News

Stories of Service
7:45 pm
Sun January 25, 2015

Protecting the Boss: W.Va. Reservists Deploying to Afghanistan as Personal Security Detail

From left to right: Spcs. Tyler Foster, Shane Delong and Jakob Mays are soldiers in the Army Reserve 363rd Military Police Company in Grafton, West Virginia. This April they will deploy to Afghanistan.
Credit Chip Hitchcock / WVPublic

The Army Reserve’s 363rd Military Police Company is headquartered in Grafton, West Virginia. This April, about 25 of the soldiers are heading to Afghanistan. Their mission will be protecting the life of a high-ranking U.S. officer. It’s called a personal security detail.


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The Legislature Today
7:02 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Transferring Drilling Permits Between Companies, Profiling Sen. Boley, A Reporter Roundtable & More

As the first full week of the session comes to a close, bills are slowly moving through the legislative process. 

We’ll review the week with Jon Mattise of the AP and Mandi Cardosi of The State Journal, who are also covering the issues around the Rotunda.

And, we’ll profile Senator Donna Boley of Pleasants County.  A veteran lawmaker she has gone from the only Republican in the Senate to now, the only woman there.  

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Legislature
7:00 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

More Upset Over Energy in the House Chamber

Credit West Virginia Legislature

A controversial bill that gives employers some immunity from lawsuits over work place accidents is off the agenda for the House Judiciary committee for now. Committee chairman, John Shott, announced today that stakeholders are meeting to find some agreement to the bill. House Bill 2011 deals with the issue of deliberate intent.  It was the subject of a public hearing earlier this week.

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Water
6:18 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

DHHR & DEP Investigating Foam on Coal River, Lincoln Co. and St. Albans Water Intakes Closed

  The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Bureau for Public Health, along with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, is investigating foam observed on the surface of the Coal River. 

According to a news release from DHHR Friday evening,  intakes at both Lincoln County Public Service District and City of St. Albans water systems have been closed. 

The DHHR says foam samples have been collected by Lincoln PSD and the Department of Environmental Protection. Testing of the samples is ongoing and initial results are expected this evening.

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Coal Heritage Lecture Series
5:06 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

"Music of the Coalfields" Kicks Off Coal Heritage Lecture Series

Credit http://www.coalheritage.org/

  An annual spring lecture series that explores the heritage of the coal industry kicks off the first week of February with featured musicians and poets.  

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Air Travel
4:51 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

TSA: More Weapons Found During W.Va. Airport Checks in 2014

Credit Joshuashearn / wikimedia Commons

  The Transportation Security Administration is reporting an increase in the number of firearms that were discovered by TSA officers at checkpoints at West Virginia airports.

In 2014, the TSA says 6 firearms were detected at three West Virginia airports. That's up two firearms from 2013.

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Higher Education
4:41 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

W.Va. Higher Ed Commission Offers Assistance Applying for Aid

Credit West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission

  

The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission announced this week that it will be offering free assistance to students and families looking to apply for financial assistance in pursuit of a college degree.

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Prison
2:39 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Heating Work Done, W.Va. Inmates Return to Regional Jail

Credit Schavda / wikimedia Commons

  Some 200 inmates are back at the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail following repairs to the jail's heating system.

The West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority relocated the inmates to other regional jails on Tuesday while the work was under way. It involved the flushing of liquid propane from system lines. The inmates were relocated as a safety measure.

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Courts
12:23 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

UBB Victims' Families Want Gag Order Lifted in Blankenship Case

Credit Mine Safety and Health Administration

Families of the 29 West Virginia coal miners killed in a 2010 explosion are asking a federal judge to lift a gag order in the criminal case against the mining company's former chief executive.

The Charleston Gazette reports that lawyers for the estates of 14 of the victims filed the motion Thursday. The families want the gag order lifted so they can testify freely to West Virginia lawmakers about bills that would narrow the rights of workers to sue employers over workplace injuries and deaths.

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State Budget
12:14 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

W.Va. Treasurer Irked by Governor Tapping Unclaimed Property Cash

Credit West Virginia State Treasurer's Office

  State Treasurer John Perdue is criticizing Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin for banking on $15 million from an unclaimed property account to balance the next budget.

The Charleston Gazette reports Perdue thinks the move would make it difficult to pay claims to unclaimed property owners or survivors within 90 days, as required by law.

