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Doctor's Exam Room
Tinton5 / Wikimedia Commons

Physician assistants are urging Gov. Jim Justice to withdraw his veto of legislation that would revise their scope of practice in West Virginia and authorize they work in collaboration rather than under supervision of a doctor.

The bill approved by the Legislature would have removed the requirement that physician assistants maintain current certifications from the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants.

Flood, Elkview
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A federal bankruptcy judge has approved a financing plan to allow the reconstruction of a washed-out bridge leading to Crossings Mall in Elkview, West Virginia.

Local outlets report the mall has been closed since a flood washed away the culvert bridge in June 2016. Dozens of businesses have closed and more than 500 people are out of work.

Evzio Naloxone Auto-injector
Clark Davis / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

  A new state law authorizes school nurses and other trained and authorized personnel at West Virginia schools to administer drugs to counteract opioid overdoses by students without having to first contact parents.

The bill passed unanimously by the House and Senate and signed by Gov. Jim Justice comes as West Virginia recorded 844 overdose deaths last year, more than 700 involving at least one opioid such as heroin, fentanyl or prescription painkillers.

rattlesnake
TimVickers / Wikimedia Commons

Wildlife officials are asking West Virginians to let them know when they see timber rattlesnakes as part of a scientific project to determine their current distribution in the state.

According to the Division of Natural Resources, rattlesnakes are a critical part of healthy forest ecosystems and hunt mice and chipmunks, helping reduce the human risk of contracting Lyme disease and other diseases spread by the small mammals.

Jan Rader - Huntington Fire Chief
City of Huntington Facebook

Jan Rader has become the first female professional firefighter to attain the rank of fire chief in West Virginia after being sworn in as Huntington fire chief Wednesday.

The Herald-Dispatch reports Rader has served in the Huntington Fire Department for 22 years. She had been interim fire chief since December, upon her predecessor's resignation.

Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

  Gov. Jim Justice has vetoed legislation that would revise the scope of practice for physician assistants in West Virginia and authorize them to work in collaboration with a doctor rather than under their supervision.

The bill approved by the Legislature also would have removed the requirement that physician assistants maintain current certifications from the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants.

Jail Cell
Evad37 / Wikimedia Commons

West Virginia corrections officials have announced intensive training for an initial class of guards on ways to safely defuse incidents involving mentally ill inmates.

Using a federal grant, the Division of Corrections says the 40-hour class for crisis intervention teams is adapted from the Memphis Model.

Arthunter / wikimedia commons

The West Virginia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and city residents have expressed concern over a new Weirton ordinance that creates a criminal charge for those under the influence of drugs in public.

The Intelligencer reports the city council passed the law through an emergency reading in March. The ACLU chapter sent a letter April 6 and residents approached the council Monday.

Freedom Industries
AP

A chemical manufacturer is suing a county commission over an ordinance that it says is an illegal attempt to recover money more than three years after a spill that contaminated the drinking water supply in nine West Virginia counties.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports Eastman Chemical Company filed a lawsuit last Friday against the Lincoln County Commission and three prosecutors who they say drafted the regulatory measure in conflict of interest. It was passed last month.

Prison Bars
Schavda / wikimedia Commons

An Ohio man has pleaded guilty in the fatal shooting of a former coal executive in southern West Virginia.

Anthony R. Arriaga of Delphos, Ohio, told a Mingo County circuit judge Tuesday that he had been using drugs and had little sleep over several days before he killed Bennett Hatfield in a cemetery last May, news outlets reported.

Brian Turner

A former analyst for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has filed an appeal after being sentenced to 1 ½ years in federal prison for making a gun silencer in his home.

Forty-six-year-old Jonathan L. Wienke pleaded guilty to one count of violating the National Firearms Act. He had been found in possession of a loaded .22-caliber revolver at his workplace in Washington last year, prompting federal officials to search his West Virginia home.

Joe Manchin
Jesse Wright / WV Public Broadcasting

West Virginia's Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin has scheduled a series of constituent visits around the state over the next two weeks to discuss current state and national issues.

According to the senator's office, they include a Town Hall meeting at West Virginia University in Parkersburg on Wednesday.

hydrocodone pills
Toby Talbot / AP

With more than 30,000 West Virginians already in drug treatment, lawmakers have voted to spend $24 million from recent court settlements with opioid distributors increase inpatient beds to help address the state's addiction crisis.

Phil Duncan, Snowshoe Mountain

A ski resort company that stretches from Quebec to Colorado was purchased Monday by the Aspen Skiing Co., setting up seismic changes in a sector with few multistate ski operators.

Aspen Skiing Co. is partnering with Denver-based KSL Capital Partners to acquire Intrawest Resorts Holdings for about $1.5 billion, including debt, Aspen Skiing said in a statement.

A former West Virginia University employee has pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $87,000 from the school.

The U.S. attorney's office in Clarksburg said in a news release that 55-year-old Loretta J. Reckart of Bruceton Mills pleaded guilty Monday to theft concerning programs receiving federal funds. Prosecutors said she admitted embezzling while she worked at the university from October 2010 to July 2016.

Pulitzer Prize
pulitzer.org/page/medal

Reporter Eric Eyre of The Charleston Gazette-Mail has won the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting for articles showing drug wholesalers shipped 780 million hydrocodone and oxycodone pills to West Virginia in just six years, a period when 1,728 people fatally overdosed on the painkillers.

Eyre obtained previously confidential records sent by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to the office of West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.

Portable Classrooms
Steve Morgan / wikimedia commons

After months of sharing a space at Bridge Elementary School, teachers at Bridge and Clendenin Elementary have moved into new portable buildings.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the schools had been sharing a building at Bridge Elementary in Elkview since the June flood destroyed Clendenin Elementary.

I-64 Charleston
Million Moments

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection is taking registrations from volunteers who want to help clean up the state's highways.

The Adopt-A-Highway Statewide Spring Cleanup is scheduled for April 29. Volunteers have until April 21 to register, and they must be at least 12 years old to participate.

Swimmerguy269 / wikimedia Commons

Students at West Virginia University's Reed College of Media are working with computer science students and faculty on an artificial intelligence course to try to detect fake news articles.

The university said in a news release that the course includes two projects that focus on using artificial intelligence to spot fake news.

Bashar al-Assad
REMY DE LA MAUVINIERE / AP

West Virginia’s congressional delegation today came out in support of President Donald Trump's decision to take action in Syria.

Images of devastation began to surface earlier this week after what U.S. officials and observers described as a chemical weapons attack on civilians in Syria by the regime of Bashar al-Assad. An agreement was reached in 2013 with Assad and Russia that all chemical weapons in Syria be destroyed.

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