AMP-OHIO PLANT TO CLOSE IN DECEMBER:
American Municipal Power's Richard H. Gorsuch Generating Station on State Route 7 near Marietta will close by Dec. 15, according to a release from AMP-Ohio.
The closure is part of a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Justice to resolve alleged clean air violations.
The plant employs approximately 90 people.
The settlement mandated the plant must be shuttered by Dec. 31, 2012, but AMP-Ohio announced this afternoon that operations at the facility would cease by Dec. 15 of this year. Continuing to invest in the plant when it would be shut down in two years did not make fiscal sense, the release says.
AMP-Ohio must also spend $15 million on an environmental mitigation project and pay a civil penalty of $850,000, according to court documents filed Tuesday.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency filed suit in April 2009, alleging the coal-fired plant violated pollution standards for years through improper upgrades and maintenance on the nearly 60-year-old facility. According to the suit, the work violated the spirit of the U.S. Clean Air Act, which was aimed at reducing emissions by phasing-out the nations oldest and dirtiest power plants.
The Clean Air Act requires older plants to undergo a permitting process for any major modification. Any improvements would subject the plant to the same regulations as newer facilities.
AMP-Ohio says in the release that it was never in violation of its operating permits and has actually made improvements to the plant to reduce emissions.
The plant pays more than $300,000 a year in taxes to the Warren Local school district. The Warren board of Education has called an emergency meeting for 8 a.m. Thursday, with the closing expected to be one of the topics, along with the district's bond issue.
HUMANE SOCIETY TO BENEFIT FROM BROUGHTON SOCIAL:
The Humane Society of the Ohio Valley will be the beneficiary of the 2010 Broughton Ice Cream Social.
David Broughton, general manager of the company, made the announcement Wednesday at the shelter on County House Lane.
Each year, the company accepts applications from organizations, and a committee reviews them and selects one winner to receive 100 percent of the money raised at the event.
The humane society has applied in the past, Broughton said, but this is the first time the shelter has been selected.
"This year was their year," Broughton said. "They desperately need the money."
Broughton said the social, which has been held for 26 years, usually raises between $15,000 and $20,000, and 34 organizations have received a total of about $400,000 since its inception.
LAW ENFORCEMENT: TIMES SQUARE SUSPECT CONSIDERED OTHER TARGETS:
NEW YORK (AP) - The Times Square car bomb suspect had considered bombing Grand Central Terminal or other New York City landmarks before settling on Times Square as his target, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
Faisal Shahzad also considered Rockefeller Center in midtown Manhattan, the World Financial Center near ground zero and Sikorsky Inc., a defense contractor with an office in his Connecticut hometown, before deciding to drive an SUV rigged with a homemade bomb into Times Square, the official told the AP on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the investigation.
The Pakistani-American eventually abandoned the other targets and did not plan any other attacks after the failed May 1 bombing, the official said.
On Tuesday, Shahzad appeared in a U.S. court for the first time since his May 3 arrest on terrorism and weapons charges. He had been under guard at a Brooklyn hotel while investigators questioned him until then, another law enforcement official told the AP on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation.
Authorities say Shahzad's willingness to talk kept him out of court for two weeks, speeding up the progress of an investigation into his plot to set off the homemade car bomb on a spring Saturday evening amid hundreds of people enjoying the tourist haven.