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WV tops 7,000 active COVID cases, adds 50 deaths

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia is seeing another rise in active COVID-19 cases, topping 7,000 on Thursday.

The state Department of Health and Human Resources reported 7,113 and added 50 deaths in its latest report.

Pandemic deaths are nearing 5,000 and now stand at 4,945.

The DHHR has confirmed the deaths of a 55-year old male from Raleigh County, a 51-year old male from Kanawha County, a 73-year old female from Lewis County, a 90-year old female from Raleigh County, an 86-year old male from Cabell County, a 65-year old female from Raleigh County, a 68-year old male from Berkeley County, a 53-year old female from Cabell County, a 76-year old female from Putnam County, an 87-year old female from Harrison County, a 68-year old female from Kanawha County, and a 77-year old female from Kanawha County.

Included in the total deaths reported on the dashboard as a result of the Bureau for Public Health’s continuing data reconciliation with the official death certificate are a 97-year old male from Kanawha County, a 41-year old female from Ritchie County, an 81-year old male from Harrison County, a 69-year old female from Logan County, an 83-year old male from Cabell County, a 70-year old male from Greenbrier County, a 79-year old male from Mingo County, a 61-year old male from Upshur County, a 75-year old male from Raleigh County, a 69-year old male from Doddridge County, a 67-year old female from Wyoming County, a 102-year old female from Wood County, a 70-year old female from Wyoming County, an 80-year old female from Kanawha County, a 47-year old male from Wyoming County, an 80-year old male from Marion County, a 43-year old male from Monongalia County, a 74-year old male from Hancock County, a 73-year old male from McDowell County, an 80-year old female from Logan County, a 54-year old female from Kanawha County, a 75-year old female from Kanawha County, a 77-year old female from Greenbrier County, an 84-year old male from Ohio County, an 83-year old female from Ohio County, a 74-year old female from Mineral County, a 94-year old female from Mingo County, a 59-year old male from Mercer County, a 52-year old female from Mercer County, a 77-year old female from Hampshire County, a 51-year old male from Preston County, a 78-year old female from Mercer County, an 83-year old female from Hancock County, a 78-year old male from Mineral County, a 52-year old male from Wyoming County, a 93-year old female from Kanawha County, a 72-year old female from Nicholas County, and an 84-year old male from Summers County. These deaths range from September through November 2021.

DHHR reports as of December 2, 2021, there are currently 7,113 active COVID-19 cases statewide. There have been 50 deaths reported since the last report, with a total of 4,945 deaths attributed to COVID-19. https://t.co/udcuTmDgFD pic.twitter.com/GvG3vytTiG

— WV Department of Health & Human Resources • 😷 (@WV_DHHR) December 2, 2021

There were 1,446 new cases added Thursday.

Hospitalizations rose slightly to 570 with 193 in the ICU and 95 on ventilators.

CURRENT ACTIVE CASES PER COUNTY: Barbour (65), Berkeley (637), Boone (74), Braxton (55), Brooke (101), Cabell (326), Calhoun (37), Clay (30), Doddridge (30), Fayette (190), Gilmer (17), Grant (60), Greenbrier (95), Hampshire (105), Hancock (100), Hardy (67), Harrison (328), Jackson (69), Jefferson (300), Kanawha (515), Lewis (118), Lincoln (80), Logan (138), Marion (212), Marshall (124), Mason (73), McDowell (77), Mercer (312), Mineral (114), Mingo (122), Monongalia (229), Monroe (41), Morgan (98), Nicholas (187), Ohio (203), Pendleton (30), Pleasants (29), Pocahontas (25), Preston (137), Putnam (207), Raleigh (314), Randolph (69), Ritchie (35), Roane (59), Summers (27), Taylor (83), Tucker (10), Tyler (28), Upshur (94), Wayne (110), Webster (33), Wetzel (77), Wirt (29), Wood (335), Wyoming (53).

The post WV tops 7,000 active COVID cases, adds 50 deaths appeared first on WV MetroNews.

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Weather helped, but Beauty Mountain Fire continues to burn

GLEN JEAN, W.Va. — Wednesday’s rainfall was a welcome respite to firefighters with the National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service who have been working to contain a blaze this week in the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve. However, their work is far from done.

