News

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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Chemical Spill
11:33 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Ex-Freedom Industries President Faces New Fraud Charge

Credit WOWK

  Former Freedom Industries President Gary Southern faces a new federal fraud charge stemming from the company's bankruptcy.

A federal grand jury in Beckley, West Virginia, handed up a superseding indictment on Wednesday against Southern and three other former Freedom executives. The indictment charges Southern with a new count of fraud by interstate commercial carrier and restates the charges in the original indictment.

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Politics
10:20 am
Thu January 22, 2015

State Democratic Party Chair Resigning to Lead Manchin's PAC

Credit www.huntingtonnews.net

West Virginia Democratic party chair Larry Puccio is resigning to serve as the leader of U.S. Senator Joe Manchin’s political action committee.

According to a news release Thursday, Puccio will become chairman of Manchin’s Country Roads PAC. 

Federal Election Commission filings indicate that the Country Roads PAC contributed $26,000 to U.S. House candidates in West Virginia and Ohio during the 2014 election campaign. The group contributed $86,500 to U.S. Senate candidates from 19 states in that election cycle.

The Country Roads PAC was established in 2011 by Jack Rossi, with Manchin acting as its Leadership PAC Sponsor. As a former chief of staff to then-Governor Manchin, Puccio will serve as liaison to elected officials and political leaders. 

“From my time as Governor and now to my time in the Senate, Larry has always been a trusted advisor and someone who has always been connected to the political and legislative workings of West Virginia,” Manchin said in the release.

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Government
10:11 am
Thu January 22, 2015

W.Va.'s Manchin Co-Chairing Senate General Aviation Caucus

  Sen. Joe Manchin has been named co-chairman of the Senate General Aviation Caucus.

The West Virginia Democrat said Wednesday he will chair the caucus with Sen. John Boozman of Arkansas. Manchin said the caucus is responsible for informing U.S. senators about general aviation's crucial contributions to the nation's economy and transportation system.

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West Virginia Morning
8:21 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Mine Accident Victims and Their Families Speak Out

Coming up on West Virginia Morning, Possible changes to the rules concerning lawsuits over certain workplace injuries in West Virginia’s coal industry are being challenged by coal mining accident victims and their families.

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The Legislature Today
10:36 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Speaker Tim Armstead, The Department of Transportation's House Budget Hearing & More

  Speaker Tim Armstead takes over as the first Republican to fill the top role in the House of Delegates for the first time since the Capitol has been in its current location. But what are his and his party's plans?

The Department of Transportation gives a budget presentation in the House Finance Committee and concerns remain over the quality of roads affected by drilling the Marcellus Shale.

That and more on this episode of The Legislature Today.

Legislature
7:00 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Road Maintenance from Marcellus Shale Drilling Concerns Delegates

The House Finance Committee hears budget requests from the Department of Transportation.
Credit Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The House Finance Committee met Wednesday to hear the budget requests from various agencies within the Department of Transportation. But one of the many concerns the Delegates had was the state of roads due to Marcellus Shale drilling.

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Health & Science
11:25 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Report: W.Va. Makes Little Progress on Tobacco Control

Credit Oxfordian Kissuth / wikimedia Commons

  The American Lung Association says West Virginia isn't making much progress on tobacco control.

An annual report released Wednesday by the association gives the Mountain State failing grades for tobacco prevention and control program funding, access to cessation services and tobacco taxes.

West Virginia received a D for smoke-free air.

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West Virginia Morning
8:29 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Afghanistan War Not Over for Some

On this episode of West Virginia Morning, we go along on drills with the Army Reserves 363rd as they prepare to deploy to Afghanistan from Grafton.

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Legislature
6:00 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Hog Farming on Inactive Mountaintop Removal Sites Could Bring More Jobs to Southern W.Va.

Mountaintop removal site at Kayford Mountain, West Virginia.
Credit Kate Wellington / creativecommons.org

The term “pork barrel” often refers to a government appropriation for local projects secured primarily to bring money to a representative's district. But in the House Tuesday, Delegates heard of a different kind of pork project. The discussion during the House Committee on Agriculture was centered on using old mountaintop removal sites for hog farming.

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Stories of Service
10:53 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

West Virginia Army Reservists Deploying to Afghanistan and Kosovo

Staff Sgt. Bill Johnson and his family share a meal during the annual Christmas celebration of the U.S. Army Reserve’s 363rd Military Police Company.
Credit Chip Hitchcock

Last month, President Obama announced the end of combat operations in Afghanistan.  Some news organizations went so far as to say the war was over.

But for soldiers and their families from the Army Reserves’ 363rd Military Police Company – headquartered in Grafton, WV - the war isn’t over.  This spring, some of these soldiers will be deploying to Afghanistan.

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The Legislature Today
7:50 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Sen. Bill Cole, Unexcused School Absences, The Prevailing Wage & Hog Farming on MTR Sites

Senate President Bill Cole joins us to talk about legislative priorities after the Republican takeover following November's midterm election. 

The chair of the Senate Committee on Labor pulled a bill from the committee's agenda Tuesday, Senate Bill 245, a bill that aims to repeal the state's prevailing wage requirement.   

Also, members of the House Agriculture committee handle a bill that looks to use old mountaintop removal sites for hog farming.

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