Government

Government
4:18 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

West Virginia DEP Seeks Public Input on Aboveground Storage Tank Rule

Credit AP

State environmental regulators are asking the public to be involved  in the rule-making process for the Aboveground Storage Tank (AST) Program. The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection released a rough draft of the program’s emergency rule to get feedback on ways to make it as thorough and effective as possible.

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Child Poverty
12:39 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Data Shows Rate of Child Poverty in W.Va. Growing

Credit West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy

Data released Thursday by the U. S. Census Bureau shows the percentage of West Virginians living in poverty stayed consistent last year, but the number of children living below the poverty line has grown.

According to the 2013 American Community Survey, one in three children in West Virginia under the age of 5 lived in poverty in 2013.

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Natural Gas
12:33 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Groups Oppose Oil, Gas Drilling Under Ohio River

Credit Office of the Governor

Environmental and citizen groups are urging Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to rethink leasing land under the Ohio River for oil and natural gas drilling.

In a letter Wednesday, Ohio and West Virginia groups expressed concerns that the state won't sufficiently safeguard against releases that could harm water supplies.

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Roundtable
10:32 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Feds Hosting Domestic Violence Discussion in W.Va.

Credit U.S. Attorney's Office / United States Department of Justice

  A federal prosecutor is holding a roundtable discussion on domestic violence and sexual assault.

U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld will conduct the meeting at the YWCA of Wheeling on Thursday afternoon.

Others expected to be in attendance include county sheriffs and prosecutors and members of violence prevention programs.

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News
8:30 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Ruling Delayed on Same Sex Marriage in West Virginia

U.S. Supreme Court, Washington D.C.
Credit wikimedia

A federal judge in West Virginia has delayed ruling on a lawsuit challenging the state's same-sex marriage ban.
 
U.S. District Judge Robert Chambers in Huntington says due to the "overlap of issues" presented in the West Virginia case and a similar one in Virginia, he put the case on hold this week pending a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Courts
5:42 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

W.Va. High Court: Take Mingo Judge Race Off Ballot

Credit Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia

A West Virginia Supreme Court ruling says a Mingo County judge position improperly on the November ballot must be removed.

The court on Wednesday sided with West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant on the Eighth Family Court Circuit issue.

On Wednesday, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin picked Sabrina Deskins to complete the remainder of former Eighth Family Court Circuit Judge Miki Thompson's term. The next election for the position should be November 2016.

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Natural Resources
3:40 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

W.Va. DNR Makes Big Ginseng Bust: Valued at $180,000

West Virginia natural resources police say they have made 11 arrests and seized 190 pounds of dry ginseng that was illegally harvested.

The West Virginia Department of Natural Resources estimates the market value of the native herb at $180,000.

The department said Wednesday the arrests followed a year-long investigation in southern West Virginia. Besides the ginseng, they said they also seized stolen guns, illegal drugs and $30,000 in cash.

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Washington D. C.
2:44 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Manchin Won't Support Arming Syrian Rebels

Credit Courtesy Photo

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin today delivered remarks on the Senate floor outlining why he opposes funding, arming or training Syrian opposition forces. The Senator says he will vote against a continuing resolution to fund the U.S. Government if the measure contains that language.

The senator said this should be an Arab ground war and a U.S. air war. But he will not support arming or training the Syrian opposition force.

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Government
2:39 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Watch: Senator Robert C. Byrd's 2005 Speech on Constitution Day

This year, September 17th is designated as Constitution Day in the United States. The designation is a result of The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2005. Senator Robert C. Byrd's leadership was instrumental in the passage of the act and, as such, the designation of the event.

As C-SPAN's website states: 

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Gambling
1:05 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Officials Mull Fewer Racing Days at W.Va. Tracks

Credit AngMoKio / wikimedia Commons

  The state Racing Commission could request legislation to drop the number of days racetracks have to hold live races under law.

The Charleston Gazette reports that on Tuesday, the commission discussed reducing the required number of racing days to 185 at the state's four racetracks.

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Indictment
12:56 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Martinsburg Doctor Indicted on Charges of Writing Illegal Prescriptions

Credit Facebook

A Martinsburg doctor has been indicted on federal charges that she illegally prescribed prescription painkillers.

U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld said Wednesday that 44-year-old Dr. Tressie Montene Duffy faces 100 felony counts of aiding and abetting the distribution of four controlled substances.

Duffy is CEO and owner West Virginia Weight and Wellness Inc. Office assistant Amanda Clark and AIT Laboratories employee Tracie Colbert were indicted on similar charges.

