News

Camp Dawson
10:16 am
Mon November 17, 2014

WV National Guard Proposes Three Ranges

Credit http://www.wv.ngb.army.mil/

The West Virginia Army National Guard has proposed building three ranges at Camp Dawson in Preston County.The ranges would be located on Briery Mountain. They include a live fire breach facility, a hand grenade familiarization range and an MK 19 range. The Guard says the ranges are needed to provide in-state training for state Army National Guard units. The Dominion Post reports that the Guard is seeking public comments on the proposed ranges. The deadline to submit comments is Nov. 22. Comments should be mailed to Jeffrey S.

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Shepherd Tuition
10:10 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Shepherd Board Approves Tuition Hike

Credit Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

In-state students at Shepherd University will pay higher tuition for the 2015-2016 academic year.

But out-of-state student tuition will remain at the current level.

Shepherd's board of governors approved a 3.96 in-state tuition increase for undergraduates last week. Undergraduate in-state tuition will increase from $3,285 to $3,415 per semester. Out-of-state undergraduate tuition will remain at $8,314 per semester. Board members also approved a 2.19 percent average increase in room rates, and a 1.97 average increase in meal plans.

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DNR Officers
10:05 am
Mon November 17, 2014

DNR to Conduct Tests for Police Officers

Credit Huntington Police Department

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources will conduct physical agility tests next month for natural resources police officer candidates.

The DNR says applicants should report to the lobby of the South Charleston Community Center either on Dec. 5 at 8 a.m. or Dec. 6 at 9 a.m.

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Bridge Demolition
9:54 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Historic Bridge in Tunnelton to Come Down

Credit SieBot / wikimedia commons

An early 20th century pedestrian bridge in Tunnelton is coming down.

The bridge spanning CSX tracks is scheduled to be demolished on Tuesday. CSX says the bridge was built in 1912 in the Preston County town.

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West Virginia Morning
8:00 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Rev. Jim Lewis Performed Gay Marriage Services Decades Ago

On West Virginia Morning, Fairness West Virginia is celebrating same sex marriage in West Virginia, but the group knows there’s still work to do for equality in housing and employment.  And a profile of the Reverend Jim Lewis of Charleston who supported gay marriage in the 1970’s.

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LGBT Issues
8:10 pm
Sun November 16, 2014

Fairness Focused on Next Steps in Fight for Equality

Fairness West Virginia Executive Director Andrew Schneider.
Credit Fairness WV

The LGBT advocacy organization Fairness West Virginia held their annual conference in Charleston Saturday and this year, the group had plenty to celebrate. 

After saying he would no longer fight an appeal to the state's gay marriage ban, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey's decision essentially made the practice legal in the state and on Oct. 9, county clerks began issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples across the state.

Fairness Executive Director Andrew Schneider said Saturday that's certainly something to celebrate, but the fight isn't yet over. Now, the organization is looking on to its next legislative battles. 

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Elk Reintroduction
8:00 pm
Sun November 16, 2014

Could Elk Live in Southern West Virginia?

Credit CommonsHelper2 Bot / wikimedia commons

The Division of Natural Resources held a public meeting last week to gauge the interest of southern West Virginians on returning Elk to the state.

A 100 people crowded into a conference room last week at Chief Logan Lodge in Logan County. They were there to let the DNR know what they thought about returning Elk to the state of West Virginia. Elk once lived here between the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Overwhelmingly participants spoke in favor of returning the animal to the area.

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Government
3:45 pm
Sat November 15, 2014

New Health Insurance Enrollment Period Opens in W.Va.

Credit Rick Haye, Marshall University Communications

  A second enrollment period has started for coverage under West Virginia's health insurance exchange.

Sign-up events were held across the state Saturday for the state-sponsored marketplace. The enrollment period runs through Feb. 15.

According to federal government figures, West Virginia had the lowest percent of enrollees between the ages of 18 and 34 during the round of signups from October 2013 to March.

