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Phil Kabler

Staff writer
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Memphis bowl game offers opportunities for WVU fans

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A drivable location, a big-name opponent, a host city with a reputation for partying — along with a year’s absence from the bowl scene — adds up to a winning combination for the Liberty Bowl game, ac...

Statehouse Beat: Looking over House financial disclosures

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A couple of weeks ago, I looked at financial disclosures for the incoming state Senate leadership, and am finally getting around to looking at the new House leadership:

Incoming House Speaker Tim Armstead, R-Kanawh...

Lottery revenues continue to decrease

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Lottery revenues continued to slide in November, falling to $90.45 million, down 8.5 percent from November 2013.

For the first five months of the 2014-15 budget year, the Lottery has gross revenues of $486.38 milli...

Tourism survey highlights W.Va. strengths, weaknesses

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West Virginia’s image as a tourism destination gets high marks for outdoor recreation opportunities, scenery and affordability, but rates low as being exciting, unique, for having must-see destinations or luxuriou...

Waiting list for in-home care program slashed

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A streamlined application process for in-home care for elderly and disabled West Virginians has reduced the wait-list for the program from more than 2,500 people last year to fewer than 1,500 currently, Cindy Beane, a de...

State rail service studies would cost $400,000, lawmakers told

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Full-scale studies to determine the feasibility of passenger rail service between Charleston and Huntington, and between Fairmont, Morgantown and Pittsburgh, would cost about $400,000, the director of the state Rail Auth...

Panel endorses pay raises for corrections staff

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A legislative committee on Monday endorsed a multi-year pay increase package for Division of Corrections staffers — something that Commissioner Jim Rubenstein said would help address an “alarming” in...

Ethics Commission dismisses complaint against dems

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Ethics complaints filed against about a dozen Democratic legislators for franking constituent letters have apparently been dismissed.

Delegate Nancy Guthrie, D-Kanawha, was among legislators who received letters th...

Public utility taxes to grow by $9 million

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The value of property owned by public utilities in the state increased by 4.5 percent to $9.51 billion in the past year, according to assessments approved by the Board of Public Works Thursday.

That will amount to ...

Historic elements to survive Capitol Complex Building 3 redo

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Scaled-back plans for renovating Capitol Complex Building 3 eliminate some of the more grandiose features of the original design, including conference rooms with floor-to-ceiling teleconferencing screens, but will retain...

Former lawmaker Harrison to become House clerk

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Eight years after leaving the Legislature, a former Kanawha County delegate and senator said Monday he’s looking forward to a new role in the House of Delegates next session.

“It’s an exciting ...

Statehouse Beat: Greyhound subsidy money could be tempting

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West Virginia’s greyhound racing industry could well be under siege in the 2015 regular session of the Legislature.

There’s the study that’s been commissioned by the Lottery Commission at the b...

PEIA board OKs $40M cuts in benefits

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State and public school employees and retirees in West Virginia will pay about $40 million more for health care next year, after the Public Employees Insurance Agency Finance Board approved a series of benefit cuts Thurs...

W.Va. Public Broadcasting mulls rules changes for future political debates

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Before the next statewide elections roll around in 2016, West Virginia Public Broadcasting is likely to have an official policy regarding candidates’ participation in televised debates....

State revenues up in November

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With state tax collections for November exceeding estimates by $30.54 million, and topping November 2013 figures by $38.2 million, , Revenue Secretary Bob Kiss was able to declare for the first time in his tenure, ȁ...

Thanksgiving Turnpike traffic up 8 percent from last year

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Thanksgiving holiday traffic on the West Virginia Turnpike jumped 8 percent from 2013, but the director of tolls for the state Parkways Authority said it’s too early to say whether that marks an upward trend in tr...

Lawmakers want to study ending subsidies for greyhound racing

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A contract could be awarded this week for a study to determine the fiscal impact of state subsidies for greyhound racing — and the potential costs and benefits of eliminating those subsidies.

State Lottery D...

