Government

Vacant Building Revived
9:20 am
Fri August 1, 2014

Huntington Building to Become Home to Appalachian Artists

The former Corbin property has been purchased by the Coalfield Development Corporation.
Credit Lori Wolfe / The Herald-Dispatch

A vacant garment factory in Huntington's Westmoreland neighborhood will be converted into apartments and a work area for artists.Executive director Brandon Dennison of the nonprofit Coalfield Development Corp. says the group bought the former Corbin property from the Wayne County Economic Development Authority.

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News
4:00 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

$1 Million for Four W.Va. Health Centers From Obamacare

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell announced funds for 4 WV health centers Thursday.
Credit wikimedia commons

Four health centers in West Virginia will expand behavioral health services using funds from the Affordable Care Act.

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell announced almost a million dollars in funds from the federal health care act will support and expand services for about 29,000 West Virginians  that seek treatment from those 4 health centers.

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Mine Safety
10:21 am
Thu July 31, 2014

W.Va. Billionaire Facing Hundreds of Mine Violations in Five States

Credit Evan Agostini for The Greenbrier Resort / AP Photo

A West Virginia coal billionaire has more than 250 pending violations at mining operations in Kentucky and four other states.

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Same Sex Marriage
3:57 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Attorney General Asks Judge to Delay W.Va. Gay Marriage Ruling

Credit West Virginia Attorney General's Office

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has asked a judge to postpone ruling on a federal lawsuit challenging West Virginia's same-sex marriage ban until the U.S. Supreme Court reviews a ruling in a similar case in Virginia.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, struck down Virginia's same-sex marriage ban on Monday.

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Energy & Environment
12:50 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

West Virginia, Coal Industry Leaders Attend Pittsburgh Energy Rally

Credit Marcus Constantino (@AMTino) / Charleston Daily Mail

   West Virginia officials joined hundreds of coal miners and coal supporters at an electricity and energy jobs rally.

The Wednesday event at Pittsburgh's Highmark Stadium included Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, Ohio Lt. Governor Mary Taylor, labor leaders and others.

Officials say the rally is aimed at raising awareness over proposed changed to federal rules about pollution discharged by coal-fired power plants.

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Mingo Corruption
12:07 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Ex-W.Va. Judge Reports to Florida Prison

Credit Associated Press

 A former West Virginia judge has reported to a Florida prison to serve his sentence for a corruption conviction.

The Charleston Daily Mail reports ex-Mingo County Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury reported Tuesday to the minimum-security Federal Prison Camp in Pensacola.

Thornsbury was sentenced June 9 to four years and two months in prison. U.S. Judge Thomas E. Johnston compared Thornsbury's abuse of power to what could be expected from a "third-world dictator."

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News
12:01 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

West Virginia Agencies Adding More Art Funding

Credit Ryan Stanton / Flickr

  State officials are adding more funding for grants for West Virginia artists and arts organizations.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History and the West Virginia Commission on the Arts said they are adding a second funding cycle for professional development grants.

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Bankruptcy
11:22 am
Wed July 30, 2014

Deadline Approaches for Claims in W.Va. Chemical Spill

Credit AP

    

Time is running out for residents and businesses affected by a January chemical spill in Charleston to file claims in federal bankruptcy court.

Claims against Freedom Industries, the company responsible for the spill, must be filed by Friday. Forms can be obtained and completed on the court's website.

According to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Charleston, roughly 850 claims were on the register as of Wednesday morning. The total amount listed for those claims is more than $21 million.

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Government
9:08 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

W.Va. Attorney General Sues Obama Over Health Care Law Fixes

Credit Janet Kunicki / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

  West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is suing President Barack Obama's administration over allegations of hand-picking which laws to follow.

The Republican's lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday.

The filing by Solicitor General Elbert Lin targets an Obama administrative fix to let some people temporarily keep unqualified plans under the Affordable Care Act.

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Regulations
4:11 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Speaker to Governor: Spill Law Should Exempt Small Oil, Gas

Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia House Speaker Tim Miley wants Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to limit regulation on small oil and gas operators in a law responding to a January chemical spill.

In a July 9 letter, Miley said small, non-Marcellus Shale wells are in "survival mode" and should be exempt from new aboveground tank inspections and registrations.

He says inspections could cost $2,000 per well annually.

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Protest
4:03 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

W.Va. DHHR Workers to Picket Over Large Caseloads

  West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources employees are picketing outside the agency's Fayette County office to raise awareness over what they call large, unmanageable caseloads.