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Inside Appalachia
5:30 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

Former Coal Co. CEO Don Blankenship Indicted, Outlaw Coal Operations Skirting Penalties and More

Credit WV Division of Culture and History

Once considered untouchable, former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship was indicted on four federal charges in connection with the Upper Big Branch Disaster that killed 29 men in 2010. It’s news that folks in the coalfields never thought would happen.

In this episode, we’ll hear a special investigative series of reports about outlaw coal mining companies that keep operating despite injuries, violations and millions in fines.

And a new lawsuit has just been filed on behalf of the 78 coal miners who died in the Farmington Mine Disaster. We’ll hear memories from Sarah Kasnoski, one of the widows who lost her husband on that fateful date, November 20, 1968. 

Investigating Outlaw Mines That Keep Operating Despite Delinquent Fines

A recent investigative report has uncovered that some coal companies are working the system to avoid paying fines. The report also finds a connection between skirted financial penalties and injured coal miners: mines with more delinquent fines also have higher rates of injured workers.

NPR and Mine Safety and Health News sifted through citations, and documents for more than a year to find the connection. NPR’s Howard Berkes says it was no easy task. Each delinquent fine has a different start date, so tracking the injuries associated with the delinquent fines was complicated. In this episode, we hear the first three of these reports. We also talk with Berkes about mine safety and the development of these investigations.

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Marshall Memorial
2:51 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

Marshall Remembers 44th Anniversary of Plane Crash With Ceremony

Credit Clark Davis / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

  

Members of the Huntington and Marshall community gathered yesterday to remember those lost in the 1970 plane crash that claimed the Marshall Football team.

Tom Shoebridge was the keynote speaker as the community gathered around the fountain as they do each year to remember the players and community members that died aboard the DC-9 flight as it returned from a road game at East Carolina University. Shoebridge is the younger brother of Teddy Shoebridge, the quarterback of the Thundering Herd team that perished in the horrific accident.

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Environment
12:46 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

DEP: Yellow Liquid On Elk River A Result of A Broken Sewer Line, Water Intake Restored

The grey area highlighted is the approximate location where the yellow substance was spotted.

Updated on Friday, November, 14 at 4:38 p.m.

West Virginia American Water is returning service to its Kanawha Valley water treatment plant following a sewer line break Thursday on the Elk River above the plant intake. A yellow substance was reported shortly after noon and the company shut down the plant following notification from Metro 911. 

The company says they've consulted with the West Virginia West Virginia Bureau for Public Health about the decision to return service and they continue to work with the state Department of Environmental Protection and first responders. 

West Virginia American Water says the treatment process will be augmented with additional powdered activated carbon.

According to a news release, the company says plant operators have increased  the frequency of testing for: 

  •  total coliform (an indicator of bacteria),
  • pH, conductivity
  • and are continuously monitoring for free chlorine (disinfection).  

The company says they were notified that approximately three gallons of water-based road paint in the sewer system likely caused the yellow color at the site of the sewer line break. The Bureau for Public Health and water quality experts reviewed a MSDS sheet of the paint provided by the City of Charleston and determined it did not pose any threats.

Updated on Friday, November, 14 at 2:46 p.m.

West Virginia American Water spokeswoman Laura Jordan said the shut down their Elk River intake around noon after being notified about the situation.  She says company officials are working with the DEP, first responders and other agencies.

Ongoing testing at the treatment plant shows no change in water quality, according to West Virginia American Water.  

Original Post from Friday, November, 14 at 12:46 p.m.

West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection spokeswoman Kelley Gillenwater said  that, after consultation with Charleston City officials, it was determined the yellow sheen came from a broken sewer line and the spill "has been contained."

She says West Virginia American  has been notified.

Metro 911 called the report in to the DEP spill line around noon today. A distpatcher there says West Virginia American Water has shut down their Elk River intake.

According to the Charleston Gazette, "the liquid, in a geyser a few feet tall, was on the west side of the river." 

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West Virginia Morning
8:12 am
Fri November 14, 2014

UBB Victim's Father Reacts to Blankenship Indictment

On West Virginia Morning, Jessica Lilly talks with the father of one of the victims of the Upper Big Branch mine explosion who welcomes the news that former CEO of the company that owned the mine has been indicted.  And Dave Mistich reports from Parkersburg about the posted signs asking people not to give money to panhandlers.

