Government

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we explore the black market -- not of opioids, but of medication to treat opioid addiction. We also bring you an update on Hurricane Florence’s potential impact here in the Mountain State, and we learn the latest on a CSX train derailment in Fayette County.

voting, voter, voting booth, voting machine
U.S. Department of State

West Virginia election officials have approved more than $6.5 million in federal grants to make upgrades to voting equipment and security across the state.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting


On this West Virginia Morning, pre-trial impeachment proceedings in the West Virginia Senate kicked off Tuesday with a roller coaster that still leaves all four impeached justices standing trial. An offer to publicly reprimand Chief Justice Margaret Workman and Justice Beth Walker was ruled out of order. Additionally, a motion to dismiss articles of impeachment against now-retired Justice Robin Davis was rejected by the Senate. Dave Mistich reports.

Judge Paul Farrell, presides over the Senate as senators are sworn in during a pre-trial impeachment conference for four impeached Supreme Court justices in the West Virginia State Senate chambers at the Capitol in Charleston, Sept. 11, 2018
Steve Helber / AP Photo


Updated: Sept. 11, 2018 at 3:55 p.m.

Pre-trial impeachment proceedings in the West Virginia Senate kicked off Tuesday with a roller coaster that still leaves all four impeached justices standing trial.

An offer to publicly reprimand Chief Justice Margaret Workman and Justice Beth Walker was ruled out of order. Additionally, a motion to dismiss articles of impeachment against now-retired Justice Robin Davis was rejected by the Senate.

This photo provided by NASA shows Hurricane Florence from the International Space Station on Monday, Sept. 10, 2018, as it threatens the U.S. East Coast.
NASA via AP

Mandatory evacuations were imposed for parts of three East Coast states Tuesday as millions of Americans prepared for what could become one of the most catastrophic hurricanes to hit the Eastern Seaboard in decades.

For many people, the challenge could be finding a safe refuge: If Florence slows to a crawl just off the coast, it could bring torrential rains all the way into the Appalachian mountains and as far away as West Virginia, causing flash floods, mudslides and other dangerous conditions in places that don’t usually get much tropical weather.

Gov. Jim Justice during the State of the State Address in January 2018.
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A West Virginia judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a Democratic state delegate against Republican Gov. Jim Justice demanding that he live in the county where West Virginia’s capital city is located.

West Virginia House Judiciary Chairman Del. John Shott hands over the articles of impeachment to the Senate last month.
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Tuesday morning, 30 men and four women will walk into the chamber of the West Virginia Senate to participate in historic proceedings– proceedings that haven’t been conducted in the state since 1875, not long after its founding.

Those 34 Senators will take an oath to become 34 jurors and hear evidence in cases for the impeachment of three current and one former member of the West Virginia Supreme Court.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Both the Northern and Eastern Panhandles are experiencing flooding this week as rain continues to fall on the two regions. Preparations are also being made across the state to respond to possible heavy rainfall from Hurricane Florence at the end of the week.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Two West Virginia Supreme Court justices awaiting impeachment trials have filed motions with the state Senate ahead of pre-trial proceedings. Attorneys for Chief Justice Margaret Workman and Justice Beth Walker filed motions with the Senate Clerk's office Friday, with Workman asking for her trial to begin after mid-October and Walker asking for her case to be dismissed altogether.

Freedom Industries
AP

People affected by a 2014 chemical spill into a West Virginia river will soon receive their first batch of settlement checks from a class-action lawsuit.

water faucet
wikimedia

More than $1.1 million in federal funding has been announced for a West Virginia water project planned to replace outdated systems and improve service in several communities.

