Government

Wwkayaker22 / en.wikipedia.org

Officials have released the identity of a kayaker who went missing along the banks of the Middle Fork River in West Virginia last Sunday. Officials with the state Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety say Jamie L. Gray, 41, of Hacker Valley is presumed drowned after going missing on Feb. 9. The agency is closing access to the Middle Fork River between Audra State Park in Barbour County and Tygart Valley River to bring in equipment to assist with the recovery of Gray. Officials say Gray was kayaking with a group of nine fellow paddlers in river last week.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice
Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice on Friday offered a conditional apology for calling a high school girls basketball team “thugs,” saying he didn’t know the remarks would cause any trouble.

We’ve passed the deadline for bills to be introduced in the House of Delegates this session. On Monday, that same cut-off will be in the Senate. Host Suzanne Higgins sits down with statehouse reporters Ryan Quinn of The Charleston Gazette-Mail, Taylor Stuck of the Huntington Herald-Dispatch, and Brad McElhinny of WV MetroNews for this week’s roundtable.

We look at two bills aimed at protecting health insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions – one offered by West Virginia Senate Republicans, and one offered by Senate Democrats.

Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Updated Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020 at 4:05 p.m.

A mobile voting application used in West Virginia’s 2018 election cycle is susceptible to various vulnerabilities, according to a study released Thursday by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. But the company behind the technology is disputing the findings and recommendations of the study.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we visit Paden City where citizens are concerned that years of poorly reported water contamination has led to clusters of disease and health hardships.

We explore support and opposition to a bill that would cut funding for greyhound racing at two West Virginia tracks, and we bring you the latest in West Virginia Legislative news.

In this Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016 photo, West Virginia Gov. -elect Jim Justice talks to his team during halftime of a girls high school basketball game in Lewisburg, W.Va.
Steve Helber / AP Photo

Updated Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020 at 4:15 p.m.

Gov. Jim Justice is defending his use of the word “thugs” to describe players and coaches of a high school girls basketball team. The governor — who coaches the girls team at Greenbrier East High School — used the phrase to describe the behavior of an opposing team and their coaches during a Tuesday night game. With lawmakers in session, Justice’s words were also the topic of conversation Wednesday on the House of Delegates floor.

West Virginia Legislative Photography

West Virginia educators would have to teach students about suicide prevention under a bill passed Wednesday by the state Senate.

Lawmakers voted 33-0 to approve the bill, which would require that teachers, students and other school officials get training on suicide prevention and awareness.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, West Virginia has long been known for its apple production. But apple farmers are struggling and orchards are disappearing.

Roxy Todd/ WVPB

When you think of some of West Virginia’s biggest economic drivers, extractive industries like coal or natural gas are likely the first things that often come to mind. But agriculture has been a fixture in West Virginia’s economy for hundreds of years. Yet today, farmers struggle to keep their business afloat. Take apple farming, for example. West Virginia has been producing apples since the late 1800s, even exporting them out of state. Now, as the cider industry expands, there’s an increasing demand for local apples. And some people think this is one economic development opportunity the state is overlooking. 


We bring you a special report and discussion on the challenges faced by West Virginia’s farmers. We also bring you the latest news from the Capitol.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The West Virginia Senate passed a bill Tuesday that would allow private and homeschool students to play public school sports and participate in other extracurricular activities. Senate Bill 131, known as the Tim Tebow Act, is named after the Heisman trophy winner and professional athlete who fought as a homeschooler for the right to play public school sports.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, hemp farmers in the region are coming up short – really short – on the return on their investment into the fledgling industry.

We learn about a state program that’s helping thousands of West Virginia grandparents who are raising their grandchildren, and we have a conversation with the co-chairs of a new bipartisan Tech Caucus.

Courtesty Morgantown Police Department Twitter

Updated Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020 at 11:50 a.m.

Two West Virginia University students aboard a Personal Rapid Transit, or PRT car, and the driver of a vehicle were transported to a Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown Monday afternoon after a rock slide sent a small boulder careening onto U.S. 19 / Monongahela Boulevard. One woman, whose vehicle was struck by a boulder, is listed in critical condition.