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Public Health
12:03 am
Fri November 14, 2014

WVU Public Health Dialogue: Does Being Poor Mean Being Sick?

Professor of Family and Community Medicine, and Director of the Center of Social Disparities and Health and the University of California, San Fransisco, Paula Braveman. She’s been studying and publishing extensively on health equity and the social determinants of health for over 25 years.
Credit UCSF

Stress. We all live with it, but at what point does it become toxic? When do social pressures turn from a healthy challenge to a source of poison? These are some of the ideas turned over in a public health dialogue at West Virginia University last week that explored the "social determinants of health." Guest-speaker Dr. Paula Braveman spoke about how social factors in our lives play a role in our health.

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Upper Big Branch
11:37 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

UBB Victim's Father Reacts to Blankenship Indictment

Gary Quarles

Gary Quarles lost his son in the Upper Big Branch disaster. Since then, he's looked for peace, understanding and justice.

Quarles wanted to see Don Blankenship held accountable for the conditions at the mine and the death of his son.

Blankenship's Reputation

Quarles worked for Massey Energy as buggy operator for nine years and he knows first hand what kind of operation Blankenship was running.

“Don Blankenship’s name was known throughout Massey," he said.

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Poverty
8:15 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Parkersburg's Panhandlers Say Signs Calling Them Addicts Are Insulting and Defamatory

A month ago the city of Parkersburg posted signs around town asking the public not to give to panhandlers. But some people still do. And some panhandlers say the signs aren’t just ineffective. They’re insulting. Even defamatory.

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Higher Education
7:13 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

WVU Suspends Fraternity and Sorority Activities, Student Dies

Credit Richinstead / wikimedia Commons

An 18-year-old student at the center of an investigation into the conduct at fraternities and sororities at WVU has died.

Late Wednesday night, police were called to the Kappa Sigma fraternity. They found someone performing CPR on Michael Nolan Burch. Preston said Burch had no pulse and wasn't breathing. He was taken to Ruby Memorial Hospital, where he died today.  

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Chemical Spill
5:29 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Freedom Industries May Clean Less of River Site

Credit AP

  The bankrupt company that leaked a coal processing chemical into Charleston's Elk River in January could reduce the amount of contaminated material it needs to clean from its polluted storage site.

The Charleston Gazette reports that West Virginia state environmental regulators revealed a proposed agreement Thursday in which Freedom Industries would enter a voluntary toxic cleanup program to remediate the site.

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UBB Investigation
4:31 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Former Massey CEO Don Blankenship Indicted on Four Federal Charges

Credit Brianhayden1980 / wikimedia Commons

Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship was indicted on four federal charges Thursday. The charges stem from a years-long investigation led by the FBI and the United States Department of Labor's Office of Inspector General into an April 5, 2010 explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine owned by Massey that killed 29 miners. 

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4:14 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Longtime Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship Indicted

Lead in text: 
As The Charleston Gazete's Ken Ward reports, former Massey Enegry CEO Don Blankenship was indicted Thursday on federal charges that he violated mine safety laws at the Upper Big Mine before an April 2010 explosion killed 29 miners. The indictident comes from a years-long investigation from U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin's office in West Virginia's Southern Distict.
  • Source: Wvgazette
  • | Via: The Charleston Gazette
Don Blankenship, the longtime chief executive of Massey Energy, was indicted today on charges that he violated federal mine safety laws at the company's Upper Big Branch Mine prior to an April 2010 explosion that killed 29 miners. U.S.
Same Sex Marriage
12:27 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

W.Va. Revising Tax Forms to Include Gay Marriages

Credit Palosirkka / wikimedia Commons

  West Virginia is updating its tax forms to reflect court rulings overturning the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

A recent administrative notice filed by the state Tax Department says gender will no longer be considered when married couples' personal income tax filings are processed.

Tax Department spokeswoman Lalena Price tells The Charleston Daily Mail that the agency is updating language used in all of its materials, including forms and brochures, to remove terms such as "husband" and "wife."

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