Sometimes the news is random, and sometimes it aligns itself into tidy patterns and themes. Today is West Virginia day!
• A group of residents in Boone County, W. Va., has sued coal giant Massey Energy and several subsidiaries for polluting their groundwater. The suit asks for replacement water supplies and compensation for personal and property damages. Meanwhile, a sympathetic group has raised enough funds to begin delivering clean water to the residents. (See their lurid toilet tank photos.)
• Over the weekend, officials in Bellaire, Ohio, which sits in the Wheeling, W. Va., metro area, mistook a barrel of hydrochloric acid for a barrel of fluoride and dumped it into the water supply. As reported in the Wheeling papers, a “do not drink” order led businesses and schools to shut down for the day on Monday, but everything’s copacetic now.
• A story about driverless taxis coming to Abu Dhabi’s super-green Masdar City mentions that the world’s only such system is in — wait for it — Morgantown, W. Va. A fact that the transit-obsessed must surely know. But do they know that the PRT — which stands for Personal Rapid Transit — is apparently known by the students at West Virginia University as “Pretty Retarded Train”? You learn something every dang day.