The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

State News

May 13, 2014

W.Va. news briefs

UMW backs new coal dust rule

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United Mine Workers of America is giving “qualified support” to the Obama administration’s new rule aimed at cutting the amount of coal dust in coal mines.

The union said Monday that it approves of many parts of the rule, which was issued last month. Among them is a reduction in the overall dust standard from 2.0 to 1.5 milligrams per cubic meter of air.

But the union says it is concerned that dust monitors would be required only in coal-producing sections of mines.

Still, the union says on balance the rule should lead to a reduction of black lung disease.

The National Mining Association and others have challenged the new rule in court.


Outfitters test rafting below Hawks Nest Dam

GAULEY BRIDGE  (AP) — A section of the New River between Hawks Nest Dam and Gauley Bridge is being studied for potential whitewater rafting.

The study of the 6-mile section known as the New River Dries is part of the process for the hydroelectric dam’s re-licensing by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Volunteer outfitters paddled the Dries last week in rafts and kayaks at several water release levels from the dam. They then filled out rating questionnaires.

West Virginia Professional River Outfitters director Bobby Bower tells the Charleston Gazette that a release of 2,000 cubic feet per second provided what he called a “good, splashy ride.”

During the summer, water releases are typically 100 cubic feet per second. That’s the minimum flow needed to maintain stream quality and aquatic life downstream.



Wheeling Jesuit receives grant for teacher program

WHEELING (AP) — Wheeling Jesuit University has received a $172,000 grant to show teachers how to integrate technology into their lessons.

The grant will be used to offer a professional development program called e-TechTeach.

In addition to using technology, e-TechTeach educates teachers on an instructional method called flipped learning. The flipped learning method involves presenting lesson material through video. Class time is spent working on activities that promote thinking skills.

The program offers a curriculum package for college instructors of pre-service teachers, and a professional development program for current educators.

Wheeling Jesuit announced the grant from the Benedum Foundation on Monday.

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