Government

Fayette and Mineral counties have been awarded federal funding for Head Start and Early Head Start programs.

The Department of Health and Human Services awarded more than $2 million to Fayette County. Mineral County received about $871,000.

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Work is expected to begin soon on security improvements at the West Virginia Capitol Complex, including installation of a fence surrounding the Governor's Mansion.

The state has awarded a contract worth about $3 million to Wiseman Construction of Charleston for the project.

A former Barboursville pharmacy owner has been sentenced to more than five years in prison for avoiding federal cash reporting requirements.

Thirty-seven-year-old Kofi Ohene Agyekum also will forfeit more than $2 million and a vehicle.

Brian Turner

A former loan officer at The Bank of Romney will spend a year in federal prison for bank fraud.

Kimberly Haslacker had pleaded guilty to bank fraud in May. The 39-year-old Romney resident was sentenced on Monday in U.S District Court in Martinsburg.

Patriot Coal Corp. has issued layoff notices to an unspecified number of workers.

Patriot tells media outlets that the notices issued Monday, known as WARN, are in accordance with the terms of an agreement to sell a majority of its assets to Blackhawk Mining LLC.

Ibrahim.ID / wikimedia Commons

Wheeling Jesuit University has agreed to pay $2.3 million to the federal government to settle claims that it misused grant funding.

U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld II announced the settlement Monday. He said the agreement ends an investigation into allegations that the university misused funds from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the U.S. Department of Labor and the National Science Foundation from 2003 to 2010. A NASA audit led to the allegations.

nsf.gov / National Science Foundation

State officials announced today a $20 million grant from the National Science Foundation to fund research at 3 WV universities. 

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, U.S. Senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito and Congressmen David McKinley, Alex Mooney and Evans Jenkins announced the award for West Virginia’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, referred to as EPSCOR. The money will be used to boost research and upgrade infrastructure at West Virginia University, Marshall University, West Virginia State University and other institutions. EPSCoR is overseen by the state Higher Education Policy Commission’s Division of Science and Research.

Robb Kendrick / National Geographic

West Virginia lawmakers and other state officials are responding to the filing of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power plan.

West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin says he will back a Republican bill cutting off federal aid for Planned Parenthood.

Manchin is a moderate and his decision Monday was not a complete surprise. Even so, Republicans were still expected to lose a Senate vote later Monday to halt federal assistance to the group.

http://www.dhhr.wv.gov/ / DHHR

Patrick Ryan has been named chief executive officer of William R. Sharpe Jr. Hospital.

Department of Health and Human Resources Secretary Karen L. Bowling said Monday that Ryan's appointment is effective Aug. 17.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito is hopeful Congress can approve a long-term funding plan for the nation’s roads and bridges even though senators were forced to approve yet another short-term measure last week. The Senator made a quick stop in Nitro to talk with reporters about the measure Monday.

Members of the U.S. Senate, including Capito and Sen. Joe Manchin, approved a three-year funding bill Thursday that would mean more than $2 billion in road funding for West Virginia over the bill’s duration. 

Senators, however, were forced to also approve a short-term funding expansion through the end of October because members of the House of Representatives had already left town for their August break.

Alpha Natural Resources is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the fourth big coal producer to do so within the last two years.

The company operates about 60 coal mines throughout Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Wyoming.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Shepherd University President Suzanne Shipley came to the school in 2007 after working as Vice President of Academic Affairs at a small university in Baltimore.

Before that, she was a teacher for 20 years at universities in Ohio and then in Arizona, but she says she never imagined working in West Virginia.

Now some 8 years later, Shipley has stepped down from her post to take a new position as president of Midwestern State University in Wichita, Texas.

Gov. Tomblin
Office of the Governor

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin says employers in the state will see an estimated $43 million reduction in workers' compensation premiums in the coming year.

Tomblin says employers have saved more than $323 million since the program was privatized in 2006.

According to the governor, the National Council on Compensation Insurance recently filed a proposed 12.1 percent reduction in workers' compensation loss cost rates with the Offices of the West Virginia Insurance Commissioner. It's the 11th reduction in 11 years.

arturas kerdokas / Dollar Photo Club

West Virginia's Department of Transportation has purchased its second drone.

The Charleston Gazette reports that the $3,500 drone will be used to help provide views of hard-to-reach or inaccessible areas. Department spokeswoman Carrie Bly says it will be used for situations like rockslides and to assess flooding damage.

Cabell-Huntington Hospital

 Cabell-Huntington Hospital is one step closer to acquiring St. Mary’s Medical Center. An antitrust agreement filed by Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s office establishes a series of conditions for the acquisition.

At a news conference Friday, Morrisey said the agreement ensures the merger follows state and federal law while also providing access to affordable health care in the area through economic competition.

National Governors Association

According to a report by the nonprofit groups Trust for American's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, West Virginia has the highest rate of overdose deaths in the country, about 34 for every 100,000 people. The state is working to find ways to reduce those rates, but is not alone in its work. States across the country are grappling with the same problems. 

Oklahoma saw a record number of overdose deaths in 2014, reaching 864 that year. Neighboring Kentucky reported nearly 1,000 in the same year, more than half of which were due to prescription narcotics and heroin.

Metro Property Management

A Morgantown developer and the U.S. Department of Justice have settled a lawsuit that alleged accessibility violations at 23 rental properties.

Under the settlement, Biafora's Inc., doing business as Metro Property Management, will build a new 100-unit apartment complex and retrofit existing properties to bring them into compliance.

Bill Cole
Ashton Marra

A new political committee can raise unlimited amounts of cash to support Bill Cole's Republican bid for governor.

The independent expenditure-only group Accelerate West Virginia formed Tuesday in South Charleston. A news release Thursday announced the group's support of Cole, the state Senate president.

WCHS-TV

Two Huntington children have been injured after a homemade explosive was thrown into their living room.

Christy Cabell tells WCHS-TV that her children were taken to the hospital after a crudely constructed bomb made from a liquor bottle stuffed with fireworks was thrown through their home's window Tuesday night.

Cabell's 13-year-old son needed 13 stitches in his chest. The 2-year-old girl has several cuts on her face.

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