West Virginia News

Ex-West Virginia justice blames impeachment on gender bias

By JOHN RABY, Associated Press CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — An impeached former West Virginia Supreme Court justice has filed a federal lawsuit accusing elected officials of gender bias and other violations. Former Justice Robin Davis' 40-page lawsuit filed Wednesday said she would not have ...

West Virginia awards $49M contract to widen Interstate 81

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia's Department of Transportation has awarded a $49 million contract to widen part of a highway. Gov. Jim Justice's office tells news outlets in a statement that he announced on Tuesday the award of the contract to A.L.L. Construction Inc. to expand ...

Couple charged after children found in makeshift cages

BUCKHANNON, W.Va. (AP) — Police have charged a West Virginia couple with child neglect after officers said they found three children confined in makeshift cages. News outlets report that court paperwork says state troopers found three children under age 4 held in "cage-like structures" in ...

West Virginia higher elevations close to peak fall foliage

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia's higher elevations are starting to burst into their peak colors. The state Tourism Office released its first fall foliage report Wednesday. Tourism officials say in a news release that areas along U.S. Route 33 should reach their peak by this weekend, ...

West Virginia indictment charges 17 in drug conspiracy

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (AP) — A federal prosecutor in West Virginia says a grand jury has indicted 17 people from West Virginia and Michigan on drug and firearms charges. U.S. Attorney Bill Powell of the Northern District of West Virginia announced the indictments Wednesday. His office said in a ...

West Virginia agency seeks comment on historic preservation

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The public is being asked for comments on West Virginia's current historic preservation comprehensive plan and ideas for continued efforts through 2024. The West Virginia State Historic Preservation Office will conduct at least eight meetings across the state to ...

2 politicians get temp seats on W.Va. Supreme Court

By JOHN RABY, Associated Press CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Two Republican politicians will serve as temporary justices on the West Virginia Supreme Court after a group of judicial stand-ins on Monday rejected petitions challenging their appointments to replace two departed justices. The court ...

Sheriff: Man kills son-in-law, self during custody exchange

CRAIGSVILLE, W.Va. (AP) — A sheriff's office in West Virginia says a man fatally shot his son-in-law during an exchange of children as per a custody agreement before killing himself. Nicholas County Sheriff William F. Nunley tells WSAZ-TV 38-year-old Luke Charles McElwain was fatally shot ...

West Virginia governor recommending 9 projects for grants

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice is recommending the Appalachian Regional Commission approve grants totaling over $7.1 million for nine projects. Justice said the projects take advantage of West Virginia's assets and address community and economic development needs. ...

US Attorney sues West Virginia hemp farm over seeds’ origin

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A U.S. attorney is suing a West Virginia hemp farm and others, saying they violating the federal Controlled Substances Act. U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart has sued Matthew Mallory of CAMO Hemp WV, and Gary Kale of Grassy Run Farms. Grassy Run Farms owns the land, The ...

West Virginia woman admits to stealing veterans benefits

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia woman had pleaded guilty to stealing a military veteran's benefits. Thirty-eight-year-old Brandi Moore of Gallipolis Ferry entered the plea in federal court in Huntington. Prosecutors say in a news release Moore had a family member who was a veteran ...

Supplies given to students in West Virginia’s poorest county

WELCH, W.Va. (AP) — Public schools in West Virginia's poorest county will receive clothing and other supplies as part of a project aimed at helping children and their families. The American Federation of Teachers unveiled one of the Essentials for Kid Care Closets at Mount View High School ...

Attorneys general asking DEA to tighten drug manufacture

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Attorneys general from West Virginia and 10 other states are asking the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to further tighten the manufacture of opioids. West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey's office says the DEA's preliminary quotas for 2019 don't ...

Pilot program of overseas voting app to spread across state

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — The West Virginia secretary of state says a pilot program of a mobile voting app for overseas citizens is being extended to 24 counties for the November general election. The Dominion Post quotes Secretary of State Mac Warner as saying in a release that voters from ...

High school senior channels energy into video game creation

By EDDIE TRIZZINO, Times West Virginian FAIRMONT, W.Va. (AP) — What can often be seen as a time-passer or hobby has grown into a passion and an artistic and creative outlet for Conner Rush. The Fairmont Senior High School junior has already developed two video games of his own, distributed ...

West Virginia woman charged in 8-year-old daughter’s slaying

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (AP) — Police say a West Virginia mother arrested and charged with murder had intended to kill both her daughters and take her own life. Julie Ann Orellana's 8-year-old daughter, Eliza, was found dead of gunshot wounds on Thursday, and her 11-year-old daughter Olivia was ...

West Virginia chief justice wants impeachment delayed

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The West Virginia Supreme Court's chief justice is asking the court to delay impeachment proceedings against her by the state Senate. Chief Justice Margaret Workman filed a petition Friday morning arguing the state Senate's articles of impeachment are not ...

