News

Winter Weather
5:50 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

State Officials Urge West Virginians to Stay Out of the Cold

On Monday, snow closed businesses in downtown Charleston but temperatures dropped later in the week and state officials are warning residents to stay indoors.
Credit Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

State officials are urging West Virginians to take precautions against bitter cold weather.

Temperatures fell to record levels on Thursday morning in Bluefield and Lewisburg.

The National Weather Service says the low temperature in Bluefield was 4 degrees below zero. The previous record for Feb. 19 was 3 degrees in 1993.

Read more
Government
5:46 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

Kasich Visits W.Va. Touting Federal Balanced Budget Amendment

Credit Office of Ohio Governor John R. Kasich

  Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich is urging West Virginia lawmakers to call for a constitutional convention to pass a federal balanced budget amendment.

At the Charleston statehouse Thursday, the potential 2016 presidential hopeful touted the movement.

Thirty-four states would need to pass resolutions to hold the convention.

To approve an amendment, 38 states would need to ratify it.

Opponents warn a convention could result in unrestrained attempts to change the Constitution.

Read more
Legislature
4:50 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

Senators Approve Bill to Cap Punitive Damages After Failed Vote

Senators approved SB 421 after reconsidering their Wednesday vote and amending the bill.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Senators reconsidered a bill Thursday that previously would have capped the punitive damages awarded in a civil lawsuit and also give the state a portion of the award. Wednesday, two Republican Senators voted against the measure.

The bill as originally considered would have capped the punitive damages a jury could award at three times compensatory damages won in a case or $500,000, whichever is greater.

Read more
Train Derailment
1:18 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

What We Know Three Days After the Fayette Co. Oil Train Derailment

Credit U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Angie Vallier

Investigators from the Federal Railroad Administration and the Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration are on the scene of Monday's oil train derailment near Mount Carbon, W.Va. The incident sparked massive fireballs stretching hundreds of feet in the air. One home was destroyed in the incident and the homeowner was treated for smoke inhalation and then released. 

1. Some initial reports from the scene turned out to be incorrect.

Read more
Coast Guard
11:49 am
Thu February 19, 2015

Man Charged with Faking Death to Desert Coast Guard

Credit http://www.uscg.mil/

A West Virginia man has been charged with faking his death to desert from the U.S. Coast Guard.

U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld II says 33-year-old Larry C. Shelby of Martinsburg abandoned his vehicle and wrote suicide notes in 2013. Shelby then concealed his identity and isolated himself in a remote cabin.

Read more
Elkins
10:02 am
Thu February 19, 2015

Elkins Man Charged in Courthouse Bomb Plot

An Elkins man faces an explosives charge stemming from an alleged plot to bomb a federal courthouse.

Thirty-year-old Jonathan Schrader is charged in a criminal complaint with possessing and storing stolen C4 plastic explosives. The FBI filed the complaint this week in U.S. District Court in Wheeling.

FBI special agent Lawrence Quigley says in an affidavit that a witness told investigators Schrader had discussed detonating plastic explosives in front of the Jennings Randolph Federal Center in Elkins.

Read more
West Liberty
9:57 am
Thu February 19, 2015

West Liberty Committee to Discuss Complaint Against President

Credit http://westliberty.edu/

West Liberty University's Board of Governors is expected to meet soon to discuss its options regarding an ethics complaint against the school's president.

Media outlets report that the board's executive committee met behind closed doors on Wednesday to discuss the complaint against West Liberty President Robin Capehart. Board chairman George Couch says the board's legal counsel gave the committee an update. He didn't provide details.

Couch says the full board likely will hold a special meeting in the next week to 10 days.

Read more
Weather
9:32 am
Thu February 19, 2015

Safety Tips for Cold Weather

Credit Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

CHARLESTON, W.Va.  Bitterly cold temperatures and dangerously low wind chills are forecasted for throughout the state over the next 24 hours. West Virginians are urged to take precautions.
 
The severe winter conditions bring the threat of hypothermia and frostbite from prolonged exposure. Unsafe efforts to stay warm, meanwhile, can lead to fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.
 
Experts advise the following:
 
·        Stay indoors during such extreme winter weather. When venturing outside, dress in layers and limit skin exposure.

 

Read more
West Virginia Morning
8:37 am
Thu February 19, 2015

Senate Debate Flares Over Civil Lawsuits

With safe crude oil transportation on everyone’s minds, Dave Mistich sat down with Peter Goelz a former managing director of the National Transportation Safety Board. We also take a look at some activity on the Senate floor that took place over a bill to cap damages for certain lawsuits.

Read more
Legislature
6:59 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

Senate Committee Advances Bill to Expand Broadband Access

Sen. Chris Walters.
Credit West Virginia Legislative Photography

The Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Committee took up a bill Wednesday that its sponsor says will create a government owned broadband interstate in West Virginia.

Senate Bill 459 calls on the state to invest $78 million in expanding broadband access to West Virginians. The money would pay for the installation of 2,600 miles of broadband fiber across West Virginia with an emphasis on expanding access in rural areas.

