Government

Cecelia Mason / WV Public Radio

The federal government has awarded more than $400,000 to West Virginia University to improve sustainable agriculture and help rural communities thrive.

U.S. Sens. Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito announced the $402,890 award in a news release this month.

Manchin said the university, through its Extension Services program, invests in rural communities across the state, creating a great benefit for West Virginia.

At a union's request, a California-based drug wholesaler is looking into allegations in a 2016 lawsuit that the company flooded West Virginia with prescription pain pills.

McKesson Corp. spokeswoman Kristin Hunter told the Charleston Gazette-Mail that the San Francisco-based company appointed a committee to review issues raised by the Teamsters union, which has pension and benefit funds that invest in McKesson.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear from the Ohio Valley ReSource about how statistics show a decline in life expectancy just as the debate about the possible effects of the American Health Care Act are being bebated across the region.

We'll also hear from statehouse reporter Ashton Marra about budget and tax reform negotiations at the Legislature.

West Virginia officials say they're in the early stages of developing a plan to implement the state's new medical marijuana law.

The state Department of Health and Human Resources has devoted a section of its website to frequently asked questions and more information, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported.

Perry Bennet / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Members of the House are standing their ground when it comes to tax reform. At least, that’s what House Speaker Tim Armstead said Friday after a vote in the chamber on its own version of a revenue bill.

The bill does not include any of the changes to the personal income tax Senate Republicans and Gov. Jim Justice have agreed to, but Armstead said that doesn’t mean his chamber isn’t still willing to work on a compromise.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On the is West Virginia Morning, we’ll hear about House legislative action on two bills -- one on sales tax reform and one to allow for the furlough of state employees in the event of a budget impasse that results in a government shutdown.

We also hear about a race in Jefferson county that combines fitness with a bit of history, and we we feature Mountain Stage’s Song of the Week.

A group suing Mercer County schools over its "Bible in the Schools" programs has filed a response to the school system's motion to dismiss.

Bluefield Daily Telegraph reports the Freedom from Religion Foundation Inc. filed their response in the U.S. District Court in Bluefield.

Classroom
Gorkaazk / Wikimedia Commons

West Virginia Board of Education members received pushback over their meeting agendas' newly stated ban that prohibits members of the public from speaking on items not listed on the agenda.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the ban was discussed Wednesday. It initially appeared on last month's agenda.

Perry Bennet / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Members of the House Finance Committee voted almost unanimously in favor of their version of a revenue bill Thursday afternoon, one that looks drastically different than one the Senate approved earlier this week.

Swimmerguy269 / wikimedia Commons

West Virginia University researchers have patented technology for reinforcing the T-shaped joints of concrete beams in buildings to make them better able to endure shocks without breaking.

Doctoral engineering student Praveen Majjigapu and his adviser, Professor Hota GangaRao, are co-inventors and share the two patents.

Perry Bennet / West Virginia Legislative Photography

After attempting to rally members of the Senate around his tax reform plan Tuesday, Gov. Jim Justice decided to also formally address members of the House of Delegates Wednesday.

Senators have already approved the measure to significantly alter the state’s tax code, but with only Republican support. Justice largely focused on his disappointment with Senate Democrats in his speech to the House.

City of Huntington Best Community
City of Huntington Facebook

Three years after developing an arduous redevelopment plan throughout the city, Huntington has been named America’s Best Community. The title, awarded last month comes with a $3 million grand prize.

Huntington was named America’s Best Community last month in Denver, Colorado. It was the culmination of a three-year process that inspired development of the Huntington Innovation Project. The plan outlines 4 projects that aim to revitalization communities and the improvement of broadband throughout Huntington.

But what happens now that the city has won the competition?

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice talks about his budget proposal during a stop on his Save Our State Tour on Thursday, March 3, 2017, at Fairmont State University.
Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The Justice administration has refused to schedule a hearing on an appeal of the Mountain Valley Pipeline's authorization.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Austin Caperton signed a letter last week denying a request for a hearing challenging the DEP's approval of a Clean Water Act certification for the MVP. The letter was sent to Appalachia Mountain Advocates, an environmental law firm that challenged the authorization.

Pipeline ready for construction.
Seth Perlman / Associated Press

West Virginia's U.S. senators are urging federal officials to consider building a major natural gas storage and distribution hub in the Appalachian region.

In a letter Thursday to National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, the senators say the White House should examine "the numerous benefits" of putting a world-class natural gas liquid-storage and distribution hub in the region with growing but still underutilized reserves of underground natural gas.

Cecelia Mason / WV Public Radio

The state Department of Agriculture is seeking nominations for the 2017 West Virginia Women in Agriculture awards.

The department says in a news release that nominations are being accepted through June 1. It is open to women who have made significant contributions in state agriculture, forestry or specialty crops.

Fayette County Map
David Benbennick / wikimedia commons

Fayette County would close several existing school buildings under a plan approved by the county Board of Education.

The board agreed on the plan Tuesday to close schools, transfer students and reconfigure grade levels to reduce the number of public schools from 18 to 11. Most of the closings involve elementary schools.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear about how a $3 million prize for being America’s “Best City” could change Huntington’s future for the better. We also hear from statehouse reporter Ashton Marra about Gov. Jim Justice’s push for a budget plan.

The Poetry Break podcast provides its monthly dose of literature as well.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear about the ongoing budget negotiations at the Capitol. Democratic Gov. Jim Justice is asking for support for his plan to fix the budget, in the face of opposition from lawmakers, including members of his own party.

John Benson/ ibrn4381

West Virginia wildlife officials say hunters killed 11,539 turkeys this spring, up 11 percent from last year.

The Division of Natural Resources says that's the largest harvest since 2006.

Doctor, medicine
sudok1 / Dollar Photo Club

A research group that examines how government policies affect low-income Americans says the latest proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act will particularly hurt rural communities including those in West Virginia.

The Washington-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities says the House-passed replacement for "Obamacare" would effectively end its Medicaid expansion under which 76,900 rural West Virginians gained medical coverage. The program is almost entirely federally funded.

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