News

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

  A House of Delegates panel narrowly approved a bill to scale back protections to prevent chemical spills from sullying water supplies.

The January 2014 chemical spill that contaminated drinking water for 300,000 residents for days spurred the tank law.

At 11:30 p.m. Monday, the committee voted 13-12 to send the proposal to the floor. Several Kanawha County Republicans opposed it.

On this West Virginia Morning, we’ll bring you up to date on major changes to the conversation over common core education standards in the senate, and we’ll have the latest on house bill that aims to amend the concealed carry law in the house

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Members of the Senate Education Committee made major changes Monday to a bill that would repeal Common Core English and math standards in West Virginia. The bill no longer calls for a repeal, instead requires the West Virginia Department of Education study the standards for two years.

House Bill 2934, as approved by the House of Delegates, would have fully repealed the content standards by July 1,2015. As it moved through the Senate, an Education subcommittee agreed to give the repeal an additional year, amending the date to July 1, 2016.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

At a ceremonial signing Monday, Governor Tomblin signed Senate Bill 335 into law.

Short titled the Opioid Antagonist Act, the bill allows emergency responders, medical personnel, family and friends to administer a drug that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose and can save a person’s life. 

Opioids are drugs like heroine, morphine and oxycodone, drugs that are commonly abused in West Virginia.

At the legislature today, the House made some major changes to the senate’s campaign finance reform bill.  And two senators say the bill will not be approved by the Senate with those changes intact.  A rally over the weekend brings six thousand citizens to the capitol to speak out against the Republican-led initiatives they say will hurt workers across the state.  And we’ll talk about senior citizen’s issues with representatives of the AARP on The Legislature Today.

Over the weekend the House Judiciary Committee met to discuss a handful of bills, but most notably the bill to amend the concealed carry law and a bill that reforms political spending in the state.

Clark Davis / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The city of Huntington announced Monday they’ve received a grant of $200,000 from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The grant will help cleanup old industrial sites in the Highlawn area of Huntington and will help facilitate a new advanced polymer center. Huntington is one of 20 communities nationwide this year to receive a grant under the EPA’s Brownfields Area-Wide Planning program.

Federal regulators issued more than a dozen citations to a West Virginia coal mine in the week prior to an accident that killed one worker and injured two others.

According to the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration’s website, Murray Energy was cited several times for roof plans and protection from roof, face and rib falls.

Murray Energy's owns McElroy Mine in Marshall County near Cameron where one miner died and three others were reported injured on Sunday.

West Virginia Office of Miner’s Health Health Safety and Training spokesperson Leslie Smithson says 45-year-old Assistant Longwall Coordinator John M. Garloch of Neffs, Ohio was killed.  Initial reports indicate the cause of Sunday night's accident was a roof and rib fall.


Public Hearing to Be Held on Charter Schools Bill

Mar 9, 2015
Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

At 8 a.m. on Tuesday, March 10 West Virginia Public Broadcasting will air the public hearing on SB 14, a bill that would create charter schools in the state. Coverage can be found on WVPB.2 as well as online. 

Senate Bill 14 was the focus of a lot of debate in the Senate and passed last Monday on a vote of 18 to 16.

Public Charter Schools still receive government and county funds, just like regular public schools, but charter schools would not be overseen by the county Board of Education. This in turn would give teachers at charter schools more flexibility in the way they deliver their curriculum, but they would still be subject to state education standards.

Gov. Tomblin
Office of the Governor

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin says the state will need to take $9.1 million less from reserves for the upcoming budget.

In a news release Monday, the Democrat said the state has seen growth in local property taxes that will decrease the state's share of school aid funding.

It's the second time the governor has reduced the amount he expects the state to use from the Rainy Day Fund.

Originally, he called for $69 million from reserves.

In January, he said only $25 million would be needed after better-than-expected investment returns.

Final Day at the Legislature

Broadcast date: Saturday, March 14 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. to Midnight on television channel WVPB.2 and the website at wvpublic.org

West Virginia Public Broadcasting will provide live television coverage of the final day of the First Regular Session of the 82nd West Virginia Legislature on Saturday. Watch the proceedings on channel WVPB.2, which is available to viewers over the air and on many subscription systems. Live streaming will also be available on the organization’s website at wvpublic.org.

On this West Virginia Morning, We’ll bring you information on a large pro-union rally that took place over the weekend at the capital, and Catherine Moore brings us the story of a community organization from Clay County that is fighting for a better future.

Update March 9, 2015 8:58 a.m.

Spokesperson of the West Virginia Office of Miner's Health Safety and Training, Leslie Smithson says one miner died and two others were injured in an accident on Sunday night.

Smithson reports that the injuries happened at the McElroy Mine in Marshall County. Forty-five-year-old Assistant Longwall Coordinator John M. Garloch died in  after a roof collapsed, according to initial reports. In an email, Monday morning, Smithson said two other miners were injured and transported to local hospitals for treatment. One of those miners has been released; the other remains hospitalized.
 

Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC sent out letters threatening legal action against property owners who refused access to their land for surveying. Groups opposed to the pipeline believe there is no basis for legal action. The issue appears far from black and white.

The Mountain Valley Pipeline, or MVP, is a proposed 42-inch diameter, 330-mile line that would connect hydraulic fracturing operations in West Virginia to a transmission pipeline in Virginia. EQT and NextEra Energy are partnering on the project.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

It'll cost $100,000 a person for breakfast at a fundraiser for a conservative group that has boosted Republicans. That's likely one of the highest-priced - if not the highest-priced - political fundraising event ever in West Virginia.

An invitation obtained by The Associated Press says the Go West Virginia Inc. breakfast will be Tuesday in Charleston. It says donors won't be publicly disclosed.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

After a public hearing in the House of Delegates, members worked with stakeholders to compromise on Senate Bill 559, a bill that deals with the licensing requirements for social workers in West Virginia.

As passed in the Senate, the bill would have allowed the state Department of Health and Human Resources to create a training program for new social workers who do not have a degree in the field. Currently in West Virginia, to get a social work license a person must have a bachelor's or master's degree from a Council on Social Work Education accredited program.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

An estimated 6,000 people attended the "Mountaineer Workers Rising" rally at the state Capitol Saturday afternoon, traveling from across West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Kentucky.

Sponsored by the West Virginia AFL-CIO, the rally brought in state and national union leaders alike to speak out against many Republican lead initiatives they say will hurt workers in West Virginia, including a scale back of the state's prevailing wage, right to work, charter schools, and a weakening of mine safety regulations.

Daniel Walker/WVPB

This week, Inside Appalachia is featuring some incredible stories about dogs that help people heal. Like Paca, who helps children overcome emotional trauma and even helps encourage them to read. And we'll travel to a special cemetery, reserved only for coonhound dogs.

Most of us are familiar with the concept of seeing eye dogs, but service dogs do plenty of other jobs to help people. Roxy Todd takes us on a journey with a few service dogs helping folks in unique ways.

At the legislature today, the senate voted to override the governor’s veto of the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.  The law to restrict abortion after 22 weeks goes into effect in 90 days.  An informal joint session of the legislature was held in the house chamber today as emergency management officials briefed lawmakers about the impact of this week’s storms.  And we’ll review just how historic this legislative session is on The Legislature Today.

West Virginia University

West Virginia University’s independent, student-run record label is up and running. Three artists have already signed up.

The new label is called Mon Hills Records. 

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