Read more
Train Derailment
6:52 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

Rail Cars Are Being Removed from Derailment Site

Credit Courtesy of Mike King

Multiple state and federal agencies have combined to establish a unified command in response to the West Virginia Train Derailment near Mount Carbon on the Kanawha River on Monday. 

Capt. Lee Boone, Federal On Scene Coordinator for the West Virginia Train Derailment said the top priorities for response personnel remain the safety of the community and responders, and mitigating the impact to the environment.

Read more
The Legislature Today
6:32 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

Legislature Considering Who Can Make Smoking Regulations

At the legislature today, there’s Senate action on a bill we learned about last night to invest 78 million dollars in broadband development.  And the House quietly passes a flurry of bills on the floor today ranging from early childhood education to rules for barbers and hair stylists.  We’ll talk with the Chair and Vice Chair of the House committee that oversees barbershops and hair salons, among other things, on The Legislature Today.

Read more
Q&A
5:30 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

Former NTSB Official: ‘Everybody’s Got To Do Better’ With Crude-By-Rail Transport

Peter Goelz, Senior Vice President at O’Neill and Associates, is also a former Managing Director of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

After Monday's CSX train derailment in Fayette County, attention has turned to a national discussion regarding the safety of crude-by-rail transportation.

Peter Goelz is a former managing director of the National Transportation Safety Board. His responsibilities at the NTSB included leading the day-to-day operations of the agency and serving as chief policy advisor to the chairman. He is now senior vice president of O'Nell and Associates, a firm offering government relations and communications services related to a variety of industries, including transportation.

You can stream audio of an interview with Goelz  or read highlights below:

Read more
Legislature
5:13 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

House Passes Bill Transferring Children's Health Insurance Program Operations to DHHR

Credit Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Since it was created by the legislature in 1998, the Children’s Health Insurance Program known as CHIP has covered thousands of children and teens under age 19. 

Read more
Ginseng
4:48 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

Can Ginseng Help Diversify W.Va.'s Economy? Part II

  When you hear the word “ginseng” you might think about a wild plant that grows in the hills of Appalachia … and you would be right, that’s the good stuff. But there’s another way ginseng grows that’s a little less wild. Basically, we’re talking about ginseng farming in the forest, which can yield roots as valuable as the wild stuff. So is it a viable business for West Virginians? Well, there are some rules and regulations that might be hindering growth, but experts say there are ways to promote the industry.


Read more
Danny Webb Construction
3:50 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

DEP Postpones Public Hearing Concerning Lochgelly Waste Site, Again

Credit Department of Environmental Protection

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection is rescheduling a public hearing on two permit renewal applications for the second time. The public hearing is around applications for an underground injection control (UIC) facility near Lochgelly in Fayette County. 

In an email, the DEP said the meeting scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 19 in Oak Hill has been postponed a  due to inclement weather conditions.

Read more
Legislature
2:56 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

Bill Capping Punitive Damages Voted Down

The final vote on the punitive damages bill.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia senators have voted down a proposal to cap punitive damages from civil lawsuits in the state.

On Wednesday, two Republican senators broke party lines to help Democrats kill the measure in a 16-18 vote.

The proposal would have capped punitive damages from lawsuits at $500,000 or three times the compensatory damages, whatever is greater.

Republican Sens. Chris Walters and Daniel Hall voted against the bill alongside Democrats.

The bill was one of several legal reforms being pushed by the newly minted Republican legislative majority.

Read more
Legislature
2:52 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

Senate Passes Bill so Lawmakers Can Ok State Carbon Plan

Credit Martin Valent / WV Legislative Photography

West Virginia lawmakers have passed a bill letting the Legislature approve state plans to meet proposed federal carbon emission standards.

Senators passed a proposal 24-10 Wednesday requiring the GOP-led Legislature's vote before the state sends compliance plans to the Environmental Protection Agency. It requires a state feasibility report 180 days after EPA's rule is finalized.

The House passed a similar bill Feb. 6.

Read more
Coal Company
11:53 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Justice Buys Back Coal Company

Credit usatoday.com

Billionaire Jim Justice has reacquired coal mining operations in West Virginia that he sold to Mechel OAO in 2009.

The Russian mining and metals company said Wednesday that it has closed on a deal to sell Mechel Bluestone Inc. to a company owned by the Justice family.

The company says in a news release that the deal includes an immediate $5 million cash payment and coal royalty payments of $3 per ton. Mechel also would receive a portion of any future sale of Mechel Bluestone or its assets.

Read more
Train Derailment
11:51 am
Wed February 18, 2015

West Virginia Oil Train 1 of 3 that Recently Derailed with Tank Cars Meeting Safer Standards

Credit Office of Governor Earl Ray Tomblin

  The fiery derailment of a train carrying crude oil in West Virginia is one of three in the past year involving tank cars that already meet a higher safety standard than what federal law requires — leading some to suggest even tougher requirements that industry representatives say would be costly.

Hundreds of families were evacuated and nearby water treatment plants were temporarily shut down after cars derailed from a train carrying 3 million gallons of North Dakota crude Monday, shooting fireballs into the sky, leaking oil into a Kanawha River tributary and burning down a house nearby. It was snowing at the time, but it is not yet clear if weather was a factor.

Read more

Pages