Government

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Ex-Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn his conviction for misdemeanor conspiracy to violate federal safety standards at a West Virginia mine where 29 miners died in 2010.

Blankenship, who recently finished a one-year prison term, asked the top court Thursday review his conviction, which a federal appeals court upheld in January.

gavel
wikimedia / Wikimedia

Federal authorities say two West Virginia men have admitted their roles in filing false insurance claims for motor vehicle accidents.

They were among eight people indicted in March over staged accidents from 2012 to 2014 in three counties.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear more from the Capitol, where lawmakers are taking a recess in the special session until June 5 so leaders of the House and Senate can work on a budget compromise.

We also hear from the Ohio Valley ReSource about how President Trump's latest national budget proposal might affect the region.

West Virginia is included in a settlement with a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary over representation of product quality and will receive more than $440,000.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey's office said West Virginia is among the 42 states and District of Columbia involved in the lawsuit. A $33 million settlement was announced in the case Wednesday.

Evan Jenkins
evanjenkins.house.gov

West Virginia Congressman Evan Jenkins says eight of the state's Republican state senators have announced support for his run against Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin next year.

Jenkins, a Republican and Huntington lawyer, was a state delegate and a state senator before his election to Congress in 2014. He was re-elected last year.

Mercer County
David Benbennick / wikimedia commons

County officials in West Virginia have suspended the "Bible in the Schools" program for a year to provide time for its review.

Bluefield Daily Telegraph reports Mercer County board of education members approved the suspension Tuesday night. Schools superintendent Deborah Akers says she'd like to include community members and religious leaders in the review.

Perry Bennet / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Legislative leaders in both the House and Senate have agreed to a 12-day recess in their special budget session while they continue to negotiate a deal with Gov. Jim Justice. 

Members voted to adjourn until June 5, leaving the leaders of both caucuses in both chambers to continue to work on a budget plan.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear more from the West Virginia Legislature's special budget session as the Senate takes up it's version of a tax reform bill amid ongoing negotiations.

We'll also hear the final installment of Colt Brogan's Struggle to Stay story from Inside Appalachia producer Roxy Todd.

Jesse Wright

Gov. Jim Justice has directed the West Virginia Board of Risk and Insurance Management to take steps to protect personally identifiable information collected and kept by state agencies, including health information required by law to be kept private.

In an executive order, Justice has also directed the West Virginia Office of Technology, to conduct risk management oversight to ensure cyber security of electronic records.

Ibrahim.ID / wikimedia Commons

West Virginia will receive more than $200,000 from a multimillion-dollar settlement reached between retailer Target and 47 states and the District of Columbia.

The settlement addresses allegations from a data breach in 2013. West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey's office said in a news release the breach affected more than 41 million customer payment card accounts and contact information for more than 60 million customers.

Doctor's Exam Room
Tinton5 / Wikimedia Commons

A U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs outpatient clinic has opened in West Virginia after air-quality issues led to the previous one being closed in 2015.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports state officials opened the Greenbrier VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic on Monday. The clinic's services include mental health and primary care.

State Sen. Shelley Moore Capito says the former clinic was unacceptable and that the new one is the result of efforts by the community at large. Community organizers fought for the new building and helped prevent a lapse in health care for veterans during construction.

Perry Bennet / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Members of the Senate’s Finance Committee were presented with some hard numbers Tuesday about the impacts their tax reform plan will have on the overall state budget.

The chamber has presented and voted on similar plans over the last several months, and, even with a clear message from the House that Delegates won’t support the measure, the upper chamber will likely vote on an almost identical bill again Wednesday. 

West Virginia Governor's Office

Gov. Jim Justice expanded the special session call for the second time Tuesday, May 23, adding seven more bills – including his budget for the 2018 fiscal year.

The executive message with those bills was read in the Senate Tuesday morning, but not introduced. The bills were referred to committees in the House during its afternoon floor session.

Donald Trump
PBS Newshour

West Virginia's Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin says the Trump administration's proposed federal budget would hurt poorer residents of his state with deep cuts in food stamps, Social Security disability benefits, Medicaid and children's health insurance.

He says it also would effectively eliminate the Appalachian Regional Commission, funded at $120 million in 2016, that provides development and planning grants for depressed counties.

Brian Turner

The law license of West Virginia's former education secretary has been suspended by the state's supreme court.

Charleston Gazette-Mail reports Clay County attorney Barbara Harmon-Schamberger's license to practice law was suspended in a court order issued May 16. Her license will be automatically reinstated after the three-month suspension, but she's required to obtain six additional credit hours of continuing legal education in the areas of ethics and law office management.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Appalachia Health News coordinator Kara Lofton reports on the reopening of a VA clinic in southern West Virginia. We also get the latest from statehouse reporter Ashton Marra on state budget negotiations taking place at the West Virginia Capitol.

Doctor, medicine
sudok1 / Dollar Photo Club

West Virginia's U.S. senators say federal authorities are awarding $8.5 million to health centers in Huntington and Baker to support medical, dental, mental health and drug services.

According to Sens. Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito, the Department of Health and Human Services will provide almost $7.2 million to Valley Health Systems in Huntington and nearly $1.4 million to E.A. Hawse Health Center in Baker.

Perry Bennet / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The Senate's Select Committee on Tax Reform has voted once again to make changes to a revenue bill being floated back and forth between the House and Senate, and the committee chair says members of his caucus will not budge when it comes to their plan to eventually repeal the state's personal income tax.

HHS Sec. Tom Price speaking at a press conference at the state Capitol.
Ashton Marra / WVPB

Remarks by a top U.S. health official have reignited a quarrel in the world of addiction and recovery: Does treating opioid addiction with medication save lives? Or does it trade one addiction for another?

Health Secretary Tom Price's recent comments — one replying to a reporter's question, the other in a newspaper op-ed — waver between two strongly held views.

Hobet Mine
Captain-tucker / wikimedia commons

A federal science committee studying the health risks for people living near surface coal mines has scheduled a public meeting this week in southern West Virginia.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine committee plans to hear from state health and environmental officials, coal operators and environmental groups at a panel discussion Tuesday in Logan.

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