News

Environment
10:47 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Could a Once Polluted Section of the Kanawha River Be Used for Drinking Water?

Credit West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection

There’s a 72-mile stretch of the Kanawha River that runs from the small town of Diamond, near Belle in southern Kanawha County, all the way to Point Pleasant where it flows into the Ohio River. Since 1980, this section—known as Zone 1 by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection—has been exempt from being classified as Category A. That exemption prevents that section of the Kanawha River from being used as a source for drinking water. 

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Health & Science
8:00 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Case of Mosquito-Borne Virus Confirmed in West Virginia

Credit Alvesgaspar / wikimedia Commons

State health officials say they've confirmed West Virginia's first case of a nasty mosquito-borne virus.

  The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Bureau for Public Health says the case involved a person who traveled from western West Virginia to Haiti and became symptomatic when the person returned.

The Bureau for Public Health says it has sent letters to health departments and health care providers advising providers of the confirmed case along with clinical information and prevention messaging.   

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Pittsburgh Rally Planned
5:15 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

UMWA Plans Rally to Protest Proposed EPA Regs

Credit Bernard Pollack/(aflcio)

The United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) is planning to make its objections to proposed EPA rules loud and clear. The union has a rally scheduled at the end of the month in Pittsburgh.

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Pediatric specialties
4:07 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

WVU Children's Hospital Opens Summersville Clinic

Kids in 9-county region now have access to WVU pediatric specialists at Summersville Regional Medical Center.
Credit Kate Long

West Virgina University Children’s Hospital opened today a new WVU Healthcare clinic located at the Summersville Regional Medical Center.

Larry Rhodes, M.D., physician-in-chief at WVU Children’s Hospital and chair of the WVU Department of Pediatrics, said in a news release that pediatric clinics have been held along the borders of the state for several years, but the new Summersville clinic will provide a more central location in the state and has the potential to serve a nine-county region.

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Turn This Town Around
2:52 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Is Tourism the Key to Turning Matewan Around?

Credit Daniel Walker

This is part of our continuing series on how the towns of Grafton and Matewan are turning themselves around through a special collaborative project between West Virginia Public Broadcasting, West Virginia Focus magazine and the West Virginia Community Development Hub. 

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Outdoors
11:30 am
Tue July 1, 2014

NPS Hosts Guided Hikes in Southern W.Va. for Holiday Weekend

Hikers and a park ranger enjoy a walk along the Bluestone River.
Credit National Park Service

The National Park Service is offering Ranger-Guided hikes in Summers and Fayette Counties this holiday weekend. All ranger programs are free unless otherwise noted. The NPS suggests hikers wear comfortable walking shoes. Hikers might also consider bringing water, snacks, camera and binoculars Below is a list of this weekend’s featured ranger programs:

In Summers County, interested hikers should meet at the base of Pipestem Resort State Park tramway at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, July 5, 2014. From there rangers will guide two hikes:

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Public Education
11:23 am
Tue July 1, 2014

State Board Unanimously Approves New Superintendent

Credit twitter.com

It’s official. The West Virginia Board of Education has approved the next state superintendent of schools.

Members unanimously agreed to hire Dr. Michael Martirano Tuesday to take over as state school’s chief this fall. Martirano currently serves as superintendent of St. Mary’s County Public Schools in southern Maryland, a position he’s held for almost a decade.

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National Geographic
9:54 am
Tue July 1, 2014

National Geographic, NOAA Grant Promotes Understanding of Watersheds

The grant was available for water quality field tests to groups in states that that are in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Credit Environmental Protection Agency

  A grant is equipping West Virginia geography and science teachers with tools to help better educate young people about watersheds. For one teacher, the chemical spill that left more than 300-thousand without usable water was a wakeup call of just how important this program really is.

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State Budget
9:29 am
Tue July 1, 2014

W.Va. Closes Budget Gap Without Extra Steps

Credit Kristi George / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

State officials say West Virginia closed a gap in the budget and ended the fiscal year in the black.

The state started June with a $57 million gap in revenue collections.

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Municipal Changes
8:48 am
Tue July 1, 2014

Beckley Looks to Boost Population with Annexation

Credit Tim Kiser / wikimedia Commons

Beckley officials are looking to boost the city's population by annexing several residential areas.

Beckley director of information technology Bill Kelly is chairman of the city's annexation committee. He tells The Register-Herald that annexing these areas bordering the city could increase Beckley's population from about 17,000 to nearly 35,000.
 

