Government

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A grand jury in West Virginia’s southern district has indicted state Supreme Court Justice Allen Loughry on 22 counts. The charges include fraud, witness tampering and making false statements.

U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart says FBI agents arrested Loughry Wednesday morning and brought him to the Robert C. Byrd federal courthouse in Charleston for processing.

Shayla Klein

The U.S. Department of Justice announced a  “Zero Tolerance” policy in illegal immigration earlier this year , and that policy has recently come under scrutiny for news that  children are being separated from their parents as they enter the United States across the Mexican border. A group, called “Mountaineers for Progress”, hosted a protest Monday evening against the policy.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Gov. Jim Justice is seeking a $2,700 increase in the tiers for health insurance premiums to avoid bumping teachers and other public employees into higher tiers from a recent 5 percent pay increase.

Justice announced at a news conference Monday he will ask the Public Employees Insurance Agency for the change.

When Congress approved giving $380 million to states to bolster the security of their elections, state officials were caught off guard but extremely grateful. Elections are notoriously underfunded and haven't seen a windfall like this from the federal government in more than a decade.

But getting that money out to all the states, and then into the hands of localities that run the elections, with enough time to have a meaningful effect on the 2018 midterm elections is a difficult proposition.

W. Clayton Burch, Interim Secretary, West Virginia Department of Commerce.
WV Governor's Office

Gov. Jim Justice named W. Clayton Burch as interim secretary at the West Virginia Department of Commerce on Friday, a day after forcing out his predecessor.

Carol Guzy/ NPR

Can Trump bring coal jobs back to Appalachia? We’re a year-and-a-half into his presidency, and some people, like coal operator Barry Estep, are hopeful.

“Maybe this is a light at the end of the tunnel we’ve all been hoping for, to get things turned around and changed some.”

But others are not so sure that coal has a long-term future. 


Hydrocodone pills
Toby Talbot / AP

A federal judge in Ohio will consider whether to allow public access to government data detailing years of prescription opioid painkiller shipments.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

State commerce department Sec. Woody Thrasher has resigned following reports of a slow-moving recovery program aimed to help victims of the June 2016 flood.

 

Thrasher resigned Thursday after Gov. Jim Justice asked for his resignation, according to a news release from the governor’s office.   

Greenbier
Bobak Ha'Eri / Wikimedia Commons

The PGA Tour has approved a name change for The Greenbrier Classic in West Virginia.

The Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs says in a statement the tournament will now be known as A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier.

West Virginia Supreme Court chamber
West Virginia Judiciary

The West Virginia Supreme Court says a Rhode Island woman whose husband died of carbon monoxide poisoning at a hotel is entitled to West Virginia workers' compensation benefits.

The state Workers' Compensation Board of Review had ruled Louise Moran could not receive the West Virginia benefits because she had earlier been awarded benefits in Rhode Island.

9 mm handgun
wikimedia commons

A West Virginia man accused of stealing 180 guns from the same pawn shop has pleaded guilty to multiple firearms charges.

Prosecutors say 23-year-old Robert Lee Reid of Branchland entered the pleas Monday in federal court in Huntington.

A West Virginia woman has admitted to stealing about $98,000 from a youth choir organization.

News outlets report 51-year-old Jacqueline Holly Portillo of Hurricane pleaded guilty Monday to four felony embezzlement counts.

A former bookkeeper has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $183,000 in labor union funds in West Virginia.

Prosecutors say 70-year-old Joan Matthews of South Charleston entered the plea Monday in federal court in Charleston to felony embezzlement and theft of labor union assets.

J. Glover/AUTiger / Wikimedia Commons

A city in West Virginia is suing the owners of a towboat that spilled oil along the West Virginia-Kentucky border earlier this year.

The Herald-Dispatch reports the boat sank in the Big Sandy River on Jan. 10. The complaint, filed this week, seeks more than $150,000 in expenses and compensation for future related costs and attorney fees.

Darkone / Wikimedia Commons

Health officials say a raccoon has tested positive for rabies in West Virginia.

According to news outlets, the Monongalia County Health Department says the raccoon was found Monday in the National area of the county. Tests confirmed the disease in the animal.

