Government

West Virginia Governor's Office

As lawmakers continue negotiating a budget deal at the state Capitol, Gov. Jim Justice took a trip to Greenbrier and Monroe counties this week to host President Donald Trump's son, Don Jr., for a hunting and fishing excursion.

According to a press release issued by the Governor's Office Wednesday, the pair hunted turkey and fished for trout while discussing “the pressing issues facing West Virginia and the United States.”

A reporter in West Virginia was arrested and charged with a crime Tuesday after he repeatedly attempted to question Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.

Price was walking through a hallway in the state Capitol, which he was visiting with Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway as part of a "listening tour" on the opioid crisis. Several protesters were gathered in the hallway, as was Dan Heyman, a reporter for the Public News Service.

West Virginia Legislative Photography

A West Virginia reporter was arrested at the state Capitol Tuesday before a meeting held by U.S. Health and Human Services Sec. Tom Price.

Dan Heyman of the Public News Service was charged with a misdemeanor offense of willfully disrupting a governmental process.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting


West Virginia’s opioid overdose death rate is two and a half times the national average, the highest in the country. Last year, 864 West Virginians died from an overdose, up by more than 17 percent from the year prior.

 

West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Sec. Bill Crouch shared those statistics at a press conference Tuesday. Crouch hosted U.S. Health and Human Services Sec. Tom Price for a closed-door meeting about the state’s struggle with substance abuse and what the federal government can do to help.

Updated at 9:22 p.m. ET

The president has fired FBI Director James Comey, who was overseeing an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 elections and possible ties to the Trump campaign and top aides.

Evan Vucci, Frank Franklin II / Associated Press

Two top officials in the Trump administration have announced stops in West Virginia this week.

Pres. Donald Trump's Health and Human Resources Sec. Tom Price and Attorney General Jeff Sessions will be in Charleston. Both stops focus on the nation's opioid epidemic.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Congressman Evan Jenkins has announced he’ll run against Sen. Joe Manchin in 2018. 

The two-term member of the U.S. House of Representatives announced he’ll run against Manchin for his seat in 2018 in a 3 minute video sent out by the Jenkins campaign Monday afternoon.

Its 1,700-foot arch made it the longest single-span arch bridge in the world.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / New River Gorge, Fayette County, Fayette Station Road

The state’s three national parks in southern West Virginia saw more than one million visitors last year, resulting in a bump to the economies of the surrounding cities and towns. 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, Statehouse Reporter Ashton Marra reports from the Capitol after lawmakers returned for a special budget session last week.

And we hear from the Ohio Valley Resource's Mary Meehan who reports on the addiction crisis in the Ohio Valley which is causing another health problem in the region - a heart infection called endocarditis.

Ben Queen / AP

A runway at a West Virginia airport reopened Saturday after a propeller plane carrying UPS cargo crashed, killing the pilot and co-pilot.

Mike Plante, a spokesman at Yeager Airport in Charleston, said in a statement that National Transportation Safety Board investigators released the runway for reopening on Saturday.

Perry Bennet / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Lawmakers are postponing work on the 2018 state budget another week after the House of Delegates voted to kill a tax reform measure presented by members of the Senate and Gov. Jim Justice.

The Senate voted 32 to 1 Friday afternoon in favor of the tax reform bill that was then killed in a 59 to 34 vote in the House shortly after.

A lawsuit filed by two former West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources employees who said they faced retaliation for whistleblowing has been settled.

Former department executives Susan Perry and Jennifer Taylor filed a lawsuit in 2012 against the agency's former acting secretary Rocco Fucillo, deputy secretary Warren Keefer and Bryan Rosen.

Yeager Airport Crash
Ben Queen / AP

A cargo plane crash landed at Yeager Airport in Charleston just before 7 a.m. Friday, killing the pilot and co-pilot, according to emergency officials. 


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.

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