The $21.5 million fund includes various liquidated assets, like sold unclaimed stock and mutual funds, and insurance company payments for unclaimed benefits.

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West Virginia Morning
8:18 am
Fri January 23, 2015

House Bill 2001 Sparks Spirited Debate

On this West Virginia Morning, we bring you up to date on the third reading of House Bill 2001, Ashton Marra's interview with Gayle Manchin, and our pick for our Mountain Stage Song of the Week.

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Legislature
6:00 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Repealing the Alternative & Renewable Energy Portfolio Act Passes in the House

Emotions were high in the House Chamber Thursday as House Bill 2001 was on its third reading and up for a vote.

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Arts and Culture
11:03 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Haunting Banjo Tune Inspired by Coal Miner's Struggle

Sam Williams (formerly Sam Hall). Photo by Fairness, West Virginia

Songwriter Sam Gleaves was inspired by the story of Sam Williams, a former coal miner who was harassed at work for being gay. 

Sam Gleaves is a musician who grew up playing old time mountain music in Southwestern Virginia. His songs have a high lonesome, old-time sound. Their roots are deep in Appalachia, and the stories they tell explore some bitter truths about how hard it can be to be different here. I met up with Gleaves at his home in Berea, KY to talk about one song in particular.

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The Legislature Today
8:52 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Energy Portfolio Repeal Passes, A Rally for Abortion Rights & BOE Pres. Gayle Manchin

High drama in the House of Delegates as tempers flare over the repeal of a bill regarding alternative fuels and renewable energy, even though the bill passed overwhelmingly.

Pro-choice advocates rallied at the state capitol today over the newly introduced bill to restrict abortions in West Virginia.

And we’ll talk about the public education system with state Board of Education president Gayle Manchin.

Water
4:13 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Call For Water Projects: 2015 Environmental Grant Program

The public utility company West Virginia American Water announced a call for water project entries today. The company’s 2015 Environmental Grant Program offers funds for projects that improve, restore or protect the watersheds, surface water and/or groundwater supplies located within West Virginia American Water’s service territory

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Chemical Leak
3:40 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

LISTEN: New Site Explores Water Woes in W.Va.

Credit WVWaterHistory.com

An online interactive documentary launches today. WVWaterHistory.com outlines history that lead up to the Charleston water crisis of 2014 which left 300,000 for over a week without water. The site also explores other water challenges the state has and continues to face.

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Reproductive Rights
3:13 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Advocacy Groups Say Abortion Bill Still Unconstitutional

Supporters of West Virginia FREE held a demonstration outside the House of Delegates chamber against the abortion bill Thursday.
Ashton Marra West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Two West Virginia advocacy groups gathered outside the House of Delegates Thursday to protest a bill they say is unconstitutional. Lawmakers in the chamber have re-introduced the 20 week Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, this year with additional provisions.

The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act makes it illegal for a medical professional in the state to conduct an abortion after 20 weeks except with the woman has a medical emergency.

It also sets up civil and criminal penalties for doctors who do not comply with the ban.

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Legislature
1:01 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

West Virginia House Passes Energy Act Repeal Overwhelmingly

Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

  The Republican-run state House of Delegates has passed a repeal of an energy portfolio.

The House voted 95-4 Thursday to repeal the Alternative and Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard.

The portfolio requires generating 25 percent of electricity with renewable or alternative power sources by 2025. Some coal-burning technologies qualify.

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Legislature
11:54 am
Thu January 22, 2015

W.Va. Governor Bill Would Allow Craft Beer Samples, Growlers

Credit Credit File photo from Uri Tours (wikimedia Commmons) / Photo Illustration by Dave Mistich

Craft beer lovers could score samples on brewery tours or fill growlers to take home for later under a push by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.

On Wednesday, lawmakers filed the craft beer bill Tomblin touted in his State of the State address last week.

The proposal would let craft breweries give free samples during tours. Breweries could sell up to four growlers per day, per customer.

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Security
11:35 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Bridge Day Panel OKs Finger Scans, Jumpers Protest

Credit en.wikipedia / User: Cyrillic

  The Bridge Day Commission has decided to require BASE jumpers, reppellers and vendors to undergo finger scans.

Commission members voted unanimously on Wednesday to require the scans. Commission members say the scans are less intrusive than the one-day festival's current background checks.

Several jumpers criticized the requirement during the meeting's public comment segment. Marcus Ellison of Fayetteville said jumpers feel insulted by the requirement.

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