Here is the latest West Virginia news from The Associated Press at 9:40 p.m. EDT

Here is the latest West Virginia news from The Associated Press at 9:40 p.m. EDT
Published: Jul. 8, 2020 at 1:43 AM EDT
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UNDATED (AP) — West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice says officials are working on plans to reopen schools across the state in early September as coronavirus cases rise to record highs. The Republican governor on Wednesday said he's targeting Sept. 8 as a tentative date to reopen schools but stressed that the timing could change depending on the state’s caseload. He did not immediately detail the safety precautions schools would be required to implement. The announcement comes after health officials reported the state’s highest single-day tally of new virus infections Tuesday with 146 cases. Last weekend, the state blew past previous highs with at least 115 cases Saturday and 93 on Sunday.

FAYETTEVILLE, W.Va. (AP) — An annual bridge-jumping event in southern West Virginia has been canceled. The Bridge Day Commission announced Wednesday that the Oct. 17 event was called off due to uncertainty about the safety of mass gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic. Hundreds of BASE jumpers flock to Fayetteville on the third Saturday of each year, the only day that it’s legal to jump off the 876-foot-high New River Gorge Bridge. Bridge Day is West Virginia’s largest single-day festival. About 100,000 people attend Bridge Day each year. The 3,030-foot-long bridge opened to traffic in October 1977.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Miller Hall has been elected president of the West Virginia Board of Education. The board Wednesday unanimously voted for Hall to replace David Perry, who was elected in 2018. Hall was appointed to the board in 2017 by Gov. Jim Justice and previously was the board’s vice president. A Beckley native, Hall served as principal of Woodrow Wilson High School and later held different administrative positions in the Raleigh County Central Office. Hall says the board will remain diligent in addressing the needs of the state's most vulnerable students. The board also voted Tom Campbell as vice president.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia man has pleaded guilty to defrauding the Federal Emergency Management Agency of 2016 disaster relief funds. Randall Butler of Charleston entered the plea in federal court Wednesday to one count of fraud in connection with major disaster or emergency benefits. Prosecutors say Butler lived in a Clendenin apartment at the time of the floods. FEMA was authorized to provide assistance to affected residents. Butler admitted receiving about $8,600 from FEMA for rental assistance, even though he had not been paying the rent himself. Prosecutors say the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development had submitted rental payments on his behalf.