News

Legislature
7:07 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

W.Va. Senate GOP Says Deal Struck on Prevailing Wage Changes

Senate Majority Leader Mitch Carmichael.
Credit West Virginia Legislative Photography

State Senate Majority Leader Mitch Carmichael says there's a tentative deal to scale back the state's prevailing wage.

The Jackson County Republican said Wednesday the agreement would avoid repealing the wage for public construction projects. Republicans have proposed the repeal.

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The Legislature Today
6:29 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

DEP Secretary Responds to New Storage Tank Bill

  At the legislature today, legislation limiting abortions is on its way to the Senate after the House passed the bill overwhelmingly today.  Uber, the international car service, wants to do business in West Virginia, but legislators have concerns.  And we’ll talk with the Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection about the bill to roll back the aboveground storage tank law on The Legislature Today.

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Veteran Health Care
5:36 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

Permanent VA Clinic Planned for Mercer County

Credit Dept. of Defense

Princeton will soon be home to a permanent VA clinic.

According to a release from Senator Joe Manchin’s office, Mercer County’s mobile health clinic, which served as an extension of the Beckley VA Medical Center, will become a permanent VA clinic.

The release says an increased number of veterans in need of healthcare in the area, called for a more permanent solution.

The Princeton VA will be able to serve a total of 1,200 eligible veterans.

Senator Manchin currently serves as a member on the Senate Veterans Affairs’ Committee.

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Small Business
5:26 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

Last Call for Bloomery Sweetshine Distillery

Credit Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

An Eastern Panhandle distillery decided to close its doors this week because of uncertainty about regulations the owners say are making their business unprofitable.

Distilleries must sell their liquor to the state and buy it back at a 28 percent markup under a provision of the liquor law called bailment. Bloomery Sweetshine Distillery in Jefferson County says that markup has made doing business unsustainable.

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Legislature
5:21 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

Abortion Bill Debated Nearly Two Hours in the House

Credit Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Delegates approved six pieces of legislation Wednesday including a Senate bill that allows emergency responders, doctors, and family members to administer a drug to reverse the effects of an overdose. But it was House Bill 2568, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act that got the most discussion on the floor before it was ultimately approved.

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Abandoned Properties
3:03 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

Group Offering Help to Deal with BAD Buildings

Credit http://wvbrownfields.org/

  Applications are due Friday to the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center. There a group that’s offering help to West Virginia Communities dealing with abandoned and dilapidated properties.

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Legislature
2:16 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

W.Va. House Approves Abortion Ban Bill

Credit Martin Valent / West Virginia Legislature

West Virginia delegates have approved an abortion ban after 20 weeks conception, despite last year's veto on a similar bill.

The House of Delegates passed the proposal 87-12 Wednesday. The bill provides some exemptions for women in medical emergencies. Rape and incest aren't exempted.

Proponents cited moral, religious grounds. Opponents deemed the proposal likely unconstitutional and intrusive into doctor-patient relationships.

The 2014 Democratic-run Legislature passed a similar proposal.

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Chemical Spill
2:14 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

Feds Seek Plea Hearings for Freedom Industries Ex-Owners

Credit Aaron Payne / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

 Prosecutors are seeking plea hearings for Freedom Industries and two former owners facing charges related to a West Virginia chemical spill.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Philip H. Wright filed motions Wednesday asking the court to schedule hearings for the company, Charles Herzing and William Tis. Wright also requested plea hearings for two lower-level employees.

All the defendants are charged with violating the federal Clean Water Act. They are expected to plead guilty in the case.

Attorneys for Herzing and Tis didn't immediately return telephone messages Wednesday.

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Legislature
11:26 am
Wed February 11, 2015

Could Uber Be Coming to West Virginia?

Jill Rice with the West Virginia Insurance Federation told members of the Senate Transportation committee her group has problems with a proposed ride-sharing bill.
Credit Ashton Marra

Members of the Senate's Transportation Committee took up a bill Wednesday that would allow ridesharing businesses to legally operate in West Virginia.

Ride-sharing companies, like Uber and Lyft, run through computer or smartphone software and allow anyone to connect with a local driver who uses a personal vehicle to provide taxi-like services.

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Discrimination
11:03 am
Wed February 11, 2015

Small W.Va. Town Passes Ordinance Against Discrimination

Credit Bitmapped / wikimedia Commons

Thurmond, West Virginia is the smallest town in America to pass an ordinance banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. 

In a unanimous vote Monday night, the town of five residents adopted employment, housing and public accommodation protections to a new town-wide Human Rights Act.

