WHEELING, W.Va. (AP) _ Wheeling University in West Virginia has been placed on probation by the Higher Learning Commission due to its finances.
The independent regional accreditor found that the school “does not have sufficient fiscal resources to support its operation,’’ noting it relies heavily on subsidies from the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, The Intelligencer Wheeling News-Register reported. A letter dated March 4 notified the school of its status.
In a response Monday, Wheeling University President Ginny Favede said the school remains fully accredited and is working to address concerns. Although the school is on probation, Favede noted that the commission has removed the “financial distress’’ designation it imposed two years ago.
“The sanction has no negative impact on academics and will not affect students in terms of the awarding of credits or degrees,” she said.
Archery in the Schools state
SOUTH CHARLESTON — West Virginia will hold its Archery in the Schools state tournament in a virtual format this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Division of Natural Resources said the tournament will be held from March 25 to 27. No qualifying tournament will be held prior to the state competition.
Instead, school-based archery teams can practice in their own facilities, then shoot a competitive round on the tournament dates. Scores can be submitted through a database that will rank and determine winners.
The DNR started the archery program in 2013 with 18 schools and it has grown to more than 300 schools across the state.
The pandemic forced last year’s tournament to be canceled.
offices gets OK
CHARLESTON West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has approved legislation that elevates the state’s tourism division and development office to separate cabinet-level departments.
Effective in late May, they will be known as the Department of Tourism and the Department of Economic Development.
Last month Justice appointed former Senate President Mitch Carmichael to become the state’s economic development director. Carmichael, a Jackson County Republican, lost in the June 2020 primary to elementary school teacher Amy Nichole Grady, who went on to win the general election.
Carmichael served as Senate president from 2017 to 2020 and was made the target of teachers who packed the state Capitol during strikes in 2018 and 2019.
Burning prohibited during the day until May 31
CHARLESTON — The West Virginia Division of Forestry says fires are prohibited between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. during burning season, which began March 1 and runs through May 31.
Any burning that occurs during the permitted hours of 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. must be completely put out by the morning, the agency says.
The prohibitions don’t apply to small fires for the purpose of food preparation, warmth or light if all grass, brush, stubble and debris have been removed at least 10 feet from the fire. The rules also don’t apply to burning that takes place when the ground around the burning site is covered by at least an inch of snow.
In general, all fires must have a ring or safety strip cleared of burnable material and at least 10 feet wide.
Burning season also occurs from October 1 through December 31.
More information is available from the Division of Forestry website.
new Vacation Guide
CHARLESTON —This year’s West Virginia Vacation Guide celebrates the 50th anniversary of John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads,’’ Gov. Jim Justice’s office said.
Justice unveiled the new guide last week, dedicated to promoting Almost Heaven, West Virginia. The guide highlights the four seasons, outdoor activities and small mountain towns, Justice said.
“I’ve been saying it since the first day I took office: John Denver surely got it right when he coined ‘Almost Heaven, West Virginia,’” Justice said. “The song is a perfect love letter to our great state, and one that so many know by heart.’’
Work on the guide had already started before the coronavirus pandemic, but as new travel trends showed a desire for road trips, outdoor recreation and small towns after COVID-19 emerged, the focus shifted slightly, Justice’s office said in a news release.
To request a copy of the guide, visit WVtourism.com.
Manchin: Local governments to get $677M from stimulus
CHARLESTON — Democratic U.S. Sen Joe Manchin told West Virginia officials the new federal stimulus package will include $677 million in funding to local governments in the state.
The money is broken up into $176 million for metropolitan cities, $153 million for smaller cities and $348 million for the state’s 55 counties.
The state government separately will receive $1.25 billion.
Manchin said local officials can use funding to pay expenses related to the pandemic, including covering lost revenue and investments in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure.
Half of the funds will be distributed within 60 days of the legislation being signed by the president, while the second half will go out one year later.
“For the first time in as long as I can remember, local governments have the flexibility to use these funds to fix and upgrade sewer, water and broadband infrastructure without all of the bureaucratic red tape,’’ Manchin said. q