News

West Virginia History
8:15 am
Fri February 13, 2015

February 13, 1899: Wheeling Newspaperman Archibald Campbell Dies at 65

Credit e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia / West Virginia Humanities Council

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Arts and Culture
12:06 am
Fri February 13, 2015

Love Letters From Thomas, W.Va., Addressed: "Dear Fellow Human"

Letters from Thomas were mailed to Los Cerrillos last year. Los Cerrillos and Madrid are sister communities, similar to Thomas and Davis.

Valentine's day isn't a favorite holiday for all people- especially not people who aren't in a romantic relationship. But what about a bundle of unexpected letters, written by strangers from a little town far away? Well a town in West Virginia is about to receive about 700 love letters. These letters express well wishes- even for those who claim to be left out of Valentine's Day.

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Legislature
7:11 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

Bill to Scale Back Prevailing Wage Passes Senate

Sen. Craig Blair stood to amend SB 361 during a morning floor session while dozens of union workers looked on from the gallery.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

State Senators have approved a bill to scale back the state’s prevailing wage law and change the way it’s calculated.

A bill that would have repealed the state’s prevailing wage completely was altered and then approved by senators on a final vote of 23 to 11 Thursday with only Democrats voting against it.

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News
6:43 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

Gordon Gee on Massey's Safety Record, Alcohol Deaths, and WVU's Freedom Agenda

WVU President Gordon Gee
Credit West Virginia University

In his first year back as president of West Virginia University, Gordon Gee faced shrinking state funding and a high-profile student death on campus. He spoke recently with us about those challenges, and about his time serving on the board of directors for coal company Massey Energy.

Gee served as chairman of the Safety, Environmental and Public Policy Committee of Massey Energy's board of directors before he resigned in 2009. Less than a year later, an explosion killed 29 men at Massey’s Upper Big Branch mine.

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The Legislature Today
6:29 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

30 Days In, 30 To Go

At the legislature today, the House passed a Senate bill relating to deer farming in the state.  It’s an issue that’s been around a while.  In the Senate, the health committee amends a bill about immunization that gives the state more control over exemptions for vaccination.  And we’ll check in with legislative leadership for a update at the midway point on The Legislature Today. 

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Legislature
5:55 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

Thursday in the House: Deer Farming & Jobs

Credit Scott Baue / U.S. Department of Agriculture

Senate Bill 237 was on the House Floor Thursday. The bill would create the Captive Cervid Farming Act, which would allow West Virginians to own farms to raise deer and elk. The bill would transfer regulation of these farms from the Division of Natural Resources to the Department of Agriculture.

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Legislature
3:51 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

Senate Health Panel Moves Vaccine Bill

Sen. Ryan Ferns chairs the Senate Committee on Health and Human Resources.
Credit West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A Senate committee approved an agreement Thursday that would modify the way immunization exemptions are granted in West Virginia, taking the power from the county level and centralizing it at the state Bureau for Public Health.

Members of the Senate Health Committee initially received a bill that would have allowed parents to seek religious exemptions from some immunization requirements. A committee substitute offered last week removed that exemption, but members still had concerns and asked for more time to work on a compromised version.

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Chemical Spill
10:46 am
Thu February 12, 2015

Trial Delayed for Execs in W.Va. Chemical Spill

A judge is rescheduling the trial for former executives facing charges for a massive chemical spill last year.

In U.S. District Court in Charleston on Wednesday, Judge Thomas Johnston moved back the trial for Freedom Industries officials to Oct. 6. The trial had been scheduled for March 10.

The change would likely only apply to ex-Freedom presidents Gary Southern and Dennis Farrell. Also Wednesday, federal prosecutors asked the court to schedule plea hearings for the company, Charles Herzing, William Tis and two lower-level employees.

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Chemical Leak
9:19 am
Thu February 12, 2015

Updated: Glycolic Acid Leak Reported at Plant in Belle

Credit Department of Environmental Protection

West Virginia environmental workers responded to a glycolic acid leak at a chemical plant in Belle.

Department of Environmental Protection spokeswoman Kelly Gillenwater says a team was dispatched to monitor the area around the DuPont plant after Wednesday's incident.

Gillenwater tells the Charleston Gazette the leak occurred when DuPont employees turned on a piece of equipment that had been shut down for maintenance.

DuPont blamed the leak on an equipment failure.

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News
8:22 am
Thu February 12, 2015

Abortion Bill Approved

On this West Virginia Morning, Liz McCormick brings us the story on how the Pain-capable Unborn Child Protection Act was ultimately passed, and Ashton Marra brings us up to date on a potential breakthrough for businesses like Uber to operate in WV.