The blaze in Fayette County was first reported on Monday in the Beauty Mountain area. Since that time, it’s expanded to 150 acres, but remained only about 50 percent contained Thursday morning according to Park Service officials.

“The weather did help and we got a little precipitation, but unfortunately the weather forecast is not looking so good. The sun is coming out, things are drying out and they’re talking about some gusty winds starting to pick up. That could quickly start things up again,” said Park Service District Supervisor Dave Bieri.

Crews have worked to create a fire line around the blaze, but the steep terrain has made the task especially difficult on the downhill side. Unfortunately, that’s the area of greatest concern with the historic mining town of Nuttallburg and all of its historic structures in the area. So far, crews have been able to guard against any damage there, but the fire keeps jumping the line downhill from the blaze.

“It’s up to 150 acres and we did have some spot fires that developed outside of the line,” Bieri explained.

Most of those fires outside the line were caused by burning debris rolling downhill and bouncing through the fire line and into the dry leaves on the other side.

There have been nearly two dozen fire fighters from the New River Gorge, Shenandoah, and Cuyahoga Valley National Parks along with the U.S. Forest Service personnel working to contain the fire. A crew from the Delaware Water Gap National Park Service unit have also arrived and another group from Pennsylvania will arrive soon.

Flames from the fire had been visible from across the Gorge at night, but they could not be seen Wednesday evening. But Bieri said out of sight doesn’t mean out of fire.

“I went out myself and looked last night and you couldn’t see much, but it’s not out and once things start picking up in terms of wind it could re-ignite stuff. That’s what they’re most concerned about now,” he said.

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Hutchison to be chief justice next year; Walker the year after that

West Virginia’s Supreme Court announced that John Hutchison will be the chief justice at the start of the new year.

That position, which is often rotated among the court’s five justices, has been held most recently by Justice Evan Jenkins.

The court announced that Beth Walker will be the chief justice in 2023.

John Hutchison

Hutchison, a longtime circuit judge in Raleigh County, was named to the Supreme Court in late 2018 by Gov. Jim Justice to fill a seat vacated by impeached Justice Allen Loughry.

In 2020, Hutchison won election to a term ending in 2024.

In a statement, Hutchison alluded to tasks ahead, including the establishment of a new intermediate court of appeals.

“It has been a joy and the greatest honor of my life to serve on the Supreme Court. I have spent most of my adult life in public service, and I look forward to serving the state in a new way, as chief justice in 2022,” Hutchison stated in a news release from the court.

“Chief Justice Evan Jenkins has done great work this year laying the foundation for a new level of courts in West Virginia, and I look forward to leading the judiciary as we open the Intermediate Court of Appeals on July 1.”

In cases next year where Hutchison is able to participate, Walker would serve as chief justice.

Beth Walker

Walker was elected to the Supreme Court in 2016 and served as chief justice once already in 2019.

“I am looking forward to assisting Justice Hutchison in his role as chief justice in 2022, as we all look ahead to more important work including the new Intermediate Court of Appeals,” Walker stated.

“The justices continue to work together as a team, and I look forward to leading that team again as chief justice in 2023. I remain committed to our mission of transparency and accountability and maintaining the trust and confidence of West Virginians in the integrity of our courts.”

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Video, updates: Governor to lead pandemic briefing at 11 a.m.

We’ll provide updates here about how West Virginia is dealing with the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.

State officials have directed members of the public to a landing page dedicated to information about coronavirus in West Virginia.

Additional information can be found at CDC’s Situation Summary or at DHHR’s COVID-19 information hotline, 1-800-887-4304.

8:42 a.m. 12/2/2021 Governor to lead pandemic briefing at 11 a.m. 

8:47 a.m. 11/30/2021 Governor to lead pandemic briefing at 1 p.m. 

9:38 a.m. 11/24/2021 Justice to lead pandemic briefing at 11 a.m. 

3 p.m. 11/19/2021 Justice to lead pandemic briefing at 4:00 p.m. 

10 a.m. 11/17/2021 Justice to lead pandemic briefing at 2 p.m. 

11 a.m. 11/15/2021 Justice to lead briefing on covid-19 response

10:30 a.m. 11/12/2021 Justice leads pandemic briefing at 10:30 a.m.

