W.Va. News

Underground fires, toxins in unfunded cleanup of old mines

By MICHAEL VIRTANEN, Associated Press PRESTON COUNTY, W.Va. (AP) — An underground coal mine fire burns beneath a sprawling hillside in West Virginia, the pale, acrid smoke rising from gashes in the scarred, muddy earth only a stone's throw from some houses. The fire, which may have started ...

Sylvia Burwell named next president of American University

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services President Sylvia Matthews Burwell has been named next president of American University in Washington. The school announced this week that the former President Barack Obama administration official will become the first woman ...

Lawsuit: State Police lack proper training dealing with dogs

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A lawsuit claims the West Virginia State Police lack proper training in dealing with dogs after a Wood County woman stopped a trooper from shooting her dog and was arrested for it. According to the Charleston Gazette-Mail (http://bit.ly/2kxYLaJ ), the lawsuit in ...

West Virginia governor taps Clements for state Senate seat

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has picked Republican Charles Clements to fill a state Senate opening left by Agriculture Commissioner Kent Leonhardt's election. The governor's office says Clements is a former member of the state House of Delegates. Clements currently ...

Feds say Justice coal cos. owe $4.6M in fines

By MICHAEL VIRTANEN, Associated Press MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — Mining operations controlled by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice haven't paid $4.6 million in safety fines and penalties, according to federal authorities. The Mine Safety and Health Administration said that was the unpaid balance ...

Gas company gets new hearing on West Virginia royalties

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia's highest court has agreed to reconsider its November ruling barring natural gas companies from deducting post-production costs from the royalties paid to landowners for mineral rights. The Supreme Court split 3-2 in granting a rare rehearing. At stake ...

State convinces judge to return McKesson lawsuit to county

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia's attorney general has persuaded a judge to move a lawsuit against the nation's largest wholesale drug distributor out of federal court and back to the county level. U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver ordered Monday that the state's lawsuit against San ...

APNewsBreak: Feds say Justice coal cos. owe $4.6M in fines

By MICHAEL VIRTANEN, Associated Press MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — Mining operations controlled by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice haven't paid $4.6 million in safety fines and penalties, according to federal authorities. The Mine Safety and Health Administration said that was the unpaid balance ...

Education official giving up salary to save teachers’ jobs

BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) — Raleigh County Schools Board of Education President Cindy Jafary says she is committed to reducing position cuts for teacher and service personnel and will give up her $9,000 board member salary as long as budget problems continue. News outlets report that Jafary on ...

Unemployment rates rise in 20 of 55 West Virginia counties

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Unemployment rates rose in 20 of West Virginia's 55 counties in December. WorkForce West Virginia says the unemployment rate fell in 31 counties and was unchanged in four others. Jefferson County's 2.6 percent unemployment rate was the lowest in the state, followed ...

Corrections officer accused of bringing contraband into jail

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia corrections spokesman says a Western Regional Jail officer has been fired after she allegedly was seen entering a cell where drug contraband was later found. Twenty-eight-year-old Brittney Branham of Louisa, Kentucky, was being held Thursday in the ...

Justice selects former miner to lead state safety agency

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Gov. Jim Justice has appointed a former coal miner and union official to lead the West Virginia Office of Miners' Health, Safety & Training. Greg Norman, who is currently the deputy director of the agency, joined the office in 2006 as an inspector. Justice says ...

Debris cleared from landslide on road below Yeager Airport

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A road has been cleared of debris from a 2015 landslide at Yeager Airport's safety-overrun area. The Charleston Gazette-Mail (http://bit.ly/2jSYjE1 ) reports the last of the debris has been removed from the Kanawha County road below the hilltop airport. Officials are ...

Coal CEO attorneys seek more time to file rehearing petition

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Attorneys for Don Blankenship are seeking more time to file a petition for a rehearing in order to consult with the convicted former Massey Energy CEO in prison. Blankenship's attorneys filed a brief Wednesday with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, ...

Settlement under review in 2014 West Virginia water crisis

By MICHAEL VIRTANEN and JOHN RABY, Associated Press CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A proposed settlement was filed Wednesday in the state investigation of West Virginia American Water's role in a chemical spill and resulting water crisis in the Charleston area three years ago. Thousands of ...

Bankruptcy halts auction of marooned Elkview mall

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A last-minute bankruptcy filing has halted the sale of an Elkview shopping center that has been marooned and shuttered since a crucial access bridge was washed away by flooding last summer. News outlets report a group was forming on the steps of the Kanawha County ...

Ex-West Virginia teacher accused of 40 counts of sex abuse

WELCH, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia State Police say a former McDowell County teacher has been charged with 40 counts of sex abuse involving children. Police tell the Bluefield Daily Telegraph (http://bit.ly/2jRaDEX) that 60-year-old Anthony Harris, of Northfork faces charges from abuse ...

Dying from cancer: Could your location determine your fate?

By LINDSEY TANNER, AP Medical Writer CHICAGO (AP) — Americans in certain struggling parts of the country are dying from cancer at rising rates, even as the cancer death rate nationwide continues to fall, an exhaustive new analysis has found. In parts of the country that are relatively poor, ...

Justice names 3 educators to state school board

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Gov. Jim Justice has announced three appointments to openings on the state Board of Education, who will be sworn in at the next meeting in February. They are Miller Hall, who has been a teacher, dean, principal and administrator in the Raleigh County school system; ...

Lockdown lifted at West Virginia prison after killing

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia corrections officials say the lockdown has been lifted at the Mount Olive Correctional Complex where a 66-year-old inmate died after an apparent assault Sunday evening. Authorities said Eugene Robert Anderson was fatally injured in an outdoor recreation ...