News

Oil and Gas Industry
10:49 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

“Fracking’s Toxic Loophole”: Report Calls for Repeal of Halliburton’s Loophole

Credit Environmental Integrity Project

A new report has just been published that identifies large amounts of toxic chemicals legally used in the oil and gas industry—such chemical-use in any other industrial application is regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act. Not so for the gas industry.


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Public Education
10:00 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

W.Va. Education Committee Exploring Realignment of Regional Education

Credit West Virginia Department of Education

For the past 20 months, the West Virginia Board of Education’s Commission on School District Governance and Administration has been discussing ways the state can restructure at the regional level to provide better service to the local school districts. At a meeting Thursday, members finalized their recommendations for the full board who will vote on them in November.

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Claiming Benefits
9:16 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Retired Miner with Black Lung Approved for Transplant

Credit Jessica Lilly

Former coal miner Robert Bailey was recently approved for a double lung transplant after waiting months for a black lung medical benefits claim to be approved. We spoke with Robert Bailey in June when he was waiting to hear if Patriot Coal’s insurance company would approve his appointment for a medical evaluation. 

Bailey’s doctor told him he needed a lung transplant in February of this year. Since then, he’s been working towards the waiting list. As we reported in June, Bailey had to cancel an evaluation appointment as Patriot Coal’s insurance company, Underwriters Safety and Claims, evaluated his request for coverage.  We caught up with Bailey at his kitchen table in Princeton about three months later to recap his journey.

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Halloween
2:30 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Shepherdstown Kicks-Off Second Annual Boo!Fest

Credit Shepherdstown Visitors Center

Just in time for Halloween, the second annual Boo!Fest in Shepherdstown kicks off tomorrow night starting with a Vampire Ball.

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Economy
1:19 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

W.Va. Coalfields Senate Panel Sets First Meeting

A state Senate panel studying how to revitalize West Virginia's struggling southern coalfields has scheduled its first meeting.

The Southern Coalfields Organizing and Revitalizing the Economy initiative, or SCORE, group will meet Wednesday evening. The meeting will take place at the Raleigh County Commission on Aging in Beckley.

It's the first in a series of regional listening sessions. The group will then present recommendations for consideration in the 60-day legislative session starting in January.

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Higher Education
12:58 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

West Virginia University Expels Three Students for Riots

Credit Twitter

  Three West Virginia University students were expelled from campus Thursday for various acts of misconduct following Saturday's WVU-Baylor football game. 

Other students may also face University sanctions as various law enforcement agencies complete their investigations and reports and provide that information to the University. These cases are independent of any state or local criminal penalties and fines the students may face.

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FIOA
12:29 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

West Virginia DEP Ordered to Release Pollution Data

Credit Department of Environmental Protection

  A judge says the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection violated the state's Freedom of Information Act when it denied a law firm's request for water pollution data.

Kanawha County Circuit Court Judge Charles King ordered the DEP this week to provide the data to Appalachian Mountain Advocates.

The law firm sued the DEP after the agency denied its 2013 request for the most recent quarterly data showing water pollution levels at coal mines statewide. In the past, the DEP provided similar data in a spreadsheet format.

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City Government
10:24 am
Thu October 23, 2014

ACLU Criticizes Parkersburg's Panhandling Signs

  Parkersburg's panhandling signs are drawing criticism from the American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia.

The signs discourage people from giving to panhandlers, saying it contributes to drug and alcohol abuse.

ACLU of West Virginia executive director Jennifer Meinig tells The Parkersburg News and Sentinel that the signs are defamatory. She says they suggest that all panhandlers suffer from drug and alcohol issues.

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Arts & Culture
9:45 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Is It OK to Use That Word?

There's a new film festival being held this weekend in Lewisburg.  It will feature two films making their West Virginia premieres.  "Skeleton Twins" starring former Saturday Night Live stars Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig and "To Be Takei," featuring George Takei who played Mr. Sulu in the original TV "Star Trek" series but is now known for his gay and civil rights activism.
But the title of this film festival contains a certain word. For an explanation into the use of that word, Beth Vorhees went right to the film festival's director Tim Ward.

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Economy
9:09 am
Thu October 23, 2014

All W.Va. Counties See Jobless Rate Decrease in September

  Unemployment rates fell in all 55 of West Virginia's counties in September.

WorkForce West Virginia says that at 11 percent, Mingo County was the only one with a jobless rate in the double digits.

Counties with an unemployment rate below 5 percent included Harrison (4.9), Putnam (4.9), Preston (4.7), Jefferson (4.6), Pendleton (4.3) and Monongalia (4.1).

The state's seasonally adjusted jobless rate in September was 6.6 percent.

