News

WV Legislature
4:51 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

Legislature Considering Repeal of Law Requiring Use of Alternative and Renewable Energy

Credit Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Members of both the House and Senate Energy Committees took up a bill Thursday repealing a law that’s commonly been referred to as West Virginia’s cap and trade law.

The Alternative and Renewable Energy Portfolio Act of 2009 requires electric utilities in the state to produce 25 percent of their electricity with alternative and renewable energy sources by 2025, meeting benchmarks of ten percent in 2015 and 15 percent in 2020.

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Environment
3:22 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

Report: W.Va. Water Intakes at Risk from Thousands of Tanks

Credit Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

  A new report says drinking water sources in West Virginia are at risk of contamination from thousands of aboveground storage tanks.

The report says the greatest risk is posed by 3,167 tanks near and upstream from surface drinking water intakes. A 2014 state law requires extra safeguards for tanks in these areas.

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Courts
2:38 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

W.Va. Man Found Incompetent for Trial in Sheriff's Death

  A West Virginia man has been found incompetent to stand trial in the fatal shooting of Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum.

Cabell County Circuit Judge Paul Ferrell on Thursday ordered Tennis Melvin Maynard committed to a state mental health facility for life.

Crum was killed in April 2013 while parked in his cruiser in downtown Williamson.

Farrell had ordered a mental health evaluation in November 2013 for Maynard. Last February, Farrell indefinitely postponed Maynard's murder trial.

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Government
1:03 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

Morgantown Police Buy 30 Body Cameras for Officers

Credit City of Morgantown

  Police officers in Morgantown now have video cameras attached to their uniforms to document daily activities.

The Dominion Post reports the department bought about 30 body cameras at a cost of $5,750 and two new in-car cameras for an additional $2,900, along with software for the cameras.

Officers manually activate the cameras upon leaving their vehicles. Each camera can store more than 18 hours of video for downloading at the police station. The cameras also record audio.

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Lewisburg Shooting
12:28 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

Man To Be Extradited From W.Va. to N.C. to Face Murder Charges

Credit West Virgina Regional Jail Authority

  A suspect in a multistate crime spree will be transferred from West Virginia to North Carolina to face murder charges.

Fifty-four-year-old Edward Watson Campbell of Alvin, Texas, waived extradition on Wednesday.

Campbell is charged in Granville County, North Carolina, with first-degree murder, burglary and other charges. Campbell and his son, 21-year-old Eric Campbell of Alvin, Texas, are accused of killing a couple near Oxford, North Carolina, on Jan. 1.

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Utility Rates
12:23 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

Mountaineer Gas Asks PSC to Approve $12.2 Million Rate Hike

  Mountaineer Gas is seeking state approval to raise rates by $12.2 million.

The Public Service Commission says the proposed 4.7 percent increase would raise the average residential monthly bill by $3.46.

Mountaineer Gas filed its request with the PSC on Jan. 5. The company proposes that the rate increase go into effect Feb. 4.

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Water Infrastructure
9:20 am
Thu January 15, 2015

Part II: Is There Something in the Water, Southern W.Va.?

Discharge pipe.
Credit US Department of Agriculture

For all of the concerns about water compromised by natural and industrial sources (and the cancer, decay, infection, and disease that can come with that contamination), director of the West Virginia Water Research Institute, Paul Ziemkiewicz said the biggest threat in water supplies in southern West Virginia (and many areas in the state) by a long shot is raw sewage.


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Education
8:21 am
Thu January 15, 2015

West Virginia Board of Education Hears Debate on Science Standards for Teaching Climate Change

Four students from Marshall University spoke to the board- Caitlyn Grimes (L), Jenna Atkins, Jake Waldman and Matt Jarvis. The students are not science majors, but they are mentored by a group called CFACT and deny climate change as a proven scientific fact.
Credit Ashton Marra/ WVPB

The West Virginia Board of Education rescinded a proposal on Wednesday on teaching requirements for education science standards on climate change.

Over a hundred people flooded the board room at the state capitol, many of them because of a controversial addition to the science curriculum for k-12 grade students.

Recognizing their concerns, the board voted to place the proposal back on a 30-day public comment period.

The vote came at the suggestion of Clayton Burch, the Department of Education's chief academic officer. “It's important to get it right.”

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West Virginia Morning
8:21 am
Thu January 15, 2015

Governor Tomblin Outlines 2015 Agenda

One this episode of West Virginia Morning, Governor Tomblin emphasized reaching across the aisle and moving the state forward last night during his state of the state address. And we continue our series on water quality.

Government
8:54 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Tomblin Proposes Covering Budget Gap with $69 Million in Reserves

Credit Flickr / davidwilson1949

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's budget proposal would use almost $69 million in reserves and cut $72 million from specific areas to curb state budget woes.

