The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Breaking News

Local News

February 25, 2012

Panel approves public breast feeding

CHARLESTON — A Senate panel Friday approved a bill declaring that a child’s right to nurse in a public setting is “socially acceptable.”

Not only that, says its sponsor, Sen. Dan Foster, D-Kanawha, but breast feeding produces a healthier adult and saves the parents money that normally goes for formula.

For a brief time, SB4 contained an amendment that would have exempted prisons and jails, but this was removed after Cinny Kittle, representing the West Virginia Breast Feeding Alliance, objected.

The Charleston resident told the Senate Judiciary Committee that removing prisons and jails could ultimately doom the entire proposal.

Foster, a Charleston surgeon, said public breast feeding is permissible in 45 states, none of which excludes prisons and jails.

If the bill is enacted, Corrections Commissioner Jim Rubenstein said he would move to accommodate visitors at facilities in his agency.

Foster’s bill has been around for several sessions, but never has reached the governor’s desk.

“Breast-fed children clearly are healthier,” he said.

Foster alluded to health statistics showing such infants grow up with far fewer instances of allergies, obesity and infectious diseases.

“In the first year of life, from an economic standpoint, data from the American Academy of Pediatricians shows it costs $400 less on average for a baby that’s been breast-fed,” the senator said.

Foster noted that the savings in allowing a child to nurse would be in the millions of dollars.

The idea hasn’t been without some objections in the past.

Foster attributed this to people who tend to be “squeamish, the idea of women in public exposing themselves.”

But he suspects there is another motive driving the opposition.

“The big push is from the industry making the formula,” he said. “That’s where a lot of it’s coming from. They do a lot of advertising and have been able to convince women it’s just as good because they have a product they’re trying to sell. That’s where a lot of the resistance comes from.”

- The committee also approved a bill that creates a spay-and-neuter fund.

Funded with a $50,000 line item in the budget, and a special check-off on personal income tax forms, the intent is to reduce feral cats and stray dogs.

- Another bill would require hotels and motels to install carbon monoxide detectors, inspired by the recent death of an out-of-state resident in a Charleston-area motel.

- The same committee also approved a bill that criminalizes trademark counterfeiting.

This one was prompted by a recent uproar by West Virginia University over a firm that manufactured T-shirts with risqué messages and employed the familiar “WV” logo.

— E-mail: mannix@register-herald.com

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Jury trial set in Bob Graham case

    Robert E. “Bob” Graham, the former executive director of the Wyoming County Council on Aging and All-Care Home and Community Services Inc., will be back in U.S. District Court in Bluefield this October for a trial to recover consequential damages for aggravation and inconvenience from National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa., the insurance company that provided him coverage when he served as director of the two agencies.

    July 25, 2014

  • Calendar — Friday, July 25, 2014

    July 25, 2014

  • Kids drama camp dips into the acting bug

    Some kids growled and grumbled. Others complained about the stories they heard. A few wore pig noses. Grandpa nearly fell asleep.

    July 25, 2014

  • Sewage treatment plant project clears another hurdle

    Ronceverte’s planned construction of a new sewage treatment plant cleared another regulatory hurdle with the expiration Wednesday of a 20-day waiting period at the state Public Service Commission.

    July 25, 2014

  • Saints arrive 1 Saints march into ‘Almost Heaven, W.Va.’

    At 3:54 p.m. Wednesday afternoon the New Orleans Saints’ chartered flight touched the ground at the Greenbrier Valley Airport, and Greenbrier County officially became “Who Dat?” Country. INCLUDES TOUT VIDEO.

    July 24, 2014 3 Photos

  • Broadband panel eyes access to rural areas

    The West Virginia Broadband Deployment Council met far outside its typical Charleston venue Wednesday to hear issues about Internet speeds in some of the state’s most rural regions.

    July 24, 2014

  • Lewisburg official says fuel spill contained, drinking water safe

    Lewisburg’s public works director is confident that a Tuesday afternoon fuel spill 60 miles upriver from the city water system’s intake has been contained and the water is safe to drink.

    July 24, 2014

  • Lewisburg keeping eye on gas spill

    Mayor John Manchester said Tuesday night it was in the city’s best interest that officials proceed with caution to reports of a diesel spill farther up the Greenbrier River because “we wouldn’t want to run into an Elk River challenge here."

    July 24, 2014

  • NCCC team brings its skills to work in Hinton

    William Custus, 20, of Washington, and Sabree Koonce, 21, of Leavenworth, Kan., have spent the summer making West Virginia beautiful.

    July 24, 2014

  • Cyclist injured in accident

    A cyclist was injured on a trail near the Gauley River when she fell from her bike to avoid a tree branch.

    July 24, 2014