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MAT HAYWARD / Dollar Photo Club

A West Virginia distillery has been awarded a loan to buy more equipment and increase production of its distilled moonshine whiskey and flavored moonshine.

Dried lumber arrives at Gat Creek.  Workers sort through each board by hand.
Jean Snedegar

West Virginia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.4 percent in February.

WorkForce West Virginia says the number of unemployed state residents rose by 100 during the month to 42,200. Total unemployment was up 2,200 over the year.

Updated at 8:20 p.m. ET

The man police had identified as their top suspect in a string of deadly bombings in the Austin, Texas, area made a cellphone recording describing seven bombs he said he had constructed. Investigators discovered the message after the suspect killed himself early Wednesday by triggering an explosion in his car as officers approached the vehicle to make an arrest, police said Wednesday.

Officials identified him as 23-year-old Mark Anthony Conditt, from Pflugerville, Texas, outside Austin.

Unemployment Line
Matt Rourke / Associated Press

Federal funds have been awarded to four West Virginia organizations focused on economic development.

Those four agencies include the Region 7 Planning and Development Council, the Planning and Development Councils in both the Eastern Panhandle and the Mid-Ohio Valley, and the Marshall University Research Corporation. The groups will split an award of $310,000.

Timothy D. Easley / Associated Press file photo

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, or NIOSH, is providing free Black Lung exams in four West Virginia towns.

NIOSH’s Mobile Occupational Safety and Health Units will set up in Ceredo in Wayne County, Delbarton in Mingo County, and Man and Logan in Logan County.

West Virginia forward Esa Ahmad (23) goes to the basket against Notre Dame guard Rex Pflueger (0) and guard Matt Farrell (5) during the first half of a second-round men's college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament, Saturday, March 18, 2017, in Buffalo
Bill Wippert / AP

For the second straight year, a major winter storm has scrambled West Virginia's travel plans for the NCAA Tournament.

About 20 hours after arriving back on campus from the West Coast, the Mountaineers left Tuesday to begin preparations for Friday's Sweet 16 appearance in Boston against old Big East foe Villanova.

voting, voter, voting booth, voting machine
U.S. Department of State

Federal prosecutors in southern West Virginia say multiple agencies are forming a unit to investigate public corruption and suspected violations of campaign and election laws.

U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart and other agencies announced Tuesday the formation of a Public Integrity Special Investigations Unit.

West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins yells from the sideline during the first half of an NCAA Tournament college basketball regional semifinal game against Gonzaga in San Jose, Calif.
Tony Avelar / Associated Press file photo

A winter storm expected to hit the Northeast is forcing at least one college basketball team to alter its travel plans for the third round of the NCAA Tournament.

West Virginia's athletic department announced Monday night the Mountaineers will leave a day early for Boston. WVU says it will depart Morgantown on Tuesday instead of Wednesday.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we explore attempts to finding solutions to the region’s opioid epidemic, and we hear a story from the Ohio Valley ReSource on the potential impacts of tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump walk from Marine One towards Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Monday, March 19, 2018.
Susan Walsh / Associated Press

President Donald Trump’s plan to combat opioid drug addiction calls for stiffer penalties for drug traffickers, including the death penalty where appropriate under current law, a top administration official said. It’s a fate for drug dealers that Trump has been highlighting publicly in recent weeks.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, West Virginia Public Broadcasting had the chance to interview our U.S. senators about the issues facing Congress and the nation. Usually, our reporters come up with the questions, but this time, we asked you, our audience, to come up with questions to ask Sen. Shelley Moore Capito.

Courtesy WVHEPC

More than 150 employers, including Facebook, are looking for workers in West Virginia. College students, graduates and area residents who are interested in work opportunities in West Virginia are encouraged to attend a job fair in Raleigh County.

Sen. Richard Ojeda, D-Logan, speaking on the Senate floor on March 10, 2018.
Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A Twitter spat has broken out between the West Virginia Republican Party chairwoman and a Democratic candidate for Congress that ended up with her questioning him for collecting a military pension.

The disagreement started Wednesday night when Melody Potter criticized U.S. House 3rd District candidate Richard Ojeda (oh-JED'-ah) for engaging with "liberal buddy" Michael Moore. Potter called the meeting with the filmmaker "a slap in the face to every hardworking West Virginian."

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Dollar Photo Club

Two West Virginia counties have joined numerous others in suing pharmaceutical companies, drugstores and the West Virginia Board of Pharmacy over the state's opioid crisis.

cityofhuntington.com

More federal prosecutors will be used in a crackdown on gun and violent crime and drug trafficking in one West Virginia city. 

