Top Stories

 

Disaster recovery leader says RISE West Virginia is ‘stagnant’

 

 

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Jack Lipphardt, director of West Virginia United Methodist Disaster Recovery, is frustrated by the pace of long-term flood recovery.

 

In mid-May, Lipphardt wrote a letter to Sen. Joe Manchin’s office, asking for assistance.

Emails reveal more details surrounding WV flood recovery program’s woes

 

Amid several emails wondering why a $150 million flood recovery program wasn’t getting money to the people it was supposed to help, one emergency official was told that Gov. Jim Justice had frozen the program because of the legislative session — an explanation the governor’s spokesman vigorously disputes.

WV Governor, Senate president point fingers on flood recovery office legislation

 

Both the Governor’s office and the Senate president say they’re not to blame for a recovery office created after the deadly June 2016 flood winding up under the state Department of Commerce.

 

The spat comes as public scrutiny regarding the stagnation of a $150 million federal flood recovery program grows, and legal and legislative investigations loom.

 

 

Elections

 

Democratic poll: Manchin up double digits in West Virginia
Senate Democrats didn’t get Don Blankenship as their GOP opponent in West Virginia. But they are nonetheless happy with the matchup between Sen. Joe Manchin and Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.

 

A Democratic poll taken after the GOP primary this month shows Manchin leading Morrisey, 52-40, in the critical Senate race, according to a summary obtained by POLITICO. The poll was paid for by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and conducted by Geoff Garin of Hart Research Associates.

 

 

Consumers

 

Jackie Roberts

PSC Consumer Advocate

Utilities save millions because of federal tax reform
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Appalachian Power Company saved $235 million dollars from the federal tax cuts and the company is proposing passing the money back to its customers in a variety of ways.

 

The multi-pronged proposal is in a filing with the state Public Service Commission due Wednesday. The PSC is requiring all utilities to tell it their tax cut savings and what they plan to do with it.

 

 

Education

 

WVU Rep: Rising tuition doesn’t change school’s value
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia University remains the best ‘bang for your buck’ in the region, according to WVU’s Rob Alsop.

 

Polls say teachers underpaid, and higher taxes to pay them OK
Teachers seeking higher pay and more school funding walked out of classrooms in half a dozen states this year. Now, three national polls report that most Americans agree that educators don’t earn enough. And two of the surveys found that at least half of Americans said they would pay higher taxes to raise educator salaries.

 

With Shootings on the Rise, Schools Turn to ‘Active Shooter’ Insurance
After every mass shooting, more calls come in: from private companies, from large stadiums, and — increasingly — from government agencies and public schools. They all want to talk about the same thing. “We probably have seen a tenfold increase in inquiries since Parkland,” says Paul Marshall, an insurance broker for McGowan Program Administrators, an underwriter based in Ohio. “People just feel vulnerable when [a shooting] happens. And that’s when we get phone calls, because it feels inevitable and very difficult to manage.”

 

 

Health Care

 

McKinley, others work to obtain grant funding to fight opioid epidemic
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Almost $7 billion has been allocated to fighting the opioid epidemic across the nation, making it challenging for rural or sparsely populated areas to obtain grant funding for their respective programs.

 

 

Public Employees

 

Can New Perks Make Up for Smaller Pensions?
In some state agencies in Arizona, it’s Take Your Child to Work Day everyday.

 

The state’s Department of Health Services has long allowed mothers, fathers, foster parents and legal guardians to bring in babies under six months old. It’s not uncommon there to see desktops next to infant carriers, and last year, the state expanded the Infant at Work program to more agencies.

 

 

Broadband

 

FCC grants Manchin waiver to challenge broadband maps
WASHINGTON — The Federal Communications Commission adopted an order last week granting U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., the opportunity to participate in an effort to make sure broadband coverage maps of West Virginia are accurate.

 

Manchin submitted a waiver on May 15 to participate in the Mobility Fund Phase II challenge process in order to make sure data collection records accurately showed coverage available to West Virginians.

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