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The first Democratic senator to sit down with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh said Monday he's not ready to say how he'll vote, but Kavanaugh did pick up the backing of Kentucky's Rand Paul, the only Republican in the narrowly divided Senate to have outwardly wavered in possible support.

School officials in north-central West Virginia are working to make school buildings safer before classes begin this fall.

Officials said the moves are meant to keep out intruders and come on the heels of school shootings around the nation.

Steve Shaluta / West Virginia Division of Tourism

West Virginia officials say hotel occupancy has climbed from last year.

Gov. Jim Justice and other officials announced last week that statewide hotel occupancy grew around 16 percent in June from the same month in 2017. Officials say the growth produced a 20 percent revenue increase from a year earlier.

Roads, Road, Highway, Turnpike
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Gov. Jim Justice says motorists can use a website to view ongoing West Virginia road and bridge construction projects.

Justice said Monday the website Drive Forward WV lists details on 600 construction projects across the state.

Alexandra Kanik / Ohio Valley ReSource

Jim Thacker is frustrated.

The spokesperson for the Madison County, Kentucky, Health Department said there is a real threat of a Hepatitis A outbreak at the detention center right down the road in Richmond.

Built to house about 240 inmates, it holds more than 400. 

“It’s like a petri dish, they are packed so close together,” he said.

Vivian Stockman and Southwings

An area roughly the size of Delaware has been mined for coal in Appalachia using mountaintop removal, according to a new study published in the journal PLOS ONE.

Aaron Payne / Ohio Valley ReSource

The Ohio Valley is not known for good health. Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia often rank near the bottom of states in many health rankings.

But a new report shows there are “bright spots” in the region where some health measures are better than expected. And a team of health researchers thinks these communities can offer a guide to improve health across Appalachia.

Mary Meehan / Ohio Valley ReSource

The low rumble of industrial fans fills the Catholic Action Center in Lexington, a shelter that provides meals and other services for homeless people.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Cicadas have been seen doing some strange things, like moving around and mating despite having up to a third of their bodies missing. Researchers suspect that fungi are involved. Several scientists at West Virginia University took advantage of the 17-year cicadas that emerged about two years ago to dig a little deeper. So they investigated the relationship between cicadas and certain kinds of fungi by looking very closely at what kinds of compounds are in the fungus.

Thirteen socialists walk into a West Virginia bar.

It's a Saturday evening in early July, and the North Central West Virginia chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America is getting together at a brewery outside of Rivesville.

Everyone here has their own stories for how they came to socialism. For chapter co-founder Kelley Rose, a 36-year-old who works for a nonprofit helping young adults stay in school and find jobs, religion played a big part.

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

West Virginia University

A co-chair on a state education panel has accused the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission of being an agency of regulations rather than oversight.

pills
Wikimedia Commons

A federal judge has ruled that state and local governments cannot publicize federal government data about where prescription opioids were distributed — a blow to news organizations seeking to report more deeply on the nation's overdose and addiction crisis.

Roads to Prosperity Highway Program Map, Total Projects by Count
wv.gov

West Virginia Division of Highways documents show that bids for the first major "Roads to Prosperity" highways construction project have exceeded estimates by more than $100 million.

Health Official: Regional Overdose Death Rates Up, But Flattening

Jul 27, 2018
Drugs, Drug abuse, Drug overdose, overdose
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Health officials in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia say the number of overdose deaths continued to rise in 2017. The Ohio Valley ReSource's Aaron Payne reports that one public health official says, however, there is cause for optimism.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Delegates on the House Judiciary Committee heard more detail Friday about renovations to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals and other spending by the court.

Justin Robinson of the Legislative Post Audits Division outlined the court’s spending for the committee, which -- since 2010 -- includes more than $1.5 million for renovations to the justices’ offices.

Del. Joshua Higginbotham, R-Putnam.
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

West Virginia Delegate Joshua Higginbotham is traveling to Taiwan on a trade promotion trip this week.

The House said in a news release that the Putnam County Republican and some other lawmakers were leaving Friday and returning Aug. 4. The Taiwan Economic Cultural Representative Office is organizing the trip.

Vice President Mike Pence, left, and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan of Wis., attend the State of the Union address in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday, Jan. 30.
Win McNamee / AP/White House Press Pool

Updated on Friday, July 27, 2018 at 11:22 a.m.

Vice President Mike Pence has used a stop in West Virginia to boast about border security, the economy and conservative judges and plug the state's GOP congressional delegation and lend support to the Republican nominee seeking to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear about how summer food providers are trying to overcome the challenge of feeding West Virginia kids during the summer months, and we’ll hear the latest on possible impeachment proceedings from the statehouse. These stories coming up on West Virginia Morning.

Jail Cell
Evad37 / Wikimedia Commons

A West Virginia jail is set to launch a new pilot program aimed at helping inmates overcome drug addiction.

The Huntington Herald-Dispatch reports the program was announced Wednesday by the state Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety secretary, Jeff Sandy. The Western Regional Jail's pilot program will serve 32 men and 32 women in Cabell, Wayne and Putnam counties.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Updated: July 26, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. For more information on the potentional impeachments, see this explainer.

Lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee heard testimony Thursday from former West Virginia Supreme Court administrator Steve Canterbury. It’s part of an ongoing impeachment investigation of one or more justices on state’s high court.

 

Steve Helber / AP Photo

This is a developing story and will be updated.

Former Massey Energy CEO and failed GOP candidate Don Blankenship has been denied ballot access as a candidate for the Constitution Party in the race for U.S. Senate. The rejection all but ensures a court battle between Blankenship and the Secretary of State over West Virginia’s so-called “sore loser” election law.

water faucet
wikimedia

Two southern West Virginia communities will receive nearly $2 million in federal funding for water and wastewater projects.

Money, Cash
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Appalachian Power's plan to use federal tax cut savings to mainly offset program costs is being questioned by an agency that represents West Virginia ratepayers.

Josh Saul/Mountain Stage

Classically-influenced eclectic pop maestro Kishi Bashi locally sourced a quartet of Appalachia-based string players for his performance on Mountain Stage, which you can hear on this week’s encore broadcast with guest-host Joni Deutsch.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, coal companies in central Appalachia have used mountaintop removal to mine coal for decades. The controversial process blows the tops off mountains to reach the coal seams below. Researchers and policy makers have struggled to understand the full extent of mountaintop removal across the region. Brittany Patterson reports on a new study that provides a big-picture view of the mining method’s impact.

Students at Computers
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Higher education leaders in West Virginia announced Wednesday a goal to see more of the state’s workforce with a formal education credential beyond high school by 2030.

Allen Loughry
Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

For more information on the possible impeachments, see this explainer

 

A committee investigating possible impeachment of one or more justices on the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals will return to Charleston for a third round of hearing evidence and testimony. The proceedings come as one justice pleaded not guilty Wednesday to additional federal charges.

Blue Ridge Mountain Fire Company was one of the many departments that responded to Hundred's call for help after flash floods hit the Wetzel County town July 29, 2017.
Shayla Klein / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A West Virginia fire department has reopened after shutting down earlier this year due to inadequate staffing and outdated equipment.

West Virginia ambulance
wikimedia / Wikimedia Commons

Uninsured and underinsured first responders in West Virginia will be able to access free hepatitis A vaccines.

The Exponent Telegram reports that the new West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services' Center for Threat Preparedness will provide the free vaccines amid the state's recent outbreak.

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