Government

There’s a new focus on hunger at the West Virginia Legislature. We'll hear about the newly formed Hunger Caucus, and host Suzanne Higgins sits down with the Speaker of the House of Delegates, Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay.

Senate President Mitch Carmichael from his appearance on The Legislature Today on Monday, January 13, 2020
WVPB

Senate President Mitch Carmichael issued a statement Tuesday afternoon, saying he’s against Senate Bill 270 to prohibit discrimination against members of West Virginia’s LGBTQ community. In the statement, he argues the bill risks usurping religious liberties.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, as census data is collected, there’s a distinct possibility that West Virginians are poised to lose representation in Congress. Also, in this show, we bring you an excerpt from last night’s episode of The Legislature Today – our annual, weeknight legislative news coverage.

Senate President Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson, joins host Suzanne Higgins to discuss the Republican agenda for the 2020 West Virginia Legislative session. Senior Reporter Dave Mistich also joins Higgins on set to discuss the latest news and legislative action from the statehouse.

Daniel Walker / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Over the next couple of weeks, West Virginia will get an idea who will be on the ballot for the upcoming election cycle — from the President of the United States and congressional openings all the way down to races for constitutional offices, statehouse seats and the Supreme Court. The filing period for the state’s 2020 election cycle is now underway and dozens of would-be officials have formally declared their candidacy. 

Perry Bennet / WV Legislative Photography

A West Virginia delegate had a good excuse for missing the recent start of the legislation session — he was recuperating from surgery after donating a kidney to his sister.

Cabell County Democrat Sean Hornbuckle told The Herald-Dispatch that he planned to return to Charleston this week.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The West Virginia Senate has adopted a resolution calling on Frederick County, Virginia to join West Virginia.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 2 extends an invitation for Frederick County to consider leaving the state of Virginia to become a part of West Virginia. Senators adopted the measure Monday on a voice vote. 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, as we transition into 2020, we consider where the Ohio Valley has been in the last decade, what to expect this election year, and what it took to get here. We also hear how recent and upcoming elections are playing out in states across central Appalachia, and we hear a story on the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment.

The halls of the Capitol are now quiet. Lawmakers have gone home for the weekend, and the session has gotten off to a low-key start. We discuss the first three days of the 2020 West Virginia Legislative session with statehouse reporters, and we look at some of the legislation introduced this week in both the House and Senate.

Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting file photo

West Virginia Board of Education members have chosen not to require seat belts be added to state school buses.

The board made the decision Wednesday, Jan. 8, while reviewing its bus policy, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported.

Adobe Stock

West Virginia’s governor says a technology company has agreed to open a research facility in the state to look into using coal to make carbon-based products.

Gov. Jim Justice gave additional details about the agreement with Ramaco Carbon on Thursday after mentioning the research center in his State of the State speech.

We launch our nightly coverage of the 2020 West Virginia Legislative session with reaction to Gov. Jim Justice's State of the State Address.

West Virginia Legislative Photography

The West Virginia House Health and Human Resources Committee has advanced a bill that would ensure medical care for a fetus born alive following an ineffective abortion. 

House Bill 4007 is known as the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. The measure would direct physicians to exercise “reasonable medical judgement” should a fetus be alive following an abortion. 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Republican Gov. Jim Justice rolled out his legislative wish list last night for 2020’s 60-day session. Justice’s state of the state address touched on everything from economic opportunities to substance abuse and child welfare, outlining a smaller budget compared to previous years but also highlighting new policy proposals. Dave Mistich brings us a recap.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislature

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice discussed state efforts to improve roads, his opposition to sanctuary cities and his administration’s work to combat addiction at his annual State of the State Address Wednesday evening

One thing Democrats said they didn’t hear?

“West Virginia is hemorrhaging population,” Del. Isaac Sponaugle, D-Pendleton, said. 

W.Va. Senate Forms Committee Dedicated To Child Welfare Issues

Jan 8, 2020
State Sen. Tom Takubo, R-Kanawha, speak during opening day of the state legislative session, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020, in Charleston, W.Va.
Chris Jackson / AP photo

A committee has been formed in the West Virginia Senate to focus on upcoming legislation related to child welfare.

The Senate Select Committee on Children and Families, whose formation was announced Wednesday, will be led by Kanawha County Republican and Senate Majority Leader Tom Takubo.

