Government

Destiny Judy / Inter-Mountain / via AP

President Donald Trump has granted a disaster declaration request for flooding in portions of West Virginia in late June.

Gov. Jim Justice says in a news release five counties can receive federal assistance for public recovery efforts.

Police have identified 24-year-old white male Connor Betts from Bellbrook, Ohio, as the shooter who claimed nine lives and injured 27 others in Dayton, Ohio, early on Sunday morning.

Among the nine dead was the shooter's sister, Megan Betts, 22, said Lt. Col. Matt Carper at a news conference Sunday.

A marijuana plant grows at Fotmer SA, an enterprise that produces cannabis for medical use, in Montevideo, Uruguay, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019.
Matilde Campodonico / AP Photo

West Virginia’s medical cannabis industry may have a prospective banking solution to get around federal law. But exactly when that solution might be implemented is still up in the air.

A spokeswoman for the state Treasurer’s office says in an email they received four bids from businesses looking to handle deposits associated with West Virginia’s as-of-yet launched medical cannabis program.

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

Updated on Aug. 1, 2019 at 3:22 p.m.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice's companies owe almost $2 million in delinquent taxes in Virginia, according to records obtained by WDBJ-TV .

The Roanoke-based station reported Wednesday that companies owned by the Republican governor owe $1.9 million in taxes to several counties in Virginia.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, last week, the West Virginia Public Service Commission announced it had selected a firm to audit Frontier Communications and its copper network, which provides service to landline phones throughout the state. 

National statistics show more residents are using wireless phones exclusively. Yet, many people in rural communities don’t have that option and are still dependent on their landline phones for emergency response.

ZngZng / wikimedia Commons

People recovering from substance abuse disorder can get rides to appointments under a project set to begin in West Virginia.

Gov. Jim Justice holds a bill signing ceremony for House Bill 207 in Pleasants County on July 30, 2019.
Office of Gov. Jim Justice

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has approved a tax break for a struggling coal-fired power plant whose operator says a company owned by the governor owes it $3.1 million.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, scuba diving and West Virginia are not often used in the same sentence. But Eric Douglas, Inside Appalachia associated producer, is a scuba diver and he brings us this next story from Summersville Lake in Nicholas County.

Click on this link to see a short video Eric shot while he was on the dive.

Michael/Flickr

The West Virginia Department of Transportation announced Tuesday that the next round of Governor Jim Justice’s Secondary Roads Initiative is underway.

Dept. of Defense

About 40 percent of veterans who receive medical care through the Veterans Health Administration are now covered at urgent care clinics. This expansion of benefits for veterans is part of the Mission Act, which went into effect last month. 


Sleepy truck drivers cause hundreds of fatal crashes each year. Drivers work in an industry that rewards miles driven, not time on the clock, so many truckers push the envelope just to make a living.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration keeps drivers in check with so-called Hours of Service Regulations. The regs cap driving time at 11 hours a day. Truckers have to stop and rest for at least a half hour during that time, and no matter how much downtime they may have in between, they have to quit for the day 14 hours after they start.

A woman has been charged in connection with a hacking breach at Capital One bank that exposed information from more than 100 million credit applications over a 14-year period – what is thought to be one of the largest such attacks in recent years.

Authorities in Seattle have charged Paige A. Thompson, who also goes by the handle "erratic," with a single count of computer fraud. She appeared in court on Monday and is scheduled for a detention hearing on Thursday.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A group of West Virginia lawmakers want control of a recent $37 million opioid settlement with the drug distributor McKesson.

Bridge and construction equipment underwater on River Road in northeastern Morgan County. Sleepy Creek is backed up where it runs into the Potomac River. Photo taken on June 4, 2018.
The Morgan Messenger / Courtesy Photo

Some small businesses in two West Virginia counties are eligible to apply for economic injury disaster loans as a result of storms last year.

How a Proposed SNAP Eligibility Revision Could Affect Ohio Valley Recipients

Jul 25, 2019

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced this week a proposal to tighten the rules on who qualifies for food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). USDA estimates more than three million people across the country would lose SNAP benefits in an effort to prevent fraud. Anti-hunger advocates in the Ohio Valley say the more than two million people in the region who use the benefits would be impacted.

Retired Coal Miners on Capitol Hill Push for a Fix to Pension System

Jul 25, 2019
Sam Ball, a retired coal miner from Virginia, testified before the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources.
House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources

A rush of retired coal miners and advocates were in Washington this week, pushing members of Congress to protect their pensions.

About 40 members of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) arrived on Capitol Hill Tuesday, July 23, to meet with lawmakers and voice their concerns during a congressional hearing Wednesday.

Adobe Stock images / WVPB illustration

West Virginia’s attorney general says state consumers affected by an Equifax data breach last year can now file claims.

