Government

A photo taken during the demolition of Herbert Hoover High School in Sept. 2018.
Kanawha County Schools

 


The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will provide West Virginia $52.3 million to rebuild Herbert Hoover High School after devastating flooding in 2016 damaged the building. 

Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia election officials say a record 8,020 people registered to vote in September. 

 

Secretary of State Mac Warner on Thursday said the figure set a new state record for voter registration transactions in a single month. The tally was boosted by the registration of nearly 3,000 high school students.

Capitol
Kristi George / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A legislative post audit reveals serious problems with abuse and neglect cases handled by West Virginia’s Child Protective Services. Lawmakers heard the findings of the audit Tuesday during a legislative interim committee meeting. 

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Lawmakers in Charleston gaveled in Monday for a special session to address three bills requested by Gov. Jim Justice. While the Senate quickly moved on all three measures, activity in the House left one of the bills to go by the wayside.

In a late afternoon floor session, senators suspended a constitutional rule requiring bills be read on three separate days and quickly passed all of the measures proposed by the governor. 

Kristi Reyes spends time with her grandson in her new home.
Mary Meehan / Ohio Valley ReSource

Cancer was what finally pushed Kristi Reyes into living in her car.

The mother of four had worked all her life, starting at age 7 when she helped out at her family’s furniture store. Most of her work was in retail. It was paycheck-to-paycheck but she kept her kids together and a roof over their heads.

People rally in support of the LQBTQ+ community outside the Morgantown Public Library on Saturday, Nov. 16, following the cancellation of a Drag Queen event.
Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A West Virginia library says violent threats prompted it to cancel an event where drag queens were going to read to children.

The Morgantown Public Library System announced it was canceling its Drag Queen Story Time event in a Facebook post Friday.

Henrik Hahn, Deputy Ambassador of Denmark to the U.S., speaks to a local chapter of the West Virginia Kiwanis Club on Nov. 7, 2019, in Harpers Ferry, W.Va.
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting


The Deputy Ambassador of Denmark to the United States Henrik Hahn was invited to speak to a chapter of the West Virginia Kiwanis Club in Harpers Ferry last week. 

Denmark-based Rockwool has been a source of health and environmental contention for more than a year in the Eastern Panhandle, but discussion about the company was intentionally excluded from the event. 

Capitol Dome, Capitol, Legislature
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice is calling lawmakers back for another special legislative session.

WVPB will televise live  coverage of the Special Session Monday on The West Virginia Channel on  November 18 beginning at Noon. A live stream will also be available on on our YouTube channel and at wvpublic.org.

The MARC train parked at the Martinsburg train station. The service currently offers six trains, Monday through Friday, in West Virginia, but that could be reduced to two trains if West Virginia does not pay Maryland $2.3 million by the end of November.
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting


Local municipalities in the Eastern Panhandle have come together to provide some funding for the Maryland Area Regional Commuter, or MARC train, but it remains unclear if it will be enough to keep the service in West Virginia.

A guard tower at the United States Penitentiary, Big Sandy, stands as a sentinel along Kentucky Route 3 in Martin County.
Roger May / For Yes! Magazine

Big Sandy hides on a big hill. If you’re not looking for the federal prison, you’ll miss it easily. At first, all that can be seen above the soaring Kentucky cliffs, jagged granite dotted with green scruff, are lights. They look like the lights for a high school football field, or maybe a mall. Then the guard towers loom into view. You can’t see the razor wire from the road.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the future of the MARC commuter train service in the Eastern Panhandle is still uncertain. Local municipalities have come together to provide funding – but it’s unclear if it will be enough to keep the service in West Virginia. Liz McCormick explains.

Matt Rourke / AP file photo

Former Democratic West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant is running to win back her seat in 2020. 

Tennant made the announcement Thursday morning in a video emailed to news media and her supporters. 

Electronic Cigarette, E-Cigarette, E-Cig, Vapes, Vape
Pixabay

A West Virginia state senator has asked Gov. Jim Justice to end sales of flavored e-cigarette products.

Monongalia County Democrat Bob Beach asked Justice in a letter to issue an executive order declaring vaping to be a public health emergency.

Shelley Moore Capito Correct On Suicides In West Virginia

Nov 13, 2019
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., checks out the stage before the opening session of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Monday, July 18, 2016.
Carolyn Kaster / AP file photo

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., recently sought to raise awareness about suicide, focusing on its toll in her home state.

"On average, one person dies by suicide every 22 hours in West Virginia," Capito said in a Facebook post on Sept. 19.

classroom
Arria Belli / Wikimedia Commons

The West Virginia Board of Education is set to discuss charter schools this week.

The board will meet on Wednesday and Thursday in Charleston. A board policy proposal on charter schools is on Thursday's agenda.

The U.S. Supreme Court's conservative majority signaled Tuesday that it may let the Trump administration shut down the Obama-era program that granted temporary protection from deportation to roughly 700,000 young people, commonly known as DREAMers.

