News

News
6:40 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

W.Va. Senate President's Son Faces Drug Charges

Credit RayNata / wikimedia

  A federal prosecutor says a 25-year-old son of West Virginia Senate President Jeff Kessler has been indicted in a drug trafficking case.

U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld said Wednesday that a grand jury in Wheeling indicted Jacob Kessler of Glen Dale on nine counts related to oxycodone distribution.

Ihlenfeld says some of the alleged trafficking occurred in Bellaire, Ohio, and near West Virginia Northern Community College in Wheeling.

In a statement, Jeff Kessler says he's "heartbroken and disappointed" over his son's arrest and asks for privacy during a difficult time for his family.

Economy
5:11 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Third W.Va. Coalfields Senate Panel Meeting Next Week

Credit www.mine-engineer.com

  A state Senate panel seeking to revitalize the struggling southern coalfields will meet next week in Princeton.

The group's third listening tour stop is set for Dec. 11 at 6 p.m. at the Fred Gilbert Activity Center in Mercer County.

The Southern Coalfields Organizing and Revitalizing the Economy initiative, or SCORE, aims to diversify southern West Virginia. The panel plans to make recommendations before the January legislative session.

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Arts & Culture
5:01 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Christmas Festival in Historic Shepherdstown

Credit Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The annual “Christmas in Shepherdstown” festival continues tomorrow evening. A Civil War Christmas comes to Shepherdstown this weekend, with music, dance, carriage rides, and lectures all about the town at Christmastime during the Civil War.

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Public Meeting
2:00 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Senate Panel Seeking Economic Views In Mercer

Senate President Jeff Kessler co-chairs the SCORE task force; the next meeting is scheduled Dec. 11 in Princeton.
Credit Ashton Marra

Senate President Jeff Kessler announced Wednesday that the third meeting of the SCORE task force is scheduled next week in Mercer County. 

SCORE stands for Southern Coalfields Organizing and Revitalizing the Economy.

The SCORE task force is made up of state senators, with Kessler as Co-Chair, along with Sen. Mike Green of Raleigh County.

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Agriculture
12:56 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Two W.Va. Cities Chosen for Federal Food Initiative

  Two West Virginia cities have been selected to participate in a federal initiative designed to integrate local food systems and economic development.

Wheeling and Williamson are among 26 nationwide, including eight others in Appalachia, that will receive technical support from the Local Foods, Local Places initiative.

The Appalachian Regional Commission and five other federal agencies announced the winners on Wednesday in a news release.

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News
11:02 am
Wed December 3, 2014

W.Va. Judge Says No Conflict in Nursing Home Case

Justice Robin Jean Davis
Credit West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals

West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Robin Davis says there was no reason for her to recuse herself from a nursing home case.

ABC News reports that the plaintiffs' attorney, Michael Fuller, bought a Learjet from Davis' husband in December 2011 and contributed to Davis' 2012 re-election campaign.

Davis says in a statement to media outlets that she wasn't involved in the transaction. She says it occurred before the case was before the court.

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Courts
10:54 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Arch Coal Again Appeals W.Va. Strip Mine Permit Veto

 Arch Coal is continuing to fight a 2011 veto of a West Virginia strip mining permit.

Late last month in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Arch's Mingo Logan Coal Co. subsidiary filed an appeal notice for the Spruce No. 1 mine case.

In 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency retroactively vetoed the mine's permit, which the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued four years earlier.

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West Virginia Morning
7:51 am
Wed December 3, 2014

W.Va. Poet Takes on Coal in Latest Work

St. Albans native Crystal Good takes on the racism, politics, and coal in her latest work "Appalachian Blackface." The poem premiered at November's Summit on Race Matters in Appalachia held in Charleston. 

In it, Good compares the blackface minstrel shows of the 1800's to today's political climate.

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Environment
12:59 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Delegate Says DEP Hasn't Moved on Requests About Injection Well

A waste pond at the Lochghelly injection well site.
Credit Jessica Lilly / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Delegate John Pino requested two things of the state Department of Environmental Protection during a November interim meeting. The first was information about the permit status of an injection well in Fayette County, his district. The second was for the department to conduct tests of a creek near the site for possible contamination.

Three weeks later, Pino said he still hasn’t heard from the agency.

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A day dedicated to giving
12:41 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Have you heard about #GivingTuesday?

You’ve heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Now there’s Giving Tuesday! Why not include West Virginia Public Broadcasting in your Giving Tuesday plans!

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Higher Education
10:30 am
Tue December 2, 2014

WVU-Parkersburg Narrows Presidential Search to Five

Credit Snoopywv / wikimedia Commons

  West Virginia University at Parkersburg's board has scheduled interviews with five finalists for the president's job.

