Thumbs up ... to Fayette County schools which helped bring in over $10,000 toward the fight against our nation’s No. 1 killer, heart disease. Fourteen out of the 18 schools in the district completed a Jump Rope For Heart event with their students in an effort to raise life-saving funds for the American Heart Association.
Thumbs up ... to Cliffs Natural Resources’ Pinnacle Blue Mine Rescue Team, based at the Pinnacle Mining Complex near Pineville, which took first place overall in the Alabama Coal Association’s annual Alabama State Mine Rescue competition. Twelve teams from three states competed in the three-day contest which included events from first aid, bench, and pre-shift to simulated mine rescue scenarios.
Thumbs up ... out of state utility companies that have moved into the area to help restore power after storms moved through the state earlier in the week. At one point, American Electric Power reported more than 61,000 customers in the dark throughout the state. This included 16,000 without power in Cabell County, 8,900 in Wayne County, 3,000 in Lincoln County, 4,300 in Kanawha County, 6,000 in Fayette County, and a few hundred each in Mason, Jackson, Putnam, Roane, Clay, Nicholas and Greenbrier counties.
Thumbs down ... to Jefferson County’s swift water rescue team being disbanded because of a lack of participation. There are now only three members. Independent Fire Company in Ranson housed and funded the team that was made up of firefighters and emergency medical technicians from other fire companies that would respond whenever someone was stranded or in distress in water.
Thumbs down ... a West Virginia coal prep plant facing more than $72,200 in fines for spilling slurry into an eastern Kanawha County creek in February. The state Department of Environmental Protection announced fines against St. Louis-based Patriot Coal. The Feb. 11 spill occurred at Patriot’s Kanawha Eagle Prep Plant in Winifrede. The company estimated 108,000 gallons of slurry spilled and temporarily blackened Fields Creek, a Kanawha River tributary and impacted about 6 miles of stream.