Government

  An Ohio man who sold heroin laced with an elephant tranquilizer that caused more than two dozen overdoses in West Virginia has been sentenced to more than 18 years in federal prison.

Twenty-two-year-old Bruce Lamar Griggs, of Akron, was sentenced Monday in federal court in Huntington.

Bike Lanes
Magnus Manske / Wikimedia Commons

Construction has started for the city of Charleston's long awaited bicycle lanes.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the bicycle lanes will stretch along Kanawha Boulevard.

Boone County
David Benbennick / wikimedia commons

A county school board member in West Virginia being investigated for embezzlement has resigned.

Danny Cantley had served on the Boone County school board for more than two decades.

@yeagerairport / Twitter

Yeager Airport officials have submitted emergency infrastructure proposal to the West Virginia Department of Transportation, calling for the installation of a new system to stop planes that overshoot the end of the runway.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that the $14 million plan for a new Engineered Materials Arresting System is intended to be an interim safety project in advance of a $175 million long-term plan to lengthen the runway from 6,802 feet to 8,000 feet and add safety overrun space.

Doctor's Exam Room
Tinton5 / Wikimedia Commons

Physician assistants are urging Gov. Jim Justice to withdraw his veto of legislation that would revise their scope of practice in West Virginia and authorize they work in collaboration rather than under supervision of a doctor.

The bill approved by the Legislature would have removed the requirement that physician assistants maintain current certifications from the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants.

Flood, Elkview
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A federal bankruptcy judge has approved a financing plan to allow the reconstruction of a washed-out bridge leading to Crossings Mall in Elkview, West Virginia.

Local outlets report the mall has been closed since a flood washed away the culvert bridge in June 2016. Dozens of businesses have closed and more than 500 people are out of work.

Evzio Naloxone Auto-injector
Clark Davis / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

  A new state law authorizes school nurses and other trained and authorized personnel at West Virginia schools to administer drugs to counteract opioid overdoses by students without having to first contact parents.

The bill passed unanimously by the House and Senate and signed by Gov. Jim Justice comes as West Virginia recorded 844 overdose deaths last year, more than 700 involving at least one opioid such as heroin, fentanyl or prescription painkillers.

Perry Bennet / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Gov. Jim Justice has vetoed the budget bill lawmakers approved early Sunday morning.

The bill relies on $90 million from the state’s Rainy Day Fund to find a balance and Justice said signing it would be like signing the state’s death certificate.

Jan Rader - Huntington Fire Chief
City of Huntington Facebook

Jan Rader has become the first female professional firefighter to attain the rank of fire chief in West Virginia after being sworn in as Huntington fire chief Wednesday.

The Herald-Dispatch reports Rader has served in the Huntington Fire Department for 22 years. She had been interim fire chief since December, upon her predecessor's resignation.

Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

  Gov. Jim Justice has vetoed legislation that would revise the scope of practice for physician assistants in West Virginia and authorize them to work in collaboration with a doctor rather than under their supervision.

The bill approved by the Legislature also would have removed the requirement that physician assistants maintain current certifications from the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants.

Jail Cell
Evad37 / Wikimedia Commons

West Virginia corrections officials have announced intensive training for an initial class of guards on ways to safely defuse incidents involving mentally ill inmates.

Using a federal grant, the Division of Corrections says the 40-hour class for crisis intervention teams is adapted from the Memphis Model.

Arthunter / wikimedia commons

The West Virginia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and city residents have expressed concern over a new Weirton ordinance that creates a criminal charge for those under the influence of drugs in public.

The Intelligencer reports the city council passed the law through an emergency reading in March. The ACLU chapter sent a letter April 6 and residents approached the council Monday.

Freedom Industries
AP

A chemical manufacturer is suing a county commission over an ordinance that it says is an illegal attempt to recover money more than three years after a spill that contaminated the drinking water supply in nine West Virginia counties.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports Eastman Chemical Company filed a lawsuit last Friday against the Lincoln County Commission and three prosecutors who they say drafted the regulatory measure in conflict of interest. It was passed last month.

Brian Turner

A former analyst for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has filed an appeal after being sentenced to 1 ½ years in federal prison for making a gun silencer in his home.

Forty-six-year-old Jonathan L. Wienke pleaded guilty to one count of violating the National Firearms Act. He had been found in possession of a loaded .22-caliber revolver at his workplace in Washington last year, prompting federal officials to search his West Virginia home.

Joe Manchin
Jesse Wright / WV Public Broadcasting

West Virginia's Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin has scheduled a series of constituent visits around the state over the next two weeks to discuss current state and national issues.

According to the senator's office, they include a Town Hall meeting at West Virginia University in Parkersburg on Wednesday.

A former West Virginia University employee has pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $87,000 from the school.

The U.S. attorney's office in Clarksburg said in a news release that 55-year-old Loretta J. Reckart of Bruceton Mills pleaded guilty Monday to theft concerning programs receiving federal funds. Prosecutors said she admitted embezzling while she worked at the university from October 2010 to July 2016.

Portable Classrooms
Steve Morgan / wikimedia commons

After months of sharing a space at Bridge Elementary School, teachers at Bridge and Clendenin Elementary have moved into new portable buildings.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the schools had been sharing a building at Bridge Elementary in Elkview since the June flood destroyed Clendenin Elementary.

I-64 Charleston
Million Moments

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection is taking registrations from volunteers who want to help clean up the state's highways.

The Adopt-A-Highway Statewide Spring Cleanup is scheduled for April 29. Volunteers have until April 21 to register, and they must be at least 12 years old to participate.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

House Bill 2620, creating the West Virginia Drug Overdose Monitoring Act, would provide an office to gather data about the drug epidemic in West Virginia. Senate Judiciary Chair Charles Trump called that office a “hub.”

This would be a tool for the state to track concerns over drug abuse and overdoses throughout the state, as well as connect with other states to determine how they deal with similar concerns. Sen. Mike Woelfel said it is time for the Legislature to solve the problem.

Twitter / @wvgovernor

Gov. Jim Justice has announced he will veto a bill that would have effectively put an end to the greyhound racing industry in West Virginia, according to its supporters. 

Justice traveled to Wheeling to announce the veto of Senate Bill 437 Saturday morning.

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