Patrick Morrisey says in a news release the claims process is open for a $425 million national settlement along with a separate $2.4 million settlement reached in a lawsuit filed by Morrisey’s office. The breach affected about 730,000 West Virginia residents.

Destiny Judy/The Inter-Mountain

West Virginia’s congressional delegation is asking the president to authorize federal disaster relief funds after flash flooding damaged the state’s eastern highlands late last month.

U.S. Sens. Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito joined U.S. Reps. David McKinley, Alex Mooney and Carol Miller in a joint statement Wednesday asking for the federal disaster declaration.

In an about-face, the Pennsylvania school district that threatened to place children in foster care over past-due cafeteria bills is now accepting donations following its initial rejection of those who offered help, a decision that left many observers puzzled.

Trump Celebrates at W.Va. Fundraiser after Mueller Hearings

Jul 24, 2019
President Donald Trump boards Air Force One at Air Force One at Wheeling, W.Va., Wednesday, July 24, 2019.
Manuel Balce Ceneta / Associated Press

A triumphant President Donald Trump celebrated Wednesday evening after Robert Mueller’s testimony, telling attendees at a closed-door fundraiser in West Virginia that the former special counsel’s appearance was a dud.

Trump, who arrived at the fundraiser energized and excited, told a crowd at the WesBanco Arena that Mueller’s testimony was nothing more than a miserable effort by Democrats to discredit him, West Virginia Senate President Mitch Carmichael told The Associated Press.

This van is used by the JCESA to transport deceased who are non-medical examiner cases and who have no prior death arrangements. JCESA purchased this van in 2017 to tackle an increase in calls and manage a loss in local resources.
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

One of the angles of the opioid epidemic we don’t often hear about is what happens to the bodies of those who become overtaken by addiction. West Virginia Public Broadcasting looks at one group under strain – the state’s forensic pathologists who are charged with performing autopsies.

We also explore one West Virginia community’s efforts to efficiently transport the dead.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said in an interview Tuesday that she does not favor proposals put forth by some Democratic presidential candidates who have advocated changing the number of Supreme Court justices if the Democrats win the presidency.

Ginsburg, who got herself in trouble criticizing candidate Donald Trump in 2016, this time was critical not of any particular Democratic contender, but of their proposals to offset President Trump's two conservative appointments to the court.

Mackie Branham views a lung X-ray with Dr. James Brandon Crum, who was among the first physicians to note an uptick in black lung diagnoses
Howard Berkes / NPR

Democratic members of Congress introduced legislation Tuesday to provide additional funding for coal miners suffering from black lung. The bills came as a contingent of Appalachian miners afflicted with the disease lobbied lawmakers for more support. 

“It doesn’t only take your health. It takes your identity,” Barry Johnson said of the disease. Johnson is a fourth-generation coal miner from Letcher County, Kentucky, who made the trip to Washington with his oxygen tank in tow. 

The Senate has voted 97-2 to approve a bill that will virtually ensure permanent funding for rescue workers whose work after the Sept. 11 attacks caused health problems.

The House passed the bill last month, and President Trump is expected to approve it, ending a years-long ordeal for the victims after concerns that the fund was on the verge of running out of money.

W.Va. House of Delegates Majority Whip Paul Espinosa, R-Jefferson, speaking during a floor session.
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

House of Delegates Majority Whip Del. Paul Espinosa has been hired as the Public Affairs Manager for the controversial Rockwool insulation plant in Jefferson County.

Rockwool made the announcement in a press release Tuesday.

The Trump administration wants to change the way states determine who qualifies for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, benefits, also known as food stamps. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that 3 million people would lose their food assistance as a result.

Updated at 10 a.m. ET

Britain's Conservative Party has chosen Boris Johnson to become the country's next prime minister, replacing the pragmatic and sometimes colorless Theresa May with a bombastic populist who favors a no-deal Brexit.

Johnson walked to the lectern inside London's Queen Elizabeth II Centre, thanking his opponent, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, and the outgoing May.

The Capitol building in Charleston, West Virginia.
Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Legislature has passed three bills that would provide additional funding for education. The measures were outlined in a controversial education omnibus approved in June.

Coal Miners to Hit Capitol Hill for Black Lung Funding

Jul 22, 2019
Barry Johnson wears an oxygen tube to assist breathing.
Sydney Boles / 100 Days in Appalachia

Dozens of Appalachian coal miners plan to visit Capitol Hill Tuesday to ask lawmakers to bolster funding for the black lung disability trust fund, which miners depend upon when no responsible company can be identified to pay for needed health care.

Update at 6:22 p.m. ET

President Trump announced an agreement on a two-year budget deal and debt-ceiling increase.

The deal would raise the debt ceiling past the 2020 elections and set $1.3 trillion for defense and domestic spending over the next two years.

Pages