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Schools cancel classes due to W.Va. spill

Jan. 13, 2014 @ 12:00 AM

CHARLESTON -- All public schools in four West Virginia counties will be closed Monday because of a chemical spill that has tainted the water supply.

State Schools Superintendent James Phares says Boone, Kanawha, Lincoln and Putnam counties have cancelled classes at all schools.

Culloden Elementary School in Cabell County and H. E. White Elementary School in Clay County also will be closed.

Phares says schools in Jackson, Logan and Lincoln counties will be open.

West Virginia American Water has told customers in the nine counties to not use their tap water for drinking, bathing, cooking or washing clothes.

The University of Charleston has cancelled all activities at its main campus in Charleston until further notice.

MU's South Charleston campus closed Monday

SOUTH CHARLESTON -- Due to the continued water supply emergency in the greater Charleston area, Marshall University's South Charleston campus will be closed on Monday, Jan. 13.

This emergency does not affect Marshall's main campus in Huntington or other locations around the state, including Point Pleasant, Hurricane and Beckley. Only the South Charleston campus will be closed.

Marshall officials will update the university's website, www.marshall.edu, and social media channels as more information is available about the reopening of the South Charleston campus.

Marshall's campus hosts water station

HUNTINGTON -- Marshall University's Huntington campus continues to reach out to folks affected by the recent water emergency in West Virginia.

The university will have a water station available at the fenced-in area on the north side of the maintenance building on 20th Street from noon to 5 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 13.

Anyone who needs water may pull off 20th Street, into the fenced area. MU physical plant employees will assist those who need water.

Marshall opened its residence halls a day earlier on Saturday for any students living in areas affected by the recent water emergency.

A resident advisor for each hall was on duty to assist students. Students in Twin Towers East, Twin Towers West and Gibson Hall had immediate card access, and the First-Year residence halls were also open.

The halls officially opened Sunday morning for the spring semester.

West Virginia State University closed Monday

INSTITUTE -- Because of the state of emergency affecting a multiple-county region, West Virginia State University will be closed Monday, Jan. 13.

Spring semester classes begin Jan. 21 and therefore will not be affected.

Updates will be posted on the WVSU home page at www.wvstateu.edu. Follow West Virginia State University on Facebook and Twitter @WVStateU.

Kroger locations offering clean water

CHARLESTON -- Kroger announced Sunday afternoon that it was providing clean and safe water free to the public at two locations in the Charleston region.

Two tankers containing spring water have been set up at these Kroger stores:

Kanawha City Kroger at 5717 MacCorkle Ave., SE in Charleston

Dunbar Kroger at 981 Dunbar Village in Dunbar.

"We are pleased to provide this water on a first-come, first-served basis to individuals impacted by the ban on water use," said Carl York, spokesperson for Kroger's Mid-Atlantic region.

Individuals must bring their own containers. "There is no limit to the amount an individual may have," added York. "We will continue to give away the water as long as it lasts."

The West Virginia Health Department has approved the water for public use. The water was obtained from Camp Holly Springs Water Co. in Holly Springs, Va. For more information, visit www.kroger.com.

Arts Day at the Capitol canceled

CHARLESTON -- The West Virginia Division of Culture and History and the West Virginia Commission on the Arts have cancelled Arts Day at the Capitol, which was set for Monday, Jan. 13.

For more information, contact Caryn Gresham, deputy commissioner of the division, at 304-558-0220.

For more information about the division's programs, events and sites, visit www.wvculture.org.

Clay Center Museum closed; box office open

CHARLESTON -- The Clay Center box office will be open Monday and operating on a normal schedule from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The museum remains closed until further notice due to the State of Emergency.

Clay Center normal museum hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Call 304-0561-3570 or go online at www.theclaycenter.org.

Water pressure may fluctuate during system flushing process

CHARLESTON -- According to a news alert about noon Sunday, West Virginia American Water Company, as the system continues to be tested, the National Guard is assisting the Water Company with flushing the water lines.

Customers may experience low water or no water for a short period of time during this flushing process.

Some Prestera locations, programs closed to clients

CHARLESTON -- The following Prestera Center locations will be closed to clients on Monday, Jan. 13, due to the on-going water emergency:

911 Michael Avenue in Charleston

Public Inebriate Shelter in Charleston

Crisis Residential Unit in Charleston (will divert to the Huntington Crisis Unit)

The following Prestera Center programs will be closed to clients on Monday, Jan. 13 (other programs at these locations will be operating on a normal schedule):

Boone County Day Program in Danville, W.Va.

Innerchange Program at 511 Morris Street in Charleston

All other Prestera Center locations and programs will be open and operating on a regular schedule. All staff are to report for work as scheduled.

Volunteers to hold a bottle recycling drive

CHARLESTON -- The Boy Scouts of America Venture Crew from Cross Lanes will collect empty plastic bottles for recycling at Cross Lanes United Methodist Church and at the BSA Buckskin Council Headquarters in Charleston beginning 10 a.m. Monday.

They anticipate the collection will continue until the water ban is lifted.

People can drop off bagged water bottles and volunteers will take them to the Slack Street Recycling Center in Charleston. The Scouts ask that only water bottles be collected at this time.

Cross Lanes United Methodist Church is at 5320 Frontier Drive in Cross Lanes. The BSA Buckskin Council Headquarters is at 2829 Kanawha Blvd. E. in Charleston.

Venture Crew 68 representatives said they were in talks with other troops in the region to help grow the bottle collection effort.

Resort offers special cabin rates for people affected by water ban

LANSING, W.Va. -- Adventures On The Gorge (www.adventurewestvirginia.com) at Ames Heights in Fayette County is offering special "Shower and Shave" family lodging rates for people affected by the water problems in West Virginia. All cabins are available for the family rate of $149 per night for four people; additional guests in a cabin are $20 each. Rental houses at nearby Wild Rock also are available at discounts through Adventures On The Gorge.

"We've dropped our prices by two-thirds to help people who may need to have a temporary home while the water supplies are being tested and the system is prepared to serve water customers,'' said Dave Arnold of Adventures On The Gorge. "Staying at the gorge gives guests great access to the eclectic dining options in nearby Fayetteville as well."

Arnold said he realizes the temporary commute from Fayette County to the affected areas will be about an hour or so, but notes that there are many residents of Fayette County who make the drive on a regular basis. Arnold noted that the water issues which faced Fayette County earlier this month were not related to the Elk River incident but to frozen pipes in West Virginia American Water's system and that problem has been resolved.

"Our guest services staff is available at 304-574-0704 or info@onthegorge.com to share the information about the rates and help people make reservations," Arnold said.

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