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A Kentucky man has been charged in West Virginia with defrauding the federal Veteran's Affairs Disability Compensation Program.

On West Virginia Morning, Jessica Lilly talks with the Federal Co-Chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission about the region’s progress over the last 50 years.  And Jim Lange profiles jazz guitarist Ryan Kennedy who is releasing his first solo CD tonight.  Kennedy is a member of the Mountain Stage band. 

These stories on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.


Bettmann/Corbis

The Appalachian Regional Commission was created as part of the War on Poverty, declared by Lyndon B. Johnson in Appalachia in 1964.

Earlier this week Senator Shelley Moore Capito, along with other federal representatives, introduced legislation that would reauthorize the Appalachian Regional Commission. The announcement comes on the heels of a report evaluating the progress of the Commission after 50 years. 

Dr. Suzanne M. Cole, a hematologist and oncologist, knows she’s not always going to win the battle with cancer.

“Healing is not always about eternal life. Healing is helping people to have a good death. There’s some kind of healing in that too,” Cole says in the documentary "Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies," March 30 - Apr. 1 at 9 p.m. on West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

Josh Saul

  When Ryan Kennedy picks up a guitar, people pay attention. Kennedy has released his debut CD titled Something to Say– a collection of nine original compositions. The 34-year-old Berklee School of Music trained Charleston native is a member of both the Bob Thompson Unit and the Mountain Stage Band.

The Ryan Kennedy Trio will be performing at his CD release party – Friday, March 27 at Black Sheep Burrito and Brews, 702 Quarrier St, in Charleston at 8 p.m.

Senator Shelley Moore Capito, along with other federal representatives, introduced legislation that would reauthorize the Appalachian Regional Commission. The announcement comes on the heels of a report evaluating the progress of the Commission after 50 years.

On West Virginia Morning, West Virginia and West Virginia State universities are partnering with others to bring a presidential debate to Charleston in 2016. Ashton Marra has more about that.  And Clark Davis previews tonight's Sweet 16 matchup between the Mountaineers and the Kentucky Wildcats.  These stories on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting - telling West Virginia's story.


West Virginia State Police

West Virginia State Police have captured a Pennsylvania man who escaped from a state psychiatric hospital.

State police say 30-year-old Rocco Zuccaro of Burgettstown, Pennsylvania, was found late Wednesday night hiding in tall grass near a natural gas facility in the McWhorter area of Harrison County.

http://www.murrayenergycorp.com/

A Murray Energy company wants to expand a coal slurry impoundment in Harrison County to increase its capacity.

The former Consolidation Coal Co., now called Murray American Energy Inc., is seeking state approval to broaden the impoundment by 103 acres and increase its height by 70 feet.

Dominion Resources

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is in the final stages of gathering environmental information about the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The debate comes down to more jobs versus the long-term effects of increased gas drilling.

Concerns about safety and damage to the environment were pitted against a desire for economic development and energy independence during a meeting at Bridgeport High School earlier this week. 


50 years ago this month, in March of 1965, armed policemen attacked peaceful civil rights demonstrators attempting to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. The incident became known as Bloody Sunday. 17 marchers were hospitalized and 50 more were treated for injuries.

An African American artist, Jacob Lawrence, depicted a scene on the bridge. That work of art is among the pieces being gifted to West Virginia University’s new art museum in Morgantown.


WVU Men's basketball coach Bob Huggins
Creative Commons Photo

After being picked by many so called college basketball experts to lose their opening NCAA Tournament game to Buffalo, West Virginia University is now headed to the Sweet 16.

The game tonight will pit the Mountaineers against the Wildcats in a rematch of the 2010 elite 8 game. That win by WVU put the Mountaineers in the final four for the first time in 51 years. A win Thursday evening, would put WVU one win away from a second final four in just five years.

Courtesy Photo

A coalition of West Virginia groups is working to bring a presidential or vice presidential debate to the state’s capital city. 

The West Virginia Commission on Presidential Debates has spent the past six months putting together an application hundreds of pages in length detailing why Charleston is the perfect place for a 2016 debate.

Freedom Industries
AP

 Lawyers for businesses and people affected by a massive chemical spill last year say a settlement to fund community projects is no longer being considered.

In June 2014, lawyers for groups affected by the Freedom Industries spill proposed the money go toward projects benefitting the public, like health monitoring or more water testing.

A report says McDowell County is again the unhealthiest county in West Virginia.

The report released Wednesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin researchers ranks the southern coalfield county last among all 55 counties for the sixth straight year.

Office of Governor Earl Ray Tomblin

Kanawha County will provide free appraisals of property damaged by a landslide at Yeager Airport.

Yeager says the County Commission has hired Jay Goldman and Associates to conduct the appraisals. Settlement offers will be made to residents based on the appraisals.

On West Virginia Morning, reports from two public meetings last night.  State officials talk with citizens about clean up plans for the Freedom Industries site in Charleston where a chemical spill occurred last year.  And in Bridgeport, citizens for and against the Atlantic Coast natural gas pipeline speak to federal officials.  These stories coming up on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.


Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Freedom Industries hosted a public meeting Tuesday night in a small room in the Charleston Civic Center to provide updates on the remediation of the site of the spill. Last January a coal-scrubbing chemical leaked from a 40,000 gallon storage tank next to the Elk River contaminated the drinking water of 300,000 West Virginians.  

Office of Governor Earl Ray Tomblin / Office of Governor Steve Beshear

  Some signature goodies are up for grabs in a friendly wager between the governors of West Virginia and Kentucky ahead of the Sweet 16 matchup between the states' two flagship universities.

West Virginia's Earl Ray Tomblin said Tuesday he's wagering a small basket of Mountain State favorites, including pepperoni rolls, while his Kentucky counterpart, Gov. Steve Beshear, is offering a selection of bourbons.

Office of the Governor

  Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has signed next year's state budget after reducing about $11 million set aside for a variety of grants and programs.

The Democrat's vetoes Tuesday made it possible to take only about $15 million from state reserves in a difficult budget year. The budget passed by the Republican-led Legislature depended on about $23 million from the Rainy Day Fund.

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