11:00 a.m.  11/10/2021  Justice leads pandemic briefing at 11:00 a.m.

10:30 a.m.  11/08/2021  Justice leads pandemic briefing at 10:30 a.m.

10:30 a.m. 11/05/2021  Justice leads pandemic briefing at 10:30 a.m.


11:15 a.m. 11/03/2021   Justice to lead pandemic briefing at 11:30 a.m.

10:00 a.m. 11/01/2021  Justice to lead pandemic briefing at 10:40 a.m.

9:18 a.m. 10/29/2021 Justice to lead pandemic briefing at 11 a.m. 

9:54 a.m. 10/26/2021 Justice to lead pandemic briefing at 11 a.m.

9:42 a.m. 10/22/2021 Justice to lead pandemic briefing at 11 a.m. 

11:33 a.m. 10/20/2021 Justice to lead pandemic briefing at noon

10:40 a.m.  10/18/2021  Justice to lead pandemic briefing at 11 a.m.

10:30 a.m.  10/15/2021  Justice to lead pandemic briefing at 11 a.m.

10:30 a.m. 10/13/2021  Justice to lead pandemic briefing at 11 a.m.

7:26 a.m. 10/11/2021 Justice to lead pandemic briefing at 11 a.m.

8:19 a.m. 10/7/2021 Justice to lead pandemic briefing at 10:30 a.m. 

9:55 a.m. 10/4/2021 Justice to lead pandemic briefing at 10:30 a.m.

8:36 a.m. 10/1/2021 Justice to lead pandemic briefing at 11:30 a.m.

9:02 a.m. 9/29/2021 Justice to lead pandemic briefing at 11 a.m.

9:41 a.m. 9/27/2021 Justice to lead pandemic briefing at 10:30 a.m.

9:53 a.m. 9/24/2021 Justice plans pandemic briefing for noon

9:44 a.m. 9/22/2021 Justice to lead pandemic briefing at 11 a.m.

10:10 a.m. 9/20/2021 Justice to lead pandemic briefing at noon, following summit with health advisers

Gov. Jim Justice is hosting a “breakfast roundtable summit” with his pandemic leadership team this morning at the Governor’s Mansion. The team will discuss and decide ways to keep West Virginians safe and protect hospital system stability as the state nears or crosses the peak of the surge from the COVID-19 delta variant.

This meeting is closed to the public and the media. However, all West Virginians are encouraged to watch the governor’s covid-19 media briefing immediately following the meeting.

7:39 a.m. 9/17/2021 Justice to lead 3 p.m. briefing about pandemic response

10:23 a.m. 9/15/2021 Justice to lead 11 a.m. briefing about pandemic response 

7:41 a.m. 9/13/2021 Justice to lead 11 a.m. briefing about pandemic response

8:24 a.m. 9/10/2021 Justice to lead 10:30 a.m. briefing about pandemic response

9:52 a.m. 9/8/2021 Justice to lead 10:30 a.m. briefing about pandemic response

6:25 a.m. 9/6/2021 Justice to lead 10:30 a.m. briefing about pandemic response

9:14 a.m. 9/3/2021 Briefing at noon over West Virginia pandemic response 

9:08 a.m. 9/1/2021 Justice to lead 11 a.m. briefing

9:51 a.m. 8/30/2021 Justice to lead 11 a.m. briefing

7:52 a.m. 8/27/21 U.S. Education Secretary joins Justice at briefing 

WHO: Gov. Jim Justice, West Virginia COVID-19 pandemic response leadership team.

United States Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Clayton Burch will also join the briefing.

WHAT: Governor Justice will provide an update on West Virginia’s COVID-19 response efforts, and make a back-to-school vaccination initiative announcement.

10:14 a.m. 8/25/21 Justice leads pandemic briefing at 11 a.m. 

https://youtu.be/72OqtOj3cIIhttps://youtu.be/72OqtOj3cII

10:10 a.m. Governor leads coronavirus media briefing at 10:30 a.m.

10:30 a.m. Governor leads coronavirus media briefing at 11:00 a.m.

8:17 a.m. Governor leads briefing about pandemic response at 11:30 a.m. 

7:36 a.m. Governor leads pandemic briefing at 11:30 a.m. 

