Rick Wilson

A deep love of their homeplace, resourcefulness, and deep faith - West Virginians and people in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel share a lot.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

As lawmakers continue to discuss ways to reform the state's tax code, Tuesday's meeting of the Joint Select Committee on Tax Reform focused on one tax increase that may be palatable for members of the state Legislature, the tobacco tax.

West Virginia last increased its tobacco tax in 2003 to the current 55 cents per pack which, according to the national Tax Foundation, is the 8th lowest in the nation.

Tax Foundation Policy Analyst Jared Walczak told members of the committee while the state does have one of the highest smoking rates in the nation at 23 percent, an increase in the tax is not necessarily a sustainable source of revenue into the future.

West Virginia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose slightly in August to 7.6 percent.

August's rate was one-tenth of a percentage point higher than July's rate. Workforce West Virginia says 59,800 state residents were unemployed, an increase of 700 from July.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Delegate Bob Ashley has been appointed to fill the 3rd District state Senate seat vacated by David Nohe.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced Ashley's appointment Tuesday.

Manchin Capito

West Virginians who still get their water from wells will soon get help.

Senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito announced Tuesday that $131,310 will go to the West Virginia State Department of Health and Human Resources West Virginia Private Water Well Safety Project. The hope is to identify and address drinking water program performance gaps, improve efficiency and effectiveness of drinking water programs and identify and reduce exposures leading to drinking water contamination.

Nikthestoned / wikimedia Commons

State regulators have suspended a nearly 50 percent rate increase for Williamson's water customers and ordered a review.

The Public Service Commission ordered the suspension and review last week after it received a petition opposing the increase signed by more than 900 Williamson residents and water customers.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Republican Senate Finance Chair Mike Hall has been outspoken on the issue of road funding since his party took over the legislature in January.

Vets, Homeless Vets
West Virginia Department of Veterans Assisstance

West Virginia will use federal money to provide assistance to homeless veterans and their families.

The West Virginia Community Action Partnership has been awarded nearly $2 million by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Tim Kiser / wikimedia Commons

Six West Virginia municipalities have been given a larger say in how they govern.

The West Virginia Municipal Home Rule Board granted home rule status to Beckley, Grafton, Princeton, St. Albans, Moundsville and Oak Hill on Monday.

Logs Logging
GeographBot / wikimedia commons

A Boone County logging company faces $42,000 in civil fines for safety violations at a worksite.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration says Ross Logging of Seth exposed workers to safety hazards at the worksite in Elkview.


A judge says the state properly awarded a $3 million contract for a security project at the Capitol Complex.

Kanawha County Circuit Court Judge Joanna Tabit's decision came in a lawsuit filed by McClanahan Construction of Poca.

wikimedia / Wikimedia

A suspect in a ginseng investigation faces charges of shooting at officers who were trying to serve warrants.

Division of Natural Resources Capt. W.W. Brogan III tells the Charleston Gazette-Mail that DNR officers arrested Bill Wolfe following a brief standoff on Saturday night.

On West Virginia Morning, lawmakers at the state capitol are discussing the best way to raise revenue to support road building and maintenance.  Also, children’s advocates are meeting at the capitol as well to go over what the legislative priorities for the Our Children, Our Future campaign will be.  These stories on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

Bobak Ha'Eri / wikimedia Commons

  The nonprofit behind the PGA Tour's Greenbrier Classic says it wasn't informed until after the tournament its insurance wouldn't cover cash prizes for holes-in-one on holes deemed too short.

In a third-party complaint in Charleston federal court, Old White Charities says the PGA controls the distance and location of golf pins. It says the insurance application notes that.

University of Charleston
Acdixon / wikimedia commons

The University of Charleston has reported record enrollment this fall.

University President Ed Welch says 2,327 full-time students are enrolled. That's up 10 percent from a year ago.

Beth Vorhees / WV Public Radio

A legislative committee reviewing West Virginia's tax code will discuss taxation of minerals, alcohol, tobacco and other items during meetings this week.

The Joint Select Committee on Tax Reform is scheduled to meet on Monday and Tuesday at the Capitol.

natural gas, fracking

Starett's Well Service has been acquired by Basin Energy Group.

Bridgeport-based Basin Energy says in a news release that Starett's is a specialty roustabout services firm focusing on well site and midstream natural gas infrastructure in the Marcellus and Utica Shale regions.

stun gun, taser
Vicarious / wikimedia commons

A former Charleston Police officer who resigned last year after being investigated for destruction of property is being accused in a lawsuit of unnecessarily using force against a man during an arrest.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that patrolman Brian Lightner is accused of battery after the lawsuit says Lightner deployed his stun gun five times on Diarra J. Boddy on Sept. 10, 2013. The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Kanawha County Circuit Court.

On West Virginia Morning, a new state pay system could mean some state workers will get pay raises and others won’t.  Ashton Marra reports from legislative interim meetings at the state capitol.  And Glynis Board talks with U.S. District Attorney for northern West Virginia about his addiction action plan.  These stories on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A legislative review of the state’s new employee pay schedule found the state will be paying an additional $50 million over the next ten years to salaried employees because of a computing error.