The Democratic governor's administration outlined the spending plan during a media briefing Wednesday.

The money from the state's Rainy Day Fund and cuts would help cover an expected $195 million budget gap.

Officials said public education, higher education and the Department of Health and Human Resources would be targeted for cuts. They said further details would emerge Thursday during legislative budget presentations.

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Legislature
4:14 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Delegate Tim Armstead is Elected as House Speaker

Delegate Tim Armstead being sworn in as House Speaker.
Credit Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

In a historic first day to the 82nd Legislative Session, Republicans are now the majority in the House, and Republican Delegate, Tim Armstead was elected as House Speaker.

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Government
2:17 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

W.Va. GOP Names Replacement Options for Resigning Senator

Credit West Virginia Legislature

West Virginia Republicans have named three options to replace state Sen. Clark Barnes, who has officially resigned to become Senate clerk.

The Republican candidates who will be considered for the vacancy are state Del. Allen Evans of Petersburg; West Virginia Farm Bureau President Charles Wilfong of Dunmore; and engineer Gregory Boso from Summersville.

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Legislature
2:14 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Democrat Crosses Party Lines to Vote for New Senate President

Sen. Bill Cole takes the podium as Senate President for the first time.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Mercer County Sen. Bill Cole was elected to the Senate Presidency by a vote of 19-15 Wednesday with one Democrat crossing party lines to vote with the new Republican majority.

Sen. Bob Plymale of Cabell County voted for Cole instead of former Senate President and now Minority Leader Jeff Kessler, the Democratic nominee. Plymale declined to comment on the vote.

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Education
1:34 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

W.Va. Education Board Removes Climate Change Standard, Will Allow Public Comment

Students from Marshall University, West Virginia University and the Comittee for a Constructive tomorro attended Wednesday's BOE meeting about science standards.

  The West Virginia Board of Education has rescinded a proposal on teaching requirements for education science standards on climate change.

The board voted Wednesday to place the proposal back on a 30-day public comment period.

The vote came at the suggestion of Clayton Burch, the Department of Education's chief academic officer. He suggested removing the proposal will ensure that the time is taken to "get it right."

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Government
1:06 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

West Virginia Starts Legislative Session, Puts GOP in Power

Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

  West Virginia lawmakers have begun a 60-day legislative session with Republicans in power for the first time in more than eight decades.

The Senate and House of Delegates gaveled in shortly after noon Wednesday.

As expected, Republican Bill Cole of Mercer County was elected Senate president. Republican Tim Armstead of Kanawha County was chosen as House speaker.

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Government
12:17 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Report Says Ex-Va. Education Administrator Misused Funds

Credit West Virginia Department of Education

  A report by the Virginia State Inspector General says a former state education administrator misused public funds and falsified travel records.

The Charleston Gazette obtained a copy of the report. The newspaper says the allegations against Tammy McGraw include awarding contracts without soliciting competitive bids.

McGraw's lawyer, John Wooton, tells the newspaper that the report omitted things that explained or contradicted the findings.

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Water Infrastructure
11:17 am
Wed January 14, 2015

Part I: Is There Something in the Water, Southern W.Va.?

Folks in rural southern West Virginia often brush their teeth with bottled water.
Credit Jessical Lilly / WVPublic

In an ongoing look at water infrastructure challenges in the southern region of West Virginia, we consider possible health effects of long-term exposure to contaminated water sources. First: the health impacts of industrial contamination, as well as naturally occurring pollutants.

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2015 Legislation Session
8:24 am
Wed January 14, 2015

WATCH: Gov. Tomblin's 2015 State of the State Address

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin gave his fifth State of the State Address Wednesday night in the House Chamber before a joint meeting of the legislature as well as the Supreme Court, Constitutional officers and many, many others.

Tomblin touted the financial success the state is seeing from fiscally prudent decisions made in recent years. From the strength of the state’s more than $800 million Rainy Day Fund to the accomplishments in paying off worker’s compensation debt, Tomblin said the state is in good financial health.

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West Virginia Morning
8:21 am
Wed January 14, 2015

Water Quality Effects on Health

On West Virginia Morning, incoming legislative leaders tell us what they would like to hear from Governor Tomblin in his State of the State address tonight. And our water quality series continues with a look at the health effects of polluted water.

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Legislature
6:00 am
Wed January 14, 2015

GOP Leaders Share Hopes for State of the State

Incoming Senate President, Bill Cole.
Credit Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

With the anticipation of Governor Tomblin’s State of the State address tonight, Senate President, Bill Cole and incoming House Speaker, Tim Armstead  shared what they hope to hear in the Governor’s speech.

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