Prince Philip dies at 99

OAK HILL, WV (WOAY) –  Buckingham Palace announced that Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh and the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, died Friday. He was 99.

“It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,” the palace said. “His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.”

The Duke of Edinburgh was known as one of the hardest-working members of the royal family during his tenure alongside the country’s longest-reigning monarch. Philip married then-Princess Elizabeth in 1947 and fulfilled thousands of royal duties.

Holding vaccine clinics for people of color

LEWISBURG, WV (WOAY) – We know that COVID-19 affects everyone differently, but more studies are showing how it can specifically affect different minorities.

Research is increasingly showing that COVID-19 doesn’t just disproportionately affect older people, but there are race and ethnicity disparities behind the virus, as well. African Americans, Indigenous people, and people of color can be affected by COVID in more detrimental ways than other groups of people, studies show.

“COVID has hit everyone very definitely, but in the African American community, we are twice as likely to catch COVID, and three times more likely to die from it,” Loretta Young, coordinator for RaceMatters says.

And, along with the disproportionate affects the virus has had on these certain groups of people, there has also been an increased amount of hesitancy among them to receive the vaccine. But, as the pandemic continues, these views are changing.

“I’ve seen that shift,” says James Patterson, CEO of the Partnership of African American Churches. “I don’t think there’s a lot of hesitancy now, and that’s because the amount of time that this pandemic has gone on, as well as the devastation that it has caused in communities of color.”

So, fortunately, as more information becomes available pertaining to these disproportions in race from the virus, along with the hesitancy behind getting the vaccine, more effort is being made to combat and prevent these issues. And, most people are all for making this effort.

“It’s a blessing that the lord made way for us to be able to get our shot today. And, I just want to say, that if anyone doesn’t want to take the shot, COVID-19 is absolutely for real,” says one vaccine clinic patient, Clinton Winkfield.

People of color vaccine clinic held in Lewisburg

LEWISBURG, WV (WOAY) – In an effort to combat disproportionate affects from the virus in communities of color, Race Matters in the Greenbriar Valley has coordinated with the Partnership of African American Churches to bring vaccine clinics specifically to these communities. One of the clinics was held on Saturday at the Klingman Center in Lewisburg, and was met with a positive response from the community.

“With the year, well almost over a year, experience that not just our community, but all the communities have had in our country, I really feel like this is the light at the end of the tunnel,” says clinic patient Colette Lewis.
Race Matters and the PAAC plan to organize more Black, Indigenous and people of color COVID-19  vaccination clinics throughout the state.

House votes to impeach, Trump becomes only president impeached twice

WASHINGTON, D.C. (ABCNEWS)- The House of Representatives has voted to impeach President Trump — making Trump the only president in American history to be impeached twice.

Ten Republicans have sided with Democrats to vote for impeachment with the count currently standing at 225-194.

217 votes were needed to impeach the president.

House lawmakers charged Trump with one article of impeachment for “incitement of insurrection” citing his role in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

While House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has declined to yet say publicly when the House will send the article over to the Senate, a source involved in the Democratic leadership deliberations told ABC News earlier Wednesday Pelosi plans to send the article to the Senate next week.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office confirmed earlier in the day that the Senate will not return early for an impeachment trial, so the earliest the trial could start is Jan. 19 — a day before Biden’s inauguration.

Delegate Derrick Evans announces resignation from House of Delegates

CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY)- Delegate Derrick Evans, R-Wayne, today announced his resignation from the West Virginia House of Delegates, effective immediately.  

 “The past few days have certainly been a difficult time for my family, colleagues and myself, so I feel it’s best at this point to resign my seat in the House and focus on my personal situation and those I love,” Delegate Evans said.  

 “I take full responsibility for my actions, and deeply regret any hurt, pain or embarrassment I may have caused my family, friends, constituents and fellow West Virginians. I hope this action I take today can remove any cloud of distraction from the state Legislature, so my colleagues can get to work in earnest building a brighter future for our state. And more importantly, I hope it helps to begin the healing process, so we can all move forward and come together as ‘One Nation, Under God.’”  

 A copy of Evans’ resignation letter can be viewed here:  

Education head DeVos quits, cites Trump rhetoric

WASHINGTON (AP)- Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has become the second Cabinet secretary to resign a day after a pro-Trump insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

In a resignation letter Thursday, DeVos blamed President Donald Trump for inflaming tensions in the violent assault on the seat of the nation’s democracy. She says, “There is no mistaking the impact your rhetoric had on the situation, and it is the inflection point for me.”

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao tendered her resignation earlier Thursday. News of DeVos’ resignation was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

In a farewell letter to Congress earlier this week, DeVos urged lawmakers to reject policies supported by President-elect Joe Biden, and to protect Trump administration policies that Biden has promised to eliminate.

