Government

Voting
WBOY

West Virginia has narrowed the restriction on political signs and other electioneering to 100 feet of a voting side.

The change has been approved by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Jim Justice.

Testing
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West Virginia has authorized its county school boards to offer virtual school, where students in kindergarten through high school can learn online.

Under the law approved by the Legislature and Gov. Jim Justice, a county board or a multi-county consortium can create a virtual instruction program and contract with online education providers starting July 1.

Daryl Cowles
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Eastern Panhandle lawmakers met for a Legislative Wrap-Up panel in Martinsburg Thursday, and figuring out the 2018 state budget was at the forefront of lawmakers’ minds.

Dollar Photo Club

West Virginia is establishing a new Office of Drug Control Policy to coordinate statewide funding, reporting and data about drug use, overdoses, addiction treatment, needs and statewide policy.

The law approved by the Legislature and Gov. Jim Justice requires health care providers, pharmacies, medical examiners, police, prosecutors and emergency responders to report suspected or actual overdoses, medical treatments, use of overdose antidotes and drug poisoning deaths.

tanning bed
SlimVirgin / Wikimedia Commons

West Virginia has outlawed indoor tanning by anyone under 18.

The law approved by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Jim Justice says tanning facility owners face a misdemeanor charge and $100 fine for a first offense.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Gov. Jim Justice has signed a law ending a doctor's ability to waive the legal requirement to notify parents of an underage daughter's abortion.

It allows only a judge to waive parental notification.

Steward Butler
AP Photo/Chris Tilley

The state's Supreme Court has heard arguments on whether a former Marshall University football player should be charged with a hate crime under West Virginia law.

The court heard arguments Tuesday to determine if Steward Butler should be charged with a hate crime in connection with a 2015 attack on two men seen kissing.

Wayne County
David Benbennick / wikimedia commons

The Wayne County Board of Education has decided to eliminate 84 jobs to balance the budget.

The board made the cuts at a special meeting Tuesday to account for a multi-million dollar shortfall. The cuts will consolidate and eliminate positions.

Baby Bear
The Photographer / Wikimedia Commons

West Virginia's Division of Natural Resources is urging people to avoid getting close to young wildlife for the welfare of the animals and themselves.

Tyler Evans, a wildlife biologist, says handling baby animals leaves behind a human scent that may attract predators and potentially exposes people to wildlife-borne diseases and parasites like rabies, ticks and lice.

Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia

West Virginia's highest court has rejected the appeal of a Pennsylvania man convicted of murdering a West Virginia man and sentenced to life in prison without parole.

The Supreme Court says the trial judge correctly denied the attempt by Rocco Zuccaro, of Burgettstown, to raise allegations that 30-year-old Jason Pratz sold guns and drugs, exposing him to unknown dangerous people who killed him.

Ibrahim.ID / wikimedia Commons

A 42-year-old West Virginia man has pleaded guilty to felony assault, admitting that last year he hit a state Senate candidate, who suffered broken bones to his face and was later elected.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that Jonathan Porter of Holden entered the plea Wednesday.

Fotolia DollarPhoto Club

West Virginia's Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin says the Senate backs permanently extending health benefits for more than 22,000 retired miners and widows whose medical coverage is set to expire after April.

Manchin says Wednesday the permanent fix will be included in the Senate measure to continue government funding with a vote likely Friday.

Prison Bars
Schavda / wikimedia Commons

Gov. Jim Justice has signed new laws to criminalize "revenge porn" and to establish a mechanism for reducing criminal records for non-violent felonies down to misdemeanors.

The new crime laws are among dozens of measures the governor has signed so far this week following the Legislature's 60-day regular session.

Woodburn Hall
http://history.wvu.edu/r/images/homepage/13223

Gov. Jim Justice has signed a law revamping state oversight of West Virginia's colleges and universities, giving some schools more autonomy from West Virginia's Higher Education Policy Commission.

Institutions exempted from certain regulatory requirements are West Virginia University, including West Virginia University Potomac State College and West Virginia University Institute of Technology, Marshall University and the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine.

Pipestem Resort
Bitmapped / wikimedia commons

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has stopped a pilot project to start charging entrance fees at seven West Virginia state parks and forests.

Justice called the decision to charge a $2 daily fee starting Memorial Day weekend an error made without his approval.

wikimedia Commons / Psychonaught

Officials are adding up the numbers after 14 people overdosed from a bad batch of heroin in one day.

Mason County Emergency Medical Services responded to 20 overdoses in total last week.

Wheeling Island Stadium
Wehwalt / Wikimedia Commons

The Ohio County Board of Education has voted to move ahead with a repair project at Wheeling Island Stadium.

The board cast a 5-0 vote to accept bids Monday after M&G Architects and Engineers provided an analysis of the building.

Flood, Elkview
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Construction is expected to start this week on a replacement for a flooded-out bridge leading to a mall in Elkview, West Virginia.

The Kanawha County Commission says in a news release Tuesday that construction on the culvert bridge at the Crossings Mall is expected to begin Thursday and should be completed in about two months.

Legislature
Perry Bennett / WV Legislative Photography

Nearly two weeks after West Virginia's Democratic governor vetoed the state budget approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature, negotiations have yet to resolve disagreements on tax changes and spending cuts.

However, Gov. Jim Justice says he'll call legislators back to a special budget session "soon."

Jan Rader Pinning Cermony
City of Huntington Facebook

Huntington has hired the first full time female fire chief in the state of West Virginia.

Jan Rader is the first woman in the state to lead a professional fire department. The one-time gemologist, who worked at a jewelry store in Washington, D.C. didn’t see this day coming.

Rader said one day while working in the Jewelry store, a woman had a heart attack and she couldn’t help. She said thankfully two women in the store were there and helped the woman. From there, Rader said her feelings on life changed and she wanted to help people.

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