Government

Broadband Lawsuit
Bidgee / wikimedia commons

Federal authorities say Frontier Communications overcharged West Virginia for $4.7 million of federal grant money in the $126 million project to extend broadband internet to underserved regions of the state.

The Office of Inspector General cites reimbursements for $465,000 for invoice processing fees as "unreasonable" and at least $4.24 million in "unallowable" indirect charges for overhead and administrative expenses.

Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia

Two justices on West Virginia's highest court have published strongly worded dissents criticizing the Supreme Court majority for dismissing medical malpractice lawyers' lawsuit claiming they paid too much for their client's medical records.

HealthPort Technologies on behalf of Charleston Area Medical Center charged them $4,463 or 55 cents per page copied, plus sales tax and shipping.

Nicholas County
David Benbennick / Wikimedia Commons

School board members in a West Virginia county ravaged by the 2016 floods have voted to take legal action to contest the state board's rejection of a plan to consolidate five schools onto one campus.

The Nicholas County Board of Education made the decision Wednesday after the state Board of Education voted 7-1 Tuesday to reject the county's proposed consolidation plan.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the battle over the state's budget continues at the Capitol. Ashton Marra brings us the latest from Thursday's late-night legislative session.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Members of the Senate have approved a budget for the upcoming fiscal year -- for a second time this week.

 

The bill they approved Tuesday contains no new revenue for 2018 and makes major cuts to both higher education and Medicaid in order to find a balance, but the new version of the budget bill approved Thursday night is accompanied by yet another tax reform bill that now has bi-partisan support in the state’s upper chamber.

The West Virginia Department of Education plans a series of public meetings starting next week as it develops a state replacement plan for the No Child Left Behind Act.

States must submit their plans this year to the U.S. Department of Education on the Every Student Succeeds Act, which was signed into law in December 2015 and replaces No Child Left Behind. The state Department of Education's plan will be submitted in September.

Nicholas County
David Benbennick / Wikimedia Commons

School board members in a West Virginia county ravaged by the 2016 floods have voted to take legal action to contest the state board's rejection of a plan to consolidate five schools onto one campus.

The Register-Herald reports the West Virginia Board of Education voted 7-1 on Tuesday to reject Nicholas County's proposed change to the Comprehensive Education Facilities Plan.

Flickr / davidwilson1949

West Virginia has restricted a union at hospitals after it called for the ousting of the state health and human resources department secretary.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the state bureau for behavioral health and facilities informed the West Virginia Public Workers Union, UE Local 170, on June 8 that out of respect for patients, residents and visitors' privacy, it would no longer be allowed to set up tables at certain facilities. Since 2008, the union has organized in front lobbies and break rooms of public hospitals and health care facilities to sign up employees, distribute information and address grievances.

West Virginia's U.S. senators say the state will get $11.6 million in federal funding for its wildlife programs.

According to Sens. Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito, the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources will receive $8.1 million for wildlife restoration and $3.5 million for sport fish restoration from the U.S. Department of the Interior.

cityofhuntington.com

West Virginia's U.S. senators say the state's housing programs will get more than $28 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Sens. Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito say the money will enable communities to improve public housing and help some of the state's most vulnerable people get access to safe and stable living conditions.

West Virginia Governor's Office

Gov. Jim Justice said Wednesday the budget proposals being considered in both the House and Senate are wrong for West Virginia and will result in major cuts that hurt vulnerable citizens, but with a deadline to approve a budget in time to avoid a government shutdown quickly approaching, Justice said he would consider signing the budget sent to him. 

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Wednesday, members of the House of Delegates approved their own version of a budget for the upcoming 2018 fiscal year—a budget that, much like the one approved earlier in the week in the Senate, does not include any new revenue from various tax reform measures debated between the two chambers for weeks.

Instead, the House used the increased revenue estimate sent this week by Gov. Jim Justice’s Office to members of the Senate as the base for its $4.225 billion budget.

gavel
wikimedia / Wikimedia

A pharmaceuticals distributor has asked a federal judge to dismiss lawsuits filed by six West Virginia counties over the opioid crisis, arguing that they were filed too late and the matter was already addressed in a state suit.

Cardinal Health says the counties were on notice in 2012, when then-Attorney General Darrell McGraw sued the company, alleging it flooded the state with painkillers.

Its 1,700-foot arch made it the longest single-span arch bridge in the world.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / New River Gorge, Fayette County, Fayette Station Road

West Virginia University and the state Department of Health and Human Resources have provided park rangers at New River Gorge National River with overdose rescue kits.

The university says in the last decade, there have been five overdoses at the park, none of them fatal. More than a million people visit annually.

Cash Money
Psychonaught / Wikimedia Commons

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History has set a Sept. 1 deadline for applications for the second round of cultural facilities grants open to nonprofit arts and history groups and municipal agencies including school boards.

Grants can be used for renovation, construction and acquisition of property, including modifications to accommodate disabled individuals, for projects that will be completed between Oct. 1 and June 30, 2018.

Guidelines are posted online.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

After yet another day of back and forth between the House and Senate, Speaker Tim Armstead says lawmakers are now close to an agreement on the 2018 budget.

And that agreement could likely come without the passage of any tax reform measures. 

Ibrahim.ID / wikimedia Commons

An award-winning Marshall University professor has admitted his role in a kickback scheme that included former West Virginia Division of Highways engineers.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports 38-year-old Andrew P. Nichols pleaded guilty to a count of conspiracy to impede the IRS on Monday.

syringe, needles
wikimedia commons

A needle exchange program designed to curb the spread of disease and help addicts overcome their substance abuse is seeking funding.

The Bluefield Daily Telegraph reports Community Connection Executive Director Greg Puckett is seeking grant funding for needle exchanges in Mercer County.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Gov. Jim Justice is pushing a slightly tweaked tax reform and budget plan at the Capitol. The governor held a press conference to share the concessions he says he’s made in the proposal that aims to lower the state’s personal income tax and increase the consumer sales tax rates.

Natural Gas, Compressor Station
Glen Dillon / wikimedia Commons

West Virginia's U.S. senators have introduced legislation intended to help establish a major natural gas storage and distribution hub in the Appalachian region.

 

Their legislation would designate it a "critical energy infrastructure" project, which they say would make it eligible for expedited federal permits.

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