OKLAHOMA TORNADO-WVA OFFER
W.Va. gov offers response help to Oklahoma
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is offering West Virginia's emergency response resources to Oklahoma officials following this week's deadly tornado.
Tomblin said Wednesday he spoke with Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, telling her that West Virginia is "prepared to help out in any way we can."
Tomblin says the state also has reached out to Oklahoma's National Guard and Department of Emergency Management.
At least 24 people died in the tornado that tore through Moore, Okla., on Monday. Up to 13,000 homes were destroyed or damaged.
Rockefeller sponsors new head-injury legislation
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A West Virginia senator who's long pushed parents, coaches and communities to help protect young athletes from concussions is now sponsoring federal legislation to set safety standards for helmets.
U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller says the Youth Sports Concussion Act would help ensure parents aren't misled by false and unproven claims from manufacturers of helmets and other safety equipment.
The bill would require the Consumer Product Safety Commission to review a forthcoming study from the National Academies of Science on youth concussions. The commission might then be able to consider new safety standards for sports equipment if manufacturers don't act on their own.
It would also give the Federal Trade Commission power to consider rules that prohibit false safety claims.
Rockefeller held a discussion on the topic last year in Shepherdstown.
GAS WORKER SCHOOL
W.Va. to launch new oil, gas job training center
FAIRMONT, W.Va. (AP) - A new training center for people who want to work in West Virginia's oil and gas industry is opening in Fairmont, complete with indoor and outdoor laboratories to simulate drilling operations.
The Community and Technical College System is planning a formal announcement next week about the launch of the Appalachian Petroleum Technology in the I-79 Technology Park. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and others are expected to attend.
Pierpont Community and Technical College and West Virginia Northern Community College are teaming up to offer associate and certificate programs in Petroleum Technology, plus a variety of other customized training programs.
Martin Olshinsky, president of West Virginia Northern, says the gas industry spoke, and the schools responded.
Both schools will house indoor drilling simulation labs, and they'll share an outdoor lab in Fairmont.
BLUE STAR MUSEUMS
W.Va. attractions to let military in for free
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Several West Virginia attractions are participating in the National Endowment for the Arts initiative to offer free admission to active-duty military members and their families.
The Blue Star Museums program includes more than 2,000 museums across the country offering the deal starting next week through Labor Day.
On Tuesday, the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences will begin offering free gallery admission, along with discounts for planetarium shows and giant screen films. Military families also will have three free months added onto annual memberships.
Other state attractions in the program are the Huntington Museum of Art, the Children's Discovery Museum in Morgantown and the Morgantown History Museum, the Beverly Heritage Center, the Museums of Oglebay Institute in Wheeling, the Arthurdale Heritage museum, and Bethany's Campbell Mansion.
YOUNG WRITERS DAY
W.Va. students to be recognized at Writers Day
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Hundreds of students will gather in Charleston for the state's annual Young Writers Day.
The event will be held Friday at the University of Charleston's Riggleman Hall.
The students from first through 12th grades participated in a competition that recognizes writing excellence, and an afternoon awards ceremony will be held.
State Superintendent of Schools Jim Phares will address students and parents. The event also includes workshops by West Virginia authors.
The event is sponsored by the state Department of Education and the Central West Virginia Writing Project based at Marshall University's South Charleston campus.
W.Va. firefighter, son face arson charges
MOUNT LOOKOUT, W.Va. (AP) - A volunteer firefighter and his son face charges of setting a string of fires in Nicholas County.
Media outlets report that West Virginia State Police arrested Charles Fillmore Barnett and his son, Charles Lindell Barnett, on Tuesday. Each is charged with arson.
State police say the charges stem from several building and brush fires set in the Mount Lookout area between December 2011 and the spring of 2012.
The elder Barnett is a member of the Wilderness Volunteer Fire Department. His son is a former member of the department.
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