Governor Earl Ray Tomblin

Rock Creek Development Park
Clark / WV Public Broadcasting

One of the last goals of former West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s administration, was to try to help southern West Virginia economically. Tomblin hopes he’s found a unique way to do that.

Space, that’s one of the things companies look for when they consider locating in West Virginia. They want plenty of it before they’ll commit to moving factories and warehouses to the state, but former Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said the lack of flat land is often a challenge for those working to diversify West Virginia’s economy.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice waves to the crowd as he delivers his inauguration speech, Monday, Jan. 16, 2017, in Charleston, W.Va.
Walter Scriptunas II / AP Photo

Gov. Jim Justice says state government is looking at a projected budget deficit of $500 million in the next fiscal year.

The governor tells the Beckley Register-Herald the funding gap would increase again the following year.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, Beth Vorhees previews her television interview with Governor Earl Ray Tomblin that airs on West Virginia Public Broadcasting this weekend and we’ll preview this weekend’s Inside Appalachia hearing from supporters and opponents of President-elect Donald Trump.

That’s on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

AP Photo/Steve Helber

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin delivered his farewell address following six years in office on Wednesday afternoon before a joint session of the state Senate and House of Delegates.

The 64-year-old Tomblin, a Democrat, has to leave after two terms.

tiny house
Steven Walling / Wikimedia Commons

Some West Virginia residents whose homes were destroyed by last summer's floods are getting new places to live.

The Department of Education says 12 career and technical centers across the state have built small homes for families whose lives were torn apart.

Elk Reintroduced to State, Logan County

Dec 19, 2016
Clark Davis / WV Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Department of Natural Resources along with Governor Earl Ray Tomblin presented 20 Elk to Logan County Monday.

More than 140 years ago, Elk were native to the state. In 2015, legislation authorized the Division of Natural Resources to begin an active elk restoration plan, starting with finding enough suitable land to sustain a population. Through a partnership with The Conservation Fund, more than 32,000 acres of publicly accessible land was acquired and another 10,000 through lease agreements in Logan County. The DNR transferred the 20 donated elk from the western part of Kentucky last week and have them set up in a space fenced off in Logan County at the Tomblin Wildlife Management Area.

CommonsHelper2 Bot / Wikimedia Commons

Officials are trumpeting the return of an elk herd to West Virginia for the first time since 1875.

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and officials from the state Division of Natural Resources are set to introduce the elk on Monday in Logan County.

Michelle Obama
Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

News that the director of a West Virginia nonprofit group who was placed on leave after making a racist comment about first lady Michelle Obama on Facebook plans to return to her job this month has caused swift reaction from the governor’s office.

Clay County Development director Pamela Ramsey Taylor made the post following Donald Trump's election, calling Mrs. Obama an “Ape in heels."

Christmas Tree
Aurevilly / Wikimedia Commons

West Virginia's annual Joyful Night celebration and tree lighting ceremony will be held Tuesday evening at the state capitol in Charleston.

The governor's office announced that the event will begin at 5:30 p.m. on the South Plaza. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and first lady Joanne Jaeger Tomblin will light the state Christmas Tree at 6 p.m., followed by a concert at the Governor's Mansion.

ZngZng / wikimedia Commons

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin says West Virginia's toll-free line for drug-related problems has received more than 7,500 calls since it began more than a year ago.

Tomblin says the state advisory group on drug abuse has coordinated 20 rounds of community meetings in six regions while helping drive reforms aimed at curbing the state's drug epidemic.

9 mm handgun
wikimedia commons

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin says the recent fatal shooting of a Charleston teenager again raises policy questions over the state law enacted over his veto that allows residents to carry a concealed gun without a permit.

Tomblin says James Means' death Nov. 21 has shaken the Charleston community.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, who inherited a national recession and coal industry downturn, says attracting business has been his six-year administration's priority, counting $13 billion in commercial investments that had some state involvement.

Photo courtesy of Office of the Governor

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin announced Tuesday the expansion of a North Central West Virginia facility expected to bring new jobs to the area. 

Tomblin joined Bombardier Commercial Aircraft officials to announce plans to expand the Bridgeport aircraft service center. The facility currently employs around 400 people, but will double in size once the expansion project begins in the spring of 2017.

