Government

Emily Allen / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia officials have announced that three individuals have been fired and 34 others have been suspended without pay as a result of an investigation into a photo of corrections trainees giving the Nazi salute. However, the governor's office and the agency in charge of the state's corrections' program isn't yet releasing the identities of those involved or the original photo in question. 

New SNAP Rule Could Hit Ohio Valley Hardest

Dec 6, 2019
Food is ready for loading and distribution the Facing Hunger Food Bank in Huntington, West Virginia..
Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broadcasting file photo

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates almost 700,000 people across the country will lose food stamps in a new Trump Administration rule announced Wednesday. Regional anti-hunger advocates and policy analysts say the Ohio Valley — and Appalachia in particular — could be disproportionately affected by this rule.

West Virginia Department of Militart Affairs and Public Safety

Updated: Thursday, December 5, 2019 at 11:18 p.m. 

The West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety is opening an investigation into an offensive photo depicting state corrections trainees giving a well-recognized Nazi hand signal. State officials announced that suspsensions related to the photo have taken place.

The MARC train's Brunswick Line parked at the Martinsburg Train Station. Photo taken in Apr. 2018.
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting


Nov. 30 was the deadline for West Virginia to provide $2.3 million to the Maryland Department of Transportation to keep the Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) at its current service. Otherwise, the service in West Virginia would be reduced from six trains per weekday to two. 

But it’s unclear if an agreement was reached.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Longtime Democratic West Virginia House of Delegates member Mike Caputo has announced he’ll run for a seat in the state Senate. He made the announcement Tuesday at an event in Fairmont.

Farragutful / wikimedia Commons

The Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston released a “list of amends” last week for the former bishop Michael Bransfield to consider. That list comes in the wake of multiple investigations revealing sexual and financial misconduct. The diocese wants Bransfield to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars and to apologize. 

Former seminarian, Wheeling resident and Morgantown native Vincent DeGeorge has spoken out about abuse, saying he was among those targeted by Bransfield. He offered these thoughts on the Diocese's list.

The Five Loaves and Two Fishes Foodbank has 24 hydro-panels for water-gathering in Kimball, West Virginia.
Emily Allen / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

In McDowell County, access to clean water can be a challenge. Aging infrastructure, a shrinking tax base and lack of oversight affect the region’s water quality. That is why one community food bank is trying something different, to provide cleaner water to some who are in need.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, abortion can be a hot button topic to avoid around the Thanksgiving table. But it’s a key issue at the heart of a highly polarized political climate. Several states now have abortion restrictions in place. Some states have signed abortion bans, but those aren’t in effect yet. And next year, the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a case that could change the right to legal abortion.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Advocates for the decriminalization of cannabis gathered Tuesday before a Morgantown City Council meeting. Having offered the council draft legislation, those advocates are also hoping to build a movement that pushes decriminalization and legalization efforts from city councils all the way to the statehouse.

Presidential hopefuls Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders want to tear up your student loans and set you financially free. That's popular among voters – especially those struggling to pay off this debt.

Other Democratic candidates have more modest plans. But economists say the dramatic proposals from Sanders and Warren to free millions of Americans from the burden of student debt could boost the economy in significant ways and help combat income inequality.

Frontier Communications

As independent auditors continue their six-month review into Frontier Communications’ landline phone operations in West Virginia, staff working for the state Public Service Commission have noted some significant delays on the part of the telecommunications company. 

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.

Pages