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Manchin v. Blankenship? Possible, but not probable – WV MetroNews

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Manchin v. Blankenship? Possible, but not probable – WV MetroNews


West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin is leaving open the possibility—albeit remote—that he could run for the Senate as an independent.

The veteran Democratic Senator announced earlier that he is not running for re-election, and he has ruled out a third-party run for President. Manchin says he wants to get away from Washington politics and devote his energies to a super PAC run by his daughter, Heather, that promotes centrist policies.

However, CNN’s Manu Raju reported that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer “recently discussed a long-shot idea” with Manchin of trying to hold the seat as an independent.

Manchin told Raju, “I think that’s a long, long, long-shot scenario. I don’t anticipate that happening. I don’t anticipate running.”

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The Senator reinforced that position in an interview with MetroNews’ Jeff Jenkins in Charleston last weekend. “He (Schumer) knows I’ve already made up my mind. I’m happy with my decision.”

But there is a qualifier.

Raju reported, and I confirmed with another source, that Manchin is leaving the door open just a crack in case it appears former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship could be the next Senator from West Virginia. The former coal operator is in the race for the Democratic nomination for Senate along with Glenn Elliott and Zachary Schrewsbury.

Yes, it is odd that Blankenship, who is very conservative and has funded campaigns to help Republicans get elected, would run as a Democrat, but he must figure the party switch gives him a better chance than if he ran as a Republican against Governor Jim Justice and Representative Alex Mooney.

I am told there is a 15-to-25 percent chance Manchin would enter the race as an independent if he thinks it is necessary to prevent Blankenship from being elected to represent West Virginia.

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The bad blood between Manchin and Blankenship goes back years to when Manchin was Governor and Blankenship was running Massey Energy. Blankenship actively campaigned against Manchin’s plan to sell $5.5 billion in bonds to cover the state’s pension programs.

Manchin fired back suggesting Massey operations could be more closely scrutinized by the government. Blankenship sued, claiming Manchin was retaliating against him and his company. Blankenship dropped the suit after Manchin issued a statement saying he regretted his remarks.

Later, Blankenship was convicted of a misdemeanor charge of conspiring to violate mine safety standards following the 2010 explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine, where 29 miners died, and he served a year in jail. However, he has remained politically active.

He tried to unseat Manchin in the 2018 Senate race. Blankenship lost in the Republican Primary, and he then tried unsuccessfully to run in the General Election as a member of the Constitution Party against Manchin.

So, these two men have a long and tumultuous history. Is there one more showdown ahead? Several pieces would have to fall into place for that to happen. Blankenship would have to pull off an upset in the Democratic Primary and be polling well against Justice or Mooney. Manchin would have to change his mind about running.

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It is unlikely that happens. However, as Manchin told CNN, “You never say never to anything because you never know.”

 

 

 

 

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WVDNR announces National Hunting and Fishing Day Celebration to return to Stonewall Resort

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WVDNR announces National Hunting and Fishing Day Celebration to return to Stonewall Resort


SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR) announced today that West Virginia’s celebration of National Hunting and Fishing Day will return to Stonewall Resort State Park in Roanoke on Saturday, September 21.

“We are thrilled to announce that our National Hunting and Fishing Day celebration is returning to Stonewall Resort State Park this year,” said Brett McMillion, WVDNR Director. “This annual event is great for hunters and anglers and is designed to build the next generation of wildlife and conservation enthusiasts through the Outdoor Youth Challenge.”

This annual celebration, which honors West Virginia’s hunting and fishing traditions and promotes conservation efforts throughout the state, will return as a special one-day event catered to hunting and fishing enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers of all ages.

Returning this year is the popular Outdoor Youth Challenge, which is designed to engage kids in a series of hands-on activities, such as fishing, wildlife identification, shooting sports and safety demonstrations. Participating youth will be entered into a drawing for several prizes, including scholarships to Conservation Camp and a lifetime hunting and fishing license.

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During National Hunting and Fishing Day, guests will be able to attend seminars and presentations and see vendors showcasing the latest in outdoor equipment and services. Visitors will also get to sample a variety of wild game, Appalachian favorites and signature dishes from West Virginia state parks with the return of last year’s popular new attraction, “A Taste of State Parks.”

Vendor space is still available for businesses and organizations looking to showcase their products or services. Those interested in becoming a vendor should contact Jeremy Rowan at the WVDNR Elkins Operations Center by calling 304-637-0245.

To learn more about National Hunting and Fishing Days and to sign up for email alerts about the event, visit wvdnr.gov/programs-publications/national-hunting-and-fishing-days.



