Articles by Lawrence Messina

West Virginia House Leaders Seek Review of Appeals Process

Speaker Rick Thompson and other West Virginia House leaders have proposed a study of whether the recently revised process for handling civil appeals ensures a full and fair review, amid calls for expanding the state’s court system. Thompson, a Wayne …

West Virginia Still Weighing Health Exchange, Medicaid Options

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has yet to decide whether to open the Medicaid program to more lower-income residents, or how individuals and small businesses will seek coverage through the federal health care overhaul, administration officials told legislators this …

Hearing Reviews West Virginia Gas Pipeline Explosion

To Sue Bonham, it was as if the world were coming to an end: A wall of flame had suddenly engulfed her West Virginia neighborhood. Amid a deafening roar, objects began crashing through her ceiling. Her home began melting around …

Veterans’ Advocate Seeks to Change Attorneys’ Role in Disability Claims

David Huffman has helped thousands of military veterans seeking disability benefits navigate the complex, often slow and at times frustrating claims process. The Wood County, West Virginia lawyer can relate: he was a 19-year-old Marine in Vietnam when a booby …

Supreme Court Hears West Virginia Mine Widows’ Plea

Federal inspectors must share the blame — and therefore face a lawsuit — for a 2006 West Virginia coal mine fire that killed two miners, a lawyer for their widows argued at the state Supreme Court on Wednesday. Lawyer Bruce …

West Virginia Supreme Court Candidates Mindful of Critics

The four candidates for two seats on West Virginia’s Supreme Court differ on how to respond to criticism of the state’s judicial system from some business groups and others, each told The Associated Press. Justice Robin Davis, the sole incumbent …

West Virginia Carrying Out Real ID Driver’s License Law

West Virginia continues to issue new driver’s licenses that meet national standards adopted after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, amid a refusal by a number of other states to carry out the federal Real ID law, Deputy Division of Motor Vehicles …

West Virginia Mine Regulators Slow on Inspections, Permits

West Virginia mine regulators have failed to meet internal goals for timely inspections and permits, a legislative audit concluded, but agency officials disagree with the auditors over why. The report released this week to lawmakers blames vacancies and turnover for …

West Virginia Ban on Drivers’ Texting Begins June 1

The days of legally driving while texting in West Virginia are numbered. A new ban on texting that also targets hands-on cell phone chatter becomes law Friday. It’s among nearly 70 legislative bills taking effect that day. But enforcement of …

West Virginia Safety Bill Responds to Upper Big Branch Tragedy

A father crushed in a roof fall. A former schoolmate suffocated by poisoned air. Sharing stories of loved ones and friends killed in West Virginia’s coal mines, a unanimous House of Delegates passed safety legislation this week that largely seeks …