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flipchip / LasVegasVegas.com

The West Virginia Lottery Commission has approved the use of electronic touch screens at the state's racetrack casinos as an option for betting on live table games.
 

Judge Michael Thornsbury
Associated Press

Federal prosecutors are seeking a delay in the sentencing of a former Mingo County circuit judge so they can have more time to investigate information he provided in a corruption probe.
 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Ruby filed a motion Thursday asking a federal judge to delay Michael Thornsbury's Jan. 13 sentencing by 90 days.
 

West Virginia Department of Education

West Virginia education officials they've made progress on the governor's education priorities but more needs to be done.
 

West Virginia Department of Commerce

The West Virginia Sesquicentennial Commission spent $138,285 for a four-day celebration of the state's 150th anniversary at the Capitol.

The Charleston Daily Mail reports that the largest expense was a 3-D movie that was projected onto the Capitol facade. The state paid $50,000 of the movie's $175,000 cost. The remainder was paid with private donations.

Other expenses included $21,400 for souvenirs and $21,000 for musical entertainment.

Palosirkka / wikimedia Commons

State and local officials are seeking the dismissal of a lawsuit challenging West Virginia's ban on gay marriage.
 
     The Charleston Gazette reports that the West Virginia Attorney General's Office and Kanawha County Clerk Vera McCormick asked a federal judge this week to dismiss the case.

Joseph Adams / wikimedia Commons

Jefferson County commissioners are considering banning large music festivals in the county.

An advisory panel is recommending two Mingo County public defenders as potential candidates to replace former Circuit Court Judge Michael Thornsbury.
 
     The Judicial Vacancy Advisory Commission submitted the names of Teresa McCune and Jonathan Jewel to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin on Tuesday.

A gun rights group has gone to court in an attempt to stop enforcement of Charleston's gun ordinances.
 
     The West Virginia Citizens Defense League asked Kanawha Circuit Court on Tuesday to issue an injunction against the ordinances.
 

Children participating in a new program called Kids in Motion
Clark Davis

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded $1,121,678 to Raleigh County Community Action Association in Beckley to continue its Head Start program.

The program serves pre-school aged children at eight sites throughout the county.
 

Head Start is a national program for low-income pre-school children that prepares them for elementary school. The program provides comprehensive education activities in classrooms. It also provides social, nutritional, health and mental health, and transportation services for children and their families.

Rick Haye, Marshall University Communications

A report by two health advocacy groups says West Virginia is lagging in its approach to handling infectious disease threats.

     The report released Tuesday by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation says West Virginia met four of 10 indicators of preparedness.

Two conservation groups are joining forces to preserve battlefield land at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park.
 

David Benbennick / wikimedia Commons

The Williamson office building that formerly housed a pain clinic is being given to the West Virginia State Police.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said Monday that the agency also will receive $340,000 in cash proceeds forfeited by one of the operators of Mountain Medical Care Clinic.

The pill mill was shut down in 2010 following a federal investigation that ended with several criminal convictions.

Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A West Virginia University economist will brief state legislators on the economic forecast for the coming year.

The annual presentation to members of the state Senate and the House of Delegates is set for Jan. 8 in the House chambers.

The report is compiled by the university's Bureau of Business and Economic Research. The bureau's director, John Deskins, will make the presentation.

A former state Supreme Court candidate has withdrawn from consideration as an appointed circuit judge in Mingo County.

Tish Chafin wrote to the state Judicial Vacancy Advisory Commission on Thursday. Commission member Kent Carper tells The Charleston Gazette that Chafin sought the position out of concern that solid candidates wouldn't apply.

The executive director of the state Ethics Commission admits the panel violated West Virginia's open meetings law.
 
     The violations occurred Thursday when the commission failed to send the required notice of two meetings to the Secretary of State's Office. One was devoted entirely to open meetings laws.
 
     According to state code, notice of public meetings must be approved and listed online for five business days to be legal.
 

A Boone County woman has been sentenced to life in prison with the chance for parole for killing a 71-year-old man in a drug-fueled scheme.

22-year-old Maura Perry of Hamlin was sentenced Thursday in Boone County Circuit Court for a first-degree murder conviction.

Perry pleaded guilty last month in the September 2012 shooting death of Jimmie Cooper of Peytona.

 
Investigators say that after the shooting, Perry stole items from Cooper's home and sold them to support her drug habit.
 

Enrollment in West Virginia's health insurance marketplace has jumped by more than 500 percent in the past month.
 
     Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield says about 1,200 West Virginians have enrolled in plans through the federal exchange as of Monday. That's up from 198 people on Nov. 13.
 
     Highmark is the only private insurer participating in West Virginia's health insurance marketplace.
 
     Meanwhile, about 75,000 people have enrolled in the state's expanded Medicaid program, 12,000 more than the state projected.
 

Secretary Karen Bowling / Department of Health and Human Resources

Changes are in the works at the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources in response to an audit that found the agency is inefficient.
 
     DHHR Secretary Karen Bowling plans to break the agency into three divisions covering human services, health services, and insurance and strategic planning. Each division would oversee several bureaus within the agency. Deputy secretaries would be appointed to lead the divisions.
 

Many in-state students at West Virginia's public higher education institutions don't earn a degree after six years.
 
     An annual graduation report shows fewer than half of in-state freshmen enrolled in fall 2005 earned their degrees six years later.
 
     West Virginia University was the exception. The university's 2012 six-year graduation rate was 56 percent.
 
     Marshall University's six-year graduation rate was 44 percent, followed by Shepherd University, 43 percent; and West Liberty University, 41 percent.
 

Cecelia Mason

West Virginia's state superintendent says fewer 16-year-old students dropped out of high school after the compulsory attendance age was raised to 17.
 
     West Virginia State Superintendent James Phares told lawmakers on Tuesday that the number of 16-year-olds who dropped out of school in the 2012 school year declined by 52 percent from the previous year after the law went into effect.
 

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