West Virginia Morning
8:15 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Lawmakers Told WVOASIS Has More Problems, Group Prepares for Queer Film Festival

The director of WVOASIS, West Virginia's new integrated software platform, told lawmakers the fourth phase of the system will be delayed by at least three months after testing did not meet the required milestones. The opening of an expeditionary learning school in Huntington will also be delayed as crews work to renovate an old middle school into a facility equiped for a new style of learning.

The Appalachian Queer Film Festival begins this weekend in Lewisburg and it's director says it's okay to use that word.  

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State Government
7:22 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Official: WVOASIS Not Ready for Next Phase

WVOASIS Director Rick Pickens spoke to members of the Joint Committee on Government Organization on the House floor.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Lawmakers were updated Wednesday on the roll out process of the state's new software system designed to integrate almost every function in government. 

The first phase of WVOASIS, or 'Our Advanced Solution with Integrated Systems, was implemented in August of 2013. It's latest phase took effect July of this year, but wasn't necessarily the smooth transition many state officials had hoped for.

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Safety
5:04 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

SafeWise Report Says W.Va. is the 15th Safest State in the U.S.

Credit Forest Wander / Creative Commons/www.forestwander.com

West Virginia was named the 15th safest state in the US for settling down and raising a family. According to a blog from the SafeWise.com website, West Virginia is one of the safest places to live in America coming in at number 15.

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Expeditionary Learning
4:43 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Demolition and Renovation Begins on Expeditionary School

Credit Clark Davis / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Expeditionary education refers specifically to learning associated with exploration and hands-on experiences. An expeditionary learning school planned for Cabell County has already undergone some changes even before the doors open.

The original plan was to have the middle school ready to become an expeditionary school that would combine the two local elementary schools, Geneva Kent and Peyton, by August 2015.

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Election 2014
4:39 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Questions Arise Whether Tennant Broke Election Law On First Day of Early Voting

Credit Sam Sepeciale / The Charleston Daily Mail

Secretary of State Natalie Tennant may have violated state law on Wednesday as she led a group to the Kanawha County Voter Registration office for early voting.

According to Kanawha County Clerk Vera McCormick, Tennant led a group of about 30 supporters to the courthouse Wednesday morning. She says members of the group cheered for Tennant for a brief moment and Tennant thanked them for their support. They then went inside to cast their ballots. 

State law prohibits any campaigning on the property of the county courthouse, any annex facilities or any other designated early voting locations. 

Tennant is running for the U.S. Senate seat soon to be vacated by retiring Sen. Jay Rockefeller.

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Government
2:18 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

House Health Chair: Committee Will Discuss Ebola Preparedness

Credit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  The chairman of the House of Delegates Health and Human Resource committee says he will put discussion about the Ebola virus on the agenda when it meets next month. 

A letter signed by 11 Republican members of the committee asked Delegate Don Perdue to include the issue as a special agenda item during interim meetings in November.

The delegates recommend that the committee hear from Dr. Letitia Tierney, the Commissioner for the Bureau of Public Health and the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department about the steps that are being taken in West Virginia to address this serious health concern.  Perdue said today he has been in touch with Secretary of Health and Human Resources Karen Bowling about Ebola.

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News
1:20 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

WVPB Receives USDA Grant to Rebuild Beckley Television Studio

Shooting for the show "Abracadabra." The new grant will greatly improve the studio where the show is produced.
Credit John Hale

West Virginia Public Broadcasting has been awarded a $750,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to rebuild its television studio in Beckley and create a mobile studio as well.

“This will allow us to do a much better job telling the story of southern West Virginia,” said Scott Finn, executive director of West Virginia Public Broadcasting (WVPB). “We’re excited to be able to bring the Beckley studio back to life.”

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Save The Music Tour
1:19 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

VH1 Save the Music Tour to Visit West Virginia Schools

Credit vh1savethemusic.org

The VH1 Save the Music 2014 Fall Tour will visit select West Virginia Middle Schools over the next couple of days.

The VH1 Save the Music Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring instrumental music education in public schools. The foundation will tour West Virginia schools that have received musical instruments from the foundation for the 2014-2015 school year.

Thursday:

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News
11:00 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Eight Arrested for Morgantown Riot

Credit West Virginia University

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - Police say eight people have been arrested and more than two dozen cited following riots that erupted in Morgantown after West Virginia University's win over Baylor.
 
 Morgantown Police Chief Ed Preston says the charges and criminal citations included underage consumption, malicious burning, destruction of property and disorderly conduct.
 

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Arts
10:51 am
Wed October 22, 2014

VH1 Save the Music 2014 Fall Tour of West Virginia Schools

Credit VH1 Save the Music Foundation

The VH1 Save The Music Foundation will go on a tour of West Virginia schools that have received musical instruments from the Foundation for the 2014-2015 school year.

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