Meeting scheduled over Building 3 renovations

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. — After six years of delays, plans to renovate Capitol Complex Building 3 are gearing up again.

The Capitol Building Commission, which by law must approve any substantive changes to buildin...

Agriculture panel wants chance to recover Nicholas loan

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Property from one of the more infamous delinquent loans in the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Rehabilitation Loan program is set for foreclosure auction next week, prompting an emergency meeting of the Rural Re...

Employees, retirees speak out about proposed insurance cuts

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State employees and retirees vented their displeasure with the Public Employees Insurance Agency’s proposal to cut their health insurance benefits by a total of $40 million during a public hea...

Lawmakers OK panel for constitutional amendment

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Legislative leaders voted Wednesday to spend the next two months studying enabling legislation that will need to be passed next session to implement a constitutional amendment that would allow the Boy Scouts of America t...

Audit: Hatfield-McCoy agency acting illegally

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Since its inception in 1996, the Hatfield-McCoy Regional Recreation Authority — which operates the popular ATV trails in seven Southern West Virginia counties — has functioned as a nonprofit corporation tha...

Commission talks relaxing casino staffing rules

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Lottery Commissioners Tuesday discussed giving a break to the state’s hard-hit casinos by relaxing personnel requirements for one popular table game.

Under state Lottery regulations, each craps table must be...

Ad cuts hurting business, rafting outfitters say

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Whitewater rafting in Southern West Virginia has been in a free-fall in recent years, dropping from more than 225,000 rafters on the New and Gauley rivers in 2000 to fewer than 100,000 this yea...

State jail jobs still going unfilled, lawmakers told

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The state Division of Corrections continues to have troubles filling jobs, with the Mount Olive and Huttonsville correctional centers presenting the biggest problems, Corrections Commissioner Jim Rubenstein told legislat...

Ethics Commission hires Stepto as director

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Following a six-week, 15-candidate search, the state Ethics Commission stayed close to home in selecting a new executive director Thursday.

After meeting in executive session for about 40 minutes, commissioners vot...

New Tamarack manager wants changes

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In his initial days as the new general manager of Tamarack, Jim Browder found that shopping at the Beckley arts and conference center complex can be intimidating.

Browder told members of the state Parkways Authorit...

Turnpike tolls ‘vital,’ commissioner warns

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A state Parkways Authority commissioner urged the agency Thursday to explain to new legislators why it is “vital” to keep tolls on the West Virginia Turnpike.

“I want to be certain we get our i...

Tomblin says he’ll work with Republican Legislature

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Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said he’s confident he’ll be able to work with a predominately Republican Legislature — just as he was able to build consensus between Republicans and Democrats during nearly 17...

GOP ends 83-year W.Va. House drought

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. — In a night that saw West Virginia turn Republican red in U.S. Senate and U.S. House races, Republicans on Tuesday also took control of the state House of Delegates, ending an 83-year Democratic...

Election Day wraps long, bitter campaign

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Election Day brings to close long, bitter and expensive campaigns for U.S. Senate and U.S. House — and for control of the West Virginia House of Delegates.

As of Monday, both state party leaders sounded conf...

State revenues up, but energy prices worry officials

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State tax collections exceeded projections in October, but falling energy prices have state Department of Revenue officials concerned about the future.

“We’re pretty much in the same boat we have been...

W.Va. Public Radio adding Matewan station

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Thousands of Southern West Virginians should soon be able to listen to West Virginia Public Radio, after the state Educational Broadcasting Authority gave its approval Thursday to buy an FM radio station in Matewan, Ming...

Logan County assessor faces federal banking charge

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Longtime Logan County Assessor Rick Grimmett faces a charge of violating federal banking laws, U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin announced Wednesday.

Goodwin’s office filed an information in federal court charging...

Analysis said few House races could tip balance

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Control of the House of Delegates could come down to as few as nine toss-up races, an analysis by students in two political science classes at West Virginia Wesleyan College suggests.

Teams of students were assigne...