News

Legislature
9:54 pm
Sun March 1, 2015

Senate Approves Bill to Scale Back Storage Tank Law

The final vote on Senate Bill 423.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Senators approved 30-1 a bill that will scale back the state’s above ground storage tank law approved in 2014. The law came as a reaction to the Freedom Industries’ chemical spill into the Kanawha River that left 300,000 West Virginians without usable water for as many as ten days.

Senate Bill 423 separates tanks into two levels, with level one tanks receiving the highest level of scrutiny from the state Department of Environmental Protection.

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water
3:54 pm
Sun March 1, 2015

From Springs to Spills: How Does West Virginia's Water Taste to International Judges?

Bottled water display
Credit photo by Cecelia Mason

Appalachia is no stranger to industrial or environmental disasters that affect our water. Because of crumbling water infrastructure in many coalfield communities, folks often turn to bottled water for regular use.

But not all bottled water is equal. At least that’s according to judges at the 25th annual Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting & Competition, which took place February 19-22. The competition judges the taste of bottled water, purified water, and municipal city waters from across the world were judged.

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Legislature
11:16 pm
Sat February 28, 2015

Prevailing Wage Bill Passes in the House

Credit Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

As it’s made its way through the legislative process, Senate Bill 361 has incited just as much passionate debate as any other issue on the House floor. On Saturday, Delegates approved the bill that drastically changes the way the state will calculate the prevailing wage.

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Legislature
6:30 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

W.Va. Senate Approves Bill to Not Require Handgun Permits

Senate President Bill Cole.
Credit Martin Valent / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Senators have approved a push to make West Virginia the sixth state not to require concealed handgun permits.

The Senate's 32-2 vote Monday would drop concealed carry permit requirements. Arkansas, Alaska, Arizona, Vermont and Wyoming similarly don't require them.

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The Legislature Today
6:27 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

State Board of Education Holds Emergency Meeting Over Common Core Repeal

Credit West Virginia Public Broadcasting

At the legislature today, the senate passes the Governor’s bill to reform the state’s juvenile justice system.  Senators from both sides of the aisle praise the bill they say will mend troubled kids and their families.  A public hearing this morning brings out the issue of discrimination against the LGBT community in West Virginia.  And the State Board of Education held an emergency meeting Friday to discuss  a bill they say could cause substantial harm to students, teachers, and school systems in the state.  We’ll find out more on The Legislature Today.

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Inside Appalachia
5:54 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Inside Appalachia: Living with Industrial Spills, Floods and Disasters

Buffalo Creek Flood Disaster Victims at Man, Logan County, W. Va.
Credit West Virginia and Regional History Collection, West Virginia University Libraries

Earlier this month in West Virginia, a CSX train derailed, causing giant fireballs to stretch hundreds of feet into the air and one home to be destroyed. Investigators are trying to figure out what happened to cause this derailment. February also marks the anniversary of other industrial accidents. On this episode, we'll hear from folks who have survived them, and hear why many people are concerned that more of these accidents could happen in the future.

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Legislature
5:27 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Coal Jobs & Safety Act of 2015 Passes in the House

Credit Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The House passed Senate Bill 357 Friday, the Coal Jobs and Safety Act of 2015. This bill has caused a lot of controversy, so it was no surprise when the House debated the bill for two hours. Republicans feel like the bill is an update to previous safety laws, while some Democrats feel like it’s a scale back.

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HB 2881
4:18 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Video: Public Hearing on Controversial W.Va. Bill Banning LGBT Anti-Discrimination Laws

Credit West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Update: Late Friday afternoon, the House Government Organization Committee postponed indefinitely further consideration of House Bill 2881.  The last day for committees to pass bills is Sunday, March 1, 2015.

The West Virginia House of Delegates held a public hearing on HB 2881 on Friday morning. The West Virginia Intrastate Commerce Improvement Act would prohibit cities and counties from enacting or enforcing non-discrimination laws that do not already exist on the state level.

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Woody Williams
1:56 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Manchin Urges Navy to Name Ship After Williams

Credit e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

  U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin is urging the Navy to name a ship after Medal of Honor recipient Hershel "Woody" Williams.

 Manchin made the request Friday in a letter to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus.

He said naming a ship after the Fairmont native would not only honor his legacy, but also the legacy of scores of other West Virginia veterans and their families.

The 91-year-old Williams is the last living Medal of Honor recipient from the Battle of Iwo Jima. After retiring from the Marines, he worked for the Veterans Affairs Administration for 35 years. 

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Phone Scam
9:11 am
Fri February 27, 2015

WVU Warns Students About Phone Scam

West Virginia University is warning students about a phone scam in which the caller impersonates police.

The Dominion Post reports that the Charleston Police Department appears on the caller ID, and the caller asks for personal information.

