Government

Pipeline ready for construction.
Seth Perlman / Associated Press

West Virginia's U.S. senators are urging federal officials to consider building a major natural gas storage and distribution hub in the Appalachian region.

In a letter Thursday to National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, the senators say the White House should examine "the numerous benefits" of putting a world-class natural gas liquid-storage and distribution hub in the region with growing but still underutilized reserves of underground natural gas.

Cecelia Mason / WV Public Radio

The state Department of Agriculture is seeking nominations for the 2017 West Virginia Women in Agriculture awards.

The department says in a news release that nominations are being accepted through June 1. It is open to women who have made significant contributions in state agriculture, forestry or specialty crops.

Fayette County Map
David Benbennick / wikimedia commons

Fayette County would close several existing school buildings under a plan approved by the county Board of Education.

The board agreed on the plan Tuesday to close schools, transfer students and reconfigure grade levels to reduce the number of public schools from 18 to 11. Most of the closings involve elementary schools.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear about how a $3 million prize for being America’s “Best City” could change Huntington’s future for the better. We also hear from statehouse reporter Ashton Marra about Gov. Jim Justice’s push for a budget plan.

The Poetry Break podcast provides its monthly dose of literature as well.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear about the ongoing budget negotiations at the Capitol. Democratic Gov. Jim Justice is asking for support for his plan to fix the budget, in the face of opposition from lawmakers, including members of his own party.

John Benson/ ibrn4381

West Virginia wildlife officials say hunters killed 11,539 turkeys this spring, up 11 percent from last year.

The Division of Natural Resources says that's the largest harvest since 2006.

Doctor, medicine
sudok1 / Dollar Photo Club

A research group that examines how government policies affect low-income Americans says the latest proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act will particularly hurt rural communities including those in West Virginia.

The Washington-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities says the House-passed replacement for "Obamacare" would effectively end its Medicaid expansion under which 76,900 rural West Virginians gained medical coverage. The program is almost entirely federally funded.

Slick-o-bot / wikimedia Commons

West Virginia's deputy state schools superintendent has announced her retirement as the state superintendent eliminates another position.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports Cindy Daniel's retirement is effective May 31. Her announcement comes as state Superintendent Steve Paine revealed the chief of staff position will not be filled following Jill Newman's resignation last month.

Perry Bennet / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The Senate has approved a bill that would drastically restructure the state’s tax code in the hopes of balancing the budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

The plan has the support of Senate Republicans and Democratic Gov. Jim Justice, who switched parties before announcing his bid for the office. The bill is, however, losing its previous support from Democrats and will meet some serious opposition in the House.

Blankenship Trial
Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Former Massey CEO Don Blankenship has asked President Donald Trump to resist attempts in Congress to enhance criminal penalties for coal executives who violate mine safety and health standards.

Blankenship, who recently was freed from federal prison, also asked the president in a letter Tuesday to re-examine a federal investigation into the nation's worst coal mining disaster in four decades.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear what lawmakers are doing to address the lack of a state budget during a special session that started Monday morning.

We also hear about a road project in southern West Virginia that some residents there hope will bring economic opportunity.

Grandview
Mackensen / Wikimedia Commons

The National Park Service is looking for volunteers to staff the small visitor center this summer in the Grandview area of the New River Gorge National River.

The Park Service says in a news release that volunteers can either work a full shift per week for the entire summer or commit to fewer hours. Most work is performed indoors.

Frances Meadows

The West Virginia Department of Agriculture has begun trapping and surveys across the state to detect any new, non-native pests and monitor the impact of native agricultural pests.

According to the department, the aim is to detect specific exotic plant pests, diseases and weeds that are threats to forests and farmlands.

alcoholic beverages
wikimedia / Wikimedia Commons

The city of Princeton is considering a proposed zoning amendment that would allow for expanded alcohol sales. 

Bluefield Daily Telegraph reports the amendment specifically would "permit the licensing of craft beer breweries, pubs, clubs and bars serving alcoholic beverages."

Perry Bennet / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Both the House and Senate gaveled in around 11 am Monday, but without the final version of a new tax reform bill, delayed their action into the afternoon, and then into Tuesday.

Senate President Mitch Carmichael said the legislation was sent by the Governor’s Office to bill drafting—an arm of the state’s legislative services division—but was in the wrong format and staffers needed additional time.

Sutton Lake Dam
lrh.usace.army.mil

Volunteers are being sought to help clean up Sutton Lake.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says in a news release that trash and debris will be picked up next Saturday.

Bees, Honey, Honey Bees, Geezer Ridge Farm
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Department of Agriculture is offering help for people who spot a swarm of honeybees.

Agriculture Commissioner Kent Leonhardt says bees are an important part of the growing season, and people who spot a swarm on their property are asked to call the agency so the insects can be relocated rather than eradicated.

West Virginia Governor's Office

As members of the West Virginia Legislature return to Charleston Monday to continue their work on the 2018 budget, Gov. Jim Justice has added two bills to the special session call.

The first of those bills is to increase the consumer sales and use tax on motor vehicles. 

The second is bill to allow the governor to furlough state employees in the wake of a financial emergency, or a government shutdown.

Swimmerguy269 / wikimedia Commons

West Virginia University wants to increase its enrollment of international students.

The Dominion Post reports the university recently released a bid request as it seeks companies to help with an overseas marketing effort. Companies have until May 19 to submit bids.

Dept. of Defense

The city of Nitro has unveiled a park in honor of local military veterans.

Media outlets report the town dedicated the Living Memorial Park in celebration of its centennial Saturday. The park includes a statue of a World War I soldier, a fountain, a patriotic mural and more than 300 engraved pavers honoring veterans.

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