Government

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Members of the House of Delegates have voted down a bill to overhaul the state’s tax system.

The bill was the key to the governor’s plan to balance the 2018 budget and died on a 59-36 vote Thursday evening.

Wikimedia commons / Brandon W. Holmes

The Wheeling City Council is considering an ordinance that would establish a three-story minimum building height for new structures in the downtown district.

City council members heard the first reading of the ordinance during a meeting Tuesday. Officials say the requirement would only apply to new buildings and doesn't address the 10-story maximum height restriction.

West Virginia Rep. Evan Jenkins says the spending bill passed Wednesday by the House will increase investments in Appalachia and help with economic development in the mining communities hurt by the downturn in the coal industry.

The bill will include permanent funding for about 22,000 retired miners and widows' health care.

West Virginia residents recovering from last summer's floods can explore available resources at a meeting in White Sulphur Springs.

The meeting will be held Thursday evening at the White Sulphur Springs Civic Center.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we'll hear more from eighth-grade students at Wheeling Middle School who teamed up with Northern Panhandle Bureau Chief Glynis Board to report and produce stories and commentaries about the issues that affect them the most.

We'll also hear an update from The Ohio Valley ReSource about an effort in Congress to save retired miners' benefits.

Jesse Wright

Governor Jim Justice has not included a budget bill on his call for a special session set to begin Thursday.

Justice’s office released the call that includes five bills Wednesday afternoon.

Capitol Dome, Capitol, Legislature
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Tax collections for the state missed estimates once again in April, according to the state’s revenue secretary.

Secretary Dave Hardy said on a conference call with reporters Wednesday that tax collections came in nearly $60 million below estimates last month. That puts the state $160 million behind estimates for the 2017 fiscal year that ends June 30.

Marshall University
Wikipedia / en.wikipedia.org

Marshall University has begun taking steps to increase security measures around campus after a survey revealed students felt less safe walking outside at night.

The university has begun a series of on-campus improvements in response to a survey conducted earlier in the academic year in which 40 percent of students said they felt unsafe walking at night. The survey results and changes follow five armed robberies across the street from the main campus between October 2016 and April 2017.

David Benbennick / wikimedia commons

The Boone County school board has voted to eliminate the equivalent of 58 positions for the next school year.

Boone schools Superintendent Jeff Huffman said Monday's vote meant 58 "full-time equivalent" positions are being cut. The move comes as Huffman says the school system's revenue is expected to drop about $5 million from this fiscal year to next.

West Virginia Governor's Office

Environmentalists are urging Gov. Jim Justice to limit the special legislative session starting Thursday to budget issues and not recently passed but conflicting legislation that would raise pollution limits.

The West Virginia Rivers Coalition and 13 other organizations say the conflicting language indicates the lack of careful scrutiny by lawmakers and that the industry-backed bills passed despite strong public opposition.

The West Virginia Department of Education plans to hold a series of meetings 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.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear from Wheeling Middle School students who worked with Northern Panhandle Bureau Chief Glynis Board to record stories and commentaries about standardized testing and the arts.

We'll also hear more from Inside Appalachia's recent episode about opioid addiction and the Veterans Administration.

College Class, Lecture Hall
Xbxg32000 / wikimedia commons

A report says more high school graduates in West Virginia pursued a college education last year.

The report released Tuesday by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and West Virginia Community and Technical College System found 266 more students attended college compared with 2015.

Federal mine safety officials are warning mine operators about several on-the-job deaths this year of miners who were working alone.

The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration says five miners have died while working alone since the year began. Two of those deaths occurred in coal mines, and the others were at non-metal mines.

Gas Pump
Officer / Wikimedia Commons

West Virginia's attorney general has sent a letter to gas stations and convenience stores across the state asking for information on ways to raise awareness and prevention among businesses and consumers against skimming credit and debit card information.

In the letter, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey says the request is not part of any investigation into their businesses but seeks input.

Fotolia DollarPhoto Club

West Virginia lawmakers say the new congressional spending plan contains a permanent extension of health care benefits for more than 22,000 retired miners and widows whose medical coverage is set to expire this month.

Republican Rep. Evan Jenkins and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin say it's in the $1 trillion-plus spending bill to fund most federal operations through September.

A West Virginia school district wants a federal lawsuit over its “Bible in the Schools” program dismissed.

The Bluefield Daily Telegraph reports that Mercer County schools filed the motion in Bluefield federal court.

Legislature
Perry Bennett / WV Legislative Photography

Newly signed laws are intended to extend broadband internet service to parts of West Virginia lacking it and help the state better prepare for major flooding.

The broadband measure says it's a primary goal of the Legislature and governor to make every community and rural area accessible and establish equitable access to 21st-century technology.

It establishes a council to gather data on existing service, including internet speeds, and annually map them.

Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia

The West Virginia Supreme Court has ruled that a video of the cell extraction of an inmate at the Western Regional Jail cannot be made public, reversing a Kanawha County judge's ruling.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that the justices ruled Wednesday that footage of flash-bang grenades thrown inside inmate Shane Marcum's cell reveals the facility's design and operational procedures. The 20-page opinion authored by Justice Robin Davis says the release is thus prohibited under state law.

Marshall University
Wikipedia / en.wikipedia.org

Marshall University's Board of Governors has adopted four potential proposals in anticipation of funding cuts from the state.

Each of the plans accepted Wednesday will use tuition hikes to compensate for about 60 percent of the cuts and will reduce university spending to account for the other 40 percent. 

Pages