WVU Police Chief Rob Roberts says his agency has received about 15 reports of the scam. Students who received the calls were told that warrants were issued for their arrest and their scholarship funds are in jeopardy if personal information is not immediately provided.

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West Virginia Morning
8:23 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Legislators Discuss Reporting Sexual Assault in Schools

On this West Virginia Morning, we bring you the latest on a discussion in WV about loopholes and possible changes to laws regarding sexual assaults in schools, a team at Marshall work on including black history elements in a mobile phone app, and we bring you our Mountain Stage Song of the Week.

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Derailment Clean-up Continues
6:53 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

CSX Railway in Fayette County Reopened to Commerce

Credit Steve Helber / AP

The railroad tracks have been restored and the railway reopened at the site of last week’s fiery train derailment in Fayette County.   

All cars impacted by the derailment have been removed from the tracks and relocated to CSX’s Handley Yard where they will be cleaned and purged of any remaining crude oil residue.

At the derailment site, response crews installed a retaining wall approximately 500 feet long between the train tracks and the river.  This will help prevent any residual crude oil from migrating into the river through groundwater or surface run-off.   

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The Legislature Today
6:29 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Secretary of State Decries Unlimited Campaign Contribution Bill

At the legislature today, after a high school principal resigned and faces misdemeanor charges for failing to report a sexual assault at his school, lawmakers revisit a law pertaining to that issue.  One senator lashes out at a house bill that prohibits local anti-discrimination ordinances.  And we’ll talk with the Secretary of State about election bills at this session on The Legislature Today.

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Legislature
5:07 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Senate Amends Opioid Antagonist Bill after Veto

Credit Martin Valent / WV Legislative Photography

Members of the Senate amended Senate Bill 335 Thursday after it was returned by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin. Tomblin vetoed the bill citing technical deficiencies.

The Opioid Antagonist bill allows emergency responders, medical professionals and friends and family to administer drugs that reverse the effects of an overdose, possibly saving a person's life. 

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Legislature
5:00 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

House Seeks to Strengthen Sexual Assault Laws at Schools

Members of the House Judiciary Committee are revisiting the state's mandatory reporting law after an incident at Capital High School in Charleston. The school's principal, Clinton Giles, resigned from his post after reports that he failed to notify law enforcement of a sexual assault on the high school's campus. Giles was reportedly notified of the January 26th incident by a counselor, and he now faces misdemeanor charges in Kanawha County Circuit Court. The incident now has lawmakers looking to update a forty year old law dealing with sexual assaults. But first, the committee considered a bill that aims to reign in the receptions lawmakers are invited to while in Charleston for legislative meetings.

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Black History
4:59 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Grant to Help History App Strengthen Black History Offerings

Credit http://theclio.com/web/

  A team at Marshall University has received a Knight News Challenge Grant to take a smart phone or mobile device history app and improve its black history offerings.

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Mountain State University
3:06 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Judges OK Settlement with ex-Mountain State Students

Credit Mountain State University / Google+

A three-judge panel says former students of Mountain State University are entitled to an $11.3 million payout.

Media reports state that the so-called mass litigation panel met in Charleston on Thursday to approve the proposed settlement.

The students argued that Mountain State did not provide them with an education worthy of the tuition they paid. The private university closed after it lost its accreditation in 2012 because of leadership, organizational and integrity issues.

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Health Care Fraud
10:42 am
Thu February 26, 2015

Charleston Pharmacy Owner Pleads Guilty in Fraud Case

A Charleston pharmacy owner faces up to five years in prison after pleading guilty to making a false statement in a health care matter.

Paula Butterfield also pleaded guilty on behalf of her business, Trivillian's Pharmacy, to health care fraud and misbranding drugs.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin says the pharmacy faces a fine, up to 10 years of probation and restitution.

Butterfield entered the pleas Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Charleston. She and the pharmacy are scheduled to be sentenced May 28.

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Gag Order
10:38 am
Thu February 26, 2015

Gag Order Not Needed if Trial Moved

Credit Brianhayden1980 / wikimedia Commons

Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship's lawyers say a gag order in his criminal case would be unnecessary if his trial is moved.

They say in a legal brief that polling shows about half of the community in the U.S. District Court's Beckley Division believes Blankenship is guilty.

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News
10:36 am
Thu February 26, 2015

Ex-highways Supervisor Gets Probation For Lying to FBI

A former West Virginia Division of Highways supervisor who admitted lying to the FBI has received probation.

Edward Matthew Tuttle was sentenced on Wednesday to three years of probation. The 39-year-old Buckhannon resident had pleaded guilty in August 2014 to making a false statement to a federal agent.

U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld II said Thursday that Tuttle made false statements to an FBI agent during an investigation of the DOH's Equipment Division.

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