Associated Press

The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, it's a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members.

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Government
1:38 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Sept. 30 High Court Hearing on AG Prosecutor Aid

Credit Janet Kunicki / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey's office will argue in front of the West Virginia Supreme Court for the ability to assist county prosecutors who request help with criminal cases.

A hearing is set for Sept. 30.

In a June petition, Morrisey asked the court to prohibit enforcement of a legal opinion by two state entities saying his office's lawyers can't serve as assistant prosecutors.

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Healthcare
12:51 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

West Virginia's Uninsured Dropped 3.5 Percent in 2013

Credit U.S. Census Bureau

  Both West Virginia and Virginia saw modest decreases in the number of uninsured residents last year.

The U.S. Census Bureau report released Tuesday shows the number of uninsured people in West Virginia dropped from 264,000 in 2012 to 255,000 last year - about 3.5 percent. Virginia's dropped from 1 million in 2012 to 991,000 last year - about 1 percent.

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Chemical Spill
10:24 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Hearing for Elk River Chemical Spill Lawsuit Set for Sept. 2015

  A lawsuit against a water company, chemical producer, airport and others over a January chemical spill won't get a hearing for another year.

The consolidated lawsuit that targets West Virginia American Water, Eastman Chemical, Yeager Airport and others has a hearing for a motion on class certification on Sept. 25, 2015.

Judge John Copenhaver filed the schedule earlier this month in U.S. District Court in Charleston.

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Politics
10:09 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Ex-Florida Congressman to Speak to West Virginia GOP

Credit United State Congress

Former Congressman Allen West will headline a West Virginia Republican event in two weeks.

The South Florida Republican will speak at the West Virginia GOP Eastern Panhandle Victory Reception in Martinsburg. The Sept. 28 event will showcase candidates in the Eastern Panhandle.

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Federal Grants
9:53 am
Tue September 16, 2014

W.Va. to Share in U.S. Labor Department Grant

Credit U.S. Department of Labor

  West Virginia is among 46 states sharing in $87 million in federal grants to improve the performance and integrity of state unemployment insurance programs.

For West Virginia, the grant totals $43,710. But the state is also part of a consortium that will receive a total of $4.5 million.

Maryland will be the lead state. The third partner is Vermont.

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2014 Elections
3:09 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Reid Putting Political Muscle Behind Tennant Bid

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Credit United State Congress

  Majority Leader Harry Reid is giving Democratic Senate hopeful Natalie Tennant a fundraising lift.

An invitation obtained by The Associated Press says Reid headlined a Tennant fundraiser Friday in New York City. Tennant campaign spokeswoman Jennifer Donohue confirmed the event.

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Terrorist Threat
12:54 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

W.Va. Officials Worry About 'Sovereign Citizen'

  West Virginia officials are becoming increasingly concerned about a group called "sovereign citizen" that rejects taxes and laws.

The Charleston Gazette reports that state and federal authorities sent a letter earlier this year to local law enforcement officials stating that the group is on the rise in West Virginia.

Thom Kirk, director of the West Virginia Intelligence Fusion Center, says those numbers could be growing because officials are now more aware of the group and are conducting additional training on the subject. 

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Drug Abuse
12:19 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

W.Va. Pain Clinics Screening Patients for Pill Use

Credit RayNata / wikimedia

Former narcotics officers are being used at some West Virginia pain clinics to screen patients.

The Charleston Gazette reports Hope pain clinics in Beckley, Fairmont and Kanawha City are charging patients $150 for an initial screening and $75 for subsequent visits.

Raleigh County-based PPPFD Inc. screens the patients for the three clinics. The business name stands for Patients, Physicians, Pharmacists Fighting Diversion.

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Safety
12:12 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

OSHA Cites W.Va. Sawmill $85,000 for Workplace Risks

Credit Occupational Safety & Health Administration

  A West Virginia sawmill that serves the coal industry is facing an $85,000 in federal penalties for what the government says is a workplace that puts its workers at risk of serious injuries.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Monday the proposed penalties follow two investigations and a safety inspection at Wayne Lumber and Mulch Inc. OSHA says the Wayne mill continues to expose its 14 workers to "willful, repeat and serious safety and health hazards..."

