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

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CHEMICAL SPILL-PETA

PETA opposes using animals in W.Va. testing

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - An animal rights group opposes plans to conduct testing on animals of chemicals that spilled into West Virginia's largest water supply using animals.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals voiced concerns in a letter Thursday to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.

Wednesday, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials promised additional tests on rats, worms and zebra fish. They will cost up to $1.2 million and take up to a year.

Joseph Manuppello of PETA wrote animal tests are often inconclusive and irrelevant to humans.

He suggested more in-home water testing and non-animal studies.

Tomblin has called for additional toxicology studies tests before more in-home sampling.

Spokesman Chris Stadelman said the governor respects federal officials' determination of studies.

The January spill caused a tap-water ban for 300,000 people for days.

HUNTINGTON POLICE HIRINGS

Huntington to hire additional police officers

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) - The city of Huntington is reallocating $500,000 in its budget to hire 10 police officers to fight drug problems in neighborhoods.

Media outlets report the city council unanimously approved the move Thursday. It will transfer funds from the city's insurance program and the street paving budget.

Mayor Steve Williams told the council that Huntington residents are scared to take their children outside. He says the hirings will send a message to drug dealers to get out.

Williams says the hope is to have the new officers in place by the end of the year. In addition to the new officers, an information technology position will be created.

City officials estimate that drug offenses in Huntington by the end of the year will jump 89 percent over 2013 levels.

PROSECUTOR-ABUSE CHARGE

Kanawha commissioners to seek prosecutor's removal

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Kanawha County commissioners have agreed to begin removal proceedings against Prosecutor Mark Plants.

Media outlets report the commission voted Thursday to file a petition, citing the costs of paying a special prosecutor to handle certain cases in his place. Once filed, the state Supreme Court would appoint a panel to rule on it.

Plants and his office are barred from handling cases involving crimes of violence by a parent or guardian, abuse and neglect cases, and violations of domestic violence protection orders.

Plants was charged with domestic battery for allegedly hitting one of his sons several times with a belt and for violating an order not to have contact with his children or ex-wife.

Under a recent agreement, the charges may be dismissed if he completes a batterers intervention program.

WVSU DRILL

'Active shooter' drill Friday at WVSU

INSTITUTE, W.Va. (AP) - Visitors might notice an unusual amount of activity on the campus of West Virginia State University.

A training exercise is scheduled Friday on the school's Institute campus for local and state first responders, the university's public safety officers and students and faculty, among others.

The drill is aimed at putting to the test an emergency response to an active shooter on campus.

Colleges and universities are required under the Clery act to test their emergency response plans on an annual basis.

This is first training exercise of its scope at the university.

JUNIOR TROOPER

Graduation day Friday for junior troopers

INSTITUTE, W.Va. (AP) - It's graduation day at West Virginia State University for the 19th Junior Trooper Academy.

The academy is a week-long program designed to introduce young people between the ages of 14-17 to the law enforcement field. Instruction includes training in firearms, Internet safety, crime scene investigation and other related classes.

Fifty-seven junior troopers participated in the training this week. Friday's graduation is scheduled for 10 a.m.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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