8:56 a.m. Governor Justice to lead 11:30 a.m. briefing about pandemic 

9:44 a.m. Governor Justice to lead noon briefing about pandemic

10:54 a.m. Governor Justice to lead 11 a.m. pandemic briefing

8:12 a.m. Justice to lead pandemic briefing at 10:30 a.m.

9:30 a.m. Superintendent Burch and SSAC chief Dolan join Justice for 11 a.m. briefing

WHO: Gov. Jim Justice, West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Clayton Burch, WVSSAC Executive Director Bernie Dolan, West Virginia COVID-19 pandemic response leadership team.

WHAT: Gov. Justice will provide an update on West Virginia’s COVID-19 response efforts and provide an update on back-to-school plans for West Virginia.

LATER: At 2 p.m. the West Virginia Board of Education and the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) will host a press conference to provide details on back-to-school guidance for the 2021-22 school year.

Burch, WVBE Vice President Tom Campbell and Dolan will address the media following Governor Jim Justice’s briefing earlier in the day.

10:15 a.m. 8/02/2021  Governor provides update about covid response at 10:30 a.m. 

8:35 a.m. 7/29/2021 Governor provides update about covid response at 11 a.m.

8:29 a.m. 07/27/2021 Justice provides update about pandemic response at 11 a.m.

11:03 a.m. 07/22/2021 Governor Justice scheduled for 11 a.m. pandemic briefing

12:38 p.m. 07/20/2021 Governor Justice to lead pandemic update at 1 p.m. 

10:06 a.m. 7/16/2021 Governor to lead pandemic briefing at 1 p.m.

11 a.m. 7/13/2021 Governor to lead pandemic briefing at 11 a.m.

10:35 a.m. 7/8/2021 Governor to lead pandemic briefing at 10:30

11:25 a.m. 7/6/2021  Governor to lead pandemic briefing at 11:30

9:24 a.m. 7/1/2021 Governor to lead pandemic briefing at 11 a.m. 

8:53 a.m. 6/29/2021 Justice to lead pandemic briefing at 10:30

12:20 p.m.  06/24/2021   Justice pandemic briefing set for 12:30 p.m. 

10:55 a.m.  06/22/2021   Justice pandemic briefing set for 11:30 a.m.

10:50 a.m. 6/17/2021  Justice pandemic briefing set for 11 a.m.

11:05 a.m. 6/15/2021 Justice pandemic briefing scheduled for 11 a.m. 

7:40 a.m. 6/10/2021 Justice waits outside development announcement because of covid exposure

Gov. Jim Justice offered video greetings from his vehicle at an economic development announcement in Morgantown on Wednesday with the governor saying he’d had an unanticipated covid-19 exposure.

Justice has been very public about his full vaccination but said he wanted to set a good example by remaining in the vehicle. Otherwise, he said, he would have needed a rapid test and a mask.

He appeared via streaming video and offered remarks at an announcement for an artificial intelligence company getting established in Morgantown. Clay Marsh, West Virginia University’s executive dean for health sciences, made the opening remarks as a substitute for Justice.

Dr. Clay Marsh

“He would be here standing in my place had it not been for a very unexpected exposure that he had recently to somebody who tested positive for covid-19,” said Marsh, who is also the state’s coronavirus response coordinator.

“And even though the governor is aware that he is fully vaccinated, he is really 100 percent protected against having any kind of problem with this — even with that understanding, and he does understand that well, given his experience we’ve all had with covid-19, he wanted to make sure he was working with an abundance of concern.”

Justice then appeared on a screen for everyone to see, wearing a checked shirt and leaning over to talk into a camera, with the interior roof of the vehicle as his backdrop.

“I landed here about an hour ago. I’m sitting out in the parking lot in front of you right now. I mean, I could throw a rock and hit all of you,” Justice said. “I hate like crazy that I’m out here in the parking lot. Believe me be.”

Offering some background, Justice said he had experienced a covid exposure on Friday and was informed about it on Wednesday.

“When I landed they told me I was exposed on Friday evening to someone. They told me they felt like I needed to be tested. And if that be the case, I don’t think I need to be in there until we know the results of the test. But I’m sure it’s fine. I feel fine, and I hate like crazy I’m not with you.”

7:37 a.m. 6/10/2021 Justice leads briefing about pandemic response at 2 p.m. 