Brought to the U.S. illegally as children, the DREAMers were allowed to legally work and go to school if they met certain requirements and passed a background check. The program, begun in 2012, is known as DACA — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

Shepherdstown resident Tracy Danzey (right) walked 70 miles in 11 days from Kalundborg to Copenhagen protesting Rockwool. Martinsburg resident and former organizing director of the national AFL-CIO, Stewart Acuff (left), accompanied Danzey on the walk.
Emily Vaughn


Residents in the Eastern Panhandle continue to protest Denmark-based, stone wool manufacturing facility, Rockwool. For more than a year now, hundreds of residents still rally at commission and town council meetings in Jefferson County and at the Rockwool construction site – in an effort to stop the plant from being built.

Updated at 10:15 a.m. ET

Former President Jimmy Carter underwent surgery Tuesday morning to relieve pressure on his brain that was caused by bleeding from two recent falls, the Carter Center said. The former leader is now recovering from the operation.

"There are no complications from the surgery," the center said. It added that Carter will stay in the hospital for observation "for as long as advisable" by his doctors.

In this May 8, 2018 file photo former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship speaks to supporters in Charleston, W.Va. Blankenship says he’ll seek the Constitution Party’s nomination for U.S. president next year.
Tyler Evert / AP file photo

Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship has announced he is running for President. Blankenship served a year in federal prison and made a failed bid for the U.S. Senate in 2018.

In a statement posted online, Blankenship says he is seeking the Constitution Party’s nomination for president in 2020.  Federal Election Commission records show he filed paperwork in October.

Adobe Stock

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources has selected Aetna Better Health of West Virginia as the company to oversee their management of foster care in West Virginia.

A managed care model is essentially a privatized form of contracting out government services to a company in the private sector. In most states, including West Virginia, Medicaid is contracted out through a managed care model. 

Dylan Lovan / AP Photo

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is co-sponsoring a bill with West Virginia's two U.S. senators and others aimed at preserving the pensions of about 92,000 retired coal miners, as well as the health-care benefits of another 13,000 working miners.

courtesy Roane General Hospital

Roane General Hospital is spending about $22 million to renovate its facilities in Spencer, West Virginia. A loan of $26 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will cover most of the expansion. 

There will be a new medical office building, offering more preventative wellness care for the community, including a gym and fitness center, free educational classes, health screenings and support groups. 


Updated at 3:20 p.m. ET

House Democrats have announced they will begin public hearings as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump next week.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., announced two days of hearings. The first will be with acting Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent on Wednesday, Nov. 13. On Nov. 15, the committee will hear from former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.

Updated at 2:45 a.m. ET Wednesday

Democrats had a strong election night on Tuesday, leading the race for governor in Kentucky and taking back full control of the Virginia legislature for the first time in nearly a quarter century.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

West Virginia Senate Minority Leader Roman Prezioso says he won’t run for re-election in 2020.

The Exponent Telegram reports the 70-year-old Marion County Democrat made the announcement Monday.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, for many West Virginia residents, immigration is an issue that’s mostly only encountered in the abstract -- through news reports and from behind screens. But a group from Marshall County recently felt compelled to take a trip to the border, to see if they could do something to help asylum seekers. Glynis Board followed the group to learn more about the realities of the crisis at the southern U.S. border, and the people who would try to help.

Supreme Court justices Evan Jenkins (left) and Tim Armstead (right) listen on in a meeting of the Senate Finance Committee on January 15, 2019.
Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals has selected the next two justices who will lead the court. State justices also have agreed to return the chief justice’s term to one year at a time. 

In a news release, the state supreme court says Justice Tim Armstead will become chief justice in 2020 and Justice Evan Jenkins will take over in 2021. The court made the selections at its last administrative conference. 

Liz McCormick/ WVPB

A former West Virginia horse racing commissioner says photos posted online of a euthanized thoroughbred racing horse surrounded by trash in a landfill should be a wakeup call for state leaders.

Bill Phillips served for years on the commission before being replaced by Gov. Jim Justice in 2017. He told the Charleston Gazette-Mail that the commission is underfunded and understaffed.

Chuck Roberts/ WVPB

By branding southern West Virginia “Hatfield & McCoy” country, are we re-affirming negative stereotypes in Appalachia?

In this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll look at how some communities in southern West Virginia are hoping to jumpstart their local economies through tourism. In particular, we’ll explore a type of tourism that caters to ATV riders along the Hatfield and McCoy trail system.

But what do we gain, and what do we lose, when we market ourselves to visitors? Are people able to remain true to their real identity, and claim ownership of their own narrative? We'll discuss that and more in this week's episode.


Capitol, West Virginia State Capitol
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Updated Friday, November 1, 2019 at 2:47 p.m.

State budget revenues again came in under estimates for the month of October. The latest numbers continue a downward trend that has state officials preparing for budget cuts.

A preliminary report from the West Virginia Senate’s Finance Committee says state revenue collections were down $3.3 million in October.

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