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Phil Kabler

Staff writer
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Takeover of Cass railroad still in the works


State Rail Authority members had planned to discuss and possibly vote on a proposal from the Division of Natural Resources for the rail authority to take over railroad operations at the Cass Scenic Railroad on Thursday.<...

Report: W.Va. has one of best reserve funds in nation


Although legislators had to raid $100 million from the state’s Rainy Day fund to balance the 2014-15 budget, a new report from the Pew Charitable Trusts shows West Virginia has one of the healthiest reserve fund b...

Republicans want Sprouse-McDavid to replace Raines on ballot


State Republicans Monday announced their selection to possibly fill the House of Delegates 35th District ballot vacancy created when Delegate Suzette Raines, R-Kanawha, withdrew as a candidate.

However, the party s...

Tackett wins partial victory in National Guard service credit fight


Retired state adjutant general Allen Tackett won a partial victory Wednesday in his efforts to extend military service credits to retired state and public school employees who served in the state National Guard.


W.Va. election board rejects GOP request to fill Raines ballot vacancy


Kanawha County Republicans won’t be able to replace Delegate Suzette Raines on the ballot after she withdrew from her race for re-election, the West Virginia Election Commission decided Wednesday.


Raines withdraws from House race


Delegate Suzette Raines, R-Kanawha, officially withdrew as a candidate in the 35th District House of Delegates race Monday afternoon.

Raines, who was the subject of a complaint by the state Democratic Executive Com...

Lawmakers can’t use voters lists when sending letters, Ethics Commission rules


Legislators may send letters to constituents prior to elections using the legislative franking privilege, so long as they don’t use targeted mailing lists of likely voters, the state Ethics Commission ruled Thursd...

Highway commission to release final report


Nearly two years since its creation by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, and nearly a year after it issued recommendations for funding state roads, the final report of the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Highways has ye...

Capitol dome holding up well, report says; no damage from fireworks found


An inspection of the Capitol dome found “selected pitting and abrasion of the gilded finish,” which engineers speculate may be caused by dirt particles hitting the dome during wind gusts, and not by pyrotec...

Sluggish W.Va. economy curbs tax collections


With the state’s economy growing at a slower rate than hoped, revenue collections for the first month of the new budget year came in about $17.4 million below projections, Department of Revenue officials said Mond...

3rd District race subject of push to avoid ‘dark money’


Having made his fortune as creator of the online gaming company Kongregate, Jim Greer is trying to take a stand against the inundation of “dark money” political attack ads that he believes are taking over e...

3 candidates file overdue disclosures


Three of six candidates on the 2014 general election ballot who had failed to file financial disclosures with the state Ethics Commission have done so this week, including Delegate Daryl Cowles, R-Morgan.


Sales tax from online retailers tops $19 million


West Virginia collected more than $19.6 million in sales taxes from online retailers in the just-completed 2013-14 budget year, according to deputy revenue secretary Mark Muchow.

That’s up considerably from ...

Tourism commission approves grants


Staff writer

Tourism Commissioners Thursday approved more than $500,000 in tourism advertising matching grants -- and decried the lack of funding for future grants.

Commission Chairman Oshel Craigo noted that...

More than 50 candidates miss deadline to file reports


A total of 52 candidates for state and county offices missed the initial deadline to submit financial disclosure statements to the state Ethics Commission, according to documents provided by the commission to the secreta...

W.Va. lottery profits fall $54 million


CHARLESTON, W.Va. — At $1.21 billion, West Virginia Lottery gross revenue for the 2013-14 budget year was down $114 million from the prior fiscal year, and the state’s share of profits fell $54 million to $...

Raines among two GOP candidates targeted by Dems


State Democratic Party officials Monday filed legal complaints to remove two Republican House of Delegates candidates from the November general election ballot for allegedly failing to comply with residency and reporting...

W.Va., Rhode Island tied for 2nd-worst rural roads, study says


Rural roads tend to be in worse condition and have higher fatality rates than urban roadways, with West Virginia’s rural roads among the worst in the nation, according a study released Thursday by TRIP, a private,...

W.Va. Ethics Commission postpones franking opinion


In its first meeting, the newly configured West Virginia Ethics Commission borrowed a page from the old Ethics Commission on Thursday and, for a second straight month, postponed action on an advisory opinion upholding th...

Renovations OK’d for Holly Grove Mansion


Vacant for nearly a decade, the Holly Grove Mansion on the West Virginia Capitol grounds soon could be rehabilitated and renovated for use as offices and space to host small conferences and receptions.

On Wednesday...

Pew: Inmate medical costs decline in W.Va.


Although medical costs for prison inmates have been declining for the past few years, another increase — as the prison population ages — could be on the horizon, a new report says.

Nationally, medical...

Holiday traffic on Turnpike approaches post-Thanksgiving levels


It may say July on the calendar, but traffic on the West Virginia Turnpike on Sunday resembled the Sunday after Thanksgiving -- usually the heaviest travel day of the year.

“We had some delays coming into th...

Statehouse Beat: War on ... casinos?


We hear a lot about the purported war on coal, but it occurred to me there’s a war on West Virginia casinos.

State Revenue officials last week noted that coal severance tax collections are down 11 percent co...

Expanded military pension credits to cost W.Va. $23 million a year


It will cost West Virginia nearly $23 million a year to comply with a Supreme Court ruling to expand military service credits for public employees’ pension benefits, according to a report released Wednesday by the...

June revenues show improvement


State tax collections finished the 2013-14 budget year in June falling $29.89 million below projections, but June revenue collections show hints of an economy that is slowly starting to improve, Deputy Revenue Secretary ...

Tomblin names members of new Ethics Commission


Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin named the members of the reconfigured state Ethics Commission on Monday, appointing seven members from the current commission.

He named one of those carryover members, Robert Wolfe of Logan Co...

Statehouse Beat: Tax credit slowing down returns


About 98 percent of the state income tax returns have been processed, but judging by complaints in the newspapers’ forum/vent lines, people who haven’t gotten their refunds yet are a very vocal 2 percent.

Acting juvenile services director given full-time post


After more than a year as acting director of the state’s Division of Juvenile Services, Stephanie Bond was named the division’s full-time director on Thursday.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced that Bon...

Rowe spent about $1,300 just before primary, disclosures show


Staff writer

Former state senator Larry Rowe spent just $1,339 in the final days of the May primary election, before going on to top the ticket in the House 36th District Democratic primary, according to campaign ...