Five counties to receive $1M in recovery funding

By: Woody Holdren | Posted: July 11, 2018 | Source: Beckley Register-Herald

Five counties in West Virginia will receive $1 million for residential substance use disorder (SUD) treatment services from the Ryan Brown Addiction Prevention and Recovery Fund.

In a release, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) said Clay, Fayette, Kanawha, Nicholas and Roane counties will receive funding.

The Ryan Brown Addiction Prevention and Recovery Fund mandates that DHHR identify need and allocate additional treatment beds in the state. These beds are intended to provide SUD treatment services in existing or newly constructed facilities.

“DHHR’s mission is to join with communities and families in providing opportunities for citizens to achieve health and independence,” said DHHR Cabinet Secretary Bill J. Crouch. “An expansion in SUD treatment services will result in a decrease of overdose deaths as well as a decrease in economic costs to the state.”


Flood committee subpoenas senior official with RISE WV

By: Jake Zuckerman, Charleston Gazette-Mail | Posted: July 11, 2018 | Source: WV Press Association

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — In a show of force, the Joint Legislative Committee on Flooding has issued its first subpoena as its probe into a stalled flood recovery program advances.

The committee announced in a news release that it would meet Thursday and has issued a subpoena to the Department of Commerce’s former director of community advancement and development, Mary Jo Thompson, a senior official with RISE West Virginia.

Emails show Thompson confirmed to a Senate analyst that she would appear for the committee’s June 26 meeting but failed to do so. Legislators indicated at the meeting that they were stood up, and Committee Co-Chairman Sen. Ed Gaunch, R-Kanawha, immediately began discussing subpoena power.

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Recent Elkview-area outages highlight importance of cycle-based vegetation management program

By: Phil Moye | Posted: July 11, 2018

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Since late June many residents in an area from Big Chimney to Elkview have experienced several tree-related power outages. Many of the outages were lengthy and most took place the first week of July, a period in which high temperatures and heat indexes helped produce a series of isolated but severe summer storms.

“We understand why people are upset about it,” said Chris Beam, Appalachian Power president and COO. “It’s not the type of reliability we aim to provide, it’s not the quality of service our customers deserve, but it is something to which we’re dedicating significant resources to make better.”

Beam explained that across its West Virginia service area Appalachian Power is implementing a cycle-based right of way maintenance program, where vegetation is cleared from along electrical circuits end-to-end every four years. Since 2014 the company has invested more than $190 million on its cycle-based vegetation management program, and is seeing an overall drop in tree-related outages of 32 percent on circuits that have been completed.

Tree clearing work began in 2017 on the Elkview-area circuit plagued by recent outages. Unfortunately most of the recent outages came from tree contact in areas still scheduled to be cleared.

“We still have about 40 miles of line to clear on this circuit and should have that work complete in September,” said Beam. “We are investing $1.2 million on this circuit alone to clear trees from power line rights-of-way.” Beam says while Appalachian Power can’t stop storms from bringing down trees, tree-related outages should drop significantly as a result of the work.

Appalachian Power has 1 million customers in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee (as AEP Appalachian Power). It is a unit of American Electric Power, one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity and custom energy solutions to nearly 5.4 million customers in 11 states. AEP owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a more than 40,000-mile network that includes more 765-kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. AEP also operates 224,000 miles of distribution lines. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning approximately 26,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP supplies 3,200 megawatts of renewable energy to customers.

Clendenin and Falling Rock Area Without Power

By: Mark Burdette | Posted: July 11, 2018 at 3:30 p.m.

CLENDENIN, W.Va. – According to Metro 911 American Electric Power is advising 882 without power. Estimated restoral time is 6:00 p.m. today.

According to Appalachian Power’s outage map the outage started at 11:37 a.m. with an estimated restoration time of 4:00 p.m. As of 3:30 p.m. there are currently 595 outages remaining. Keep checking back for updates.

This outage comes on the heels of multiple outages customers have experienced in the Mink Shoals, Big Chimney, Elkview, Pinch and Clendenin over the past few days.

West Virginia Library Commission announces grants to public libraries

Posted: July 10, 2018 | Source: Clay County Free Press

The West Virginia Library Commission has presented $187,180 in state grants to 47 public libraries in the state.  The grants were awarded in June, based on facility, programming, and collections proposals from each library. The maximum award is $5,000 per library.

29 grants were awarded for facility maintenance, nine for collection development, nine for programming improvements, and 3 for other service enhancements.  Clay County Public Library was among those allotted funds, and received $5,000.

