On West Virginia Morning, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission has approved tuition increases for in state and out of state students at three universities.  Also a report about the disappearance of Monarch butterflies.  These stories on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

Dan Nelant, President of Salem International University
Salem International University

While the Higher Education Policy Commission is increasing tuition for in-state students at state schools around West Virginia by as much as 10 percent, officials at Salem International University, a private institution, announced a new college affordability initiative this week at their campus in Harrison County. The initiative would effectively cut students’ tuition by half or more.

Evan Agostini for The Greenbrier Resort / AP Photo

The billionaire owner of The Greenbrier resort says Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Lee Trevino will design a nearby mountaintop golf course.

Jim Justice announced plans for the new golf course, ski slopes and housing development in a news release Monday.

The release says the golf resort will break ground within 30 days and is expected to open in fall 2016. Justice says he hopes to attract the U.S. Open to the course someday.

Swimmerguy269 / wikimedia Commons

The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission has approved tuition and fee increases sought by West Virginia University, Potomac State College of WVU and West Virginia State University.

The commission voted on the increases at its regular meeting Monday.

In a news release, the commission said the board voted 5-2 to approve WVU's plan to increase in-state undergraduate tuition and fees by 9.7 percent for the 2015-2016 academic year. Out-of-state undergraduate costs will increase by 4.9 percent.

U.S. Attorney's Office / United States Department of Justice

  Four people have been charged with fraudulently using federal small-business programs to obtain contracts worth millions from the government.

U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld II said Monday that the defendants obtained contracts worth more than $140 million under a program that helps disadvantaged business operators compete for government contracts. Another $24 million was obtained under a program that helps disabled veterans.

The weekday commuter bus service between Charleston and Huntington is expected to run out of funding soon.

The Charleston Daily Mail reports the Intelligent Transit, or "iT," will run out of federal and state funds on June 30. The service makes one round trip in each direction on weekday mornings, making the return trip in the evenings.

Prison Bars
Schavda / wikimedia Commons

An inmate advocacy group is seeking a reduction of phone fees charged to prisoners in regional jails.

Stories from South Central says the West Virginia Division of Corrections reduced its fees for inmate phone calls at the state's prisons. The group says the West VirginiaRegional Jail and Correctional Facilities Authority should follow suit.

Small Business Administration
U.S. Small Business Administration

West Virginian nonprofits affected by storms and landslides in early April have until July 13 to apply for federal disaster loans.

The U.S. Small Business Administration says nonprofits in Boone, Cabell, Lincoln, Mingo and Wayne counties that provide non-critical services are eligible to apply. These organizations include homeless shelters, museums and community centers.

On West Virginia Morning, Glynis Board talks with Bishop Michael Bransfield about the Pope’s recent message on climate change.  Also, Beth Vorhees talks with the producers of “Jay: A Rockefeller’s Journey,” the two hour television documentary that premieres tonight.  These stories on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

Catholic News Agency

Pope Francis released his 184-page Papal Encyclical to the world just a few days ago. The letter from the Pope to all the bishops of the Roman Catholic Church comes as a relief to environmentalists around the globe, as it named climate matters the most urgent and critical issue of our time. In it, Pope Francis appeals “for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet.”

Bishop Michael J. Bransfield, leader of the Catholic community in West Virginia, spoke about the messages he took away from the historic document.

wikimedia Commons

The Greater Harrison Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force has received more than $480,000 from the sale of properties seized during a drug investigation.

The 10 properties included a former church and an uninhabitable home in Clarksburg.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury conducted the auction last week in Bridgeport in conjunction with the Internal Revenue Service. IRS special agent Mary Lou Prillaman tells The Exponent Telegram that the sale's proceeds totaled $484,000.

Swimmerguy269 / wikimedia Commons

West Virginia University is creating a new office and a new position to oversee fraternities and sororities.

Student Life vice president Bill Schafer says a national search will be conducted to fill the position of associate dean and director of Greek life.

WVU President E. Gordon Gee says the new office and position are part of an effort to change the university's culture.

Gee promised significant changes following the death of 18-year-old freshman Nolan Burch during an initiation ceremony at the WVU Kappa Sigma house on Nov. 12, 2014.

U.S. Bureau of Prisons

An inmate who escaped from the Federal Prison Camp at Alderson remains on the loose.

U.S. Marshals are searching for 54-year-old Patricia Alfieri, a New Yorker who was serving a term for mail fraud and making a false return. Her scheduled release date is next February.

Alfieri was reported missing Thursday.


Monongalia County Sheriff's Department

The Monongalia County sheriff says more information will be released next week on the fatal police shooting of a Morgantown woman.

Christie Cathers was killed by police gunfire June 5. Two deputies have been on paid administrative leave since the shooting.

The Dominion Post said it has requested video taken by police and the 911 tapes of the incident. Police have refused, citing an investigation.

West Virginia Lottery

The expected $7.6 million cost for the renovation of the West Virginia Lottery's headquarters could mount amid a protracted bid dispute.

The renovation involves the lottery's 13-story home in Charleston. In May, a circuit judge law clerk directed a lawyer for Maynard C. Smith Construction to draw up an order for the renovation contract. But the state and Wiseman Construction challenged the proposed order.

Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting


Pittsburgh Pirates affiliate the West Virginia Black Bears opened their first season Friday, June 19, to a crowd of 3,019 fans.


“Good evening and welcome to Monongalia County Ballpark for the first ever professional baseball game here, in north-central West Virginia,” Black Bears General Manager Matthew Drayer boomed over the ballpark’s PA system.

David E. Rotenizer Raleigh County Extension Agent – Community Development West Virginia State University Extension Service

In spring, summer and fall, downtown Floyd, Virginia on Friday nights is crowded with tourists who’ve traveled from all over the world. Locals fill the downtown sidewalks and benches outside the Floyd Country Store. On one block of the town, there are several jams going on - people playing guitars and banjos and fiddles. This is what’s known as the Friday Night Jamboree.

Brian Blauser


This week’s show includes stories of square dance junkies who are fanning the flames for a new generation of old time music fans, young indie rock musicians who hope to challenge Appalachian stereotypes in West Virginia and banjo players who are teaching age old tunes to young musicians and more.

Bristol Museum Celebrates the Birthplace of Country Music

Governor's Office

With millions of extra dollars for tourism, West Virginia is kicking off a marketing campaign to sell its story to surrounding states.

On Friday, state Tourism Commissioner Amy Shuler Goodwin announced the campaign titled "Real." The push is based on market research and features West Virginians talking about what their outdoorsy communities have to offer.

Goodwin said the campaign taps into part of $4.7 million extra in newly approved tourism marketing money.

Martin Valent / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The state’s top Republicans are rallying around the only Republican candidate who has announced intentions to run for Governor, Senate President Bill Cole.

Republican House Speaker Tim Armstead announced his endorsement of Cole Friday, calling him a bold and decisive leader.

Earlier this week, newly elected Republican Congressman Evan Jenkins released his official endorsement of the Senator.