Governors Mansion
Enrichyourmind / Wikimedia Commons

West Virginia artists are being asked to create and submit ornaments for the governor's holiday tree this year.

The ornaments are to be hand-crafted and suitable for hanging on a tree.

Coal Layoffs, unemployed
Jessica Lilly / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin joined environmental officials Friday morning to award a $1 million grant that will benefit workers affected by layoffs in three coal counties.

Tomblin announced the award Friday at the Ralph R. Willis Career and Technical Center, in Logan. He says the grant will support stream clean-up efforts in Boone, Logan, and Mingo counties.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is joining environmental officials to award a $1 million grant that will benefit workers affected by layoffs in three coal counties.

The state Department of Environmental Protection says Tomblin will announce the project Friday morning at the Ralph R. Willis Career and Technical Center in Logan.

Flood, Clendenin
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin says West Virginia incurred about $300 million in damages from deadly floods in June.

Tomblin told reporters Tuesday he plans to call lawmakers into session next week to address the state's share of flood costs. Tomblin says in the worst case scenario, the state would cover about $75 million.

Help4WV Line Celebrates First Anniversary

Sep 9, 2016

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin was joined by state and local officials Friday to celebrate the one-year anniversary of a 24-hour, statewide hotline used to help those with addiction. 

The statewide hotline, 1-844-Help4WV, is a phone number people can call if they’re dealing with substance abuse or behavioral health problems. The call center also provides help to those dealing with thoughts of suicide or depression. Tomblin said substance abuse prevention services are now available in all 55 counties. He said the hotline has been successful so far.

West Virginia Legislature

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is urging county school boards to tally their flood damages quickly so he can call a special session later this month to address flood costs.

Tomblin told reporters Wednesday that school damages will be key in determining whether the cash-strapped state has to foot 25 percent of flood costs, or just 10 percent.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin was joined Wednesday by officials from the West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance to announce a new veterans suicide prevention program.

The program is called Mountain State 22 program. The goal is to highlight issues that prompt suicide among veterans and reduce the number of veterans’ suicides.

Flood, Clendenin
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is maintaining a state of emergency for eight West Virginia counties devastated by floods in June.

On Monday, Tomblin announced the extension until Sept. 21 for eight of the 12 counties that have been under a state of emergency. The declaration was scheduled to expire Monday, two months after floods killed 23 people and destroyed homes, businesses and infrastructure.

West Virginia Legislature

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin says the state will save employers $36 million through lower workers' compensation premiums.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

State government jobs have dropped by more than 2 percent since Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin imposed a hiring freeze in 2013.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that the number full-time positions has dropped by 917 since West Virginia's freeze went into effect.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Ride-sharing company Uber is now officially operating in two West Virginia cities. The company opened up shop in Charleston and Morgantown on Tuesday.

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin and Governor Earl Ray Tomblin took the first Uber ride in West Virginia Tuesday. They rode from the Capitol Market to the state Capitol to celebrate the service’s opening in the state.

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin says residents can visit a website that's been set up to keep everyone informed about flood recovery and volunteer efforts.

Tomblin said in a news release that users can find recovery resources and link people who want to help with the most urgent needs.

Steve Herber / Associated Press

West Virginians who are trying to rebuild their lives from last month's severe floods could be almost completely reliant on federal agencies.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that the state's role in helping homeowners, businesses and local governments rebuild from last month's deadly floods could be limited by slumping tax revenue and budget constraints.

Muddy cars sit in front a flooded-out home on Saturday, June 25, 2016, in Clendenin, in northern Kanawha County, W.Va.
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin says it will be some time before the state has fully recovered after devastating floods in late June. He says he anticipates the damage to well-exceed $100 million.

Governor Tomblin held a press conference Wednesday to update the state on the status of recovery efforts in West Virginia.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Ashton Marra brings us a flood recovery update after Governor Earl Ray Tomblin visited two of the hardest hit communities – Rainelle and Clendenin.

President Barack Obama is extending his condolences and those of the nation to Governor Earl Ray Tomblin for the lives lost because of flooding.

Chris Stadelman
Office of Governor Earl Ray Tomblin

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's chief of staff is resigning and his communications director is taking over the post.

A news release Wednesday says Chief of Staff Charlie Lorensen is stepping down and Communications Director Chris Stadelman is assuming the new role on Friday.