News

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An advocacy organization formed after a 2014 chemical spill has filed a petition to intervene in West Virginia American Water's rate case.

The state's biggest water utility is seeking Public Service Commission approval for a 28 percent rate increase. The company attributes the proposed increase to $105 million in system improvements since 2012 and $98 million in projects planned through February 2017.

http://history.wvu.edu/r/images/homepage/13223

NASA has awarded $100,000 to a team from West Virginia University for completing a robotics challenge.

  NASA says the objective of the challenge is to encourage innovations in autonomous navigation and robotics technologies. Teams were required to demonstrate their robots could locate and collect geologic samples from wide and varied terrains, operating without human control.

U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Michael Botticelli, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) met in Morgantown this week to talk about the economic and social effects of drug addiction – opioid addiction especially.


Sketch artist Jesse Corlis

U.S. District Judge Irene Berger set a new date for the criminal case against Don Blankenship, former CEO of Massey Energy. According to the Charleston Gazette, the trial will be held in Charleston and Jury selection will begin October 1.

Derek Cline

Despite stereotypes, Appalachians don’t have a homogenous way of speaking. This week, we’re excited to share lots of Appalachian voices as we explore the complex aspects of the way we talk.

Should we require drug tests for recipients of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program?

A bill proposed by the West Virginia Legislature would have done just that, as part of a pilot program. It failed to pass, but is sure to come up in next year's regular session.

Jill Upson / Twitter

Delegate Jill Upson was chosen to take part in a three-day Legislative Roundtable in Washington, DC, to discuss issues affecting minority communities as a whole.

Larry Dowling / West Virginia Public Broadcasting


Step into any of West Virginia’s 11 craft breweries Friday and you’re bound to feel a bit of a celebratory vibe. That’s because a new law goes into effect that brewers hope will drive more business their way and expand the state’s growing craft beer industry even further.

 

Tim Kiser / Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee passed a bill this week that calls for the creation of 10 natural gas pipeline corridors through federal lands within 2 years of the bill’s passage.

The committee passed HR 2295, also known as the National Energy Security Corridors Act, on a vote of 21-15, essentially along party lines. Rep. Alex Mooney, R-W.Va., sits on the Natural Resources Committee and voted for the bill. Rep. David McKinley, also R-W.Va., co-sponsored the bill.

kellyrides / http://www.singletracks.com/blog/mtb-trails/five2ride-mountain-bike-trails-in-west-virginia/

Hundreds of people will converge this weekend at Big Bear Lake Trail Center in northern West Virginia for an annual endurance mountain bike race.

“This is our 6th year of doing the Big Bear Lake 2 x 12, which  is a two-person team relay race racing on 12-mile, single-track loops,” said Jeff Simcoe, the race promoter and the recreation land manager at the Big Bear Lake Trail Center.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

It’s well-known what happened in the Kanawha Valley on January 9, 2014. A massive chemical leak into the Elk River left tap water unusable for 300,000 West Virginians for as many as ten days. The 2014 legislative session had just begun, and in response, lawmakers passed a bill that would require all aboveground storage tanks in the state be registered and regulated under the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.

A professor of linguistics and English at WVU is working to map West Virginia’s dialects and accents.  Kirk Hazen was in Wyoming County earlier this week, collecting interviews from natives.


wvgopthinktank.com

Morgantown resident Beth Walker says she'll seek a state Supreme Court seat next year.

Walker made the announcement Thursday in Morgantown. She narrowly lost in the 2008 Supreme Court race while running as a Republican.

An aerial view of downtown Parkersburg.
Yassie / wikimedia Commons

Three people have been nominated to serve as interim mayor in Parkersburg.

The Wood County Democratic Executive Committee released the names Thursday night. They are committee chair Jane Burdette, former Parkersburg Mayor Jimmy Colombo and Pleasants County Chamber of Commerce executive director Jody Murphy.

On West Virginia Morning, reports about two laws taking effect today.  One of them de-regulates some aboveground storage tanks and another makes it easier for craft breweries to do business in the state.  These stories on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.


Solar panels arriving in Fayette County.
Colleen Laffey

  Solar coops in Wheeling and Morgantown are looking for proposals from solar companies to install panels on their homes.

Residents in Wheeling and Morgantown are banding together to buy solar panels in bulk discounts for their homes and businesses. So far there have been 73 sign ups into the Wheeling coop and 86 in Morgantown. Ben Delman from the organization that is facilitating the coops, Community Power Network,  reports that of those interested, about 24 homes in Wheeling and 50 in Morgantown are suitable for solar panels. Both co-ops will be open to new members through the summer.


Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia will make life easier for craft brewers, many chemical tank owners and people who want to teach without a formal education background under laws taking effect this week.

Many bills that passed on the final night of the legislative session in March were to take effect 60 days later, making Friday, June 11, the trigger date for 47 laws.

Snoopywv / wikimedia Commons

West Virginia University at Parkersburg's culinary arts program will be put on hold while the school reviews its viability.

The Parkersburg News and Sentinel reports that the school's Board of Governors approved suspending the program on Wednesday.

Ibrahim.ID / wikimedia Commons

A former Capital High School student accused of raping a 15-year-old girl inside the school earlier this year was allowed to withdraw his guilty plea.

Kanawha Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey approved a motion filed by the 17-year-old boy's attorney to allow him to back out of the plea deal. Bailey says when King entered the agreement, he may not have known he would have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. The boy pleaded guilty to first-degree sexual abuse last month as part of a deal for giving up his juvenile status to be tried as an adult.

On West Virginia Morning, Ashton Marra reports from the state board of education meeting where members continue to react to Republican lawmakers call to repeal Common Core education standards.  And we’ll visit a farm in Garrett County, Maryland that uses traditional farming methods.  These stories on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.


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