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West Virginia's public schools were closed Thursday, as teachers across the state walked out and protested for better pay and benefits from state lawmakers.

Gov. Jim Justice signed a bill Wednesday to give teachers a 2 percent pay raise starting in July, and an additional 1 percent pay increase in 2020 and 2021.

On The Legislature Today, capitol security estimates 2,000 teachers poured into the Capitol Thursday – the first of a 2-day teachers' work stoppage. All 55 West Virginia county school systems were closed because of the work stoppage over teacher salaries and Public Employee Insurance Agency costs. Host Andrea Lannom brings you the latest from the event, and she chats with House Minority Leader Tim Miley, D-Harrison and Del. Ron Walters, R-Kanawha on current action at the statehouse.

Kristian Thacker

The West Virginia House of Delegates has approved a plan to use part of yearly budget surpluses to help fund public employee health insurance.

The bill comes as thousands of teachers, school service personnel and other public employees took to the Capitol Thursday, Feb. 22, to rally lawmakers for better pay and an overhaul of their insurance plan. Schools in all 55 of West Virginia’s counties were closed Thursday because of the work stoppage. A second day of walkouts is planned for Friday.

West Virginia Department of Transportation

West Virginia's Senate has voted 21-12 to keep secret from the public the payroll records from contractors on public works projects including road reconstruction funded by $1.6 billion in voter-approved bonding. 

Supporters say it will protect the personal information of workers at private companies that still will have to provide payroll information to the Department of Labor.


West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, in the wake of school shootings in Kentucky and Florida, there has been a rash of copycat school threats throughout the Ohio Valley, leaving law enforcement and education officials grappling with how to improve security. A school counseling expert from West Virginia University says it’s useful to look at the potential school shootings that did not happen. Glynis Board reports that his work focuses on how schools have successfully averted shooting incidents.

Pokey LaFarge
Brian Blauser / Mountain Stage

 

"An aural anachronism of country, Western swing, ragtime, jazz, bluegrass and Americana [that] brings the nostalgia to Technicolor-life," critically-acclaimed Mid-Westerner Pokey LaFarge performs a rollicking "Hard Times Come and Go" during his fourth appearance on Mountain Stage with special guest host Todd Burge. 

Walter Scriptunas II / AP Photo

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has signed legislation that will provide teachers, school service personnel and state police with a 2 percent pay increase starting in July. The signing of the bill comes on the eve of a two-day statewide work stoppage planned by teachers and service personnel amid growing frustrations over salaries, healthcare and other issues.

Nicole Erwin

In the wake of school shootings in Kentucky and Florida, a rash of copycat school threats throughout the Ohio Valley left law enforcement and school officials grappling with how to improve security. A school counseling expert says it’s useful to look at the potential school shootings that did not happen. His research focuses on how schools have successfully averted shooting incidents.

Culture of Dignity

On The Legislature Today, we take a closer look at energy legislation moving through this session. Host Andrea Lannom chats with Senate Energy, Industry and Mining Committee Chairman Sen. Randy Smith, R-Tucker, as well as Executive Director of the West Virginia Rivers Coalition Angie Rosser.

Pills, Drugs, Prescriptions, prescription drugs
RayNata / wikimedia

Ten doctors have been charged with overprescribing pain pills from clinics in West Virginia and Virginia, federal prosecutors announced Tuesday. Two of those patients died.

Medical Marijuana
John Locher / AP Photo

West Virginia's medical marijuana board will recommend that state lawmakers allow patients who meet certain requirements to buy smokable forms of the drug.

West Virginia House of Delegates, January 2018.
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The West Virginia House voted in favor of legislation requiring state agencies to propose cutting two old rules whenever they adopt a new one.

Gloria Triplett, a reading specialist at East Chapmanville Elementary School, holds signs Friday, Feb. 2, 2018, during a teacher rally at the West Virginia Capitol in Charleston, W.Va.
John Raby / Associated Press

Updated: Feb. 21, 2018 at 6:18 p.m.

 

As lawmakers readied themselves Tuesday night to complete action on a bill calling for pay raises for teachers, school service personnel and state police, Gov. Jim Justice released a statement criticizing state leaders of teacher unions as well as Democrats for grandstanding in an election year. With leaders of two of the state’s teacher unions still unsatisfied, a two-day work stoppage looms -- and questions remain if recent legislative actions might push educators to extend their time off the job.

Adobe Stock

Taking as little as a 15-minute walk after each meal can help you lose weight, lower blood sugar, improve circulation and aid in digestion among other things, according to Mon Health family medicine doctor Gabrielle Sakellarides.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia House of Delegates has passed a bill that would expand a work requirement for some people who receive federal food assistance. House Bill 4001 would create a workforce requirement for able-bodied adults without dependents who receive food benefits through the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP. Dave Mistich reports from the Capitol.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

With a statewide teacher walkout looming for Thursday and Friday, the West Virginia Legislature is sending a pay raise bill to the governor that awaits his signature.

After the Senate approved an amendment from the body’s Rules Committee, the House debated the latest version of Senate Bill 267 for nearly two hours before deciding to concur with the Senate’s amendment.

On The Legislature Today, the looming statewide teacher work stoppage is scheduled for later this week, and there are several related issues before the Finance and Education Committees. Host Andrea Lannom chats with Del. Paul Espinosa, R-Jefferson, Chairman of the House Education Committee and member of the House Finance committee. Also joining the conversation is Del. Larry Rowe, D-Kanawha, member of both the House Education and Finance Committees.

Adobe Stock

A pastor in Fairmont has publicly supported a local human rights ordinance that would protect LGBTQ people from discrimination. But the endorsement could cost her church its spot in a local Baptist association and from the West Virginia Baptist Convention.


Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The West Virginia House of Delegates has passed a bill that would expand a work requirement for some people who receive federal food assistance.

Adobe Stock

A group of Marshall University students, faculty and staff have assisted in stopping child trafficking cases in Latin America. The work was done through a partnership with the nonprofit Operation Underground Railroad.

The work involved sex trafficking cases in Latin America, the Caribbean and Southeast Asia. Select students in Marshall’s Open Source Intelligence Exchange program worked to provide open source intelligence collection and analysis for law enforcement and other clients. Open source refers to data collection from publicly available sources.

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