The employees say they'll participate in an informational picketing on Tuesday afternoon. The West Virginia Public Workers Union says employees are carrying the large, unmanageable because of understaffing.

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Tunnel Fire
3:05 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Repairs Set for I-77 Tunnel Along W.Va.-Va. Border

Credit Google Maps

 Update Wednesday July 30, 2014:

Crews completed the needed repairs on Tuesday night so East River Mountain Tunnel will remain open Wednesday night. The West Virginia Division of Highways has been advised that the Virginia Department of Transportation was able to complete its repairs overnight. There will be no need for the closure this evening. The northbound tunnel will remain open.

  Some lanes of an Interstate 77 tunnel along the Virginia-West Virginia border where a truck fire occurred are being rerouted for repairs.

The northbound lanes of the East River Mountain Tunnel will be closed from 8 p.m. Tuesday through 8 a.m. Wednesday, and from 8 p.m. Wednesday through 7 a.m. Thursday.

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News
10:14 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Veterans Crisis Center Coming to Clarksburg

Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center
Credit U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs / http://www.clarksburg.va.gov/

The long delays for veterans seeking medical care at VA hospitals have prompted The American Legion to plan a short-term crisis center in Clarksburg.

The veterans' organization will open a "crisis command center" at the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center on Aug. 5 and 6. A town hall meeting is set for Aug. 4 at American Legion Post 31 in Shinnston.

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Water Safety
9:32 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Secondary Intake Proposal Calls for Mountaintop Lake in Charleston

Credit Foo Conner / Flickr

  Two men have submitted a proposal calling for a mountaintop lake in Charleston that would serve as a backup drinking water source.

The proposal by Fred Stottlemyer and Joe Mullins seeks construction of an earthen dam to create an 800 million-gallon lake at Coonskin Park.

Stottlemyer is former public service district general manager. Mullins was an urban planner in the governor's office in the 1960s.

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Chemical Spill
9:22 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Freedom Industries Pays $11,000 Fine For January Spill

Credit Aaron Payne / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

  A company that spilled chemicals into West Virginia's largest water supply has paid an $11,000 fine for a pair of violations.

The Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined Freedom Industries $7,000 earlier this month for keeping storage tanks containing crude MCHM behind a diked wall that was not liquid tight.

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Settlement Reached
2:49 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

W.Va.'s Attorney General Announces a $950k Settlement with 3 Financial Groups

Credit West Virginia Attorney General's Office

West Virginia's attorney general has reached a $950,000 settlement with three companies over allegations of antitrust law violations.

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced the deal Monday. GE Funding Capital Market Services, Trinity Plus Funding Co., and Trinity Funding Co. were among 22 financial companies sued in 2009 by previous Attorney General Darrell McGraw.
 

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Same Sex Marriage
1:59 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

How Does The 4th Circuit Court's Gay Marriage Decision Affect West Virginia?

The U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va.
Credit Sean McCormick

In a historic move, a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

The decision was celebrated by pro-LGBT advocates in other states in the circuit, including West Virginia, but even they say it will take time before the decision impacts gay couples in the state.

As of now, 20 states and the District of Columbia issue licenses for same sex marriage. Many other states, districts and circuits are currently dealing with the issue in the court system.

The Decision:

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Contract Decision
11:10 am
Mon July 28, 2014

W.Va. Judge Lets IMG Deal with WVU Stand

Credit Swimmerguy269 / wikimedia Commons

A judge has denied a motion by West Virginia Radio Corp. to toss the media rights contract between West Virginia University and IMG College.

Monongalia County circuit judge Thomas Evans on Thursday set aside the motion for summary judgment against WVU and others.
 

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Public Education
11:00 am
Mon July 28, 2014

W.Va. Schools Will Soon Receive A Through F Grades

Credit Cecelia Mason

The process of implementing a new performance-based system for accrediting the state's public schools will begin in September.

The Dominion Post reports the state Office of Educational Performance Audits will conduct on-site reviews in each of Monongalia County's public schools in mid-September. Schools across the state will be reviewed over the next two years.
 

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Transportation
2:59 pm
Sat July 26, 2014

Two Firefighters Treated After W.Va.-Va. Tunnel Blaze

Credit Google Maps

A tractor-trailer fire filled an Interstate 77 tunnel with black smoke, backed up traffic for miles and sent two West Virginia firefighters to a hospital.

The Bluefield Daily Telegraph reports that the fire in the East River Mountain Tunnel near West Virginia's border with Virginia was extinguished by 5:50 p.m. Friday, more than 2 1/2 hours after it was reported. 

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