Government

David Golman / AP Photo

President Donald Trump's mining regulators are reconsidering rules meant to protect underground miners from breathing coal and rock dust -- the cause of black lung -- and diesel exhaust, which can cause cancer.

Charles Town, Jefferson County, Charles Washington Hall, Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A training session on West Virginia’s Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit program is being presented next month.

The Wheeling Historic Landmark Commission is hosting the event at Wheeling City Council Chambers on Jan. 4 at 5:30 p.m., and the session is free and open to the public.

Medical Marijuana
John Locher / AP Photo

A panel charged with helping shape the state’s new medical marijuana law met in Morgantown Thursday, Dec. 14. The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources’ Medical Cannabis Advisory Board heard from guest speakers and announced the results of a recent survey.

Retired truck driver Bill Needham poses at his home in Asheboro, N.C., Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017.
Gerry Broom / Associated Press

Truck driver Bill Needham braced for death at the bottom of the Ohio River after a bridge collapse 50 years ago in West Virginia sent his rig and dozens of other vehicles into the frigid waters.

A crucial joint in the 39-year-old Silver Bridge’s eyebar suspension system snapped from years of corrosion and neglect, and the normal vibrations of heavy rush-hour traffic on U.S. Route 35 shook it apart on Dec. 15, 1967. Cars and trucks that had been stuck in traffic on the bridge due to a malfunctioning traffic light tumbled into the river at Point Pleasant, and 46 people perished.

Nick Casey
Gov. Jim Justice via Twitter

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has appointed his former chief of staff to the state Workers' Compensation Board of Review.

Miners’ Pensions A Major Part Of Spending Debate

Dec 14, 2017
Courtesy of the office of Sen. Brown

  Retired union coal miners are joining teamsters, iron workers and other union retirees in an effort to shore up their ailing pension plans, and they hope the ticking clock on a government spending bill will help.

Some Democrats want to see protections for retirement benefits included in the omnibus spending bill, which Congress must pass in order to prevent a government shutdown. That could set up a year-end showdown over the spending bill, with major implications for retirees in the Ohio Valley region.

Elisa Swartzmiller / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A West Virginia city's newly reinstated anti-discrimination ordinance that drew opposition from some residents will be put to a public vote next year.

City of Huntington

  A West Virginia city that has surpassed its previous records for the number of homicide investigations has confirmed two additional killings.

The Herald-Dispatch quotes Huntington police Capt. Hank Dial as saying more officers are needed to address the surge of violent crime. Dial was among officials who spoke within 36 hours of the year's 17th and 18th homicides during a news conference at city hall Tuesday afternoon.

Andrey Burmakin / Adobe Stock

West Virginia collected $96 million in property tax revenue from oil and natural gas production during the 2017 tax year, a decline of $38 million from the previous year.

Cigarette, tobacco
nikkytok / Dollar Photo Club

The number of adults who smoke cigarettes in West Virginia has significantly declined since 2011.

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human resources released new data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey by DHHR’s Health Statistics Center that shows a decrease in smoking adults of almost 4 percent from 2011 to 2016.

West Virginia School Building Authority

The West Virginia School Building Authority has voted to fund $59.1 million in facilities projects statewide.

Monday's vote includes construction and renovation projects for public school systems in 22 counties. The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports $49.2 million comes from this year's "needs" grant funding cycle and $9.9 million is from next year's cycle.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

 


The start of the 2018 state Legislative session is only one month away. Lawmakers in the Eastern Panhandle met in Martinsburg for a Legislative Outlook Breakfast hosted by the Berkeley County Chamber of Commerce to discuss several issues they hope to tackle at the statehouse this year.

 

One focus is creating more ways to combat West Virginia’s opioid epidemic -- particularly how the crisis affects those in the state’s foster care system.

LBJ Library / Public Domain

Law professor Philip Alston is a United Nations expert on extreme poverty. In his position as a U.N. Special Rapporteur  he reports on places where pervasive poverty and human rights issues intersect, places such as Haiti, south Asia and central Africa. His latest work, however, is taking him to parts of the U.S., including the Ohio Valley.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, as coal country looks for a new path forward, some communities are looking to their public schools. Many are changing not just how they prepare students but how they can help meet economic and social challenges.

GOP Tax Reform – What's in it for Appalachia?

Dec 5, 2017
J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

In the early hours on Saturday, the Senate passed the GOP’s tax reform bill. The vote fell primarily along party lines, with all 48 Democrats voting against the bill, alongside the sole Republican Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee.

This post was last updated on Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at 3:35 p.m.

 

Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship has officially filed paperwork to run for U.S. Senate in West Virginia.

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

A trial has begun for the second of two men accused in the 2016 deadly shooting of a West Virginia coal executive.

News outlets report Monday was the first trial day for 20-year-old Brandon Lee Fitzpatrick, a Kentucky man charged with offenses including first-degree murder in the death of 59-year-old Bennett K. Hatfield.

This Feb. 15, 2017 photo shows railroad tracks along the West Virginia town of Matoaka, which once carried coal trains several times a day and at night.
Michael Virtanen / AP

A union official says a coal mine in northern West Virginia has been idled, with 260 workers losing their jobs, apparently because of adverse geological conditions and market issues.

West Virginia State Car
wchstv

A state-sponsored surplus vehicle auction is set for this week in West Virginia.

The West Virginia Purchasing Division says in a news release that about 45 vehicles will be auctioned off Wednesday at the State Agency for Surplus Property warehouse in Dunbar.

Photo courtesy of Wood County 911

West Virginia environmental authorities have approved cleanup plans by the owners of the industrial warehouse that burned for a week in Parkersburg.

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