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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Energy & Environment
10:55 am
Fri November 21, 2014

W.Va. to Open Bids on Wildlife Land Fracking

Tower for drilling horizontally into the Marcellus Shale Formation for natural gas, from Pennsylvania Route 118 in eastern Moreland Township, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, USA
Credit Ruhrfisch [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) / Wikimedia Commons

  

West Virginia officials are unveiling offers to frack under wildlife conservation land in Tyler County.

On Friday in Charleston, the state Department of Commerce will publicly open bids for oil and natural gas rights under Conaway Run Wildlife Management Area.

The bid deadline on the 518 acres was Thursday. A 20-percent royalty on what's extracted is required.

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Education
10:50 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Release of Westest2 Scores Delayed Again

Credit West Virginia Department of Education

  The release of last year's standardized test scores for West Virginia public school students has been delayed again.

The Charleston Gazette reports that state education officials did not announce the results Thursday as expected. State Department of Education spokeswoman Liza Cordeiro says officials are still working with counties to validate the scores. She says scores can be expected soon, but did not give a specific date.

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Higher Education
3:51 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

WVU Revokes Charter from Second Fraternity

Credit Swimmerguy269 / wikimedia Commons

West Virginia University says a second fraternity has had its charter revoked by its national office.

The Morgantown school said Thursday that Beta Theta Pi has informed the university that the local chapter's charter had been pulled "based on past behavior issues."

The Charleston Gazette reports that the move comes after Kappa Sigma fraternity's national office informed WVU last week that the school's chapter had been suspended since mid-October.

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Oil and Gas Industry
1:00 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Consol Energy Executive Pleads Guilty to Stealing Gas Royalties

Credit Brian Turner

A former Consol Energy executive has pleaded guilty to stealing $440,000 in gas royalties from the company by forging deed transfers so he could funnel the money into a fake company he ran out of a post office box.

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Environment
6:58 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Are Flooded Mines Polluting Water?

A long-awaited environmental impact report concludes that concentrations of iron and sulfate collecting in underground pools could pollute the Potomac River and its surrounding groundwater.

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Government
12:52 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

McKinley Named Vice Chair of Energy and Commerce Committee Oversight Subcommittee

David McKinley, member of US House of Representatives, March 2012
Credit United States Congress

Republican Congressman David McKinley has been named vice chair of an Energy and Commerce Committee oversight subcommittee.

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Higher Education
10:47 am
Wed November 19, 2014

WVU Offers Students Bus Trip to Classmate's Funeral

Credit http://history.wvu.edu/r/images/homepage/13223

West Virginia University is providing transportation to the funeral of a student in Buffalo, New York.

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Hatfield McCoy Audit
4:43 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Legislative Audit Questions Ethics of Hatfield McCoy Recreation Authority

Credit http://www.trailsheaven.com/

An audit says the Hatfield McCoy Recreation Authority isn't following state purchasing, ethics and employee bonus laws.

Legislative Auditor Aaron Allred says the the authority is operating like some laws don't apply to it, according to a letter written Tuesday.

The letter says the authority should be complying with the competitive bid process, contract reviews by the attorney general and other purchasing requirements.


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Kanawha County Prosecutor
1:16 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

New Kanawha County Prosecutor Named

Credit Marcus Constantino (@AMTino) / Charleston Daily Mail

A former federal prosecutor has been appointed as Kanawha County's prosecutor.

The Kanawha County Commission named Chuck Miller to the position today.

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Bethany Extortion
10:57 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Ohio Man Sentenced for Extortion Involving Bethany College

Credit Nyttend / wikimedia commons

An Ohio man will spend more than five years in prison for extorting more than $1 million.

U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld II announced the sentencing of 31-year-old Jason Kirkland Weese of East Liverpool, Ohio, on Monday.

Weese had pleaded guilty in June to extortion conspiracy and aiding and abetting money laundering. He was accused of extorting the money from former Bethany College cashier Shelly Lough.

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Bus Service
10:49 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Charleston - Morgantown Bus Service Ridership Grows

Credit Barons Bus Lines

A new bus service between Charleston and Morgantown is becoming a popular choice for travelers.

Cindy Fish with the state Division of Transit says ridership on the I-Ride 79 bus service is growing daily. In October, 763 passengers, or about 25 per day, rode the buses.

Fish tells The State Journal that the bus service is seeing a lot of repeat business.

