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Fayette County Map
David Benbennick / wikimedia commons

After seven years of state control, Fayette County is on the verge of regaining partial control of its local school system.

The West Virginia Board of Education voted Thursday to give Fayette's local school board control of its schools except for the ability to replace their state-appointed superintendent, facilities or finances related to facilities.

Opioids
Toby Talbot / AP Photo

The Cabell County Commission is considering whether to seek damages from opioid manufacturers, wholesalers, pharmacies, pharmacists and prescribing doctors for the prescription painkillers that fueled the state's drug epidemic.

The Huntington Herald-Dispatch reports that a law firm urged the commission Thursday to declare that distribution of pain medications a public nuisance and hire it to pursue the case and take 30 percent of any recoveries.

Coal Stock Pile
www.mine-engineer.com

A judge has ordered federal regulators to quickly evaluate how many power plant and coal mining jobs are lost because of air pollution regulations.

U.S. District Judge John Preston Bailey in Wheeling made the ruling after reviewing a response from outgoing U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy.

Kroger
Magnus Manske / Wikimedia Commons

The Kroger grocery chain says it has begun online ordering in West Virginia at its market in Barboursville.

Customers can order groceries by computer or mobile device then pick them up at store curbside the same day without leaving their vehicles.

Jim Justice Victory Speech
Walter Scriptunas II / AP

Some of the conflict-of-interest issues swirling around President-elect Donald Trump in Washington are playing out on a smaller scale in West Virginia, where the richest man in the state — an Appalachian coal baron with real estate, resort and farm holdings, too — is about to be sworn in as governor.

Democratic Gov.-elect Jim Justice, like Trump, has refused to shed his holdings, giving assurances he can be trusted to act honorably. Like Trump, he has put his business empire in the hands of family members, though he said as recently as last month that he would put his holdings in a blind trust.

Marshall University
Wikipedia / en.wikipedia.org

A conference at Marshall University will focus on long-term recovery efforts following last summer's devastating flooding in West Virginia.

The conference will be held Friday at Marshall's Brad D. Smith Foundation Hall in Huntington.

A McDowell County official says an agreement has been reached to boost the county's budget and avoid laying off additional sheriff's deputies.

An agreement among the county commission and two other agencies was disclosed at a commission meeting Wednesday.

Bubble sheet test
Clark Davis / WV Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Board of Education is considering a plan to replace the current Smarter Balanced assessments with end of course exams tied to a student's final grade.

The Board voted Wednesday to put out the end-of-course exams policy for public comment for the next 30 days.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Speaker Tim Armstead says the Republican leadership has cut the House of Delegates staff over the past two years, saving more than $367,000 on its annual payroll.

The Kanawha County Republican says that in 2014, before a Republican majority took control of the chamber, the House had 49 full-time staff, 68 per diem employees and an annual payroll of $3.1 million.

Pavement - Asphalt
Famartin / Wikimedia Commons

West Virginia's attorney general is suing 11 companies, saying they have monopolized the asphalt paving business and driven up the state's costs for years.

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey's suit filed Wednesday follows another filed by the state Division of Highways in October. Morrisey says that lawsuit was withdrawn because his office actually has the authority.

Doctor's Exam Room
Tinton5 / Wikimedia Commons

Health care advocates say new data analyses show that repealing the federal Affordable Care Act without a replacement would cut insurance coverage for more than 200,000 West Virginians with mental illness or addictions.

According to an Urban Institute analysis, 184,000 West Virginians would lose health coverage.

Nicholas County
David Benbennick / Wikimedia Commons

Nicholas County's public schools superintendent has recommended that officials open just one school to replace two flood-damaged middle schools and build another school to consolidate a flood-damaged high school with the currently open Nicholas County High School and Nicholas County Career and Technical Center.

Superintendent Donna Burge-Tetrick made her recommendations during the county's school board meeting Monday night, explaining that it "saddens" her to have to recommend consolidation.

Tomblin
AP Photo/Steve Helber

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin delivered his farewell address following six years in office on Wednesday afternoon before a joint session of the state Senate and House of Delegates.

The 64-year-old Tomblin, a Democrat, has to leave after two terms.

Doctor Exam Room
Michelleevalenzuela / wikimedia commons

West Virginia's U.S. senators say social service and health care agencies will share $4.8 million in federal funding to support Head Start programs in Raleigh County and Oceana and medical services in Roane County and other areas.

According to Sens. Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito, funds are going to MountainHeart Community Services, Roane Co. Family Health Care, Raleigh County Community Action Association and West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services.

Deer
Scott Baue / U.S. Department of Agriculture

State wildlife officials say hunters killed 112,384 white-tailed deer in West Virginia during the recently completed hunting seasons.

They say hunters took 3,012 black bears, slightly fewer than the record set in 2015.

Kristi George / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Gov.-elect Jim Justice says a Charleston attorney, accountant and Kanawha County commissioner will be his administration's secretary of the Department of Revenue.

Dave Hardy, whose law practice focuses on energy and mining law, also teaches public budgeting at West Virginia State University.

Olympic medalists and WVU students Kadeisha Buchanan, Ashley Lawrence and Ginny Thrasher pose for a photo Monday, Sept. 26, at the Morgantown Event Center.
Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Canadian defender Kadeisha Buchanan has signed with the French club Lyon.

Buchanan, who just wrapped up her college career at West Virginia, joins U.S. forward Alex Morgan, who announced that she was headed for Lyon in late December.

Jim Justice
Tyler Evert / AP

West Virginia Gov.-elect Jim Justice says the current commissioner of the state Division of Motor Vehicles will continue in his administration.

Pat Reed was first appointed to the post by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin in January 2015.

Federal authorities say an Ohio man responsible for more than two dozen drug overdoses in Huntington, West Virginia, has pleaded guilty in federal court to distributing heroin.

Authorities say 22-year-old Bruce Lamar Griggs of Akron, also known as "Benz," faces up to 20 years in prison at sentencing April 10.

Oxycodone
Toby Talbot / AP

Two major prescription drug distributors have agreed to pay $36 million to settle a West Virginia lawsuit alleging they fueled West Virginia's opioid epidemic with excessively large shipments of painkillers into the state over several years.

State officials on Monday say Cardinal Health will pay $20 million and AmerisourceBergen will pay $16 million under the terms that have now been filed with Boone County Circuit Court.

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