10:20 a.m. 6/8/2021  Justice leads pandemic briefing at 10:30 a.m.

9:23 a.m. 6/3/2021 Justice leads pandemic briefing at 10:30 a.m.

9:22 a.m. 6/1/2021 Justice leads pandemic briefing at 10:30 a.m. 

1:59 p.m. 5/27/2021 Justice leads pandemic briefing at 4:30 p.m.

10:20 a.m. 5/25/2021  Justice leads briefing about pandemic response at 10:30 a.m.

12:30 p.m. 5/20/2021 Justice leads briefing about pandemic response at 1:20 p.m. 

12:19 p.m. 5/17/2021 Justice leads pandemic update at 1 p.m.

10:32 a.m. 5/14/2021 Justice leads pandemic update at noon

11:45 a.m.  5/12/2021  Justice leads pandemic update

10:25 a.m. 5/10/2021  Justice leads pandemic update 

9:29 a.m. 5/7/2021 Justice leads pandemic update at 11:30 a.m.

9:16 a.m. 5/5/2020 Justice leads noon briefing about covid response

8:04 a.m. 5/3/2020 Justice provides latest on pandemic response at 11 a.m.

8:04 a.m. 4/30/2020 Justice leads pandemic briefing at 10:30 a.m. 

11:05 a.m. 4/28/2021 Pandemic briefing by Justice at 2:45 p.m. 

12:45 p.m. 4/26/2021  Justice to lead pandemic briefing at 1 p.m.

7:59 a.m. 4/23/2021 Justice to lead pandemic briefing at 11 a.m.

11:55 a.m. 4/21/2021  Justice to address pandemic response at noon

11:55 a.m. 4/19/2021  Justice to address pandemic response at noon.

10:25 a.m. 4/16/2021  Justice to address pandemic response at 10:30 a.m.

10:25 a.m.  4/14/2021  Justice to address pandemic response at 10:30 a.m.

11:54 a.m. 4/12/2021 Justice to address pandemic response at noon 


11:35 a.m.  4/09/2021  Justice to have back to back briefings beginning at noon (income tax/COVID)

10:15 a.m.  4/07/2021  Justice briefing at 10:30 a.m.

10:15 a.m.  4/05/2021  Justice briefing at 10:30 a.m.

10:15 a.m.  4/02/2021   Justice briefing at 10:30 a.m.

10:15 a.m.  3/29/2021  Justice briefing at 10:30 a.m.

8:30 a.m.  3/26/2021  Justice briefing at 9 a.m.

10:30 a.m.  3/24/2021  Justice briefing at 11:00 a.m.

10:15 a.m.  3/22/2021  Justice briefing at 11:00 a.m.

10:20 a.m. 3/19/2021  Justice briefing 10:30 a.m.

10:45 a.m. 3/17/2021  Justice briefing 10:45 a.m.

11:15 a.m.  3/15/2021  Justice briefing at 11:30 a.m.

10:45 a.m. 3/12/2021 Justice briefing at 11:00 a.m.

10:30 a.m. 3/10/2021  Justice briefing set for 11:00 a.m.

10:15 a.m. 3/8/2021  Justice briefing set for 10:30 a.m.

10:55 a.m. 3/5/2021  Justice briefing set for 11:00 a.m.

This briefing was originally scheduled for 10:30 a.m. but now has been shifted to 11

;

10:32 a.m. 2/19/2021 Justice leads briefing at 10:30 a.m. 

6:52 a.m. 2/17/2021 Justice leads briefing at 10:30 a.m. 

9:30 a.m. 2/15/2021 Justice leads briefing at 10:30 

9:03 a.m. 2/12/2021 Justice to lead briefing at noon

9:30 a.m. 2/10/21 Justice to lead briefing at 11 a.m.

11:58 a.m. 2/8/21 Justice to lead briefing at noon 

9:48 a.m.  2/5/21 Justice to lead briefing at 11:30 

11:05 a.m.  2/3/21 Justice to lead briefing at noon 

9:34 a.m. Justice to lead briefing at noon 

10:34 a.m. 1/29/21 Justice to lead briefing at noon

9:39 a.m. 1/27/21 Manchin applauds federal effort to increases vaccine supply

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) released a statement about the announcement from the Biden Administration about increasing the weekly supply of COVID-19 vaccinations to states and territories next week. The administration will also increase transparency by giving states a three week forecast of vaccine supplies.

