Government

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

 Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has signed a bill expanding some access of public records, while eliminating public disclosure of who owns concealed carry permits.

The Democrat approved the legislation Wednesday.

Courtesy Photo

The Commission on Presidential Debates released Wednesday the list of cities who have applied to host one of four debates in 2016. 

http://www.edline.net/pages/oak_glen_high_school

Police in North Carolina say a West Virginia high school baseball team won't be charged for a kidnapping prank.

Lt. Patrick O'Toole with the High Point Police Department tells media outlets that a motorist on reported seeing someone in a pickup truck on Interstate 74 waving frantically, with tape on their hands and mouth.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

More than 150 individuals gathered in Charleston this week for a meeting that was the first of its kind.

Hosted by the Catholic Diocese of Wheeling Charleston, the day long conference brought together the state Division of Juvenile Services, Department of Health and Human Resources and the Department of Education with religious and community social service programs to focus on an issue that’s becoming more and more visible in West Virginia: transitioning juveniles from state custody back into their communities. 

Freedom Industries
AP

Federal prosecutors say two ex-Freedom Industries officials have agreed to testify for the government in two remaining chemical spill cases.

In Charleston federal court filings Tuesday, prosecutors wrote that plea agreements with William Tis and Charles Herzing say they're willing to provide testimony in the cases against fellow ex-Freedom officials Gary Southern and Dennis Farrell.

West Virginia Regional Jails

A corrections official has been named interim executive director of the West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority.

Military Affairs and Public Safety Secretary Joe Thornton announced David Farmer's appointment on Tuesday.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Freedom Industries has signed a Voluntary Remediation Agreement with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection following the January 2014 spill of crude MCHM that tainted the water supply of 300,000 West Virginians for days. The agreement is part of the Freedom’s acceptance into the DEP’s Voluntary Remediation Program, including clean up the site.

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Mercer County Airport plans to begin construction this summer on a taxiway realignment.

Airport manager Clinton Ransom tells the Bluefield Daily Telegraph that a portion of the taxiway will be removed so that a new taxiway intersection can be placed on runway 5. A similar realignment was done in 2014 for runway 2-3.

West Virginia students will take a new online standardized test this year that's based on the national Common Core standards.

The testing window for the Smarter Balanced Assessment begins next week and runs through June 24. Counties and schools will set their own testing schedules.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Overall, West Virginia continues to see a decline in population since 2012. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that, while the state's population grew from 2010 (1,854,176)  to 2012 (1,856,313) the state has seen a drop-off in consecutive years since--with the last estimate from July 1, 2014 putting West Virginia's population at 1,850,326.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Citing technical errors, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has vetoed a bill letting public entities accept private donations to display the phrase "In God We Trust" on their buildings.

The bill would have required the State Building Commission to develop guidelines for displaying the national motto and the POW-MIA flag.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed two education bills Thursday, one meant to give some teachers a pay raise and another to put some restrictions on the state Board of Education when they take over a county school system.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has signed a bill that would scale back the Above Ground Storage Tank Act and lessen the number of tanks under state scrutiny.

The 2014 law was approved after a chemical leak tainted the drinking water supply for 300,000 people in the Kanawha Valley.

A Kentucky man has been charged in West Virginia with defrauding the federal Veteran's Affairs Disability Compensation Program.

Senator Shelley Moore Capito, along with other federal representatives, introduced legislation that would reauthorize the Appalachian Regional Commission. The announcement comes on the heels of a report evaluating the progress of the Commission after 50 years.

West Virginia State Police

West Virginia State Police have captured a Pennsylvania man who escaped from a state psychiatric hospital.

State police say 30-year-old Rocco Zuccaro of Burgettstown, Pennsylvania, was found late Wednesday night hiding in tall grass near a natural gas facility in the McWhorter area of Harrison County.

Courtesy Photo

A coalition of West Virginia groups is working to bring a presidential or vice presidential debate to the state’s capital city. 

The West Virginia Commission on Presidential Debates has spent the past six months putting together an application hundreds of pages in length detailing why Charleston is the perfect place for a 2016 debate.

Freedom Industries
AP

 Lawyers for businesses and people affected by a massive chemical spill last year say a settlement to fund community projects is no longer being considered.

In June 2014, lawyers for groups affected by the Freedom Industries spill proposed the money go toward projects benefitting the public, like health monitoring or more water testing.

Office of Governor Earl Ray Tomblin

Kanawha County will provide free appraisals of property damaged by a landslide at Yeager Airport.

Yeager says the County Commission has hired Jay Goldman and Associates to conduct the appraisals. Settlement offers will be made to residents based on the appraisals.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Freedom Industries hosted a public meeting Tuesday night in a small room in the Charleston Civic Center to provide updates on the remediation of the site of the spill. Last January a coal-scrubbing chemical leaked from a 40,000 gallon storage tank next to the Elk River contaminated the drinking water of 300,000 West Virginians.  

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