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Officials to untangle tangled web of legal processes in the Loughry 32-count indictment case

 

Following months of investigation, the West Virginia Judicial Investigation Commission filed a 32-count statement of charges against Loughry on Wednesday, accusing him of abusing the prestige of his office and lying to the news media, lawmakers and the public in general about his personal use of state resources, including furniture, computers and cars, all in violation of the West Virginia Judicial Code of Conduct.

Loughry suspended without pay

 

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — State Supreme Court Justice Allen Loughry has been suspended without pay.

The order came Friday from the temporary members of the Supreme Court who were appointed after the full-time justices recused themselves.

 

WV Supreme Court Justice Loughry suspended in connection to judicial conduct charge.

 

 

Legislative leaders call for Loughry’s resignation, threaten impeachment

 

Democratic and Republican leaders in both chambers of the West Virginia Legislature called for Supreme Court Justice Allen Loughry’s resignation Friday.

 

The statements come as fallout continues from the 32-count accusation of judicial misconduct the Judicial Investigation Commission lodged against Loughry, a former chief justice on West Virginia’s highest court, and after his specially appointed peers on the bench voted to suspend him without pay.

 

Following his suspension, Senate Minority Leader Roman Prezioso, D-Marion, and House Minority Leader Tim Miley, D-Harrison, released a letter they wrote to House Speaker Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha, Senate President Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson, and Gov. Jim Justice, asking them to call on Loughry to step down.

 

RISE flood recovery explained: what happened and what’s next
In recent days, Gov. Jim Justice and his administration temporarily froze a nearly $150 million federal flood recovery effort amid a purchasing snafu on a $17 million consulting contract and repeated concerns from constituents about promised relief that never arrived.

 

The following are answers to some questions to help better understand the bureaucratic problems that slogged down a massive effort after the deadly June 2016 flood, and how the state plans to revitalize the program.

 

 

Elections

 

Trump Jr. stumps for Morrisey in Chalreston
Donald Trump Jr. joined the West Virginia attorney general on the campaign trail Tuesday in an effort to hitch the latter’s U.S. Senate bid to economic success reported under the current presidential administration.

 

Trump, son of President Donald Trump, spoke to reporters at the state Republican Party headquarters, in Charleston, poking at incumbent Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and drumming up support for Patrick Morrisey’s run for Manchin’s seat.

 

Manchin hinges campaign on what’s best for West Virginia
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — If there is any pressure on U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., at this point of the election cycle, it is not obvious.

 

Manchin, running for his second full term in Washington, D.C., was all smiles during a stop in Charleston on Friday. Sporting a Harley-Davidson t-shirt, he greeted attendees at the Capitol City Biker Bash.

 

A motorcyclist himself, Manchin arrived on his Road King Classic. The senator said he’s been riding since he was at least 12 years old.

 

Manchin goes full MAGA
RANSON, W.Va. — Joe Manchin wants you to know he really likes Donald Trump.

 

The West Virginia senator doesn’t put it quite that way. But more than any other Democrat in Congress, he’s positioned himself as a vocal Trump ally. In fact, the senator, up for reelection in a state Trump won by more than 40 points, told POLITICO he isn’t ruling out endorsing Trump for reelection in 2020 — a position practically unheard of for a politician with a “D” next to his name.

“I’m open to supporting the person who I think is best for my country and my state…If his policies are best, I’ll be right there.” – US Senator Joe Manchin

 

 

Sports Gaming

 

By Jeff Hooke  |  Contributor

A senior finance lecturer at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School and a former investment banker

———————–

By Charles Vickery  |  Contributor

An independent researcher specializing in analysis of the horse-racing, wagering and gaming industries

 

States Could Reap a Bonanza From Sports Betting — If They Play Their Cards Right
The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision to allow sports betting in all 50 states met with excitement in the affected industries. Gambling companies’ share prices rose in anticipation of those firms being the logical purveyors of sports betting. Media firms that broadcast sporting events also experienced share price gains, under the assumption that TV and streaming ratings will go up. And many observers suggested that legalization will bolster sports franchise values. There seemed to be plenty of value enhancement to go around. Nonetheless, now is a perilous time for states that want to extract their fair share of the new wealth.

 

Is WV sports betting lined up to start by football season?
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Plans, rules and rooms are already taking shape for West Virginia’s dip into sports betting.

 

“Thirty days down the road, hopefully we’ll have the rules in place,” said John Cavacini, president of the West Virginia Gaming and Racing Association, which represents the state’s five casinos.

 

 

Perspective

 

Statehouse Beat: WV Supreme Court rumors continue to swirl
Rumors over a federal investigation of the West Virginia Supreme Court are reaching a crescendo.

 

Friday afternoon a week ago, as I was dutifully ensconced in the dungeon of the Capitol pecking out my column, I gather that newsroom staffs around the state were huddled around their fax machines (or however it is they get info these days) awaiting an announcement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office that never came.

 

Time for Loughry to walk away
When we think of the roles of government, we tend to think of the judiciary as the branch above the fray of politics and unseemly behavior.

 

That’s especially true when we consider those selected to the highest courts, such as the U.S. Supreme Court or, in the case here, the West Virginia Supreme Court.

 

 

Education

 

Tuition continues to increase across WV colleges despite budget increases
CHARLESTON — For the past several years, college officials have blamed the rising cost of tuition largely on severe budget cuts from state lawmakers.

 

Once again, most of the four-year colleges in the state are planning to increase the cost of tuition when students return to class in the fall, according to documents from the Higher Education Policy Commission, which is the state agency that oversees four-year institutions.

 

State Journal File Photo

 

Glenville State College is the only four-year college in West Virginia that is planning to cut tuition in the fall.

 

 

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.

 

 

Cannabis

 

Trump Signals Support for Ending Federal Marijuana Ban
BY TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE

By Evan Halper

 

President Donald Trump said he likely will support a congressional effort to end the federal ban on marijuana, a major step that would reshape the pot industry and end the threat of a Justice Department crackdown.

 

Trump’s remarks put him sharply at odds with Attorney General Jeff Sessions on the issue The bill in question, pushed by a bipartisan coalition, would allow states to go forward with legalization unencumbered by threats of federal prosecution.

 

 

Broadband

 

AT&T Reiterates 5G Fixed Wireless is a Waste of Resources: Pushes Fiber to Home Instead
WASHINGTON — AT&T does not see fixed wireless millimeter wave broadband in your future if you live in or around a major city.

 

John Stephens, AT&T’s chief financial officer, today reiterated to shareholders that building a small cell network for urban and suburban fixed wireless service does not make much sense from a business perspective.

 

Microsoft executive Melissa Sassi said the software company wants to invest in a program in West Virginia that would allow residents to access the internet using unused channels on their televisions.
Microsoft wants to help West Virginia’s broadband connectivity problem
CHARLESTON — Executives with Microsoft intend to invest in technology to create a partial solution to West Virginia’s broadband internet access problems.

 

That solution involves emerging technology to allow state residents to access the internet through unused channels on their televisions.

 

 

Guns

 

Law could limit rec center gun bans
State lawmakers and the governor approved earlier this year legislation that, on its face, qualifies a prior state felony law ban on having “a firearm or other deadly weapon … at a school-sponsored function.”

 

But language in a court ruling suggests the legislation may also lift blanket bans on concealed guns in municipal recreation centers, if the state constitution isn’t interpreted to maintain the bans. And the same gun rights group that sued Charleston over the city not allowing guns in rec centers told lawmakers to nix proposed changes to the legislation that would have more clearly and widely banned guns from recreation facilities.

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