“Today’s announcement by the Biden Administration shows that help is on the way. I thank President Biden for staying true to his word and delivering more vaccine so quickly and will continue to work closely with him to further increase our allocation. West Virginia is leading the country in efficiently and safely distributing the COVID-19 vaccine. Clinics across our state have been operating below capacity because of the vaccine shortage. Now President Biden will ship out at least 10 million doses each week to get more shots in arms as soon as possible. Today’s announcement from the Biden Administration is another step closer to ensuring every West Virginian who wants a vaccine can get one, restoring our economy, and getting back to life as usual. In the last week, I have spoken with President Biden and multiple White House officials who have assured me the number one priority for the Administration is quickly producing and efficiently distributing the vaccine. I’m glad to see them put their money where their mouth is and ramp up vaccine distribution.”

9 a.m. 1/25/21 Justice plans 11 a.m. briefing 

12:07 p.m. 1/21/21 Justice plans noon briefing 

9:56 a.m. 1/19/2021 Justice plans 11 a.m. briefing 

8:51 a.m. 1/13/2021 Justice plans 10 a.m. briefing

here is the livestream https://t.co/i4kQb1qU8N

— Brad McElhinny (@BradMcElhinny) January 13, 2021

8:49 a.m. 1/11/2021 Justice plans noon briefing

here is the livestream https://t.co/Dw7fbZbuev

— Brad McElhinny (@BradMcElhinny) January 11, 2021

11:31 a.m. 1/8/2021 Justice plans noon briefing 

livestream here https://t.co/jN45H6LHG6

— Brad McElhinny (@BradMcElhinny) January 8, 2021

7:54 a.m. 1/6/2021 Justice plans 11 a.m. briefing 

here is the livestream https://t.co/Khcw32yYBv

— Brad McElhinny (@BradMcElhinny) January 6, 2021

6:59 a.m. 1/4/2021 Justice plans 11 a.m. briefing

here is the livestream https://t.co/6YB4IooQpY

— Brad McElhinny (@BradMcElhinny) January 4, 2021

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MetroNews This Morning 12-2-21

Striking workers at Cabell-Huntington Hospital ratify a new contract.  WVU President Gordon Gee in hot water with the faculty Senate. Abortion defenders are keeping a sharp eye on the U.S. Supreme Court case out of Mississippi which could impact the Roe v. Wade decision.  A fire continues to burn in the New River Gorge, although rain has helped and Charleston remembers a fallen police officer a year after she was killed in the line of duty.   In Sports, players are ready to compete for state titles this weekend in high school football at the Super 6 in Wheeling.  Those stories and more in today’s MetroNews This Morning podcast.

Listen to “MetroNews This Morning 12-2-21” on Spreaker.

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Source: WV MetroNews

Cabell Huntington Hospital workers end strike after reaching contract deal

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — A contract agreement has been reached among Cabell Huntington Hospital employees, ending a nearly month-long strike.

Members of SEIU District 1199 voted Wednesday to accept a three year contract that covers more than 900 workers including patient care assistants, technicians, clerks, aids, housekeepers, food service, LPNs and maintenance staff.

The hospital said in a statement striking employees could return to work as early as Friday.

“We value all of our employees as each plays an important role in delivering reliable, quality care to our patients,” said Tim Martin, chief operating officer for Cabell Huntington Hospital. “We are committed to being the best employer in the region with outstanding wages and benefits and this contract confirms that. We look forward to welcoming back our coworkers and resuming normal operations.”

MetroNews has reached out to SEIU 1199 Regional Director Sherri McKinney for comment.

“I commend the negotiating team in reaching a mutually beneficial contract,” stated Kevin Yingling, MD, Mountain Health Network CEO and President of CHH. “Throughout the negotiation process, I have been truly impressed by the expertise, experience, and guidance of our team. They have bargained earnestly and honestly to achieve a fair and equitable contract. I am deeply grateful for all that they have accomplished and look forward to continuing a shared focus on patients and caring for our community.”

The two parties were brought back by a federal mediator this week to resume negotiations. A temporary restraining order was put in place by a Cabell County judge during the strike to calm activity on the picket line. Temporary workers were brought in during the work stoppage.

