Online Voter Registration

With the arrival of the last day to register to vote before next month's primary election in West Virginia, the secretary of state's office says activity through the online voter registration application system has surged.

The secretary of state's office said the system received more than 10,000 submissions last week, accounting for almost a third of the submissions. There were about 1,100 submissions the first full month and 8,600 submissions in March.

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West Virginia officials are trying to put more emphasis on keeping vaccinations up to date for children 2 years old and younger.

The state has among the nation's highest immunization rates for school-age children, at 97 percent, but state health officials say the rate for children 19 to 35 months old is the lowest in the country.

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K-9s from across the state and their handlers have gathered in Charleston for an annual training camp.

Local media outlets report the West Virginia Police Canine Association is having its conference and yearly certification meeting this week at Camp Virgil Tate in Kanawha County.

On West Virginia Morning, a special report from Appalachia Health News contributor Jessie Wright-Mendoza about HIV and AIDS care in southern West Virginia.

That's on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting - Telling West Virginia's story.

At their second televised forum in three days, two of the three Democratic candidates for Governor continued their push to convince the voters of West Virginia to cast ballots in their favor during the upcoming primary election. 

School spending

A report released Monday by NPR tracks the amount of money spent on each student across the country by county. But representatives of the West Virginia Department of Education say the data reported doesn’t add up in West Virginia.

NPR and the national publication Education Week attribute their spending numbers to the U.S. Census Bureau. Their map says in West Virginia, McDowell County spent the most at $14,000 per student in 2013. Jefferson County, according to the map, spent the least per pupil at around $8,000.

But Amy Willard, Executive Director of School Finance for the West Virginia Department of Education, says the numbers don’t match state spending records.

Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia

The West Virginia Supreme Court has reversed a previous ruling it made that dismissed a lawsuit alleging age discrimination.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that the court on Thursday reversed its decision to uphold a judge's ruling which dismissed 65-year-old Martha Knotts' lawsuit against her former employer.

A group fueled by the billionaire industrialist Koch brothers has donated $100,000 to a super PAC supporting Republican Bill Cole for governor in West Virginia.

According to campaign finance reports, Freedom Partners Action Fund, Inc. wrote the check to the pro-Cole group Accelerate West Virginia in March.

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More than 33,000 West Virginia voters have used the state’s online voter registration system. The numbers come from the Secretary of State’s Office as the deadline to register to vote in West Virginia’s primary election is quickly approaching.

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A Raleigh County official is urging residents to vote in favor of a new fire levy.

Raleigh County fire levy coordinator Kevin Price tells the Register-Herald the new levy, which will be on the May 10 ballot, is cheaper than the previous levy, which already lowered home insurance rates in some areas. He says the levy brings benefits to the firefighting abilities of departments in the county.

@corysimpsonwv / via Twitter

Republican Congressman Alex Mooney has raised almost $150,000 for his re-election in West Virginia's 2nd Congressional District.

According to campaign finance reports, the first-term House member raised $147,900 from January through March and has $376,900 cash left.

Pipe Bomb
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West Virginia State Police say a man found with a bomb inside his vehicle has been taken into custody.

Local media outlets report police say 59-year-old Herman Vance was arrested Sunday near the Mingo-Logan county line. He is charged with obstructing, simple possession and illegal possession of destructive devices and explosives.

Evzio Naloxone Auto-injector
Clark Davis / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Health officials in Kanawha County will be teaching the public how to use the opioid overdose-reversing treatment naloxone.

The training will take place Thursday at 8 a.m. at the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department. The Marshall University School of Pharmacy is partnering to offer the free training on administering the life-saving drug, known by the brand name Narcan.

West Virginia State University

West Virginia State University has a full day of activities planned for its Earth Day celebration on April 25.

The university says the celebration starts at 9:30 a.m. and is to include presentations, movie screenings and exhibitors, including electric cars on display in front of the James C. Wilson University Union. The events are free and open to the public.

On West Virginia Morning, Ashton Marra reports on Saturday's Democratic Gubernatorial Forum and Appalachian Health News reporter Kara Lofton reports from the West Virginia Bike Summit.  These stories on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting - Telling West Virginia's story. / WV Connecting Communities

Despite the emphasis in West Virginia on the state's natural beauty and abundant opportunities to take in the outdoors, West Virginia is not considered a bike friendly state, according to the League of American Bicyclists.

Authorities say the body of a fisherman has been recovered in the New River.

The New River Gorge National River says in a news release that crews found the body of 51-year old Joe Bennett of Mabscott on Saturday.

The release says Bennett's boat capsized on Thursday. He had been fishing with a friend when swift currents capsized the boat near a campground. Bennett was not wearing a flotation vest and disappeared under the surface. His companion made it to shore, and search crews found the boat about 150 miles downriver from where it sank.

A public-private funding venture has resulted in the first of what could be 20 new luxury cottages in a wooded lakeshore development at Stonewall Resort State Park.

The four-bedroom luxury homes are equipped with amenities such as Wi-Fi, washers and dryers, and gas fireplaces.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the cottages will be financed by private investors who will own the units, but agree to make them available for public rental.

Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

There’s a growing trend across the country — folks are looking for more local foods. Here in Appalachia we’ve got a reputation for being able to survive. Many families have gotten by with a garden in their backyard.  Not everybody here makes a living mining coal. On this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we’re going to take a look at some of the benefits and challenges of farming.

 West Virginia has the lowest workforce participation rate in the country – under 50 percent. It also has a rising number of ex-felons who are almost un-employable.

Pastor Matthew Watts of the HOPE Community Development Corporation says these two trends are directly related – and we can’t deal with employment until we stop “over-incarcerating” low-income and black people for non-violent drug crimes.

Watts also says the lack of employment is leading to a crisis in marriage – one that’s devastating low-income communities, white and black in West Virginia.