Joshuashearn / wikimedia Commons

A federal agency and a trade association are offering a reward for information in the theft of firearms in West Virginia.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the National Shooting Sports Foundation are offering up to a total of $5,000 for information leading to a conviction in the theft of firearms from Gun Runner in Fairmont.

Fracking, Fluid
Baker Hughes

A West Virginia University assistant professor has received a $450,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to look at how airborne particles that result from hydraulic fracturing affect human health.

In hydraulic fracturing, oil and gas are extracted from rock by injecting mixtures of water, sand and chemicals underground.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A federal judge has given final approval of a $151 million settlement of a lawsuit stemming from a chemical spill into a West Virginia river.

Elk
CommonsHelper2 Bot / Wikimedia Commons

A group of elk transported from Arizona to West Virginia in March have been set free from their holding pen.

News outlets report the Division of Natural Resources released 46 elk on Tuesday in Logan County.

Casting a line won't cost anything in West Virginia this weekend.

The state Division of Natural Resources is holding its annual free fishing weekend for both residents and nonresidents. It's part of National Fishing and Boating Week.

MPD01605 / Flickr

Tolls on the West Virginia Turnpike will double starting next year.

News outlets report the West Virginia Parkways Authority voted Thursday to increase rates at three toll booths from $2 to $4 for passenger cars starting Jan. 1.

Steve Herber / Associated Press

Gov. Jim Justice says more than $6.6 million in grants will provide backup power generators for water and wastewater treatment plants and systems in nine West Virginia counties.

Justice announced the funds Thursday in response to the 2016 floods that killed 23 people statewide and ravaged homes, businesses, schools and infrastructure.

Allen Loughry
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Updated: June 8, 2018 at 5:10 p.m.

 

Legislative leaders are calling for the resignation of West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Allen Loughry after he was suspended without pay. Loughry's suspension and calls for his resignation came Friday as a result of an order stating the court believes he has engaged in violations of the state's Code of Judicial Conduct. Friday's activity follows a 32-page statement of charges issued Wednesday by the Judical Investigations Commission.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we’ll visit an art installation built by Magnolia High School students in Wetzel County; hear about a new report on poverty released by the United Nations; and we’ll hear an excerpt from the latest Us & Them podcast which looks at the dynamic between gay and straight people in West Virginia.

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

Gov. Jim Justice and his revenue staff say West Virginia is heading toward a budget surplus as the state nears the end of the 2018 fiscal year.

The governor and his revenue staff announced May’s revenue collections were more than $20 million above estimates. The entire month saw nearly $330 million in total revenue collection.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

This is a developing story and will be updated.

 

A West Virginia Supreme Court Justice is accused of violating the state Code of Judicial Conduct. The Judicial Investigation Commission filed a statement of 32 charges Wednesday against Justice Allen Loughry, as well as a motion for his immediate suspension without pay.

West Virginia University

 

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources announced today that efforts are underway to distribute naloxone to emergency first responders statewide.

All first responders will carry the opioid overdose reversal drug and will be trained on how to  reduce overdose deaths in West Virginia. The DHHR has purchased a $1 million supply of naloxone, about 34,000 doses.

 

AP Photo

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, the Republican candidate trying to unseat incumbent Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin in November’s election, is bringing Donald Trump Jr. to the state on Tuesday to rally GOP voters.

Numbers-wise, it makes sense for President Trump to send his son as a proxy to a state campaign. West Virginians voted 69 percent for Trump Jr.’s father in 2016, and there is no state where the president enjoys a higher approval rating.

Benny Becker / Ohio Valley Resource

A new study from the Government Accountability Office finds that the federal fund supporting coal miners with black lung disease could be in financial trouble without Congressional action. As NPR has reported, the GAO found that the fund’s debt could rise dramatically at the same time that black lung disease is surging.

Office of the Governor / via Twitter

Gov. Justice has announced changes to the management of slow-moving flood recovery program designed to help those affected by the flood of June 2016. The announcement comes on the heels of reporting that shows poor management on the part of officials in the state development office, little money spent and few flood victims getting assistance.

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