News

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Board of Education has a new president in retired Morgantown businessman Mike Green, but his nomination and subsequent election Thursday came with a small spark of controversy.

Green, the board’s current Vice President, replaces former First Lady Gayle Manchin as the body’s leader. Manchin completed her second term as board president Thursday, holding the post since July 2013. Her nine year term as a member of the board expires in November.

Green will be joined at the head of the table by former state Sen. Lloyd Jackson who was elected Vice President and Tina Combs who was re-elected to her seat as Secretary.


B. Hockensmith Photography / All Good Festival, 2011

It’s been four years since the All Good Music Festival has been in West Virginia. After spending almost a decade in Preston County, then two years in Ohio, and taking a hiatus last year, the festival comes back to the Mountain State to Jefferson County. It begins Thursday and ends Sunday, July 11.

While the festival is loved by many because of its line-up of big-name bands and relaxed atmosphere, it’s also developed a reputation for heavy traffic and drugs.

Batistaya / wikimedia Commons

The state Board of Education has decided not to vote on a proposal to allow year-round coaching in middle and high school sports.

The board tabled the measure Thursday for further study.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency / via U.S. Chemical Safety Board

A Kanawha County emergency official says a small amount of ethylene oxide leaked at Bayer CropScience's plant in Institute.

C.W. Sigman with Kanawha County Emergency Management tells media outlets that the leak was reported around 8 a.m. Thursday.

WCHS-TV

State regulators have ordered a mine operator to correct violations involving well water sampling.

The Charleston Daily Mail reports that the well is located on private property near Keystone Development LLC's KD No. 2 surface mine near Kanawha State Forest. The well is monitored for changes in groundwater and the mine's permit requires monthly water sampling.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The state treasurer's office returned $9 million in unclaimed property to West Virginians last fiscal year.

Treasurer John Perdue says that's higher than previous years. The Charleston Daily Mail reports that Perdue attributes the increase to a database that tracks down property owners.

mountaintop removal
wikimedia

Coal production from mines using mountaintop removal has decreased 62% from 2008 to 2014.  That figure was released this week by the U.S. Energy Information Agency.  Taylor Kuykendall, coal reporter for SNL Energy, an on line news service, says the coal industry is facing a perfect storm.  Low demand, federal regulations, competition from natural gas and pressure from campaigns against the mining practice from environmental groups have all taken their toll.  We spoke with Taylor Kuykendall about the news.


On West Virginia Morning, everyone will have a chance to review and comment on the state’s education standards on a new website.  Ashton Marra has that story.  And Liz McCormick reports on the All Good Music Festival which is returning to West Virginia today.  These stories on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Radio news – telling West Virginia’s story.


Coal producer Alpha Natural Resources Inc. has told 292 workers in Virginia and Kentucky they are losing their jobs.

tldef.org/ / Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund

 West Virginia is now letting transgender people more easily change their gender on their driver's licenses and wear makeup and other accessories while taking license photos.

The switch follows a similar change to the license photo policy in South Carolina, where motorists can now dress how they identify themselves in their licenses. That state's adjustment was required by a lawsuit settled in April.

West Virginia Department of Education

After the announcement of a comprehensive review earlier this year, West Virginia parents, teachers and concerned citizens are now being asked to evaluate the state’s education standards.

The West Virginia Department of Education launched “West Virginia Academic Spotlight” Wednesday, a five month review of the state’s Next Generation Content Standards and Objectives. The first step in that review is an online public comment period.


Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia regulators have asked Appalachian Power to maintain infrastructure at a closed coal-fired power plant that could be used to convert the facility to natural gas in the future.

The Public Service Commission says in a Tuesday order that fully demolishing the Kanawha River Plant would rule out such a conversion.

CREDIT U.S. COAST GUARD PHOTO BY CHIEF PETTY OFFICER ANGIE VALLIER

CSX plans to discuss the cleanup of an oil-train derailment at a public information meeting this month in Glen Ferris.

The Charleston Daily Mail says the meeting is scheduled for July 21 at the Glen Ferris Inn.

DNR

Officials say a West Virginia man had been keeping two deer in captivity at his home for at least a year.

Officer Joshua Addesa with the state Division of Natural Resources says authorities discovered the two white-tailed bucks when they visited the Cabell County man's home on July 4 after receiving a tip from a concerned citizen.

The Parkersburg News and Sentinel

Parkersburg officials have dropped a plan to delay business and occupation tax cuts required by the state's home rule law.

Mayor Jimmy Colombo tells the Parkersburg News and Sentinel that the city will comply with an opinion from theWest Virginia Attorney General's Office.

Jessica Lilly

Food deserts are a growing problem in West Virginia and across the country. The USDA defines a food desert as a part of the country where people don’t have access to fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthful whole foods. Parts of more than 40 counties in West Virginia endure some sort of limited food access and the number is growing as more and more grocery stores close their doors. But when the grocery store in one Greenbrier County town closed, the community worked to find local resources with hopes of becoming self-sufficient.


On West Virginia Morning, when a grocery store closed in a Greenbrier County community, citizens decided to open their own.  The story on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Radio news – telling West Virginia’s story.


Steve Clancy / Flickr

Is Harvard University is keeping out qualified Asian-American applicants in the interest of racial diversity? That’s what is alleged in a lawsuit.

On The Front Porch, a Yalie, a Harvard man and our resident intellectual from Marshall debate whether colleges should use race during admissions.

Are Appalachian students are at a disadvantage or advantage when they apply to selective schools? Perhaps a little bit of both.

Former industrial sites in Huntington will soon be getting a facelift thanks to federal grant dollars awarded to the city.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency announced grants totaling $400,000 for the city of Huntington Tuesday as a part of the agency’s brownfields program. A brownfield in a former industrial or commercial site prohibited from development because of environmental contamination. The grants will allow the city to clean up multiple industrial sites including a property that sits on 3rd avenue just down from Marshall University’s campus.

AllVoices.com

Members of the U.S. Senate will soon consider a bill that could affect the pension and healthcare benefits of nearly 28 thousand retired West Virginia coal miners.

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