Government

Hemp seeds
Kristen Wyatt / Associated Press

Hemp seeds are being distributed to approved growers in West Virginia for a research project on the crop.

State officials say it took two years to create rules governing the project. Applicants must pass background checks before being licensed to participate.

The West Virginia Supreme Court is overturning the child neglect death conviction of a woman whose newborn died after she abused drugs while pregnant.

Friday's 3-2 decision says Stephanie Elaine Louk must be acquitted of the December 2014 sentence imposed by Nicholas County Circuit Court of three to 15 years' imprisonment.

Anton Diaz / Wikimedia Commons

Cabell County residents and businesses with landline phones can expect to see an increase on their phone bills.

The Herald-Dispatch reports that the Cabell County Commission voted Thursday to increase the landline tariff for residential and business lines in order to compensate for an anticipated $43,000 increase in next year's medical insurance for emergency response employees.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

With a deadline of July 1 to avoid a government shutdown, the West Virginia House of Delegates passed its version of a budget Friday on a 61 to 37 vote.

The bill passed despite anticipation that -- even if it clears the Senate intact -- it’s likely to be met with a veto when it lands on the Governor Earl Ray Tomblin's desk.

A refugee resettlement service is considering opening an agency in Charleston that would help refugees move to the area.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that resettlement agency Episcopal Migration Ministries is working with the West Virginia Interfaith Refugee Ministry to turn the city into a "resettlement community."

Prison Bars
Schavda / wikimedia Commons

West Virginia officials have warned 55 prison educators of possible layoffs amid the ongoing budget stalemate.

Sarah Stewart of the state Department of Education says a letter was sent Thursday to the teachers and principals at adult prison facilities.

Spcs. Tyler Foster, Shane Delong and Jakob Mays are soldiers in the Army Reserve 363rd Military Police Company in Grafton, West Virginia.  This April they will deploy to Afghanistan.
Chip Hitchcock / WVPublic

Several West Virginia attractions are participating in the National Endowment for the Arts initiative to offer free admission to active-duty military members and their families.

The Blue Star Museums program includes more than 2,000 museums across the country offering the deal from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

West Virginia University

West Virginia University is recommending a new five-year contract for President Gordon Gee.

A news release says school’s board of governors made the recommendation Thursday, May 26. The deal next goes to the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, which has final approval authority.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear from Appalachia Health News Reporter Kara Lofton and Iraq War veteran Mark Combs as they discuss suicide rates among vets, Dave Mistich gives us an update on the WV Legislature's special 2016 session, and we hear our Mountain Stage song of the week.

West Virginia Legislative Services

After the House of Delegates passed its first measures of the special session Thursday, the slightest sense of progress on the budget has finally arrived. Nine days in and with no revenue measures passed to help cover a $270 million shortfall, the House took its budget bill up on second reading. 

 

All but one of the amendments to the bill were shot down. One set that called for catastrophic cuts to some higher education institutions, eliciting emotional responses.

As the budget deadline looms at the statehouse, lawmakers are scrambling to find a way to fill a $270 million budget gap for the upcoming fiscal year. After not much movement Wednesday, the House of Delegates started making some progress Thursday by passing their first measures of the special session.

The House passed two bills during their morning floor session.

Anthony Arriaga
Allen County Sheriff's Ofice

An Ohio man has been arraigned in the fatal shooting of former coal executive Bennett Hatfield in southern West Virginia.

Twenty-year-old Anthony R. Arriaga of Delphos, Ohio, appeared Thursday on a first-degree murder charge in Mingo County Circuit Court in Williamson.

Cash Money
Psychonaught / Wikimedia Commons

A federal grand jury has indicted a Wayne County couple accused of failing to pay employee payroll taxes.

The U.S. Attorney's Office announced the indictment against Michael and Jeanette Taylor on Wednesday.

pipeline
AP Photo/Sergii Ryzhkov

A state agency has informed the developers of two multibillion dollar natural pipelines proposed in Virginia and West Virginia that their projects will have to meet specific environmental standards.

Media outlets report the Department of Environmental Quality sent letters last week to Dominion Transmission Inc. and EQT, saying they will be required to meet certain erosion and sedimentation standards, if they build their pipelines.

syringe, needles
wikimedia commons

  The city of Huntington says a program that allows drug users to trade in dirty syringes for clean ones is showing signs of success.

The program was established in September at the Cabell-Huntington Health Department and involves elected officials, health professionals, private businesses and members of the recovery community.

RIck Perry
Eric Gay / AP

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry will headline a Charleston fundraiser for Senate President Bill Cole's Republican bid for West Virginia governor.

Cole campaign spokesman Kent Gates says it's one of three West Virginia events Perry will attend May 31.

gavel
wikimedia / Wikimedia

West Virginia and 10 other states are suing the Obama administration over a new directive about transgender students in public schools.

The lawsuit announced Wednesday also includes Oklahoma, Alabama, Wisconsin, Texas, Tennessee, Maine, Louisiana, Utah, Arizona and Georgia. The challenge follows a federal directive to U.S. schools this month to let transgender students use the bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity.

Huntington America's Best Community FInalist
America's Best Communities Competition

The city of Huntington’s advancement to the finals of the America’s Best Communities competition presents a unique opportunity for a city striving to improve itself.

Huntington was selected by a panel of judges to be one of eight finalists in the national competition for America’s Best Community.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A day after the failure of the only revenue measure to see any movement during the Legislature’s special session, progress on a budget fix has  come to a screeching halt at the Capitol. Legislators are scrambling to find a  way to fill a $270 million budget gap for the upcoming fiscal year.

Elk River
Malepheasant / wikimedia Commons

The state Public Service Commission has set a date for a hearing involving a lawsuit filed against a water company and a manufacturer that sold a chemical to a company involved in a massive spill in Charleston.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports commissioners issued an order scheduling an evidentiary hearing in the investigation for Nov. 15-17.

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