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West Virginia Morning
8:29 am
Tue July 1, 2014

A Marshall Football Player Tries the Pros Up North and Promoting Clean Watersheds

Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power are asking the state Public Service Commission to approve a 17 percent rate hike for their West Virginia customers. Gov. Tomblin appoints a new head to the state School Building authority. A Marshall University player uses his failure to be drafted in the National Football League as motivation to make it in the pros in Canada and a southern West Virginia educators is teaching her students about the important connection between clean watersheds and clean drinking water.

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Members Reappointed
8:22 am
Tue July 1, 2014

Governor Announces Ethics Commission Appointments

Credit Flickr / davidwilson1949

The West Virginia Ethics Commission has been reconstituted with fewer members. But most of them are familiar faces.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin reappointed seven members to the commission on Monday. The governor also named two new members, Karen Disibbio of Bluefield and Larry Tweel of Huntington.
 

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Higher Power
5:27 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Power Companies Ask for Rate Increase

Credit American Electric Power

Customers of American Electric Power in West Virginia would pay more for electricity if the power company’s request for a rate increase is granted.

Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power filed a request Monday with the West Virginia Public Service Commission for a $226 million revenue increase. Both are subsidiaries of AEP, which says in a news release that if approved, West Virginia customers would see a 17 percent increase in electric rates depending on usage and how they’re classified.

The company said in a news release the rate increase is needed for several reasons:

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Gubernatorial Appointments
5:07 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

W.Va. School Building Authority Gets New Leader and Members

There will be some new faces at the next quarterly meeting of the West Virginia School Building Authority. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has appointed a new executive director and five new members to the SBA.

Tomblin announced Monday that David Sneed will serve as executive director. According to a news release from the Governor’s office, Sneed was the Chief of Architectural Services for the School Building Authority from 1990 until 2012. He has also served as director of school planning in Kanawha County and worked with a private company in educational project planning.

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PGA Tour FedEx Cup
4:34 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

West Virginia Teens Play At Greenbrier Classic

PGA Tour FedEx Cup begins at the Greenbrier Resort Monday.
Credit Bobak Ha'Eri / wikimedia Commons

Cole Hand and Alston Spears, two West Virginia junior golfers, will participate alongside professional golfers at this year's Greenbrier Classic, which began Monday.

Hand and Spears were invited to play in the practice rounds and Pro-Am of the PGA Tour FedEx Cup event at The Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, according to a release from the Governor's office.

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Education
4:23 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Fairmont State Hosts Governor's Honors Academy

About 200 high school students from across West Virginia are participating in the annual Governor's Honors Academy this week.

Fairmont State University is hosting the program for gifted students who attend two classes each day. The morning class is related to the student's primary area of interest, while the afternoon class is outside that area, encouraging them to think outside of the box.

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Canadian Football League
3:58 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Marshall’s Bazzie Playing Pro Football in Canada

Credit Bclions.com

One Marshall University football player has found a unique route to a professional career.

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Corrections
1:06 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

State Tells McDowell County to Address Jail Issues

Credit Division of Corrections

The Division of Corrections has told the McDowell County Commission to address deficiencies at the Stevens Correctional Center or risk losing its contract to house state inmates at the facility.

The Bluefield Daily Telegraph reports that Corrections Commissioner Jim Rubenstein sent a letter to the commission regarding the deficiencies earlier this month. The issues include staff members not following Division of Corrections directives.

Rubenstein's letter says the county owes the division liquidated damages under the contract.

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West Virginia Morning
8:25 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Elkins Teen Band Mixes Old with New and Excerpts from 'Out of Peel Tree,' a W.Va. Author's Debut

Teen band The Elm Street Alleycats of Elkins lost their mentor and bass player Gene Boyer last May, but since, have been working to make the old tunes he taught them better while learning newer, contemporary music of their own.

Also, West Virginia born author Laura Long shares an excerpt from her debut novel "Out of Peel Tree," a collection of stories of family, hope and love set in Appalachia.

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Contract Negotiations
6:43 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Frontier, Union Extend Contract Again

Credit Frontier Communications

Frontier Communications and the Communications Workers of America have extended their contract again while negotiations continue on a new labor agreement.

Frontier says the existing contract will remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. on Aug. 2. The contract was set to expire Saturday night.

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