Local News

Wiretap amendment rejected


West Virginia Press Association Capitol Reporter

CHARLESTON, W.VA — Delegate Pat McGeehan, R-Hancock, urged the rest of the W.Va. House Judiciary Committee to agree to his proposed amendment this morning, but noted that he “always maintains low expectations in the legislature.”

McGeehan presented his amendment to the Committee Substitute to SB 61, last week, a bill to amend and reenact §62-1D-8 of the Code of West Virginia, which added a new list of crimes for which a prosecutor could “apply for a court order authorizing interception of communications.”

Will Sorensen, counsel to the House Judiciary Committee, explained he had created a strike and insert amendment because…

DHHR announces Low Income Energy Assistance Program for low income residents

CHARLESTON – The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) has announced applications for the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) will be accepted until February 22, 2019, or until funds are exhausted. The federally funded program assists eligible state residents in paying home heating bills.

 Eligibility for LIEAP benefits is based on income, household size and whether the household is responsible for paying its heating bill.  Income must be at, or below, 150 percent of the federal poverty guideline for the household size.  In situations where a heating emergency exists, applicants must be seen by a DHHR worker. To qualify, households must meet all program…

Manchin makes debut as ranking member

WASHINGON, D.C. – On February 5, 2019 U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), discussed his priorities as ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee during the Committee’s first hearing. Senator Manchin began the hearing by thanking Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) for her leadership and expressing his desire to work with her to tackle the biggest energy and natural resources questions facing our country.

“West Virginia has consistently exported more electricity than it consumes. Especially during events like last week’s polar vortex, I know communities around the country are grateful for the energy supply and reliability that West Virginia provides. Last week’s brutal cold…

State Fire Marshal arrest 5 former firefighters in Cabell arson cases 

CHARLESTON - The West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office charged five now-former Cabell County volunteer firefighters with arson, last week, in connection with a series of intentionally set fires in the Barboursville area that spanned several months. Ian Hockenberry, 21, Travis Bailey, 29, and Brett Ray, 20 were arrested by WVSFMO investigators and charged with first-degree arson. Their charges arise from abandoned residential structure fires in the Barboursville area of Cabell County in early 2018. Charles "Chase" Peoples, 19, and Glenn Harman, 20, are charged with second-degree arson. Those charges stem from an abandoned nonresidential structure in the Lesage area of Cabell County in…

Senate Judiciary passes 'Missing Persons Act'


West Virginia Press Association Capitol Reporter

CHARLESTON - The West Virginia Senate Judiciary Committee moved to report SB 237 to the full Senate with the recommendation to pass on Monday. The bill contains an article known as the “Missing Persons Act,” which says the first 24 hours following the discovery that a person is missing are critical because if the person is not found within this time frame, it is “unlikely that he or she will be found alive or without serious injury.”

It states that since other states have been successful with the implementation of these programs, the legislature sees fit to establish them in West Virginia.

Scott Pettry of the West Virginia…