The union was on strike in hopes of sending a message for better wages, continued health insurance and safe staffing.

The new contract took effect Dec. 1, 2021 and will run through Nov. 15, 2024.

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D’Antoni displeased after Herd’s 88-86 loss at Akron

— By David Walsh

Marshall basketball coach Dan D’Antoni spent a bit longer than normal in the locker room at halftime and at the end of Wednesday’s game against Akron.

It was for good reason, as what D’Antoni witnessed at the outset and down the stretch didn’t set well. The Thundering Herd fell behind early, then watched the Zips make big plays late to escape with the win, 88-86, Wednesday night in front of 1,752 fans in the James A. Rhodes Arena.

Enrique Freeman registered a dunk, got fouled and hit the free throw to get the Zips even at 86 with 24 seconds left. Marshall had taken an 86-83 lead with 34 seconds to play on a 3-pointer by David Early.

After an Akron miss, Early got the rebound, drew a foul, but missed the front end of the bonus to set the stage for Freeman. The Herd had the ball with 18 seconds left and worked it to Andy Taylor for a possible go-ahead shot with four seconds to play, but he missed, Freeman got the rebound and Taylor fouled him.

Freeman made both free throws and then Taevion Kinsey missed a triple with two seconds left and Akron got the ball and win.

“Coaches left the locker room at the half and end of the game and weren’t happy,” D’Antoni said. “If they don’t get that, I can’t undersell what happened.

“Got to find that fight, mental and physical. Got to decide what club we want to put out there, who wants it. We made crucial fouls. That will beat you. We obviously have a lot of work to do.”

Kinsey led Marshall with 30 points and Taylor added a season-high 26 before he fouled out in the closing seconds. Early netted 11. The Herd (4-3) connected on a season-high 11 3s, but went 9-of-17 at the foul line, including just 2-of-7 in the second half.

Taylor and Obinna Anochili-Killen were disqualified with five fouls. Anochili-Killen, who leads the nation in blocked shots with 33 and averages 14.3 points a game, did not score or block a shot and and missed two shots as he played just 9 minutes.

“We’re not winning games by doing what we have to do, by playing hard and smart,” D’Antoni said. “Between coming out not ready and not making big plays down the stretch. Lock in mentally and come in ready to play. I have to figure out who are the guys who are really going to come in every night and play and go with those guys.”

D’Antoni felt Early made some good plays, but there are phases he must continue to clean up.

“If you’re going to win, you got to play great, especially away from home,” D’Antoni said. “I’m not calling David out. He showed signs. He’ll learn from it, but at the same time while he’s learning, we take an L. That’s not fun. It’s a long season. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been here 1,000 times with a thousand different teams. Some people want to throw stones go ahead. We’re going to be there come on with us. Throw stones now, join us later. Whatever.”

Kinsey knows what the Herd must do.

“Games are won or lost at the beginning,” Kinsey said. “We played sluggish and slow. We’ve got to find that toughness and grit. They made their free throws, we didn’t. On the defensive end, we played the whole game fouling and you can’t do that. Got to clean that up.

“We’ve got to have that fire to win and we didn’t have it tonight. We have to come out with fire from the beginning. Got to do some soul searching, figure out who wants to play this game. I don’t like losing. I hope everybody feels this loss.”

Freeman finished with a career-high 24 points and 14 rebounds for a double-double. Bryan Trimble Jr. hit for 23 thanks to making 7-of-12 triples (he was the only Akron player to make a three). Ali Ali had 16 points and Greg Tribble 12.

Akron (4-3) is now 9-5 against Marshall at home and lead the all-time series, 16-13.

Marshall turn its attention to Saturday when it tries to end a two-game skid when Duquesne visits the Cam Henderson Center. Tip is 7 p.m.

D’Antoni, while not happy, knows there’s ample time to straighten this thing out with Kinsey taking the lead.

“I preach this is their team. Take ownership,” D’Antoni said. “[TK] I feel has the will to win. Got to get that in all of them. He’ll be a big factor in that.”

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How the U.S. Supreme Court Decision on Abortion May Impact West Virginia

Given the make-up of the U.S. Supreme Court and some of the comments and questions by Justices during yesterday’s arguments, it appears the abortion laws of this country and here in West Virginia may be about to change.  

