Government

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Over 300 teens will be at the Capitol this weekend for a mock legislative session. Teenagers from all over the state who are part of the Youth Leadership Association: Youth in Government will travel to Charleston to hold a student led, mock legislative session for three days.

Veterans and Warriors to Agriculture Facebook

A Fairmont farm will plant 38 trees Saturday representing the West Virginians who have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan since Sept. 11, 2001.

The Times West Virginian reports that the tree planting is a cooperative effort between Zion Heritage Farm and Veterans and Warriors to Agriculture. The West Virginia Department of Agriculture is also participating.

Provided

A national worker safety organization is using the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster as call to action for the nation to enforce stricter safety standards to prevent workplace deaths.

The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health released their report “Not an Accident: Preventable Deaths 2015” Thursday ahead of the national Workers Memorial Week, which runs from Saturday, April 25, through Saturday, May 2.


U.S. Senator Joe Manchin
Courtesy Photo

Senator Joe Manchin and Pennsylvania Democratic Senator Bob Casey have introduced comprehensive mine safety legislation to Congress.

The Senators say ‘The Robert C. Byrd Mine Safety Protection Act of 2015’ will help fix a broken regulatory system.

Its 1,700-foot arch made it the longest single-span arch bridge in the world.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / New River Gorge, Fayette County, Fayette Station Road

A report from the National Park Service says three parks in southern West Virginia brought tens of millions of dollars into the surrounding communities, supporting hundreds of jobs.

The National Park Service says the New River Gorge National River, Bluestone National Scenic River and Gauley River National Recreation Area brought 1,280,604 visitors into southern West Virginia last year.

Wikimedia Commons / user: BetacommandBot

  Authorities are investigating a cyberattack that briefly disrupted a state public education network. 

Department of Education chief technology officer Sterling Beane tells media outlets that the denial-of-service attack caused a 20-minute disruption of the network's computing services last week.

Cecelia Mason / Shepherd University

A former high school that was the Rocket Boys' alma mater is going to be torn down.

McDowell County Schools Superintendent Nelson Spencer tells The Bluefield Daily Telegraph that the former Big Creek High School is expected to be demolished this summer. However, the gymnasium will remain.

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 An investigation has found the Beckley VA Medical Center improperly substituted mental health treatments with older drugs to save money.

In a Wednesday news release, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel says it informed the White House and Congress that the hospital put patients at risk and violated VA policy.

A whistleblower reported issues, and the VA Office of Medical Inspector investigated.

Rahall.house.gov/

Former Democratic Congressman Nick Rahall has joined the board of directors for the World Affairs Council in Washington, D.C.

The council announced Rahall's addition on Wednesday in a news release. The group also has added former Republican U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood.

The nonprofit, nonpartisan group offers a variety of progra

Ibrahim.ID / wikimedia Commons

A former James Monroe High School teacher has pleaded no contest to contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Jamie Lynn Snider was accused of buying beer for a minor in February.

U.S. Attorney's Office

Federal prosecutors plan to review evidence from a state investigation of the fatal shooting of a Virginia man by Martinsburg police.

U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld notified Berkeley County NAACP President Hubert J. Smith of the review in a letter sent last week. Smith read the letter at a Martinsburg City Council meeting on Tuesday.

Tower for drilling horizontally into the Marcellus Shale Formation for natural gas, from Pennsylvania Route 118 in eastern Moreland Township, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, USA
Ruhrfisch [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) / Wikimedia Commons

Despite recent announcements of layoffs in the industry, the state is reporting severance tax incomes from oil and gas have doubled since 2013.

A review by the West Virginia Department of Tax and Revenue and the State Treasurer’s Office shows companies paid $188.3 million in severance taxes in 2014. That’s compared to the $79.2 million collected in 2013.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Republican Congressman Alex Mooney has a contender within his party eyeing his seat.

Last week, Republican pharmacist Ken Reed opened a pre-candidacy account to run for the U.S. House.

dot.gov

West Virginia will received $5 million in emergency funds from the federal government to fix storm-damaged roads.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced the funding Tuesday from the Federal Highway Administration.

Department of Environmental Protection, DEP
Department of Environmental Protection

Crews are excavating the site of an underground mine fire in Marion County that has burned for several months.

West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection spokeswoman Kelley Gillenwater tells The Times West Virginian that the project is expected to be completed within the next 30 days.

Derek Jensen / wikimedia Commons / user: Tysto

Procter & Gamble says the state's figures for its planned manufacturing facility in the Eastern Panhandle are wrong.

Procter & Gamble spokesman Jeff LeRoy tells media outlets that the company stands by the numbers it announced on Feb. 10. The Cincinnati-based company said then that the plant would be 1 million square feet and would create an estimated 700 full-time jobs.

Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia

The West Virginia Judiciary’s Unified Electronic Filing System has expanded to the Eastern Panhandle.

Justice Brent Benjamin announced the expansion of E-filing to the Eastern Panhandle at the Circuit Courtroom in the Jefferson County Courthouse Monday.

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin is throwing his support behind Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for 2016. Clinton declared her candidacy earlier this month. 

On a conference call with reporters Monday, Manchin called Clinton "“warm, compassionate, engaging and tough" and ready for the job.

Division of Highways

A new U.S. 219 bridge connecting two counties in West Virginia and Virginia is expected to be completed in May.

The $1.7 million replacement bridge spans Rich Creek at Petersburg. It's expected to improve travel between Monroe County in West Virginia and Giles County in Virginia.

Jodyperry / wikimedia Commons

Students at Fairmont State University will pay higher tuition and fees for the 2015-2016 academic year.

In-state undergraduate students will pay an additional $157 per semester. Tuition for non-resident undergraduate students will increase by $332 per semester.

Graduate tuition will increase by $170 per semester for in-state students and $351 per semester for non-resident studen

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