Drill cuttings dumped at WV landfill.
Bill Hughes

There are lots of federal regulations governing what businesses can legally dump into water, the ground, or release into the air. But the gas industry is getting around a lot of those regulations. The oil and gas industry enjoys exemptions from seven federal laws, including one that is supposed to protect human health from the hazards of waste disposal. Other states have passed their own laws regulating this waste to compensate. But it’s a looser system in West Virginia.

Ethics Commission

The West Virginia Ethics Commission has fined the mayor of Marmet $2,000.

The commission announced the fine and public reprimand Thursday against Mayor Bill Pauley. In an agreement with the commission, Pauley admitted using his office for private gain.

pipeline construction
Emmuzka / wikimedia commons

Customers of Mountaineer Gas and Dominion Hope could see small increases in their monthly bills to fund infrastructure replacement and upgrade programs.

Both companies have asked the Public Service Commission to approve such programs, which include surcharges to pay for projects.

Don Blankenship
Joel Ebert / The Charleston Gazette-Mail

The trial of former Massey CEO Don Blankenship began Thursday, Oct. 1, in Charleston. Blankenship is charged with conspiring to violate federal mine safety standards and lying to investors about the safety record of his company following the April 2010, Upper Big Branch mine disaster that killed 29 men.

AP Photo/Sergii Ryzhkov

West Virginia University will research new ideas and technologies to improve the safety of pipelines used to transport energy resources.

The research will be supported by a $100,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation's pipeline and hazardous materials safety administration.

Dollar Energy Logo

Applications are being accepted for a program that helps low-income West Virginia households pay utility bills.

The nonprofit Dollar Energy Fund partners with companies across the state to administer the Utility Assistance Program.

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is staying out of a funding issue involving school consolidation in Fayette County.

State Board of Education President Mike Green wrote to Tomblin on Tuesday, asking that the School Building Authority conduct a new vote after rejecting Fayette County's funding request.

Flickr / davidwilson1949

Former West Virginia Delegate Mark Hunt is joining the 2016 race for attorney general.

Hunt announced his candidacy on Wednesday on his website.

water meter
BrokenSphere / wikimedia commons

  West Virginia American Water is converting its meters statewide to an automated system.

The company announced the $17 million project Thursday as part of an effort to quickly locate water meters and read them accurately.

Find the entire episode of Us & Them here.

Filmmaker and journalist Roopa Gogineni usually covers civil wars in Africa. But when she saw Ferguson, Baltimore and the fight over the Confederate flag, she decided it was time to cover America's ongoing Civil War.

If you’re looking for an indoor escape from the dreary weather, two film festivals are being held in different parts of the state this weekend.

Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press

Ex-Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship has never shied from a fight and his toughest one is just beginning, as he goes on trial in the worst U.S. mine disaster in 45 years.

Blankenship's trial starts Thursday with jury selection in federal court in West Virginia.

Our very own Ashton Marra spoke with WNYC's The Takeaway to preview the trial of former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship. Marra recaps the events of the April 2010 Upper Big Branch mine disaster, explains the charges against Blankenship and the response of locals here in West Virginia.

West Virginia workforce officials say most rates under the state's new prevailing wage for public construction projects are dropping slightly.

The new prevailing wage became effective Wednesday. WorkForce West Virginia research director Jeff Green says 58 percent of rates for various jobs dropped, while 42 percent increased. He used Kanawha County for the comparison.

Occupational Safety & Health Administration, OSHA
Occupational Safety & Health Administration

Federal safety regulators say a Martinsburg construction company faces more than $44,000 in fines for exposing workers to safety hazards at a Morgantown townhouse project.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced the proposed fines Tuesday for K&F Construction Inc.

Steward Butler
AP Photo/Chris Tilley

A former Marshall University running back will face trial on Jan. 26 on charges of hitting a gay couple.

The Herald-Dispatch reports a Cabell County circuit judge set the tentative trial date during a status conference Tuesday for 24-year-old Steward Butler of Lakeland, Florida.

West Virginia Turnpike
Seicer / wikimedia Commons

State police say a man wanted in Georgia was fatally shot during a pursuit on the West Virginia Turnpike.

State Police spokesman Lt. Michael Baylous tells media outlets that 28-year-old Brandon Lamar Johnson of Snellville, Georgia, stopped his car during a pursuit Tuesday on Interstate 64-77 in Beckley, got out and pulled a gun on troopers. Baylous says Johnson refused to drop his weapon and was shot.

Maksim / wikimedia commons

Union workers at Mardi Gras Casino and Resort in Nitro plan to vote this week on a revised health insurance proposal.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that during talks Tuesday with the United Steelworkers Local 14614-F9, casino management agreed to remove contract language that would have allowed future policy changes in the workers' health insurance.

Fayette County Map
David Benbennick / wikimedia commons

The president of the state Board of Education is questioning a building agency's rejection of Fayette County's request for funding for a school consolidation plan.

Mike Green wrote to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin on Tuesday. The letter called on the School Building Authority to conduct a new vote.

AP Photo/Jeff Gentner / AP

As the state's focus shifts to Charleston this week for the start of former Massey CEO Don Blankenship's trial, we're taking a look back at a 2005 special episode of Outlook titled "The Kingmaker."

The half hour special profiles Blankenship and his political influence at the time, just after the 2004 election when he spent some $5 million on the campaign to elect Supreme Court Justice Brent Benjamin.