Government

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.
Dale Sparks / AP 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. 

Berkeley County Public Safety via Google Maps

Updated on Jan. 2, 2019 at 1:40 p.m.

The evacuation for the .5 mile radius surrounding the Sewage Treatment Plant at 500 E. John St. was lifted on Dec. 24, 2019.

courtesy of Dr. Edith Levy

A West Virginia commission tasked with educating middle and high schoolers on the horrific events of the Holocaust has lain dormant for years. But some state leaders have been pushing for more than a year to bring it back. 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 talks about his budget proposal during a stop on his Save Our State Tour on Thursday, March 3, 2017, at Fairmont State University.
Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting file photo

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said Friday that his state will keep accepting refugees, declining an offer by President Donald Trump’s administration that lets states halt resettlement.

In a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the Republican governor wrote that refugees are vetted and approved by the appropriate federal agencies. He also praised the refugees who have made West Virginia their new home and lauded the state’s resettlement agency, which has been in operation since 1978.

Gov. Justice's Chief of Staff Mike Hall announces the agreement with Maryland to continue the MARC train service in W.Va. at a press conference in Martinsburg on Dec. 19, 2019.
W.Va. Governor's Office

 

Gov. Jim Justice has agreed to provide the remaining funding Maryland officials requested to keep the Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) in the Eastern Panhandle at its current service. The governor is also hopeful to expand the service to promote tourism in the region.

@RepAlexMooney / via Twitter

West Virginia’s congressional delegation in the House of Representatives all voted against the impeachment of President Donald Trump. 

Republicans David McKinley, Alex Mooney and Carol Miller — who represent West Virginia’s first, second and third districts, respectively — each voted against both articles of impeachment against Trump. 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, every year for Christmas, cats and dogs are given as gifts. But many end up in animal shelters. About 3 million cats enter animal shelters every year in the United States, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or ASPCA. And every year, about 860,000 are euthanized in shelters. But as Liz McCormick reports, places like “cat cafes” may be helping more cats find forever homes.

Twitter

 


Gov. Jim Justice has hired a former campaign staff member as his Regional Representative for West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle counties.

House Television / via AP

This is a developing story and may be updated.

Debate continues on the floor of the U.S. House on whether to impeach President Donald Trump — and West Virginia’s delegation is expected to oppose the articles and support the president. 

Rep. Carol Miller, a Republican who represents West Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District, spoke on the floor early in Wednesday’s debate.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Democratic Del. Isaac Sponaugle announced he is running for West Virginia’s attorney general in 2020. 

He made the announcement Monday at the state Capitol.

One of seven locomotives acquired by OmniTRAX after it purchased the Winchester & Western Railroad in September. Additionally, OmniTRAX acquired 470 railcars.
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting


Colorado-based OmniTRAX, a freight-only transportation company that links several railroads from coast to coast in the U.S., purchased the Winchester & Western Railroad for $105 million in September. 

The railroad runs through part of West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle, and the purchase is expected to improve West Virginia’s economy by attracting more businesses to the Eastern Panhandle.

Wikimedia Commons

A group of Democratic West Virginia lawmakers announced plans Monday to introduce legislation to regulate a group of toxic, man-made fluorinated chemicals. 

Tower for drilling horizontally into the Marcellus Shale Formation for natural gas, from Pennsylvania Route 118 in eastern Moreland Township, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, USA
Ruhrfisch [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)

The head of natural gas driller EQT Corporation told members of the West Virginia Legislature the company intends to ramp up the size of drilling projects to hedge against projected low natural gas prices. To accomplish that, the company may need help from lawmakers when it comes to "fractured mineral interests."

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we’ll hear how the purchase of a railroad in the Eastern Panhandle may have a big impact on that region’s economy.

West Virginia Department of Militart Affairs and Public Safety

While state officials are still not identifying the West Virginia corrections officer trainees during a pending  investigation into a photo showing many in the class giving an apparent Nazi salute, public records shed some light on other aspects of the training program — including one trainer who has been a focal point of the controversy.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Us & Them host Trey Kay talks with Bob Garfield. Garfield is co-host of the NPR program “On the Media.” He is also co-founder of an initiative called “The Purple Project for Democracy.” Its goal is to help people believe in democracy once again and show them ways to get involved and re-engage.

Manchin Plans To Halt Senate Action Over Coal Miners’ Benefits

Dec 12, 2019
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.
AP file Photo / Alex Brandon

West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin pledged Wednesday, Dec. 11, to block all legislation until pensions and health benefits are secured for coal miners. 

Manchin said no legislation will pass the Senate until he is assured that coal miners’ benefits will be in the spending bill used to fund the federal government.

Adobe Stock

 


The rate of preterm births in the U.S. has risen over the past four years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A new report card from March of Dimes, a nonprofit organization that works to help mothers and babies in the United States, has given West Virginia an F grade in the percentage of live births that are premature. 

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia’s two U.S. Senators have introduced a bill Tuesday calling for more transparency in regard to patient safety and quality of care for veterans. The proposal comes as federal officials investigate suspicious deaths at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Clarksburg. 

Democrat Joe Manchin and Republican Shelley Moore Capito announced they have introduced The Improving Safety and Security for Veterans Act of 2019.  

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we’ll hear about a 70-year-old music festival serving a different kind of Christian music. Also, we hear the latest on the debate over the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and a new study on the risks of black lung disease.

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