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Stargazers are being invited to watch the sky over central West Virginia this weekend.

The fourth annual Calhoun Stargaze is set for Friday through Sunday at the Calhoun County Park in Grantsville. The park is known for its pitch-dark conditions for favorable nighttime viewing.

Frances Meadows

The West Virginia Department of Agriculture has begun trapping and surveys across the state to detect any new, non-native pests and monitor the impact of native agricultural pests.

According to the department, the aim is to detect specific exotic plant pests, diseases and weeds that are threats to forests and farmlands.

alcoholic beverages
wikimedia / Wikimedia Commons

The city of Princeton is considering a proposed zoning amendment that would allow for expanded alcohol sales. 

Bluefield Daily Telegraph reports the amendment specifically would "permit the licensing of craft beer breweries, pubs, clubs and bars serving alcoholic beverages."

Perry Bennet / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Both the House and Senate gaveled in around 11 am Monday, but without the final version of a new tax reform bill, delayed their action into the afternoon, and then into Tuesday.

Senate President Mitch Carmichael said the legislation was sent by the Governor’s Office to bill drafting—an arm of the state’s legislative services division—but was in the wrong format and staffers needed additional time.

Mending Mining Country: Three Ways Trump Could Help Miners And Coal Communities

May 15, 2017

At a March ceremony to sign an executive order reversing Obama-era environmental regulations, coal miners were arranged on stage around President Donald Trump as he took up his pen.

“You know what it says, right?” Trump asked the miners. “You’re going back to work.”

From his campaign rallies to White House events, President Donald Trump has surrounded himself with coal miners and promised to restore their collapsed industry.

Sutton Lake Dam
lrh.usace.army.mil

Volunteers are being sought to help clean up Sutton Lake.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says in a news release that trash and debris will be picked up next Saturday.

Bees, Honey, Honey Bees, Geezer Ridge Farm
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Department of Agriculture is offering help for people who spot a swarm of honeybees.

Agriculture Commissioner Kent Leonhardt says bees are an important part of the growing season, and people who spot a swarm on their property are asked to call the agency so the insects can be relocated rather than eradicated.

West Virginia Governor's Office

As members of the West Virginia Legislature return to Charleston Monday to continue their work on the 2018 budget, Gov. Jim Justice has added two bills to the special session call.

The first of those bills is to increase the consumer sales and use tax on motor vehicles. 

The second is bill to allow the governor to furlough state employees in the wake of a financial emergency, or a government shutdown.

In 1852, the Smithsonian was only 6 years old when curators started receiving specimens of frogs and birds from a teenager in Illinois.

That teenager's name was Robert Kennicott. He went on to become an accomplished naturalist and herpetologist and contributed hundreds of pieces to the Smithsonian during his life.

"He basically collected things that are in all of our departments," said Gene Hunt, a curator and paleontologist at the Smithsonian Institution. "He sort of pulls together all the departments of our museum, in one person."

Swimmerguy269 / wikimedia Commons

West Virginia University wants to increase its enrollment of international students.

The Dominion Post reports the university recently released a bid request as it seeks companies to help with an overseas marketing effort. Companies have until May 19 to submit bids.

Dept. of Defense

The city of Nitro has unveiled a park in honor of local military veterans.

Media outlets report the town dedicated the Living Memorial Park in celebration of its centennial Saturday. The park includes a statue of a World War I soldier, a fountain, a patriotic mural and more than 300 engraved pavers honoring veterans.

On Adriene McNally's 49th birthday in January, she heard a knock on the door of her modest row-home in Northeast Philadelphia.

She was being served.

"They actually paid someone to come out and serve me papers on a Saturday afternoon," she says.

Dollar Photo Club

In Appalachian states hit hardest by the opioid epidemic, the tough-on-crime policy announced Friday by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions runs counter to a recent emphasis on treatment and less prison time for low-level drug offenders.

Opioids, opioid, painkillers, perscription, narcotics, doctors
Dollar Photo Club

A southern West Virginia judge has ordered a physician to stop operating his practice as a pain clinic and prohibited him from prescribing narcotics including opioid painkillers.

Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., explained his vote for the American Health Care Act in an interview with West Virginia Public Broadcasting today.

Critics of the House bill say it reduces funding for Medicaid, and makes services like substance abuse treatment optional for states.

But McKinley said the bill contains additional funding to cover drug treatment.

“It’s disingenuous for anyone to suggest that we’re not going to have adequate money for Medicaid for people on drug overdose problems. We’re going to have that,” he said.

Roger May/ Looking at Appalachia

In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we talk about faith and music. We learn about Sister Rosetta Tharpe,  one of the first great recording stars of gospel music, find our the story behind a song that became an American icon, and we’ll learn more about a project Glory that depicts images of Pentecostal style tent revival in Kentucky and West Virginia.

A truck hauls coal away from the Coalfields Expressway site.
Jessica Lilly / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Residents in southern West Virginia are hopeful that the next state and federal budgets will include funding for the Coalfields Expressway. The 4-lane highway broke ground back in 2000 but the idea for the road goes back to the late 1960's, when the road was called the Beckley to Grundy Road. The infrastructure project is more than 27 years in the making.


Littlepage Terrace
WCHS-TV

Two dozen renovated public housing apartment units in Charleston are now ready for tenants.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports officials and community members viewed the Littlepage Terrace new apartments Thursday.

Charleston attorney and former state delegate Rusty Webb has resigned from the Charleston City Council less than four months after being appointed.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports Webb decided to step down on Tuesday. He was a representative for the city's 17th Ward, which encompasses most of Kanawha City.

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