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News
8:46 am
Mon September 15, 2014

New West Virginia Schools Superintendent Starts Work

Dr. Michael Martirano speaks with a group of fourth grade students at Edgewood Elementary.

West Virginia's new schools superintendent has taken the oath of office.

Michael Martirano was sworn in Monday, then headed straight to the source on his first day of work.

Martirano paid a visit the newly built Edgewood Elementary in Charleston following the swearing-in ceremony at the state Culture Center.

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Politics
4:43 pm
Sat September 13, 2014

Legislative Leaders Say Coal Rhetoric Not Helping

Credit www.mine-engineer.com

  West Virginia's top legislative leaders don't think clamoring over coal this election helps Appalachia's already-sputtering industry.

A U.S. Senate race and two competitive House contests have hammered on fear of federal regulation further stifling coal.

Republicans lump Democrats in with President Obama, an ever-unpopular figure in West Virginia. Democrats zig-zag to show they don't support his energy policies.

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Industry
12:33 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Influence Game: Chemical Trade Tries to Shape Regulations

Credit AP

The powerful chemical industry is putting its lobbying muscle behind legislation that would establish federal standards for compounds used in products from household goods to plastic water bottles. But the industry-favored bill would also make it tougher for states to regulate chemicals.

Many states already have acted on their own - and that's what's gotten the industry's attention.

The American Chemical Council, a trade group, spent nearly $6 million on lobbying in the first half of the year, the most recent reporting period.

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Health & Science
11:58 am
Fri September 12, 2014

Health-Care Quality Project Launches in W.Va.

Credit Rick Haye, Marshall University Communications

  Organizations in West Virginia have launched an initiative to improve health care quality throughout the state.

West Virginians for Affordable Health Care on Thursday launched the initiative called Choosing Wisely in West Virginia.

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Emergency Alerts
10:01 am
Fri September 12, 2014

W.Va. to Test National Alert System Next Week

West Virginia is gearing up to test a national alert system next week.

Officials say the Federal Emergency Management Agency will lead a test of the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System in West Virginia on Wednesday afternoon.

The West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, the West Virginia Broadcasters Association and others will participate in the test.

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Education
9:33 am
Fri September 12, 2014

W.Va. Audit Committee to Begin School Visits

  Initial performance audits of West Virginia schools will begin Monday as part of a new statewide assessment program.

The audits involve onsite visits of all schools by the Office of Education Performance Audits over the next two years. They will provide Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, the state Legislature and the West Virginia Board of Education an overall view of performance.

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Energy
9:22 am
Fri September 12, 2014

Appalachian Power Expands Energy-Saving Programs in W.Va.

Appalachian Power has expanded its energy efficiency programs for West Virginia businesses.

Officials say changes to the programs are making it more flexible than previous energy efficiency programs for commercial and industrial customers.

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Chemical Spill
2:58 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

CDC in W.Va. Discussing Spill Health Monitoring

Federal health officials are in Charleston this week discussing options for medical monitoring after a January chemical spill contaminated water supplies to 300,000 people.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state health officials say they are a few weeks to a month away from deciding how to track people's long-term health.

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Energy & Environment
1:47 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Va. Officials Announce Opposition to Dominion Pipeline

Credit Dominion

The Nelson County Board of Supervisors has gone on record as opposing a proposed $5 billion natural gas pipeline.

The News & Advance reports that the board voted 3-2 Tuesday to approve a resolution opposing the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

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Legislature
12:57 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Kessler: Tomblin Rule on Tanks Usurps Legislature

Senate President Jeff Kessler
Credit WV Legislature

Senate President Jeff Kessler says the governor's rule to ease inspections in a law regulating aboveground storage tanks undermines the Legislature.

Kessler told the Parkersburg News and Sentinel Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin should have called a special session instead of proposing the rule. Kessler wanted lawmakers to pass a one-year delay of the Jan. 2015 initial inspection deadline.

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Veterans
12:47 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

State Needs $25 Million to Build New Veterans Nursing Home

The veterans nursing home in Clarksburg is the state's only one.
Credit West Virginia Veterans Nursing Facility

The secretary of the West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance says the state needs to chip in about $25 million to build a 120-bed veterans nursing home in Raleigh County.
 
     A law passed last legislative session authorized the new facility in Beckley. Secretary Rick Thompson told a state legislative panel this week the law didn't provide the money to build it.
 

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