Woman shot inside Capitol during riot has died

WASHINGTON (AP)-A woman who was shot inside the U.S. Capitol during the violent pro-Trump protest has died.

That’s according to two officials familiar with the matter who spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly.

The Metropolitan Police Department said it was taking the lead on the shooting investigation. Police did not immediately provide details about the circumstances of the shooting.

Dozens of supporters of President Donald Trump breached the security perimeter and entered the Capitol as Congress was meeting, expected to vote and affirm Joe Biden’s presidential win. They were seen fighting with officers both inside the building and outside.

Hours later, police had declared the Capitol was secured.

Capitol complex secure after violent occupation

WASHINGTON (AP)- Officials have declared the U.S. Capitol complex “secure” after heavily armed police moved to end a nearly four-hour violent occupation by supporters of President Donald Trump.

An announcement saying “the Capitol is secure” rang out Wednesday evening inside a secure location for officials of the House. Lawmakers applauded.

The occupation interrupted Congress’ Electoral College count that will formalize President-elect Joe Biden’s upcoming inauguration on Jan. 20.

Lawmakers were evacuated to secure locations around the Capitol complex and Washington, D.C. after thousands of Trump supporters breached the building and skirmished with police officers.

Lawmakers have signaled that they would resume the constitutionally mandated count as soon as it was safe to do so.

Virginia declares State of Emergency

ARLINGTON, VA (WOAY)- Governor Ralph Northam has announced on Twitter that a State of Emergency has been declared in Virginia. 

The State of Emergency will be in effect from 6PM to 6AM, with limited exceptions.

Nancy Pelosi reelected speaker of the House

WASHINGTON (AP)-Nancy Pelosi was narrowly reelected Sunday as speaker, giving her the reins of Democrats’ slender House majority as President-elect Joe Biden sets a challenging course of producing legislation to tackle the pandemic, revive the economy and address other party priorities.

The California Democrat, who has led her party in the House since 2003 and is the only woman to be speaker, had been widely expected to retain her post. Rep. Kevin McCarthy R-Calif., again will be the chamber’s minority leader.

To gain her victory, Pelosi had to overcome some Democratic grumbling about her longevity, a slim 222-211 edge over Republicans after the November election, and a handful of absences because of the coronavirus.

There are two vacancies in the 435-member House, and whatever happens Democrats will have the smallest House majority in two decades.

In a first, Congress overrides Trump veto of defense bill

WASHINGTON (AP)- Congress has overridden President Donald Trump’s veto of a defense policy bill, a first by lawmakers since he took office nearly four years ago.

In an extraordinary New Year’s Day session, the Republican-controlled Senate easily turned aside the veto, dismissing Trump’s objections to the $74 billion bill and handing him a stinging rebuke just weeks before his term ends.

Trump lashed out at GOP lawmakers on Twitter, charging earlier this week that “Weak an tired Republicans ‘leadership’ will allow the bad defense bill to pass.”

Trump called the looming override vote a “disgraceful act of cowardice and total submission by weak people to Big Tech. Negotiate a better Bill, or get better leaders NOW!”

The 81-13 vote in the Senate followed an earlier 322-87 override in the House of the widely popular defense measure. The bill provides a 3% pay raise for U.S. troops and guides defense policy, cementing decisions about troop levels, new weapons systems and military readiness, personnel policy and other military goals. Many programs, including military construction, can only go into effect if the bill is approved.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConell, R-Ky., said before the vote that Congress has passed the National Defense Authorization Act every year for 59 years in a row, “and one way of another, we are going to complete the 60th annual NDAA and pass it into law before this Congress concludes on Sunday.”

The bill “looks after our brave men and women who volunteer to wear the uniform,″ McConnell said. “But it’s also a tremendous opportunity: to direct our national security priorities to reflect the resolve of the American people and the evolving threats to their safety, at home and abroad. It’s our chance to ensure we keep pace with competitors like Russia and China.″

The Senate override was delayed after Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., objected to moving ahead until McConnell allowed a vote on a Trump-backed plan to increase COVID-19 relief payments to $2,000. McConnel did not allow that vote; instead he used his parliamentary power to set a vote limiting debate on the defense measure, overcoming a filibuster threat by Sanders and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York.

Without a bipartisan agreement, a vote on the bill could have been delayed until Saturday night. Lawmakers, however, agreed to an immediate roll call Friday once the filibuster threat was stopped.

Trump rejected the defense measure last week, saying it failed to limit social media companies he claimed were biased against him during his failed reelection campaign. Trump also opposed language that allows for the renaming of military bases that honor Confederate leaders.

Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he was “disappointed” with Trump’s veto and called the bill “absolutely vital to our national security and our troops.″

“This is the most important bill we have,″ Inhofe said. “It puts members of the military first.″

Trump has succeeded throughout his four-year term in enforcing party discipline in Congress, with few Republicans willing to publicly oppose him. The bipartisan overrides on the defense bill showed the limits of Trump’s influence in the final weeks of his term.

Earlier this week, 130 House Republicans voted against the Trump-backed COVID relief checks, with many arguing they were unnecessary and would increase the federal budget deficit.

The Democratic-controlled House approved the larger payments, but the plan is dead in the Senate, another sign of Trump’s fading hold over Congress.

Besides his concerns about social media and military base names, Trump also said the defense bill restricted his ability to conduct foreign policy, “particularly my efforts to bring our troops home.″ Trump was referring to provisions in the bill that impose conditions on his plan to withdraw thousands of troops from Afghanistan and Germany. The measures require the Pentagon to submit reports certifying that the proposed withdrawals would not jeopardize U.S. national security.

Trump has vetoed eight other bills, but those were all sustained because supporters did not gain the two-thirds vote needed in each chamber for the bills to become law without Trump’s signature.

Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed, the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, called Trump’s Dec. 23 veto a “parting gift” to Russian President Vladimir Putin “and a lump of coal for our troops. Donald Trump is showing more devotion to Confederate base names than to the men and women who defend our nation.″

First reported US case of COVID-19 variant found in Colorado

DENVER (AP)- The first reported U.S. case of the COVID-19 variant that’s been seen in the United Kingdom has been discovered in Colorado, Gov. Jared Polis announced Tuesday.

The coronavirus variant was found in a man in his 20s who is in isolation southeast of Denver and has no travel history, state health officials said.

The Colorado State Laboratory confirmed the virus variant, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was notified.

Scientists in the U.K. believe the new virus variant is more contagious than previously identified strains of the SARS-CoV-2. The vaccines being given now are thought to be effective against the variant, Colorado health officials said in a news release.

Public health officials are investigating other potential cases and performing contract tracing to determine the spread of the variant throughout the state.

“There is a lot we don’t know about this new COVID-19 variant, but scientists in the United Kingdom are warning the world that it is significantly more contagious. The health and safety of Coloradans is our top priority, and we will closely monitor this case, as well as all COVID-19 indicators, very closely,” Polis said.

Polis and state health officials are expected to address the public Wednesday.

The discovery of the new variant lead the CDC to issue new rules on Christmas Day for travelers arriving to the U.S. from the U.K., requiring they show proof of a negative COVID-19 test.


House approves Trump’s $2k checks, sending to GOP-led Senate

WASHINGTON (AP)- The House voted Monday to increase COVID-19 relief checks to $2,000, meeting President Trump’s demand for bigger payments and sending the bill to the GOP controlled Senate, where the outcome is uncertain.

Democrats led passage, 275-134, their majority favoriting additional assistance. They had settled for smaller $600 payments in a compromise with Republicans over the big-year end relief bill Trump reluctantly signed into law.

The vote divides Republicans who mostly resist more spending. But many House Republicans joined in support, despite being wary of bucking the president. Senators are set to return to session Tuesday to consider the measure. m


President Trump signs massive measure funding government, COVID relief

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (AP)- President Donald Trump has signed a $900 billion pandemic relief package that will deliver long-sought cash to businesses and individuals. It also averts a government shutdown.

Trump announced the signing in a statement Sunday night.

The massive bill includes $1.4 trillion to fund government agencies through September and contains other end-of-session priorities such as money for cash-starved transit systems and an increase in food stamp benefits.

Democrats are promising more aid to come once President-elect Joe Biden takes office, but Republicans are signaling a wait-and-see approach.

US clears Moderna vaccine for COVID-19, 2nd shot in arsenal

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. added a second COVID-19 vaccine to its arsenal Friday, boosting efforts to beat back an outbreak so dire that the nation is regularly recording more than 3,000 deaths a day.

Much-needed doses are set to arrive Monday after the Food and Drug Administration authorized an emergency rollout of the vaccine developed by Moderna Inc. and the National Institutes of Health.

The move marks the world’s first authorization for Moderna’s shots. The vaccine is very similar to one from Pfizer Inc. and Germany’s BioNTech that’s now being dispensed to millions of health care workers and nursing home residents as the biggest vaccination drive in U.S. history starts to ramp up.

he two work “better than we almost dared to hope,” NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins told The Associated Press. “Science is working here, science has done something amazing.”

Early results of large, still unfinished studies show both vaccines appear safe and strongly protective although Moderna’s is easier to handle since it doesn’t need to be stored at ultra-frozen temperatures.

