News

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Fayette County Schools will eliminate professional jobs and service personnel in an effort to match funding the state allows for such positions.

Fayette Superintendent Terry George tells the Register-Herald that the county will reduce staff by 9.5 professional positions and 8.5 service jobs next school year. Positions set to be eliminated will end June 30.

Highway, Traffic
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The West Virginia State Police say traffic fatalities in the state continued to decline in 2015.

State Police tell WVVA-TV that roadway deaths are down from 337 killed in 2012 to 270 in 2015. Troopers with the Governor's Highway Safety Program attribute the decline to an increase in targeted patrols across the state.

After a veto last year, the push to let West Virginians drink raw milk through animal-sharing agreements is regaining steam.

On Friday, the state Senate voted 22-12 on the raw milk bill, sending the proposal to the House of Delegates.

Pills, Drugs, Prescriptions, prescription drugs
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A Pennsylvania man has pleaded guilty to participating in a ring that sold heroin and prescription drugs in West Virginia.

Kalif Briggs faces up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. The 33-year-old resident of Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court in Clarksburg to aiding and abetting the distribution of oxycodone.

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State education officials say 25 counties plan to submit proposals this month for certifying teachers who don't have a formal education background.

Approved by lawmakers last year, it allows for the alternative certification of teachers in some high-need areas. The state Board of Education approved a policy in September establishing the certification process.

Paul Farrell Jr.
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Huntington Lawyer Paul Farrell recently decided to get on the ballot for president in the state. What might have begun as a joke for Farrell is no longer a laughing matter.

Paul Farrell Jr. is a medical malpractice lawyer in Huntington. He’s never been involved in politics before and never thought he would be. But he said he worries more and more about the state he’s from and calls home, West Virginia. On Sunday mornings Farrell along with his two brothers have breakfast at his father’s house. 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we’ll take a close look at the prevailing wage repeal which has now passed through the senate with 18 republicans in favor and 16 democrats against.

Two contentious pieces of legislation--one repealing the prevailing wage and the other making West Virginia a Right-to-Work state --see votes on the Senate and House floors, respectively.

Both pass by slim majorities with some lawmakers even crossing party lines in the process.

The prevailing wage repeal heads to Governor Tomblin's desk, but Right-to-Work will return to the Senate after some amendments in the House.

WVPB

Two central Appalachian healthcare non-profits, out of eleven nationwide, were awarded grants of about 180,000 each today from AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation. The grants are intended to support already successful work in improving regional cardiovascular health. 

House of Delegates
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photograhy

In a close vote, members of the House of Delegates have approved a bill to make West Virginia a Right-to-Work state. Delegates voted 54 to 46, with some Republicans joining the Democratic minority in opposition.

Members debated the bill for nearly five hours Thursday before the final vote.

Senate Bill 1, the West Virginia Workplace Freedom Act, makes it illegal to fire a worker for refusing to join a union or pay union dues or fees.

Sick, woman, pregnancy, thermometer, fever, flu, cold
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Pregnant women hospitalized with the flu, especially severe cases, should be treated early with antiviral medication, according to a study published today in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

The study included 865 pregnant women who were hospitalized with flu from 14 states. Sixty-three of these patients, or about 7 percent, had severe illness.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A bankrupt chemical company responsible for a spill that contaminated a West 

  Virginia river and fouled the drinking water supply of 300,000 residents has been sentenced to the maximum possible penalty on pollution charges.

U92FM Feedback Director Melanie Smith (left) and News and News Director Clarissa Cottrill.
U92FM / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia University’s radio station, U92FM, begins a series of weekly live talk shows at 7 p.m. Feb. 4 with a discussion about America’s criminal justice system.

Two of the students who run the program to talked to West Virginia Public Broadcasting about how it has grown in the past few years to take on more serious subject matter.

Martin Valent / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The West Virginia Senate has approved a bill to repeal the state’s prevailing wage on a party line vote. The bill now heads to Governor Tomblin for a signature.

Lawmakers voted 18-16 Thursday with only Republicans supporting the legislation.

Huntington Police Department

Law enforcement agencies have received more than $1 million in forfeited cash for their participation in an investigation of a Barboursville pharmacy owner.

Federal prosecutors and the Internal Revenue Service announced the award Wednesday for the Charleston and Huntington police departments and the Boone County Sheriff's Department.

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An assistant prosecutor in McDowell County has pleaded guilty to a federal tax crime committed while working in private practice.

Acting U.S. Attorney Carol Casto says 38-year-old Jason Ray Grubb of Beaver entered the plea in federal court in Beckley on Wednesday to failing to pay employment taxes.

Aerial view of Yeager Airport
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

A small private plane skidded off the taxiway at Yeager Airport in Charleston.

The plane went off into the grass toward the end of the taxiway Wednesday night.

Director of the State Budget Office Mike McKown , Secretary of revenue Bob Kiss and Deputy Secretary Mark Muchow in the House Chambers.
Ashton Marra

State officials say January's tax collections provided no signs of an economic turn for West Virginia.

The state collected $374.3 million in revenue last month. Those figures were down $9.8 million from January 2015 and missed estimates by $11.5 million.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we’ll hear from Governor Tomblin about what he thinks of the 2016 legislative session so far and we’ll take a look at possible causes of a sharp increase of Lyme disease in West Virginia.

Legislation to ensure West Virginia can pay its bills through the end of the year is now on Governor Tomblin’s desk which he says he’ll sign quickly.

But bills to repeal the prevailing wage and implement right-to-work provisions, those may see a veto. We speak with the governor tonight.

Also on our show, changes have been made to some controversial pieces of legislation, and the Education Chairs join us to discuss their work during this 60 day session.

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