October 2015

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October 1, 2015

Tomblin denies Green's request to reverse SBA vote on Fayette
By Ryan Quinn, The Charleston Gazette-Mail

The West Virginia Board of Education’s president has called the state School Building Authority’s recent vote to shoot down Fayette County’s high school consolidation plan “unprecedented,” “improper” and unlawful, but the governor has refused to call a special meeting to reverse the decision.

A Tuesday evening press release from the state Department of...

October 2, 2015

Extended stop signs on buses helping to reduce violations
By Christina Fan,

CABELL COUNTY, WV - Carol Hall has run the same bus route in Cabell County for over five years. She said watching drivers running her stop sign has become a daily occurrence.

“There are times you could have this big yellow school bus with the red lights going, and they don't even know there is a school bus in front of you,” the veteran school bus driver said.


October 5, 2015

W.Va. Supreme Court considers immunity in Marple's suit
By Pam Ramsey, The Associated Press

CHARLESTON — The West Virginia Supreme Court is considering whether the state Board of Education can be sued by a former state schools superintendent over its decision to fire her.

The board has asked the court to overturn a circuit judge’s denial of its request to dismiss Jorea Marple’s lawsuit. The Supreme Court will hear arguments on the appeal on Tuesday.

October 6, 2015

Fayette commissioners to sue over denied school consolidation plan
By Samuel Speciale, The Charleston Gazette-Mail

Fayette County commissioners say they’ll sue the state School Building Authority over its Sept. 28 decision to deny a request that would have consolidated several of the beleaguered county’s schools.

In a special meeting on Monday, commissioners unanimously agreed to partner with Mountain State Justice, a nonprofit Charleston-based law firm....

October 6, 2015

Tomblin announces 4 percent budget cut for state agencies
By David Gutman, The Charleston Gazette-Mail

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin on Monday announced an across-the-board 4 percent cut for most state government agencies, a move he said is necessary due to “unexpected and unprecedented” drops in the state’s severance tax collections.

State aid to public schools, which has been spared in recent years of budget cuts, will see a 1 percent cut this year, Tomblin...

October 6, 2015

Public education not spared from latest round of budget cuts
By Jeff Jenkins, WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A one percent cut in the state School Aid Formula will result in a total of more than $16 million in funding reductions in county school systems.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed an executive order Monday ordering budget cuts because of a significant decrease in state revenues mainly caused by decreased coal production and the record low prices for...

October 7, 2015

Revenue shortfall presents major challenge for W.Va. leaders
By Jeremiah Shelor, Staff Writer, The Exponent Telegram

CLARKSBURG — With Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announcing across-the-board midyear budget cuts for state agencies Monday, addressing the state’s revenue shortfall is shaping up to be a major theme in the 2016 legislative session.

On Monday, the governor’s office announced a 4 percent budget reduction for most state agencies and a 1 percent cut to...

October 7, 2015

Police chief, teachers honored for response to Philippi hostage situation
By Ryan Petrovich,

Tonight in Barbour County, Philippi City Council honored individuals who played a key role in the Phillip-Barbour High School hostage situation that happened a couple months ago.

Police Chief Jeff Walters and teachers Jennifer Swift and Twila Smith were honored for their bravery and composure during that frightening day. Swift and Smith were not on hand...

October 8, 2015

Drops in funding, enrollment lead to possible Boone schools closure
By Ryan Quinn, The Charleston Gazette-Mail

In response to declining enrollment and lower property tax collections, the Boone County schools superintendent wants to close three of the county’s 10 elementary schools.

John Hudson said Wharton Elementary, which would merge with Van Elementary, will host a hearing at 6 p.m. on Nov. 2; Nellis Elementary, which would consolidate with Ashford-...

October 9, 2015

Duane Goossen: Buyer beware in WV, as in Kansas
By Duane Goossen, For the Charleston Gazette-Mail

West Virginians, watch out! Arthur Laffer visited recently to give you advice about taxes and the West Virginia economy. He said that if your lawmakers would just get rid of state income taxes, especially for the wealthy, your state economy would prosper.

Laffer is a conservative economist who for years has traveled the nation trying to sell the idea that...

October 9, 2015

Justice, Cole discuss budget cuts and state economy
By Matt Maccaro, WV MetroNews

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — Two announced candidates for governor spent time in Parkersburg Thursday meeting with officials and supporters.

State Senate President Bill Cole (R-Mercer) and Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Greenbrier Resort owner Jim Justice, promoted jobs, education and the economy at separate events.

Cole spoke about the four percent cuts issued by Gov. Earl...

October 9, 2015

2 percent of kids didn't take Smarter Balanced; 'refusals' an issue in Wayne, Tucker
By Ryan Quinn, The Charleston Gazette-Mail

Only about 2 percent of eligible West Virginia students didn’t take the state’s standardized tests in math and English/language arts last school year, according to the state Department of Education, suggesting the Mountain State largely avoided the Common Core exam “opt out” movement seen in other states.

West Virginia also...