The number of prosecutors focusing on those cases in Huntington will be doubled immediately and tripled within weeks, U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart said Thursday. He didn't provide specific numbers.

needle exchange sign
Mary Meehan / Ohio Valley ReSource

Local outcry has scuttled plans to bring a needle exchange program to a West Virginia town.

News outlets report that Kanawha County Communities That Care spokesman Scott Burton said at a Monday night public meeting in Rand that communities that don't want the harm reduction program won't get it.

BotMultichillT / wikimedia Commons

A West Virginia fire department has been temporarily shut down over outdated equipment and inadequate staffing.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports state Fire Marshal spokesman Tim Rock says the Northfork Volunteer Fire Department voluntarily closed earlier this month following an investigation. Rock says the department has 180 days to correct the violations.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Gov. Jim Justice says a bill will become law to permit sports betting at the state's five casinos in the event that a U.S. Supreme Court case leads to the repeal of a nationwide ban.

It would allow sports betting at West Virginia licensed casinos and on Lottery Commission-approved mobile device applications.

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Dollar Photo Club

Six more women will join a task force to seek a long-term funding solution to an insurance program for teachers and other public employees.

Gov. Jim Justice announced the latest appointments Monday after receiving complaints that his initial picks included only two women.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear an excerpt from our latest Us & Them podcast episode called, “The Black Talk.”

Do you remember the first time you learned that police may think of you as a threat? If you’ve never been given the talk on how to conduct yourself when stopped by the police, chances are you’re not African-American.

Updated at 3:00 p.m. ET

President Trump announced Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was fired on Tuesday morning in a tweet that followed a year of frequent tension between the two leaders.

Joe and Gayle Manchin
Dave Martin / AP

West Virginia Republican Gov. Jim Justice says he has fired Secretary of Education and the Arts Gayle Manchin ahead of his decision on whether to veto legislation to reorganize the agency.

Justice announced the move in a news release Monday. Manchin is a former state school board president and is the wife of Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin.

Jarek Tuszyński / Wikimedia Commons

National Park Service officials say the New River Gorge National River is one of the largest climbing areas in the eastern U.S. Officials are hosting an event to raise awareness about park climbing rules. 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the 2018 regular session of the West Virginia Legislature ended at midnight on Saturday. The final hours were hectic at times. Many bills passed at the last minute and others died on the chamber floors. Senior reporter Dave Mistich was in the thick of things at the Capitol. He spoke with news director Jesse Wright about those final hours.

Saturday, March 10, marked the 60th and final day of the 83rd West Virginia Legislature's Second Regular Session. 

Update: March 11, 2018 at 12:31 a.m.

House Bill 4345, which would expand West Virginia’s medical marijuana law by increasing the number of dispensaries and growers, and providing for banking facilities related to the industry, died in the final minutes of the 2018 state legislative session. House leadership cited procedural delays in not bringing the bill up for a vote on the floor. The Senate had passed HB 4345 at about 6:30 Saturday evening.

On The Legislature Today, we bring you a special hour-long broadcast from the Capitol building in Charleston. Host Andrea Lannom chats with House Finance Chairman Del. Eric Nelson, R-Kanawha, and House Finance Vice Chairman Del. Mick Bates, D-Raleigh, on the status of budget discussions with only one day left in the regular 2018 state Legislative session. We also look back at some of the major issues that unfolded over the last two months in our reporter roundtable.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The West Virginia Legislature is set to vote on a 2018-19 state budget on the final day of the 2018 regular session. The $4.38 billion spending plan accounts for an across-the-board average 5-percent pay raise for all public employees and makes cuts to programs that had earlier seen proposed increases by Gov. Jim Justice. The budget will allow for $156 million in spending as compared to the previous fiscal year.

Courtesy

Wyoming County was one of the first school systems to decide to walk off the job during the recent statewide teacher strike, essentially starting what some are calling a labor movement. West Virginia Education Assocation President Dale Lee says Wyoming along with Logan, Mingo and McDowell made the first move.

For about two weeks, teachers from across the state held signs and led chants inside the Capitol. Inside Appalachia host Jessica Lilly caught up with one of those teachers, Nina Tunstalle, on her way up to Charleston.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Wyoming County was the first to decide to walk off the job during the recent statewide teacher strike, starting what some folks are calling a labor movement. Inside Appalachia host Jessica Lilly caught up with Wyoming County teacher Nina Tunstelle on her way up to Charleston before the walkout ended.

On The Legislature Today, the West Virginia Senate unanimously passed its version of the budget bill. The Senate's bill did not include the governor's revised revenue estimate of $58 million in its $4.38 billion budget. Both the House and Senate Finance Chairs said they hope to have the budget passed as quickly as possible. Host Andrea Lannom chats with Senate Majority Leader Ryan Ferns, R-Ohio, about the 2019 budget and whether we might see a budget passed before the 60th day.

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