News

Arts & Culture
5:21 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Specialty Coffee Shops are on the Rise in W.Va.

Liz McCormick West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Coffee has always been a popular drink. It’s been a big trade item for hundreds of years and continues to be one of the leading beverages in the world. Coffee is so popular that many people don’t even care if it’s cheap or low quality; as long as they have that caffeine fix. But more and more people are searching for that higher quality coffee only found in the specialty shops.

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News
3:03 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Audit: W.Va. Agency Spend $3.5 Million on Abandoned Project

A new report says the West Virginia Division of Juvenile Services spent about $3.5 million to renovate a juvenile facility and then abandoned the project with the work uncompleted.

The Legislative Auditor's Office says in a report released Monday that the agency's reasons for stopping the project were foreseeable when it began. The office recommends that the agency develop a procedure to gauge cost versus benefit for future construction and renovation projects.

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Higher Education
1:48 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

WVU Partially Lifting Greek Activity Ban, Pledging Allowed

Credit Richinstead / wikimedia Commons

  West Virginia University is partially lifting a ban on Greek activity.

Effective Monday, Dean of Students Corey Farris tells the Charleston Daily Mail that fraternities and sororities can restart pledging and initiation procedures.

A moratorium on social events will remain in effect. Students are developing a course of action to address hazing and other issues regarding the Greek organizations.

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Government
1:44 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Study: W.Va. Correctional Officer Pay Low, Turnover High

Credit Schavda / wikimedia Commons

  A new report says correctional officers employed by the Division of Corrections have the lowest entry-level salaries in the nation.

The report released Monday by the Legislative Auditor's Office says the entry-level salary for correctional officers is $22,141 annually. Illinois has the highest entry-level salary, $45,103.

Correctional officers earn about $16,400 less than their counterparts at the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

The report also says the turnover rate among correctional officers was 37 percent in fiscal 2014. But low pay likely wasn't the only factor.

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Government
1:44 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Tomblin Plans Targeted Cuts, Reserves to Cover $195 Million Budget Gap

Credit Flickr / davidwilson1949

State Secretary of Revenue Robert Kiss says Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin will make targeted cuts and tap state reserves in his budget proposal.

The comments came Monday during the West Virginia AP Legislative Lookahead at the offices of Charleston Newspapers.

Kiss says Tomblin has to cover a $195 million expected budget gap next year. Kiss expects less than $80 million to come from the state Rainy Day Fund.

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West Virginia Morning
8:17 am
Mon January 12, 2015

1939 Law Affects the Price for Gas

On West Virginia Morning, lawmakers are discussing the price of gasoline in the state.  And Jessica Lilly begins a series of reports about water quality in southern West Virginia.

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Legislature
5:00 am
Mon January 12, 2015

Bullying in Schools to Be a Topic of Discussion in 2015 Legislative Session

Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Bullying and harassment in schools was the topic of discussion during the Joint Standing Committee on Education yesterday.

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Legislature
10:33 pm
Sun January 11, 2015

Will Lawmakers Repeal the Unfair Trade Practices Act?

Sen. Herb Snyder listens to a presentation during legislative interims.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A debate that started during the 2014 legislative session continued during interim meetings in Charleston Sunday. State lawmakers are still questioning if a 1939 law affects today’s gas prices.

Jan Vineyard, president of the West Virginia Oil Marketers and Grocers Association or OMEGA, addressed lawmakers during a Joint Government Organization and Operations meeting in the House Chamber about the state's Unfair Trade Practices Act which has been in state law for more than 70 years.

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Water Infrastructure
10:11 pm
Sun January 11, 2015

Water Outages and Advisories Continue in W.Va. Coalfields

Betty Younger explains the struggle to keep tap water on her front porch in McDowell County.
Credit Daniel Walker

While the chemical spill in Charleston left more than 300,000 without usable water, it's a problem that folks in the coalfields deal with on a regular basis.

Mountainous regions like southern West Virginia have an abundance of water, but the terrain along with aging infrastructure create challenges, just as it has for decades.

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Arts & Culture
11:49 am
Sat January 10, 2015

Puppet Protest Commemorates January 9th Chemical Leak

Mother Earth and the elements; earth, water, fire, and air.
Liz McCormick West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A protest featuring giant puppets was held in front of the Kanawha County Public Library yesterday, commemorating the January 9th chemical spill one year ago.

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Inside Appalachia
5:56 pm
Fri January 9, 2015

Inside Appalachia: Remembering the Elk River Chemical Spill, Honoring Two Musical Legends

Lida Shepherd and her daughter, Lucia.
Credit Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

This week on Inside Appalachia, we’re marking the one-year anniversary of the Elk River Chemical Spill in Charleston, W.Va. that temporarily left 300,000 without water.

