Tomblin orders flags lowered through sunset Monday
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has ordered flags lowered to half-staff in memory of Nelson Mandela.
Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years for opposing apartheid but later became South Africa's first black president. He died Thursday at age 95.
Tomblin ordered all U.S. and state flags displayed at state facilities lowered to half-staff through sunset Monday in honor of Mandela.
He issued a second proclamation ordering flags lowered to half-staff Saturday in commemoration of National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.
Smoke in W.Va. school sends 37 people to hospitals
TUNNELTON, W.Va. (AP) - State regulators say a northern West Virginia business was burning material illegally in its outdoor furnace and the smoke drifted into a nearby elementary school, sending 37 people to hospitals.
Preston County schools Assistant Superintendent Craig Schmidl says classes were dismissed Friday at Tunnelton-Denver Elementary School.
He says smoke from a nearby auto repair shop's furnace got pulled into the school's ventilation system, including nearby modular units.
The Preston County emergency services office says 37 people were transported to four hospitals. A news release says some students reported having trouble breathing.
Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Tom Aluise says an air quality inspector confirmed illegal material was being burned in the furnace.
Gordon Gee approved as interim president at WVU
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Gordon Gee (gee) is returning to West Virginia University as interim president, five months after controversial remarks led to his retirement as president at Ohio State University.
The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission approved Gee's hiring Friday, a day after the WVU Board of Governors made its recommendation to replace Jim Clements without announcing a name.
The 69-year-old Gee retired at Ohio State in July after remarks he made jabbing Roman Catholics and Southeastern Conference schools were made public.
Gee was WVU's law school dean from 1979 to 1981 and served as university president from 1981 to 1985.
The WVU Board of Governors has said the interim president won't serve in the permanent job. Clements accepted the presidency of Clemson University in November.
WVU research to examine natgas fuel mix
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia University researchers will study a proposed fuel mix being considered by energy companies drilling for natural gas in shale deposits.
The State Journal reports the team will be fielded from the Center for Alternative Fuels, Engines and Emissions at WVU. The researchers will study methane emissions from diesel and natural gas engines used in the drilling.
A big cost associated with shale gas drilling comes from the use of diesel fuel. Some energy companies are looking into converting those engines to a blend to reduce operating costs, and to tap a domestic fuel source.
The work by the WVU researchers is funded through a $2 million grant from the Department of Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory.
Woman's body found in W.Va. hotel, man charged
CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. (AP) - A Charles Town man has been charged in the death of his girlfriend, whose body was found in a Jefferson County hotel room.
Media outlets report 42-year-old Matthew Lee Gilbert was arraigned on a second-degree murder charge Thursday in Jefferson County Magistrate Court.
Police said a hotel worker found the body of 37-year-old Ann M. Pennington under a bed Thursday morning. Her body has been sent to a medical examiner for an autopsy.
Court records show Gilbert indicated he checked into the hotel Sunday to spend time with Pennington before he was to start serving a 90-day jail sentence, and the two were involved in an altercation that evening.
Gilbert is being held without bond in the Eastern Regional Jail pending a Dec. 12 preliminary hearing.
W.Va. court e-filing being put to test Tuesday
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A Fairmont attorney is days away from making judicial history in West Virginia.
Attorney J. Scott Tharp will file a civil suit on line Tuesday in Marion County Circuit Court, testing West Virginia's new e-filing system.
The court's clerk, Rhonda Starn, told the State Journal the e-filing system will save counties thousands of dollars and won't cost a single job.
The West Virginia Supreme Court is picking up the tab for the statewide technology upgrade.
Matt Arrowood is director of the court's division overseeing circuit clerk services. He said the Marion County e-filing system will work out any bugs before it's rolled out statewide.
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