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West Virginia Government Issues Funding for Several Trails Projects Throughout the Eastern Panhandle

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West Virginia Government Issues Funding for Several Trails Projects Throughout the Eastern Panhandle


MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Projects around the Panhandle will benefit from an allocation of taxpayer dollars to boost regional recreation and trails.

Frog Hollow Trail Proposed Expansion (City of Martinsburg)

A statement from the city of Martinsburg Friday is praising the recent announcement from the governor’s office regarding the allocation of funds.

“We would like to thank Governor Jim Justice, WVDOT and West Virginia Tourism for awarding the City of Martinsburg two Transportation Alternative Grants totaling $1,150,000. These grants will be used to help fund additional phases of the Martinsburg Greenway Trail Project.
Specifically, these funds will be used to assist: (1) in the construction of the Creekside trail from N. Queen Street to Oatesdale Park along the Tuscarora Creek; and, (2) for the rehab, painting and preparation of the former Frog Hollow Rail Spur bridge across Route 9 into a pedestrian bridge.
When the multiple phases of the Martinsburg Greenway Tail Project are completed, the Project will extend to the Route 9 walking/biking trail through Martinsburg with its ultimate connection to War Memorial Park – all while making connections to the City’s major parks.
The City, along with Berkeley County Commission – WV and Hagerstown/Eastern Panhandle Metropolitan Planning Organization, have applied for RAISE Grant to complete the entirety of the Martinsburg Greenway Trail Project. It is our hope that we will receive the award this summer so we can complete the Martinsburg Greenway Trail Project in its entirety.”

The statement referenced a more detailed look at the allocations for

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61 projects from West Virginia Explorer:

BERKELEY COUNTY

The City of Martinsburg has been awarded $400,000 for Martinsburg Frog Hollow Rail-Trail Route 9 Overpass Bridge Remediation, which will upgrade the 103 feet bridge span to protect the structure and enhance the safety of the bridge for users, including the abutments and railings.

The City of Martinsburg has been awarded $750,000 for Martinsburg Creekside Trail. The funding will be used to construct a connector trail of approximately 0.6 miles connecting downtown Martinsburg (Queen Street) to Oatesdale Park and Frog Hollow Trail.

JEFFERSON COUNTY

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The City of Charles Town has received $382,217.50 for the Charles Town Liberty Street Sidewalk upgrade on Liberty Street from George Street to Samuel Street.

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The Jefferson County Historic Landmarks Commission has been awarded $66,000 for Duffield’s Depot rehabilitation.

MORGAN COUNTY

The Town of Bath has been awarded $70,000 for Bath/Berkeley Springs Streetscape—Phase IV for new and replacement sidewalks on Congress Street, North Washington Street, Union Street, Fairfax Street, and Mercer Street.

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The town of Paw Paw has secured $62,500 for the Paw Paw Sidewalk Improvement Project, which will install new and replacement sidewalks along Winchester Street and Moser Avenue for approximately 0.47 miles south from Town Hall to the intersection of Winchester Street and Moser Avenue and west to the library.

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources has been awarded $200,000 for Cacapon Resort State Park Trails. The funding will be utilized for the Appalachian Conservation Corp’s request to refurbish the old CCC trails.





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Analysis: A closer look at West Virginia commit Sencire Harris

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Analysis: A  closer look at West Virginia commit Sencire Harris


On Sunday, the West Virginia men’s basketball program gained a pair of commitments following new WVU assistant Chester Frazier from the Illinois program. Here, we’ll take a look at one of those players, guard Sincere Harris.

Harris was a four-star recruit in the Class of 2022 and was ranked 96th-overall in the nation and first-overall in the state of Ohio by 247Sports. As a senior, Harris averaged 20.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 3.8 steals for perennial high school powerhouse St. Vincent-St. Mary. The program finished 23-4 and captured a second-straight OHSAA Division II state championship during Harris’ final season.

At Illinois, Harris made 33 appearances and seven starts as a true freshman, averaging 3.7 points and 2.1 rebounds in 14.5 minutes per game. Last year, Harris didn’t see action as he used his redshirt season. He still has three years of eligibility remaining.

On film, Harris sticks out as an exceptional ball-handler that has the ability to create his own shots and keep opponents on their toes. He demonstrates an almost-explosive speed with the ball in his hands, able to maneuver past opponents before they can react. He has also been described by Illinois fans as a high-energy, defensive-minded player — a concept Mountaineer fans are familiar with from past players such as Jevon Carter.

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