Emily Allen / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Senate President Mitch Carmichael is slated to introduce a bill to prohibit healthcare companies from denying service to people with pre-existing conditions in the event the Affordable Care Act — which currently prohibits such discrimination — is repealed. 

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice gives a speech during a Department of Tourism conference Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018, at the Morgantown Event Center.
Jesse Wright / WVPB

This story was updated on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, to include the most up-to-date information on Justice's other ongoing legal affairs. 

A criminal defense attorney representing West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced a federal investigation into his client’s annual golf charity was concluded earlier this week without any findings of wrongdoing.

According to incident logs compiled by West Virginia officials, corrections employees received threats after last month’s release of a blurred photo showing a training class giving an apparent Nazi salute. But not all of the logged incidents show threats of violence against corrections officers. 

Mount Olive Correctional Complex
Michael Keller / Goldenseal

A black West Virginia inmate says in a federal lawsuit that he was attacked by a member of the Aryan Brotherhood while state prison guards either did nothing or helped facilitate the assault.

Lermon Russell, 44, filed suit last week over the attack at the Mount Olive Correctional Center, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported.

Updated at 11:45 a.m. ET

Vast crowds thronged the streets of Tehran on Monday to pay respects to Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran's elite Quds Force who was killed last week in a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad.

In a eulogy, Soleimani's daughter appeared to threaten U.S. forces in the region, and the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, wept for the fallen general.

Ron Cogswell with permission via Creative Commons

This story was update at 4:15 pm with Sen. Joe Manchin's statement. 

Congressional members around the Ohio Valley offered mixed reactions to the U.S. airstrike that killed one of Iran’s top military officers and pushed the two countries closer to war. 

Most statements from regional lawmakers pointed to Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani’s record of orchestrating violent attacks on U.S. personnel, and many Republicans praised President Donald Trump for ordering the drone missile strike that killed Soleimani in Baghdad.  

Updated at 4:27 a.m. ET Friday

U.S. forces assassinated Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani in an airstrike early Friday near the Baghdad International Airport, an escalation of tensions between Washington and Tehran that is prompting concerns of further violence in the region.

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

Gov. Jim Justice announced December revenue collections in West Virginia totaled nearly $430 million dollars — slightly more than what was collected last year.

In a Thursday press release, the governor said revenue collections for December came in $6.9 million above estimates, which was 1.2 percent above prior year receipts. Justice said the “state is still in great financial health."

Empty CSX rail cars derailed on the morning of Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019 near Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.
Courtesy Washington County, Md.

Two incidents in the Eastern Panhandle that occurred over the Christmas holiday have seen some resolution.

The Ohio Valley’s Decade In Data

Jan 2, 2020
Ohio Valley ReSource

The year: 2009. A Senator from Illinois named Barack Obama has just made history upon taking the presidential oath of office. The national economy is at a low point of the Great Recession. And the Pittsburgh Steelers are the first NFL team to win six Super Bowls.

Ten years later, as 2019 gives way to a new decade, the country is a radically different place, and the Ohio Valley is no exception.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, a state commission tasked with educating middle and high schoolers about the horrific events of the Holocaust has been dormant for years. But some state leaders have been pushing for more than a year to bring it back. As Dave Mistich reports, those involved in trying to revive the commission say recent displays of anti-Semitism highlight the need for its existence.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced Monday he has approved recommendations to fire all of the correctional officer cadets who participated in an apparent Nazi salute during a class photo.

"As I said from the beginning, I condemn the photo of Basic Training Class 18 in the strongest possible terms," Justice said in a statement.

This Feb. 21, 2005, file photo, shows incoming bishop of the Wheeling-Charleston diocese, W.Va, Michael Bransfield in his new office, in Wheeling, W.Va.
AP file photo

A newspaper has published a secret church report about a former West Virginia bishop ousted for alleged sexual and financial misconduct that details how he allegedly groomed and inappropriately touched young men.

The Washington Post reports law enforcement does not have a copy of the report, which officials said could aid in their investigation into former bishop Michael Bransfield.

Adobe Stock

A former West Virginia state trooper was acquitted of charges Monday, Dec. 23, related to the beating of a teenager during a traffic stop. 

U.S. District Judge Gina Groh issued the verdict following an October bench trial in Martinsburg for ex-Trooper Michael Kennedy, of Morgantown. 

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