W.Va. Politics

Photo Illustration by Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Polls are now closed around the state. Keep refreshing this page to see the latest.

Black lung is a deadly disease caused by exposure to dust underground.
Department of Labor

 Federal funds for black lung benefits in West Virginia were cut about 44 percent. The United States Department of Health and Human Services Black Lung Clinic program now limits awards to $900,000 per grantee.

Gov. Tomblin's office (@GovTomblin / Twitter)

Child abuse and poverty prevention advocates are questioning Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s priorities.

Among the $67 million worth of cuts from the budget bill Thursday was about a $1 million reduction in funding for programs meant to prevent child abuse and child poverty.

West Virginia Legislature

By tying state Democrats to President Obama and Washington, West Virginia Republicans hope to claim congressional wins and end Democrats' 83-year-rule in the state House of Delegates.

Gov. Tomblin's office (@GovTomblin / Twitter)

Child abuse and poverty prevention advocates are questioning Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s priorities.

Among the $67 million worth of cuts from the budget bill Thursday was about a $1 million reduction in funding for programs meant to prevent child abuse and child poverty.

Governor Tomblin started the 2014 session with a budget that cut funding for programs like In Home Family Education, Family Resource Networks, Child Advocacy Centers and other child abuse prevention programs.

On this West Virginia Morning, state legislative officials are working against the clock and snow to get more bills passed.

We explore the water problems in McDowell County more deeply,

And students don't need classroom settings to learn.

On this West Virginia Morning, college students are using a food pantry in Huntington. Food pantries for college students are becoming more popular.

Also, the clock is ticking down on getting bills passed through the hurdles of the legislature this session.

Also, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Shawn Colvin are on this Mountain Stage song of the week.

On this West Virginia Morning, state veterans are getting help at WVU, where more than 1,000 students served in the military.

Homeless persons in Huntington are also getting help, finding jobs.

That, and legislative news.

On this West Virginia Morning, we meet a water hero.

Also, updates from the legislature on government fraud and a bill on abortions.

Visitors are also in Charleston talking about tourism, and the water spill.

On this West Virginia Morning, new EPA regulations are on the way, on existing coal-fired power plants. A conference in Morgantown tries to sort out what's on the way.

In the State Legislature, the House of Delegates looks at a Zombie Bill, and the Senate looks at gun rights.

On this West Virginia Morning, tempers flare in the State Senate over a bill that looks at trade practices.

Also, the House looks at taxpayer protections.

Those stories, and The Flatlanders perform as part of the Mountain Stage Song of the Week.

On this West Virginia Morning, a West Virginia University professor is keeping the memory alive of some poets who honored African American civil rights.

Also, an update on the gas well explosion in Pennsylvania, just north of the West Virginia border.

Those stories and more!

On this West Virginia Morning, the State Senate goes through a very spirited debate on a prescriptions bill.

Also, the House of Delegates looks at allowing alcohol sales earlier in the day on Sunday, despite some opposition in the House.

A public hearing held by the House Judiciary Committee gives those concerned over frack waste a chance to weigh in.

Ashton Marra

Del. Ryan Ferns announced Monday he has switched parties and will run in 2014 for the state Senate as a Republican.

The former Democrat is in his second term in the House of Delegates and first made the announcement in his hometown of Wheeling, W.Va.

Ferns then traveled to Charleston, W.Va., where he, surrounded by Republican members of the state legislature, filed his pre-candidacy papers with the Secretary of State’s Office for the Senate seat.

Rahall.house.gov/

Another county in Southern West Virginia is now recognized as a high drug trafficking area. Congressman Nick Rahall announced the federal label today. The title means the County is eligible to receive additional Federal resources to further the coordination and development of drug control efforts.

  A fire engulfs a city block in downtown Marlinton, the state's political future lies in the hands of voters who have traditionally voted the way their families did or aren't getting out to the polls at all, and the inaugural Iron Pour heats up Morgantown for sculptors. 

DonkeyHotey/Flickr

On a national level, political watchers say West Virginia is on the verge of a big change, one that would pull the state from its traditionally Democratic roots and push it toward a future of Republican leaders and a new generation of young voters might be behind that change.

West Virginians are a proud people, proud most of all of their heritage. Almost any West Virginian can share his or her story of a parent or grandparent who came to the state to work in the factories, steel mills or coal mines to provide for their families.

Dave Mason
Brian Blauser

West Virginia's political center seems to be abandoning its roots in the southern part of the state, a new program helps homeschoolers collaborate with one another, a report from the Trans Tech Conference in Morgantown, and Dave Mason performs "We Just Disagree" on this Mountain Stage Song of the Week.

Appalachian Regional Commission with data from the U.S. Census Bureau

Southern West Virginia has traditionally been a Democratic stronghold, but an article in The Washington Post said that is starting to change.

With a decline in the coal industry’s production and a President enacting stronger regulations on it, the politics are shifting toward the right, at least, that’s what the article claims. But can it be said that a trend in southern West Virginia is actually happening across the entire state?

A breakdown of a recent article from The Washington Post on whether West Virginia is transitioning from a blue state to a red state,  Charleston native Trey Kay continues to explore culture wars over textbooks in a new documentary, and a series of forums seeks to figure out how to stop budget cuts to higher education.

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