The Division of Public Transit launched the I-Ride 79 service on July 1. The service includes stops in Clendenin, Flatwoods, Weston, Clarksburg and Fairmont.

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Teapot Renovation
10:30 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Chester Woman Leads Renovation of Teapot

Credit chester.lib.wv.us

A Chester woman is leading an effort to restore the city's most recognizable landmark.Susan Busan Badgley Hineman tells The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register that the structure billed as the "World's Largest Teapot" needs an estimated $15,000 for repairs and maintenance.  The 14-foot-tall teapot started off in the early 1900s as a giant wooden barrel used to advertise Hires Root Beer.

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Freda Tomblin
10:24 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Governor Tomblin's Mother Dies

Credit Evans Funeral Home

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's mother, Freda Mae Tomblin, has died. She was 80.

The governor said Sunday in a news release that his mother died Saturday surrounded by family and friends.

 She was a resident of Chapmanville. The governor says his mother taught him the importance of education, hard work and caring for others. Other survivors include her husband, Earl; her son, Carl Edward Tomblin of Chapmanville; and a sister, Sue Murray of Hagerstown, Md. Evans Funeral Home in Chapmanville is in charge of arrangements.

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Camp Dawson
10:16 am
Mon November 17, 2014

WV National Guard Proposes Three Ranges

Credit http://www.wv.ngb.army.mil/

The West Virginia Army National Guard has proposed building three ranges at Camp Dawson in Preston County.The ranges would be located on Briery Mountain. They include a live fire breach facility, a hand grenade familiarization range and an MK 19 range. The Guard says the ranges are needed to provide in-state training for state Army National Guard units. The Dominion Post reports that the Guard is seeking public comments on the proposed ranges. The deadline to submit comments is Nov. 22. Comments should be mailed to Jeffrey S.

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Shepherd Tuition
10:10 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Shepherd Board Approves Tuition Hike

Credit Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

In-state students at Shepherd University will pay higher tuition for the 2015-2016 academic year.

But out-of-state student tuition will remain at the current level.

Shepherd's board of governors approved a 3.96 in-state tuition increase for undergraduates last week. Undergraduate in-state tuition will increase from $3,285 to $3,415 per semester. Out-of-state undergraduate tuition will remain at $8,314 per semester. Board members also approved a 2.19 percent average increase in room rates, and a 1.97 average increase in meal plans.

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DNR Officers
10:05 am
Mon November 17, 2014

DNR to Conduct Tests for Police Officers

Credit Huntington Police Department

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources will conduct physical agility tests next month for natural resources police officer candidates.

The DNR says applicants should report to the lobby of the South Charleston Community Center either on Dec. 5 at 8 a.m. or Dec. 6 at 9 a.m.

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Bridge Demolition
9:54 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Historic Bridge in Tunnelton to Come Down

Credit SieBot / wikimedia commons

An early 20th century pedestrian bridge in Tunnelton is coming down.

The bridge spanning CSX tracks is scheduled to be demolished on Tuesday. CSX says the bridge was built in 1912 in the Preston County town.

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Government
3:45 pm
Sat November 15, 2014

New Health Insurance Enrollment Period Opens in W.Va.

Credit Rick Haye, Marshall University Communications

  A second enrollment period has started for coverage under West Virginia's health insurance exchange.

Sign-up events were held across the state Saturday for the state-sponsored marketplace. The enrollment period runs through Feb. 15.

According to federal government figures, West Virginia had the lowest percent of enrollees between the ages of 18 and 34 during the round of signups from October 2013 to March.

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Higher Education
7:13 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

WVU Suspends Fraternity and Sorority Activities, Student Dies

Credit Richinstead / wikimedia Commons

An 18-year-old student at the center of an investigation into the conduct at fraternities and sororities at WVU has died.

Late Wednesday night, police were called to the Kappa Sigma fraternity. They found someone performing CPR on Michael Nolan Burch. Preston said Burch had no pulse and wasn't breathing. He was taken to Ruby Memorial Hospital, where he died today.  

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Chemical Spill
5:29 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Freedom Industries May Clean Less of River Site

Credit AP

  The bankrupt company that leaked a coal processing chemical into Charleston's Elk River in January could reduce the amount of contaminated material it needs to clean from its polluted storage site.

The Charleston Gazette reports that West Virginia state environmental regulators revealed a proposed agreement Thursday in which Freedom Industries would enter a voluntary toxic cleanup program to remediate the site.

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