The candidates will visit the campus this week and next week. They are Paul Schreffler of Mill Creek; Harold Nolte of Brenham, Texas; Alan Roberts of Fort Pierce, Florida; James Conneely of Richmond, Kentucky.; and Fletcher Lamkin of Lane Osage Beach, Missouri.

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Government
8:36 am
Tue December 2, 2014

W.Va. Home Rule Board OKs Cities' Sales Tax Plans

An aerial view of downtown Parkersburg.
Credit Yassie / wikimedia Commons

  Seven cities participating in West Virginia's home rule pilot program have won approval to impose sales taxes.

The West Virginia Municipal Home Rule Board also approved Wheeling's plan to increase an existing sales tax to 1 percent.

The board considered the tax proposals and other aspects of the cities' home rule plans during a meeting Monday in Fairmont.

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West Virginia Morning
7:50 am
Tue December 2, 2014

W.Va. Responds to Proposed Carbon Rules, Minority Business Expo

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced yesterday the state had enter nearly 70 pages worth of comments in response to the federal Environmental Protection Agency's proposed rule to limit carbon emissions across the country. The rule was released in June, but Monday was the final day for public comment.

Dr. Carolyn Stuart and the state Office of Minority Affairs will sponsor a Minority Business Expo in Charleston this week meant to connect small business owners and entrepreneurs with resources to help grow their operations.

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Holidays
6:57 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Governor, First Lady Prepare for Capitol Holiday Celebration

Christmas trees were put up at the Capitol before Thanksgiving to prepare for Joyful Night.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia's annual Joyful Night celebration and tree lighting ceremony is set at the State Capitol Complex.

The event begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday on the North Plaza.

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Travel
6:28 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Turnpike Holiday Traffic Up Compared to 2013

The West Virginia Turnpike.
Credit Seicer / wikimedia Commons

Traffic on the West Virginia Turnpike rose during the Thanksgiving holiday compared to a year ago.

Media outlets report that traffic along the 88-mile highway for the six-day period ending Sunday increased 8 percent compared with the 2013 period. Sunday was the busiest travel day.

West Virginia Parkways Authority toll director Steve Maynard says the number of toll transactions was below the Thanksgiving period in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

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Small Businesses
6:25 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Business Expo Designed to Encourage Minoirities

Dr. Carolyn Stuart.

The West Virginia Office of Minority Affairs is preparing for Wednesday Minority Business Expo in Charleston, a day long event meant to encourage and connect small business leaders.

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Energy & Environment
9:02 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

State Environmental Regulators, Coal and Power Industries Submit Comments on EPA Carbon Rules

Credit Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

State environmental regulators and leaders of the coal and power industries announced yesterday they’d filed comments on the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rules that aim to reduce carbon emissions.

Governor Tomblin said the Department of Environmental protection worked with the West Virginia Division of Energy and the state Public Service Commission in filing a nearly 70 page document responding to the proposed rules . At a news conference Monday, Tomblin called those rules “unprecedented” and “illegal.”

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News
2:07 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Media Outlets Challenge Gag Order in Blankenship Case

A sketch of Don Blankenship during his November plea hearing.
Credit Sketch artist Jesse Corlis

The Friends of West Virginia Public Broadcasting joined four other news outlets challenging a judge's gag order in a former West Virginia coal executive's criminal case. 

The motion was filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Beckley by The Associated Press, The Charleston Gazette, The Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio and the Friends of West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

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Investigation
2:02 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Motives Behind Mon. Co. Shootings Unfolding, Victims Identified

Thirty-nine year old Jody Hunt of Westover has been identified as a suspect in the shootings.
Credit West Virginia State Police

UPDATED: 1:36 p.m. Tuesday December 2, 2014 

Police say a towing company owner killed his ex-girlfriend, two men she was having a relationship with and the owner of a rival tow truck firm in West Virginia.

Police say the shooter, Jody Lee Hunt, killed himself after about a 12-hour manhunt Monday. State Police Lt. Michael Baylous and Monongalia County Sheriff Kenneth "Al" Kisner on Tuesday revealed the motive for the rampage during a radio interview on West Virginia MetroNews.

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Pipeline
1:16 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Dominion: Pipeline Means $25 Million in Property Taxes

Credit Dominion Resources

Energy provider Dominion Resources says a proposed pipeline that would deliver natural gas to the Southeast would provide more than $25 million in annual local property taxes.

The Richmond, Virginia-based company said Monday it has provided the property tax estimates to local governments regarding the $5 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

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