Remembering West Virginia Native, "Little" Jimmy Dickens

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Police Shooting
2:28 pm
Fri January 9, 2015

Campbell's Charged With Murder in North Carolina

Credit Credit West Virginia Regional Jail & Correctional Facility Authority / www.wvrja.com

 Authorities say murder charges are being filed against a father and son accused of killing a North Carolina couple as part of a multi state crime spree that ended in a police shootout.

A news release Friday from the office of District Attorney Michael Waters in North Carolina says Edward Campbell and Eric Campbell face two counts each of first-degree murder, along with robbery, burglary, arson and other charges.

 The news release says the warrants are being served on the men in custody in West Virginia, where a shootout with police occurred.

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Energy Business
2:10 pm
Fri January 9, 2015

Patriot Coal Moves Headquarters to W.Va.

Credit Patriot Coal

Patriot Coal Corp. has relocated its headquarters from St. Louis to West Virginia.

The company says in a news release that its operations office in Scott Depot became the company's headquarters effective Jan. 1.

Patriot Coal says the move will reduce administrative costs and put the headquarters closer to its mining operations and customers.

The transition began in November and is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2015.

Patriot Coal has eight mining complexes in West Virginia and two in western Kentucky.

 

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Chemical Spill
11:57 am
Fri January 9, 2015

W.Va. Chief Health Officer Reflects on Chemical Spill Response

Dr. Rahul Gupta is the Commissioner for the state Bureau of Public Health.
Credit West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources

As soon as he was made aware of the Freedom Industries' chemical spill and the tap water use ban, Dr. Rahul Gupta said his main concern was the health and safety of the citizens in the affected area.

In January of 2014, Gupta was serving as the Executive Director of the Kanawha Charleston Health Department, a position he held since 2009, and was very vocal when responding to all of the possible health concerns related to the spill.

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Chemical Spill
9:32 am
Fri January 9, 2015

DEP Secretary: Tank Regulations Starting to Show Results

The tanks that used to stand at the Freedom Industries site along the Elk River.
Credit Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

After the chemical leak from the Freedom Industries site was discovered, some blame was quickly placed on the state Department of Environmental Protection for not properly regulating the tanks. But soon enough, both the public and state lawmakers found out the DEP had no authority over the inspection of those tanks.

That quickly changed as the 2014 legislative session progressed, passing a law to create a registration and inspection program.

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West Virginia Morning
8:53 am
Fri January 9, 2015

W.Va.'s Chemical Leak One Year Later

Friday marks one year since a chemical tainted the drinking water supply for 300,000 people in and around Charleston, leaving some without usable water for as many as ten days. State lawmakers immediately took action to regulate aboveground storage tanks like the one responsible for the contamination, but the regulatory effort is on going.

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Water Crisis
6:00 am
Fri January 9, 2015

One Year After the Chemical Leak, Mother and Daughter Still Don't Drink Tap Water

Lida Shepherd and her daughter, Lucia.
Credit Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

It was some ten days before all of the families affected by the tap water ban following Charleston’s chemical spill were able to return to life as usual within their homes. And many did just that, once again drinking, cooking and bathing with water straight from the tap. The same, however, can’t be said for every family in the valley including Lida Shepherd, who says she still won’t drink the water.

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Arts & Culture
6:00 am
Fri January 9, 2015

Documentary Inspired by Water Crisis to Premiere at Culture Center

Near Frametown, several miles below the Sutton Dam. Drone shot.
Mike Youngren Presidio Studios in Lewisburg

Mike Youngren has lived in Charleston for the last 20 years. A West Virginia Public Broadcasting alum, Youngren pursued filmmaking after retiring. When the January 9th chemical leak happened, Youngren decided the problem was widespread enough for people to stop to pay attention to what he had to say. With this in mind, he decided to develop his documentary, Elk River Blues.

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Chemical Leak
12:14 am
Fri January 9, 2015

Action Groups, Experts, Mom Look Back and Forward After Chemical Spill

Credit wikimedia / Wikimedia

Leaders of citizen groups, a water scientist and an impacted mother held a phone-based news conference this week to look back on the crisis and outline the progress, pitfalls and next steps in their work to ensure safe drinking water for all West Virginians.

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Chemical Spill
10:10 pm
Thu January 8, 2015

AG Report Says Chemical Company Knew of Defects

W.Va. Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.
Credit Janet Kunicki / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A West Virginia attorney general report says the company behind last January's chemical spill knew of its facility's defects for years.

The report released Thursday by Attorney General Patrick Morrisey office's says in 2010, one manager's report even said "a potential catastrophic failure" could occur without drainage improvements.

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