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Lawsuit
10:29 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Group Says W.Va. Pays $63,000 in Legal Fees for Marple Case

Credit www.wvencyclopedia.org

  A watchdog group says the state Department of Education has paid more than $63,000 to its legal counsel in response to lawsuits by former state schools Superintendent Jorea Marple.

West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse released the findings Tuesday. The group had filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the department and the state Board of Risk and Insurance Management about fees paid to a Charleston law firm since November 2013.

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Freedom Industries
10:23 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Bankruptcy Judge Approves $2.9 Million Chemical Spill Settlement

Credit AP

A federal bankruptcy judge has approved a $2.9 million settlement to benefit 300,000 people whose water was contaminated in a January chemical spill.

  Judge Ronald Pearson filed the order Tuesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Charleston. A U.S. District Court judge's approval is also needed.

The proposal would rely on insurance proceeds from bankrupt Freedom Industries. The company's January spill spurred a tap-water ban for days. Freedom filed for bankruptcy eight days later.

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Government
10:03 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Tomblin: Festivals, Fairs Won't Suffer Next Budget

Credit West Virginia Department of Commerce

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin says festivals and fairs likely won't suffer in next year's budget.

Tomblin tells the Parkersburg News and Sentinel that his upcoming budget proposal would maintain the $1.9 million set aside for fairs and festivals this year.

Tomblin has said he wants to use $100 million from the state's Rainy Day Fund to cover a projected funding gap in the 2016 budget year.

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Health Care
4:01 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Rockefeller Urges Congress to 'Act Now' on CHIP

A screen grab from the livestream of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Health Insurance, which Sen. Jay Rockefeller chaired.
Credit U.S. Senate Committee on Finance

U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller chaired his first and, notably, last meeting of the Senate’s Subcommittee on Health Insurance Tuesday afternoon discussing a program he has championed, the Children’s Health Insurance Program or CHIP.

“Creating this program has been one of the most meaningful things I have done in my career in public service,” Rockefeller said in opening the meeting.

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Supreme Court of Appeals
3:32 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

WV Supreme Court Hears Arguments at Marshall

WV Supreme Court
Credit Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia

The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals heard four cases during a visit to Marshall Tuesday.

The court’s appearance was its sixth at Marshall University in the past decade. Among the four cases heard by the state Supreme Court was one that questioned whether a municipal court in Mercer County can order a dog be euthanized. Justice Menis Ketchum II explained the case.

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Government
1:38 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Sept. 30 High Court Hearing on AG Prosecutor Aid

Credit Janet Kunicki / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey's office will argue in front of the West Virginia Supreme Court for the ability to assist county prosecutors who request help with criminal cases.

A hearing is set for Sept. 30.

In a June petition, Morrisey asked the court to prohibit enforcement of a legal opinion by two state entities saying his office's lawyers can't serve as assistant prosecutors.

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Investigation
1:32 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

WV DEP Doesn't Know Source of Sheen on Kanawha River, Says It's Not Harmful

Credit Anthony Lewis / WSAZ

Updated on Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014 at 5:17 p.m.

WCHS-TV reports that DEP spokeswoman Kelley Gillenwater said the agency's emergency response unit checked out the sheen, and believes it is possible it came from a boat, but the agency likely will never know the source for certain.

The DEP doesn't believe the sheen poses any threat to the public, according to their report.

Gillenwater told West Virginia Public Broadcasting that the nearest public drinking water intake is in Huntington along the Ohio River.

Original Post from Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014 at 1:32 p.m.

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection is investigating an oily substance on the Kanawha River, according to WSAZ-TV.

The Charleston television news station reports Kanawha County Emergency Management Director C.W. Sigman says the origin of the substance--and how much of it is present--is currently unknown. 

Sigman says the substance spans the length of the boat dock at Haddad Riverfront Park in Charleston and there isn't enough of the substance to require a full remediation effort. 

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Healthcare
12:51 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

West Virginia's Uninsured Dropped 3.5 Percent in 2013

Credit U.S. Census Bureau

  Both West Virginia and Virginia saw modest decreases in the number of uninsured residents last year.

The U.S. Census Bureau report released Tuesday shows the number of uninsured people in West Virginia dropped from 264,000 in 2012 to 255,000 last year - about 3.5 percent. Virginia's dropped from 1 million in 2012 to 991,000 last year - about 1 percent.

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Chemical Spill
10:24 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Hearing for Elk River Chemical Spill Lawsuit Set for Sept. 2015

  A lawsuit against a water company, chemical producer, airport and others over a January chemical spill won't get a hearing for another year.

The consolidated lawsuit that targets West Virginia American Water, Eastman Chemical, Yeager Airport and others has a hearing for a motion on class certification on Sept. 25, 2015.

Judge John Copenhaver filed the schedule earlier this month in U.S. District Court in Charleston.

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