A second vaccine represents a ray of hope amid despair as the virus continues to spread unabated even before holiday gatherings that are certain to further fuel the outbreak.

The scourge has claimed more than 312,000 U.S. lives and killed 1.7 million people worldwide. New cases in the U.S. are running at over 216,000 per day on average. Deaths per day have hit all-time highs, eclipsing 3,600 on Wednesday.

#BREAKING: Chuck Yeager, famed pilot and WV native dies

CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY)- Chuck Yeager has died today at 97 years old.

His wife Victoria took to twitter to make the announcement.

Positive COVID-19 case reported at Fayetteville school

FAYETTEVILLE, WV (WOAY) – Fayette County Schools announced Sunday confirmation of a positive COVID-19 case connected to Fayetteville PK-8. According to a release, the case is “not believed to have resulted from transmission within the school setting.”

Specific information for this case is not being made public, in accordance with privacy laws.

Fayetteville PK-8 will conduct remote learning for all students on Monday, December 7 due to insufficient staffing. Students whose last names begin with the letters A-L would attend in-person on Tuesday, December 8; those whose last names begin with M-Z would attend in-person Wednesday through Friday.

The Fayette County Health Department is conducting contact tracing and investigations. Fayette County Schools have asked the public to continue following health practices as recommended by health officials.

#BREAKING: Raleigh County assistant superintendent dies suddenly

RALEIGH COUNTY, WV (WOAY)- Raleigh County assistant superintendent Randy Adkins has suddenly passed away.

Superintendent David Price confirmed to WOAY that Adkins passed away suddenly yesterday, but did confirm his death was not related to COVID-19. WOAY sends their condolences to the Adkins family.

This is a developing story, stick with WOAY for more updates. 

Gov. Justice changes school color code map by adding another color

CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) – Gov. Jim Justice gives an update on the school color code map.

“If you’re a county with 11 [cases of infection per 100,000], and you were in the orange color code that went all the way from 10 to 25, how can that county be looked at, in my opinion, the same county, as a county that may be at 22?” asked Gov. Justice in a press briefing this morning. “The difference is so dramatic that we need a change.”

Gov. Jim Justice says a new color code, gold, will be added to the school color code map, which will land between yellow and orange colors.

The gold color means that face masks will be required for grades 3 through 12.  No assemblies or large gatherings will be allowed if your county is in the gold color.

Green color will be cases of 3 or fewer per 100,000 cases.

Yellow color will be cases 3.1-9.9 per 100,000 cases

Gold color will be cases of 10-14.9 per 100,000 cases

Orange color will be cases of 15-24.9 per 100,000 cases

Red color will be cases of 25 or more per 100,000 cases.

Under the new color code system, Fayette, Boone, Logan, Mingo, and Putnam counties are now in the gold color, which would allow students to attend schools in-person, but with limitations.  Kanawha and Monroe counties would be in orange.

The previous color code map was green, yellow, orange, and red.  Schools in the orange and red are currently not permitted to have in-person classes.

Stay with WOAY News for further updates on this developing story. 

A positive case of COVID-19 has been confirmed at Princeton HS

Coronavirus in West Virginia

MERCER COUNTY, WV (WOAY)- Today, September 4, 2020, a positive Covid-19 case has been confirmed at Princeton High School.

Students and staff known to be exposed have been quarantined. The Mercer County Health Department will conduct further contact tracing. Deep cleaning and disinfecting of all affected areas will be completed.

NBA playoff games called off amid player protest

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA (AP) – All three NBA playoff games scheduled for Wednesday have been postponed, with players around the league choosing to boycott in their strongest statement yet against racial injustice.

Called off: Games between Milwaukee and Orlando, Houston and Oklahoma City and the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland. The NBA said all three games would be rescheduled, yet did not say when.

The dramatic series of moves began when the Bucks — the NBA’s team from Wisconsin, a state rocked in recent days by the shooting by police officers of Jacob Blake, a Black man — didn’t take the floor for their playoff game against the Magic. The teams were set to begin Game 5 of their series shortly after 4 p.m., with the Bucks needing a win to advance to the second round.

“Some things are bigger than basketball,” Bucks senior vice president Alex Lasry tweeted. “The stand taken today by the players and (the organization) shows that we’re fed up. Enough is enough. Change needs to happen. I’m incredibly proud of our guys and we stand 100% behind our players ready to assist and bring about real change.”

There are three other playoff games scheduled Thursday. It was unclear if they would be affected. Several NBA players, including LeBron James, tweeted out messages demanding change and the Boston Celtics’ official Twitter account did the same.

Mullens native Mike D’Antoni is the head coach for the Houston Rockets. They were scheduled to play Game 5 of their first-round matchup with Oklahoma City Wednesday, with the series tied 2-2.