News

Health
12:49 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

With School Starting Soon, It's Time to Boost Vaccinations

Credit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources urges parents to take action to ensure children have the proper vaccinations before school starts.  

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Health
12:25 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

W.Va. Officials Launch Behavioral Health Program

  West Virginia officials are launching an initiative to help Medicaid members with behavioral health diagnoses live healthier and happier lives.

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Bureau for Medical Services said it launched the Health Homes initiative for behavioral health on July 1.

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Environment
11:29 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Air Checks Not Planned During Freedom Industries Tank Removal

Credit AP

  State and federal environmental officials say they don't have a way to monitor air quality as chemical storage tanks are taken down at the industrial site that fouled public drinking supplies for 300,000 West Virginia water customers.

The work is scheduled to begin next week at the former Freedom Industries site on the Elk River.

A spokeswoman for the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection told The Charleston Gazette the state lacks the technology to perform the air testing for traces of the toxic chemical MCHM. She also said there are no established screening values for safe inhalation levels.

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Investigation
10:37 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Chemical Safety Board to Discuss West Virginia Explosion, Spill

  The federal Chemical Safety Board is coming to Charleston next week to release findings about a New Cumberland metal recycling plant explosion that killed three workers in December 2010.

The board said Thursday that it also will update the public on its investigation of a January chemical spill at the July 16 meeting. The Freedom Industries tank leak contaminated drinking in the Kanawha Valley for days.

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Energy & Environment
10:30 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Manchin Wants Public to Speak Out on EPA Carbon Rules

  U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin is encouraging West Virginia residents to speak out on new pollution limits.

Manchin is directing state residents to the Federal Register to voice their concerns regarding the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed limits on carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired plants. The Federal Register serves as a federal portal where all Americans can voice their comments before any federal government agency's proposed rule can be implemented.

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West Virginia Morning
9:49 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Retailers Ban Pseudoephedrine, New Cancer Research, Shepherdstown Theater Festival & Bottle Rockets

Ashton Marra speaks with Senator Greg Tucker--who backed a bill to restrict sales of pseudoephedrine--about major retail pharmacies announcing plans to stop selling the drugs. Marshall University professor Vincent Sollars recently received a nearly $500,000 grant from the National Cancer Institute for his unique cancer research involving canalization. The 24th season of the Contemporary American Theater Festival at Shepherd University  features plays exploring the topics of our day. Also, The Bottle Rockets perform "Big Lots of Love" on this Mountain Stage song of the week.

Meth Labs
4:48 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Senator Who Backed Pseudoephedrine Restrictions Reacts to CVS Ban

Sen. Greg Tucker
Credit West Virginia Legislature

Two major retailers in West Virginia announced this week they would no longer be selling some over the counter cold medications in their stores. CVS Pharmacies stopped selling single-ingredient pseudoephedrine medicines in late June and Walgreens intends to follow suit.

Senator Greg Tucker of Nicholas County sponsored legislation this year intended to curb the meth problem by making psuedoephedrine—meth’s main ingredient—available only by a doctor’s prescription. The bill, however, died in the final hours of the session.

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Theater Festival
4:41 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Contemporary Plays Take the Stage in Shepherdstown, W.Va.

Kaliswa Brewster as "Alicia G." in One Night by Charles Fuller.
Credit Seth Freeman / Contemporary American Theater Festival

Starting this weekend in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, theater lovers will be able to explore such topics of the day as: how the country treats its veterans, artificial intelligence and the ethics of assisted suicide.

The line up for the 24th season of the Contemporary American Theater Festival at
Shepherd University features a play by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Charles Fuller that focuses on sexual assault in the U.S. military.

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Cancer Research
3:17 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

What Is Canalization?

Credit Marshall University

Marshall University professor Vincent Sollars recently received a $432,000 grant from the National Cancer Institute for his unique cancer research. It involves something called canalization.

Dr. Sollars is an associate professor in the Marshall University School of Medicine. He’s taking an unusual approach to find better treatments for cancer.

“In the end what we’re looking at is making life better for people that have this deadly disease, that’s the main reason I became a scientist,” Sollars said.

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Law & Order
1:44 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Second Guilty Plea Comes in Arch Coal Kickback Case

A second Logan County man has pleaded guilty in connection to a kickback scheme at an Arch Coal mine.

In U.S. District Court in Charleston, Alvis Porter pleaded guilty Thursday to failing to pay employment taxes. He faces up to five years in prison.

