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The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection is taking registrations from volunteers who want to help clean up the state's highways.

The Adopt-A-Highway Statewide Spring Cleanup is scheduled for April 29. Volunteers have until April 21 to register, and they must be at least 12 years old to participate.

Swimmerguy269 / wikimedia Commons

Students at West Virginia University's Reed College of Media are working with computer science students and faculty on an artificial intelligence course to try to detect fake news articles.

The university said in a news release that the course includes two projects that focus on using artificial intelligence to spot fake news.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, Ashton Marra and Liz McCormick join Beth Vorhees in our studio to talk over the final night of the legislative session and highlight some bills that were passed before the Saturday midnight deadline and Appalachian farmers are waiting for the confirmation of President Trump’s Secretary of Agriculture.

That’s on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Nearly an hour after midnight on Sunday morning, the West Virginia Legislature completed action on a budget bill for the 2018 fiscal year.

The budget bill was passed, as amended in the Senate just before midnight, on a 22 to 12 party line vote. The House of Delegates concurred with those amendments on a 63-37 around 1:00 a.m. The bill now heads to Gov. Jim Justice.

Editor's Note: This is a developing story. For more, visit our live blog on the latest from the final night of the Legislature's Regular Session. 

Just two hours before the end of the 60th and final day of the 83rd West Virginia Legislature's First Regular Session, Governor Jim Justice said he and Senate President Mitch Carmichael have struck a deal to run a revenue bill that would help push through a budget before midnight.

“To just tell it like it is, I’ve been really pessimistic for the last 36 hours. Until about 2 o’clock today. About 2 o’clock today, the momentum changed and all of the sudden there became a real hope and real optimism,” said Justice during a 10 p.m. Saturday news conference in the Governor’s Reception Room.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

House Bill 2620, creating the West Virginia Drug Overdose Monitoring Act, would provide an office to gather data about the drug epidemic in West Virginia. Senate Judiciary Chair Charles Trump called that office a “hub.”

This would be a tool for the state to track concerns over drug abuse and overdoses throughout the state, as well as connect with other states to determine how they deal with similar concerns. Sen. Mike Woelfel said it is time for the Legislature to solve the problem.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The House of Delegates has agreed to amendments offered by the Senate to House Bill 3093, a bill that would expand broadband access to the entire state. The bill now heads to Gov. Jim Justice for his signature.

The bill allows for communities to form “internet co-ops.” These cooperatives would work together with a service provider to become their community’s own provider. This provision allows for areas that may not have access to broadband, due to geological issues or other setbacks, to provide internet access to their communities.

Twitter / @wvgovernor

Gov. Jim Justice has announced he will veto a bill that would have effectively put an end to the greyhound racing industry in West Virginia, according to its supporters. 

Justice traveled to Wheeling to announce the veto of Senate Bill 437 Saturday morning.

Saturday, April 8 marks the 60th and final day of the 83rd West Virginia Legislature's First Regular Session. 

Rusty Marks / The State Journal

Mayonnaise Sandwich. Nothing Burger. Knuckleheads. Poodles and Grizzly Bears.

If you've been following the 2017 Legislature, you know what we're talking about.

WARNING: this week's Front Porch podcast contains contains marijauna, mayo, Medicaid and more.

Bashar al-Assad
REMY DE LA MAUVINIERE / AP

West Virginia’s congressional delegation today came out in support of President Donald Trump's decision to take action in Syria.

Images of devastation began to surface earlier this week after what U.S. officials and observers described as a chemical weapons attack on civilians in Syria by the regime of Bashar al-Assad. An agreement was reached in 2013 with Assad and Russia that all chemical weapons in Syria be destroyed.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia lawmakers have voted to increase beds available at state-supported drug treatment facilities in response to the state's opioid addiction epidemic.

The Senate's unanimous vote Friday follows an earlier House vote to add beds and establish an addiction prevention and recovery fund.

Opioids
Toby Talbot / AP Photo

A West Virginia mayor has joined the ranks of at least 11 communities suing some of the biggest U.S. drug distributors, bidding to make them pay for the damage done by addiction in a state already ravaged by the decades-long decline of coal.

Welch Mayor Reba Honacker says she'd like to establish a local rehabilitation center with any money her Appalachian city of 1,900 might gain from the lawsuit.

The West Virginia Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training says that a miner injured in February at the CK Mine No. 5 in Mingo County has died from complications related to his injuries.

According to the office, Dennis J. Fillinger of Harts, West Virginia, died Thursday. He was struck by a piece of falling rock about 9:30 p.m. Feb. 23.

Office/Sen. Jay Rockefeller

In this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we hear three of our favorite stories from the Inspiring West Virginians series.  

The series highlights leaders in health, business and science.

Allen Loughry has been selected to serve a four-year term as chief justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court.

The court says in a news release that it marks the first four-year term for a chief justice since 1888. Chief justices typically serve one-year terms.

College Class, Lecture Hall
Xbxg32000 / wikimedia commons

West Virginia officials have extended the application deadline for the need-based Higher Education Grant Program through May 1.

The Higher Education Policy Commission and Community and Technical College System say the deadline has been pushed back because of a federal technology issue.

Underground Mine, Miners, Mining
Robert PEnergy / wikimedia commons

West Virginia's tax collections from coal and natural gas production in March topped $40 million, exceeding original budget estimates by $13 million and showing some recovery from last year.

State Revenue Secretary Dave Hardy says that gain was partly offset by corporate net income tax, consumer sales tax and business and occupation taxes that were more than $8 million below estimates altogether.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, Ashton Marra talks with Governor Jim Justice about the state’s budget dilemma and Margo Price has our Mountain Stage song of the week.

That’s on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

West Virginia House of Delegates
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

With the passage of their budget bill behind them, members of the House are working their way through a number of bills left on their agenda this legislative session. West Virginia Public Broadcasting took a closer look at two of the bills approved in the chamber Thursday.

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