People wait in line to bet on the NCAA college basketball tournament at the Westgate Superbook sports book Thursday, March 15, 2018, in Las Vegas. Sports Betting.
AP Photo / John Locher

The West Virginia Lottery says the first official tax week of legal sports betting in the state will yield around $29,000 in tax revenue.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, animal rights advocates say the Ohio Valley’s varying laws on the treatment of animals can make it more difficult to identify those who abuse them. A national ranking of animal welfare laws scores West Virginia and Ohio well. But Kentucky sits at the bottom of that list, and Kentucky also blocks veterinarians from reporting animal abuse. As The Ohio Valley ReSource's Nicole Erwin reports, that could put pets and people at risk.

Adobe Stock

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice says state tax collections in August were $33.4 million above estimates.

Justice says collections of $352.3 million last month were about 15 percent above those from August 2017.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, President Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court begins his Senate confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill Tuesday, Sept. 4. If confirmed, Judge Brett Kavanaugh will tip the court to the right and make overturning Roe versus Wade a possibility.

Marshall University

A proposal to rename a building at Marshall University that's named after a Confederate general is gaining attention.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the House of Delegates has selected Delegate Roger Hanshaw as the chamber’s new presiding officer. Hanshaw took the podium over the Democrats’ choice, House Minority Leader Tim Miley. Dave Mistich has more on the past two days and the race for speaker.

Former coal executive Don Blankenship waits outside the West Virginia Capitol on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018, after the Capitol was evacuated due to a fire alarm in Charleston, W.Va. The alarm interrupted Blankenship's hearing in the state Supreme Court.
John Raby / Associated Press

The state Supreme Court on Wednesday denied a last-minute bid by former coal CEO Don Blankenship to get his name on the ballot in November’s U.S. Senate race in West Virginia.

The court upheld a decision by the secretary of state denying Blankenship’s application for a third-party candidacy.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography


The House of Delegates has selected Del. Roger Hanshaw as the chamber’s new presiding officer. Hanshaw took the podium over the Democrats’ choice, House Minority Leader Tim Miley.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Republican members of the West Virginia House of Delegates have decided on Del. Roger Hanshaw as their nominee for Speaker.

The majority party caucused for four and a half hours Tuesday night to decide who is likely to succeed former Speaker Tim Armstead, who resigned from the House last week before being appointed to an interim seat on the state Supreme Court.

Jim Justice
Walter Scriptunas II / AP Photo

A Kanawha County Circuit Court Judge asked for more information Monday on motions in a lawsuit that seeks to compel Gov. Jim Justice to reside in Charleston.

 

Isaac Sponaugle, a Democratic member of the House of Delegates, filed a lawsuit in June to compel Gov. Justice to meet a state constitutional requirement that he reside in the state capital of Charleston.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The Environmental Protection Agency says a West Virginia site is being deleted from the Superfund National Priorities List after being added to it in 1986.

Randy Snyder / AP

Prosecutors say a man accused of fatally shooting a sheriff in 2013 is returning to a psychiatric hospital for further evaluation.

Kanawha County Prosecutor Chuck Miller tells The Herald-Dispatch that a Cabell County circuit judge Thursday returned Tennis Melvin Maynard to William R. Sharpe Hospital, with an update expected in 90 days. The court hearing was closed to the media.

Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The U.S. Senate campaign of Republican Patrick Morrisey says he has accepted an invitation to debate incumbent Democrat Joe Manchin on Nov. 1.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Wheeling is among thousands of towns throughout the U.S. working to revitalize their downtown areas. Some 2,200 organizations that undertake these efforts are considered each year for the national Great American Main Streets Award. Wheeling is among the top 10 contenders this year. Glynis Board spoke with Wheeling Heritage executive director Jake Dougherty about the work his organization is doing to reinvent its city.

West Virginia Morning is a product of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, which is solely responsible for its content.

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

A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators have introduced a provision that aims to boost participation in black lung detection programs.

Virginia Democrat Sen. Mark Warner introduced the amendment Wednesday into the defense, labor, health and education spending package that is being debated on the Senate floor.

If passed, the provision would require the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health or NIOSH to create a report for Congress within 180 days detailing how to increase participation in black lung screening programs.

