News Minute: Here is the latest West Virginia news from The Asso - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

News Minute: Here is the latest West Virginia news from The Associated Press at 5:40 p.m. EDT

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A professor says if Don Blankenship is successful in making the U.S. Senate campaign a three-way race in West Virginia, it "throws everything into uncertainty." West Virginia Wesleyan College political history professor Robert Rupp says Blankenship has a self-funded candidacy and plenty of motivation as he tries to unseat incumbent Democratic Joe Manchin. Yet Rupp says a Blankenship candidacy could help Manchin by taking conservative Republican votes away from the GOP's Patrick Morrisey.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - The West Virginia Legislature has passed a bill involving death benefits for firefighters killed in the line of duty. The bill passed the House of Delegates and the state Senate during a special session Monday. It makes an increase in death benefits retroactive to Jan. 1 to help the families of two Pratt volunteer firefighters. The firefighters were killed in an accident while responding to a fatal crash March 24 on the West Virginia Turnpike.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - The West Virginia Legislature has passed a bill to establish a new arts department. The bill creating the Department of Arts, Culture and History was approved 73-20 by the House of Delegates and 28-1 by the state Senate during a special session Monday. Gov. Jim Justice signed a bill in March eliminating the Department of Education and the Arts.

LEWISBURG, W.Va. (AP) - A town in West Virginia is considering if it will add interpretive signs to its Civil War monument. The Register-Herald reported Monday that the Lewisburg City Council will spend the next month talking with constituents about the possible change. Mayor John Manchester said the town has found it easier to tell the stories of battles and not the war's social and economic history. He says it may need to step up and do a better job. The signs would aim to provide a balancing context to the statue.

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