Some have speculated the Court will rule more narrowly on the specific Mississippi law which bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.  If the majority upholds that law, then expect West Virginia to attempt to follow suit.

West Virginia’s Legislature is dominated by Republicans who hold supermajorities in both the House and Senate and many of those pro-life members will be anxious to copy the Mississippi law.

In fact, do not be surprised if the Republicans attempt to pass legislation like the Mississippi law during the regular session beginning in January, even though that will be well before the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to release its decision.

If passed, it would be up to opponents to go to court to try to stop the law from going into effect before there is a ruling from the high court.

The U.S. Supreme Court could also make a much more far reaching decision and strike down Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that established a constitutional right to abortion.  If that happens, abortion would immediately be outlawed in West Virginia.

That is because there is a law on the books (61-2-8) that makes it a crime to perform an abortion.  The law states that “any person who shall administer to” an abortion “shall be guilty of a felony” punishable by three to ten years in prison.  If a woman dies during an illegal abortion, the abortionist could be convicted of murder.

That law has been blocked since the Roe decision, but if Roe is overturned, the law would be in effect.

Of course, the Supreme Court could also let Roe stand and strike down the Mississippi law.  If that happens, nothing changes in West Virginia.  The state currently permits abortions, but with limitations.

The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act of 2015 prohibits abortions, except in the case of a medical emergency or non-medically viable fetus, if “the probable gestational age of the fetus has reached the pain capable gestational age,” which is defined as 20 or more weeks post fertilization or 22 weeks after the last menstrual period.

DHHR figures show that abortions at the 20 week mark are rare. Just seven were performed in 2019, or less than one percent of all abortions.  Nearly sixty percent of abortions in 2019 were at eight weeks or less gestational age.

We will not know of the Court’s decision until probably June or July, but you can expect West Virginia and other states to begin positioning themselves legislatively for whatever the outcome.

 

 

 

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Capito: Nuclear energy an option for lowering costs, maintaining production

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — As Americans continue facing rising energy prices, U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., is urging the Biden administration to consider policies to boost nuclear energy production.

Capito’s comments on nuclear power came during a Senate Environment and Public Workers Committee hearing on Wednesday regarding the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The independent government agency is responsible for overseeing the use of radioactive materials at power plants, as well as the transportation, storage and disposal of nuclear materials and waste.

“Instead of pursuing policies that will accelerate inflation and undermine our grid, we should advance the solutions we’re going to hear about that will reduce costs and increase reliability, all while improving the environment,” Capito said. “This means pursuing all clean energy sources, including carbon capture, natural gas and nuclear.”

Capito has criticized President Joe Biden and federal agencies for pursuing its agenda regarding climate change, arguing the administration’s steps will affect energy affordability and electric reliability.

“It seems this reckless tax-and-spending spree would increase energy costs on all American families and businesses,” she said. “It would harm our competitiveness, it would reduce reliability of our energy system. It’s just a bad deal.”

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 9% of the United State’s energy consumption in 2020 came from nuclear power. Capito described nuclear energy as the most powerful “duel tool” in generating electricity while minimizing greenhouse gas emissions.

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WVU Faculty Senate taking up no confidence resolution on Gee, Reed

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The West Virginia University Faculty Senate is scheduled to vote next Monday on a resolution declaring no confidence in the administration of President Gordon Gee and Provost Maryanne Reed.

The resolution, which was first reported by the Daily Athenaeum, cites multiple issues, including the refusal to issue a coronavirus vaccine mandate, hiring practices and work procedures.

Faculty members and the WVU Student Government Association previously voted in favor of such policy, as did the faculty senates of WVU and Marshall University for both campuses.

The resolution states the Gee-Reed administration also “refused to engage in open, inclusive, systematic practices for hiring qualified candidates for its senior administrative team,” and did not provide transparency during efforts to carry out the Academic Transformation effort.

The resolution also states leadership has “exhibited a pattern of failing to respect shared governance and working outside of professional norms that has broad implications for campus climate, the reputation of the university, and the university’s commitment both to providing a high-quality education and to carrying out first-rate scholarship.”

The Faculty Senate will hold its meeting Monday at 3:15 p.m. using Zoom.

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