The 61-year-old admitted to paying $400,000 in kickbacks to the manager at Arch's Mountain Laurel Mining complex in Logan County.

Porter, formerly Logan's circuit clerk, will be sentenced Oct. 16.

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Chemical Spill
1:27 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Study: MCHM Could Be More Toxic Than Previously Thought

Credit AP

  A new study shows a chemical that spilled into West Virginia's biggest drinking water supply in January could be more toxic than a previous test indicated. But the researcher behind the study cautions there are differences between his tests and earlier studies.

University of South Alabama researcher Dr. Andrew Whelton released the findings Thursday from crude MCHM toxicity tests on freshwater fleas.

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Election 2014
11:02 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Number of Registered Democrats in W.Va. Drops to Historic Low

Credit DonkeyHotey/Flickr

Republicans in West Virginia are touting an accomplishment this week that has historical significance for the state. For the first time in more than 80 years, Democratic voter registration has dropped to below 50 percent.

Numbers from the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office show it is true, that number has dropped, but just barely.

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Government
10:41 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Plan Approved to Renovate Historic W.Va. Mansion

Credit Pubdog / en.wikipedia.org

  The state is moving forward with a project to renovate a historic mansion on the West Virginia Capitol grounds.

Holly Grove Mansion has been vacant since the Bureau of Senior Services moved its offices to the Charleston Town Center Mall in October 2004.

The Capitol Building Commission on Wednesday approved an architectural firm's plans to renovate the structure.

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West Virginia Morning
9:56 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Preston County Schools Regain Control, Revitalizing a Princeton Theatre & A Museum for John Henry

The West Virginia Board of Education voted Wednesday to return control to Preston County Schools but, the return of control comes with some conditions. A non-profit organization in Princeton is working to improve the community by renovating a theatre.  The legend of the steel-driving man John Henry will soon have a home at a museum in the folklore hero's hometown of Talcott.

Law & Order
7:21 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

First Man in Arch Coal Kickback Case Pleads Guilty

A Logan County man is facing up to three years in prison after pleading guilty to tax fraud connected to a kickback scheme at an Arch Coal mine.

Gary Roeher pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Charleston. The 52-year-old from Holden admitted he illegally claimed business-expense deductions for kickbacks paid to an Arch official at the Mountain Laurel Mining complex in Logan County.

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Renaissance Theater
6:55 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Small Pieces of Personal History Uncovered During Mercer Co. Theatre Renovation

A non-profit organization is working to improve the community by renovating a theater. It’s part of the Princeton Renaissance in Mercer County. Gutting a theater built more than 100 years ago, uncovers interesting pieces of history 

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Public Education
5:29 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Preston County Schools Regain Local Control

Preston County Superintendent Rick Hicks details his county's progress over the past year in decreasing their deficit.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The state board of education declared a state of emergency in Preston County in 2009 and as part of their intervention, seized decision making authority from the county.

Everything from finances to the school calendar, hiring to curriculum, all were set at the state level. But that oversight will officially end August 1 after a unanimous vote from the board yesterday.

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Power Outages
5:00 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Mon Power, Potomac Edison Work to Restore Electricity

Mon Power, a FirstEnergy Corporation utility, continues to try to restore power to customers in West Virginia following the summer storm that downed trees and wires in the region beginning last night.

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Public Education
3:53 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Schools for Deaf and Blind Workers Want Change in New Hiring Policy

West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind Superintendent Dr. Lynn Boyer updated the board on negotiations over the new hiring policy.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The state Board of Education heard from child care workers at the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind Wednesday morning about an upcoming change in their job requirements. The board decided in March those workers will now be required to obtain an associates degree.

The 35 workers who currently hold positions at the Romney schools have until 2018 to obtain a degree, but there’s no guarantee even then that they will keep their jobs.

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Folklore Restoration
3:21 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

New Talcott Museum Honors John Henry

A new museum this year tells the story of the legend and helps visitors interpret the tale.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Talcott, West Virginia, is the home place of folklore hero John Henry. A project is underway to restore one of the town’s oldest buildings to serve as an information hub about the legend.

Dillion’s Superette, a convenience store, was housed in what was a 1890s general store before it closed its doors two years ago. The owners were very active in the community and donated the old building to the John Henry Historical Society for a promise:  to restore the building back to its 20th century look.

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