Beth Walker was impeached from the West Virginia Supreme Court.
Jennifer Bundy / West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals

The Republican-led West Virginia House of Delegates received national attention last week for impeaching all four of the state’s sitting Supreme Court justices. Lawmakers cited a swirling scandal over court spending that ranged from using state cars for personal business to extravagant office renovations that included a $32,000 couch.

President Donald Trump greets the crowd during a rally Aug. 21, 2018, in Charleston, W.Va.
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

President Donald Trump confronted one of the most perilous moments of his presidency Tuesday after two onetime members of his inner circle simultaneously were labeled “guilty” of criminal charges. Although Trump largely ignored the jarring back-to-back blows at a campaign rally in West Virginia, questions mounted about his possible legal exposure and political future.

Tim Armstead.
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

West Virginia’s Republican House speaker resigned Tuesday to run for a vacancy on the state Supreme Court, fueling accusations by Democrats that an unprecedented move to impeach state Supreme Court justices represents a power grab by GOP lawmakers.

Speaker Tim Armstead disclosed his plans on Twitter. Though the secretary of state’s office has said he’s not required to resign, Armstead said he was doing so to make sure his candidacy is above question.

House lawmakers recently impeached four of the court’s five justices, prompting one to resign. All four were ordered Tuesday to appear in the Senate on Sept. 11 to answer accusations against them. The impeachment probe was sparked by questions involving more than $3 million in renovations to the justices’ offices and expanded to broader accusations of corruption, incompetence and neglect of duty.

Armstead had recused himself from the House debate over impeachment because he had previously expressed interest in serving on the court. More recently, he and U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins, a Republican who is not seeking re-election and lost in his bid for the U.S. Senate this spring, both applied to be considered for temporary appointments to the Supreme Court by Gov. Jim Justice. Those appointments would last until the November election is certified.

Jenkins has declared himself a candidate for a different seat on the court in the November election, which is officially nonpartisan.

The West Virginia Democratic Party said on Twitter of Armstead’s resignation, “No surprise here, more self-serving moves for political gain and abandoning the people of West Virginia in his district.”

In a statement announcing his resignation, Armstead said he intends “to spend as much time as possible meeting West Virginians and earning their trust and their votes to represent them on their Supreme Court of Appeals.”

Armstead filed by Tuesday’s deadline to run in the nonpartisan race for the vacancy created last month when Menis Ketchum retired and agreed to plead guilty to wire fraud related to his personal use of a state vehicle and fuel.

Robin Davis stepped down from the court Aug. 14 after lawmakers voted to impeach her and justices Allen Loughry, Margaret Workman and Beth Walker.

Davis and at least one Democratic lawmaker have accused the Republican-led legislature of turning what they said was a legitimate pursuit of charges against Loughry into a blatant attempt to take over the court. Democratic Delegate Barbara Evans Fleischauer of Monongalia County has called impeaching the other justices “a power grab ... and using the impeachment process to take over another branch of government.”

Jenkins and six other candidates have filed to run for Davis’ seat in November. Armstead and nine other candidates have filed to run for the seat Ketchum vacated.

Loughry faces six charges related to accusations of spending $363,000 on office renovations, taking home a $42,000 antique desk owned by the state, and lying to a House committee. Loughry, Walker and Workman all face charges of abusing authority by failing to control office expenses and not maintaining policies about the use of state vehicles, office computers at home and other matters.

Workman faces two separate impeachment articles related to accusations that she allowed senior status judges to be paid higher wages than are allowed.

Armstead was appointed to a House seat from Kanawha County in 1998 to fill a vacancy and was elected later that year. He served as House minority leader and was named speaker in December 2014 after Republicans gained majority control of both the House and Senate for the first time in eight decades.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The West Virginia Senate has begun its part in the impeachment of West Virginia Supreme Court justices. The chamber gaveled in Monday and adopted rules of procedure that will dictate the Court of Impeachment.

Pages