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This Hour: Latest West Virginia news, sports, business and entertainment

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CDC: W.Va. agency was untrained for chem spill

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A federal report says West Virginia public health officials weren't trained to respond to a January chemical spill along the Elk River.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the state Bureau for Public Health had no epidemiologists trained specifically to deal with chemical or natural disasters. Instead, those who focus on infectious diseases led the bureau's response to the spill Jan. 9 spill at Freedom Industries.

The spill contaminated 300,000 people's tap water for days.

The report says the bureau's epidemiologists received training to chemical exposure assessment in late March.

The report says an epidemiologist who is focused in this area could rapidly coordinate a response in the event of an environmental disaster.

State epidemiologist Dr. Loretta Haddy said Tuesday the bureau is reviewing the report.


New federal mining rule survives court challenge

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - New federal rules that labor officials say could save lives at dangerous mining sites have survived a court challenge from mining industry groups.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday dismissed the lawsuit brought by the National Mining Association and other groups.

The new rules, approved in January, allow federal labor officials to designate a mine as a repeat violator of safety rules without a prior warning. It also allows regulators to impose the pattern of violations designation before mine operators are finished appealing the violations, which could hold up enforcement for months or years.

The appeals court's opinion said it did not have jurisdiction to rule in the case.

The National Mining Association had argued that the new rules can be costly for operators.


Special counsel recommends W.Va. judge suspension

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A special counsel is recommending that a Randolph County judge be suspended without pay for four years.

Rachael Fletcher Cipoletti also recommends that Circuit Judge Jaymie Wilfong be censured.

Cipoletti is special judicial disciplinary counsel for the Judicial Investigation Commission. She made the recommendations in a brief filed Tuesday.

The brief says Wilfong had an affair with the former director of North Central Community Corrections and refused to recuse herself from cases involving him or his staff. The brief also alleges that Wilfong performed sexual acts on him in her chambers between court proceedings.

Wilfong's lawyers say in a response that her conduct doesn't justify what they call the "death penalty."

The case is before the Judicial Hearing Board, which will make a recommendation to the West Virginia Supreme Court.


Civil suit alleges sex assault by western Md. doctor

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) - A West Virginia woman is suing a disgraced doctor for more than $1.5 million, alleging he sexually assaulted her at a walk-in clinic in western Maryland.

The lawsuit filed in Allegany County Circuit Court also names Dr. William Dando's former employer, MedExpress Urgent Care, of Morgantown, West Virginia. It alleges the company knew, or should have known, about Dando's 1987 conviction for a Florida rape.

Neither Dando nor his lawyer immediately responded to telephone calls and emails Tuesday from The Associated Press.

The Maryland Board of Physicians suspended Dando's license in June after he was charged with molesting another woman at the clinic in LaVale. He denies those charges.

State officials are investigating the state medical board's decision to license Dando in Maryland in 1996 despite his criminal history.


Bank to consolidate 4 branches in Va., W.Va.

HONAKER, Va. (AP) - New Peoples Bank, Inc. plans to consolidate four branches in Virginia and West Virginia into other branches.

Honaker, Virginia-based New Peoples Bank says in a news release that the Jonesville branch will be consolidated into Big Stone Gap. The Norton branch will be consolidated into Esserville. Branches in Bland and Bluewell, West Virginia, will be consolidated into the Bluefield, Virginia, branch.

The changes are effective Oct. 31.

New Peoples Bank president and CEO Jonathan Mullins says in the release that the bank is working to place affected employees in other jobs within the organization. Severance pay and outplacement support will be offered to employees who will not have an opportunity to remain with the bank.


Redskins show solidarity with Ferguson protest

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) - The "Hands up, don't shoot" protest has made its way to the NFL.

The Washington Redskins secondary emerged from the stadium tunnel during pregame introductions Monday night with hands raised and palms forward.

It was a show of solidarity with the people in Ferguson, Missouri, who are protesting the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Eleven players took part as the team was preparing to face the Cleveland Browns.

Safety Ryan Clark said Brown "could have been any one of us. That could have been any one of our brothers, our cousins. ... When you get an opportunity to make a statement and be more than a football player, it's good."

Protesters have gathered daily in Ferguson since Brown was fatally was shot by a police officer Aug. 9.

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