollution violation notice to an oil and gas drilling company following a tank explosion at a Tyler County well site.
 
     The Department of Environmental Protection said Wednesday that the tank ruptured on Jan. 2 at Jay-Bee Oil & Gas' Lisby gas well pad. Fluid leaked from the tank onto grounds surrounding the well pad.
 

Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia is beginning to warm up a bit following an arctic blast that broke cold temperature records across the state.
 
     Temperatures on Wednesday morning ranged from 4 degrees in Elkins and Lewisburg to 12 degrees in Bluefield.
 

Flickr / davidwilson1949

The results of a preliminary legislative audit have found evidence of mismanagement of a $5 million revolving loan program administered by the West Virginia Department of Agriculture.

West Virginia University

West Virginia University's Board of Governors has approved a 20-member committee to search for the university's next president.

West Virginia Legislature

WV Senate President Jeff Kessler says he thinks he has the support of Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and WV House Speaker Tim Miley to create a future fund for education and other needs, despite budget woes.

Kessler says the plan would set aside a portion of the severance tax on the state's natural gas industry for the fund. But it wouldn't impose any higher tax rates or affect current government programs.

The plan could infuse more money for future teacher pay raises, infrastructure and other needs.

Flickr / davidwilson1949

The House of Delegates leadership plans to focus on government accountability and integrity during the 2014 legislative session.

House leaders unveiled a platform on Sunday that includes fraud reporting and state purchasing reforms.
 
Several measures are aimed at the Attorney General's Office. One would require all money received by the state through settlements to go into the General Revenue Fund to be appropriated by the Legislature. Another would require a case to be assigned to outside counsel if the attorney general has a conflict of interest.

National Weather Service

 

 

Temperatures across West Virginia could fall to their lowest levels in 18 years Monday night.

Below-zero temperatures are forecast around the state. Greg Guillot with the National Weather Service in Charleston says most of the state is expected to see the coldest temperatures since February 1996.

The weather service has issued for wind chill warnings for most of the state, effective Monday evening. Some areas could see wind chills of minus 30 degrees or lower.

eandi.org

A national moving company says West Virginia ranks high when it comes to people moving out of state.

The ranking is contained in the annual "Migration Study" compiled by United Van Lines. The study is based on the St. Louis moving company's business in the U.S.

The Daily Mail reports that the state ranked the fourth highest in the "high outbound" category. That involves residents who moved out of state.

New Jersey had the highest percentage off outbound moves last year. It was followed by Illinois and New York.

The stakes were high and the vote was close as Boeing production workers agreed to concede some benefits in order to secure assembly of the new 777X airplane for the Puget Sound region.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Boeing hailed Friday's vote, which proponents said solidifies the aerospace giant's presence in the Seattle area.

"Tonight, Washington state secured its future as the aerospace capital of the world," Inslee declared.

  A state official says a glitch in the federal health insurance marketplace has affected about 18,000 West Virginians trying to sign up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

Glen McCoy

KIMBALL, W.Va. (AP) — Hazardous material crews are cleaning up following a trail derailment.

Officials say at least 16 cars of the Norfolk Southern train derailed around 8:30 a.m. Friday in an area of McDowell County along U.S. Route 52. No evacuations were ordered and there were no injuries.

The train has five locomotives and 111 cars and is about 7,000 feet long. It was headed from Bellevue, Ohio to Linwood, N.C.

State emergency officials say booms are in place to prevent the tar leaking from a ruptured tanker car from going any farther down into Elkhorn Creek.

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