“These grants reflect the critical needs in West Virginia’s public libraries,” said Karen Goff, Executive Secretary of the WVLC. “They will allow libraries to improve their facilities, as well as enhance the programs and services they provide to state residents.”


17-year-old drowning victim’s parents overwhelmed with community support

Photo Courtesy: Sherry McCallister

By: Ashley Bishop | Posted: July 8, 2018 | Source: WCHSTV

Community holds event for drowning victim. (WCHS/WVAH)

Hundreds of people came out to Clendenin Main Street on Sunday for the Cody McCallister Spaghetti Dinner Benefit.

17-year old Cody McCallister drowned on Thursday while swimming in the Elk River with some friends. This dinner is the second event that was held to help the family with funeral expenses.

“I can’t imagine the pain that a parent feels in having to bury their child, it’s the worse thing I can think of as a parent,” said benefit participant, Tony Brown of Hurricane.

In the first hour, nearly 100 people were served pasta, salad, and dessert. Dee Miller of Walton came out with her grandchildren and husband. She says she knows the feelings the McCallister’s are going through as she lost her nephew the same way.

“I have had family that has drowned before, and I really feel bad for the family, it hits close to home,” said Miller.

The Spaghetti Dinner Benefit went in the works just hours after Cody died. It was held a Momma Payne’s Diner from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Organizers said…


Locals Hit the Elk River In Honor of Elkview Teen

Photo Courtesy: Sherry McCallister

By: Haley Kosik | Posted: July 7, 2018 | Source: WOWKTV

CLENDENIN, WV – The town of Clendenin finally had just the right conditions to host its first-ever “Paddlefest” earlier today. Roughly 30 people grabbed their paddles and hopped in their kayaks to take on the four-mile route.

The Paddlefest stems from the annual Clendenin Homecoming Festival, a time to celebrate perseverance and progress made after the June 2016 flood, however, a time to honor one Clendenin drowning victim.

Two days prior, 17-year-old Cody McCallister went missing in the Elk River. Later that night, crews pulled his body from the water.

The Paddlefest’s proceeds were originally set to be placed into the Homecoming Festival’s fund, but proceeds will now be donated to Cody’s family to help pay for funeral expenses.

Yak House Owner and Paddlefest Organizer, Dave Knight was inclined to…


Family, friends gather to remember 17-year-old Clendenin drowning victim

Photo Courtesy: Sherry McCallister

By: Kalea Gunderson and Jarrod Clay | Posted: July 6, 2018 | Source: WCHSTV

Friends and family gathers Friday night to remember the life of 17-year-old Cody McCallister. (WCHS/WVAH)

Friends and family gathered Friday night to remember the life of 17-year-old Cody McCallister, who drowned Thursday night while swimming with friends in the Elk River.

McCallister’s friends, family, and classmates gathered at the former Herbert Hoover High School parking lot to honor the teen who had aspirations of joining the Marines.

The vigil was organized by McCallister’s peers.

Cade Drake said Cody was like a brother to him and one of the most genuine people he has ever met. He said they did pretty much everything together, from welding to playing basketball. They even worked on Cody’s home together after it was damaged in the June 2016 flood.

Thursday night, the two boys and two other friends were swimming in the Elk River when Cade said he noticed…


Deputies release name of 17 year old who drowned in Elk River

By: Jeff Morris | Posted: July 6, 2018 | Source: WCHS

Kanawha County deputies identify the teen who drowned while swimming in the Elk River as Cody A. McCallister, 17, of the Elkview area. (Photo Courtesy of Sherry McCallister)

Kanawha County deputies released the name of a 17 year old who drowned in the Elk River while he was swimming with some friends.

The body of Cody A. McCallister was recovered about 11:20 p.m. Thursday was recovered from the river, according to a news release from the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office.

Metro 911 received a call about 7:30 p.m. that two males were in the Elk River and one male was requesting help. Members of the Clendenin Fire Department and the sheriff’s office were dispatched to…


Former P.O.W. Jessica Lynch Supports Clendenin’s Mayor and Flood Survivors

Photo Courtesy: John Himelrick/Getty Images

By: Jennifer Abney | Posted: July 6, 2018 at 10:47 a.m. | Source: WOWKTV

Jessica Lynch sits down with 13 News Anchor Jennifer Abney to share how her West Virginia roots and lifelong friendships here in the Mountain State helped her to not only survive but thrive on her long road to recovery.