Conductor candidate builds community while making music By LINDA COMINS, The Intelligencer WHEELING, W.Va. (AP) — Building community while making music remains a hallmark of conductor Timothy Hankewich’s approach to the arts. Hankewich, the current music director of Orchestra Iowa, is one of five candidates for music director of the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra. He is conducting the WSO’s season-opening pops concert at the Capitol Theatre and the opening Masterworks concert Oct. 19. “You get a double dose of me early on,” he quipped. Hankewich, Andres Franco, Silas Huff and John Devlin were named as finalists for the post in April. Roger Kalia was added as a candidate later. During Hankewich’s tenure, Orchestra Iowa has rebuilt itself from the ground up, literally, and has expanded its audiences and programs, adding opera, ballet, chamber music series and jazz series to its regular season presentations. Orchestra Iowa operates on a $3 million annual budget and has 60 to 70 contracted musicians, he said. The resident of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is impressed with what he learned from reviewing the Wheeling Symphony’s current and past seasons. “You can tell a lot about an orchestra by the work it performs. It reveals a lot about the standard of orchestra you enjoy,” he remarked. He has studied the diversity of the WSO programming and its educational offerings. As a leader, he applauds programming with cross-over appeal and he advocates for tapping into contemporary culture. “No man, or no orchestra, is an island,” he said. Industry-wide, the best ensembles “are able to cater to a much broader audience,” he added. Today, an orchestra “has to battle for its relevancy in its own community, its standing in the community,” Hankewich commented. “It has to be so much more than just a musical entity. It needs to be contributing to the education of the area, the social welfare of the area — what sort of quality of life does it offer, what type of economic impact does it incur for the community.” He added, “At the end of the day, a symphony orchestra is also a business. It must be fiscally responsible and accountable in a way that is sustainable.” Reflecting on his time with Orchestra Iowa, he said, “I’ve been here for 13 years and it has been a remarkable ride.” In 2008, large portions of Cedar Rapids — including the orchestra’s building — were devastated by a hurricane-related flood. “A 6-mile swath of water destroyed the downtown business core as well as several neighborhoods,” he said. As a result of the flood, Hankewich said, “At the symphony, we lost everything. We lost a theater, we lost all our equipment, all our patron and ticketing data, and we didn’t even have an office to regroup in. We had to rebuild an orchestra from scratch at a time when the community was severely hurting. “You really know what an organization is made of and its relationship with the community when times are that difficult,” he related. “Ten years later. not only did we survive it, we thrived through it. We rebuilt everything, including our building, increasing its quality and rebuilding its business model.” Hankewich commented, “I’m extremely proud of the community for banding together and not leaving anything behind. I’m most proud of my time here in Iowa.” For Orchestra Iowa, “at our darkest we had only about four months of operating capital left. It was not good,” he said. “Everybody was concentrated on rebuilding their businesses and their personal lives, understandably so.” Ten years ago, the orchestra’s first post-flood concert was staged at a local historical site. He said, “We performed outside. It turned into an incredibly powerful new tradition. Performing outdoors is nothing new, but it’s a very powerful tool in bringing people together and breaking down barriers of people who are not sure if they’re going to like symphonic music.” As for his background, Hankewich was born and reared in Dawson Creek in northern British Columbia. “The economy there was primarily agriculture, forestry, mining and oil. Being so isolated you would think there would not be much opportunity for arts to thrive, but in fact, the reality was quite the opposite,” he said. At age 8, Hankewich’s first piano teacher was a woman from Germany. “She became a galvanizing force in that small town. She produced every year, of all things, an opera. I learned then the power that the arts can have in community building. The whole town would shut down to prepare for its performance and attend its performance,” he recalled. His next mentor organized a choir. Hankewich said, “He ended up being a model of what a professional musician can be. He was also a ‘pied piper’ in getting the community involved. He was organizing musicals, was a great organist at church and introduced me to great choral works.” Later, Hankewich was invited to study piano at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, which was a four- or five-hour drive from his home. “At the age of 14, I would fly once a month out of the bush into the city, have an extended piano lesson and theory lesson, and return the same night,” he said. “By that time, it was pretty clear I was going to pursue some career in music.” He earned an honors degree in piano performance at the University of Alberta and a master’s degree as a choral conductor at the same institution. Shortly after marrying, he and his wife, who is a pharmacist, came to the United States. He studied instrumental and operatic conducting at Indiana University at Bloomington. “Our intention was to go back home (to Canada) after my studies, but fate and life had other ideas in store for me,” he said. “Toward the end of my degree, I was appointed as conducting fellow at the Indianapolis Symphony. Shortly afterwards, I joined the conducting staff at the Oregon Symphony. Things started changing rapidly.” After two years of apprenticing in Oregon, he won an assistant conducting position with the Evansville Philharmonic and the resident conductor’s position with the Kansas City Symphony. “My wife and I stayed there for seven years before ultimately coming to Iowa,” he said. “Around four years ago, I became a U.S. citizen.” The conductor said, “I’m a recovering pianist. I still stay in touch with the instrument, but there are only so many hours in the day. One of the most difficult decisions musicians have to make when they decide to dip their toe in the conducting world, is they have to make a decision whether to be a player or a conductor. There are a few who can do both.” Happy with his choice of careers, Hankewich said, “I think conductors have the best job in the world because it’s so varied. You have to be a scholar; you have to be a musician; you have to be a politican, a parent, a psychologist. Your daily activities vary so much from office meetings to rehearsals to performances. It keeps you fresh. It’s a real joy and a privilege. “There are a lot more conductors than there are orchestras. There are a lot more musicians than there are orchestras to hire them,” he observed. “It’s something special and something that I don’t take for granted, and I remind myself every day.” ___ Information from: The Intelligencer, http://www.theintelligencer.net

x By LINDA COMINS, The Intelligencer WHEELING, W.Va. (AP) — Building community while making music remains a hallmark of conductor Timothy Hankewich's approach to the arts. Hankewich, the current music director of Orchestra Iowa, is one of five candidates for music director of the Wheeling ...

Relief in West Virginia: Rains don’t approach dire forecast

By JOHN RABY, Associated Press CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Worried West Virginians got a reprieve when forecasts of potential devastating floods didn't come to fruition from the remnants of Hurricane Florence. The storm brought 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 centimeters) of rain in most parts of the ...

Demolition starts on West Virginia school hit by floods

FALLING ROCK, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia high school destroyed by floods two years ago is being demolished. News outlets report crews started tearing down Herbert Hoover High School in Kanawha County on Monday. The demolition and cleanup process should be finished later this fall. A ...