Government

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey discusses the latest in his case challenging the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan. The U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay in the case this week which essentially freezes the implementation of the carbon reducing rules.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A former executive of a chemical storage facility in West Virginia has been sentenced to 30 days in jail and order to pay a $20,000 fine. The charges stemmed a January 2014 chemical spill that left some 300,000 area residents without water for days.

Former Freedom Industries owner Dennis Farrell will serve time for federal pollution violations.

Four other ex-Freedom officials have been sentenced to probation and ordered to pay fines.

Huntington Ohio River
Youngamerican / wikimedia Commons

Huntington City Council has approved a resolution to urge West Virginia lawmakers to include protection for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals under the state code dealing with hate crimes.

The Herald-Dispatch reports the council unanimously approved on Monday the resolution, which is to include protection for individuals based upon the actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity of a person.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A West Virginia religious-exemptions bill that opponents say would allow for discrimination has cleared the Republican-led House of Delegates.

West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources

The West Virginia Medical Examiner's Office has been working to crackdown on the backlog of cases and to seek accreditation.

WVVA-TV reports Commissioner for the Bureau of Public Health Dr. Rahul Gupta 

  oversees the Charleston office and says they've been addressing policies, procedures and staffing criteria in order to get the department accredited.

Jill Upson / Twitter

A West Virginia report says $55 million in two welfare programs was spent out of state in a year.

The House released the Department of Health and Human Resources report Wednesday at Republican Del. Jill Upson's request.

The report says that of $457.2 million in benefits, $52.5 million was spent out of state on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps, from November 2014 through October 2015.

Neighboring Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia comprised 90 percent.

About $1 million was spent in North Carolina and Florida each.

Elk River Rescue
WCHSTV

A woman has died after driving her car into the Elk River.

The Charleston Police Department said in a news release that the unidentified driver of the car ran an intersection and passed through the parking lot of a tire warehouse at high speed Wednesday.

Freedom Industries
Aaron Payne / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A former Freedom Industries executive is due in federal court for sentencing on a pollution charge in a chemical spill that fouled the drinking water supply of 300,000 West Virginians.

Dennis Farrell pleaded guilty in August to a deal that includes up to two years in prison and a $200,000 fine. His sentencing is set for Thursday in Charleston.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Four amendments for House Bill 4012, the West Virginia Religious Freedom Restoration Act, were debated on the House floor Wednesday morning. The bill creates a judicial test for lawsuits against the state or government entities to ensure the protections of an individual’s “sincerely held religious beliefs.”

Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The prosecutor on former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship's case is Sen. Joe Manchin's pick for U.S. attorney.

A spokesman for Manchin told the Charleston Gazette-Mail that Manchin wants Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Ruby to replace former U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin.

Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin doesn't expect West Virginia to submit compliance plans for carbon emissions standards from coal-fired power plants while the federal regulation remains in court proceedings.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court agreed to halt enforcement of President Obama's sweeping plan to address climate change until after legal challenges are resolved.

Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans is seeking permission to parade through downtown Martinsburg.

Media outlets report that the group has requested to use portions of Queen and Race streets on March 5 for the procession, which the group says will be in celebration of southern heritage and the birth of the Confederate flag 155 years ago. The Martinsburg City Council will consider the request Thursday.

Creative Commons Photo

Fourteen people have been charged with roles in a heroin trafficking operation from Detroit to West Virginia.

U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld II says federal indictments unsealed Tuesday allege heroin was repeatedly sold in the Morgantown area in 2014 and 2015.

WVU Tech

Montgomery City Council members voted against an agreement that offers economic support from West Virginia University if the city promises not to sue over the relocation for WVU Institute of Technology from Montgomery to Beckley.

The Charleston Mail-Gazette reports the city's five council members voted against the agreement Tuesday.

Harry Schaefer, Environmental Protection Agency / wikimedia Commons

This week the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to freeze implementation of the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan while a broader lawsuit moves forward. West Virginia’s Attorney General, who is among those leading the charge against the carbon regulation plan, said the decision was a “monumental win.”


Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A small conference center and campground in Jackson County has stirred up plenty of controversy at the statehouse over the past few years.

Members of the West Virginia Board of Education want to get rid of their authority of the Cedar Lakes Conference Center, but state officials aren’t willing to pay the cost to let it go.

This year, lawmakers believe they’ve found a compromise that let’s the board off the hook while keeping Cedar Lakes open for the thousands of kids who attend camps there each year.

AllVoices.com

Alpha Natural Resources says it has received a $500 million offer from existing lenders for the potential sale of the bankrupt coal producer's core assets.

Bristol, Virginia-based Alpha announced the offer in a filing Monday in federal bankruptcy court in Richmond, Virginia.

Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Martinsburg City Council members are expected to cast the final vote on an amendment to the city's zoning ordinance that would define public buildings in a way that would prevent the Berkley County Council from opening a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center in the city.

The Journal reports the proposed amendment was approved by the City Council in January.

Martin Valent / West Virginia Legislative Photography

West Virginia Senators voted 32 to 2 to create a three-year pilot program to drug test welfare recipients. Two Democratic senators voted against the provision. 

The bill requires the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources seek federal approval to create such a program and sets forth the requirements for it, including the "reasonable suspicion" a DHHR employee must find before testing a TANF recipient. 

McDowell County Board of Education

McDowell County school administrators say 30 jobs are being eliminated next school year due to declining student enrollment and a decrease in state funding.

Media outlets report the cuts including 15 professional positions and 15 service jobs were announced Monday.

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