Government

Summersville Dam, Summersville Lake
Huntington District Facebook Page / U.S Army Corps of Engineers

As storms rolled across West Virginia last Thursday unloading water in areas throughout the state, many of the state’s dams were functioning at high capacity. Aaron Smith is a Senior Project Manager with the Huntington District of the Army Corps of Engineers. He said dams like the Bluestone located in Summers county just upstream from Hinton did their job. 

West Virginia residents can begin applying for school clothing vouchers for eligible children on July 1.

The Department of Health and Human Resources say the vouchers can be used toward the purchase of school clothing. Families who sew clothing for their children can use the vouchers to buy piece goods.

Courtesy Photo / West Virginia Division of Forestry

Several dozen West Virginia Division of Forestry employees are being laid off this week.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail says the forestry workers have helped clean up areas devastated by last week's flooding and hauled supplies to flood victims. They police the state's logging industry and fight forest fires.

Prison Bars
Schavda / wikimedia Commons

  No prisons in the state have been flooding in recent weather events, but high waters have created issues for staff of a few facilities in affected areas.

Lawrence Messina the Assistant Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety said Mount Olive Correctional Complex and the Anthony Correctional Center have staff who are off trying to cope with floods. As a result, the facilities are understaffed.

gavel
wikimedia / Wikimedia

Eleven state labor unions have filed petitions in Kanawha Circuit Court challenging the state's new "right-to-work" law as an illegal taking of union property and resources.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that the lawsuit, filed Monday, contends that the Workplace Freedom Act is intended to discourage union membership by "enabling nonmembers of unions to get union services for free." The legislation allows employees in union shops to opt out of paying union dues.

Don Blankenship
Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Lawyers for former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship are arguing that his conviction related to the deadliest U.S. mine explosion in four decades should be reversed, saying the government's prosecution theory and proof fell short.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports Blankenship's legal team filed a 94-page opening brief Monday with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The brief urges "close appellate scrutiny" of Blankenship's conviction and complains that the jury pool was biased against him, the prosecution was politically motivated and the trial controlled by rulings unfair to the defense.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

By his estimate, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said thousands of homes have either been destroyed or damaged beyond repair after severe storms rolled through much of southeastern West Virginia Thursday, leaving in its wake some of the worst flooding the state has seen in years.

“No one’s seen anything like this before," House Speaker Tim Armstead said Monday as he waited outside Clendenin Advent Christian Church for Tomblin.

After a press conference, Tomblin toured the church as Pastor Mike Todorovich pointed out the devastation.

Steve Helber / AP Photo

Donald Trump is heading to Wheeling for an invitation-only fundraiser with coal magnate Robert Murray.

Murray Energy spokesman Gary Broadbent says Murray is hosting a fundraiser Tuesday for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. It will take place at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling.

Swimming Pool
Lyn Lomasi / wikimedia commons

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources says it will close four pools and a golf course to address an expected budget shortfall of nearly $1 million in the coming fiscal year.

The agency said in a statement that it also plans to consolidate some management positions and some seasonal maintenance employees will be eliminated.

Midland Trail High School
boe.faye.k12.wv.us

The West Virginia School Building Authority's board has awarded $7.7 million to 13 school systems for improvement projects.

The board provided funding for projects in Barbour, Berkeley, Cabell, Fayette, Grant, Mason, Mercer, Monongalia, Nicholas, Putnam, Randolph, Ritchie and Tyler counties on Monday. The SBA combined two years' worth of grant funding and gave it all out Monday.

www.stmarysdoc.com/ / St. Mary's Medical Center

The West Virginia attorney general has approved the merger of two hospitals in Huntington.

Local news outlets report that West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey signed off on the merger of Cabell Huntington Hospital and St. Mary's Medical Center on Wednesday.

voting, voter, voting booth, voting machine
U.S. Department of State

Eleven West Virginia high schools have been recognized for student voter registration.

Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant's office announced the Jennings Randolph Award to the schools for the 2015-2016 academic year. The award recognizes 100 percent registration of voting-eligible students.

Produnis / wikimedia Commons

West Virginia University School of Nursing is using a $1.2 million federal grant to train advance practice nursing students.

The university says the three-year grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration will be used to implement the "Improving Nursing Scholarship, Practice, Innovation, Research and Education to Care for WV," or INSPIRE to Care for WV project.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

It’s been a little more than three months since the state Legislature’s Regular Session came to a close, but there’s one bill that passed that’s still on a lot of people’s minds. That bill is best known as – the Brunch Bill. It calls on county commissions to decide whether to allow the start of alcohol sales at restaurants, wineries, distilleries, and private clubs on Sundays before 1 p.m.

If a commission votes yes by the end of July, then residents in that county get to vote on the issue in November. But there are some towns and cities in the state that don’t want to wait, and they’re finding ways around the legislation.

...like Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

pills
Wikimedia Commons

Five drug wholesalers have agreed to a $4.2 million settlement in a lawsuit alleging that they shipped an excessive number of prescription opioids to West Virginia.

A news release from Attorney General Patrick Morrisey on Thursday announced the settlement with Anda Inc., The Harvard Drug Group, Associated Pharmacies, KeySource Medical Inc. and Quest Pharmaceuticals. As part of the settlement, they deny the lawsuit's allegations.

Black Bear
Bobisbob~commonswiki / wikimedia commons

Police have arrested eight men on a variety of charges related to hunting black bears illegally in West Virginia.

A news release Wednesday from the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources says an investigation began in September 2015 when an illegal bear baiting site was reported near Mount Storm in Grant County.

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

A suspect has waived his preliminary hearing in the fatal shooting of an ex-coal CEO at a southern West Virginia cemetery.

Twenty-year-old Anthony Arriaga of Delphos, Ohio, was in Mingo County Magistrate Court on Wednesday.

David Dishneau / Associated Press

Agents who searched the West Virginia home of a federal homeland security colleague after he was discovered at work with a gun and knife told a magistrate judge that they would look for other weapons, "lists or notes of potential targets" and written evidence of any potential co-conspirators.

The list of items agents were looking for at the Martinsburg home of Jonathan Wienke was filed in federal court in West Virginia. Wienke was arrested June 9 at the Department of Homeland Security headquarters in Washington on a gun charge. He is not in custody.

Chris Stadelman
Office of Governor Earl Ray Tomblin

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's chief of staff is resigning and his communications director is taking over the post.

A news release Wednesday says Chief of Staff Charlie Lorensen is stepping down and Communications Director Chris Stadelman is assuming the new role on Friday.

Opioids
Toby Talbot / AP Photo

A new report says nearly 12 million Medicare beneficiaries received at least one prescription for an opioid painkiller last year at a cost of $4.1 billion. Federal data show how common the addictive drugs are in many older Americans' medicine cabinets.

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