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Legislature
7:07 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

W.Va. Senate GOP Says Deal Struck on Prevailing Wage Changes

Senate Majority Leader Mitch Carmichael.
Credit West Virginia Legislative Photography

State Senate Majority Leader Mitch Carmichael says there's a tentative deal to scale back the state's prevailing wage.

The Jackson County Republican said Wednesday the agreement would avoid repealing the wage for public construction projects. Republicans have proposed the repeal.

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The Legislature Today
6:29 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

DEP Secretary Responds to New Storage Tank Bill

  At the legislature today, legislation limiting abortions is on its way to the Senate after the House passed the bill overwhelmingly today.  Uber, the international car service, wants to do business in West Virginia, but legislators have concerns.  And we’ll talk with the Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection about the bill to roll back the aboveground storage tank law on The Legislature Today.

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Veteran Health Care
5:36 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

Permanent VA Clinic Planned for Mercer County

Credit Dept. of Defense

Princeton will soon be home to a permanent VA clinic.

According to a release from Senator Joe Manchin’s office, Mercer County’s mobile health clinic, which served as an extension of the Beckley VA Medical Center, will become a permanent VA clinic.

The release says an increased number of veterans in need of healthcare in the area, called for a more permanent solution.

The Princeton VA will be able to serve a total of 1,200 eligible veterans.

Senator Manchin currently serves as a member on the Senate Veterans Affairs’ Committee.

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Small Business
5:26 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

Last Call for Bloomery Sweetshine Distillery

Credit Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

An Eastern Panhandle distillery decided to close its doors this week because of uncertainty about regulations the owners say are making their business unprofitable.

Distilleries must sell their liquor to the state and buy it back at a 28 percent markup under a provision of the liquor law called bailment. Bloomery Sweetshine Distillery in Jefferson County says that markup has made doing business unsustainable.

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Legislature
5:21 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

Abortion Bill Debated Nearly Two Hours in the House

Credit Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Delegates approved six pieces of legislation Wednesday including a Senate bill that allows emergency responders, doctors, and family members to administer a drug to reverse the effects of an overdose. But it was House Bill 2568, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act that got the most discussion on the floor before it was ultimately approved.

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Abandoned Properties
3:03 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

Group Offering Help to Deal with BAD Buildings

Credit http://wvbrownfields.org/

  Applications are due Friday to the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center. There a group that’s offering help to West Virginia Communities dealing with abandoned and dilapidated properties.

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Legislature
2:16 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

W.Va. House Approves Abortion Ban Bill

Credit Martin Valent / West Virginia Legislature

West Virginia delegates have approved an abortion ban after 20 weeks conception, despite last year's veto on a similar bill.

The House of Delegates passed the proposal 87-12 Wednesday. The bill provides some exemptions for women in medical emergencies. Rape and incest aren't exempted.

Proponents cited moral, religious grounds. Opponents deemed the proposal likely unconstitutional and intrusive into doctor-patient relationships.

The 2014 Democratic-run Legislature passed a similar proposal.

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Chemical Spill
2:14 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

Feds Seek Plea Hearings for Freedom Industries Ex-Owners

Credit Aaron Payne / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

 Prosecutors are seeking plea hearings for Freedom Industries and two former owners facing charges related to a West Virginia chemical spill.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Philip H. Wright filed motions Wednesday asking the court to schedule hearings for the company, Charles Herzing and William Tis. Wright also requested plea hearings for two lower-level employees.

All the defendants are charged with violating the federal Clean Water Act. They are expected to plead guilty in the case.

Attorneys for Herzing and Tis didn't immediately return telephone messages Wednesday.

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Legislature
11:26 am
Wed February 11, 2015

Could Uber Be Coming to West Virginia?

Jill Rice with the West Virginia Insurance Federation told members of the Senate Transportation committee her group has problems with a proposed ride-sharing bill.
Credit Ashton Marra

Members of the Senate's Transportation Committee took up a bill Wednesday that would allow ridesharing businesses to legally operate in West Virginia.

Ride-sharing companies, like Uber and Lyft, run through computer or smartphone software and allow anyone to connect with a local driver who uses a personal vehicle to provide taxi-like services.

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Discrimination
11:03 am
Wed February 11, 2015

Small W.Va. Town Passes Ordinance Against Discrimination

Credit Bitmapped / wikimedia Commons

Thurmond, West Virginia is the smallest town in America to pass an ordinance banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. 

In a unanimous vote Monday night, the town of five residents adopted employment, housing and public accommodation protections to a new town-wide Human Rights Act.

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