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Placing much of the blame on smoking, a study chronicling the ongoing health crisis in Appalachia has concluded that the 13-state region suffers from a growing disparity in infant mortality and life expectancy, two key indicators of “a nation’s health and well-being.”

Wikimedia Commons

A raft of garbage covers a swath of the Monongahela River in northern West Virginia, a dozen miles upstream from the drinking water intake for 100,000 people.

Old tires, damaged toys, algae, oil drums, sticks and other refuse have crowded against the dam for so long that weeds sprout from them. Stuck against the spillway, the trash spans a football field's length from one bank to the other and spreads almost 30 yards upstream.

Courtesy of Kenneth King and the WV Mine Wars Museum

The West Virginia Mine Wars Museum has received a $30,000 challenge grant for a project to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Blair Mountain in 2021.

The National Endowment for the Humanities announced the grant last week. The museum is located in Matewan.

Pipeline ready for construction.
Seth Perlman / Associated Press

The Senate has approved two Republicans nominated by President Donald Trump to serve on the federal commission that oversees the nation’s power grid and natural gas pipelines.

Senators’ unanimous votes Thursday approving Senate aide Neil Chatterjee and Pennsylvania utility regulator Robert Powelson restore a voting quorum on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Marshall University
Wikipedia / en.wikipedia.org

Marshall University is receiving a grant to enhance an app created by an associate history professor.

The funding will help further develop the Clio app created by David Trowbridge. The app provides GPS-guided information on historical and cultural landmarks in small towns and large cities across the United States.

Roads, Road, Highway, Turnpike
Seicer / Wikimedia Commons

West Virginia tax authorities report collections rose to $73.6 million for the state road fund in July, the first month of higher taxes and fees to support it, exceeding last year's collections by almost $16 million.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice waves to the crowd as he delivers his inauguration speech, Monday, Jan. 16, 2017, in Charleston, W.Va.
Walter Scriptunas II / AP Photo

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice is switching parties to join Republicans as President Donald Trump plans a visit to the increasingly conservative state.

Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Federal campaign records show West Virginia's U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin with $3.5 in his re-election fund, Rep. Evan Jenkins with $1.2 million for his challenge and no filing yet by state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, though a super PAC backing him has begun raising money.

West Virginia Attorney General's Office

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has organized another regional meeting with clergy in a faith-based initiative to involve more churches in dealing with drug abuse.

Kanawha River
Acroterion / wikimedia commons

The Environmental Protection Agency has announced an agreement to address dioxin contamination in the Kanawha River by constructing a cap over nine acres of sediment containing the toxic substance.

Flickr / davidwilson1949

A top official in Gov. Jim Justice's administration says most of West Virginia's government agencies submitted needed audit information late, which has resulted in financial sanctions on the state's colleges and universities.

AllVoices.com

A new federal report shows West Virginia's economic output rose 3 percent in the first quarter of this year led by mining.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis says the state's increase in gross domestic product trailed only Texas' 3.9 percent.

Concrete plant, Mansfield OH
Joseph D. Harwood, Ohio National Guard / Wikimedia Commons

West Virginia environmental officials have ordered a halt to construction of a concrete plant in northern West Virginia, saying agency inspectors found violations in May, June and July from storm water runoff.

classroom
Arria Belli / Wikimedia Commons

The West Virginia Department of Education is allowing the public to comment on a draft of a state replacement plan for the No Child Left Behind Act.

West Virginia Governor's Office

Residents in northern West Virginia pulled together Sunday to begin cleaning up from flooding as Gov. Jim Justice visited areas to see the damage from recent storms.

Media reported Justice visited Mannington to survey flood damage from Friday and Saturday as well as other areas that were flooded from storms on July 23.

Victoria L. Cann / The Exponent Telegram

A West Virginia high school football coach who led his team to three state championships has resigned after being charged in a solicitation case.

Media outlets report 34-year-old Bridgeport High coach Josh Nicewarner submitted a resignation letter to the Harrison County Board of Education.

Steward Butler
herdzone.com

A former Marshall University football player has pleaded guilty to two battery charges in an attack on two men he saw kissing.

Steward Butler entered the plea to the misdemeanors Monday in Cabell County Circuit Court. His trial was scheduled to start Tuesday.

Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Updated 7/31/17 4:16 p.m.

Flood cleanup continues in northern counties in West Virginia. The National Guard is on the scene in the worst-hit areas, like Marion County, where some say it’s the worst flood they’ve seen since the 80s.

Donald Trump
PBS Newshour

President Donald Trump is holding an early August campaign rally in West Virginia.

Trump's campaign says the event is scheduled for Aug. 3 at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena in Huntington.

water faucet
wikimedia

Gov. Jim Justice has appointed a new executive director of the West Virginia Water Development Authority that finances construction of wastewater and water facilities for local government agencies.

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