Flickr / davidwilson1949

After acknowledging that murder is already a crime, the West Virginia Senate on Monday passed a bill to penalize physicians who don't provide medical care to a baby born after an abortion attempt.

West Virginia's Senate approved a bill Monday to create a new intermediate court system.

The bill that passed on an 18-14 vote now goes to the House of Delegates. The Legislature has made numerous attempts in past sessions to approve similar legislation without success.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Those protesting pipelines and other industrial sites could be subject to fines and imprisonment under a new bill being considered in the West Virginia House of Delegates. The lower chamber’s Judiciary Committee held a public hearing Monday on a measure known as the West Virginia Critical Infrastructure Protection Act.

House Bill 4615 would designate and protect facilities the measure deems “critical infrastructure facilities” — including oil refineries, natural gas operations, telecommunications infrastructure, railroads, chemical plants, government-regulated dams and water treatment facilities. The measure would impose various jail sentences and fines for trespassing, vandalism and “conspiring” with those who carry out those acts. 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, a newly expanded program aims to address student needs – needs that are often hidden from plain sight.

Trump Criticizes West Virginia's Manchin On Impeachment Votes

Feb 8, 2020
Patrick Semansky / AP Photo

President Donald Trump on Friday criticized Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia for voting guilty on two articles of impeachment, aiming to weaken the senator’s political standing in a state Trump carried by a whopping 42 percentage points in 2016.

West Virginia Legislative Photography

A bipartisan bill seeking to cap what some insured West Virginians pay for insulin is going to the full House of Delegates for consideration. This comes after eight amendments and several hours of discussion in the House Judiciary Committee on Friday.  

It’s Friday, and that means we look back at a week of West Virginia Legislative action. We’ve also officially reached the half-way mark of the 2020 session. Host Suzanne Higgins is joined by statehouse reporters Phil Kabler of The Charleston Gazette-Mail, Emily Allen of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, and Steven Allen Adams of Ogden Newspapers.

West Virginia Legislative Photography

A bill to create an intermediate court of appeals in West Virginia is on its way to a final vote in the state Senate. Lawmakers rejected an amendment Friday that would have required the proposed court to handle criminal cases in addition to civil cases.

Senate Bill 275 would create another layer of appeals between circuit courts and the state Supreme Court. Two three-judge panels — split between a northern and southern district — would hear civil cases, guardianship cases and workers’ compensation cases, as well as appeals to decisions in family court.

Attorney General William Barr has issued new restrictions on opening investigations into politically sensitive individuals or entities, including a requirement that he approve any inquiry into a presidential candidate or campaign.

Barr outlined the new policies in a three-page memo obtained by NPR as the Democratic primaries are underway and the country gears up for November's presidential vote. The memo was first reported by The New York Times.

We discuss West Virginia’s children in crisis with members of a newly formed Public Health caucus. Also, West Virginia’s veterans were honored at the Capitol, and we bring you the latest in legislative action.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The West Virginia Senate’s Select Committee on Children and Families has advanced a bill that would create a string of reforms for employees of the Department of Health and Human Resources’ Bureau for Children and Families. Senate Bill 312 would focus on pay, create a registration system for caseworkers and hopes to address issues of vacancies and turnover that have plagued the bureau.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is shown Thursday, March 3, 2016, at the state Capitol in Charleston, W.Va.
John Raby / AP file photo

Updated: Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020 at 8:00 p.m.

The West Virginia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union accused the state attorney general of blocking critics on social media in violation of the First Amendment.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, a new survey from APM Research Lab shows attitudes across the country toward immigrants shift depending on the makeup of our local communities.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., speaks with reporters after President Donald Trump was acquitted in an impeachment trial on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020.
Patrick Semansky / AP Photo

West Virginia U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, often seen as one of the most moderate and Trump-friendly Democrats in the Senate, voted Wednesday along party lines to convict President Donald Trump on both Articles of Impeachment. 

While the 67-vote threshold for convicting the president was viewed as nearly insurmountable with Republicans holding a 53 seat majority in the Senate, Manchin remained undecided about how he would vote until Wednesday. 

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