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Woody County
9:45 am
Wed February 11, 2015

Wood County to Acquire Three Properties for Flood Project

Credit David Benbennick / wikimedia Commons

Wood County plans to acquire and demolish three homes in Happy Valley as part of an ongoing flood mitigation project.

After the demolitions, no permanent structures can be built on the flood-prone properties.

The Parkersburg News and Sentinel reports that the County Commission signed off on purchase offers for the properties on Monday. The county is offering a total $587,000.

The acquisitions will be funded with a $710,750 federal grant awarded or the project's latest phase.

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Teacher Certification
9:41 am
Wed February 11, 2015

House Approves Bill on Teacher Certification

Credit West Virginia Legislature

West Virginia House lawmakers have approved a bill opening up teacher certification to more people without education degrees.

The push is aimed at allowing programs like Teach For America to start up in the state.

On Tuesday, the Republican-led House of Delegates voted 60-35 in favor of the reform.

Bill proponents said the option would be essential to fill hundreds of teaching vacancies across the state.

Opponents said formal education training prepares teachers for situations they otherwise may not be able to handle.

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West Virginia University
9:36 am
Wed February 11, 2015

WVU Fraternities Exceed Occupancy Limits

Credit West Virginia University

Morgantown fire marshals say party rooms at two suspended West Virginia University fraternities exceeded occupancy limits by more than double.

The university's Office of Student Activities suspended Kappa Alpha and Pi Kappa Alpha for the violations.

Fire marshal Ken Tennant tells The Dominion Post that the limit for the Kappa Alpha house's party room is 70 people. During regular checks this past weekend, fire marshals counted 176 people in the room.

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West Virginia Morning
8:32 am
Wed February 11, 2015

Mine Safety Discussed in the House

Lawmakers voted to approve several pieces of legislation including the Coal Jobs and Safety Act. Ashton Marra will bring us up to date on this, along with other stories on this West Virginia Morning.

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Legislature
7:11 pm
Tue February 10, 2015

Education and Workers' Comp Debated on the House Floor

Credit West Virginia Legislature

Coal mine safety was on the minds of Democrats in the house Tuesday; that issue was House Bill 2011, dealing with deliberate intent.  The measure doesn’t address mine safety standards, but those opposed to the bill said it will hurt miners.

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Legislature
7:06 pm
Tue February 10, 2015

W.Va. Senate Clears Bill Touted by State's Coal Industry

Democratic Senators stood to support an amendment to SB 357 proposed by Sen. Bob Beach. The amendment failed.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The Republican-led state Senate has cleared a proposal lauded by the struggling coal industry and criticized as dangerous for worker safety by the miners' union.

Senators voted 26-8 Tuesday for the bill changing safety and environmental standards related to coal mining.

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The Legislature Today
6:44 pm
Tue February 10, 2015

Coal Mine Safety Debated in House and Senate

At the legislature today, emotional debate in both houses as the Senate takes up the Coal Jobs and Safety Act of 2015. In the House, Delegates focused on the legal remedies those hurt or killed in a mining accident will have. And we'll talk with Agriculture Commissioner Walt Helmick about his plans to grow the state's economy on The Legislature Today.

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Vaccines
4:23 pm
Tue February 10, 2015

West Virginia and Mississippi Toughest on Immunizations

Credit Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

Mississippi and West Virginia are known for their struggles with health crises. Yet when it comes to getting children vaccinated, these states don't mess around.

A recent measles outbreak that has sickened more than 100 people has brought attention to policies in 48 states that allow parents to opt out of vaccinating their children because of their religious or personal beliefs, or both.

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Weirton Explosives
11:52 am
Tue February 10, 2015

Man Sentenced in Weirton Explosives Case

Credit WTRF

A man will spend up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges of placing explosive devices outside the Weirton Municipal Building.

WTOV-TV reports that David Patterson pleaded guilty on Tuesday to criminal use of a destructive device. He was sentenced to two to 10 years in prison.

Weirton police have said two chemical explosive devices were found outside the Municipal Building on May 5, 2014. A third device was found near a police cruiser.

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Procter & Gamble
10:44 am
Tue February 10, 2015

Procter & Gamble to Invest $500 Million in W.Va. Facility

Credit http://news.pg.com/multimedia

  Procter & Gamble plans to invest $500 million in a West Virginia manufacturing facility slated to open in 2017.

In a news release Tuesday, the multinational manufacturer said it expects to create 700 permanent jobs at the planned facility in Berkeley County, near Tabler Station outside Martinsburg.

Another 1,000 temporary construction positions are expected.

The Cincinnati, Ohio-based company hasn't announced which brands will be produced there.

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