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.

Lawyers for a West Virginia public school system are asking a judge to maintain a 75-year practice of putting children in Bible classes.

WVVA-TV reports attorneys for the Mercer County Board of Education and Mercer County Schools filed a motion with the judge this week to dismiss a mother's lawsuit over the board's "Bible in the Schools" program.

Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Note from WVPB News Director Jesse Wright: In the interest of avoiding a conflict of interest while also providing our audience with as much information as possible, WVPB’s newsroom is providing stories from other trusted news sources that directly affect WVPB reporters and funding.

Gov. Jim Justice has proposed continuing West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s $4.6 million state funding next year, reversing his February proposal to end it.

Michael Virtanen / AP

Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin said Thursday he'll oppose any legislation that takes health care away from West Virginians and urged people to "bombard" President Donald Trump with calls and emails to halt the Republican plan.

Manchin said Trump needs to be enlisted to stop the immediate Republican push to repeal former President Barack Obama's health care law. The law added coverage to about 210,000 people in West Virginia, including 25,000 getting treatment in a state ravaged by the opioid epidemic.

Randolph County
David Benbennick / Wikimedia Commons

The West Virginia Board of Education has agreed to close an elementary school in Randolph County that has 27 students.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the board voted Thursday to close Valley Head Elementary. The students will be transferred to George Ward Elementary next school year.

Jail Cell
Namastesa / wikimedia commons

An information-sharing agreement between the state Supreme Court and the regional jail system will ensure that inmates pay their court-ordered fines and fees.

The Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety announced the agreement Thursday. It will allow the Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority to check whether new inmates owe magistrate court costs.

Arthunter / wikimedia commons

The city of Weirton will make it a crime to appear in public under the influence of drugs.

The Parkersburg News and Sentinel reports the ordinance passed in an emergency reading on Monday by a 7-0 vote of the Weirton City Council, establishing a charge of "appearing in a public place or automobile in a drug induced condition."

Patrick Morrisey, W. Va. Attorney General
Janet Kunicki / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia University School of Nursing and Attorney General Patrick Morrisey are embarking on a drug abuse prevention program with eighth-graders.

The students and attorney general are trying to raise awareness about opioid abuse prevention. They will share information with students in Harrison, Marion, Marshall, Monongalia, Preston and Wetzel counties. The first stop is Thursday at Mountaineer Middle School in Morgantown.

Strawberries
Parvathisri / Wikimedia Commons

Organizers of the West Virginia Strawberry Festival are looking for local growers to stock a market with berries at this year's event.

The festival board, the city of Buckhannon and the state Department of Agriculture are working with private farmers to have fresh strawberries available for sale on May 20 and 21. This year's festival runs from May 13 through 21 in Buckhannon.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Governor Jim Justice was in Huntington Wednesday to discuss what he says is a need for improved infrastructure in the state.

As part of the Save Our State Tour, Governor Jim Justice was at the Marshall University Engineering School Wednesday. His mission was to point out the construction and engineering jobs that would be created if his $2.8 billion roads plan succeeds in the state. Justice said changes have to be made throughout the state and that’s including a crumbling infrastructure.

Oxycodone
Toby Talbot / AP

A Raleigh County doctor accused of illegally distributing painkillers to three patients who later died has backed out of a plea deal.

Dr. Michael Kostenko was expected to enter into a deal with prosecutors on Monday and plead guilty to one count of distribution. Instead, Kostenko pleaded not guilty.

Sarah Tucker
http://wvctcs.org

West Virginia's Community and Technical College System chancellor, Sarah Tucker, is testifying this week before a congressional subcommittee.

Tucker will appear before the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies at a hearing on STEM education, or science, technology, engineering and math.

C-SPAN 2

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin plans to participate in four town hall meetings being organized by constituents this week.

The West Virginia Democrat says in a news release that first two meetings will be held Thursday morning at the Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center in Martinsburg and that evening at the LaBelle Theater in South Charleston.

WVDOT

The West Virginia Department of Highways Power company and FirstEnergy Corp. are preparing for the winter storm expected to hit West Virginia and the Northeast tonight and tomorrow.

The National Weather Service is expecting up to 20 inches of snowfall in the mountainous regions of the eastern part of the state.  Up to a foot of snow is possible in parts of northern West Virginia starting Monday night.

Two Boone County public school employees are suing because they say their paycheck deductions didn't properly go toward paying for requested supplemental retirement and supplemental insurance coverage.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that a lawsuit was filed recently in Boone Circuit Court against the Boone school board, the school system's current and former superintendents and Stephen Green, the system's director and coordinator of support services.

AP

West Virginia lawmakers are weighing whether to stop requiring state registration of nearly 27,000 storage tanks that can hold up to 210 barrels of brine water and crude oil produced in drilling for oil and natural gas.

At a House hearing Monday, a dozen oil and gas producers say their tanks contain harmless organic materials far from water system intakes, unlike the massive 2014 spill from a chemical tank that shut down the Charleston area's water supply for nine days. They say that they already comply with other similar regulations.

Anthony Jenkins
West Virginia State University

West Virginia State University is inaugurating Anthony L. Jenkins as its 11th president this week.

The ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. Friday in Ferrell Hall. A ceremonial tree planting will be held at about 3:30 p.m., and a reception in honor of Jenkins and celebrating the university's 126th anniversary will follow at the James C. Wilson University Union.

State of West Virginia

Warnings have been posted in much of West Virginia for up to a foot of snow from a late-season storm.

The National Weather Service says snow is expected to start Monday night and last in some places through early Wednesday. Power outages are possible due to the weight of the snow on tree limbs and power lines.

PunchingJudy / Flickr

Ohio County sheriff's deputies are soon going to start carrying antidotes for opioid overdoses.

WTRF-TV reports that the Ohio County commission on Tuesday announced their approval for deputies to carry Naloxone, which reverses the symptoms of an opioid overdose.

Pipeline ready for construction.
Seth Perlman / Associated Press

West Virginia residents were divided during the final state public hearing on the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline, which would carry natural gas down the center of West Virginia for 195 miles.

Several urged state permit approvals for the project and its jobs. Some others at the Thursday hearing warned of damage from construction, erosion and the aerial herbicide spraying along the right of way that would continue perpetually.

classroom
Arria Belli / Wikimedia Commons

A Nicholas County judge has declined to immediately stop the controversial plan to consolidate five Nicholas County public schools into two schools that share a single campus following a flood last year.

Judge James Rowe on Thursday denied a preliminary injunction that had been requested by supporters of rebuilding Richwood's flood-damaged schools in the Richwood area instead of consolidating them into a single campus near Summersville.

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